A Discussion on Tongues

I know that there are quite a few church leaders that read this blog. I’m thrilled to have you all here. I think it’s time we start discussing some things and the topic I would like to discuss is the Gift of Tongues. As I have previously stated, I hold to a Cessationist view, meaning, I believe that the Gifts have ceased. I don’t believe that a situation found in Acts Chapter 2 occurs today. I also don’t believe that praying in tongues is biblical so I am opening up this whole topic for discussion. I look forward to hearing your views and reading your comments! 

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84 thoughts on “A Discussion on Tongues

  1. Hi Phil,

    This is a topic we really need to look into. We dealt with it sometimes ago in my church and the funny thing, I’m also reading an interesting book on the same topic. I would love to learn and at the same time share with fellow believers.

  2. Iam no church leader, but would love to add my 2 cents.

    When I read Acts 2:1-4, I get the impression that the gift of tongues was used strictly as a translation between someone being led by the spirit to speak to people of another language.

    I dont believe what people see in todays church is truly speaking in tongues. Here are my reasons.

    1. There is no interpertation, no one has a clue as to what is being said. If you can speak in the spirit how come you cant understand whats being said in the spirit? Even the person speaking in tongues doesnt know what they said.

    2. They allways speak in tongues at a emotional high point in a sermon, or PRAISE-A-THON shouting and dancing. Are they speaking to themselves, God, who. In Acts they were directing the speach to people who understood the language, not to an entire church that hasnt a clue to what that person just said.

    Do people still speak in tongues today? Thats hard to answer, sence we cant be everywhere at once. Maybe people do, but feel no need to bring attention to themselves because God allowed a gift to work thru them. They just want to spread the gospel not be called a saint, or apositle.

    Praying in tongues seems rather foolish to me(sorry if I offend). That leads me to believe that God(God of all the universe who created all) cant understand English or Chinese or what ever language a person speaks. (Some people believe that if you pray in tongues the devil cant hear your prayers. Ofcourse there is no scripture, just a fable.)

    Romans 8:26 states that the groanings of the Spirit “cannot be uttered. ” CANNOT BE UTTERED”
    Romans 8:27 and he who searches the heart knows the mind of the Spirit.
    I dont think this means a prayer language that only God understands. I think it means that even when we are so troubled we cant find the voice, or words to speak he searches are heart and knows are prayer.

    Sorry this post is so long but I think Iam done.

    Phil: Excellent post Cop. Well stated!

  3. Phil,

    The Bible teaches that:

    1. tongues were a manifestation of the Spirit, not a prayer language

    2. tongues were a sign to unbelieving Jews

    3. tongues were a sign to confirm to believing Jews that the Gentiles were included in the plan of salvation

    4. tongues were real, actual languages

    A detailed and expository study of the subject makes it clear that the sign of tongues accomplished their purpose and are no more needed. God used it – along with the other sign gifts – to confirm the Gospel.

    What we have today mostly is gibberrish; not tongues.

    Bible tongues were not the gibbersih being spoken about today by those who claim to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” (another misused and misapproprited term).

    Phil: I tend to agree with you. It seems to be gibberish.

  4. Hi Phil,

    I hold that speaking in tongues is one of the most misunderstood teachings in scripture.

    Looking at OT history, we look at Gen 11 we are told that the whole earth had one language and one speech. It was at that point in scripture that they united to build the tower of Bable and the Lord responded by confusing the language.

    In Acts 2, we see where they began to speak on other tongues. The result was the Gospel was understood in all languages and those who couldn’t speak other languages were gifted to do so in order to promote the Gospel. It was a sign.

    Now as Christians, we have one language – one faith, one Lord, one baptism. It is a universal language of God’s children.

    The NT is all about redemption of things that were lost in the OT.

    The mumbo jumbo spoken and called “tongues” has been adopted from pagan religions. It is not scriptural imho.

    Dorothy

  5. Hello, Phil!

    I have been enjoying your site.

    And that being said . . .
    natsanapanakana, anakanapanastan!

    That’s in the “Three Stooges” language! (O.K., I’m a fan.)

    Man alive! Can’t Christians be satisfied with 2 Timothy 3:16?

    Keep fighting the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12), Phil.

    Sincerely,
    Peter Hunt

    Phil: That cracked me up! Thanks for the encouragement Peter!

  6. Phil,
    I’m impressed with your readers. I saw this post a week ago and thought, “Oh, no! Get ready for the fruitcakes to clog Phil’s blog.” What I have read here is a bunch of folk grounded in Scripture!

    I don’t take the cessationist view, but it is true as a couple of your readers have said, what we hear today is just jibberish. This can be seen plainly in that the sounds (called phones in linguistics) are English phones. All languages share a common set of phones, but also carry some phones that others don’t have. For instance, Hebrew and German have gutteral phones English omits. Some African languages have whistles and clicks. English distinguishes between the “L” and “R” phones, while some Asian languages do not.

    When listening to tongue-speakers today, one only hears the phones of English. Why? Can this be totally coincidental? Obviously not.

    Finally, one of your readers mentioned the absense of interpretations. Excellent point. This sort of disobedience on the part of the tongue-practitioners does expose them as folk having little to do with the Holy Spirit.

    While we are forbidden to forbid tongues, I have always found that when leadership makes the practitioners follow the biblical standards of having interpretations and limiting their outbursts to two or three per service, they go away to some place that does not require biblical obedience. Thus we see, they never were led of the Spirit. Or the spirit by which they were led was anything but holy!

    I would like to ask you and your readers what you and they think of reports we get from missionaries that claim to have tongues experiences in the field. What I have heard is that at times Christians have had the ability to speak to groups with whom they do not share a language. In those cases I have been told that the missionaries were temporarily able to speak in the tongue of the newly found group and spoke the gospel to them. And in the cases I’ve heard about the missionaries were not Pentecostal and did not continue to have the gift.

    What have you heard and what do you think?

    In Christ,
    Phil Perkins.–PS–I can only read your responses and reply on the weekends.

  7. Whats good brother Phil,

    I tend to agree with the fact what is seen today is not biblical. I don’t see room for a prayer language, I don’t see room for the tongues being a ministry to one’s self and I DONT SEE WHERE THEY HAVE CEASED EITHER! (I had to cap so it will catch the eye).

    Brother Yomi you said “. tongues were a sign to unbelieving Jews”

    I can’t agree LESS! Can you please provide us with the biblical support that merits such a statement. As I see tongues being explained by Paul, not once does he refer to tongues being “a sign to unbelieving Jews”. This is a bad attempt by MacArthur to validate his theological presupposition for cessasionism. I think it does the body a disservice also.

    I have been guilty of following leaders theolgical argument without being as critical as I would say a teacher I don’t agree with. As I studied this topic, the evidence provided is actually being eisegeted (spelling). I love honor and respect many from the cessasionist camp; however, there arguments have not been fair, they all have come to a conclusion and then find scriptures to back up their stance.

    Once again, what I see today, I label unbiblical and false; however, the evidence provided that they have ceased altoghether I label the same. We have to be careful and the argument for “when the perfect comes” is no more biblical evidence for the cessasionist view as 3 John is evidence that God wants you to be healthy and wealthy.

    Just my stance and not infalliable but I would love to engage more about this sensitive topic.

  8. Phil I do not hold a cessationist view of the gifts or giftings. I believe that they are active, vibrant expressions and works of the Holy Spirit in the contemporary church.

    The issue of tongue speaking is one that of course is up for debate. I think that the case can be made (using scripture) on both sides.

    Like all things in our scope of Christian experience, tongues can be misused and misappropriated. Paul addressed this misuse of tongues in 1 Cor 12, 14. He said to the church, I speak in more tongues than anyone. Yet, he stated clearly that all thing should be done decently and in order. He never stated that tongues had ceased, nor did he implicity or explicity state it was a sin to speak in tongues (whether in other languages or unknown tongues). The church at Corinth I would daresay was any different than our churches now. Paul did not forbid the speaking in tongues (1 Cor 14:5-39) I would challenge those who oppose tongues to show how the Corinthian church is different than now.

    Though there is some confusion over the place of tongues in the contemporary church, I find that little reason to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. I do not penalize nor disrespect those who hold a cessationist perspective of the gifts. If they can accomplish the will of God without them, then I bid them Godspeed.

    Having said that, tongues are no marker of spiritual maturity, which to me is the greater issue. To those who place premium emphasis on their tongue talking, I would say it cannot be shown where the more tongues one spoke in the more that individual was spiritually mature. Tongues are not to be considered mandatory for relationship with God. I also do not believe in the “prayer language” ideology. I have heard some rather far fetched explanations, and find them unbibical.

    What bothers me is the mockery of those who speak in tongues. Like Peter and others’ post. “Mumbo jumbo”, “three stooges”, “gibberish” Is that necessary? And is that what you reduce me to? To me that proves that the real issue is maturity, not tongues. A mature person would not mock their brothers and sisters in such a way. Surely, such mockery cannot be justified in scripture. If one has a disagreement biblically, the proper resolution is to state one’s belief with a level of respect, not with mockery.

    I see Dorothy’s post as problematic in terms of defense. The diverse tongues of Babel were God’s command. It was a natural fulfillment of God’s command to spread abroad. Acts 2 was a result of God bringing us together spiritually. Another fulfillment. But her conclusion is illogical. The scripture she cited in part does not say “one language”. She superimposed that onto the text to fit her conclusion.

    At any rate, its a good conversation to have. At the end of the day, I would say Jesus Christ is less concerned with what tongues we speak in and much more concerned with whether we are doing the will of God.

    Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

  9. “I believe that the Gifts have ceased.”

    Did you just put God in a box?

    Phil: No, I don’t believe that tongues, as occured in the early days of the church happens like people have claimed they do now. I also don’t believe the gift can be turned on and off like a water faucet like MANY preachers do when they are speaking. Tongues is an actual langiuage and you would have a difficult time convincing me that what’s spoken today qualifies as an actual language. If someone witnessed to another in a tongue they have never spoken before, I would call this a miracle.

  10. Hi All,

    Great comments for and against. Phil Perkins is correct in that this blog has AMAZING readers who know what they are talking about. Thank you for that guys and gals!

    GCM: I would NEVER mock you. You are my brother and I KNOW you know that. I’ve learned a great deal from you and am sure I will continue to learn a great deal from you until the Lord calls me home.

    LIONEL: This is gonna be a great discussion and I’m counting on more imput from you and brother Tyris!

    Let’s ALL continue to keep it civil and let this discussion and ALL discussions be God honoring!

    Phil

    PS. There is a major storm coming my way that might knock out my internet. If you don’t see your post up. just be patient!

  11. Always brother Phil, I am awaiting responses from those who posted. I would say that I agree with GCM on the fact that mockery isn’t in love, but lets see how those who posted it respond. God bless and I need to RSS this so I don’t miss it.

  12. What purpose does tongues serve in the church? If one prays in a tongue in church and their understanding is unfruitful how does that benefit the church (1 Cor. 14:14)? What is missing in many tongue speaking churches today is the interpreter and no one seems to care. I also do not believe tongues is needed today for what purpose does it serve when understanding is unfruitful?

  13. Just to add another thought.

    I think one of the main reasons anybody and everybody in church speak in tongues is because they feel the need to show that the holy spirit is upon them in a dramatic way.

    So instead of living a life of over a period of time to show the presents of the Holy spirit, they would rather give a flash in the pan SHOW.

    It is selfish and self serving, but no one wants to question the ANOINTING of someone caught up in the Holy Spirit

  14. To GCMWatch,
    I want to apologize for the “jibberish” comment. I did not mean it as a perjorative (and I see I misspelled it, too–so there you go, huh!). I DO APOLOGIZE. My choice of words was harsh and without grace.

    What I did mean was that the rearranging of English sounds is all that we see. It is nonsensical stringing togother of the sounds of the speaker’s mother tongue, not another language. Now that is an opinion. What is not an opinion is that almost without exception “tongues” today are used in a way that is contrary to the Bible. They often have no interpretation and are used multiple times in a service. Both of these are disobedient to the Scripture. See I Cor. 14:5, 13, 27, and 28.

    As to tongues being a sign to unbelieving Jews, I only know of one reference. In I Cor. 14: 22.

    Again, I apologize to GCMWatch. I was callouse.

    In Christ,
    Phil Perkins. See you all next weekend and God bless you!

  15. Like lionel mentioned I read Macarthur’s book called “Charismatic Chaos” and took on the assumption that tongues have ceased as well. I do not believe that what we see in some pentacostal churches today is Biblical but we cannot prove that they have ceased no more than we can prove that GOD does not do miracles in places that we have no idea exist. Could God give someone the ability to speak in a foreign language for the Gospel to get out or could GOD intervene while someone is preaching english and for the listeners to hear it in the native tongue? Of course HE can. Is is normative, well in America no. But for cats like Paul Washer preaching in south america-maybe yes. I am not a cessationist although my church and I do not have anyone speaking in tongues at our fellowship. We absolute cannot say they have ceased because scripture hasn’t. God Bless

  16. I quite agree with Cop and Yomi’s position on this topic.

    If we look closely at the last verse in 1Cor.12, we see what Paul was presenting to them.

    “But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.”

    Then he went one to teach on love – a godly character in chapter 13.

    I agree that tongues are signs cos Jesus also listed it among the signs that will follow the believers then. Mark 16: 17 & 18

    17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
    18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

    But, in this present day, the way you know a believer is by these 3 things:
    – What he believes or believes in;
    – His disposition and;
    – His character

    Apart from in his epistle to the corithians there is no other place where he taught on this issue.

    A question I would like to ask is; of what benefit is tongues to the believer and the church in general?

    Before we answer, let’s have in mind that paul said in 1Cor 12:7 that : To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

    And from 1Cor 14

    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.

    1Co 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

    1Co 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

    1Co 14:5 I would that ye all spake with 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.

  17. Thank you to Phil for your apology.

    As a lifelong Pentecostal I can tell you some shocking stories of the abuse of tongues. It makes me ashamed to see and hear such things.

    My only contention is that the Bible is right. One’s abuse of a biblical liberty is not reason to forbid it. The vignettes you’ve cited are good examples of why we need to get back to what is right, as opposed to forbidding others to practice it the way the Holy Spirit so dictates.

