Who are tongues for and who are prophecies for?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    I just read in the bible and it didn't take long and I once again came to a passage which simply doesn't make sense to me. It seems contradictory to me.

    1Co 14:22 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.
    1Co 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
    1Co 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
    1Co 14:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

    In verse 22 Paul says: Tongues are for unbelievers and prophecies for believers.
    In verse 23 he says that if the christians speak in tongues and unbelievers come around they will think the christians are mad! But in verse 22 he just said that tongues are for unbelievers!!!! Argh.
    And in verse 24 he says that if a christian prophecies and an unbeliever comes along then the unbeliever will be convinced.
    Why does he say in verse 23 and 24 the exact opposite of what he said in verse 22???

    :tear:

    The bible is simply too much for me. I ask myself why do I even try to read the bible? It only frustrates me and causes even more confusion. Why not simply let it be and be happier?
     
    #1 xdisciplex, Dec 29, 2006
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  2. DHK

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    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.

    1 Corinthians 14:22 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.

    In verse 22, the rule of thumb is: Whenever you see a wherefore (or therefore) look before to see whyfore the therefore is there for.
    So that takes us verse 21:
    "In the law it is written" This is a quote from Isaiah 28:11,12.
    "With men of other languages and other lips I will speak to "this people."

    Isaiah was referring to the nation of Israel, and so does Paul. "This people" refers to Israel. The prophecy was that the Gentile people (whom the Jews despised) would speak God's message to them. That would be a sign to them. With other languages, other lips, he would speak unto them--languages of the Gentiles whom they so despised. This is what happened.

    Thus verse 22--tongues were a sign for unbelievers--in particular unbeieving Jews. In each place in Acts--chapters 2,10, and 19--there were Jews present. Tongues were a sign for the unbelieving Jew.
     
  3. EdSutton

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    Try reading a little context. It'll help a great deal. :rolleyes:

    Uh-and it'll help keep down the B/P of some BB readers to some of the ever-increasing inane questions, as well. If you had not chosen to 'arbitrarily' ignore the phrase, "are for a sign", and the slightly broader context, this question is self-explanatory, not self-contradictory. DHK is correct, here.

    Ed

    P. S. May I suggest next time, take a little longer in your reading! :rolleyes:

    It takes a bit to annoy me, but I must admit in all honesty, sometimes some are fairly proficient at 'pushing the envelope'.

    P. P. S. "A little study covers a multitude of inane questions."
     
    #3 EdSutton, Dec 30, 2006
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  4. BobRyan

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    As usual - the Bible point is much simpler than you make it out to be.

    In Acts 2 we SEE Tongues being used as a sign for UNBELIEVERS. It is given TO believers as a sign to UNBELIEVERS. But the person speaking in tongues is not simply "reading the morning newspaper in German" they are actually saying something with Gospel content (or at least they should be).

    That is not the kind of tongues you see today - but it is what was given to the church by God in the NT.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. xdisciplex

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    The whole chapter is about gifts of the spirit and you are telling me that when Paul is talking about tongues he simply means languages of the gentiles? This doesn't make sense to me. Why should they think they are mad when they are simply talking in foreign languages?

    1Co 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

    Paul is talking about tongues which need to be interpreted not simply foreign languages. I think this is senseless since the christians here do not even believe in tongues anymore even though Paul himself encourages the people to pray in tongues. Why shouldn't they exist anymore?

    1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
    1Co 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
    1Co 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    I don't think that this, which is perfect has come yet or is this world perfect?
    Hello perfection where are you? I cannot see it. :tonofbricks:

    And you Ed better be quiet! I did not ask you for your opinion. Take your sarcasm and put it wherever you want! :mad:
    I read the whole chapter and not just these few verses and I still didn't understand it but go ahead and make fun of me this really helps me.
     
    #5 xdisciplex, Dec 30, 2006
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  6. xdisciplex

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    But why does he say in verse 23 that if unbelievers come around and see christian talking in tongues then they'll think they're mad? If they think they are mad then how can this be a sign?
     
  7. Alcott

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    What are tongues for?

