Monday, August 14, 2006

TONGUES Thesis" Part 13

.........founded the Shaker community in Troy, New York and practiced all sorts of heretic worship including men and women dancing together in the nude while they spoke in tongues!

In 1830, Edward Irving, a defrocked Presbyterian minister started a group in London called the "Irvingites", and had revelations that contradicted scripture whose prophecies were not fulfilled and their "faith healings" ended in death. The also spoke in tongues. From Montanus to Irving, instances of "tongues": within the church were never considered to be a part of genuine Christianity.

In 1901, at Charles's Param's Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas, Agnes Oman spoke in tongues when she received the supposed "baptism of the Spirit" when Pararn laid his hands on her head and prayed for her. This event led to the Holiness movement of the U.S. church and in 1906, tongues were spoken on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California, and out of these events of 1901 and 1906, grew the mainline Pentecostal denominations.

The modern charismatic movement began in Van Nuys, CA in 1960, in an Episcopalian church, soon spreading across mainline denominations including Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic.

If tongues have ceased, what are we experiencing? Some Pentecostals and charismatics claim the tongue occurrences on the "fringes" of the church to be genuine, therefore not recognizing that tongues ceased, while others while others say that tongues did cease, but they started up again, because we are in the last days, and God is giving us the final outpouring of His Spirit referred to as the "Latter Rain" in fulfillment to the Joel 2:2:19-32 prophecy. However, studying the context of that prophecy, one can quickly see that the "former and latter" rain in that prophecy have nothing to do with Pentecost, but are plain old water, which will water crops in the millennium! There is no proof that the genuine gift of tongues has returned!

Finally we come to I Corinthians 14. At the offset, is should be stated that in terms of a definition, the gift of tongues is "a Spirit given ability to speak a foreign language".

Digging into the 14th chapter of Corinthians, Paul exhorts them to follow after "charity" (Agape love) and desire the things which are spiritual. The King James version says "gifts" but that is not in the Greek text.

Verse 2 is what held me captive to my error of holding on to my own special "prayer language", until I finally realized the correct meaning of the verse, in context with the teaching of that entire chapter! Paul stated, "for he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth Him how be it in the Spirit he prophesieth mysteries." (I Corinthians 14:2) The King James translators incorrectly inserted the word unknown, as it is not in the original Greek text. They must have figured, if no man could understand by anyone except God, as the text states, therefore their logic was to insert the word "unknown". Paul immediately recognized that this was not the genuine gift of languages, because he had that gift personally, and used it more than, any of them (I Cor. 14:18). That is why he told them, the tongue they spoke could only be understood by God, and not by men! There has been much said about this verse by many writers. Personally, I always looked at that verse thinking I was able to speak to god directly in the "prayer language" I possessed! However, thinking you can use a genuine God given Spiritual gift for God's edification is not a sound doctrine, because spiritual gifts (Greek "Charisma", which means "gift of grace") are grace gifts given by God to His children for the benefit of other human beings, not for His personal benefit.

Also, in the genuine gift of languages given in the book of acts, God spoke to unbelieving Jews through the person used to exercise the gift,- not as in this case (vs.2) man using the gift to speak to God! So, what is indicated here?

John MacArthur Jr. makes some good observations about this verse, and also the whole chapter. He points out that where the definite article is absent before "God" in the Greek, that the "Eternal God" is not meant by Paul, but "a god"! or in other words, they were mistaken­ly uttering the same ecstatic gibberish to their same pagan gods they used to worship before they were saved as when they exhibited that outburst of utterance in the congregation of believers. MacArthur claims that in the 14th chapter, wherever singular "tongue" is used, "gibberish" is meant, because there is only one kind of gibberish, and not different kinds. The only exception to the case is in verse 26 and 27 where a definite language is the implied meaning. The Greek word used for God in vs. 2 is "Theos" meaning "deity" therefore, "god" rather than "God"! It is an interesting view, however, I have searched far and wide, through volumes of commentar­ies and have never been able to find any, not even learned Greek scholars, who ever picked up that view. The fact is, the absence of the article in that verse does not in any sense necessitate the translation of "a god" rather than "God". The article very often is not used in places where it is obvious that a definite (not indefinite) thing is meant. The construction is called anarthrus, and its use simply denotes an emphasis on quality rather than identity.
MacArthur also states that when the plural "tongues" is used by Paul, the genuine gift is meant.

However, I have not been able to find that view supported by any other's either, and personally feel every verse should be examined in the light of its own context.

My personal view on the verse is that Paul recognized that those who were practicing the abuse of the genuine gift were possibly doing so in ignorance, thinking that ,they had the genuine gift just like they probably had heard, on occasion, exercised in the congregation. In order to expose the counterfeit from the real, Paul asked that all messages in tongues be interpreted (vs.28), fully knowing that only the genuine gift of languages could be interpreted, and therefore, the counterfeit gift would be exposed! However, Paul very wisely, rebuked those exercising the counterfeit gift by reminding them, that only God could understand the gibberish, so it did not edify any of the congregation, as genuine gifts had been purposed to do! (vs 4), He stated that the person uttering- the gibberish would be the only one edified! I know that is true, because after all, if even in ignorance of the true gift, if one really thinks he has the genuine and can really talk to God, he feels "special" to be endued with that mystical power! I felt edified when using my "prayer language" before, because I thought I was talking directly to God!

However, the purpose of spiritual gifts are not given to edify ones self or God, but other members of the church, or the body of Christ! Paul had already exhorted them to not seek their own edification, but others. (1 Cor. 10:24) Then, Paul told them (vs. 3,4) that they should seek to "prophesy", and that would edify the church, because everyone would understand them. To prophesy, in that case, was to explain the scriptures,, or preach the good news of Jesus Christ. It was the founded the Shaker community in Troy, New York and practiced all sorts of heretic worship including men and women dancing together in the nude while they spoke in tongues!


No comments: