The Gift of Tongues, No. 1
morning we come to a very crucial and controversial
subject, and one that is raging in our day relative to another one of
the temporary spiritual gifts.
This one is the gift of tongues.
This is one of the
gifts which was temporary in the New Testament church.
It was the ability that some Christians in
the local congregations had to be able to speak in foreign languages
which were unknown to them.
Tongues was one of the
It was designed therefore
to be a sign to authenticate the message and the messengers of the New Testament.
Because tongues is a miracle
gift, as we have learned, it would therefore phase out.
There is nobody therefore today who can
perform miracles, nor can anybody exercise the gifts of tongues
today—the ability to speak in a foreign language that he himself does not know. He cannot do this under the power of
Now I’ll qualify what I said in the fact that Satan has the
ability to perform the miraculous. Satan
has the ability to bring about cures under certain conditions. Satan
has the ability to take possession of a
person and to enable him to speak even in a known language, but God is
longer exercising this miraculous gift.
It served its
purpose and it has been phased out. This
happened with the fall of Jerusalem in
70 A.D. and with the completion of the New Testament scriptures with
of the Revelation.
all of the modern claims for speaking in tongues that you
hear about is really nothing more than an experience that Satan has
producing through the old sin natures of people in primitive societies. It
is important that you understand that the
ecstatic gibberish that you hear today as tongues was practiced by the
priests and priestesses of the Greco-Roman world. These
were viewed as messages from the
There were people
who would take
this gibberish that the priests and priestesses, under a detachment of
in absorption with their idol deity which you know has a demon behind
receive this gibberish message and
there were people who would seek to interpret this as a message from
the oracles of the ancient world.
the witch doctors have the same experience. They
put themselves in the position where they
come to an ecstatic condition where they are babbling in ecstatic
The condition of
self-hypnosis, or the state of being detached from your own soul and
with another force, is a state of ecstasy where you have no
your own, and it is an ancient practice under satanic direction.
have historical records of pagan tongues
experiences are such things as ecstasy and great sense of joy; a
howling; being in a trance; violent physical motions; foaming at the
rhythmic sounds; and, singing.
is all the same thing that you have today.
you’ve been in a tongues meeting, you will immediately
all of these things are present. It
exactly what happened in primitive societies in ancient times and it
This occurs among
societies as well in our day—the expression of the gibberish
type of tongues.
Tongues in History
a little volume by Gromacki, The
Movement, I’d like to
read you a paragraph.
reported that ecstatic speech is found in Muhammadanism.
Dervishes of Persia constantly utter the
name of Allah accompanied by violent shaking of the body and trances
issue in foaming at the mouth.
violent motions lead to physical exhaustion and partial unconsciousness. During
this period of ecstasy they preach
if you have been in Pentecostal meetings you may have
seen the site, frequently of women—men as well, but very
often of women—who are
just in what you would call a catatonic state.
You would think
they are having a convulsive fit. They’re
shaking and they’re rigid. Their
mouth is foaming and their eyes are
rolling, and usually it takes two or three men to hold one woman down
exuberance of the ecstatic possession of what they call the Holy
coming upon them and the ecstasy of the moment.
is followed, when the person comes to, by a state of
I wonder how much
a Pentecostal meeting has the satisfaction in it that a person goes in
and he is of the emotional temperament type, and it just releases him.
a lot of defense for tongues, with its
associated ecstatic expressions, and I find this on college campuses: I
have kids coming back and saying, “We have
a college professor who speaks in tongues.”
occurs in Christian schools.
He speaks in
chapel and he defends his position. He
presents it as a vehicle by which he worships
and praises God.
I think that a
misrepresentation of the scriptural issue of tongues.
you are of the type that goes for a jiving jumping church
service, and I know that some of you are, then that’s the
kind of a church
service you can find.
it’s OK if you
like to go to church services where they sing Amazing
Grace to the
Coca-Cola song and they clap their hands and that sort of thing. That’s
If you like a
jumping jiving service, just say, “I’m the
and I like to go in there and I like to jump and jive.” But
don’t go in there and defend tongues,
which I think as we unravel it you will see that it is a fantastically
heretical practice today, and is satanic in its influence to the core. Don’t
go in there and defend tongues as a way
of expressing your praise to God. Just
say, “I’m the kind of emotional character that
likes to come in and jump and
jive all over the place, and that’s the kind of a service I
I like to worship
God like that.”
