The Gift of Tongues

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ktn4eg, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. ktn4eg

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    Down through the years, I've heard some Christians contend that the gift of tongues as mentioned in Acts 2, 10:49, 19:6, and in I Corinthians 14 is still something that the Holy Spirit still gives to Christians today.

    Is the gift of tongues as portrayed in the New Testament still something that is in effect today?

    If this gift is no longer something that is in effect today, exactly when did the gift of tongues cease to exist?
     
  2. plain_n_simple

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    Prayer in tongues is in effect in my prayer life, I've only seen it once in public that required interpretation.

    It did not cease, it's just not given by the Holy Spirit to people who do not believe it, He will not force it
     
  3. Thousand Hills

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    Wow, that's good to know. I have a hard enough time as it is communicating with folks.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    Though I do not use a private prayer language I have sincere ministry friends who do.

    While on the mission field, I've seen tongues used several times in truly miraculous instances to communicate to people who otherwise wouldn't have been able to hear. Each time is entirely within the biblical description of the gift.

    I do believe the gift of tongues is operable today, though it is not forced, planned, nor used to show your salvation. It is a miraculous gift used to demonstrate God's faithfulness, not mankind's personal pride.
     
  5. The Biblicist

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    I have never met a case where the supposed tongues was not mere gibberish or the common ecstatic utterance that can be found in many religions.

    The Bible says it would "cease of itself" (middle voice) 1 Cor. 13:8 and it's Biblical purpose is clearly stated in 1 Cor. 14:21-22 as a "sign" gift to the learned unbelieving Jew (Isa. 28:10-12). Note Isaiah 28:10 and 12 clearly demonstrate the jew is a "learned" unbeliever as they have been taught here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept, whereas the unbelieving gentile is "unlearned" in regard to scriptural training. The Jew would recognize tongues as the "sign" prophesied by Isaiah.
     
  6. Yeshua1

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    Why would God continue to give to us tongues, when he already said that they would cease to be needed by us?
     
  7. JamesL

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    Ahh, there's the rub. Plenty of disagreement as to WHEN they will cease to be needed. "When the perfect comes"

    What is this "perfect" ??

    Some say the canon of scripture, some say Christ. Could be our resurrected body, whereby we will be perfect and complete

    So your question assumes you know the answer ??
     
  8. The Biblicist

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    No, the gift of tongues is already dropped from verse 9-10 in regard to "that" which is perfect. The only two considered is "knowledge" and "prophecy."

    Paul uses the passive voice in verse 8 for knowledge and prophecy indicating that something must stop them. However, tongues are referred to in the middle voice - stop of themselves, thus not needing anything to stop it. Thus it is dropped from consideration in verse 9-12.

    Furthermore, verses 10-12 provide three axioms (self-evident truths) in the form of principles that provide a progression in thought, but basically say the same thing.

    • Verse 10 - what is in part remains in part until that which completes it arrives.

    • Verse 11 - what is immature remains immature until that which matures it arrives.

    • Verse 12 - obscure indirect revelation remains obscure until it is replaced by direct clear revelation.

    However, “now” in lieu of no clear direct written revelation concerning the proper use of spiritual gifts in the assembly, love provides a mature principle to guide them in this matter. Love is complete and is greater than faith or hope because it is inclusive of both (“believeth all things” “hopeth all things”). Hence, love provides a mature principle to define the proper use of spiritual gifts “now” (14:1) until “in part” revelatory gifts are done away by a more direct completed revelation – the finished word of God.

    One must ask why did Paul choose tongues, knowledge and prophecy only in verse 8? Because these are representative of sign and revelatory gifts used to convey the revealed will of God. However, not all believers had these gifts, and thus much of the members could only see "darkly" and had to depend upon those members with these gifts, who also only possessed "in part" revelations and saw "darkly" as well. However, when that which completes revelatory gifts arrives - the completed Biblical canon as prophesied of in Isaiah 8:16-20; John 14-17; 2 Pet. 3:15-17; Rev. 1:3; 22:18-19 then there will be clear revelation about church policy directly to each saint without depending upon indirect incomplete revelatory gifted individuals. These gifted individuals also had to be tested to confirm what they said was from God (1 Jn. 4:1; 1 Cor. 14:29) which also made this "in part" method more "darkly" than simply opening up God's completed written revelation and reading directly His revealed will in any given matter.

