Gift of Speaking in Tongues, Prophecy and Healing

speaking in tongues

Gift of Speaking in Tongues, Prophecy and Healing – is it biblical?

Back in the day at Pentecost, in the upper room, a special gift was bestowed on the disciples that they would be able to go out and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ successfully.  One of the gifts was the ability of speaking in tongues.  Many people today who speak in tongues today seem to think that this gift of tongues was a heavenly language. But this is not true.  The gift of tongues bestowed on those in the upper room spoke an earthly language.  The gift given to the disciples enabled them to communicate with people from other nations who spoke other languages, how else could they spread the gospel.

Acts 2:6-11  “Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.” And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?”  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,” Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,” Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”

Now…

All genuine Christians believe that the gift of tongues existed as mentioned in Scripture.

1 Corinthians 12:8-11   “8To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit;   9To another [wonder-working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit, to another the extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit;  10To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret [such] tongues.  11All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses”.

And the Bible clearly states that the Corinthians spoke an earthly language (tongues) and God alone understands all languages.

Corinth, was a market visted by many a merchant from Asia, Africa, and Europe, and had a wildly mixed population speaking many a different language.  To exercise of the gift of tongues in preaching bought many an unbeliever to salvation.

1Cor 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.”

G1100 γλῶσσα glossa (glows`-sah) n.
1. the tongue
2. (by implication) a language
3. (specially) a language not naturally acquired

1 Corinthians 12:10 mentions the gift of speaking in tongues and also mentions the gift of  interpreting tongues.  Tongues had to be interpreted so believers could understand what was being preached to the unbeliever.

The ‘gift of tongues’ given to the early church was given as the Holy Spirit willed. Because the Holy Spirit is sovereign. No one has the right to demand that he be given any certain gift or gifts as an evidence of the Holy Spirit’s baptism.  Tongues was certainly not evidence of salvation.

The Corinthian church for example did not have the Bible, the gift of tongues was needed in authenticating the Message that was delivered as being DIVINE;  these signs followed the proclamation of the truth.

When a person accepts Jesus Christ into their life they instantly receive the Holy Spirit who comes to abide in them – this alone is a gift.

Do not confuse speaking in tongues as being a fruit of the Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit.  The fruits of the Spirit are mentioned in:

Galatians 5:22-23;   “22But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,23Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].”

However…

Paul ended up rebuking the Corinthians over and over again because they did not understand the gospel.   Paul scolded the Corinthians for misusing the gift of tongues and speaking gibberish and making a mockery of the OT fulfillment of prophecy by Isaiah. This prophecy came about due to Israel’s disobedience to God.

Isaiah 28:11;   “11No, but [the Lord will teach the rebels in a more humiliating way] by men with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people [says Isaiah, and teach them His lessons].”

Paul points out the OT Scripture of Isaiah 28:11 to the Corinthians because they (being Jews) should know the Law well…but they don’t.

1 Corinthians 12:21;  “In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord”.

Paul uses the reference to Isaiah to show them how they lack in knowing of OT scripture, therefore they lack even more when it comes to the gospel.  Isaiah specifically says that tongues will be used as a tool to preach the word of God to Israel, not the way the Corinthians are using it. It also says that even though they hear the word of God they still will not listen.

The gift of speaking in tongues was used as a sign only to unbelievers:

1 Corinthians 14:22   “22Thus [unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for unbelievers [on the point of believing], while prophecy (inspired preaching and teaching, interpreting the divine will and purpose) is not for unbelievers [on the point of believing] but for believers.”

To use tongues in any other way is unbiblical and when used the gospel was preached and people were saved because they heard the message, the sign of the gift of tongues followed only because the truth had been preached and the unbeliever was then on the point of believing.

Tongues was given by God to certain people when they came into contact with others who did not speak their mother tongue.  They suddenly by God’s power could speak the other person’s language and the gospel was preached to them that they may come to know Jesus Christ and be saved.  The gift of interpretation was given to another person, in order that anyone nearby could hear that the TRUTH was being preached.

The Corinthians turned tongues speaking into a mockery claiming they spoke ‘heavenly’ languages.  They used it for self glory and self gratification and they puffed themselves up making one person seem more spiritual than another. Paul lambastes them and calls the Corinthians spiritually immature and childish in their thinking.

1 Corinthians 14:20   “20Brethren, do not be children [immature] in your thinking; continue to be babes in [matters of] evil, but in your minds be mature [men].”

The Corinthians never grew up.  They remained spiritually immature.  They failed to study the scriptures  just like those churches today who follow the Corinthian blueprint.

Hebrews 5:12-14  “12For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food. 13For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]!  14But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.”

The Corinthians thought they were so spiritual, but the Bible says they were manifesting carnality:

1 Corinthians 3:1;   “HOWEVER, BRETHREN, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!]”

And there was even gross sin among these spiritual Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 5:1;  ” IT IS actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, impurity of a sort that is condemned and does not occur even among the heathen; for a man has [his own] father’s wife.”

The gift of speaking in tongues was a TEMPORARY gift bestowed on people by the Holy Spirit

  1. To preach the gospel to all nations
  2. As a sign to confirm the gospel message preached because people would come to be saved thereafter.
  3. The fulfillment of OT scripture.

Once the Bible was written the gift of speaking in tongues has ceased and was replaced by love and truth.

1 Corinthians 13:8   “Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].”

Tongues served their purpose, a very useful one,  Now with God’s complete revelation in our hands (the Bible), we do not require signs to manifest it as the Word of God. When preached, it authenticates itself.

Truth = The Word of God

Paul says that LOVE never fails and this leads us to the 2 commandments that Jesus spoke about in

Mark 12:30-31  and they are:    30And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment.    31The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

The gift of prophecy (foreseeing the future) too shall be entirely unnecessary as the Bible contains everything you need to know for yesterday, today and tomorrow.  God has a stern warning for those with new words, new revelations that fall outside of scripture:

Revelation 22:18   “if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book”.

In those days Paul and the other Apostles wrote and prophesied in part – in other words they did not know everything until it was give to them by the Holy Spirit.  Paul said in…

1 Corinthians 13:8-11;   “8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

that which is perfect = The Word of God / Bible

G5046 τέλειος teleios (tel’-ei-os) adj.
1. complete
{(neuter as noun, with G3588) completeness; in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.}

Truth = The Word of God

Jesus Christ = Perfect and the Truth.

The imperfect, the incomplete =  speaking in tongues, prophecy (new knowledge / foretelling the future) has ceased!

Now the big question WHEN exactly did speaking in tongues cease?

The Berean Bible Society says:

“The sign gifts, speaking in tongues, prophecy, the gift of healing, etc. were operating all through the Book of Acts, and these gifts are mentioned in the letters that Paul wrote during the Acts period. But when we turn to the letters written after the Book of Acts—the 4 Prison Epistles, and the 3 Pastoral Epistles, we find that the sign gifts either aren’t mentioned at all or we see—as with the gift of healing—that they were no longer operating in Paul’s life. What he could do in Acts 28, he could no longer do in Philippians, or in 1 and 2 Timothy. He could heal all the sick on the island in Acts 28:9, but he couldn’t heal any of his closest co-workers—Timothy, Epaphroditus, Trophimus—after the close of the Book of Acts.

Arranging Paul’s letters in the order that he wrote them allows us to see the pattern of truth that is found in the Word of God:

The sign gifts were operating in Acts and in all of the Acts Epistles: Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians and Romans.

But in this time period, in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12, Paul tells us that the Lord had revealed to him that these gifts would cease some day. And they did, because in the letters written after the Book of Acts, the sign gifts had ceased, just as the Lord said that they would….”

“We can now give a scriptural answer to the question that we started with: when did the sign gifts cease?

The answer: The sign gifts ceased at the end of the Book of Acts. There is no record in Scripture of any of the sign gifts operating in any of the letters that Paul wrote after the end of the Acts period, and it is clear that the gift of healing had ceased since Paul could no longer heal even his closest co-workers after the close of the Book of Acts.”

A note about the gift of healing

“As we have seen, Paul was able to heal many sick people all through the Book of Acts. He healed every sick person on the Island of Malta in Acts 28. And he wrote to the Corinthians about the gift of healing that was operating in their church during the Acts period (1 Cor. 12:9). But we have also seen that with the close of the Book of Acts, the gift of healing ceased to operate. Paul could no longer heal anyone—not Epaphroditus in Philippians 2, not Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:23, not Trophimus in 2 Timothy 4:20. The gift of healing had ceased to operate, along with the other sign gifts.

Today God no longer gives the gift of healing, and there are no “healers.” But we should not think that God Himself no longer heals! In Philippians 2 we read of a healing that God did after the gift of healing had ceased to operate:

“Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.

“For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

“Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful.

“Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me” (Phil. 2:25-30).

Paul commends Epaphroditus very highly for his faithfulness even unto death. But when Epaphroditus fell sick—near to death—Paul was no longer able to heal him because the gift of healing had ceased to operate. But we read that Epaphroditus was healed—directly by the Lord: “He was sick unto death but the Lord had mercy on him….”

There is healing today, but there is no gift of healing, there are no “divine healers.” There is no gift of healing today but God still heals!”  (Emphasis added) https://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/when-did-the-gift-of-tongues-cease/

God still heals if you go to Jesus Christ directly in prayer and pray for healing.  If it is God’s Will that you be healed, He will heal you.  You do not go to a faith healer, or a divine healer to heal you.  You do not need an intermediary between you and Jesus Christ to pray for healing.  You go to God through Jesus Christ yourself in prayer.

Tom Lessing says “As far as healing is concerned, Paul could have laid his hands on Timothy and prayed for him. Instead, he wrote, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine (not the wine we know today) for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. (1 Timothy  5:23). Paul himself could probably have gone to one of his brethren and asked him to pray for his healing. Instead, he himself prayed and God said, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Wow, think of that. Paul was content with his suffering because he preferred to be endowed with the power of God. That’s the best medicine there is.”

Jews (signs) vs Gentiles (faith)

The end of the Book of Acts was also the end of God’s dealings with the nation of Israel. Acts 28:25-28 stands as God’s last words to the nation of Israel for nearly 2000 years. The Jews sought after signs (1 Corinthians 1:22) so God gave them signs including the Gentiles who were among them in order to provoke Israel to jealousy (Romans 11:14). But with the close of the book of Acts, God sets aside Israel for a time to turn his attention to the Gentiles, and when God gave up on the ‘the people who needed signs‘ (Jews) for a time, the sign gifts passed away. Jews need signs – Gentiles believe by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7)

If Tongues was a heavenly language what confusion there would have been.

Tom Lessing says: “Whereas the confusion of tongues in Genesis 11:1-19 was the means God used to judge humankind during the construction of the Tower of Babel, the tongues phenomenon in Acts 2 was the means to bless all the nations. The original curse in Genesis was upended in Acts by removing the curse of confusion and replacing it with a blessing of clear comprehension. It heralded a new beginning for all mankind, showering on every single human being the grace and mercy to be saved through faith alone in the finished work of Christ alone, and through the blessed work of the Holy Spirit alone. Faith and faith alone is the means by which lost sinners are saved (Hebrews 11:6). However, faith is not simply a leap in the dark. It must and always does go hand in hand with a clear understanding of the Gospel. (Romans 10:17). To facilitate his blessing on all mankind, God enabled his disciples to speak in the languages of every nation present on that glorious day of Pentecost when the Comforter, in fulfillment of Christ’s promise in John 14:16, 26; 15: 26 and 16:7, was poured out on all flesh (John 17:2).