Well and good. Just
don’t try to defend that and your temperament on a heretical
continuing our quote here:
These things take
place in non-Christian
religions—the expression of tongues. He
Eskimos of Greenland are
reported to have engaged in glossolalia (that is, tongues). Their
religious services are led by an Angok,
the medicine man or priest.
services there is a definite attempt to get in touch with the
The services are
characterized by drum-beating, singing, dancing, and nudity of both men
Freuchen in his book Artic
glossolalia in this way:
Suddenly one of
the men … went out of his head, unable to contain himself to
the regular rhythm
of the service.
He leaped to his
crying like a raven and howling like a wolf.
In ecstasy he and
a girl … began to yell in a tongue I could not
Certainly it was
usual Eskimo language.
If there is such
a thing as speaking in tongues, I heard it then.”
advocates today defend their practice by pointing
out how it improves them religiously.
This is one of
the favorite defenses—how it improves a person’s
religious active life and his conduct.
I started reading
I started giving
I got active in
This is one of
tiresome defenses, and I hear this from Christians.
is some joker who sits in a church where
he’s receiving the Word of God and he’s receiving
He is negative to
because it is striking him right where he is resisting it.
is a spiritual do-do.
Suddenly he finds
himself in another church
under another ministry where there are accommodations to his old sin
and he blossoms out and starts reading the Bible and going to church
attending prayer meeting and giving his money and getting into
And there are
Christians who are stupid
enough to say, “Now he has gotten on the ball for the
you realize that you old sin nature is steeped with
you realize that all
those things are nothing but religion in a negative person toward the
Are you so
diluted to think that a
person who is negative to sound doctrine in one place can go to
and get on the ball spiritually?
he has done is gone
someplace else where he is comfortable in his negative resistance, and
starts becoming religious in his expression.
understand how Satan loves religion, you will be fooled.
has no objection to your being religious. That’s
the greatest thing in the world. He
has no objection to your giving the credit
another thing people
can’t see how healing and
tongues could be so wrong.
gather, we give God all the praise. We
give God all the credit.
We look to
Do you think
Satan objects to
He knows that
what you’re pursuing
is out of the will of God.
the plan of God.
got nothing to
As long as he
keeps you in
religion, you’re not going to do the one thing he wants you
to do as a
You will not
spiritual gift and you will not start exercising it.
you find your spiritual gift and you
start exercising it, then you start creating a lot of trouble for Satan. Until
then he doesn’t care about you at
religion comes from the old sin nature. That
sin nature is corrupt.
spiritually blind, and it’s eager for
willing to improve its conduct to impress itself. It’s
hardened and it’s negative. Religion
is a human good deception of Satan
and you know that God rejects everything that comes from our human
he does our sins, so he does our good.
achievement of some level of desired spirituality in itself
causes a person to be joyful and to have a sense of elation and
that somebody told you (and you believed him) that
if you got up and spoke in this gibberish tongue, it would be the sign
have entered an intimate relationship with God and that your life would
be on a
whole new dramatic plateau.
And you so,
“Oh, is that true?” So
you would start
pursuing the gift of speaking in tongues.
remember—anybody can speak in tongues. All
you have to do is get around people who
All you have to
do is concentrate
on it and pretty soon you’ll let go and it will take over and
speaking gibberish without any problem at all.
after you pursue this and you do it, because you have
psyched yourself previously into thinking that if you do this you now
beautiful relationship with God, you’ll be overjoyed. You’ll
get out there and start hustling in
your religion like crazy for God. And
you have been diluted by Satan right down the line.
giving God the praise is no problem for
He just wants to
in your permanent spiritual gifts.
the problem with the tongues crowd is that they are not
judging their experience by bible doctrine.
most people in the tongues movement don’t have doctrine by
which to judge.
