1 Cornthians 13:8-12

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by SpiritualMadMan, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. SpiritualMadMan

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    Below is the passage from e_Sword with the Strong's Numbers so you can look it all up.

    I think we can all agree that all of 1 Corinthians 13 is a single body of thought. That it has as it's central theme the preeminence of Love over all other attributes of the Christians Spiritual walk?

    So, to excerpt a single scripture from the middle of the text might be construed as an inaccurate exegesis?

    I have, however, excerpted verses 8-12 because these are the ones we tend to get into major arguments over...

    Also, those that have followed my on this board know that I do not believe you have to speak in tongues to be saved...

    Nor, am I inclined to try to convince any of you otherwise inclined to change your position and become a Pentecostal.

    What I would like to do is get you to consider the possibility that excesses in the Charismatic and Pentecostal Movements have so biased some theological thought that some have entirely ruled out 'gifts' in general. IMHO, unwisely...

    Let me explain why...

    First, our text...
    In verse 12 Paul specifically states the time frame he is writing about, "NOW"... Now we know in part... Now we see things less than clearly... Now we are struggling to Love one another...

    In verse 10 he states that *when* that which is perfect is come... certain things will cease, or no longer be required...

    Our biggest area of dissention is *What* is that perfect and *When* is that perfect...

    I believe Paul answers that when he says; "But, then... Face to Face"...

    This, IMHO, means that, that which is perfect or complete is not the Written Word of God but the Coming Kingdom of God on Earth, the End of the Current Church Age and the beginning of the Millenial Reign which will be birthed during the tribulation... That is to say the seven year tribulation will mark the end/completion/perfection of the Church Age and the beginning of Jesus' Perfect Reign with a Rod of Iron... (During which we will see Jesus, the perfect Completed Word of God, face to face.)

    It is my contention that these verses need to be taken as a group...

    That Paul's primary purpose here isn't to teach on whether the gifts will cease or not but on the surpassing preeminience of God's Kind of Love...

    Another point.

    In the list of things Paul's says *will* cease is included "Knowledge". One of Strongs rendering is "Science".

    Even if we merely left it at "Information" ie., "Knowledge" no one can deny that we live in an Age of an Overabundance of Knowledge... Knowledge, clearly has not been done away with...

    It is a 'bitter' pill for 'us' Pentecostals to be forced to admit that we know in part... We prophesy in part (boy ain't that the truth these days! [​IMG] ) That we are childish... And, can't see clearly! [​IMG]

    But, then, I suppose that's OK, because Jesus said I have to become as a little child to enter the Kingdom... :D

    Also, please note that the Scripture that states when that which is perfect is come doesn't say that the foregoing list is what is going to cease at that point but that, that which is "in part" will cease...

    Nowhere does it say that Tongues is something "in part"... Prophecy yes.. Knowledge yes... But there are listed 5 other Gifts of the Holy Spirit not detailed as being "In Part"...

    In fact there is a tree whose leaves are for the Healing of the Nations... So, healing is definately going to continue, IMHO, through the millenium...

    Now, I do readily admit that there have been a multitude of deceit and excesses associated with both the Charismatic and Pentecostal Movements...

    But, IMHO, that does not negate what I consider to be fact that God wants to continue to operate in Spiritual Gifts in His Body...

    Not in ones or twos, by people of natural charisma and stature...

    But, rather, the entire Body of Christ working together, fitly joined, mutually supporting, encouraging, strengthening one another...
     
  2. SpiritualMadMan

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    Without Srong's easier to read:
     
  3. Johnv

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    Just my $.02: The major crux of 1Cor is agape (unconditional love). The overall message is this: that which we do without unconditional love are imperfect. That which we do with unconditional love is perfect. Agape is the kind of love God has for us. It is perfect love. It is in this manner which we are called to love each other.
     
  4. SpiritualMadMan

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    John,

    No argument here, on that, from me...