Bear in mind that there was no-one on that day who interpreted the various languages. The multitude of nations who were present heard them speak in their own mother tongue (Acts 2:4). The interpretation of tongues (other known languages) became necessary only when the church was established and believers began to worship in their own venues convenient for them to attend. The interpretation was for the benefit of the believers and the speaking in tongues itself for the unbelievers who began to frequent the different churches (1 Corinthians 14:22). The gift of prophecy was not to predict future events but to preach the unadulterated Gospel.

If it had been true that the disciples spoke in unknown, heavenly tongues on the Day of Pentecost, without someone having to interpret them, confusion would have been the order of the day. No one would or could then have been saved (Romans 10:17). Confusion, as already mentioned, was a means God used throughout mankind’s history to judge them. (viz. Genesis 11:7 Deuteronomy 28:49).”

IMPORTANT!  In very very rare instances God can and will give the gift of speaking in tongues to people who might come into contact with other people where their is a language barrier.  In that instance the gospel will be preached to unbelievers, and unbelievers will come to Jesus Christ and be SAVED.

Today speaking in tongues and prophesying is self-induced or demonic.  If you speak in tongues I urge you to read your Bible and study the matter urgently and rid yourself of this childish behavior or worse, demonic affliction.  See here for help Seeking Salvation or Deliverance?

Dueling Tongues from Acts2031 on Vimeo.

Please share:

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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52 Comment authors
Mike EvansKayNatalieMax KennedyTom (Discerning the World) Recent comment authors
Grant C
Guest
Grant C

Now here’s one that ought to receive some very interesting and diverse opinion from Charismatic, Charismatic Catholic and other related sources. I have recently read some, dare I say hilarious, articles on this subject. The perceived and manufactured variety of ‘tongues’ now rivals only the circumstances under which they are ‘received’.

Just yesterday I happened across an article which explains the added effects that the ‘Words of Wisdom tongue’ and the ‘Words of Knowledge tongue’ include. Apparently one can hear the voices of angels, demons and Jesus along with these ‘gifts’. I don’t doubt that claim for a moment, considering the origin…

Of course, all which you have correctly mentioned in your article here, has been prolifically disputed and ‘disproved’ in all media forms and from New Age pulpits world over. I anticipate lively counter argument and refutation of this article from obvious sources.

Jemah
Guest
Jemah

Why would the Holy Spirit speak in funny tongues that no one can understand in front of a whole congragation…
Rom 8:26
(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.
It is self evident in the verse above that the groanings of the Holy Spirit CANNOT BE UTTERED
I thank my God everyday for he is good and He doesnt expect me to do any strange thing to show him that I love Him, in Truth we worhip Him, what an amazing Father we have!and isn’t his love so simple to understand!!!! with just a requirement, to love Him with all our hearts and souls for what He has done for us, nothing more and nothing less,praise Him for ever and ever.

Pieter
Guest
Pieter

thx for this! You just managed to answer all my questions I ever had on this topic!

Elmarie A
Guest
Elmarie A

I have shared this before. Neville Norden from Lewende Woord church in Pretoria says if one cannot speak in tongues it is because of lack of knowledge or ignorance. It is absolutely insane to say this to someone. Lewende Woord is as I see it a false church with false teachings as there are other false teachings like his Prophetic School ect.

Proof of what I am saying can be found at link chapter 8 page 183. The thesis was done in Afrikaans. I have tried to copy an paste article piece applicable but the pdf doc is locked.

I have made this comment on another thread also. This was my comment:

I was at LW and the yeah it was quite a day of my baptism there too. I attended LW for a very short period of 7 months. My baptism was a non Biblical ritual that took place.

I had to walk the narrow road of truth for a while before the Lord opened the Word and showed me why the happenings at LW is not biblical.

I found an article of what Neville Norden says about speaking in tongues. .

The speaking in tongues is mandatory at LW, they sort of force one to do it. Ruoall the spirit present on the day of my baptism was not the Holy Spirit, it took me some time to figure that one out. Neville Norden also believe that those who cannot do the speak in tongues are IGNORANT. See this link read page 183

He further believes that if you do not speak in tongues you have not received the Holy Spirit. He also says that it is wrong for someone to say that they don’t have to speak in tongues when receiving the Holy Spirit.

I have a lady friend who was baptised at LW and never got her gift of tongues and it has made her feel inferior for many many years. It made her doubt her Salvation and that is dangerous.

Can you see where the dangers lie in this false teaching. It can destroy a persons faith. Nowhere in the word are we commanded that we MUST speak in tongues as a sign of being born again.

Neville Norden claims to believe that to receive the gift on tongues stands much closer toward the traditional Penticostalism because they believe that when one is baptised you will receive the Holy Spirit.

At Lewende Woord they also believe in Prophesying and and it forms an important part of this church as there is also a Prophetic school where one is taught how to Prophesy and practice “ones gifts”?? Yearly they have what they call Apostolic Prophetic week and the Prophesying taking place is far from Biblical.

Shortly before I left Lewende Woord Harlod Weitz spoke a so called prophetic word over Neville Norden. see here :Prophetic Word over Nevil Norden & Pretoria (Harold Weitsz 2009-08-14) SEE AUDIO LINK http://www.lewendewoord.co.za/newsite/download.php?view.1181

That is not Biblical either. The Prophets in the Bible was purely inspired by God and was not taught how to Prophecy by going on some course. We can not speak a prophetic word over someone as is done by Harold Weitz. The Prophets in the Bible are the only ones we should believe and not men who are putting themselves on a high table to boast.

Neville Norden does not believe in the Rapture.That is another loooonnng story.

Neville has allot of assosiations with false teachers like Elza Meyer, Angus Buchan, Ray Mackauley, Herlod Weitz, Randy Clarck, Gary Kiewetter, Izak Burger, Kim Clement, aggh the list goes on and on………………..

Benny Hinn – Miracle Service in Durban – 13 Mar 2010

Patrick Ölund
Guest
Patrick Ölund

Maybe because God understands it.

Grant C
Guest
Grant C

Deborah

Aah yes, Thunder Tongue, first heard at the Thunder Dome. Frankie went there, too I think, or was that the Pleasure Dome or the Coca Cola dome, can’t remember:) Not important.

But I suppose we should not make too light of a subject which has had tragic implications for some. Thousands who have been deceived by the incredible falsities of preachers and pastors who have destroyed the fledgling faith of many who were told that their salvation depended on having faith enough to speak in gibberish tongues. The same false preachers and pastors who make Christianity seem cheap, ludicrous, pretentious and false. These bad shepherds truly allow themselves to become an embarrassment to the Christian faith and true believers.

Although there are many other passages warning us about these deceivers, see what Jeremiah says about them. He is not addressing tongues, per se, but also the lies:

Jer 23:31 Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the LORD.’
Jer 23:32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD.

Again, concerning those who have been driven from the faith by false expectations of the teachers:

Jer 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD.
Jer 23:2 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the LORD.

More recently, Peter comforts us:

2Pe 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

Grant C
Guest
Grant C

Jemah

It is self evident in the verse above that the groanings of the Holy Spirit CANNOT BE UTTERED

You read the whole verse and did not stop after the word ‘groanings’. That is why you understand it perfectly. Thank you for being a Berean and as always for being gentle. Your faith speaks for itself.

Further to your verse Romans 8:26, it is also quite evident that the Spirit maketh intercession for us . Not through us, but on our behalf.

Also, what would be the purpose of having those groanings uttered among men? 1, they would not understand the meaning, and 2, what could we be expecting men to do for us? Thus it is pretty clear that those ‘groanings’ are made by the Spirit, on our behalf, before God.

You are so right: it is really so, so simple and perfect.

Michael
Guest
Michael

The tongues issue is a stumbling block to those (especially) new-born Christians and sadly… any issue that causes confusion is not the will of God…who sent His Son to save us from our sins.
When any controversy becomes an issue and takes your focus away from the message of Calvary…then it is best left alone because it is a diversion. Avoid churches,teachings and church leaders who advocate this…and seek out God by prayer and reading His Word with a sincere heart. The answer will come. The really sad thing is that there are genuine reborn-christians trapped in this question.

Burning Lamp
Guest
Burning Lamp

First, let me say I have the utmost respect for Deborah and gang and this website. I am fully aware of the craziness that surrounds the use of tongues and it sickens me because it is either of the flesh or Satan and an embarrassment to the Body of Christ.

However, having said that, I do believe it is appropriate to hear another viewpoint. There is a balanced view that I believe is worthy of hearing. I know mature Christians who stand for biblical truth. Some of them speak in tongues (NOT in congregational settings, but rather in their prayer closets or intimate prayer settings.) I knew equally as many who do not have this gift – just as any other gift it is not an indicator of spiritual maturity or superiority. I do not for one moment believe that the brothers/sisters who have the gift of tongues are serving Satan and they would immediately abandon anything not pleasing to their Savior. They are not Pentecostal or Dominionist or even involved in charismania. They do not believe the office of apostle or prophet is for today.

This is lengthy, but explains the position of those who acknowledge the gifts are valid for our day. I don’t know the author but it is representative of the balanced view on the topic held by some today.

The gift of tongues is one of those gifts which has been surrounded by controversy in the church for many years. Many of the main-line denominations believe that the gift of tongues was an apostolic gift which meant that it was only necessary in the church during the time of the apostles to kick-start the church.
As a result, many of those denominations do not promote this gift because they deny its existence for today. On the other end of the spectrum, all of the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches believe in and promote the gift of tongues.
We fall into the latter category which I believe is a biblical position on the gift of tongues. However, unlike most of our Pentecostal and Charismatic brethren, we teach a balanced biblical position on the use of this gift as the Spirit has revealed its use in the word of God.
So, let’s jump right into this area. The word tongues in the N.T. is (glossa) in the Greek. And as with all languages, many words can mean different things depending on the context.