    As I stated before it is not an issue which would cause me to break fellowship with my brothers and sisters. So, thanks Phil N. you are still da man!

    Perhaps this is one of those nonessentials? Can anybody comment on that? I definitely would characterize tongues as a nonessential, worthy of discussion, but not worthy of broken fellowship. Incidentally COGIC’s Bishop Mason made tongues one of his main tenets after Azusa street. It caused division between he and DJ Young and others who didnt believe the tongues were essential to salvation and/or holiness. I dont think that should have happened but again, misunderstandings bring unnecssary division.

    blessings!

    Phil: I would not be willing to break fellowship on this issue. I would prefer to discuss this like we are doing now. I guess I’ve seen so much that is wrongly used as tongues that I guess I’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater. This is a great discussion and I look forward to more of the same!

  18. Hello everyone. Been busy all week.

    First off, I did not use the word “gibberish” to deride those who practice modern tongue-speaking. I used it just as it is.

    gib·ber·ish /ˈdʒɪbərɪʃ, ˈgɪb-/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[jib-er-ish, gib-]
    –noun: meaningless or unintelligible talk or writing.

    What is regarded as speaking in tongues today in every quarter I have been (including as practiced by myself up till a year or two ago) is simply that – meaningless or unintelligible talk.

    There’s no way to put it without it sounding offensive to those who still practice it. Bible tongues were real languages. No offence intended.

    As to how tongues is a sign to unbelieving Jews, let’s note Paul’s assertions in 1 Corinthians 14:21-22:

    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.
    22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

    Verse 21 is a direct quote from Isaiah 28:11, and Paul hinges his assertion that tongues is a sign to them that believe not on that.

    In Isaiah 28, the Lord was speaking to His people. The people that do not believe and that tongues is a sign to are Jews.

    Tongues was a sign to the Jews that God was “cutting off” the Jews in judgement and extending salvation to the Gentiles.

    Devout Jews from “every nation under heaven” were witnesses to the fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy on the day of Pentecost.

    But tongues were also a sign to confirm to believing Jews that the Gentiles were included in the plan of salvation. We see that when the Gospel arrived at Samaria, with Peter and the household of Cornelius, and a few other occassions.

  19. Hello Cop

    You Said:

    “So instead of living a life of over a period of time to show the presents of the Holy spirit, they would rather give a flash in the pan SHOW.”

    Are you saying that all who speak in tongues don’t show the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives? If not can you please elaborate on this statement. I think this is a huge assumption and dangerous to your brothers and sisters in Christ, but before I jump to a conclusion can you elaborate? Thanks

  20. gcmWatch,

    I firmly believe that all NC events relate to events in the OT. In the NT, we have a building progam under progress – ordained by God, not built with hands.

    In the OT, we have another building project planned by man and that project was not of God, thus the confusion of tongues.

    What halted one project was restored for the next. 🙂

    Calling it superimposing on the texts is really not a good defense. The WCF states there is a covenant of works in the Genesis 1-3 texts, yet there is no covenant mentioned. A covenant isn’t mentioned until Genesis 9:9. It is as we move through scripture that we make that distinction.

    The foundation of the Church was laid with the introduction of tongues – the tower of Babel was halted by the confusion of language. The whole area that the apostles traveled was a diverse mixture of peoples and languages. I agree with Yomi, it was a sign to the Jews, and the Jews recognized the Gentiles were included in God’s plans when they were also gifted to speak the Gospel in various languages also.

    I did see someone address the issue of missionaries. While I have heard of this, I have never met one who experienced it. I do have some family members who operate in the administrative level of missions and they operate missionaries underground in areas where this ability would be quite beneficial. I get regular reports, but I’ve never seen them mention anything like this. It’s not that I don’t think it could be possible, but I have reservations that it actually happens.

    I have a friend in China who reports to me that many of the missionaries that show up in his area will do and say about anything to keep the money flowing. He reports that many of them are on “extended” vacations at the expense of their supporters. It really makes him angry. It’s reports like this that make me hesitate when I hear reports of tongues, or healings, or mass conversions.

  21. Hey, I feel at home here!! A lot of familiar tags!!

    On the topic, it has been said that tongues were not a sign to the unbeliever. They certainly were.

    1Cr 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not

    In fact, the primary evidence that convinced the early church that Gentile conversion was indeed God’s plan was the evidence of the Holy Spirit baptism evidenced by tongues.

    Acts 10:46-48, Acts 15:6-9

    When there is a dispute along the lines of the tongues controversy, it’s often helpful to consult the Early church writings. Of course these are not Scripture, but they offer a “slice of life” from the generation immediately after the Apostolic. In those writings several things become clear.

    They never suggested that tongues was a gift for everyone. They taught that the Holy Spirit conferred it as He did all other gifts………in accordance with His will. This renders such modern innovations as “tarrying” for the gift, and speaking gibberish until it comes as manifestly ludicrous as “tarrying” for prophesy, or discerning of spirits, or any other gift. God is Sovereign, and He dispenses the gifts as HE wills, not as we will.

    They also always correlated tongues with Acts 2 where EARTHLY languages were in play. Never are tongues cited as a non-earthly language, or a language the devil can’t understand, or other such claims.

    There is not a hint of the novel doctrine of public vs devotional tongues either. The only difference cited is that tongues spoken outside of the context of the church setting did not require interpretation as did tongues spoken in the context of the church service. But it is never suggested that tongues is anything other than what was demonstrated in Acts 2……..earthly language.

    Again,this is not Scripture, but a pretty extensive look into church life in the days following the Apostles and the decades that followed. Some of these men were acquainted with the Apostles themselves, or their immediate disciples, and not a hint of the modern teaching on tongues can be found.

    Something to consider.

  22. BTW folks………..I want to be clear that I am not a cessationist. I believe if the conditions of the first century church were replicated,God may well use the gifts as He did then. These conditions DO still exist rarely in some isolated corners of the earth, and God may well use the gifts in a manner replicating Acts.

    However, those conditions do not exist in the Western world as a whole,and we should not be surprised that it would be extremely rare to see such manifestations here. Not impossible, as a cessationist might claim…….but so very rare that cesationism would be a very logical deduction based upon the dearth of evidence to the contrary.

  23. Philly~ Thank you for inviting me to this discussion. I have outlined the subject on my other site at http://www.Dunamis2.wordpress.com I did that page and site to discover the Biblical hermenutic for the “infilling” or “baptism” of the Holy Ghost.

    I respectfully and humbly submit that to be a true cessationist is to make an assumption (as noted on this site) outside of the Bible or scriptural context. There remains no scripture that teaches that the “gifts” ever ceased or that “tongues” is not a valid or an essential spiritual gift given to the church and individual believer.

    My second observation is that God has not given us (the church or individual believer) anything that HE does not teach the church how to perceive properly (II Peter 1:3, I John 2:26) Jer. 11:12 teaches that God will “hasten” or watch over HIS word to perform it. Since we all can agree that the Holy Ghost has been sent by the father according to HIS word (John 14:16) and HIS ministry is to the church, to the individual (John 16:13-15) and to the world for reproof (John 15:8-11) how can the church be given anything from God that cannot be properly perceived and for which there is no witness or for which the witness for it is secret or hidden away? So I reject the argument that “nobody” currently operates in the Holy Ghost “giftings” according to scripture. God is a revealer of truth to all them that desire to know it and will not with hold truth to them that desire it.

    So far as terminologies, which many people get confused over I believe they are best examined through the Apostles and how they taught about the scripture and the experience of the Holy Ghost and the gift of tongues in particular. For instance, Peter when explaining what happened to Cornelius and those with him that believed, recognized the event that occurred as the “baptism” of the Holy Ghost (Acts 11:16, Acts 1:5) and related the occurrence directly to the teaching of John the Baptist (Mt. 3:11, Mt. 1:8, Lk. 3:16) which said that Jesus would “baptize with the Holy Ghost”. Although the scripture indicates in Acts 2:4, Acts 4:8 + 31, Acts 9:17, & Acts 13:9 that individuals were “filled” and were to be “filled” with the Holy Ghost. So who is right? Of course the scripture is. The Apostles reveal their understanding of God and HIS actions through how they intreated what God did and said. Paul spoke in 1 Corinthians 12 “concerning spiritual gifts” (I Cor. 12:1). Last I read “tongues” was in that list. (1 Cor. 12:10)…He didn’t instruct the church that they would ever be without the gifts, and, as I said, “tongues” is in the list.

    To help clear up something also, tongues were spoken “as the Spirit gave the utterance” Acts 2:4 not as the people desired to speak, but as God gave them to speak and that utterance was above and beyond the speaking individual’s ability to articulate or educational level. In other words God’s gift was not dependent upon the individual knowing what was said or how to say what needed to be said. God was in total control.

    The observation I make on my site on pg. 1 is that although tongues IS NOT taught in scripture prior to Acts 2:4, at NO POINT do any of the Apostles try to explain it away, dimish it, ridicule it or deride it any way. People have historically done that to things they did not understand throughout Biblical history, but the Apostles applied a spiritual understanding to the written word. (II Cor. 3:6) I feel that many should do the same with tongues and other spiritual gifts today. I believe that will cause us to approach the subject somewhat more reverently.

    Finally, if I might add this, the word “uttered” { al-al’-ay-tos} in Rom. 8:26 was used 4 times in the NT text. Its root word {lal-eh’-o} has 5 variant meanings depending upon the context. In the context of Romans 8:26 I believe that one can clearly teach that the word relates more to a human’s ability to formulate and articulate what needs to be said rather than saying something or sounding something out. The definition is like this, “to use words in order to declare one’s mind and disclose one’s thoughts ~Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995. So to use that scripture as a prohibition against speaking in tongues is not the best argument.

    I’ll leave with additional study material and controversy (LOL)…I Cor. 14 was ONLY regarding delivering a message of direction to the church body in tongues, NOT speaking in tongues in general, even during church service…Can I back that up…Yes I can…but chew on that for a while…I’ll be back…if you’ll have me. Thanks and God bless.

  24. GaryV,

    I hold to the canon of scripture and we are equiped for ALL good works. How are tongues manifested past the apostic age?

    Let me tell you about an experience of mine. I was recruited to an effort to defeat a God mocking doctrine. I was not that well versed in all the arguments against it and that concerned me. What I discovered was that I was dispensing with upwards of 200 e-mails a day in the period of about 3 hours an evening. I did this for about 6 weeks. I didn’t have to look up chapter and verse, it was just there and with others watching over the work to prevent error, I never made one. I have never experienced that since. So I contend that God does place His words in our mouth, just not in the manner it’s used by many today. What I can say about my experience, was the work was NOT mine. I didn’t have that level of knowledge.

    2Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    To me the doctrine of tongues implies that we are NOT thoroughly equiped and need further enlightenment. I do have a problem with that. It leads to all sorts of introduction of error.

    Dorothy

  25. “Now as Christians, we have one language – one faith, one Lord, one baptism. It is a universal language of God’s children.”

    Dorothy I was specifically referring to this statement you made at the conclusion of your post.
    The scripture you cited Eph 4:5 does not sat “one language”. It does not even allude to that. So attaching “one language” onto the verse to bolster the thesis of your post was in my opinion superimposing.

    To GaryV:
    Your information is correct. And just as a general survey of the comments here, it looks like there is no general consensus on the issue.

    I read your comments but I still did not see you acknowledge that there was no express forbiddance to speak in tongues by the Apostle Paul. Neither did he label it as a sin. Despite the objections by those who disagree with tongues, those two very important facts remain. Regarding the unbeliever, can anyone say that there are not unbelievers (i.e. sinners) in the church today? I would say there are many. Why then, if tongues were indeed a sign to the unbeliever, would the Holy Spirit not use them as a sign, if according to 1 Cor 14:22 that is a sound criteria?

    I think you all have made a sterling case for the abuse of tongues by the contemporary church and I concur. But what seems to problematic is that you may have cancelled a work of the Holy Spirit because of such abuse. Brothers and sisters that is not ours to do.

  26. GaryV,

    One other thing occurred during my work. I had several issues on the table that I had been working on and hadn’t resolved. I had been seeking those answers from God diligently. During the battle, the answers to both of my questions were revealed. These were complex doctrinal questions and they fell right into place.

    I no longer have fear of joining in battle. While I may feel unequiped, I know the power of God to give me His Word to speak.

    So when the heat of battle arises, I now respond “Here I am Lord, send me”, confident in Him to equip me for His work.

    Dorothy

  27. I have a few articles that deal with this subject in detail:

    1. Filled with the Spirit: A Biblical Examination
    2. The Promise of the Spirit

    The subject of tongues as held on to by pentecostals and charismatics is premised on serious flaws in Bible interpretation. With this in mind, I have no doubts that tongues as taught and practiced by mainstream pentecostalism (I leave a small margin for the benefit of doubt) is a grievous abheration.

    It seriously distorts the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and has created great division in the Body of Christ.

    As such, on the issue of breaking fellowship or not, what exactly do we mean? Would I attend a church where tongues is taught as proof of a second work of grace? No; I wouldn’t. The Bible clearly teaches no such thing as those who hold to pentecostalism teach today.

    Everywhere tongues showed up in the Bible, it was presented as a sign. Tongues were a specific sign for a specific purpose: the signal of the transition of God’s plan from the Jews to the Gentiles. That sign – as I have shown above – was to the Jews, primarilly, and for the establishment of the Church. Through the sign of tongues, God confirmed to the apostles and the early Church that the door was open to the Gentiles too. The confirmation has been done. As a sign “gift”, tongues fulfilled their purpose 2000 (or so) years ago.

    The question therefore is not, can God grant such a manifestation today? We know He can. The question is, will He? For what purpose?

  28. I want to ensure that I am clear by saying, what we see in the Western World (primarily America) is the same issue addressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12-14. So I am on board by saying that what is practiced in EVERY church that I have visited is not biblical by any stretch of the imagination. What I am saying is there is a clear biblical case for them ceasing altogether.