    And, I will readily admit that in 'our' zeal for Pentecost a lot of Pentecostals seem to have missed that point...

    George Verwer, of Operation Mobilization put it this way:
    To which add a hearty AMEN! and the obvious "God *is* Love"

    To read the rest of Georges excellent work: "A Revolution of Love" please see:http://www.houseofmyrrh.org/revolove.htm
     
  5. Briguy

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    Hey SMM, how are you doing?

    The verb used for tongues ceasing is different then the verb used for the other two. Verse 8 literally says: Brotherly love does not fail. The gifts of Prophecies and Knowledge will go away when something forces them to but the gift of Tongues will fade away on its own. Tongues were never intended to last until the perfect comes. If I understand what you are saying about the "perfect" I agree with you. It is either when we die and go be with Jesus or when he returns and sets up His eternal Kingdom. Pefect is not achievable while we have these bodies. To say that the "perfect" is the Bible is a big big stretch. Therefore, the gift of knowledge (understanding scripture in a deeper way) still exists today and the gift of Prophecy (speaking before other believers to build them up) both still remain. I can see no other way to interpret the verses. Tongues reguires other verses to prove when it faded away but that would be off topic so I won't address that question (plus I have a million times).

    In Christian Love,
    Brian
     
  6. SpiritualMadMan

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    Briguy,

    Be OK... Still driving too far too long for insufficient pay... But, OK. [​IMG]

    Yeah, there are *some* things 'we' simply will not see eye to eye on... In this life...

    I will try to sit down and share my testimony...

    You'll, then, understand why I am somewhat circumpect on the tongues issue...

    I am more concerned with our trying to put God in a box and limit what He can and can't do when we *really* need Him to do something...

    (I am sure the hyper-Calvinists will have conniption over that last statement. [​IMG] )

    For me there really isn't a separation between my 'secular' life and my 'spiritual' life...

    God remains God at all times...

    The same promise He gave to give me the right words in front of the 'authorities'... I have found works in daily life... *IF* I rely on Him and Him alone... (Not lean to my own understanding.)

    For me a Word of Knowledge is not limited to just the saving of souls but also to solving tough technical problems...

    And, I find it is a comfort to know God knows more about electronics than I do...

    So, I do not feel ill at ease when my Baptist Brothers and Sisters get these awesome bursts of inspirartion... [​IMG]

    I attribute it to the work of the Holy Spirit whether they are Tongue-Talking 'Filled' or merely allowing the paraclete to walk alongside and 'contribute'...

    The important thing, to me, is that God has not stopped working with, through, and in His Children...

    So, I remain convinced that nothing was supposed to completely die out...

    But, remain available, as needed, to be distributed as The Lord wills...

    Our interpretations of the above passage are all but identical... except for our difference on cessation of 'The Gifts'...

    In the rendering of some of the words is the thought of "Idle"... To me I think of having a car standing by idling waiting for when it's is needed..

    The Holy Spirit would, in one limited sense, be the chauffeur that takes us, in the car, where we need to be...

    But, for that analogy to be true we'd have to be a 'mere' passenger where the Lord has directed us through the chauffeur, to get in the car and allow ourselves to be taken where He has directed...

    Idle, to me, doesn't mean sent to the crusher...(to continue the car analogy)

    But, on standby, ready for use if needed...
     
  7. Briguy

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    Hey SMM, glad you are doing OK. Please explain what you meant by idle. Which word or thought are you saying conveys this. Also, you wrote:

    ""I am more concerned with our trying to put God in a box and limit what He can and can't do when we *really* need Him to do something...""

    I get this a lot from my well meaning pentecostal friends. I guess I just don't see how I am putting God in a box. God has put himself in a box of Truth and Sound Doctrine. We shouldn't try to pull down the sides of the box and ask God to come out just because we would prefer something to be true. The clear things on tongues can't be debated, the more abstract can. Tongues are a sign, tongues can only be spoken by very few in a assembly, Do all speak in tongues? - NO, Speaking tongues without interpretation is just throwing words in the air and is meaningless, Tongyes are a sign to unbelievers so if their is no unbelievers (Jews if we are honest to the text) tongues should not be spoken at all. We can't just ignore the straight out facts about tongues because some folks love the experience and they feel it enhances their Christian walk. I am not sure which side puts God in a box but I don't believe I do.

