Monday, August 14, 2006

TONGUES THESIS: Part 12

............."Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore, let thy words be few." (Eccl 5:2) Prayer is for the believer's benefit. It is a privilege which we are allowed to use in order to conform our will into the perfect will of the Lord! Therefore, He gave us brains so we may be able to direct our petitions toward Him, recognizing His sovereignty
to grant whatever He knows is best for us. (Romans 8:28) Therefore, is it not an insult to God if we bypass our intellect He gave us, and pray in an inarticulate ecstatic utterance we cannot understand?

THE CORINTHIAN CONFUSION BETWEEN THE GENUINE ANDCOUNTERFEIT TONGUES

The Corinthian epistles were the first that Paul wrote to any church, and it should be noted that tongues were not mentioned in any of the later letters to any of the other churches, so it becomes evident that the Corinthians were the only ones who had confused and abused the gift of tongues, or after Paul's exhortation, the problem was corrected!

The nine gifts of the Spirit are stated in I Cor. 12, with the gift of tongues. and interpretation being two of those (I Cor 12:10) However, Paul stated in 1 Cor. 12:30 that the gift was not given to all believers therefore, some believers did not have the gift of tongues! At any rate, he made it clear that all of the genuine gifts came from the same and one Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians
12:16).

The word "interpretation" Greek "hermeneuo" is the normative word for translating languages. In the 13th chapter of Corinthians, his theme is that the love of God is the first and foremost important gift and none of the other gifts were of any value without having this gift.

The Greek word for this kind of love is "Agape" which is a special kind of love, only given by God to genuine believers! Therefore, that is the way to check the counterfeit gift. Check to see if the possessor of the gift has "agape". It means "the ultimate self sacrifice". Only God can give it! There are other types of love used to describe other Greek words in the New Testament. The type of love a spouse has for his or her mate, affecting the sexual senses would be "Eros" and the love describing friendship would be "Phileo" so "agape", or "ultimate self sacrificing love" is the requirement to exercise any gift of God. Paul in 1 Corin­thians 13:1 gives an example. "Though I speak with tongues (languages) of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." Many charismatics claim their "unknown tongues" may be "angel language". However, every time any angel ever appeared to men or women in the Bible, they always communi­cated to them in their own language. So, what is angel language? Paul was just making an exaggerated statement showing that no matter how impossible a feat they did, if they did it without love,- it was worthless! Since angels are ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:7), their language would be a "silent language". The very important point of the present doctrine of the continuance of tongues is refuted from the context of I Corinthians 13:8-10. "Love never fails, but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."

There are many views concerning these verses, some saying "that which is perfect" coming means Christ; the millennium; the completion of the New Testament Canon, and others. The original Greek should be translated "when that perfect thing is come." So, that would let out Christ, because he is a He, and not a thing. Personally I believe it means the ultimate new heaven and earth, at which time, none of the gifts giving only partial information will be required.

The mistake most charismatics, as well as others make, is grouping prophecy, knowledge and tongues all together. The Greek word for "cease" indicates that tongues will "stop by themselves". If this is so, have they ceased and if so, when? The last new Testament miracle recorded occurred around A.D. 58 with the healing of Publius' father. (Acts 28:7-10). From 58 to 96, when John completed the book of Revelations, there are no further miracles recorded. Miracle gifts like tongues and healing are only mentioned in the earliest epistles such as 1 Corinthians. Miracle gifts are not mentioned in Ephesians and Romans. It is very logical to assume that by the end of the first Century the church was committed to the word, and tongues, along with the other temporary sign gifts such as tongues and interpretation had ceased to serve any purpose. Since their use was specifically tied to the apostles (2 Cor 12:12,Heb. 2:3,4), the death of the last apostle would end their use.

Since tongues were a sign to unbelieving Jews, because they would not listen to Him when He spoke to them when He spoke in plain Hebrew; so God would speak to them in a language they would not understand. It was to be the language of the Assyrian invaders from Babylon which was fulfilled when the Babylonians conquered Judah in 586 B.C. and even greater judgment would come by the Romans in 70 A.D., of which Jesus had warned them about in Matthew 24. Also, tongues were for a sign of the widening blessing, because God would now speak to all nations in all languages, so with the gift of languages at Pentecost, the barrier was now down, with their further use no, longer required. The gift of tongues was inferior to the gift of prophecy therefore, was rendered useless, when the New Testament was complete, because no further new revelation was to be added to the completed Bible. (Revelation 22:18,19). History records that the genuine gift did cease. The later books of the New Testament do not mention tongues again and is not found in any of the writings of the post apostolic fathers.

Some of the early great theologians such as Origen, Justin, Martyr, Clement of Rome, Chrypostem, and Augustine considered tongues as a remote practice which had only happened in the early church.

The only people reported to have spoken in tongues during the next 400-500 years of the church was montanus, a branded heretic, and some of his disciples who included two women prophetesses, and Turtullian who followed him for a short while, but then started his own congregation.

In the late seventeenth century, branded heretics called "the Cevenol priests" who lived in France, were reported to have spoken in tongues, but were proved false prophets because of their unfulfilled prophecy.

A group of Roman Catholic reformers called "Jansenists" around 1731, were reported to be speaking ,in ecstatic tongues during night meetings in their leaders tomb.

Then the "Shakers", followers of mother Ann Tel (1736-1784), who regard
ed herself the equivalent of Jesus Christ, were reported to have spoken in tongues. She

CONT.>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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