    This, I suppose: :tongue3:
     
  8. Amy.G

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    The verse says "and ALL speak with tongues". This is talking about confusion and lack of order in the assembly. You can imagine if you walked into a church and every person there was talking at the same time in a different language. They would look nuts to you. Look ahead to verse 27: If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.
    :saint:
     
  9. Scarlett O.

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    Calm down, xdx....:flower: I believe that your interpretation of the word "sign" in verse 22 is what is confusing you.

    Let's go back and start with the beginning of chapter 14

    (1.) Verses 1-4: Paul distinguishes here at the beginning, the two very different purposes of tongues and prophecy. He says that we should seek spiritual gifts, especially prophecy. Prophecy is not the telling of the future, but the plain-spoken telling of God's Truth in language that everyone can understand and make applicable to their lives. It's for public use. Tongues is for privately speaking with God. In my opinion, tongues is literally speaking a foreign language supernaturally by being annointed by God to do so. It is not just gibberish. It can be done in the church, but in much limitation, according to Paul later on.
    • Paul says that tongues are mysterious and are meant to be understood by God. He says that tongues only edifies, or benefits the individual person.
    • Paul says that prophecy, or plain-spoken truths, are understood by all who hear it and are meant for everyone to hear for their strengthening, encouragement, and comfort.
    ***************************************************************

    (2.) Verses 5-12: Paul says that speaking in tongues serves no value in front of other church members unless there is a prophecy, again plain-spoken speech, to go with it. He says that they are not clinging to the most important of spiritual gifts, which is prophecy. They are hung-up on tongues. They are obviously eager to have spiritual gifts, but they are apparently being self-centered about it. They must be wanting to display their private language with God in front of other people. Paul is saying that that is not edifying to the church as no one else who hears you can understand you.

    ****************************************************************

    (3.) Verses 13-17: Paul continues in saying that no other person in the room is benefited at all by listening to someone else speak in tongues.

    ****************************************************************

    (4.) Verses 18-19: Paul says that he is grateful that God allowed him that private prayer language, but that in the church worship service, he would rather speak only 5 words that everyone else understood than to speak 10,000 words that no one could understand.

    *****************************************************************

    (5.) Verse 20: Paul tells them that they are being childish. He says that it's alright to be childish (unfamiliar with) evil, but that in their spiritual walk, they MUST be adults and have an adult understanding. Apparently some of these people must have gotten caught in the novelty of speaking in tongues and were making that the focus of their church service and not the praising, or the preaching, or the teaching, or other prophecy.

    ******************************************************************

    (6.) Verse 21: Paul reminds them that God, Himself, said that foreign tongues were not beneficial to becoming a child of God. God said that He could speak to some people in any language that humankind spoke on the face of the earth and some people would NEVER listen to Him.

    ******************************************************************

    (7.) Verse 22: Paul says that for all of these reasons that he has just outlined in verses 1-21, that tongues are not a sign for believers, but for unbelievers. The word "sign" does not mean a blessing or something beneficial. It means something that points out, or demonstates, or bears witness of, or shows something else. He says that prophecy, or plain-spoken truths is a sign, or something that points out the status of a believer and not an unbeliever.

    Then, he explains what verse 22 means in verses 23-25.

    ******************************************************************

    (8.) Verses 23-25: Paul said that if the church came together and everyone inside were speaking their private prayer language outloud that unbelievers passing by and peeking their heads in the door to see what the commotion was, that they would "freak out". That's the sign referred to in verse 22.

    • Tongues will show, or signal, who the unbelievers are. They will gawk and think you are crazy. That's why tongues are to be a private thing.
    • Prophecy will show, or signal, who the believers are. Only a believer can reveal a plain-spoken truth about God, whether in teaching or in preaching. Not all believers have the gift of prophecy, but Paul says that we should desire it.
    (9.) Verses 26-28: Paul goes on to say that in a church service everyone can participate. But for those who speak in tongues, only allow two or three and ONLY if there is someone who can speak the foreign language that they are speaking. If there is no inpreter, the person who has a private prayer language with God, MUST be silent and speak only to God.

     
  10. xdisciplex

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    Thank you Scarlett. :)

    But I have a few questions. Where do you know that prophecy
    is not the telling of the future, but the plain-spoken telling of God's Truth in language that everyone can understand and make applicable to their lives? When I hear prophecy or that somebody is a prophet then I think that this persons know things from God about the future and that he can give other people words from God.