    The epistle of 1 Corinthians by Paul was part of completing that process - 1 Cor. 14:36-38
     
    #8 The Biblicist, Jul 29, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2014
  9. Reformed

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    We do not have the benefit a clear command that indicates tongues has ceased. However we do know the gift was that of a known language spoken by someone who had no prior knowledge of that language. It is not ecstatic utterance, so let's put that nonsense to bed.

    The overwhelming evidence of church history indicates the biblical gift of tongues ceased in the early first century with the end of the apostolic fathers. Periodically there were movements that would come on the scene that championed ecstatic utterance, but not the biblical gift of tongues. So, there is no compelling evidence to support the continuation of the practice throughout most of church history.

    Anecdotal accounts cannot be taken seriously. I have personally heard stories about demon possession and the supernatural gifts of the Spirit taking place in the deepest parts of Africa or in South America. The problem with these accounts is that none of them can be verified.

    What passes for the modern day gift of tongues is found mostly in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. It is not speaking a previously unknown language with an interpreter present. Not to be unkind, but it is mindless babble that repeats the same vowel and consonant structure over and over again. It calls attention to the individual and does not give glory to God.

    My strong opinion aside, am I willing to say tongues can never occur again? Who am I to place God in a box and tell Him what He can and cannot do? But based on what has transpired in the Church since the end of the apostolic age, what passes for the biblical gift of tongues is, in my opinion, a pox of confusion that is not authored by God.
     
  10. The Biblicist

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    Cessation of tongues is found in the middle voice, and it is dropped from the list when Paul speaks of those "sign" and revelatory gifts which need something outside of themselves to stop them (vv. 9-12). Hence, tongues has ceased of itself prior to what brings the other gifts to closure.

    Further, its divine purpose is clearly stated in 1 Cor. 14:20-22 to be the "sign" prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 28:10-17). The text explicitly states it is a "sign" for unbelieving Israel that their Messiah has come. The text also spells out in no uncertain terms what would be the result if they refused that sign - the trodding down (Isa. 28:18) of Jerusalem and scattering of Israel. Thus, with the rejection and judgement for refusing the sign we are provided precisely what would make the sign cease of itself, as its purpose ceases with the destruction of Israel.

    Furthermore Isaiah 28:10,12 clearly spell out for us that the Jew is a learned unbeliever, whereas it is the gentile unbeliever that is "unlearned" in the scriptures and would not recognize tongues for a "sign" but think they were all mad.
     
  11. ktn4eg

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    I take it that you define tongues as being an actual human language that is used in ordinary, everyday conversation (as opposed to gibberish).

    Based on that fact, why then do people who claim to possess the gift of tongues and are called to some foreign mission field still see the need to go to a foreign language school to be able to converse with those folks who live in the mission field to which they believe that they have been called?

    Wouldn't you think that the Holy Spirit would miraculously give such a person the ability to understand and converse in that language of the people to which He has called them?
     
  12. Yeshua1

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    To get to tongues/wonders/healing etc, one must bypass the sound understanding of the Bible, and have to hold to modern Apostles/prophets/restoration ministries...
     
  13. plain_n_simple

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    Praying in tongues is very powerful. One reason is it is not me but the Holy Spirit who knows what to pray. The results are continual. If you haven't been baptized in the Holy Ghost, results will be rare.
     
  14. Crabtownboy

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    Dangerous stuff and open to fraud.

    I know a fellow who was in a evangelical revival and the preacher preached on the necessity of tongues to be a Christian. When it came time for prayers some prayed in tongues and an interpreter then translated their tongues into English.

    So, the person telling me this story stood and prayed the Lord's Prayer in Greek. The interpreter interpreted .... but completely wrong. The interpretation had nothing to do with the Lord's Prayer or with prayer at all.

    When I was a kid there was a woman in my neighborhood ... in the country ... who spoke in tongues at every service in her church. She was second meanest woman I knew, very vile, very foul mouthed, etc.

    The meanest woman I knew got away with murder. Literally got away with murder. The pigs ate the evidence.

    It bothered me as an adult that when I was at a local charismatic church and charismatic conferences that speaking in tongues were turned on and off by the leaders. A "Let us pray" and just about everyone began speaking in tongues. After a few minutes the preacher or the prayer leader would raise his hands, make a motion and everyone would cease speaking in tongues. I don't believe the Holy Spirit can be turned on and off at will. [Just my belief.]

    So, as a kid I was never impressed by those advocating tongues. I still am not. No offense meant here, just relating incidences from my life.
     