The word tongue in the Greek can mean different things depending on the context. We read in JAM 3:5 “Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”
Here the tongue (glossa) is that organ just inside your mouth which gives you the ability to speak.
Over in the book of Acts we find another use of the word glossa or tongue. We read in ACT 2:3 “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”
Here the word glossa or tongues is not a physical part of the body, but is an expression describing a phenomenon of the Spirit descending upon the believers.
But the next verse in ACT 2:4 says, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
And so here the word glossa or tongue describes the language a person might use as his physical tongue is engaged to speak. And it’s this last description which we’re concerned with as we look into a gift of the Holy Spirit which enables a believer in Christ Jesus to speak in a language which that person never before learned.
We’ll discover what this gift is used for in the Body of Christ and how it must be properly understood according to the word of God.
The first time we see this gift spoken of in the in the N.T. is when Jesus said in MAR 16:15 “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;…”
Here the word tongues, which is glossa in the Greek, infers new languages. Jesus means to say that one of the signs which will accompany faith in Christ is that some will speak in new languages which are not natural to their ability to communicate.
Now, some have misunderstood Jesus’ words in Mark and have concluded that every believer will be able to drive out demons; every believer will be able to speak in a new tongue; and that every believer, according to MAR 16:18, “will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
This is not what Jesus is teaching as Paul will explain in his letter to the Corinthians, as he describes that it is the Spirit who gives gifts according to His will, and that not everyone will have the exact same gifts. We are a Body made up of many members.
But Jesus’ prophecy was in fact fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. Jesus was referring to the outpouring of the Spirit which was spoken of through the Prophet Joel.
JOE 2:28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”
And it is this portion of Scripture in the O.T. which Peter quotes in describing what was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the disciples spoke with other languages. And it is on the day of Pentecost when for the first time the gift of tongues is given by the Spirit.
ACT 2:4 “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.
6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?
8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?”
There were many different people in Jerusalem that day from different parts of the world who spoke different languages other than Hebrew or Greek. And as the disciples were filled with the Spirit they began speaking in the languages of these people.
Some disciples spoke in the language of the Parthians, some spoke in the language of the Medes and some in the language of the Elamites and others spoke the languages of the residents of the Mesopotamians and so on; 16 different areas of the world are mentioned and probably different dialects within those regions.
Some have suggested that the disciples were speaking their own language and that the miracle was in the hearing so that these people heard them speak in their own language. I don’t believe this to be the case. Peter understood what was going on because he heard it as well when he defended the disciples who were accused of being drunk as they babbled in these different languages.
He responded in ACT 2:15 “These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!
16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
The “all people” in verse 17 is understood to mean all those whom God comes upon with His Spirit who we are told are those who believe. The crowd, up to this point, had not believed. The gift of the Spirit is placed upon those who are indwelt with the Spirit; believing Christians.
The Spirit had come upon the disciples and enabled them to fulfill Joel’s prophecy as they were able to speak in an unlearned language. The crowd simply heard their own language as it was spoken.
Some may argue that this would be next to impossible for this vast crowd gathered around the disciples to understand the disciples who were each speaking a different language. However, this is not really that unusual. If you were in a crowd of people, all speaking an unknown language, and one of them began to speak in English guess who you’d tune in to and recognize what they were saying?
This was the case in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost and what amazed the people was that they knew these disciples were not learned men who were able to know these different languages. Peter says, ‘that’s right, this is a work of the Holy Spirit according to word of God foretold by Joel.’
And for you and I this is essential to understand when it comes to this gift in our lives. Whether it’s the gift of discernment or the gift of tongues or any other gift, it is the Spirit who must give it.
In describing the different gifts of the Spirit in 1Cor.12:11, Paul says, “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”
A gift is just that, a gift. We don’t earn it or deserve it. And though we may ask for gifts, which is certainly proper, it is ultimately up to the Holy Spirit who determines who He will give certain gifts to. More often than not the Holy Spirit gifts you even before you ask.
This is why some Pentecostals, who insist that the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit must be the speaking in tongues, are ABSOLUTELY WRONG. Some get the gift and some don’t. Paul uses rhetorical reasoning when he assumes that not everyone will have the same gifts.
1CO 12:29 “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?”
What do you suppose the implied answer is? No, not everyone in the Body of Christ will be an apostle; no, not everyone in the Body will work miracles or have gifts of healing; and no, not all will speak in tongues.
To suggest that “the evidence” for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an unknown tongue is to miss “the most important” evidence of the Spirit’s work which is not a particular gift, but the fruit of the Spirit which every believer is called upon to exhibit.
That’s where Paul was going when he wrote in 1CO 12:31 “But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.
13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
It is the love of Christ shed abroad in our hearts which is to be the evidence of the Spirit’s work in our lives, because (agape) love will not glory in any particular gift, it will reach out to others with the love of Christ found in the gospel of our Lord which is the power unto salvation.
To place a spiritual gift, which will one day be taken away at the consummation of Christ’s plan, at the forefront of our lives, as the evidence, once again puts “us” in the spot light instead of Christ, whose love will never come to an end.
And so simply because you do not presently have the gift of tongues does not necessarily mean you have not been baptized with the Holy Spirit. I wish I could convey to you how many people I’ve known over the years who have been devastated because some misguided “Christian” told them they didn’t have the Spirit because they didn’t speak in tongues.
Paul makes it clear. Some do and some don’t. I for one will rest on the word of God any day, rather than be discouraged by someone who feels that their particular gift of tongues is the litmus test for spirituality. May I remind you that the Corinthian Church had the gift of tongues being exercised in their community and yet Paul rebukes them for being immature in the faith; not exercising the fruit of the Spirit.
Spiritual maturity is never measured by how much someone practices a particular gift, it is measured by how much you love Christ and your neighbor as yourself. Remember, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1CO 13:1)
By the way, I might add that if you do not have the “gift” of tongues and you desire to, you can certainly come to God and ask.
But what’s the purpose of this gift of tongues? Again, we go to the word of God and we find a consistent pattern to the use of this gift. There on the day of Pentecost we see that what the crowds heard the disciples speaking was “the wonders of God!” The KJV puts it, “the wonderful works of God!” And the NASB puts it, “the mighty deeds of God!”
The disciples were simply praising God and declaring His greatness. It wasn’t until Peter described what was happening that he then went on to declare the gospel of Jesus Christ, probably in either Aramaic or koine Greek, which most of the people would have understood.
Aramaic might make more sense since the people Peter is addressing are mostly Jews as we read in ACT 2:14 “Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.”
Keep in mind that the day of Pentecost was a Jewish holy day that Jews would have been involved in along with some converts from the Gentile world. This is the very reason all of these different Jews from all over the known world were in Jerusalem at this time.
And by the way, this answers the question as to what someone is doing when the gift of tongues is practiced then and today in the church. Keep in mind what the people heard in Jerusalem on that day. They heard the disciples speaking the wonders of God, declaring His greatness. The crowds simply heard the disciples praising God which is consistent with the way this gift is meant to be used.
Paul addresses this in 1CO 14:2 “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.”
If you’ve ever been in a place where someone was speaking in tongues you may have noticed that much of the time the interpretation is not given, and we’ll deal with that a little later, but in those instances where there is an interpretation more often than not it may sound something like, ‘My little children I love you and I will never forsake you and you will be My witnesses to the utter most parts of the world.’
That’s very encouraging, but it is not an interpretation to the tongue. How do we know that? Because the gift of tongues is not directed toward men, but to God, according to what we just read n 1Cor.14:2.
The interpretation I just used as an example was directed to men, not God. And so, instead of an interpretation to the tongue in the example I just gave, it was more than likely the gift of prophecy being used.
If a proper use of the gift of interpretation was utilized the interpretation would be closer to praises to God, or prayer or thanksgiving to God, or just declaring His greatness.
One of the things about the gift of tongues is that the utterances are given by the Holy Spirit. These utterances are not the result of you trying to create a language, which some in the church have done, precisely because of peer pressure. Also, one does not have control over which language one is given, although you do have control over the use of the gift.
What I mean is that when you begin to praise God with your new tongue, the language you use is what the Spirit gives you. But you can start and stop as you choose. It’s not as though you’re out of control and God has taken over your mouth with you just being an unwilling by-stander until He’s done.
With the way this gift is practiced often times in the church you would think this is the case, but like the gift of prophecy, the recipient does have control. As Paul says in 1CO 14:32 “The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.
33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…”
Your desire to praise God with your new tongue may seem overwhelming, but to suggest that we have no control over our senses, which includes our ability to speak, is to miss the point of how the Spirit works.
The reason we know this is because of what the word of God tells us about another gift which is the gift of interpretation of tongues. The gift of interpretation is a sister gift of tongues, if you will, which the Spirit gives so that what is said in an unknown tongue, may then be understood within the Body of Christ for the church’s edification.
Paul says in 1CO 14:28 “If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.”
And so the gift of tongues is in the control of the speaker and if there is no one with the gift of interpretation the speaker should not speak out loud in the congregation, but may certainly speak to himself and to God without disturbing anyone near him.
By the way, this does not mean one cannot speak out loud in your own prayer closet. I knew a woman who had the gift of tongues and always wondered what she was saying when she was home praising her God. She evidently prayed to God one night for the interpretation and God gave it to her and she was doubly blessed.
I’ll get back to the gift of interpretation in a moment. Some have asked, what’s the point of the gift of tongues? Why is it necessary to speak to God in an unlearned language, and is it really a language like French or German?
Well, to answer the second question, yes, it really is a language like French or German or any other language the Spirit decides to use in your life. Again, we go back to Pentecost and we see that the disciples spoke in languages which actually existed.
The whole point of languages, which by the way, is something that God gave man from day one, is to communicate, either with God or one another. And so the gift of tongues is designed for us to communicate with God. We may not understand the language and that’s why Paul says in 1CO 14:14 “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.”
In other words, my spirit rejoices within me as I praise God, but my mind doesn’t get blessed in the process because I don’t understand the language. And this is the reason for the gift of interpretation, which is why Paul also says in 1CO 14:13 “For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says.”
Getting back to the language aspect for a moment. In 1CO 13:1 we read, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
Some would say that the languages spoken are not always earthly languages at all, but may include the language of angels. First of all, we don’t know how angels communicate in the heavenlies. Do they need language as we understand it? We know they communicate with the Lord, but we can’t say with any certainty what language it is.
But the point of 1Cor.13:1 is not to teach that we can imitate the language of angels. Rather Paul is simply using hyperbole to make a point. The point he was making that even if he could speak with the tongues of men or angels but didn’t have love it wouldn’t make any difference. It would still be useless.
But for the sake of argument, let’s assume there is a language of angels which we can use. God would still be able to give the interpretation for that language and that language would be used to direct our prayers and praises to Him.
But there may be other languages which the Spirit may give which are not used in the world today. The ancient language of Greek is not in use today. The ancient language of English is not in use today. In fact, you wouldn’t recognize the language which is the source of our present day English language.
Could that language be used today as a means of praising God? Sure, it is a language of men. And if the Spirit decided to give you that language you could certainly use it to honor and worship God.
I remember praising God one night in my bedroom in a language which seemed familiar. When I listened to it closely there were certain words which sounded like the words I’ve read in books and concordances. It sounded like koine Greek. Now I don’t know how koine Greek, which is a dead language, sounded like. But it is a phonetic language and I remember sounding out some of the words when I would do my studies in the word of God.
But there were two words which kept coming up. In fact they were so distinct that I remember writing them down later phonetically. When I went to my concordance later I actually found these two words. They were different and yet they both spoke of the same thing. They spoke of death and dying.
Now, I didn’t get the interpretation, but I suspect that I was praising God for the death of His Son for my sin and that I might continue to die to self and live to Him.
And so whatever language the Spirit gives you, whether a modern language, which would include the thousands of languages in the world today, or an ancient language, or maybe the language of angels, God can and will give the interpretation.
What’s interesting about this is that I’ve had people tell me that when they’ve heard people speaking in tongues in the church it sounded like gibberish or some other strange sound. First, let me say again, that there may people who are speaking gibberish. It may not be the gift of tongues, it may a fleshly manifestation trying to imitate their friends who may in fact be trying to imitate their friends.
But, I would also say that when I’ve heard legitimate languages, like the language which is used in Iraq and Iran, on a news report for example, I have to tell you that even listening closely it does not sound like any language with any sort of linguistic pattern. To me it literally sounds like gibberish. But does it make it any less a legitimate language because I hear it as gibberish? Of course not.
But let’s not lose sight of why the Spirit gives this gift.
1CO 12:4 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”
It is for the common good of the Body of Christ that this gift, or any gift, is given by the Spirit. In other words, your gift, in this case the gift of tongues, is meant for my good and for my edification when used in a public setting.
We know that the gift of tongues is certainly to edify the one using it whether it’s used in the Body of Christ or in the privacy of their own home. Paul addresses this in 1CO 14:4 “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.”
But to use a gift exclusively for self-edification is against all that God intends by His word which clearly says the gifts are to be used for the common good. But again, the question must be raised how does speaking in an unknown language edify the Body of Christ?
Well, first of all it allows the one gifted to raise his voice to God in praises. But that’s not the primary way we are edified with this gift because you can do that in your own language. The way in which we are edified with this gift is to demonstrate the closeness and the intimacy of our God in our midst.
This is a supernatural way of God showing Himself, through the Spirit, that He is in our midst. Remember, we are dealing with God, who is Spirit. In His mercy and grace He has provided a way in which we can actually “see, or hear” Him working in our presence. It’s a personal touch in a way we can understand.
This is why the gift of interpretation of tongues is so important, because this is really where we hear this touch from God. Since we don’t know what the language is, God is pleased to give us the interpretation through someone in the Body. It comes from Him. That’s up close and personal. That’s a God who is close and approachable.
And so the gift of interpretation must be employed when the gift of tongues is used in the Body of Christ in a public setting. Let’s look at where this is found in the scriptures. Turn to 1Cor.14:5-19…
Have you ever been around a group of people who were speaking a language you didn’t understand?
In a way it’s as though you’re being excluded from any interchange with them on a communicating level. You don’t receive anything from them and they can’t receive anything from you. In a setting with other believers who are speaking in an unknown tongue a similar phenomena occurs. No blessing is exchanged.
With the gift of tongues, if you go on in your tongue and I have no understanding of what you’re saying, how can I say Amen to your praises and prayers to God? I am not blessed, and for that matter either are you. Your spirit is, but your mind has no understanding.
And so we should pray for interpretation. A note about interpretation. The Greek word for interpretation literally means to explain thoroughly. This is different from a translation.
To give a translation is to give somewhat of a word-for-word account of what was said, whereas an interpretation is to explain what was said. This is why for example, someone may speak in an unknown tongue for what seems like a long time and yet the interpretation may only take a relatively short time.
But in giving the interpretation the Holy Spirit allows an overview of what was being said. And this is not that unusual in even our regular experiences with languages we do know. For example, I could go on and on and explain the technical aspects of the combustion engine, but then someone could right behind me and sum it up by saying, the spark plug ignites the gas in the piston chamber and an explosion takes place which moves the piston and then eventually transfers the power through the crank case to the wheels.
And that’s often how the interpretation will come to us in the gift of interpretation. Someone may eloquently speak in Parisian French the wonders of God, and someone may interpret that concisely and give a shortened version of what was said so that we may all be edified. But remember, that it is God who is making known the interpretation for the Body to be edified.
But what if someone in the church knew Parisian French, could they give an interpretation? Why not? That however, would not be the gift of interpretation being used in that instance.
Robert Gromacki in his commentary on 1 Corinthians states that there are three goals of this gift of tongues and the gift of interpretation.
1) “It must enlist the participation of others.”
2) “It must give understanding.”
3) “It must promote edification.”
If this is not being accomplished in a setting with other believers then this gift is not being properly used and what it then often results in is chaos and clamor and something like clanging, as Paul puts it. People are not edified in a biblical sense and visitors think you’re nuts.
1CO 14:23 “So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?”
The world already thinks we’re nuts, let’s not remove any doubt by improperly using the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit who gives this gift is also the one who gives us the word of God to lay out the guidelines.
We read in 1CO 14:27 “If anyone speaks in a tongue, two – or at the most three -should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.
28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.”
This would suggest that there is a time set aside for the gift of tongues to be used . For us it might be during the praise and worship on Sunday morning where we offer a time to edify and encourage the body with your gifts.
Another time might be during prayer on Wednesday evenings as we humble ourselves before the Lord, as we seek His face and seek His direction and nearness in our lives and the life of this church.
In fact, anytime we meet as the body of Christ to worship and praise our Lord, the gifts the Lord has given us may be used to edify and encourage the body. In the case of the gift of tongues God still expects things to be orderly. And so, if this were to occur, only two or three would speak in turn and there would have to be an interpretation for each.
If there was no interpretation then I would gently say that there appears to be no one with the gift of interpretation and so there will not be a need for any further tongues. We would simply forego that gift for that time and allow others to use their gifts or their desire to praise or pray to the Lord in English.
The gift of tongues would never be used during the time of teaching or preaching, again the reason being that that would cause confusion and disorder while the Pastor or teacher is endeavoring to feed Christ’s sheep.
Again, standing up and interrupting the Pastor as he feeds the flock from the word of God does not edify the Body any more than everyone in the church speaking in tongues at the same time does.
1CO 14:39 “Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.”
May we desire the gifts the Spirit has for us and may we use them properly and biblically so that the Body may be edified. And may all be done out of love for Christ and our neighbor to the glory of God.