    Does this mean that tongues and prophecy are there to be able to distinguish believers and unbelievers? But if only a believer can prophecy then you can simply distinguish them by this single criteria and do not need tongues anymore. :confused:





     
  11. DHK

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    The chapter was about understanding and about order in the church. When all spoke in different languages at the same time it was simply chaos. If a person walked into their assembly and saw that scene he would think that they were crazy. So would have you.
    Tongues are always foreign languages. In the Bible they never meant anything else. Only the Charismatic movement which began at the beginning of the 20th century have given it a different meaning. My mother tongue is English, though I can speak another language. God gave them supernaturally, other languages to speak. Thus the response in Acts 2
    "How hear we every man in our own language." They were definite known languages--all the time. There is no evidence to the contrary. A tongue is a language. The word unknown is not in the Greek. Look in your KJV. It is in italics which means that the KJV translators purposely put it in there to make the sentence sound better. They were languages--other languages--unknown to the congregation, but known to the one speaking it.

    They don't exist any more because they have no more reason to exist. Their purpose has been fulfilled. What was their purpose.
    1. They were a sign to the unbelieving Jews (1Cor.14:21,22)
    2. They were for prophecy while the NT was being written (1Cor.13:8-13)
    3. They were signs of the Apostles to validate the Apostles as apostles and their messages from God. (2Cor.12:12; Heb.2:3,4)

    We don't have any unbelieving Jews from the 1st century today.
    The prophetic gifts have ceased and the NT has been completed.
    The Apostles all passed of the scene by the end of the 1st century.
    --Thus tongues have fulfilled their purpose and have ceased.

    God's Word is perfect. The Old English word "perfect" means complete, as it does in the Greek. The Word of God was completed at the end of the first century with Book of Revelation. At that time tongues, prophecy and revelatory knowledge (1Cor.13:8) ceased. The spiritual gifts were active as long as they were needed which was up until the end of the first century. But when that which was perfect (the word of God) was come, then that which was in part (or temporary, i.e., the spiritual gifts, passed away.
    "The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul."
    "Whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty and continueth therein, this man shall be blessed in his deed."

    I don't make fun of people. This a topic that many people don't understand.
     
  12. Scarlett O.

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    I get that understanding from Paul's definition in 1 Corinthians 13:2 and 1 Corinthians 14:3. Here are Paul's descriptors of prophecy in 13:2.
    • Understand (or fathom) all mysteries
    • Understand (or fathom) all knowledge
    He says that we are to speak prophecies or explanations of things not understood of God to our fellow believers for the following purposes. (14:3)
    • For their edification (making them spiritually stronger and more mature)
    • For their exhortation (making them encouraged and strong)
    • For their comfort (making them at peace with God despite any circumstances in their lives)
    Nowhere does the Apostle Paul speak about prophecies as telling events in the future that haven't happened.

    Prophecy is not foretelling.....it's forthtelling.

    In simple terms, it's when God reveals something to you with the intent for you to share it with other believers. Preachers and bible teachers prophecy. But they aren't the only ones. God could lead someone to counsel others or to convict others of their sin or to write inspiriational literature.



    Just take those underlined words out and you have it.





    No. Go back and read what I said at the beginning of this post.



    The bible says that tongues will cease. Read what DHK said about why we don't need them anymore.





    [/quote]
     
  13. BobRyan

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    In Numbers 12 God says "IF there is a prophet among you I WILL make Myself known to them by a dream or a vision".

    That is pretty clear. Only one gift of Prophecy and Numbers 12 explains how it works.

    In 1Cor 14 we see the clear difference between tongues and prophecy --

    In the case of tongues the individual is responsible for the content and the timing.

    In the case of Prophecy - God alone is in charge of the timing and content.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. EdSutton

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    With all respect, I have given several answers over time in threads you have started, and getting but few responses. A most recent example would be your thread on "Yahweh". And it seems to me that the more various individuals have answered you, the more postings along such lines you have listed, without really considering what some have posted. Granted, that is my opinion.

    Yes, I will admit to using what you term as 'sarcasm', sometimes, when I think what I post is basically ignored. There would seem to be at least some difference between "making fun of someone", and using sarcasm to reinforce a point, to me however.

