What was Paul really Saying in 1 Corinthians 14:20-25

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by tomana, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. tomana

    tomana
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    Regarding tongues, I am still waiting for a revelation as to whether or not they stopped 1800 years ago, or not. I've read much, but still nto convinced in my heart. I do not debate current day tongues as to whether or not they are genuine languages (though I do study this as well).

    Rather, my desire is to once and for all learn if the Spirit gifts ceased a long time ago as is taught in not too few Christian denominations. Here's a Reformed teaching example I just read :

    "If tongues are merely the gibberish one encounters in Charismatic churches and not real languages, then tongues are not a sign to unbelievers, as Paul clearly asserts."

    What, exactly, was Paul saying in 1 Corinthians 14:20-25 ?

    1 Corinthians 14:20-25
    Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

    First, Paul says tongues are a sign to unbelievers. Unbelieving Jews required a sign, not Gentiles. But be that as it may, let's move on here ...

    Then, Paul goes on to says: "prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers, but for believers."

    Then Paul says: "If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds?"

    First question: If the tongues Paul said are a sign are for unbelievers, why does Paul tell the church to not speak tongues if an unbeliever comes into the church?

    Second question: If prophecy is a sign for believers why does Paul tell the church to use prophecy to convict the unbeliever?
     
  2. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Verse 20 urges the Corinthians to come to a MATURE understanding in regard to God's design for tongues in verse 21. Paul quotes Isaiah 28:11-12 as the Biblical basis for God's design for the Biblical gift of tongues. If you will read that passage and Pauls summary points of that passage you will see that in its context it predicts that tongues is a "sign" for Israel that the promised "rest" in the person of their Messiah has come. It also predicts their reaction to that sign - "for all that they will not believe me saith the Lord." Isaiah continues to predict what God's response will be when they reject that "sign" and thus reject Jesus Christ - the destruction of Jerusalem or to be "trodden" down by the gentiles.

    Hence, tongues are not a sign for believers but God's sign to a special kind of unbeliever - the unbeliever who is LEARNED in the Old Testament book of Isaiah and who would recognize tongues as a sign.

    Therefore, if an "unlearned" unbeliever (gentiles) came in and heard tongues they would not recongize them as a "sign" because they did not know the scriptures but rather would think they were mad.

    In regard to "unlearned" unbelievers, what they needed was prophesy or preaching of God's word which God uses to convince them of sin and need of salvation. Prophecy here is not that of the prophets, which he deals with a little later in the paragraph that was limited to two or three but this "prophesying" was something ALL the members could do in various ways - through songs, exhortations, preaching etc.

    So prophecy serves the unlearned unbeliever (Gentile)while tongues serves the learned unbeliever (Jew). Tongues are not for believers but prophesying serves both believers and unlearned unbelievers.
     
  3. tomana

    tomana
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    A most edifying reply, I thank you very much.

    In another forum, someone made a statement and I can't find it yet in scripture so I'll ask here. Is this statement true ?

    " if a person speaks forth truth or knowledge of a persons heart and life, they know that it must be from God."

    this was said in reference to 1 Corinthians 14. I had a practicing Buddhist do the same, he knew some of the thoughts I had been pondering during the week, knew secrets from my past, etc but I need to see the scripture to confirm this - similar to Duet 13:1-5 I would think
     
    #3 tomana, Nov 21, 2012
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  4. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    False teachers, cults and the occult will always have half truths or else no one would fall for their deceptions. Experience is always subject to God's Word - Isa. 8:20. Remember there are two sources of supernatural experience and insight - the "spirit of truth and the spirit of error." The bottom line is not their power or insights but what kind of doctrine and practice does their power and insights confirm? When the source is Satanic, their power and insights are "LYING wonders" (2 Thes. 2:9) because they confirm false doctrine and practice. They are called "Lying" because God's purpose of miracles signs and wonders is to confirm TRUTH.
     
  5. tomana

    tomana
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    "they confirm false doctrine and practice. They are called "Lying" because God's purpose of miracles signs and wonders is to confirm TRUTH"

    yes,I experienced that in a mighty way once. I had been talking with a co-worker, encouraging him to not abandon his faith in Jesus and one day while he was driving a forklift, with me and another guy standing on some material piled on the forks and the forks full raised to about 14 feet (not smart, but the Lord had a purpose) when all of a sudden, one of the forklift's tires fell into a pot hole and I was thrown from the forks, fell 14 feet. Landed square on my butt, got up laughing and pulled my pocket bible out from my back pocket. You should have seen the driver's face ... I'll never forget it. I had no bruises, no pain, not a scratch. Two people witnessed it; it was a miracle whether or not it ever is 'officially' confirmed some how or other.

    Why did all this happen? That young man who was driving the forklift made a Bee line back to a men's fellowship :jesus:

    So yea, I believe the Lord does miracles, signs and wonders but for the purpose of saving souls - not the false stuff going on in many charismatic/pentecostal and other miracles type congregations but the real miracles.
     
    #5 tomana, Nov 21, 2012
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  6. tomana

    tomana
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    good to know
     
  7. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    No, that is not the purpose of MSW or else none were saved prior to Pentecost - Acts 10:43 - the gospel was THE POWER of salvation prior to Pentecost.

    No, MSW do not replace the gospel and the Bible says that it is the gospel that is THE POWER of God unto salvation not MSW - -Rom. 1:16-17/1 Cor. 1:17-18

    MSW have nothing to do with saving anyone but they are designed to CONFIRM that a prophet is speaking/writing God's Word and there are no prophets/apostles today as every single self-proclaimed apostle/prophet after the first century has failed the Biblical tests of a prophet (Deut. 13:1-5; 18:20-22; Isa. 8:20; 1 Jn. 4:1,6).

    The Word has been confirmed, the Biblical canon is finished (Isa. 8:16-20; Rev. 1:3; 22:17-18) and God's purpose for miracle workers is finished. Only two miracle workers are predicted in the future (Rev. 11). God still works miralces but not through miracle workers.
     
    #7 The Biblicist, Nov 25, 2012
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  8. billwald

    billwald
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    >So yea, I believe the Lord does miracles, signs and wonders but for the purpose of saving souls . . . .

    YES!!!!!!!!!!! NOT primarially for the purpose of healing sick people. He could have healed every sick person in the world by saying a word or two, but he didn't.
     
  9. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    When God gives His purpose for MSW it is ALWAYS to CONFIRM HIS WORD through his servants not to save souls (Mk. 16:20; Heb. 2:3-4; Acts 2:22; etc.).
     

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