Elmarie A
Guest
Elmarie A

Burning Lamp

First, let me say I have the utmost respect for Deborah and gang and this website

I kinda think Deborah and team crank sounds better smile gang sounds a bitty uncranky lol lol

Thank you for your lengthy comment smile It is indeed a balanced view and makes sense and is worthy of hearing or shall i say reading smile BL thank you !!

Could the author possibly be Pastor Drew Worthen, Calvary Chapel Port Charlotte, Fl
1Cor.12:10 “Gift of Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues”
http://www.cyberstreet.com/calvary/tongint.htm

Please let me know if I am correct. Thank you smile

Burning Lamp
Guest
Burning Lamp

Yippers – that is correct. I didn’t credit him or bring Calvary Chapel into it because I thought it might be a distraction. I don’t know him, but I thought it was a good representation of this point of view. My own pastor mentioned in passing one time that he has a prayer language but I have never heard him use it. He doesn’t boast of it and I have never heard anyone in our congreation speak in tongues. I have no idea who does and who doesn’t – it is just not something that is considered a dividing issue – keeping the main things the main things such as salvation and biblical dontrine. There may be a teaching on it as it comes up in regular expository order, but it is never made an issue.

The way that the guys in the video were acting brings shame to the cause of Christ. I have heard of those who are obviously professors, not possessers brag about speaking in tongues. It is obvious that it is gibberish from the pit.

I hope I didn’t offend by offering this viewpoint. I think so much of all of you here and appreciate your ministry so very much. Time and distance may separate us, but I count you as friends and fellow pilgrims waiting and watching for our King to take us home.

Alan
Guest
Alan

Hi BL, Elmarie, and the “Gang” wink

I’ve been busy lately, so haven’t been on the computer much, but after reading BL’s post, I’m gonna jump in here briefly to tell of a church I attended in my teen years. They had a very balanced way of dealing with this issue, very much like the article BL posted, where who ever was leading the worship would stop proceedings after anyone spoke out in tongues during worship (It was taught that all things should be done in order, so it wasn’t acceptable to speak in tongues at other times than during a praise & worship part of a meeting), and it would be explained what was happening, for the benefit of any there who may not know, and then it would be stated that we would now wait on the interpretation.
On a rare occasion, there wouldn’t be any such interpretation, so the person concerned was asked to speak to one of the eldership about it.
Discernment was much in evidence in that fellowship, because I remember once a person just spoke out and some of the eldership went and quieted them down, while the Pastor spoke to the congregation about what was happening.
As I recall, the minute this person started talking, I knew it wasn’t right and most others present said much the same. I believe the Holy Spirit alerts us to such things, if we are listening to Him. So much of what happens these days is just showing off and what my Dad used to call ‘soulish’, (as in James 3:15, where the KJV has it; “devilish.”). That passage in James 3 is all about how we use our speech and the pitfalls that are there for those who don’t tread carefully, whether speaking in tongues, or in our everyday speech.
I believe much of the confusion today regarding ‘tongues’ is because people have forgotten to approach the issue with fear and trembling, as we should when dealing with God, whether praising Him, or petitioning Him.
So many people are PROUD of the fact they ‘speak in tongues’, which is the first sign that they actually aren’t doing anything of the kind, as James says in 3:17; “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” Whenever these attributes are missing, then you can be pretty sure that the spirit being manifested is not the Holy Spirit, but most often the pride of the person(s) concerned, or another spirit entirely, as in the awful videos we can see of “revival breaking out”. (Shudder).

Thankyou BL for your post, I really appreciate your gentleness of spirit. I don’t speak in tongues much, but I do sing in a language I never learned, always when I’m praising my Lord, and quietly, as I feel it is between me & God. Sometimes I have no words of my own to express to Him what is in my heart, so I just begin to sing as the Holy Spirit gives me the words. If I’m in church I sing quietly, precisely because I don’t want to draw attention to myself.

I don’t really like talking about it much, both because of the negativity that seems to surround the subject and because I don’t want to even appear to be bragging about something that I can claim no credit for and regard as a very precious gift from God. I have had many quite vehement disagreements with people from the “no tongues-no Holy Spirit” camp and even once or twice with some seriously deluded folks who say that if you don’t speak in tongues, you’re not saved!, so I am sympathetic to those christians who’ve been ‘burned’, but I believe that the devil has used this issue to pollute the water and again the vehicle he has used is the pride of ‘christians’, who have not been lovers of the truth.

I hope that my words have not caused offense and would be happy to discuss this issue with anyone who wishes, with Deb’s permission of course. I certainly don’t want to cause any arguments.
Debate I can handle, and welcome, as long as we can do it in the spirit of the verse I quoted above.

God’s richest blessings on you all,
Alan.

Jemah
Guest
Jemah

Burning Lamp,
yeps I think you are right, that speaking in tongues(angelic tongues) is in existence today but for the edification of oneself and the church, at times when one speaks to the Father it undoubtedly happens to speak in another language, I for myself can say that this happened to me a long time ago when I didnt even know about tongues, I was praying and then this thing happened, I spoke in another language unknown to me,later I joined this church where speaking in tongues was a (prerequisite) to prove that one was truly reborn, I heard people repeating the same things over and over again, trying to be louder than everybody else,I was dumfounded and asked howcome the Holy Spirit would speak in such a way and I suppose after they told that when one speaks in an unknown language one starts with baby words I felt that there should be something wrong for tha Holy Spirit is not a baby, this would liken to how some worship baby Jesus.
Needless to say I thank God for having kept my eyes open to see the apostacy and I have left that church.I just want to add that today nothing is impossible for God to do and that if one approaches Him with Love and respect putting him first in all things, denying the ego of the flesh one will truly come to know what is from Him and what is not, sometimes when one speaks to Him there are no words to explain what we feel in our hearts so let us let the Holy Spirit lead and help us if it is His will that our hearts should be opened before Him.I do not pray in tongues before any human for it is just between my Lord God and me and I can say it is not something that can be initiated at will and certainly something not to boast about for this will certainly raise confusion, so I hope you understand my take on this subject matter most importantly is to walk in the Spirit and go where the Spirit Leads as far as my spirit is concerned I know I am led to a closer communion with My Abba, my father, My dad, as far as the outside world is concerned I am led to wait for the unmistakle instruction of the Holy Spirit before I act, for my mind I know can be very fruitful and the separation between soul and spirit a difficult task indeed, may we all be blessed to know the will of our wonderful and almighty God!for our lives.
Ok now Im waiting for the bombardments…

Elmarie A
Guest
Elmarie A

I found this on my fave little spot.