    Thanks for the clarification Yomi, I knew this but had forgot for some reason. I should have been more careful in that area. I do believe however, that Paul is writing to gentiles and my belief is that he is taking an OT scripture and applying it to the church versus saying “this is fullfilled to the Jews”. But that can be argued against with Acts 10, so I will have to spend more time examing the text before I make a clear statement.

    Pator Burnett what a pleasure to dialogue with you again, but I must start off by saying that I totally disagree with all who take a second baptism approach and this is where I think the majority of us here have a problem with this as it relates to tongues. Most Second Wavers believe that tongues is the evidence of such a baptism, but as I read 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 I see that ALL believers were BAPTIZED by one Spirit and that baptism is salvific. If you are not “baptized” by the Holy Spirit you have not been made to drink of Him and thus are not “born again”. I think the teaching of this second work that all Christians should seek is unbiblical. I also dont’ see a biblical case for it.

    I don’t see an example of someone believing then later coming and being baptized by the Spirit in a subsequent act. Whenever tongues occur it occurs simultaneously (Acts 10 and 19) with salvation (only after Pentacost, and we must recognize the only reason it happened differently with the 12 and the others in the upper room is due to the fact they are blending two covenants, the Holy Spirit’s office did not come into full effect until Christ completed the work of atonement which includes His ascension to the right hand of the Father John 16:70)

    I am not fully convinced that it has to be an intelligent language though. The reason why is that Paul say “there must be an interpreter” and he even includes the interpretation of tongues in the list of the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12 and challenges the Corinthians to “pray for an interpretation” so I am not clear if the person has to be sure of what they are saying, but I am clear that if it is done somebody best be able to interpreter.

    Finally I propse the same for the position of prayer languages Paul says:

    10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. 12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

    In verse 12 and in the entire chapter of 12 of 1 Corinthians we see that the gifts are given for one sole purpose “TO BUILD UP THE CHURCH” when someone prays in a tongue and equates it to the gift as laid out in 1 Corinthians 12-14 I think they are in error. The logic would be someone: preaching a sermon video taping it then watching it themselves to build themselves up, or better yet some with the gift of giving, putting it in their own bank account and finally someone with the gift of prophesy only prophesying to themselves. Tongues is the only gift used for personal edification and I think Paul is refuting this entire point in the Chapters 12-14.

    My thoughts again, I know this is long but I wanted to write all of my thoughts Phil.

  29. If I may offer something,

    I’ve been studying the issue of tongues and have been dilligently searching for resources that seem to give good arguments on the issue. If anyone’s interested, I think that these may be of benefit.

    They’re from the ministry of Sam Storms, and many of the articles on Tongues seemed to be very interesting.

    http://www.enjoyinggodministries.com/search-results/?keywords=Tongues&show_results=N%253B

    Also, one can also consider this as well:

    http://www.imperishableinheritance.com/2006/a-theology-of-the-gifts/

    http://www.layhands.com/PrayingInTheSpirit.htm

  30. My apologies if anyone was expecting something of an argument (still working on learning how to articulate things). But I do feel that the links referenced had many interesting points for everyone to consider if they wish to investigate. And part of being the men and women we’re called to be is to research/get as much info as possible (as well as weighing all sides of an argument or issue fairly)

    O

    Proverbs 16:11

    Honest scales and balances are from the LORD; all the weights in the bag are of his making.

    Proverbs 11:1
    The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight.

    Proverbs 20:23
    The LORD detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him.

    Proverbs 18

    13 He who answers before listening—
    that is his folly and his shame.

    14 15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge;
    the ears of the wise seek it out.

    17 The first to present his case seems right,
    till another comes forward and questions him.

    Proverbs 19:2
    It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.

    Again, those are the principles that should guide us (as I am trying dilligently to do so on my side, regarding those who are for tongues not being available for today or believing that much of what’s happening today is mere “gibberish…..and above all, the facts and what GOD’S WORD SAYS).

    If I may, I would love to get more involved in this discussion…..but at the moment, school is calling. But I do pray that the resources do serve to bless someone here at the site.

  31. As an excerpt from one of the articles that I found interesting:

    “Sometimes well-meaning Christians use this passage to denounce charismatic meetings or charismatic church services in which many people pray in tongues all at once (using the private form of tongues). They say that this is an unScriptural practice because Paul told us to speak in tongues one at a time. However, that argument demonstrates a misunderstanding of this passage and a misunderstanding of what is going on in the charismatic services. In this passage Paul was referring to those who stand up and give a message in tongues from God to the entire congregation. These messages must be done decently and in order, and an interpretation must be given so that the congregation can be instructed. Paul was describing the public form of tongues here. This is an entirely different situation than when a group of believers prays together, and some or all of them are praying in tongues at the same time. When believers are praying together and some of them are praying in tongues, they are using the private form of tongues (which is specifically for praying to God). No messages to the congregation are being given in tongues in that situation, and therefore that situation does not fall under Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 14:26-29 (above).
    Notice that the Bible specifically describes a group of people all praying in tongues together at the same time on the day of Pentecost:

    “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:4)

    As we saw earlier in this article, these 120 disciples were all praying out loud together, praising God in tongues. This is a Scriptural example of corporate prayer being done in tongues, and this does not fall under Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 14:26-29 (above).

    In the entire New Testament there are only two other descriptions of people speaking in tongues. In both of these situations (just as at Pentecost), everyone on whom the Holy Spirit was poured out spoke in tongues:

    “The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.” (Acts 10:45-46)

    “When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.” (Acts 19:6-7)

    In every description of people speaking in tongues in the New Testament, it was always a group of people who were praying in tongues out loud at the same time. Therefore, we should be careful about dogmatically stating that Christians must not pray in tongues together, because that view violates all of the Scriptural examples that God has given us of first-century Christians praying in tongues together.

  32. Meant to add those as links earlier which may be of merit/worth considering. Giving a shout-out to Brother Phil for having such a wonderful/in-depth site. Peace, Brah………

    Phil: Thanks Easy G. I feel like a lurker on my own site LOL! I’m definately learning quite a bit and am enjoying the civility of this discussion.

  33. Lionalwood7

    Ive witnessed friends and family speak in tongues in church and then return to thier LIVE IN GIRL FRIEND, BOOTLEG MOVIE BUSINESS, or what ever their sinful life they were living before.

    Iam NOT saying that everyone that speaks in tongues is fakin it, and cant have the Holy Spirit working in there life.

    But I will say that if someone is truly speaking in tongues, that they were already living a life close to God and TRYING to live it Holy at all times.

    hope that clears it up for you.

  34. Hi GCMWATCH!! Love your work brother, and I’m very grateful for it. Keep on keepin’ on!! Let me address your comments………you wrote

    GCM-“I read your comments but I still did not see you acknowledge that there was no express forbiddance to speak in tongues by the Apostle Paul. Neither did he label it as a sin.

    GV-My acknowledgment and complete agreement with your statement is the fact that I expressly said that I am NOT a cessationist. By definition,it is the cessationist who claims that the gifts have passed away.

    In fact,the burden is NOT on those of us who are continuationist to prove our case, it is rather the burden of the cessationist to prove HIS case since there is not a shred of Biblical evidence that the gifts would cease before the return of Christ (that Perfect which should come). I also never intimated that it was sin to speak in tongues. Rather the Bible labels it sin to forbid it in its proper context. Of course,proper context is the key issue.

    GCM-“Despite the objections by those who disagree with tongues, those two very important facts remain. Regarding the unbeliever, can anyone say that there are not unbelievers (i.e. sinners) in the church today? I would say there are many. Why then, if tongues were indeed a sign to the unbeliever, would the Holy Spirit not use them as a sign, if according to 1 Cor 14:22 that is a sound criteria?”

    GV- I’m not certain I got your point. Certainly,if your point is that someone has suggested that tongues cannot be uttered in the church setting it was not I who made that assertion. However, again, it should NEVER be used outside of its proper Biblical context in church, and that is done on an enormous scale in churches all over the world.

    Also, I’d like to point out again that there is no evidence anywhere (either Biblical or extra-Biblical) that tongues is the ONE gift from God that we get to choose for ourselves, like God has a spiritual grabbag of tongues that we can rummage through and take what we please.

    There is not even a hint in Scripture that tongues is for everyone,so right there we have a major problem with the modern church. If indeed the Bible is correct,and gifts (including tongues) are distributed by GOD to SOME of His choosing but NOT to all, we must reach a disturbing yet unavoidable conclusion:

    The vast majority of “tongues” as manifested in the church today are a COUNTERFEIT. Entire enormous congregations where EVERYONE speaks in tongues is an impossibility. Yet we see that virtually everywhere.If we are going to properly point out that the cessationist has no Biblical foundation for his claim that tongues have ceased, let’s also be careful to point out the there is no Scriptural foundation for the assertion that EVERYONE can speak in tongues.

    And since that is so (and I would be happy to defend that proposition if need be from both Scripture and history), then we have an enormous number of churchgoers who are actively deceived and are engaged in a counterfeit of the gifts of God today. That is a serious issue.

    Can God grant the gift of tongues today?? Absolutely.But the gifts of God are not a parlor game. He does not grant the gifts just so we can play with them. They are for a purpose, and tongues are primarily missionary in purpose,and they are never once cited as anything other than human language.

    Therefore,unless it is a human language as Scripture dictates, and unless the need of the moment necessitates the gift’s use, we would not see it in operation just for the sake of showing it off.

    There are genuine tongues.There are genuine believers with the gift. The GIVING of that gift is by the will of God,NOT man, and He does NOT give it to everyone who confesses Christ. The USE of the gift is at the behest of GOD as well, not the will of man. I don’t “decide” to speak in tongues today at 3PM any more than I can “decide” to prophesy today at 3PM, or can “decide” I’m going to be saved today.We are not sovereign……..God is.

  35. Hi Dorothy!!You wrote…….

    D-“I hold to the canon of scripture and we are equiped for ALL good works. How are tongues manifested past the apostic age?”

    GV- Dorothy, the Ante-Nicene Fathers wrote more about prophecy in their midst than tongues, but it is mentioned a bit by Irenaeus,Hippolytus,Hegemonius,Gregory, Ambrosiaster, Chrysostom and others. Again,these writings are a slice of life in the Post Apostolic Age, and they reported tongues (as HUMAN language, not babbling) in their midst.

    D-“Let me tell you about an experience of mine. I was recruited to an effort to defeat a God mocking doctrine. I was not that well versed in all the arguments against it and that concerned me. What I discovered was that I was dispensing with upwards of 200 e-mails a day in the period of about 3 hours an evening. I did this for about 6 weeks. I didn’t have to look up chapter and verse, it was just there and with others watching over the work to prevent error, I never made one. I have never experienced that since. So I contend that God does place His words in our mouth, just not in the manner it’s used by many today. What I can say about my experience, was the work was NOT mine. I didn’t have that level of knowledge.

    2Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    GV- Here is where your argument breaks down, though you use it as a support. That was clearly a gift of God. It survived the Apostolic Age. But just as with tongues and prophecy, it is neither at your beck and call, nor is it used as a parlor trick. When the circumstances made the gift a necessity, God willed it to manifest.

    I know we all seek to be thoroughly Biblical in our theology, and that is great. But I cannot lay my finger on the verse that states that tongues is the exception to the rule and it was eliminated with the Apostles. I can find no support for the position that the Gifts passed away, and I don’t want to go beyond what is written.

    D- “To me the doctrine of tongues implies that we are NOT thoroughly equiped and need further enlightenment. I do have a problem with that. It leads to all sorts of introduction of error. ”

    GV-The problem then lies in perception, and the misapplication of the gifts, and the promulgation of fraudulent “gifts”.

    However, that does not constitute license to go beyond what is written on the subject. If I’m going to believe they passed away,I’m going to require Biblical license to do so.

    The Gifts clearly outlived the Apostles, but where the perception gets skewed is in the fact that 99% of what are called the “Gifts”today are not the Gifts as the Scripture or church history describe them.

    So,of course, by nature this is an abuse, a fraud, and a scandal to the church. But the explosion of the false does not constitute a negation of the true. Being in a room filled with counterfeit money does not mean that real money ceased to exist.

    Your point about tongues implying that we are incomplete only holds if tongues are available to EVERYONE, and that they are therefore evidence of a HIGHER spiritual development as Charismania teaches. Neither of those propositions are true. The promoters of these doctrines are in fact promoters of two-tiered Christianity, a faith of “Haves” and “Have Nots” . This is a lie, and a doctrine of devils. THAT is what you are reacting against, and you are absolutely right.

    Since tongues is NOT promised to everyone, and it is NOT an evidence of spiritual maturity, or hunger, or extra power, there is no support for the Charismatic/Pentecostal assertion that those WITH the gift are on a higher spiritual plane any more than those with the gift of Helps are on a higher spiritual plane.

    All the Gifts are given as God wills by Grace, not as a result of anything WE do……and certainly not as a result of our deservedness, or spirituality, or purity, or hunger. And they operate at HIS discretion,not whenever we decide to exercise them,and they are NEVER described in the Bible or in history as incomprehensible babbling, but human language.

    The abuse of the Gifts,and the counterfeiting of the Gifts, does not mean there are no genuine Gifts that God can use as He wills. We have no Biblical warrant to say as much. It means we have a multitude of folks in the church who capitulated to the power of suggestion, peer pressure, emotionalism, and a misapplication of Scripture.

  36. For purposes of clarification, I am not a cessationist. As a rule I hate these tags, as it is easy to brush lots of things under.

    Having said that, on the issue of there being to clear Bible statement that states that certain gifts are passed, I table before us all the fact that there is no Bible passage that states that apostleship is ceased either (or is there?). Yet by the very requirements that Scripture set forth for qualification for apostleship i.e. either having been with Jesus physically or having seen Him, as in Paul’s case), there is no doubt that there are no apostles (at least in that sense today).

    Of course, we can argue that missionaries (in the sense that they are “sent ones”) are apostles. But we know that they are waaaaay different from the office the apostles held.

    Accounts in Acts (the only accounts we have of the use of tongues) show clearly that tongues were used as a sign by God to the unsaved Jews that God was moving on with His plan and to confirm the Gospel as available to the Gentiles. Then Paul in addressing the Corinthians (the only instructions we have on tongues) clearly states that tongues are a sign to unbelievers. In what sense? In the sense that Acts presents it of course – that being the only information available to us.

