Is tongues the evidence of the spirit – Pt. 2

Robert Harrison, Cycle

 

There is no training to receive another tongue. I have been in more Pentecostal services than not, in which I heard someone say to me or others, just speak it and it will all flow out or I have the first word of your prayer language. NONSENSE! We are to exercise faith to function in our spiritual gifts.

1Cor.12:4-11 we find it is God who sovereignly gives the gift. We are not to seek a specific gift. At best its foolishness to want someone else’s gift, at worst it is coveting.1 Cor. 12:4-6 “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all.”

Vs.12-26 tells us we are all equally important to God and there is no one who has all the gifts otherwise he would not need anyone else. Unfortunately I have heard this too spoken by a prophet.

Vs.28 first appointed are apostles. Although many claim this position, again this is NONSENSE since no one has seen Jesus physically or in His resurrection which was the requirement, we have no true apostles functioning in the office today. (Revelation says there is only 12 that will be acknowledged in heaven).

Vs.29 Paul asks the question “are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? In vs.30 he asks, “Do all have the gifts of healings? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

If one insists that all must speak in tongues than they all must have the other gifts as well. Then everyone is an apostle and worker of miracles. But the fact is this is the very opposite of what Paul is stating, since he was an apostle he should know. The gift of tongues is at the bottom of the list (which certainly seems to be put in the order of importance in a relative way); last of all showing it is to be the least desired for a church as a whole body. He is setting the Corinthian Church straight on their waywardness. Tongues is a spiritual gift that gives one the ability to speak a language they have not studied; tongues is just one of the nineteen gifts of the Spirit.

1Cor.14:19-20 Paul says he’d rather speak five words with understanding than ten thousand words in a tongue. Paul then implies that those who emphasize speaking in tongues were babes in understanding which is the same word he used in 3:1 that he could not speak to them as spiritual, but as carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. Those five words just might have been more to do with the Gospel than showing your spiritual-one-upmanship to others.

vs.21-22 tongues are a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not.” We need to ask what is a sign? In the Bible the word sign means to declare or point to something. For example, circumcision was the declaration of the covenant in the Old Testament. The rainbow serves as a sign of God’s grace after judgment. When tongues were spoken out loud in Acts 2 it was to those who were in unbelief.

According to 1Corinthians 14:22, tongues are a declaration of some truth. It was used to prove God was among them to those in unbelief.

As an apostle and evangelist Paul traveled and his custom was to enter the synagogues of the Jews. This gave him the opportunity to exercise this gift to them and the gentiles.

When Paul stated that he thanked God that he spoke in tongues more than all of you (14:18) it related to his calling as an apostle that he had special signs distinguishing himself from other believers, otherwise there would be no difference from the apostles and the other believers.

Book of Acts

To understand when they first are used in the New Testament we need to have the Old Testament background.

Isaiah 28:7-8, “But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.” Interesting that the mockers who heard the Apostles speak in other languages said they were filled with new wine and stayed in unbelief.

What is written describes God’s view of disgust with the leaders of Israel. God took Israel, a people from the nations and made them His special people above all others. But they rebelled over and over not listening to God’s precepts. The rebellion got so bad that drunkenness became pervasive among God’s leaders. It seems that they fell from their calling. No place could be found that had not been affected by their practice. It is in this context, God sends the prophet Isaiah to offer hope if these sinful leaders would repent.

Till next week,

God Bless.

Elder Dr. Robert L. Harrison

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