    I hope that did not sound harsh or prideful, it was not intended that way.

    Take care and ask for a raise!! I'm sure you deserve it!!

    In Christian Love and Concern,
    Brian
     
  8. SpiritualMadMan

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    "Idle" - I was responding to another posters comment using "idle".

    Strong's actually renders it as 'completely idle' or 'useless'... (How's that for honesty?)

    The word for Cease, as in Tongues is
    G3973 pow'-o
    A primn. verb (“pause”); to stop (transitive or intransitive), that is, restrain, quit, desist, come to an end: - cease, leave, refrain.

    All of these words 'could' be indicative of a voluntary self restraint or refraining from the practice...

    Not neccesarily due to a divine decree...

    Be that as it may we still have the disagreement over the 'when' they would cease...

    And, unfortunately, that isn't something 'we' are going to solve this side of heaven. [​IMG]

    Now, about that word tongue(s)...

    Tongues, shall cease, when?

    The primary Greek Word for Tongue(s) in "Glossa"...

    It is used throughout the NT to denote Nations, Kindreds, Peoples, Etc...

    It is used at the end of the Revelation...

    So, if we are to use a direct word study. [​IMG]

    For tongues to cease Nations have to be combined into one blood...

    And that will only happen when Jesus returns and rules with a rod of iron...

    There are 47 verses that use "Glossa".

    The other Greek word is Dialect and is used only 6 times...

    As I said...

    Not going to be solved this side of Heaven...
     
  9. Charles Meadows

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    SMM,

    Nice post. I think you're right on!! The meaning of the tongues ceasing is (without a doubt) NOT a statement that glossolalia once existed and now does not. Rather it shows how all forms of human worship are incomplete and will only be completed when we are in the presence of God one day. Now we're looking through the glass dimly... The one thing which we have which is pure like God is love - and this will abide forever. Indeed when we get to heaven we won't need most of our current means of worship!!

    I have always asserted (and will continue to do so) that there is no BAN on "spiritual gifts". I am also a baptist who does NOT practice glossolalia. I think that Galatians shows us the fruits of the Spirit - the true gifts! Thus if one feels the need to speak in a "tongue" I won't condemn him/her - but I think we should not overemphasize the importance of such things.

    Just my 2 cents worth!! [​IMG] ;)
     
  10. Briguy

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    Hi Guys, the thing you have to remember is that Tongues were clearly referred to as a "sign". Signs point to things coming and when what they point to comes the fade away, which fits your definitions. Tongues pointed to the judgement destruction of Isreal which is why Paul quoted Isaiah. The judgement and destruction came in 70AD and Tongues quietly faded away after that. This is Biblical and does make sense, especially when all put together. Thanks for reading,

    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  11. SpiritualMadMan

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    AMEN! [​IMG]

    That's why I quoted George Verwer in another thread...

    God does not come apart from His Holiness or His Attribute of Being Love...

    No Fruit? Then don't try to convince me it's the Spirit of God you have...

    And, the Fruit are to be in ever-increasing measure... No rotting or stagnant believers allowed...


    I appreciate the extension of Grace. :D

    It was Love evidenced by Unity (John 17) that Jesus stated would prove to the World that He had come in the flesh...

    NOT Speaking in tongues, or not speaking in tongues...
     
  12. BobRyan

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    There is no mention of that in Acts 2, or Romans 12, or 1Cor 12 or 1Cor 14 where we see tongues introduced.

    Where do you get such an idea?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. Briguy

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    1 Cor 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.
    [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.