    I submit that tongues are a sign gift and are done away with.

    Can I ask, “If I were to speak in tongues (even in a real earthly language that none of us present understands), how would anyone be able to determine that I was speaking by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?

    1. you have no idea of what I am saying
    2. I have no idea of what I am saying
    3. how do you “test” this spirit?
    4. if someone were to claim to have an interpretation and give it, how would you know for sure that he spoke by the Holy Spirit and that the interpretation is correct?

    Its the same question I ask people who claim to have heard from God, or who bring extra-Biblical revelation. No-one has been able to show me from Scripture how to tell that a voice they heard or a “thus saith the Lord” outside of Scripture actually came from the Lord.

    In Scripture, when people spoke in tongues, there were others around who heard and understood what was said.

    If we cannot prove a thing from Scripture, we have no business with it. It wasn’t intended for our time.

  37. Brother Lionel~ Thanks for your kindness. Hope you and the fam are doing well. You raised an interesting point. One that I agree is a Biblical difficulty in many circles. To me, understanding it is the quintessential point of understanding the baptism of the Holy Ghost or what many would call the “second Blessing” and the whole togues issue…That is…When was NT (New Testament)Salvation given? IF NT salvation WAS NOT given until the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1), then what many say against pentecostalism and tongues could possibly be correct. There would be nothing as what has been termed to be a “Second Blessing” It would all be a primary blessing of salvation…

    If however, NT salvation was given at an earlier point…death, resurrection or ascension of Jesus, then every passage in which we see the Holy Ghost outpouring in the NT was what what everyone considers to be a “Second Blessing”…

    My reasoning for this is as follows:

    John 19:19- Jesus said, “it is finished” meaning that the law, shadows and shades, and everything that was under the OT was completed for righteousness. Prior, Jesus said that his mission was to complete the work of the Father (John 4:34)…To save lost souls providing abundant life(Mt. 18:11, Lk. 19:10, Jn. 10:10) Christ was the end of the law for righteousness (Rom. 10:4) According to scripture we were reconciled to God by Jesus death (Rom. 5:10, 2Cor. 5:18, Col. 1:21-22)…The thief on the cross was the first to enter through Jesus by exercising faith in Jesus while he lived(Luke 23:42-43) Jesus died before the thief to make this possible. Some say that “paradise” in this passage was a different place than heaven but that’s another can of worms for those who believe that…Anyway, the Veil was rent (Mt. 27:51, Mk. 15:38, Lk 23:45) that veil represented the partition of seperation between God and man…It was destroyed immediately upon the death of Jesus. The Centurion and them with him were illuminated (Matt. 27:54, Mk. 15:39, Lk. 23:47) but not necessarily saved.

    The bible clearly teaches that SALVATION was given through the shed blood of Jesus ON the Cross (Rom. 3:25) …NOT after the Cross or at the day of pentecost upon them that were already believers…Those 120 folk that followed were already believers…They were already saved.

    They were believers by faith through grace (Rom. 3:25, Ephes.2 5-8) they were obedient and
    they were steadfast in their obedience to Christ.

    Acts 2:4 was a continuation of the blessing of SALVATION given on the Cross…It (Law) was “finished” right away, immediately, without delay. It (Salvation) was give immediately through the shed. There was no waiting period.

    Many of you call the event a “Second Blessing” I hold however that there is no terminology to accurately describe the events contained within Acts, except that repeated witness of scripture affirm that men came FIRST to saving faith in Christ BEFORE they received the baptismal expression of the Holy Ghost…

    Proofs:
    John 14:17- Unsaved folk “cannot receive” the Holy Ghost.

    Acts 8:14-17~ Philip preached, men believed and were saved but NOT filled until Peter and John came to town and laid hands on them…

    Acts 9:6~ Jesus meets Paul, Paul becomes obedient by faith, acknowledges Jesus as Lord, but LATER receives his sight and the Holy Ghost at the hands of Ananias Acts 9:17…

    Cornelius was a devout and God fearing man BEFORE he met Peter Acts 10:2-4, because he had heard the Gospel message and believed it. Peter acknowledged what Cornelius had already knew and believed (Acts 10:37) indicating that Cornelius already knew and obeyed the word of truth. By reason, he was saved but NOT filled with the Spirit until Peter preached, but before he (Peter) could finish his message the believers were filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:42-44) just like it happened in Acts 2:4…(Acts 11:15-16)

    Further, in Acts 19:5 Paul dealt with men who had a misplaced belief but were ready to receive truth. He preached to them, they believed and were identified through the act of baptism, THEN hands were laid on them and they received the Holy Ghost.

    Without a proper understanding of salvation and when it occurred, one cannot see a need or purpose for the baptismal experience. The reformers minimized this claiming that they were doing society a good deed, by trying to eliminate spiritism and mysticism. ie: threw the baby out with the bat-water.

    The scriptural understanding of the Holy Ghost is spiritual and a concept like the trinity that must be apprehended…The word cannot be picked over. Too many traditionalists have downplayed the whole Biblical teaching and they are the cause of the confusion, not the Bible or them who practice the Bible.

    To also speak in agreement with Gary V on his point, was the Rod of Moses less powerful because Jambres and Jannes laid forth sticks that became real serpents also?(Ex. 7:11, 2 Tim. 3:8)The point is not that there are false gifts and some misued applications and unscriptural interpretations. Those things will always exist. God still does what he said he would do and that is pour out of HIS Spirit upon all flesh (Joel 2:38) and gave gifts unto men (Ep. 4:8)

    Finally, Emissary/ Easy G (G²)- concerning your 1?15-5:08 post…Thank God for that…I’ve taught it like that for over 20 years because that’s the correct context of I Cor. 14…I know it’s new to some but God is a revealer of truth. That was great!

    Sorry Philly to take up so much space and get off topic. I appreciate your kindness. Blessed!

    Phil: Don’t be sorry. This is why I asked you to participate. Take all the time and space you need!

  38. Cop you said:

    Ive witnessed friends and family speak in tongues in church and then return to thier LIVE IN GIRL FRIEND, BOOTLEG MOVIE BUSINESS, or what ever their sinful life they were living before.

    Iam NOT saying that everyone that speaks in tongues is fakin it, and cant have the Holy Spirit working in there life.

    But I will say that if someone is truly speaking in tongues, that they were already living a life close to God and TRYING to live it Holy at all times.

    hope that clears it up for you.

    I think the two are mutually exclusive. I also don’t think that what you are saying provides a legitmate argument for or against the gift. I know people who don’t speak in tongues who go to church faithfully on Sunday and live wicked lives for the rest of the week. I also have seen people who were great bible expositors, held to a cessionist view, could read Greek backwards and forwards but have been involved in online pornography for years.

    If you want to argue agains tongues that is perfectly fine, but don’t build up a strawman just to crush him later. The isssue at hand is does tongues exist today as it did in the era of the Apostles? Is the stuff we see today the same as those gifts? Does God make a designation for sign gifts versus other gifts? Is there a such thing as a prayer language?

    Those are questions and arguements that I think are engaging but to use someone who mimics the gift and live wicked lifestyles to negate the gift doesn’t seem to be beneficial or add in insight to the discussion.

  39. Gary V,

    I apologize for my posts seeming to be unrelated or not clear and concise. I’ve been working long hours for several months now and I’m mentally exhausted, but finally the season is ending.

    I do have a response forthcoming. It just may take me until the weekend to finish it. I’m trying to cover a broad topic in a short manner and it isn’t short. 🙂

    I will bring this forward from your post:

    (quote)
    and they reported tongues (as HUMAN language, not babbling) in their midst.

    Your point about tongues implying that we are incomplete only holds if tongues are available to EVERYONE,(end)

    Human language is human language and available to everyone. I do hold that the root text of 1Cor 14 begins in 1Cor 12:3-13. That should go a long way to bringing some of my statements into clarity.

    I do use that platform to reconcile 1Cor 14.

    Dorothy

  40. Thanks again Pastor Burnett,

    I guess it all hinges on your point of view on the scriptures you provided. What is funny is that I see the exact opposite as it relates to those verses, but we can go back and forth all day. However, I do see room for what you are saying. Great discussion and good clear points on both sides of the coin. Now you know I ain’t going to agree, but I have learned that much more. Thanks again Phill for the great discussion.

  41. lionelwoods7

    I may have gotten more into the PEOPLE WHO speak in tongues, instead of the questions Phil asked orignally. (I tried to answer thoses. mine is the 3rd post down). I was using what I have witnessed over the years when people have spoke in tongues.

    But I completely agree with your statement

    “Those are questions and arguements that I think are engaging but to use someone who mimics the gift and live wicked lifestyles to negate the gift doesn’t seem to be beneficial or add in insight to the discussion.”

    Your making me work hard lionelwoods7

    But as the good book says, “IRON SHARPENS IRON”

  42. Thanks GaryV for the encouragement. It is much appreciated.

    I see my comments were a bit muddy.
    I was attempting to say that:

    The criteria for the validity of tongues in the church was that they were to be a ‘sign to unbelievers’. My point was that there ARE indeed unbelievers in the church today. Many of them. Thus, their presence validates the tongues.

    (2) There are other areas of abuse in the church
    –sex and sexuality
    –money
    –application of scripture
    –leadership structure
    to name a few.

    We are dont call for a moratorium (sp) on these, but we seek reform using a balanced approach of the Word of God.
    I am asking the same be applied to the tongues.

    I hope that was a little clearer 🙂

    And a question to all: what are unknown tongues, if known tongues are other languages?

  43. Has anyone heard that people should pray in tongues so the devil wont know what your praying?

    I heard this a lot when I was newly saved. What scripture (if any) was twisted to come up with this?

    Phil: I’ve heard that one also. Never heard a reference for it and can’t find one either.

  44. Hi Dorothy………not certain of your point point there. Of course human language is available to everyone. The gift of being able to speak in a human language you do not KNOW as God wills it is not available to everyone.

    Dorothy, if you don’t mind my saying, you’ve missed the entire point. I NEVER said that we are not COMPLETE as New Testament Christians if we don’t speak in tongues. Where you derived that from my comments is a mystery to me, so your insistence on bringing it up multiple times in response leaves me somewhat baffled.

    I have repeatedly said that this gift is NOT for every Christian, so HOW could a Christian be incomplete without it??

    What you are doing is skirting the actual issue.You want us to arrive at a consensus regarding tongues and the other gifts ceasing, yet you cannot provide citations from either Scripture or history to validate that stance. That is the bottom line.

    The burden is on the cessationist to validate their position from Scripture. It is your burden to prove from Scripture that the Gifts ceased, and that God cannot or will not ever use them. Unless your response contains such Scriptural evidence, there is no point in going further with this line of reasoning since you are asking us to go beyond Scripture to accept your position.

    I have stated several times that the conditions in the modern Western world make the manifestation of the first century Gifts unnecessary, since the Gifts were given for specific purposes (none of which are currently in play at this time or place).

    However, I refuse to go beyond God’s inspired revelation, or rely upon some extra-Biblical gnosis to make the blanket statement that the Gifts have passed away.

    Apostolic office as defined by the 12?? Finished, and there is Scriptural evidence to support this. Prophetic office?? Finished, and there is Biblical evidence to support this (but though the OFFICE has ceased the GIFT of simple prophecy is never recorded as ending).

    I can support these stances from the Bible.Beyond that I will not go.

  45. BTW,I disagree entirely with the “Second Blessing” stance of some of our brothers here. It is unsafe to make doctrine exclusively from narrative accounts about individuals. The Bible records SOME instances where the Holy Spirit was manifested after salvation,yes. But since every instance of every salvation experience is not recorded, it is unwise to assume these are universally representative of EVERY Salvation experience in the Bible and then into our day.

    This is the problem with exclusive dependence upon narrative accounts in formulating doctrine. Narratives are simply that………individual stories narrated in the Text. We know therefore how it happened with THESE individuals. To extend that universally, you must be able to support it in the didactic portions of Scripture.

    In other words, it is simply bad hermeneutics to take individual stories of individual circumstances in individual lives and apply them universally to everyone. If this were valid, we should begin teaching that holding back money we pledged to God would result in a replication of the Ananias and Sapphira situation, or that we should begin throwing dead bodies on the bones of prophets to bring the dead back to life, or that making fun of bald prophets means a bear is going to eat you.

    Narrative accounts in isolation are insufficient to provide doctrine, simply because they by nature are not representative but individual accounts.

    Now, to be clear, if what we glean from a narrative account in the way of doctrine can be supported didactically, then it is valid since the didactic portions of Scripture ARE universally applicable.

    They therefore, in my opinion, must be supported in the didactic portions of Scripture, and the “Second Blessing” doctrine is, to the best of my recollection (I could be wrong here and am open to correction) never broached at all in the didactic portions of Scripture where we get all the REST of our doctrine.

    Also, (and this is without checking because I cannot at the moment) aren’t the instances where the laying on of hands to receive the Second Blessing (so-called) done by the hands of the Apostles?? An Office that is now closed?? How can we take the ministry and power of what occurred by the hands of a closed office and imagine it should be normative now when the Office and men in which that power was invested no longer exist??

    I cannot bring to mind a single instance where anyone EXCEPT an Apostle laid hands on anyone and had such a manifestation……..I ask my brothers and sisters to correct me if I have forgotten an instance where someone NOT in the Apostolic Office laid hands on someone to receive the Holy Spirit and had a manifestation such as we are discussing occur.

    If there is no such instance, then to expect the same results based upon simple narrative, without didactic support by these same Apostles (who provided doctrine didactically on every OTHER point of doctrine), with the Apostolic Office closed today, is precisely the sort of reasoning that fills our television screens with such nonsense as anointed prayer cloths.

  46. If I may share some more things,

    In one of the discussions I was following, one of the individuals brought up some very interesting points that I’d never considered before.

    The gift in tongues is used to cause division when either side minimizes the spirituality of the other. The one certain conclusion from the Scripture is that it indicates nothing as to the salvation or as to the spirituality of the practitioner.