“What is the gift of speaking in tongues?”

Answer: The first occurrence of speaking in tongues occurred on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-4. The apostles went out and shared the gospel with the crowds, speaking to them in their own languages: “We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” (Acts 2:11). The Greek word translated tongues literally means “languages.” Therefore, the gift of tongues is speaking in a language a person does not know in order to minister to someone who does speak that language. In 1 Corinthians chapters 12–14, Paul discusses miraculous gifts, saying, “Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?” (1 Corinthians 14:6). According to the apostle Paul, and in agreement with the tongues described in Acts, speaking in tongues is valuable to the one hearing God’s message in his or her own language, but it is useless to everyone else unless it is interpreted/translated.

A person with the gift of interpreting tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30) could understand what a tongues-speaker was saying even though he did not know the language that was being spoken. The tongues interpreter would then communicate the message of the tongues speaker to everyone else, so all could understand. “For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says” (1 Corinthians 14:13). Paul’s conclusion regarding tongues that were not interpreted is powerful: “But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue” (1 Corinthians 14:19).

Is the gift of tongues for today? First Corinthians 13:8 mentions the gift of tongues ceasing, although it connects the ceasing with the arrival of the “perfect” in 1 Corinthians 13:10. Some point to a difference in the tense of the Greek verbs referring to prophecy and knowledge “ceasing” and that of tongues “being ceased” as evidence for tongues ceasing before the arrival of the “perfect.” While possible, this is not explicitly clear from the text. Some also point to passages such as Isaiah 28:11 and Joel 2:28-29 as evidence that speaking in tongues was a sign of God’s oncoming judgment. First Corinthians 14:22 describes tongues as a “sign to unbelievers.” According to this argument, the gift of tongues was a warning to the Jews that God was going to judge Israel for rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah. Therefore, when God did in fact judge Israel (with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70), the gift of tongues would no longer serve its intended purpose. While this view is possible, the primary purpose of tongues being fulfilled does not necessarily demand its cessation. Scripture does not conclusively assert that the gift of speaking in tongues has ceased.

At the same time, if the gift of speaking in tongues were active in the church today, it would be performed in agreement with Scripture. It would be a real and intelligible language (1 Corinthians 14:10). It would be for the purpose of communicating God’s Word with a person of another language (Acts 2:6-12). It would be in agreement with the command God gave through the apostle Paul, “If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God” (1 Corinthians 14:27-28). It would also be in accordance with 1 Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

God most definitely can give a person the gift of speaking in tongues to enable him or her to communicate with a person who speaks another language. The Holy Spirit is sovereign in the dispersion of the spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11). Just imagine how much more productive missionaries could be if they did not have to go to language school, and were instantly able to speak to people in their own language. However, God does not seem to be doing this. Tongues does not seem to occur today in the manner it did in the New Testament, despite the fact that it would be immensely useful. The vast majority of believers who claim to practice the gift of speaking in tongues do not do so in agreement with the Scriptures mentioned above. These facts lead to the conclusion that the gift of tongues has ceased or is at least a rarity in God’s plan for the church today.
http://www.gotquestions.org/gift-of-tongues.html

“What is praying in tongues? Is praying in tongues a prayer language between a believer and God?”

Answer: As a background, please read our article on the gift of speaking in tongues. There are four primary Scripture passages that are cited as evidence for praying in tongues: Romans 8:26; 1 Corinthians 14:4-17; Ephesians 6:18; and Jude verse 20. Ephesians 6:18 and Jude 20 mention “praying in the Spirit.” However, tongues as a prayer language is not a likely interpretation of “praying in the Spirit.”

Romans 8:26 teaches us, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Two key points make it highly unlikely that Romans 8:26 is referring to tongues as a prayer language. First, Romans 8:26 states that it is the Spirit who “groans,” not believers. Second, Romans 8:26 states that the “groans” of the Spirit “cannot be expressed.” The very essence of speaking in tongues is uttering words.

That leaves us with 1 Corinthians 14:4-17 and verse 14 especially: “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.” First Corinthians 14:14 distinctly mentions “praying in tongues.” What does this mean? First, studying the context is immensely valuable. First Corinthians chapter 14 is primarily a comparison/contrast of the gift of speaking in tongues and the gift of prophecy. Verses 2-5 make it clear that Paul views prophecy as a gift superior to tongues. At the same time, Paul exclaims the value of tongues and declares that he is glad that he speaks in tongues more than anyone (verse 18).

Acts chapter 2 describes the first occurrence of the gift of tongues. On the day of Pentecost, the apostles spoke in tongues. Acts chapter 2 makes it clear that the apostles were speaking in a human language (Acts 2:6-8). The word translated “tongues” in both Acts chapter 2 and 1 Corinthians chapter 14 is glossa which means “language.” It is the word from which we get our modern English word “glossary.” Speaking in tongues was the ability to speak in a language the speaker does not know, in order to communicate the gospel to someone who does speak that language. In the multicultural area of Corinth, it seems that the gift of tongues was especially valuable and prominent. The Corinthians believers were able to better communicate the gospel and God’s Word as a result of the gift of tongues. However, Paul made it abundantly clear that even in this usage of tongues, it was to be interpreted or “translated” (1 Corinthians 14:13, 27). A Corinthian believer would speak in tongues, proclaiming God’s truth to someone who spoke that language, and then that believer, or another believer in the church, was to interpret what was spoken so that the entire assembly could understand what was said.

What, then, is praying in tongues, and how is it different than speaking in tongues? First Corinthians 14:13-17 indicates that praying in tongues is also to be interpreted. As a result, it seems that praying in tongues was offering a prayer to God. This prayer would minister to someone who spoke that language, but would also need to be interpreted so that the entire body could be edified.

This interpretation does not agree with those who view praying in tongues as a prayer language. This alternate understanding can be summarized as follows: praying in tongues is a personal prayer language between a believer and God (1 Corinthians 13:1) that a believer uses to edify himself (1 Corinthians 14:4). This interpretation is unbiblical for the following reasons: 1) How could praying in tongues be a private prayer language if it is to be interpreted (1 Corinthians 14:13-17)? 2) How could praying in tongues be for self-edification when Scripture says that the spiritual gifts are for the edification of the church, not the self (1 Corinthians 12:7). 3) How can praying in tongues be a private prayer language if the gift of tongues is a “sign to unbelievers” (1 Corinthians 14:22)? 4) The Bible makes it clear that not everyone possesses the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:11, 28-30). How could tongues be a gift for self-edification if not every believer can possess it? Do we not all need to be edified?

Some understand praying in tongues to be a “secret code language” that prevents Satan and his demons from understanding our prayers and thereby gaining an advantage over us. This interpretation is unbiblical for the following reasons: 1) The New Testament consistently describes tongues as a human language. It is unlikely that Satan and his demons are unable to understand human languages. 2) The Bible records countless believers praying in their own language, out loud, with no concern of Satan intercepting the prayer. Even if Satan and/or his demons hear and understand the prayers we pray, they have absolutely no power to prevent God from answering the prayers according to His will. We know that God hears our prayers, and that fact makes it irrelevant whether Satan and his demons hear and understand our prayers.

What do we say, then, about the many Christians who have experienced praying in tongues and find it to be very personally edifying? First, we must base our faith and practice on Scripture, not experience. We must view our experiences in light of Scripture, not interpret Scripture in light of our experiences. Second, many of the cults and world religions also report occurrences of speaking in tongues/praying in tongues. Obviously the Holy Spirit is not gifting these unbelieving individuals. So, it seems that the demons are able to counterfeit the gift of speaking in tongues. This should cause us to compare even more carefully our experiences with Scripture. Third, studies have shown how speaking/praying in tongues can be a learned behavior. Through hearing and observing others speak in tongues, a person can learn the procedure, even subconsciously. This is the most likely explanation for the vast majority of instances of speaking/praying in tongues among Christians. Fourth, the feeling of “self-edification” is natural. The human body produces adrenaline and endorphins when it experiences something new, exciting, emotional, and/or disconnected from rational thought.

Praying in tongues is most definitely an issue on which Christians can respectfully and lovingly agree to disagree. Praying in tongues is not what determines salvation. Praying in tongues is not what separates a mature Christian from an immature Christian. Whether or not there is such a thing as praying in tongues as a personal prayer language is not a fundamental of the Christian faith. So, while we believe the biblical interpretation of praying in tongues leads away from the idea of a private prayer language for personal edification, we also recognize that many who practice such are our brothers and sisters in Christ and are worthy of our love and respect.
http://www.gotquestions.org/praying-in-tongues.html

Burning Lamp
Guest
Burning Lamp

Thank you all for the respectful way you have approached this topic. I truly believe it glorifies our Lord.

Experience is quite the buzz word of the day – and discernment has been kicked to the curb.

Thoughtful, Bible-believing Christians may differ on this point, but we can all agree that the dispicable displays of the flesh and Satan are to be rejected out of hand whether they occur on “Christian” TV or in centers of worship.

We can all agree that this is an area that calls for extreme discernment and not to be treated casually. If one has this gift it should be practiced in humility and not flaunted. To do so is a disgrace and even blasphemous.

There is a lack of balanced teaching on the subject. Untold numbers of people have been freaked out and turned away from Christianity by weird behaviors, uncontrolled emotions and disgusting fleshly unholy displays. Of course this is not limited to tongues. Slain in the spirit, “holy” laughter, bizarre manifestations,drunk in the spirit,etc.

Actually, we can agree much more on this topic than disagree, maintain the unity and not compromise the bedrock of the faith.

Alan
Guest
Alan

Two thoughts arise from recent posts on this subject;

Jemah,

You said that speaking in tongues; “is not something that can be initiated at will.”
I believe we must be very careful here, because the Bible quite clearly teaches that at no time, will the Holy Spirit over-rule our will in anything, be it speech or behaviour.
One of the first warning signs that some manifestation is NOT the Holy Spirit, is when you hear it said that the people falling down, laughing uncontrollably, or crying, shouting, whatever, can’t help it because the Holy Spirit has overpowered them.
That is a LIE!
The bible is very clear on this point, that we are to exercise self control ay all times, particularly when it comes to anything to do with prayer, praise, or matters of that sort.
If you have no control over speaking in tongues, then I would urge you to seek the Lord about this, because that is NOT how the Bible speaks about the exercising of this gift.
Paul says quite clearly that we must do things in order, which means we must be able to exercise some discernment, restraint if necessary, and to be aware of whether or not to speak out loud (depending on a person with a gift of interpretation being present), or to just pray quietly, or not in tongues at all.
All these require us to be able to initiate, or not, speaking in tongues.