    No, you did not ask for my opinion any more than any other's. But you did post this (along with all the others) in an open debate forum. And I did observe and answer on what you posted, for I have no way of knowing what you may or may not have read. Since you apparently prefer not to listen to either my reasoning, nor my opinions of Scripture, nor my humor, I shall try and not trouble you any more, although I shall reserve the right to answer any open post, by anyone.

    Ed
     
    #14 EdSutton, Dec 30, 2006
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  15. dispen4ever

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    xdx, Scarlett has answered your query with great insight. It is worthy of your time and meditation. This especially jumps off the page:

    It is right on target.

    Relax, spend some time with the information Genesis12 sent to you today, rather than so much time here. It will open up the Bible for you. He is correct in that I'll not be able to post here after the New Year. My prayer for you is total healing. I utter that prayer now, in the Name above all names, Jesus, YOUR Savior and Lord. God's blessings.

    :godisgood: :jesus:
     
  16. xdisciplex

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    Thanks, dispen.

    @ DHK

    Come on. It's absolutely clear that praying in tongues, which Paul is speaking about, is not praying in a foreign language, it's praying in a heavenly language.

    1Co 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

    It's so absolutely clear! Think about it. Let's say you were right and praying in tongues = praying in a foreign language what mystery would it be? No mystery at all. If somebody who speaks this language hears it then he would know what I am praying but I wouldn't know it. Great mystery, huh?

    1Co 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

    Even if it was praying in a foreign language why should it have ceased? Paul made it clear how helpful this is! It's good. Paul did it. Paul told the others to do it.
    Why in the world should this good, helpful tool not be available anymore? This makes no sense at all. I would be glad if I could pray in tongues. This way I could be sure that I'm always praying things which are on God's mind and that it's effective and I wouldn't have to worry about what to pray for when I don't know what to pray for.

    You know what I think? Since baptists believe that praying in tongues doesn't exist they aren't objective anymore and simply interpret everything in a way that it fits to their presumptions. There is no other way for me to explain it because it's absolutely clear. I would have to twist it to get a different result.
     
    #16 xdisciplex, Dec 30, 2006
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  17. DHK

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    There is nowhere in the Bible where it advocates praying in tongues. That is foreign to the Bible, but an oddity for today's culture. Can you give good Biblical evidence where praying in languages is Scriptural?
    Speaking in languages was given as a gift to the local church. It was always for the edification for the entire gift. It was never to be used "selfishly," that is, simply for the use of just one individual. No spiritual gift is used that way.
    The gift of healing was never used to heal oneself.
    The gift of miracles was not used selfishly to perform miracles for one's own pleasure.
    The gift of helps was not to help oneself. And so on.
    All the spiritual gifts were to edify the entire church, and likewise tongues or foreign languages. Why would you pray to God in a foreign language when he can understand you just as well in your own, and you can understand yourself even better?

    There is nothing in there about praying. Speaking mysteries (in the spirit) has nothing to do with prayer. It has everything to do with understanding. If they were speaking in another language that was mysterious to the listeners because they couldn't understand, what profit would it be. It wouldn't profit anyone because there would be no understanding.
    1. It says nothing about praying.
    2. If some one prays in another language that you don't understand, the content of the prayer is mysterious to you. You don't understand what is being said.
    This verse is a rebuke. Don't pray in an unknown language. The Spirit which gave you the language prays, but you don't understand what is being said. It is unfruitflul. It was a real language given supernaturally. It needed an interpreter. If he needed an interpreter he shouldn't be praying. Don't speak (or even pray) without an interpreter. That is what Paul's stipulation. All who speak in tongues must have an interpreter. If you don't, then sit down and shut up. But people today don't heed the Bible do they?

    Paul never prayed in an unknown language, and he rebuked those that did.
    Why would you be glad to do something unscriptural? Nowhere does it teach to pray to teach in tongues. Please supply Biblical evidence. It just isn't there. The gift of tongues in the first century was a gift to be used for the entire local church. It was never a prayer language. It was another national language. It was a sign to the unbelieving Jew.
    I believe the Bible and what it says. I challenge anyone to show me in the Scriptures where I am wrong. You give me opinion. I give you the Word of God. You say "I think." I say" Here is what the Bibile says." That is the difference between us.
     

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