    Paul clearly stated that many practitioners were out of God’s will because they were out of control. We may disagree on the exact nature of the Biblical practice, whether the practice in Acts differed from the practice in corinth, and even whether God intended the gift to be continually practiced, but the one thing that we ought to agree about is that it has nothing to do with salvation or christian maturity.

    Paul affirmed in 1 Corinthians both that immature Christians practiced the gift in some manner and additionally that not all Christians had the gift.

    As a testimony of this, consider this real story of what happened to Brother Eddie. In his words,

    “Why is it that only believers who attend a Pentecotal church end up with the Gift of speaking of Tongues or sign of Tongues?”

    “why cant other believers who are already saved by faith, and the Holy Spirit has been given to them, do so at other churches?”

    “if Signs are given from God at his own will, does that mean God has only chosen the Pentecotals to have this Gift?”

    “To explore these Questions, i did a little experiment. i actually Joined a Pentecotal church in good Faith. I loved it. The service is great, people were welcoming and very warm, the pastors spoke deeply and warmly about every aspect of our Faith…

    “as i have become well known into that church, we encountered a problem. I was diagnosed with not having been Baptized with the Holy Spirit, thus no ability to speak in Tongues. The church pastors assured me that i was saved, but they wanted me to be baptized by the holy Spirit to edify their church.”

    “I agreed, and nicely asked how to go about it. They told me that only God can give it to you. Seek it yourself, pray and the Lord will fill you with the Spirit. I did, and did so from all my heart. they left me Alone for 4 months, and during that Period, i can see God working inside me. I began to preach to people, attend church more often, understand scripture a lot better, get involved working with the youth and on various online forums and so on…”

    “After 4 months, the Church confronted me and asked me where i was, and i honestly told them that i had been baptised by the Holy Spirit becuase i can see and feel the so many Spiritual Gifts that God has given me that i certainly did not have prior.”

    “However, i did tell them that NO i still do not speak in tongues and the only explanation i can come up with is that it was not GOD’s purpose nor plan for me to have it.”

    “They were Furious and insisted that i must seek the right Spirit, to the point that i became like a stumbling Block to them becuase they were very uncomfortable having a member of their church who opposed or did not have the gift of tongues. I removed myself from that church to their relief , but i had learned so much from it and it is so evident today that many churches Glorify themseleves and not GOD. they are willing to twist, change and abuse scripture just so that their church can be given the status of the one and only True Church of Christ.”

    Needless to say, his words were something I thought gives both charismatics and non-charismatics much to think about – it challenges all of us.

  47. If anyone’s interested, I highly suggest for people to investigate this:

    [audio src="http://www.christchurchnet.org/database/files/1189519926090907PGmono.mp3" /]

    Also, if may say, here are some things which I discovered on the issue of tongues. Here’s an excerpt from one of the individuals whom I’ve been following on the subject (though I wish to note that I do not necessarily agree on EVERYTHING HE’S SAID….it was simply something I found to be of interest):

    Public Gift of Tongues

    Spoken with interpretation to the church (Equal to prophecy-1 Corinthians 14:5)

    To be interpreted (1 Corinthians 14:5)
    Edifies the church (when interpreted-1 Corinthians 14:4-5)

    A sign to unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:22)

    Not given to all believers (1 Cor. 12:30)

    Personal Prayer tongue

    Spoken privately to God (1 Corinthians 14:2)

    No interpretation necessary (1 Corinthians 14:28)

    Edifies the individual believer (1 Corinthians 14:4)

    Can be manifested when no unbelievers are present (Acts 10:46; 19:6)

    Should be desired and practiced by all Christians (Mark 16:17; 1 Corinthians 14:5; Ephesians 6:18; Jude 20 ).

    In my understanding, You cannot mix them up-the Bible doesn’t-and when you do-you make the Bible contradict itself for one thing and for another you are not rightly dividing the Word.

    “I believe that the gift of tongues IS NOT merely speaking in tongues as prayer or evidence of the Holy Sprit baptism-there are at least 2 different purposes/uses for tongues….”

    “We know that the apostles did not call these manifestations of tongues, `tongues #1′ and `tongues #2′ but they DID teach about the difference between the two manifestations and when teaching about this difference in this lesson we will clarify which manifestation of tongues we are talking about by using the terms `tongues #1′ and `tongues #2′.”

    TONGUES # ONE:

    For clarity, we will call the first manifestation of tongues that accompanies the baptism of the Spirit ‘tongues #1’.

    JESUS’ COMMAND:

    Acts 1:4,5, “And being assembled together with them (Jesus) commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which said He, you have heard of Me.”

    “For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be BAPTIZED with the Holy Ghost not many days from now.”

    We read in Acts 1:13 that the disciples obeyed the command of Jesus not to leave Jerusalem until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. “And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.� We read in verse 15 that approximately 120 disciples were present in the upper room awaiting this event.

    When the day of Pentecost was fully come these 120 disciples were all in one place, “And they were ALL filled with the Holy Ghost, and (they ALL) began to speak with other TONGUES as the Spirit gave them utterance,” Acts 2:1-4.”

    All 120 disciples spoke in tongues. All shared the same experience. There were no unbelievers present in the upper room, they were not preaching the gospel in tongues. This experience of tongues is manifested as the prayer language that accompanies the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the edification and refreshing of the saints.”

    In Acts 2:6 the scenes change. The disciples are no longer in the upper room, they are in the streets of Jerusalem. Those preaching in the language of the people are manifesting the gift of tongues, not the prayer language of tongues.”

    “When the apostles spoke of ‘tongues’ as it applied to the experience of Acts 2:4 (baptism of the Holy Spirit) they were referring to the tongues of angels which is our prayer language (I Cor.13:1).”

    ‘Speaking’ and ‘praying’ in tongues is the same thing. There is no difference.

    I Cor.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.�

    I Cor.14:4, “…He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself;â€?

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

    Peter called the baptism of the Holy Spirit `the gift of the Holy Ghost’ in Acts 2:38. Because believers see the word ‘gift’ they confuse the tongues that comes with the baptism with the gift of tongues that is discussed by the apostle Paul in I Cor.12:10. The gift of tongues is an entirely different function, and is given as the Spirit wills. We will review the gift of tongues later.”

    SPEAKING MYSTERIES TO GOD:

    I Cor.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.�

    When praying in tongues (tongues #1) no man understands what is being said because no man is supposed to understand. The purpose of this manifestation of tongues is not rendered towards man, but towards God. The believer is speaking in an unknown tongue, praying mysteries to God.”

    “These mysteries have to do with the recovery of the soul from the condition of iniquity, the healing of the soul from the effects of sin, and the release of the soul from its power.”

    This is what we read in Rom.8:26-29, “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray as we ought; but the Spirit itself MAKES INTERCESSION FOR US with groanings which cannot be uttered.””

    “And He that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God”

    “And we know that all things (that the Spirit is interceding for) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

    “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son…”

    The Spirit makes intercession to God concerning the infirmities of the soul. This is why God gave the gift of the baptism of the Spirit, and this is why we pray in tongues, this is how our soul is brought into God’s care, through this contact.

    The infirmities is the weakened condition of the soul on account of the fall of Adam. Once conversion takes place God grants not only forgiveness of sins, but our freedom from the power of sin as well, and we experience daily healing from the damage sin caused to the inner man.”

    EDIFICATION THROUGH TONGUES:

    The prayer language of tongues provides edification.

    I Cor.14:4, “…He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself;â€?

    This `edification of self’ is the same `building up of oneself’ through praying in the Holy Ghost that Jude spoke of (Jude 20). The grace of God is manifested through this activity to bring the soul and spirit under the persuasion of the Spirit. Therefore ‘self edification’ is not ‘selfish’, but prudent.

    EDIFICATION: The humbling of the will under the influence of the grace of God. When grace draws faith from the heart it enlarges the heart to allow an increase of fruit for God. This is what takes place when we pray in tongues.

    God designed a specific spiritual edification to take place when we pray in tongues. Some Christians say, “I get my edification from reading the bible or devotional books, or from singing praises to God.”

    We must know that nothing can replace the edification of praying in tongues because of the specific design of this edification. It goes beyond the `make me feel good’ mentality. The Spirit of God initiates a path for our spiritual healing when we pray in tongues so that He can personally author the healing of the inner man, replacing the fruits of iniquity with the fruit of the Spirit.

    Praying in tongues is part of the YOKE of the New Covenant. Jesus said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Mt.11:30).

    YOKE —- The course you must take to know Him.

    Now when we say that we BELIEVE in God this must mean that we are willing to take on this YOKE. The unbeliever does not take on the yoke of the covenant.

    When we were in the world, we made provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof. Now that we are in Christ, we make provision for the spirit to take on the yoke of the covenant daily. This is why we pray in tongues.

    TONGUES #TWO:

    For clarity, we will call the manifestation of tongues that is identified as one of the nine gifts of the Spirit `tongues #2′. The nine gifts of the Spirit are listed in I Corinthians chapter 12. Each gift is a supernatural manifestation of God. Tongues and interpretation of tongues are 2 of the nine gifts.

    While all Christian will be used of God in the gifts, these are manifested as the Spirit wills. They are used by God for the edification of the Body. This is why the apostle Paul taught, “Even so you, forasmuch as you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that you may excel to the edifying of the Church,” I Cor.14;12.

    Because the gifts of the Spirit are manifested as the Spirit wills, the apostle Paul taught, “Do all speak in tongues? do all interpret?” I Cor.12:30. This is in reference to the gifts of the Spirit (tongues #2), not the baptism of the Holy Spirit (tongues #1). No, all do not have the gift of tongues or the gift of interpretation. The Spirit of God moves through some with a word of knowledge, through some with a word of wisdom, through some with tongues and interpretation.”

    “We see also that the manifestation of tongues # 2 is NOT rendered towards God, but is an utterance from God rendered towards man, and that is why tongues as a gift of the Spirit needs the gift of interpretation.”

    Praying in tongues is for the edification of the believer and is done privately, the Spirit is making intercession for the believer towards God, the believer is speaking mysteries to God in prayer.”

    “The tongues that needs interpretation is done publicly in the assembly of believers for the edification of all present and that’s why that manifestation of tongues needs the gift of interpretation.”

    “This is why the apostle Paul taught, “Wherefore let him that speaks in an unknown tongue (in the assembly) pray that he may interpret,” I Cor.14:13. And also, “But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God,â€? I Cor.14:28.”

    “WHY did the apostle Paul also teach, “I would that you ALL spoke in tongues.?” I Cor.14:5. This is in reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit (tongues #1) where he wishes all would make intercession in the Spirit in tongues.”

    “Without the knowledge of the two different manifestations of tongues we would see these two scriptures as contradictions and use I Cor.14:13 to give unauthorized permission to abstain from the sign of tongues as a witness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Tares have sown a false gospel about tongues which has DISENFRANCHISED the believer from the covenant right and responsibility to allow the Holy Spirit intercession for their infirmities.”

  48. Again, to clarify, THIS WAS NOT ME who wrote the above post. It was an excerpt from one of the individuals I’d been following and I wanted to share that with the rest of you to see what your thoughts may be.

  49. Whoah!!! A lot of great comments- so adding my 2 cents won’t hurt any (at least I don’t think it will lol). I hold to a classical cessasionist view, but do I believe that tongues can be used by God today? Of course. Do I believe tongues are being used (correctly) today (especially in the US)? Heck no. Why? Because I do not think they (mainly pentecostal churches) flow with scripture. One of the thoughts that caused me to truly think about the errors within pentecostalism dealt with tongues. How many pentecostal (to include non-denoms and bapti-costal) type churches out there teach that tongues are for EVERY believer? Most and IMHO, all the ones I have been to (and I have moved around so much in the past 16 years) teach that it is a must and frown on those who do not. My main thought was that throughout the past two thousand years since the formation of the church not many people spoke in tongues (until it began to come into its own in the 19th century and then Azusa). So did that mean that those who had claimed Christ and died in His name as martyrs were not saved because they did not speak in tongues? God forbid! Did they operate in a weak state? I don’t think so, as martyrs they did what they were called to do by God. Now I know that most of you all will agree that tongues do not explicitly mean someone is saved, but it is taught (on purpose or not) in most circles.

    As for the churches in the West today, tongues really don’t hold value simply becuase we can all speak English (broken at least). Shoot, I have been to Spanish churches where they spoke in tongues and I didn’t understand them in either language (and I’m half Puerto Rican)! Simply put, what we need is prophecy- not in the fortune telling sense- but in the manner that Paul spoke of- reproof, rebuke, doctrine, preaching, etc. 1 Cor 14:5 “Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.” All we see are people speaking in tongues and no one being edified. Now how can it be edifying if it doesn’t come from scripture? No one can argue that tongues are NOT for edifying (that is their purpose- to build up non-believers through conviction of the Gospel see 1 Cor 14:23-25). But unless there is an interpretation that is according to scripture and sound doctrine- it is whole-heartedly useless because even the speaker does not understand. 1 Cor 14:14 “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.” And in all of our getting what should we be getting- understanding.

    Now, as far as foeign countries go. I have had one COGIC elder tell me that when he was stationed in Korea (go USAF), he was at a Korean church where tongues were being spoken and one or the other group understood it during a prayer. But that was only one time that that had happened. During the Azusa revivals in 1907 a man y the name of AG Garr came and spoke in tongues. He later said an Indian man came to him and said that he had clearly spoken in his language. So Garr decided to become a missionary to India because he knew that he had the gift to speak in tongues to them. When he got there, he began speaking in tongues and not one Indian knew what he was saying (offically there are 18 languages and up to 114 in varying areas- he could have at least hit one). But his failure at speaking in tongues did not stop his use of it. He later went and began to write on the use of tongues as personal edification (but as Paul states, “how can one understand unless he interprets?”)