    #14 Crabtownboy, Jul 30, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2014
  15. The Biblicist

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    How is it the Lord Jesus Christ, and all the saints prior to Pentecost seem to get answers from prayer without the Holy Spirit praying in tongue for them????? Why is it Elijah and not a post-Pentecostal saint is set forth as an example of a praying man by James?

    I think it is completely absurd to claim that praying "in the Spirit" is praying in tongues. The truth, whatever you do that is not "in the Spirit" is done "in the flesh" and nothing you do "in the flesh" is pleasing to God. Therefore, you should pray, preach, sing, works, rejoice, love, and thus "walk in the Spirit" (Gal. 5:25).
     
  16. plain_n_simple

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    Yet you have a weak prayer life, with little results.
     
  17. The Biblicist

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    I believe the signs and miracle movement today is the apostasy predicted by Christ (Mt. 24;24-25) and Paul (2 Thes. 2:9) and the absolute proof of it is their supernatural gifts are "lying" wonders, in that, they confirm false doctrines by lying spirits. It does not take a genius to see this movement is absolutely full of confusion, false doctrine and the "baptism in the Spirit" and speaking of tongues crosses denominational lines without changing absolute heretical doctrines as in the case of the Oneness Movement where the true God of the Bible is denied, perverted as much as it is by the cults (JW's, Mormons) or where the person of Christ is defamed and perverted by the Word of Faith movement or where the gospel of substitutionary satisfactory atonement is repudiated by the vast majority of this movement.

    Furthermore, this movement as a whole "loves not the truth." Meaning, their final authority is not the objective Word of God. Even their method of interpreting the Word of God is primarily based upon subjective feelings, visions and claims of spirituality rather than the objective method of interpretation based upon proper exegesis as demonstrated in Nehemiah 8 and Isaiah 8:19-20.

    They love not the truth, in regard to what Paul calls "the truth of the Gospel" in his discussion with the Galatians.

    They love not the truth in regard to the basis for unity and fellowship (Jn. 17:17-21) but rather their unity is based upon common supernatural experiences at the expense of truth.

    The fact they have the gall to claim that none can pray "in the Spirit" but those who speak in tongues is not only aburdly rediculous in regard to sound Biblical teaching, but it makes Jesus Christ and all saints prior to Pentecost second class citizens. The phrase "in the Spirit" is in every case contrasted to the idea of "in the flesh" and in context is either a contrast between the saved and lost (Rom. 8:8-9) or a contrast between the saved who can either live "walk" after the flesh or after the Spirit.
     
  18. Iconoclast

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    The Holy Spirit intercedes with groanings....which cannot be uttered...

    Did not mean to interrupt your bad theology with what romans 8 actually says

    (1) In Romans 8:26, alaletos, "inexpressible" (a, negative, laleo, "to speak"), is rendered "which cannot be uttered."
     
    #18 Iconoclast, Jul 30, 2014
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  19. The Biblicist

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    How do you know about my prayer life???? Little arrogant on your part don't you think? That is a lesson the Corinthians had to learn. They had all the gifts but were "carnal" as praying in tongues does not make one, or prove one is "spiritual" as they prayed in tongues and were "carnal." How is it one can "pray in tongues" and be carnal IF that is the SPIRITUAL way to pray?????? The "fruit" of the Spirit is the test of spirituality, not any experience or gift. First, the Lord does not answer "yes" to every prayer unless you are Christ! Are you Christ? No, is an answer to prayer as much as yes. Wait is an answer to prayer as much as yes or no. Prayer is more than about getting answers but is a discipline of growth. Indeed, I believe it is one of the greatest means of sanctification if it is guided by the truth of God's Word. Prayer is one of God's greatest method of sanctification to discover and know self. The closer a man is to God the greater his own sins, shortcomings will be seen. In His light we see ourselves in comparison to His immeasurable glory. I find that tongue speakers know very little about Biblical praying "in the Spirit."

    Iconoclast makes a very good point that Romans 8:26-27 denies that the groanings of the Spirit in BEHALF OF ALL CHRISTIANS whether weak or strong cannot be uttered. Romans 8:27 cannot be separated from Romans 8:28 and that is the application of the Spirit's groaning, God working all things for OUR good, not merely those who speak in tongues as even then not all spoke in biblical tongues (1 Cor. 12:29-30) but for all whom he foreknew, predestinated, called, justified and will glorify! Is that only those who speak in ecstatic utterances or Biblical tongues????
     
    #19 The Biblicist, Jul 30, 2014
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  20. Iconoclast

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::wavey:
     

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