Elmarie,

While the events on the day of Pentecost are as you have described, there is no requirement or caveat given anywhere in the Scripture that the ONLY valid exercise of this gift is for evangelistic purposes.
Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Himself, says; “I would that ye all spake in tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.” (1 Cor 14:5) So, it would seem that while this is something to be desired, as are all the gifts (see verse 1), the guiding principle the Holy Spirit gives here is that Love for one another is to be our primary motivation. If we look at verse 26 on, we see that the scripture says quite clearly that when we come together, every one has a psalm, a doctrine, a ‘tongue’, a revelation, an interpretation. Then there is an exhortation to do everything for edification. The next verse says that there should be only two, or at the most, three speeches, in an orderly manner, with an interpretation for each. Then, in v28, there is an instruction to keep silent if no-one is present with an interpretive gift, and to speak to himself and to God. This last is a clear statement that speaking in tongues is not just for preaching the gospel to unbelievers in their own language, but is a permissible part of one’s private prayer time. The statement doesn’t command use of tongues in this area of a Christian’s life, but it seems more to encourage it.
Lower down, v 32 states that the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, which shows that any idea that we can’t initiate, or control these gifts, but our voices are somehow taken over by the Holy Spirit, is quite wrong and should be corrected in those who hold to such notions. Lovingly, gently, but firmly.
All the excesses and blasphemy of the ‘Toronto Blessing’ and other wickedness would have been avoided (maybe), if the leadership in the churches were following the instructions written here, rather than trying to ‘get the fire’, or whatever they call it.

To finish, although there have been some quite imposing works written to ‘prove’ that all things such as tongues, prophecy, healing, etc, ceased with the close of the Apostolic age, I can’t see the point of Paul’s instructions on any of these things to the church at Corinth, none of whom were Apostles, and even less reason for the Holy Spirit to include it in Scripture. There is no point in giving instruction on how to, or how not to, exercise these gifts of the Spirit, if they are not meant for us today. The Christians of Paul’s day didn’t have the scriptures we do, they had the OT only at that time. These letters were added into the canon of scripture by the Holy Spirit some time after the last Apostle (John) had died. The point I’m making here is that these instructions need never have been added to the Scriptures at all if God only intended for them to be relevant to the first century church. There are many things that are mentioned in the Bible as a matter of history, but are not expounded on because we don’t need to know the details, such as the debauchery that accompanied the worship of Baal and other false gods. We know some things, but God just says don’t worship other gods and that’s all we need to know.
In the case of the gifts of the Spirit, however, there are chapters of instructions about what is acceptable and what is not.
Without a clear statement anywhere in scripture that states that these things were for NT Christians only, I feel that it is safer to say that there is much activity out there that is just plain wrong, but at the same time, there is a scriptural basis for each of the gifts and their operation, as well as extensive instructions on how we should exercise those gifts. Just because large portions of the church are ignoring them, is not justification for saying they’re not for today, any more than hypocrisy in ‘christians’ is a valid reason for unbelievers to spurn the gospel message.

The most important thing to remember is that our goal is to become more Christ-like as we grow in Him, so whether we speak in tongues or not, let’s do everything graciously, lovingly, in an orderly manner, seeking always the edification of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Shalom, Alan.

Elmarie A
Guest
Elmarie A

Alan

To finish, although there have been some quite imposing works written to ‘prove’ that all things such as tongues, prophecy, healing, etc, ceased with the close of the Apostolic age, I can’t see the point of Paul’s instructions on any of these things to the church at Corinth, none of whom were Apostles, and even less reason for the Holy Spirit to include it in Scripture. There is no point in giving instruction on how to, or how not to, exercise these gifts of the Spirit, if they are not meant for us today. The Christians of Paul’s day didn’t have the scriptures we do, they had the OT only at that time. These letters were added into the canon of scripture by the Holy Spirit some time after the last Apostle (John) had died. The point I’m making here is that these instructions need never have been added to the Scriptures at all if God only intended for them to be relevant to the first century church. There are many things that are mentioned in the Bible as a matter of history, but are not expounded on because we don’t need to know the details, such as the debauchery that accompanied the worship of Baal and other false gods. We know some things, but God just says don’t worship other gods and that’s all we need to know.
In the case of the gifts of the Spirit, however, there are chapters of instructions about what is acceptable and what is not.
Without a clear statement anywhere in scripture that states that these things were for NT Christians only, I feel that it is safer to say that there is much activity out there that is just plain wrong, but at the same time, there is a scriptural basis for each of the gifts and their operation, as well as extensive instructions on how we should exercise those gifts. Just because large portions of the church are ignoring them, is not justification for saying they’re not for today, any more than hypocrisy in ‘christians’ is a valid reason for unbelievers to spurn the gospel message.

This piece I’m posting pretty much sums it up and clarify my point of view.

“Is cessationism Biblical?”

Answer: Cessationism is the view that the “miracle gifts” of tongues and healing have ceased—that the end of the apostolic age brought about a cessation of the miracles associated with that age. Most cessationists believe that, while God can and still does perform miracles today, the Holy Spirit no longer uses individuals to perform miraculous signs.

The biblical record shows that miracles occurred during particular periods for the specific purpose of authenticating a new message from God. Moses was enabled to perform miracles to authenticate his ministry before Pharaoh (Exodus 4:1-8); Elijah was given miracles to authenticate his ministry before Ahab (1 Kings 17:1; 18:24); the apostles were given miracles to authenticate their ministry before Israel (Acts 4:10, 16).

Jesus’ ministry was also marked by miracles, which the Apostle John calls “signs” (John 2:11). John’s point is that the miracles were proofs of the authenticity of Jesus’ message.

After Jesus’ resurrection, as the Church was being established and the New Testament was being written, the apostles demonstrated “signs” such as tongues and the power to heal. “Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not” (1 Corinthians 14:22, a verse that plainly says the gift was never intended to edify the church).

The Apostle Paul predicted that the gift of tongues would cease (1 Corinthians 13:8). Here are 6 proofs that it has already ceased:

1) The apostles, through whom tongues came, were unique in the history of the church. Once their ministry was accomplished, the need for authenticating signs ceased to exist.

2) The miracle (or sign) gifts are only mentioned in the earliest Epistles, such as 1 Corinthians. Later books, such as Ephesians and Romans, contain detailed passages on the gifts of the Spirit, but the miracle gifts are not mentioned (although Romans does mention the gift of prophecy, the Greek word translated prophecy mean “speaking forth” and does not necessarily include prediction of the future).

3) The gift of tongues was a sign to unbelieving Israel that God’s salvation was now available to other nations. See 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 and Isaiah 28:11-12.

4) Tongues was an inferior gift to prophecy (preaching). Preaching the Word of God edifies believers, whereas tongues does not. Believers are told to seek prophesying over speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:1-3).

5) History indicates that tongues did cease. Tongues are not mentioned at all by the Post-Apostolic Fathers. Other writers such as Justin Martyr, Origen, Chrysostom, and Augustine considered tongues something that happened only in the earliest days of the Church.

6) Current observation confirms that the miracle of tongues has ceased. If the gift were still available today, there would be no need for missionaries to attend language school. Missionaries would be able to travel to any country and speak any language fluently, just as the apostles were able to speak in Acts 2.As for the miracle gift of healing, we see in Scripture that healing was associated with the ministry of Jesus and the apostles (Luke 9:1-2). And we see that as the era of the apostles drew to a close, healing, like tongues, became less frequent. The Apostle Paul, who raised Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:9-12), did not heal Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27), Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20), Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23), or even himself (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). The reasons for Paul’s “failures to heal” are 1) the gift was never intended to make every Christian well, but to authenticate apostleship; and 2) the authority of the apostles had been sufficiently proved, making further miracles unnecessary.

The reasons stated above are evidence that the sign gifts have ceased. According to 1 Corinthians 13:13-14:1, we would do well to “pursue love,” the greatest gift of all. If we are to desire gifts, we should desire to speak forth the Word of God, that all may be edified.
http://www.gotquestions.org/cessationism.html

Elmarie A
Guest
Elmarie A

Jemah

yeps I think you are right, that speaking in tongues(angelic tongues) is in existence today but for the edification of oneself and the church,

I cannot agree with you. It clearly says in the Word 1 Corinthians 14:22 (Amplified Bible) 22 Thus [unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for unbelievers [on the point of believing],

Jemha this clearly explains to us that tongues was used for the unbelievers and not for edifying oneself and the church.

In fact it says further that prophecy (inspired preaching and teaching, interpreting the divine will and purpose) is not for unbelievers [on the point of believing] but for believers.

After Jesus’ resurrection, as the Church was being established and the New Testament was being written, the apostles demonstrated “signs” such as tongues and the power to heal. “Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not” (1 Corinthians 14:22, a verse that plainly says the gift was never intended to edify the church).

You see I don’t think this is taught by most of the Pastors/Preachers and it is sad to see how these false teachers/prophets are the misleading the sheep. Jemah I do hope and pray you understand my point please let me know.

Elmarie A
Guest
Elmarie A

Jemah

yeps I think you are right, that speaking in tongues(angelic tongues) is in existence today

Your term “angelic tongues is in existence today” is troublesome.
I found this explanation and it makes sense. It seems you accept the charismatic view and please forgive me if I am wrong but this is what I understand from your sentence.

Angelic Tongues – What Are They?

In 1 Corinthians 13:1 is Paul telling us to speak in the tongues of angels?

1 Cor 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. NIV

It is important to look at what Paul is trying to say. What point is Paul trying to get across to the reader? Charismatic theology assumes that Paul is teaching that people can and DO speak in an angelic language. This certainly would be a language unknown to man. However, in every single biblical encounter that man had with an angel, he never had a problem understanding or communicating with them. So, if there were some angelic language, this would be the only scriptural reference to it. It is important to understand that in this passage Paul is not teaching that we can speak in an angelic language.

Scripture never refers to tongues in this manner. The context reveals to us what Paul is actually trying to teach. Paul said IF I speak the tongues of angles, and do not have love, it means nothing. He said he would only be making unnecessary noise. He is not telling us that we all have this ability to speak angelic languages but that even if it were possible it would be completely useless without love. Paul makes a similar statement in regards to the importance of love in the very next verse:

1 Cor 13:1-2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. NIV

Again Paul is making a hypothetical analogy to show that love should be the motivating factor behind all the gifts. If he had the gift of prophecy and could understand all mysteries and all knowledge and even have the faith to move mountains, but not have love, he is nothing.