    In fact, if you look at the 19th century, many have dubbed it “The Greatest Century of Missions.” Why, because there was a movement of missionaries going to foreign lands to preach the gospel (and most knew that they would probably die there). None of these people spoke in tongues-but if they had it would have truly helped. But what was sure, they knew the gospel and they lived it. Tongues weren’t necessary. God moved without them. Now, could he still use it if He so pleased- without a shadow of a doubt! I do believe though, that tongues if they are used are severely limited by God himself. And churches making folk speak in tongues isn’t biblically accurate. Do I believe there are brothers out there who speak in tongues (biblically)? In the world, yes. In the states, I would doubt it. If someone came up and said that tongues was a gift God had given to them, I would ask them to refrain unless they had an interpretation according to scripture- and the “Scripture” is my only measuring point. That’s my 2 cent Philly, thanks for the encouraging words:)

  50. Hi Guys,

    Great posts! Most importantly, the conversation is Godly and I appreciate this. This is certainly a topic that can be debated endlessly but I believe it is a necessary topic to be discussed. I have received emails thanking ALL of you for your efforts here!

    GCM: I have every intention of discussing the topics that you have stated. There is abuse EVERYWHERE and I want to use this platform to discuss these issues. We all agree that we must stand for the truth in ALL areas. I just wanted to begin with tongues. An unknown tongue is one the speaker had never learned before. At least that’s my take on what it means.

    Phil Perkins: I’ve been around quite a few missionaries from the west during my time here in Greece. I ask them if they have ever experienced speaking or witnessing to others in a tongue they have never learned and to the person the answer was no and several of them were Pentecostals who claimed to speak or pray in tongues. In fact, many of these missionaries had actually taken classes in an attempt to learn the language of the country they were going to. Why all this if they had the Gift or even believed that the Gift existed. That boggles my mind.

    You’ve all made great arguments for and against but the one thing I can’t get past is the fact that the early writers rarely spoke about tongues. I know it’s not Scripture, but as GaryV stated these writings give us some idea what was going on in the early days of the church. Can I rule out God giving this gift to someone in order to witness? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I hold that God is Sovereign and does WHATEVER He so chooses HOWEVER He so chooses.

    It looks like we are headed into the area of Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This will also be an interesting subject but I would like to do this on another thread with a link to this discussion for new readers to have a reference what we’re talking about. Should I do this or should we just discuss it on this thread?

    Lastly, I feel blessed and very happy to have you all here. Thank you for helping me search for the truth and although this thread is far from finished, I look forward to EACH of your participation in various other threads in the future!

    God Bless You All,

    Phil Naessens (phillyflash)

  51. Do it Phil, Superintedent Burnett, in the words of a famous preacher “get ready, get ready, get ready”! We are not going to hold any punches on this side, some come with your best stuff. LOL! Let me know when it is up brother Phil. Tyris, Gary V, GCM, Dorothy, Cop, Perkins and Yomi, this has been awesome. Not to mention Gabriel! I think this next one will help shed light on the first one.

    Thanks again Phil and thanks to everyone who didn’t sling mud on a sensitive and important issue within the body. But one that we can still divide on and be brothers.

  52. Thanks to PhilN. and GCMWatch. I appreciate Phi;’s clarification on missionaries he has encountered. And I admire the stand SCMWatch has made.

    In Dhrist,
    Phil Perkins.

  53. To all,

    Please pardon my delay in response and the length. I was held up from putting my position on paper until this morning. I was originally going to address 1Cor 14, but considering the proposition that tongues today has not ceased, I decided to take another avenue.

    As I stated, and Yomi affirmed, tongues were a sign for Jewish unbelievers – although Yomi and I disagree in the area that it’s still effect today. So, what was the purpose of tongues in the first century and has that been fulfilled?

    The Jews considered Hebrew to be the language that God spoke. Aramaic, in the OT, was the language of the Gentiles. Ezra and Daniel both used Hebrew and Aramaic in their texts. The Aramaic dealt with prophecy against Gentile nations or decrees made by Gentile rulers. By the 1st century, Aramaic was considered the language of the common man.

    When the apostles stood up in Acts 2 and spoke, I contend they spoke in native language and it wasn’t Hebrew. Jerusalem was a center of commerce and during Pentecost, one of the three commanded feasts, Jews gathered from all over and not all of them spoke Hebrew as their native language. We still see that today here in the states. We have Spanish speaking people who use English in public, but resort to speaking Spanish at home. So while those present on Pentecost may all have known Hebrew, native tongues were used to proclaim what Joel the prophet had told them would happen. Did they speak in languages that were not common to them personally. I can’t impose that on the texts. I do know there were 15 languages represented in Acts 2:9-11.

    Bare in mind that the Hebrews believed that God ONLY spoke to them in Hebrew and that was God’s language. So when they saw the power of speech and prophecy revealed in other languages, it was a sign to them. The apostles were sent to the Jews first and they were still 3 ½ years away from taking that message to the Gentiles. All through the NT, the unbelievers were identified as Jews.

    Going back to Moses we see he foretold the end of the nation in Deut 28 and it would be taken by a language they did not understand. That’s the reason Paul quotes Isaiah 28:11-12 in 1Cor 14. These prophecies – Joel in Acts, Moses & Isaiah – were to the Jews, not the Gentiles. They were being fulfilled.

    In 1Cor 14, we see the topic of interpretation. We see that elsewhere in the NT. Luke 24:27 uses the example of “expounded” from OT scripture. Acts 9:36 uses the Aramaic word Tabitha – interpreted into Greek – to be Dorcus. The root word of interpreted from 1Cor 14 is found John 1:38 which uses the Hebrew work Rabbi – being interpreted into Greek to mean Master. John 1:42 uses the Aramaic word Cephas which is interpreted stone in Greek. So we have a strong foundation to understand the usage of “interpreted”. Languages have barriers. Bridge is a perfect example in English. It can mean many things and it sometimes takes an interpreter to explain its proper usage.

    We know from Hebrews that the OC had not passed away at the cross. It was passing away, but not yet. Hebrews 8:13 describes is as becoming obsolete and growing old and ready to vanish away. Did that happen? Yes it did. The temple was destroyed. The Jewish economy was taken down and quite simply, there can be no Jewish economy without a temple. The Sadducees ceased to exist because their religion was based on temple worship. The Pharisees did eventually recover because they had placed their religious practices in position to eliminate the need for a temple. What we see today in Judaism is not the religion of the OT Hebrews and never will be. If anyone needs more proof that the OC still had some binding, I’m a theonomist and I can address that also.

    So my position of cessation is based on the fact that the OC has fully passed away. The “purpose” of tongues/language in the NT has been fulfilled. The curses in Deut 28 were fulfilled in the destruction of that economy. We are now fully in the Church age economy. While languages and use of language in worship remains the similar to that of the Corinthians, it’s 1st century “PURPOSE” is finished.

    Dorothy

  54. Dorthy,

    You make a very compelling argument but I would say that the Old Covenant was fully obsolete when Christ completed His work consumatted by the ascenion and the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2. Your position that 1 Corinthians 14 still has some residue of the OC can be argued against in the second letter to the Corinthians in the 3rd chapter. Paul says it is absolute before the destruction of the temple.

    I also think the temple was still standing in Hebrews 8 because there is so many references of going back to the old covenant and the sacrificial system throughout the entire letter to the Hebrews.

    However, you make some pretty compelling arguments, though I don’t agree you have opened my mind to some stuff I never really considered.

  55. What a wonderful forum. I too am filled with the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. The Acts chapter two debate is a rather old dead horse to me. There they were filled and spoke in tongues as the Spirit gave utterance. People from all over the area were is hearing range if you will and heard them glorifying God in their own language. What happened. Well 3000 people were saved – born-again. great!!! Keep reading later in the book of Acts people were still being filled with the Spirit with no record of anyone being born -again. Just getting filled speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Later Paul includes that we speak to God not to man in and with this prayer language. So then why do we care if it sounds funny. It is directed to God not man. And with that we are speaking out mysteries unto the Lord. I am fine with my prayer language and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. I am fine with those who don’t speak in other tongues too. They more than likely win more souls to Jesus than I do or give more money than I give. All I say is that such a Biblical topic should not be tossed around like who likes coke over pepsi.

  56. Hi Lionel,

    I hold that all the book of the NT were written before the destruction of the Jewish economy. I also hold that Paul wrote Hebrews, but that’s another discussion. :))

    I would say some aspects of the Old Covenant were fulfilled at the Cross but not all and Hebrews speaks of the OC as passing away – present tense and thanks for pointing out 2Cor 3:11-13 and could I add 2Cor 4:3 “it is veiled to those who are perishing”. Read the parable of the wicked vinedresser in Luke 20 – “he will come and destory those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others” and notice verse 19, the chief priests & scribes knew he had spoken against them.

    Take a look at Heb 9:8-9 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the “present” time.

    Paul recognized the temple had “some” standing in Acts 21:26 when Paul went to the temple to make the offering for those who had been purified, including himself. In Acts 20:16, Paul is rushing to return to Jerusalem for Pentecost, one of the Biblically commanded feasts for the Hebrews, of which Paul was one. He also left Ephesus to attend a feast in Acts 18:21. He defended himself against those who said he spoke against the temple in Acts 22. So I have to conclude that Paul saw the temple with “some” standing.

    Now when I speak of the Jewish economy, many don’t realize just what a significant role the temple played in Jewish life. It was their seat of government (Sanhedrin), it contained all their legal & financial agreements, their genealogies, their tools for worship, and plain and simply it was the center of their social life. Their entire economy was based on Temple life and it was housed there. It’s hard for us to comprehend the vastness of it. On the major feasts the Temple had 8000 priests in attendance. Can you imagine how big it was to use that amount of manpower?

    Until that temple was destroyed, we had two economys functioning in conflict. Jesus told his disciples that the Temple economy would be destroyed in Luke 21:6 and it was.

    Can you imagine what it was like to be a Jewish Christian during that time? They were being asked to forsake everything their life had been based upon and not look back. imho, Only by looking at their time in history can we begin to comprehend the value of tongues, healings, and miracles of all kinds poured out at that time.

    Anyway, I just wanted to cover a little on the Jewish economy because I think it has great bearing on the topic.

    With that said, I will post a little on 1Cor 14 this coming up weekend. My time is still limited to some degree, so please bare with me while I put it together.

    While it may appear that there is a huge divide on this topic, I really don’t see us in that much disagreement. I think it has more to do with where we apply the topic historically. I always like to see others positions and I do keep an open mind. I must say, I’ve learned a few things. 🙂

    Dorothy

  57. That is a unique perspective on the temple and the two convenants Dorthy. I think my perspective would be that even if the temple were standing today, the true temple had already made the physical one obselete, and destroying was the physical representation of the spiritual truth, but I have never considered your argument with Paul and the feast. VERY NICE. Thanks for the dialogue Sis. I look forward to reading what you have to say.

  58. Brother Philly,

    I was writing because I recently wrote a post on the issue of AIDS and how one could go about dealing with it practically (or even if the issue was worth dealing with at all). I really enjoyed being apart of the discussion here on your site…..and I was hoping that perhaps you’d be interested in dropping by my “lair” and sharing some of your thoughts on the issue. Fair warning, though….the post was prolific….but I really placed alot of thought into it and I was wanting feedback on it so I could be sharpened on the subject (especially seeing that as a Human Social Worker I’ll be dealing with this issue).

    Again, only if you’re interested….but I’d love to have you drop by…..

  59. Sorry for the length here. I tried to shorten it up but I wasn’t very successful.

    One of the problems I see existing in the chasm between Charismatics and non Charismatics is where we place emphasis. The Charismatics use the spiritual gifts as a “sign” of a believer while non Charismatics view “fruit of the spirit” as evidence. The gifts were to produce fruit and were a tool with a defined purpose. Tongues was to fulfill the prophecy given to the Hebrews by their prophets. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t have application today for the Church, but its 1st century purpose has been fulfilled. It is no longer a “sign” to those who it applied to because they no longer exist as an economy. We must not confuse what is “internal” versus “external”.

    In 1Cor 1:22 – Paul records the Jews request a “sign” and he affirms this statement in 1Cor 14:21 by quoting the law of the Jews – “with men of other tongues and other lips, I will speak to this people; and yet, for all that, they will not hear me”. When Jesus was walking the earth, the Jews were repeatedly requesting “signs”. In 1Cor 2:6-8 – Paul identifies those who are coming to nothing – the rulers of that age – the ones who crucified the Lord of glory.

    What was going on in Corinth was an “internal” Church problem that could cause “external” problems with its witness and it was in violation of the 9th commandment – you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor along with many other commandments – like idolatry, adultery, etc. They were very much an infant in need of nurturing.

    In 1Cor 3:1 – Paul describes the Corinthians as “carnal” and “babes in Christ”. Many were lacking in “fruit of the spirit” when in verse 3 they are recorded as having envy, strife & divisions. In 1Cor 4:18 some were “puffed up”. In 1Cor 5:1 sexual immorality was among them and in verse 11 Paul tells them to withdraw from “bothers” who are sexually immoral, covetous, idolators, revilers, drunkards, extortioners, etc.

    In 1Cor 6:5 Paul even states there is not a wise man among them – not even one.

    So Paul’s entire discourse is based on educating the Corinthians on perfection. How does scripture define perfection: Luke 1:3 – perfect understanding, Rom 12:2 prove what is good and acceptable and the Will of God, Heb 7:9 & 9:9 the law in regards to conscience, James 1:25 perfect Law of Liberty, James 3:2 does not stumble in word = the perfect man and 1John 4:8 perfect love that casts out fear as Paul affirms in 1Cor 13. It is a characteristic of a mature Church.

    What does scripture reveal about the “use of spiritual gifts” in the Church? They were to be used for the edification of the Church. 1Cor 14:26 Let all things be done for edification. James 3:8-10 clearly states that no man can tame the tongue and out of the same mouth proceeds blessing & cursing and James goes on to say that the “fruit” will reveal good conduct, something the Corinthians were lacking. As Paul attested in 1Cor 12:3 – no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. It is the confession of the mouth that confirms and attests to truth.

    In Rom 14:11-12 For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Also, Matt 12:34-35 For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.

    So how Paul approaches the Corinthian problem is very interesting.

    Proper use of tongues/language in the Church at Corinth:
    Profitable is coupled by revelation knowledge or prophesying or teaching.
    Is informed so all call say thanks with an “Amen”.
    Must use words easy to understand – a familiar sound.
    Edifies those who hear it.

