Monday, August 14, 2006

TONGUES THESIS: Part 6

THE NON-PENTECOSTAL VIEW OF TONGUES AND THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

If had never examined this view before, and only looked at the Pentecostal position, I would still be "talking to God" in tongues today, thinking I was really on the top of God's list, feeling sorry for my less endowed brethren who "never got the power". However, as with every doctrine, there are always two extremes and a balanced view. I will attempt to present as balanced a scriptural view as I am able, based on my study, research and experience.

IS A SECOND WORK OF GRACE NECESSARY?

When a person is "born again", "regenerated", or saved, does he have all of Christ at that moment, or is there something more later? Is he saved by Christ and baptized in the Spirit right then, or later?

I believe that the Holy Spirit was given to special selected Old Testament saints when God wanted to use them, such as the prophets, but the Holy Spirit did not stay or take up residence in believers then, as He does now in New Testament believers since Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came on Old Testament saints at His will when ever he wanted to use them, or speak through them, and departed at will when He wanted to. When filled with the Holy Spirit, Old Testament saints would usually prophesy, but there is not one occasion in the Old Testament which specifically mentions the phenomenon of tongues being spoken by an-Old Testament saint.

Isaiah was rebuking backslidden Jews that if they did not repent, God would judge them, but they would not listen, and as a result, they were judged by God on several occasions. Isaiah warned them in a prophecy, "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people." (Isaiah 28:11)

Paul was trying to correct a situation which had broken out in the Corinthian church only, where there were some baby Christians who had just been converted from their pagan religions, of which speaking in tongues, was a normal event in their pagan worship in their temples.

However, this type of tongue was an ecstatic utterance which was only a "gibberish" which was not a language of anything known to man! They would go into a trance and actually believe they were possessed by their pagan deity and would vocalize this "gibberish" when they came into the Corinthian church, they heard the genuine messages in tongues being vocalized, because the gift had not yet ceased, and those tongues did not sound much different then their own to them as they probably did not understand them, even though they were the definite gift of languages, which were the same as given at Pentecost. Then, they even heard the languages being interpreted, so they felt right at home, and started counterfeiting the real gifts right in the public assembly during worship, and this is what Paul walked into when he first visited the Corinthian church and he was exhorting the congregation, trying to set them straight on the difference between the real and counterfeit gift. Since he had the Biblical gift of tongues, he knew the counterfeit as well as the real.

So, getting back to Isaiah's prophecy in Isaiah 28:11, Paul reminded the Corinthians in 1 Corin­thians 14:21, "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." Then in the next verse (22), he states, "wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that. believe not: but for them which believe." What he was saying here, was that the genuine gift of tongues which were actual languages, were for a sign to unbelieving Jews. He compared the Isaiah prophecy to' the present, as there were still unbelieving Jews that needed a "special sign" in order to believe God was speaking to them!

In fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy, the Jews were first invaded by the Assyrians who spoke in unknown, or languages they could not understand, and though they were not completely defeated then, they were later invaded by the Babylonians and defeated and led into captivity.These invaders were the men with "stammering lips and other tongues" God used to speak to the unrepentant Jews because they would not listen to Him when he spoke through Isaiah in their own language. Now, Paul was telling them that they were going to be judged again in a like manner through men "with other tongues" if they continued in their unbelief. This actually happened to the Jews again when Jerusalem was completely overrun and destroyed by the Roman general Titus and his army in 70 A.D. These were men of strange tongues to the Jews!


There were unbelieving gentiles in the Corinthian congregation as well, so the genuine gift of tongues was a sign to them also, authenticating the new dispensation of the church age!

Now, in order to differentiate the counterfeit ecstatic gibberish from the true gift, let us take a look at what the real gift was supposed to be. John the Baptist was preaching the baptism of repentance of sin, to get ready for the soon coining Messiah, Jesus. He was preaching to Jews! In Matthew 3:11 he said, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He (Jesus) that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." So, we learn here that it is Jesus who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. This verse was actually a two part prophecy which the first was fulfilled at Pentecost. The fire spoken of here was not the tongues like fire at Pentecost. This fire is the unquenchable fire which will be used by God to punish the wicked, therefore, it has not been fulfilled yet.

I have heard many Pentecostals boast about their baptism of "fire" which burnt away all their sins, but if we analyze the following verse in its context; it shows what kind of fire is meant here. After saying "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: "it goes on to say in the next vs. 12, "whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire! So you cannot possibly take that fire out of context and compare it to the substance which was like fire at Pentecost!

Then in John 16:7, Jesus explained He had to go to heaven by leaving the earthly realm of the physical, in order to send the Holy Spirit in His place to continue the ministry he had started to the church. He explains, "it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. How be it, when he, the Spirit of Truth is come, he will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come. he shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. (John 16:7,8,13,14). Notice here, the purpose of the Holy Spirit Jesus would send would be to glorify Him, and comfort the apostles

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

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