    Isaiah 28:
    [11] For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
    [12] To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
    [13] But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
    [14] Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
    [15] Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
    [16] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
    [17] Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

    Bob this is the scripture of which I am referring to. Paul uses verse 21 and 22 to complete his thought. He shows in this the real reason there is Tongues at all. Tongues are a sign to unbelieving Isreal in particular. Paul qoutes Isaiah to show us the OT prophecy that was being fulifiled. Once the Judgement happened IS. Vs. 17, then the need for the “sign” goes a way. Tongues pointed to the judgement of God and that is all they are and all they are for. In the last 100 years Tongues have become something different but that can’t change what Paul taught through Isaiah’s words. Hope that helps.

    Take care,
    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  14. SpiritualMadMan

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    Unfortunately, tongues was not 'merely' used as a sign to unbelievers...

    Tongues, had a large number of uses in the NT church...

    Including:

    self edification...

    church edification (with interpretation)...

    as a sign for believing Jews that the gentiles were in fact accepted in Christ...

    (A 'wag' may postulate that 'we' Pentecostals *still* need tongues to prove to the Baptists that Christ has accepted us? [​IMG] )

    as a prayer language when words of one's known language are inadequate... (Too bad the intenisty of prayer that would tend to require this is a lost 'art'.)

    So, IMHO, some attributes and uses may be non-essential... But, every aspect of tongues is not. And, there remains a potential part for tongues to play in the life of a believer...

    But, you'd expect that response from a Bapticostal or an Penta-aptist... :D
     
  15. BobRyan

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    If it is even "primarily" a sign to unbelievers as Paul says in 1Cor 14 then it has to operate in an Acts 2 model where it COULD function in such a way. The fact that Paul identifies it as such in 1Cor 14 solidifies the point that the Acts 2 and 1Cor 14 gifts are the one and only gift of tongues listed in scripture.

    This creates the problem with what is taken for tongues today.

    I agree 100% that the Gifts of the Spirit are for the church - and the church is still around - so the gifts still apply.

    But the idea that what we see today as tongues - is the same gift mentioned in Acts 2 or 1Cor 14 is very doubtful.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. Briguy

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    Hey Guys, couple things here. First SMM, Tongues are never supposed to be used for self edification. When Paul said that, One who speaks in a Tongue edifies himself he was saying that that was a wrong use of the gift. He was simply saying that people speak in Tongues to "puff" themselves up. It was a showy gift and many who did not have it pretended they did and some that had it may have been using it without interpretation or even a person of a foreign tongue present. Paul had just said in 1 cor. 12:7 that "gifts" are for the edification of the whole body, he hardly would have changed his teaching in just 2 short chapters later.

    Next, in Acts 2 many of the house of Isreal were present and that initial sign of Tongues to them would have bee very powerful. That Tongues at Pentecoat was the same gift as Paul spoke of, Paul just explained its proper use in the NT church, before Tongues faded away. 1 Cor. was written in about 50AD meaning that Tongues would have about 20 more years of use and that is why paul needed to put in practical terms how this special gift was used. It really all pieces together nicely. OK, your turn for a come back! Take care,
    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  17. SpiritualMadMan

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    Obviously, I disagree... [​IMG]

    Here we have a statement of fact that a person speaking in tongues can be speaking to God not men...

    I do not see a hint of condemnation... Only contrasts...

    Here a Tongue-Talker is edifying himself.

    Again, no condemnation... But, rather contrasts... Which would be especially strong given the preceeding passage on the pre-eminence of Love...

    Here we also have two additional attributes of tongues other than as a sign sign for unbelieving Jews...

    And, IMHO, as not all Jews are yet believers... If we go with the premise that tongues would cease because they were only a sign for unbelieving Jews...

    Then because there are yet unbelieving Jews, Tongues would be as needed today as it was in Paul's day... :D

    The *real* question to me isn't whether they ceased but what role and how important...

    Clearly this is an area that Pentecostals need to carefully consider in their zeal for Spiritual Gifts...
     