    Counterfeit use of tongues/language in the Church at Corinth:
    Speaks in mysteries no one understands – therefore no witness so God should judge.
    For self edification – but unprofitable for Church edification.
    If the speaker does not know how to interpret correctly – understanding is unfruitful to them also.
    Many kinds of languages-IN THE WORLD- but foreign if no one knows the meaning.
    If not easily understand by others – then it is speaking to the air thus unprofitable.

    Imho-this shows that tongues are representing the ability to speak multiple languages. Paul is not asserting that those who speak in tongues are not believers but that those who speak in a language we don’t understand serve no purpose in edification in a local Church who doesn’t understand the language. For all we know, they could be cursing God and we don’t want to say “amen” to that. He is asserting that all should be done in order and for edification. Paul heartedly affirms that the Gospel proclamation be made in every language and that’s what we witness in Acts. Look at Paul’s statement in 1Cor 14:25 – “the secrets of the heart are revealed” and compare it to Matt 12:34-35. Scripture reports that Paul spoke Greek, Aramaic & Hebrew and taught in all three depending on his audience.

    A mature Church had to be undefiled and only give true witness. The “sign” of tongues ceased. It’s purpose fulfilled.

    Dorothy

  60. I think there is an important issue missed when speaking about the gift of Tongues spoken about in Acts in that the people there heard them speak in their own language….but some did not – they thought they were speaking gibberish and mocked them for being drunk.

    Perhaps God had granted many listening the gift of interpretation more so then He did the early Christians a gift to speak in known languages?

    I wrote a article on the value of tongues here
    http://trinitariandance.wordpress.com/category/spiritual-gifts/
    That talks about the upwards, inwards and outwards redemptive nature of the Gift and it might help give more of a theological insight into how the gift helps those who use it.

    I also have to say Phil I appreciate where you come from with a creationist belief system and the gracious way you engage with those who do not.

    Blessings craig b

  61. GIFTS HAVE CEASED

    Primarily, Paul clearly states in the epistle he wrote to the Corinthians that the spirtual gifts are meant to operate till the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. [1 Corinthians 1:7]

    However, let’s consider this verse:

    “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”

    What does the Chapter deal with? Obviously, no one would debate this….it’s speaking about Agape Love. So in the above verse Paul does say that tongues, prophecy and word of knowledge will cease. But when?

    “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears”.

    Here’s when….when perfection comes…perfection of what? LOVE. Paul is referring to a place that will be perfect in love. And I can’t think of any other place but heaven. In heaven, we won’t need the partial knowledge given to us through the charisma of word of knowledge or receive words of edification, comfort and encouragement through the gift of prophecy, because we would know all things and be in a place of perfect love.

    “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

    Paul goes onto say THEN….that is when we are in the place of perfect love….. we shall know fully as we are fully known.

    Do you know fully today? If you don’t, then you haven’t reached that place Paul is talking about.

    Sidharth

    Phil: Sidharth, thanks for the devotional. We need that around here sometimes:)

    1Corinthians 13:8-13 is not validation for the supernatural gifts like tongues to still be in existence today. You are most certainly correct that Paul was speaking about agape love and that this love will and should never cease.

    Paul isn’t using the word perfect to describe heaven Sidharth. The Greek word for perfect in this instance is “telios” and it means to mature to full age. 1Corinthians 13:11 reinforces this. Basically Paul was telling the Corinthians to stop acting like children and grow up. They were acting like children by abusing their gifts and adopting an elitest view over those who didn’t have the gifts that they had. This is where the study of hermenuetics is important. Please also remember that although the Bible was written for you it wasn’t written to you.

    Thanks for your comments Sidharth.

  62. Telios, simply means to make complete; to fulfill; to make whole or perfect. This word can be applied to what you said as “to grow and to be mature”. But thats not the only application.

    However, even if we consider what you said, there is no reference again to the gifts of the Spirit ceasing. Can you tell me if you have reached maturity in loving? Or fullness of knowledge? Paul was simply teaching these group of believers to use the spiritual gifts compelled by love. He was telling them that all these gifts would cease to operate when we reach “maturity”, according to you. But of what I believe, they will stop once Jesus comes for His Church. And we will be like Him when He comes.

    “They were acting like children by abusing their gifts and adopting an elitest view over those who didn’t have the gifts that they had.”- Phil

    I agree perfectly with you here. This is seen in many Christians today and the abuse of the gifts still is prevalent, but that doesn’t again nullify the gifts of the Spirit that is given for the common good.

    It would be like saying, money is abused and counterfeited, so it has ceased to exist.

    Sidharth

  63. “Please also remember that although the Bible was written for you it wasn’t written to you.- Phil”

    “ALL scripture ….is profitable for doctrine….” [2 Tim 3:16]

    The entire New Testament is written to us and for us. The Old Testament is ours in light of the New Covenant.

    Wherever people come up with “it’s history not applicable to us”, I ask where that’s written in Scriptures. There are of course, specific things written to the Jews in the Older Covenant and then teaching of the Old as a shadow of the New. But in all these it is clearly written and stated what has passed away. However, there is no Scripture that tells us that anything at all in the New Covenant has passed away and nothing will till Jesus comes back for His Bride.

    Sidharth

  64. Sidharth,

    Are or were you part of the Corinthian fellowship? The letter was written and addressed to them. It would be like you reading a letter addressed to someone else. It wasn’t written to you but there may be something in the letter that may be applicable for you. The Bible wasn’t written to you but the applications are for you.

    Thank you for the Koine Greek lesson. The Greek language is very exact Sidharth. Context is everything and your definition doesn’t fit the context of what’s being stated in 13:8-13.

    I’m glad you brought up money. Bank tellers don’t learn the difference between the genuine and the counterfeit by studying the counterfeit. They study the genuine article. Let’s look at the genuine article of the matter of Tongues.

    Tongues are and were actual languages. If you study Acts Chapter 2, you will see that Tongues were a Gift from God. You will also see that others understood these languages.

    Acts 2:4-12 ESV

    And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians–we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”

    Tongues were and are a sign gift. At least 16 languages were spoken by men who had never learned the languages but were understood by those that did. This is the genuine Sidharth. What was the purpose? For unbelievers to hear in their own language “the mighty works of God”. Not only did they see a sign but heard and understood it with their own ears and knew that it could only be from God.

    Today, we don’t see the genuine or at least I haven’t nor has anyone that I have ever spoken with. Does that mean that God can’t reach people through the Gift of Tongues today? Heavens no and I have never said that. God can will and does do whatever He likes but the reality, at least to my knowledge; the Gift is a very rare occurrence if it happens at all. I liken it more to a miracle and yes I do believe in miracles!

    Did the Corinthians posses the Gift of Tongues? Absolutely they did. Corinth was a harbor town with people from all nations entering and exiting on a daily basis. The Gift was necessary as were the other Sign gifts. These sign Gifts were meant to validate the Good News Sidharth and to lay the foundation of the early church, and I believe this Gift was extremely important in doing so. Do we need to re-lay the foundation that the early church fathers built? It is for this reason that I believe the sign Gifts such as Tongues and Healings are not occurring today as they were in the early days of the church.

    I know that you claim to posses the Gift of Tongues. Have you ever personally witnessed to someone in a language that you have never learnt? That is the genuine purpose of the Gift according to Scripture Sidharth. If not then why not if you indeed possess this Gift?

    Finally, I’ve enjoyed this entire discussion as well as your contributions to it. As I’ve stated before, I would not divide with the Brethren over this topic. As several others have pointed out, I too am dismayed with the abuse of a wonderful Gift that the Holy Spirit used through His willing servants to lay the foundation of the Church.

  65. Well, you haven’t answered my question….so you imply that once we become mature [Telios] , i.e. according to Paul’s language here: “when we shall see face to face and when we shall know all things even as we are known.”, then the gifts shall cease. Am I right?

    I want you to consider 1 Cor 13: 12 with 1 John 3:1

    “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

    “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

    Brother, meditate on this and tell me what the Lord shows you.

    What does it mean, “we shall see face to face?”, “What does it mean we shall fully know, even as we are known fully?”

    Let’s put it this way: you want the truth, I want the truth. So are you willing to set aside your theology, if God stands for the opposite? I am more than willing, even though I have experienced all these verses you say have passed away and these experiences is what imparted to me the reality of the Word.

    Now you told me that contextually what I said was wrong.

    So let’s move with your interpretation of “Telios”: maturity [Paul was asking the disciples to be mature].

    So when maturity comes, immaturity disappears. Alright…so Christ who operated in the 7 out of 9 gifts of the Spirit was operating in immaturity.

    Now this looks out of context to me.

    Or let’s take the common cessationist view that this was referring to the Bible being complete. And that these gifts were given to complete the Bible, and when the Bible was complete, the gifts ceased….

    However, if you analyze this Scripture again: “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Far from the Bible being complete, this is speaking about “knowing”. So this brings us back to the question….Do you know anyone who has full knowledge or knowledge of all things. This Scripture, I say again, is applicable to only such people. And I know I am not included in that “know-it-all” group.

    Moreover, if the early believers needed the Word confirmed with signs, wonders, and the gifts of the Spirit, how much more we need it in our day, where there is so much false doctrine?

    Well, brother, the purpose of Tongues isn’t to preach. In Acts 2, the 120 did not preach, they were praising God. Re-read the passage. I agree they didn’t speak gibberish, and that they spoke in 16 different dialects, but they weren’t preaching. Most of the hearers understood what was spoken, and some didn’t for they thought these men were drunk in too much wine. Peter later preached to this group however and that brought them to repentance.

    You have confused the purpose of Tongues. I have operated in it, and I know what exactly Paul is speaking about.

    Do you know that majority of the people stopped believing in the born-again experience [salvation by grace] from the 4th Century till 16th Century. Did that nullify the born-again experience?

    People stopped obeying the immersion adult water baptism even after Luther came with the truth about Salvation. Did the commandment get nullified because of man’s lack of knowledge?

    Whether you agree or not, God still CAN heal like He healed back then and all the Gifts are available to every man who will believe.

    Where in the Bible does it say that the Gifts and the Signs were given for the early Church alone? Or to estabilish the foundation of the Early Church alone? So are you saying we have strong foundation in our age?

    It would be nice if you could chat with me, Phil.
    This is very hard thing for me to keep commenting like this.

    God bless bro.

    Sidharth

  66. It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

    Let’s discard the word prophets and apostles here

  67. Sidharth,

    I think you are hooked on Cessationist. I can tell you that because of this thread, and my friends Lionel and Yomi, I stopped using the term because it no longer fit my beliefs. Have you read this thread at all? I made the following statement in post #58 in this thread;

    “You’ve all made great arguments for and against but the one thing I can’t get past is the fact that the early writers rarely spoke about tongues. I know it’s not Scripture, but as GaryV stated these writings give us some idea what was going on in the early days of the church. Can I rule out God giving this gift to someone in order to witness? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I hold that God is Sovereign and does WHATEVER He so chooses HOWEVER He so chooses.

    The early church fathers said virtually nothing about this. St. Clement wrote at least two epistles to the Church at Corinth and never mentioned Tongues. Certainly he must have known about their issues with elitism and such because he was with Paul at Philippi (Philippians 4:3). He most likely visited Corinth due to the fact that he wrote them at least twice so Tongues weren’t really an issue. I wonder why……don’t you?

    Why are you trying so hard to convince me the Gift of Tongues is still in operation today? Why do you care? Why are you singling me out? Other then commend the commenter’s on their civility in discussing this topic, I’ve said virtually nothing. I wanted to hear what my readers had to say on this issue. I have never taught on this simply because it really doesn’t matter to me one way or the other. I would never divide over it nor would I criticize anyone who practices tongues. Including you.

    Sidharth, this posting was a prelude to “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. I’m interested in this topic and in some circles it is taught that tongues are a sign of this “baptism”. You made the following comment at http://awesomepurpose.com/2008/02/03/the-gift-of-tongues/#comment-275
    that I want to discuss
    .

    “I personally do believe that everyone who receives the Spirit baptism will speak in tongues, but I do not believe they’d be able to operate in after the initial experience and that too by their will until they receive the Gift of tongues.

    The confusion arises because many people receive the gift of tongues along with the Spirit baptism.

    I spoke in tongues when I received the Spirit baptism, but I couldn’t speak in tongues for many months. Later on a lady placed her hands on me and I received the gift of tongues. Not everyone can operate in the gift of tongues. Paul asks us, “Do all speak in tongues?”. The answer is an obvious “no”.” Acts 2, Acts 10 and Acts 19 relate to the evidence of the Spirit baptism. While 1 Cor 12 and 1 Cor 14 are dealing with the Gift of tongues. They arent the same”.

    Now I see why you’re pushing the tongues issue so hard. Without it you can’t validate your experience of being “Baptized by the Holy Spirit”. I have four questions for you;

    1). Outside of the Book of Acts, where is a “baptism” of the Holy Spirit mentioned?

    2). Outside of the Book of Acts, where does it ever say that tongues are a sign of this baptism?

    3). If you remove the Book of Acts from your Bible, would we even be talking about a “Baptism of the Holy Ghost”?

    4). Do you believe your personal experience validates Scripture?

    You claim to be “operating” in the Gift of Tongues. Great! Here’s what you said at http://awesomepurpose.com/2008/02/03/the-gift-of-tongues/#comment-277;

    Sorry, Eric, you do not have a clear understanding on speaking in tongues. There are a lot of wrong assumptions you have made.
    (1) 120 were assembled in the Upper Room and they all spoke in tongues, not just the apostles. And this is what shook the city.
    (2) The 120 weren’t preaching, they were glorifying God or in other words praising God.
    Tongues do serve as an evidence in the Spirit baptism, if you will give me your e-mail ID, I can mail a clear teaching to you.
    But again, not everyone can operate in the Gift of tongues. The Gift of tongues can be used for personal devotion or public. In personal devotion, we can pray in tongue and praise God in tongues, but this shouldn’t be done loudly and in public unless you have the sister gift of interpretation.
    However, in public one can speak in tongues only when either he or someone else in the assembly has the gift of interpretation of tongue.
    I have thorough knowledge of this”.

    I guess I’m like Eric eh? You state that I don’t have a clear understanding of Tongues as well. How about telling me what this verse means Sidharth??