One could argue that Paul represents one of the greatest characters in the entire Bible. He certainly was given special gifts by God (Acts 19) and was even caught up to the heavens (2 Cor 12). If anyone has ever had enough faith to move a mountain, certainly Paul would have been one of them. Yet, the Scripture does not teach that any saint had this much faith. Paul understood he did not have this faith, but said IF he did, and did not have love, it would be a meaningless faith. Likewise, to understand all mysteries and possess all knowledge would be an admirable trait, but Paul only said IF it were possible to do so, without love it would be meaningless. In verse 12 Paul tells us clearly that he only knew in “part.” That reveals that he did not possess all knowledge. To suggest that he did was not his purpose. Rather, he was trying to show that without love, even the grandest of things is useless. The next verse used by Paul is also relevant:

1 Cor 13:3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. NIV

If anyone is under the impression that Paul was teaching that we have the ability to speak in angelic languages, they would also have to believe we should all have enough faith to move mountains and have the ability to understand all mysteries. They must then also consider giving all they have to the poor and surrendering their body to the flames. Obviously Paul is not teaching this should be the lifestyle of Christians! Paul certainly never did such a thing and there is definitely no mandate here from him for us to do so. His point was again, that If he did those things, without love, they meant nothing. Likewise, even if he could speak in tongues of angels, without love it would be worthless. Paul is not teaching that we are to attempt speaking in some angelic language. In fact, the context had nothing to do with angelic languages. It was an instruction concerning the condition of their heart. When they exercised their spiritual gifts, they were to do so in love. http://www.guidedbytruth.com/angelictongues.php

Lourens H
Guest
Lourens H

Hey all,

I must say that there is MASS confusion under christians with regards to this ‘tongue’ issue…

Clearly this is what you need to do if you still don’t get it:

Pray and ask God to help you understand this ONCE & for all and then go and read Deborah’ post RIGHT AT THE TOP and then read this from Elamrie:

“Is cessationism Biblical?”

Answer: Cessationism is the view that the “miracle gifts” of tongues and healing have ceased—that the end of the apostolic age brought about a cessation of the miracles associated with that age. Most cessationists believe that, while God can and still does perform miracles today, the Holy Spirit no longer uses individuals to perform miraculous signs.

The biblical record shows that miracles occurred during particular periods for the specific purpose of authenticating a new message from God. Moses was enabled to perform miracles to authenticate his ministry before Pharaoh (Exodus 4:1-8); Elijah was given miracles to authenticate his ministry before Ahab (1 Kings 17:1; 18:24); the apostles were given miracles to authenticate their ministry before Israel (Acts 4:10, 16).

Jesus’ ministry was also marked by miracles, which the Apostle John calls “signs” (John 2:11). John’s point is that the miracles were proofs of the authenticity of Jesus’ message.

After Jesus’ resurrection, as the Church was being established and the New Testament was being written, the apostles demonstrated “signs” such as tongues and the power to heal. “Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not” (1 Corinthians 14:22, a verse that plainly says the gift was never intended to edify the church).

The Apostle Paul predicted that the gift of tongues would cease (1 Corinthians 13:8). Here are 6 proofs that it has already ceased:

1) The apostles, through whom tongues came, were unique in the history of the church. Once their ministry was accomplished, the need for authenticating signs ceased to exist.

2) The miracle (or sign) gifts are only mentioned in the earliest Epistles, such as 1 Corinthians. Later books, such as Ephesians and Romans, contain detailed passages on the gifts of the Spirit, but the miracle gifts are not mentioned (although Romans does mention the gift of prophecy, the Greek word translated prophecy mean “speaking forth” and does not necessarily include prediction of the future).

3) The gift of tongues was a sign to unbelieving Israel that God’s salvation was now available to other nations. See 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 and Isaiah 28:11-12.

4) Tongues was an inferior gift to prophecy (preaching). Preaching the Word of God edifies believers, whereas tongues does not. Believers are told to seek prophesying over speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:1-3).

5) History indicates that tongues did cease. Tongues are not mentioned at all by the Post-Apostolic Fathers. Other writers such as Justin Martyr, Origen, Chrysostom, and Augustine considered tongues something that happened only in the earliest days of the Church.

6) Current observation confirms that the miracle of tongues has ceased. If the gift were still available today, there would be no need for missionaries to attend language school. Missionaries would be able to travel to any country and speak any language fluently, just as the apostles were able to speak in Acts 2.As for the miracle gift of healing, we see in Scripture that healing was associated with the ministry of Jesus and the apostles (Luke 9:1-2). And we see that as the era of the apostles drew to a close, healing, like tongues, became less frequent. The Apostle Paul, who raised Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:9-12), did not heal Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27), Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20), Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23), or even himself (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). The reasons for Paul’s “failures to heal” are 1) the gift was never intended to make every Christian well, but to authenticate apostleship; and 2) the authority of the apostles had been sufficiently proved, making further miracles unnecessary.

The reasons stated above are evidence that the sign gifts have ceased. According to 1 Corinthians 13:13-14:1, we would do well to “pursue love,” the greatest gift of all. If we are to desire gifts, we should desire to speak forth the Word of God, that all may be edified.
http://www.gotquestions.org/cessationism.html

And then PRAY SOME MORE..! You’ll get it!

Alan
Guest
Alan

Debs,

I thankyou for your comment at the end of your post above; “Please note I am asking you these questions because I want to understand how you came to get this gift. I am not giving you a hard time (yet) LOL ;)”

I think you will know me well enough by now to know that anything I say here is NEVER intended in any way, to be ‘superior’, or judgemental, or patronizing, or…you get my drift. I don’t say much or write much often, because I feel it is better to say nothing at all than to cause offense to a brother or sister. (Causing offense to unbelievers by preaching the gospel, or to false teachers for telling lies in God’s name is not a problem to me. LOL!)
wink

A few points, not in the order they appear in post above:-

You said this above; “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh noooo nooooo nooooo. What are you saying Alan? If the person thinks he/she knows better than the Holy Spirit because the person wants to speak tongues, then what does that say about the person? If our will superceeds that of the Holy Spirit and the person acquires tongues then the tonuge is NOT from God.”

As I explained further on that post, 1Cor 14:32 quite clearly states that the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. In other words, when the prophets spoke, they always did so in obedience to the urging of the Holy Spirit, but were NOT forced to do so as taught by some of the pentecostals these days, which they then use to excuse the outlandish behaviour that goes on in their meetings.
That said, Once the GIFT is given, it remains, as Paul urged Timothy to stir up again the gift that he received by the laying on of Paul’s hands. Also, as I pointed out, in 1Cor 14:28, Paul (and by extension the Holy Spirit, because He is inspiring Paul to write these words) tells us to speak to himself and to God.

You also asked when, where, how, etc, I LEARNED to speak in tongues. AH sorry, but if I learned to do so, it wouldn’t be spiritual a gift, would it?
As I said, I am reluctant to speak about this subject, precisely because it leads to debate which can and often does degenerate into two camps, challenging one another’s walk before the Lord.
However, I will tell you that I remember repenting of sinfulness in my life and asking God to forgive me. I was sobbing before the Lord, on my knees and yes, emotionally pretty wretched.
(I would ask those who may feel the need to say; “Ah ha, it was just his emotions that got the better of him.”, to consider that exactly the same argument is used by non-christians to explain away conversion, so it doesn’t really work.)
Anyway, as I prayed on my knees, praising God, I began to speak, then sing in a language I never learned. No-one taught me, urged me, coached me, or anything like that. My family attended a Baptist church, not some holy-roller circus. I can tell you that the experience was as real as the night of my salvation some years before. I have since experienced all kinds of different church services, in all kinds of different settings and I can say that I am the first to say that most of what passes for the operation of spiritual gifts is just not biblically supportable, so I understand the aversion to the whole issue, however, no-one has answered the points I raised above, that there is no logical reason given for why these instructions are included in the New Testament, which has been preserved to this day.
Also, it has been posted here that the gifts were only for the Apostles, which is just not biblically supportable. Timothy wasn’t an Apostle, nor were the members of the church at Corinth, and there is no caveat given in the scripture to say that the gifts are only for Apostles, or for only the time of the Apostles. Yes there is a mention of tongues ceasing in 1 Cor 13: , but read this verse in the context of the whole passage, which includes Ch. 12, 13, and 14, all three of which are dealing with the spiritual gifts and how they are to be exercised and how they must be regarded as lower in importance to love.
The reason Ch 13 is there is to show that in this area, as in all others, all must be done in an attitude of love. For God first of course and for our brothers and sisters in Christ. In fact this whole treatise stands on that principle.
As I said above, the lack of adherence to that principle has lead to pride, self promotion, partiality (looking down on those who don’t speak in tongues, or such like), which has of course lead to unbiblical practices and false teaching, then attributing unbiblical behaviour to the Holy Spirit, which I believe blasphemes the Holy Spirit in a similar manner as the Pharisees did when they attributed the real work of the Holy Spirit to the power of Satan. All these are evidence that the times are short, but not that the gifts have ceased to be operative today. In 1 Cor 13:8-10, Paul says that all these things will cease, including knowledge, but when that which is perfect is come, then these things we only understand in part, will cease. If you are going to say that tongues and prophecies HAVE ceased because of verse 8, then logically, knowledge has ceased also. I hope there are no takers for that idea? because if we can have no knowledge (of the things of God), then we are lost and without hope.
Incidentally, the emerging clowns all say that we cannot know anything about God with any certainty because they don’t regard the Bible as the Word of God and they got that way by taking bits out of context, then taking bits out full-stop, until they end up by saying we can’t know God, just try to work Him out from subjective experience.

Another point made was that the gift of tongues is RESTRICTED to being a sign for unbelievers, which is also not something that can be stated as an absolute.
Once again, 1 Cor 14:28 says to “speak to himself and to God”. There are clearly no unbelievers in view here, listening to the person who follows this directive, so this verse clearly teaches that such a restriction on the exercising of the gift of tongues has no basis in scripture. We must be careful not to add anything to the scripture, nor take it away.
On that note, there is a quote above that says this:-

5) History indicates that tongues did cease. Tongues are not mentioned at all by the Post-Apostolic Fathers. Other writers such as Justin Martyr, Origen, Chrysostom, and Augustine considered tongues something that happened only in the earliest days of the Church.

I’m sorry, but all the names here believed in the same Gnostic heresies that are making their come-back today. They were all quite violently Anti-Semitic also, Chrysostom led bands of ‘Christians’ in raids on Jewish people that resulted in death and destruction easily comparable with the Nazi’s, except that they used swords, not guns. Origen twisted scripture to make it compatible with Greek philosophy and could be credited with first spiritualizing away the promises of God to Israel and making them apply to the church, otherwise known as replacement theology. Justin Martyr and Augustine fit right in with the other two.
I am surprised to find an article mentioning such apostate heretics as authoritative teachers of the Bible being quoted on this site in a positive manner. I have noticed one common thing with all false teachers, heretics, apostates, etc, they invariably practise some kind of anti-semitism, including those who supposedly are pro-Jewish, but teach that the Jews don’t need salvation.

Generally, when I hear people quote these men above, and a number of their contemporaries, the alarm bells start going off very loudly indeed. Please don’t think I’m throwing a tantrum here, but I cannot stress enough the danger that these men’s theologies pose to true believers, so subtle are their false teachings.

I have to go work now, but will be happy to reply to any flaming marshmallow missiles tomorrow. (working N/S)

Blessings to you all in Jesus’ name,
Al.

Elmarie A
Guest
Elmarie A

Alan

Another point made was that the gift of tongues is RESTRICTED to being a sign for unbelievers, which is also not something that can be stated as an absolute. Once again, 1 Cor 14:28 says to “speak to himself and to God”. There are clearly no unbelievers in view here, listening to the person who follows this directive, so this verse clearly teaches that such a restriction on the exercising of the gift of tongues has no basis in scripture. We must be careful not to add anything to the scripture, nor take it away.