  18. DHK

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    Here we have a statement of fact that a person speaking in tongues can be speaking to God not men...

    I do not see a hint of condemnation... Only contrasts...
    </font>[/QUOTE]You are reading the passage with rose-colored and biased glasses. The entire passage is a rebuke against the misuse of tongues, showing how prophecy is a much better gift to have and use than tongues is. The verse is a rebuke. There is no, and I repeat NO gift that is a private gift to be used for only one person's benefit. EVERY gift was for the entire church's benefit. For one person to pray to God was the misuse of the gift. So don't do it. You are misusing the gift. You don't prophesy to yourself; don't interpret to yourself; to give a word of knowledge just to yourself; don't do miracles just for yourself; don't have the gift of helps just for yourself; don't have the gift of administration just for yourself; etc. No gift is just for yourself--a selfish gift. ALL gifts are for the benefit and edification of ALL the church body. And that includes tongues. Thus when Paul says, "He that speaks in an unknown tongue...speaks unto God," it is condemnation. It is a selfish thing to do. Tongues and the interpretation thereof is for the whole church. If you need to speak to God, pray in your own language (DUH!). God can understand you in your own language, and you can too. Prayer is communication. Prayer is talking to God, not babbling to God. God is not pleased with babblers.

    And it is a sinful act if he is just edifying himself. The gift if for the whole church.
    The statement in itself was condemnatory. You read it with an underlying bias. Tongues don't profit unless they are spoken as a gift to the entire church, and that with an interpreter. It is clearly stated that if you don't have an interpreter to sit down and shut up.

    There is a biting piece of sarcasm here that most charismatics miss. "I would that ye all spake in tongues," is about the same as Jesus saying "I would that you all remove mountains." That is not exactly the intended meaning. The Corinthians were abusing the gift. He didn't want any of them using the gift under these circumstances. He clearly says that it is better that you prophesy. To have both statements true is contradictary. There is sarcasm in the first which you don't get because of your bias toward tongues.

    1Cor.14:21,22 speaks of a sign to the unbelieving Jews, a fulfillment of prophecy given is Isaiah 28. The prophecy was fulfilled. It doesn't go on and on as a continuing prophecy not yet fulfilled. It was fulfiled in the first century, when the Jews rejected the Messiah. Then judgement fell upon them as Isaiah predicted. It was a sign to the unbelieving Jews that crucified the Messiah in the first century. In Acts 2 Peter was addressing the very Jews that crucified the Messiah. He says he was. That was the first occurance of tongues. Tongues was a sign to these Jews and the others that did not believe the gospel at that time.

    False, today is not the first century. You are out of date.

    The role is that they have none. They have ceased. Give them up. They are not of God. They are of the flesh.
    DHK
     
  19. Briguy

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    SMM, I agree with what DHK has said. He is looking at the teaching of tongues as a whole and not pulling out a verse here and there to support his (our) position. The "sign" was over and Tongues quietly faded away after 70AD. What is going on now is generally well intended by very good people. I will not support it though just because the intentions are good.

    Thanks DHK for the work you put in on your response.

    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  20. SpiritualMadMan

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    And, *you* *never* edify yourself?

    Must be mighty skinny and have terrible breath? :D

    And, when one reads the Word of God are they not edifying themselves?

    Where do you get the idea that *anything* that edifies oneself is automatically 'sinful'?

    You never over stress your body and take an aspirin? Or, use 'Ben-gay' type ointments?

    While there are many issues with "Lording it over God's Flock".

    And, there are issues where we are taught, emphatically, that we are to build one another up...

    Jude also writes
    There *are* times when we *must* build ourselves up through Prayer and Bible Study so that we may build others up...

    And, whether Jude is talking about praying in a tongue or not... The message remains clear it is not wrong to edify oneself...

    Only to flaunt it... (Or, cause division over it?)

    (Which remains a charge I readily admit Pentecostals remain rather open to. [​IMG] )
     

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