    Romans 8:26 ESV
    Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

    A groaning too deep for words yet you claim we can pray in tongues in public as long as it isn’t “too loudly”? I suppose Paul didn’t have a clear understanding either, eh Sidharth?

    I’m starting to believe that maybe it’s you who might not have a clear understanding Bro.

    BTW: If we toss out the office of Prophet and Apostle, like you said in the post below the lengthy one, then you’d better throw out your friend because the minute he said “Says the Lord” he assumed the office of Prophet.

  68. First of all, you haven’t answered any of my questions, even in the quoted ones.

    In response to what you asked:

    ================================================
    Without it you can’t validate your experience of being “Baptized by the Holy Spirit”.
    ————————————————

    To validate my experience? I don’t need to do that. The book of Acts already speaks about my experience. My experience confirms that what they experienced is valid today.

    Now there is this divine principle that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. When the heart is filled with the Holy Spirit, the mouth overflows with divine utterance.

    Jesus said one of the signs that would follow believers would be that they would speak in new tongues.

    And you find wherever disciples were filled in the Spirit, ALL of them spoke in tongues. This is in line with the divine principle.

    – ALL 120 spoke in tongues [it couldn’t be the 12 apostles alone who spoke in tongues because (a) it shook the city (b) they didn’t speak in 12 dialects but 16 dialects.]

    – ALL at Cornellius’ household spoke in tongues. And it says that the uncircumcised knew that they had received the gift of the Holy Spirit FOR they heard them speak in tongues and glorify God.

    – ALL the 12 men who received the Holy Spirit in Ephesus spoke in tongues.

    There are just 2 other places where the Spirit baptism is mentioned in the book of Acts: Acts 8 and Acts 9. But though the evidence isn’t mentioned here, if you look into the wordings used, you find that there was an external evidence for Simon “SAW” that the Spirit was given through laying on of hands and gave money to apostles to receive the same authority.

    Why would Jesus breath God’s Spirit on His disciples on resurrection evening and then ask them to wait in Jerusalem for the baptism in the Holy Spirit?

    Oh it was a transition?….but how come the transition existed more than 25 years [Acts 19:1-6]?

    =================================================
    Outside of the Book of Acts, where is a “baptism” of the Holy Spirit mentioned?
    ————————————————
    [The answer in short will be a question “to whom was the epistles written to?]

    But before I answer this in detail….you must realize that all the epistles were written to those who had received the Spirit baptism. There were no Christians like you or like the Cessasionists who rejected the Spirit baptism back then. No one even debated on this experience.

    Let me prove this from the book of Acts and Ephesians:

    Paul meets with a group of disciples, which he first mistakes for Jesus’ disciples. But seeing the lack of power in their lives he asks them, “Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? (Acts 19:2 ). He asks this question because Jesus said in Acts1: 8 “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you…” So in response to Paul’s question they say, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit”. Paul immediately asks them with what baptism they were baptized in, for if they were baptized in the Christian water baptism, they would surely have heard the name ” Holy Spirit”, as the Christian water baptism is to be ministered in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit just as Jesus commanded. To this they reply and say, “John’s baptism”. Now Paul realizes these were just John’s disciples and not Jesus’ disciples, so Paul preaches the Gospel to them and tells them to believe in the One coming after John, in Jesus. On hearing this, they believe and are baptized in water. Then when Paul places his hands on them, all of them receive the Holy Spirit and speak in other tongues and prophecy.

    Why did Paul have to lay hands on them if they had already been baptized in the Holy Spirit at the time they believed? Paul’s opening question itself tells us that it is possible to know whether some one has received the Holy Spirit or not.

    Paul when he writes to the same group of believers says, “you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 1:13). This is one Scripture used by those Christians who believe that they receive the Holy Spirit at the time they believe in Jesus. However, when comparing this verse with the actual event, we realize that these disciples believed in Jesus when Paul preached to them the word of truth, but they received the promised Holy Spirit only after Paul laid his hands on them. Notice the Scripture says, ” Having believed…”

    =================================================
    Again…proof that the epistles were written to those who had already received the baptism in the Spirit:

    “For we were all baptized in one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” [1 Corinthians 12:13

    =================================================
    “The early church fathers said virtually nothing about this”
    ————————————————

    Not that I need any mans approval when the Word is clear about this. But here’s what is written by a one of church fathers:

    St. Augustine , the great Catholic bishop from 396-430 A.D., near the end of his life, wrote in his famous work The City of God, “We shall do what the apostles did when they laid hands on the Samaritians and called down the Holy Spirit on them by the laying on of hands. It is expected that new converts speak with new tongues.”
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    If you remove the Book of Acts from your Bible, would we even be talking about a “Baptism of the Holy Ghost”?
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    If you remove Acts, you have to remove the Epistles too. Because the Epistles were written to those who went through the Acts experience.
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    Do you believe your personal experience validates Scripture?
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    No I believe my experience confirms Scripture.

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    Rom 8:26 isn’t speaking about tongues.

    Praying in the spirit is not limited to praying in tongues. Though Paul clearly says, if he prays in the spirit, he prays in tongues.

    Praying in tongues, I say again, is not the only way to pray in the spirit. To pray in the spirit is when prayers are raised up beyond the realm of the mind. Where you don’t know what to pray for, and you don’t know what God’s will in the matter is.

    This can be through groanings [beyond the realm of understanding and words] or it can be in tongues. But both edifies the believer who prays. And should be used only in private as Paul instructed.

    Those wordings in 1 Cor 14, won’t make any sense to you unless you experience it.

    It’s like you speaking of God’s salvation without having experienced it.

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    If we toss out the office of Prophet and Apostle
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    To toss these two ministries out is to toss Jesus’ ministry out. These two ministries still operate today, though this Prophetic ministry is different from the Gift of prophecy mentioned in 1 Cor 14.

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    Sidharth

  69. Synonyms used for Spirit baptism.

    These are the other words used for the baptism in the Spirit:

    (1) “Filled in Holy Spirit”

    (2) “The Holy Spirit came upon them”

    (3) “They received the Holy Spirit”

    (4) “The gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on them”.

    (5) “wait for the promise of the Father ”

    (6) “having received the promise of the Holy Spirit ”

    On the day of Pentecost, “they were all FILLED in the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4). The word used by Peter when he refers to the same experience in Acts 11: 15 , is come on: “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit CAME ON them as He had COME ON us in the beginning” . We know that the “them” that Peter is referring to is Cornellius and his household. The words used for the same experience at Cornellius’ house are poured out and received: “the gift of the Holy Spirit had been POURED OUT even on the Gentiles”, and “They have RECEIVED the Holy Spirit just as we have”. Other words used for the baptism in the Spirit are the gift of the Holy Spirit , promise of the Father, and the promise of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 24: 49; Acts 1:4; Acts 2: 33; Acts 2: 38b; Eph 1:13)

  70. Does the bible clearly show us that the baptism in the Spirit is a separate experience other than salvation?

    On the Day of Pentecost

    The disciples were regenerated on resurrection evening when Jesus breathed over them and said “Receive ye the Holy Spirit”. But forty days later, as said before, He commands these disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they received the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Spirit.

    On the day of Pentecost, the believers were filled in the Holy Spirit and they spoke in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. This was seen and heard by all assembled there and Peter says “Exalted to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father, the promise of the Holy Spirit, and has poured out what you now see and hear” (Acts 2:33). Jesus ascended to heaven sat down at the right hand of God, received the promised Holy Spirit and poured out this gift on His waiting disciples.

    At Samaria

    Philip goes to preach the Gospel at Samaria , and the people at Samaria believe the Gospel and they are baptized in water (Acts 8: 12). Now were they saved? Yes, they were. The apostles in Jerusalem hear that Samaria had accepted the word of God, and they send Peter and John to them. (Acts 8: 14). What did Peter and John do as soon as they came to those who accepted the word at Samaria? “When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT”. Why? Because the HOLY SPIRIT HAD NO YET COME UPON ANY OF THEM; they had simply been baptized in the name of Jesus. (Acts 8: 15-16). Then Peter and John lay hands on them, and they receive the Holy Spirit (verse 17). How did they know that the Holy Spirit had not come upon any of them, if there was no evidence for the Holy Spirit baptism? However, when the apostles laid their hands on them, there was an external evidence and Simon the Sorcerer SAW this evidence.

    Paul Receives the Holy Spirit

    Paul, as we all know, was persecuting the believers in Christ. However, on his way to Damascus he has a vision of Jesus, and after this vision Paul becomes blind. Paul is immediately led to pray and fast. While he does this, God talks to Ananias saying, “Go to the house of Judah on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight” (Acts 9: 11-12). Ananias goes to Saul lays his hand on him and says “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus…has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9: 17 ). Though nothing is mentioned of him being filled in the Spirit, we know he was filled in the Spirit. But notice, Saul received the infilling of the Spirit only three days after his conversion.

    At Cornellius’ House

    Peter goes to a Gentile family to preach the Gospel. Peter tells them: “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name” (Acts 10:43 ). Cornellius and his entire household were listening to Peter and believed everything he said. And while Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came upon all who heard the message. The circumcised believers and Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and glorifying God. (Acts 10: 44-46). Here is one place which many Christians use to say that a person is baptized in the Spirit at the time he believes. But notice that it is only after Cornellius and his household believe that the Holy Spirit came upon them. Peter later says, “So if God gave the same gift as He gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?”(Acts 11: 17) Notice again, the gift of the Holy Spirit is given to those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, when you repent and believe in Jesus, your sins are washed away- this is the born-again experience- which prepares you to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit or the baptism in the Spirit.

    Also read what happened at Ephesus in the previous comment….

    Sidharth

  71. Addition: Tertullin(155-230 A.D) believed that believers did not receive the Holy Spirit at the time of being born again, but he believed that the born-again experience prepared one to receive the Holy Spirit.

  72. Hi Sidharth,

    I see you can’t confirm your experiences beyond the Book of Acts. It’s dangerous to base your beliefs from a narrative…..but so be it.

    I have a little confession to make. I’ve been waiting for you to come here and defend your friend. In fact I told your friend via email that I was looking forward to this exchange.

    I left something out in my last reply that I’ve been waiting to do for a while now……….

    You claim that the Gift of Tongues was imparted on you from the laying on of hands. Cool! Here’s how you described this experience;

    “I spoke in tongues when I received the Spirit baptism, but I couldn’t speak in tongues for many months. Later on a lady placed her hands on me and I received the gift of tongues”.

    Please consider the following Scripture if you will;

    1Timothy 4:14 ESV
    Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.

    Notice the word “elders” in the above text. The Greek word for elder in this instance is “presbyteros”.In the NT elders are referred to as bishops, pastors and deacons. Paul laid out specific qualifications for these offices as noted in the following text;

    1Timothy 3:1-7 ESV
    The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

    In case you missed it, elder’s pastors and bishops must be male.

    Please show me one instance where a female was ever used as a pastor, elder or bishop Sidharth?

    Please show me one Scripture that demonstrates a woman imparting a Spiritual Gift one anyone through the laying on of hands Sidharth?

    Now, let’s get back to the post you say I neglected. You said;

    “Let’s put it this way: you want the truth, I want the truth. So are you willing to set aside your theology, if God stands for the opposite? I am more than willing, even though I have experienced all these verses you say have passed away and these experiences is what imparted to me the reality of the Word”.

    What if your experiences aren’t Biblical Sidharth? Are you more then willing to really examine your experiences in the light of Scripture Sidharth?

    So far all you’ve given me are narratives that you say validates your “experience”.

  73. Well, no what I’ve given you is Scripture, and that you’re not willing to accept as Scripture.

    So you tell me Peter, Paul and all the disciples who received the Spirit separately were going against Scripture?

    The problem with your approach is this: Acts show how the believers received the Spirit, and the epistles speak to this group who have received the Spirit. It is to this that Paul and the other writers refer to when they say, ‘The Spirit which you have received”, “The Holy SPirit of promise that was deposited in you…”, “The Spirit that was given to you…”

    You are not willing to accept this because you were taught that you received the Holy Spirit baptism when you believed. But Scripture never teaches this in the epistles.

    We see baptism narrated in the book of Acts, but in the epistles they are just mentioned as “you were baptized into Christ”, “one baptism…”

    My experience is strictly Scriptural, to me what you’re saying is unscriptural.

    And I am not interested in talking about women in the ministry, since you are not taking Scripture as the standard for the discussion.

    Sidharth

    Phil: No…..Scripture discounts your experiences, at least the Didactic portions. The Didactic is where sound doctrine is formed……something you’ve clearly missed in your experiences.

    You claim to have received the Gift of Tongues via the laying on of hands……..and a woman administered this. This is unbiblical Sidharth.

    I was taught just like you…..yep, I was a Pentecostal tongue talker just like you only I repented when I realized my error. My prayer for you is that you do the same one day.

  74. I see that you’re not willing to open yourself to Scripture, Phil. You haven’t answered any of my questions, and you as all Cessationists want to discard Acts of the Apostle.

    Therefore, I am coming off this discussion.

    Sidharth

    Phil: I don’t disregard or discard the Book of Acts…….I just don’t base my doctrine solely on narratives……Been there done that and have the t-shirts to prove it:)

  75. Where you’re wrong is: you believe the “Didactic” is talking about something else when it says “When you received the Spirit”, ‘You have received the gift of the Spirit”, “The Spirit whom God has given you”, “You have been deposited with the Holy Spirit of promise”….These are referring to the experience of “receiving the Spirit” mentioned in the book of Acts.

    If the “narrative” is contrary to the “didactic”, then we have the contradictions and lack of integrity.

    NEVER in Scripture do we see the Spirit baptism received at the time of salvation.

    (1) No one can be baptized in the Spirit without first being born-again [to first be made alive in the spirit by the regenerative work of the Spirit and the Word]

    (2) Paul’s question, “Have you received the Spirit since you believed?”, makes it clear to us that it definitely possible to know if one has received the Spirit or not. Wherever people received the Spirit, those who received the Spirit knew they had received the Spirit and those who witnessed they receiving knew they had received the experience.

    This is again a response to your last statement you made. Anyway, we’ve closed this discussion.

    God bless

    Sidharth

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