I will quote 1 Corinthians 14:22 and 1 Cor 14:28 in context and lets look at what it is said by Matthew Henry’s whole Bible Commentary. This is how I understand it.

1 Corinthians 14:21-25 (Amplified Bible)

21It is written in the Law, By men of strange languages and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and not even then will they listen to Me, says the Lord.(A)

22 Thus [unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for unbelievers [on the point of believing], while prophecy (inspired preaching and teaching, interpreting the divine will and purpose) is not for unbelievers [on the point of believing] but for believers.

23 Therefore, if the whole church assembles and all of you speak in [unknown] tongues, and the ungifted and uninitiated or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are demented?

24 But if all prophesy [giving inspired testimony and interpreting the divine will and purpose] and an unbeliever or untaught outsider comes in, he is told of his sin and reproved and convicted and convinced by all, and his defects and needs are examined (estimated, determined) and he is called to account by all,

25 The secrets of his heart are laid bare; and so, falling on [his] face, he will worship God, declaring that God is among you in very truth.

Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary

Verses 21-25

In this passage the apostle pursues the argument, and reasons from other topics; as,

I. Tongues, as the Corinthians used them, were rather a token of judgment from God than mercy to any people (v. 21): In the law (that is, the Old Testament) it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak to this people; and yet for all this they will not hear me, saith the Lord, Isa. 28:11. Compare Deu. 28:46, 49. To both these passages, it is thought, the apostle refers. Both are delivered by way of threatening, and one is supposed to interpret the other. The meaning in this view is that it is an evidence that a people ar abandoned of God when he gives them up to this sort of instruction, to the discipline of those who speak in another language. And surely the apostle’s discourse implies, “You should not be fond of the tokens of divine displeasure. God can have no gracious regards to those who are left merely to this sort of instruction, and taught in language which they cannot understand. They can never be benefited by such teaching as this; and, when they are left to it, it is a sad sign that God gives them over as past cure.” And should Christians covet to be in such a state, or to bring the churches into it? Yet thus did the Corinthian preachers in effect, who would always deliver their inspirations in an unknown tongue.

II. Tongues were rather a sign to unbelievers than to believers, v. 22. They were a spiritual gift, intended for the conviction and conversion of infidels, that they might be brought into the Christian church; but converts were to be built up in Christianity by profitable instructions in their own language. The gift of tongues was necessary to spread Christianity, and gather churches; it was proper and intended to convince unbelievers of that doctrine which Christians had already embraced; but prophesying, and interpreting scripture in their own language, were most for the edification of such as did already believe: so that speaking with tongues in Christians assemblies was altogether out of time and place; neither one nor the other was proper for it. Note, That gifts may be rightly used, it is proper to know the ends which they are intended to serve. To go about the conversion of infidels, as the apostles did, had been a vain undertaking without the gift of tongues, and the discovery of this gift; but, in an assembly of Christians already converted to the Christian faith, to make use and ostentation of this gift would be perfectly impertinent, because it would be of no advantage to the assembly; not for conviction of truth, because they had already embraced it; not for their edification, because they did not understand, and could not get benefit without understanding, what they heard.

III. The credit and reputation of their assemblies among unbelievers required them to prefer prophesying before speaking with tongues. For, 1. If, when they were all assembled for Christian worship, their ministers, or all employed in public worship, should talk unintelligible language, and infidels should drop in, they would conclude them to be mad, to be no better than a parcel of wild fanatics. Who in their right senses could carry on religious worship in such a manner? Or what sort of religion is that which leaves out sense and understanding? Would not this make Christianity ridiculous to a heathen, to hear the ministers of it pray, or preach, or perform any other religious exercise, in a language that neither he nor the assembly understood? Note, The Christian religion is a sober and reasonable thing in itself, and should not, by the ministers of it, be made to look wild or senseless. Those disgrace their religion, and vilify their own character, who do any thing that has this aspect. But, on the other hand, 2. If, instead of speaking with tongues, those who minister plainly interpret scripture, or preach, in language intelligible and proper, the great truths and rules of the gospel, a heathen or unlearned person, coming in, will probably be convinced, and become a convert to Christianity (v. 24, 25); his conscience will be touched, the secrets of his heart will be revealed to him, he will be condemned by the truth he hears, and so will be brought to confess his guilt, to pay his homage to God, and own that he is indeed among you, present in the assembly. Note, Scripture-truth, plainly and duly taught, has a marvellous aptness to awaken the conscience, and touch the heart. And is not this much more for the honour of our religion than that infidels should conclude the ministers of it a set of madmen, and their religious exercises only fits of frenzy? This last would at once cast contempt on them and their religion too. Instead of procuring applause for them, it would render them ridiculous, and involve their profession in the same censure: whereas prophesying would certainly edify the church, much better keep up their credit, and might probably convince and convert infidels who might occasionally hear them. Note, Religious exercises in Christian assemblies should be such as are fit to edify the faithful, and convince, affect, and convert unbelievers. The ministry was not instituted to make ostentation of gifts and parts, but to save souls.

1 Corinthians 14:26-33 (Amplified Bible)

26 What then, brethren, is [the right course]? When you meet together, each one has a hymn, a teaching, a disclosure of special knowledge or information, an utterance in a [strange] tongue, or an interpretation of it. [But] let everything be constructive and edifying and for the good of all.

27 If some speak in a [strange] tongue, let the number be limited to two or at the most three, and each one [taking his] turn, and let one interpret and explain [what is said].

28 But if there is no one to do the interpreting, let each of them keep still in church and talk to himself and to God.

29 So let two or three prophets speak [those inspired to preach or teach], while the rest pay attention and weigh and discern what is said.

30 But if an inspired revelation comes to another who is sitting by, then let the first one be silent.

31 For in this way you can give testimony [prophesying and thus interpreting the divine will and purpose] one by one, so that all may be instructed and all may be stimulated and encouraged;

32 For the spirits of the prophets (the speakers in tongues) are under the speaker’s control [and subject to being silenced as may be necessary],

33 For He [Who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order. As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God’s people),

Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary

Verses 26-33

In this passage the apostle reproves them for their disorder, and endeavours to correct and regulate their conduct for the future.

I. He blames them for the confusion they introduced into the assembly, by ostentation of their gifts (v. 26): When you come together every one hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, etc.; that is, “You are apt to confound the several parts of worship; and, while one has a psalm to utter by inspiration, another has a doctrine, or revelation;” or else, “You are apt to be confused in the same branch of worship, many of you having psalms or doctrines to propose at the same time, without staying for one another. Is not this perfect uproar? Can this be edifying? And yet all religious exercises in public assemblies should have this view, Let all things be done to edifying.”

II. He corrects their faults, and lays down some regulations for their future conduct. 1. As to speaking in an unknown tongue, he orders that no more than two or three should do it at one meeting, and this not altogether, but successively, one after another. And even this was not to be done unless there were some one to interpret (v. 27, 28), some other interpreter besides himself, who spoke; for to speak in an unknown tongue what he himself was afterwards to interpret could only be for ostentation. But, if another were present who could interpret, two miraculous gifts might be exercised at once, and thereby the church edified, and the faith of the hearers confirmed at the same time. But, if there were none to interpret, he was to be silent in the church, and only exercise his gift between God and himself (v. 28), that is (as I think) in private, at home; for all who are present at public worship should join in it, and not be at their private devotions in public assemblies. Solitary devotions are out of time and place when the church has met for social worship. 2. As to prophesying he orders, (1.) That two or three only should speak at one meeting (v. 20), and this successively, not all at once; and that the other should examine and judge what he delivered, that is, discern and determine concerning it, whether it were of divine inspiration or not. There might be false prophets, mere pretenders to divine inspiration; and the true prophets were to judge of these, and discern and discover who was divinely inspired, and by such inspiration interpreted scripture, and taught the church, and who was not-what was of divine inspiration and what was not. This seems to be the meaning of this rule. For where a prophet was known to be such, and under the divine afflatus, he could not be judged; for this were to subject even the Holy Spirit to the judgment of men. He who was indeed inspired, and known to be so, was above all human judgment. (2.) He orders that, if any assistant prophet had a revelation, while another was prophesying, the other should hold his peace, be silent (v. 30), before the inspired assistant uttered his revelation. Indeed, it is by many understood that the former speaker should immediately hold his peace. But this seems unnatural, and not so well to agree with the context. For why must one that was speaking by inspiration be immediately silent upon another man’s being inspired, and suppress what was dictated to him by the same Spirit? Indeed, he who had the new revelation might claim liberty of speech in his turn, upon producing his vouchers; but why must liberty of speech be taken from him who was speaking before, and his mouth stopped, when he was delivering the dictates of the same Spirit, and could produce the same vouchers? Would the Spirit of God move one to speak, and, before he had delivered what he had to say, move another to interrupt him, and put him to silence? This seems to me an unnatural thought. Nor is it more agreeable to the context, and the reason annexed (v. 31): That all might prophesy, one by one, or one after another, which could not be where any one was interrupted and silenced before he had done prophesying; but might easily be if he who was afterwards inspired forbore to deliver his new revelation till the former prophet had finished what he had to say. And, to confirm this sense, the apostle quickly adds, The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets (v. 33); that is, the spiritual gifts they have leave them still possessed of their reason, and capable of using their own judgment in the exercise of them. Divine inspirations are not, like the diabolical possessions of heathen priests, violent and ungovernable, and prompting them to act as if they were beside themselves; but are sober and calm, and capable of regular conduct. The man inspired by the Spirit of God may still act the man, and observe the rules of natural order and decency in delivering his revelations. His spiritual gift is thus far subject to his pleasure, and to be managed by his discretion.

III. The apostle gives the reasons of these regulations. As, 1. That they would be for the church’s benefit, their instruction and consolation. It is that all may learn, and all may be comforted or exhorted, that the prophets were to speak in the orderly manner the apostle advises. Note, The instruction, edification, and comfort of the church, is that for which God instituted the ministry. And surely ministers should, as much as possible, fit their ministrations to these purposes. 2. He tells them, God is not the God of confusion, but of peace and good order, v. 33. Therefore divine inspiration should by no means throw Christian assemblies into confusion, and break through all rules of common decency, which yet would be unavoidable if several inspired men should all at once utter what was suggested to them by the Spirit of God, and not wait to take their turns. Note, The honour of God requires that things should be managed in Christian assemblies so as not to transgress the rules of natural decency. If they are managed in a tumultuous and confused manner, what a notion must this give of the God who is worshipped, to considerate observers! Does it look as if he were the God of peace and order, and an enemy to confusion? Things should be managed so in divine worship that no unlovely nor dishonourable notion of God should be formed in the minds of observers. 3. He adds that things were thus orderly managed in all the other churches: As in all the churches of the saints (v. 33); they kept to these rules in the exercise of their spiritual gifts, which was a manifest proof that the church of Corinth might observe the same regulations. And it would be perfectly scandalous for them, who exceeded most churches in spiritual gifts, to be more disorderly than any in the exercise of them. Note, Though other churches are not to be our rule, yet the regard they pay to the rules of natural decency and order should restrain us from breaking these rules. Thus far they may be proposed as examples, and it is a shame not to follow them.

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