Most of them
come to it if they wanted to.
available to them.
All of our
experiences which originate with God the Holy Spirit are going to
that it’s the other way around. They
insist that a man who has had an experience cannot be confounded or
If I had an
experience, that’s all I need to guide me to the truth. We’ve
already gone over how experience is
we see that the False Prophet in Revelation 13 is going
to deceive people into worshipping the Antichrist on the basis of
miracles that he performs for them. Without
doctrine you will misinterpret experience.
If we seek to
determine if today’s tongue’s practice qualifies as
New Testament tongues practice, which is what we’re going to
We want to know: Is
what happened in the New Testament is
what’s happening today? Then
we have to
the only way we
can decide that.
We have to see
intended to do with tongues; why he produced it; how long He intended
it; and, what it was really like. Then
we can step back and we can walk into a Pentecostal meeting, and
can analyze it, and on the basis of doctrine we can determine whether
purported as tongues today is what the New Testament gift was.
people with an emotional temperament need a frame of
reference particularly in their minds of doctrine to guide them. I’m
not saying that you will not have
emotions as a result of God the Holy Spirit’s production in
Your old sin
nature will produce false emotions. But
when you come with sound doctrine, God
the Holy Spirit will give you great elation and great joy in what you
learned and in how He functions through you.
There is a great
deal of emotion in the Christian life, but emotion as
the controlling element will destroy you.
for this reason, are prominent in the tongues
They have a
bent, and Pentecostalism is the haven of the women’s lib in
the religious realm
Here is where
their hay day.
And if you have
inclinations to be a woman preacher; if you want to get up and lead
and if you want to get up and be an aggressive female, then join a
church because it is the haven for the religious women’s lib
The History of the
think it would be helpful to think through a little bit
the history of the tongues movement.
There were very
few reports following the apostolic period of
Those which were
the early church fathers were cases not of what they did but of what
reported to them.
George B. Cutten
an educator at Colgate University. He
wrote a book called Speaking
With Tongues. He
made an extensive examination of all the
ancient records following the apostolic period of speaking in tongues. His
conclusion is that following the
apostolic period there is not one demonstrated proven instance of
we come to the Middle Ages we again have no verifiable
We have a lot of
like dogs and babies preaching and defending the faith, but you have
accurate records of people speaking in tongues.
When we come to
the Reformation period and we have some reports of
claims to tongues, but always among fringe groups.
the reformers tongues was not a factor
in recovery of New Testament doctrine.
Since then the
gibberish of tongues periodically flared up and then
disappeared—always out on the fringe, never with great
support, so it didn’t
when we come to the modern tongues period, in the
beginning of the 19th
century, we find tongues in the Mormon
taught and practiced
This is part of
statement of the Mormon Church today—belief in tongues. This
was how he received, in effect, the Book
It was given to
him in a
language that he had to interpret on those tablets.
Shakers were another cult group who practiced tongues
gibberish with ecstatic dancing, jumping, and shaking.
founder, Mother Ann Lee (a lady, you
notice), claimed the ability to speak in 72 languages.
tongue movement that you and I are
acquainted with, in the Pentecostal Holiness churches really began in
Tongues in Modern
1900, the beginning of the 20th
century, a man
named Charles Parham opened the Bethel Bible School in Topeka Kansas. Part
of his teaching was that tongues was for
This school had
It just had
students and Bibles
and they taught themselves.
the Scriptures and they pursued seeking the practice of speaking in
the real solid beginning of Pentecostalism was in
Los Angeles in the year 1906.
modern tongues, as we know it today, broke out on Azusa Street. I
want to read you a quote that describes a
little bit of what happened.
This is by
Carroll Stegall in The Modern
Tongues and Healing Movement, a
This is referring
outbreak from which the modern Pentecostal movement has come. This
happened in Los Angeles,
negro named W. J. Seymour, who had been at a Bible school
in Houston, Texas, began preaching to a group of Seekers in a home at
On April 9th,
1906, the people in this group, having been in intense prayer for some
began to break into ecstatic utterances which were joyously hailed as
The group grew
move into a tenement basis meeting hall at 312 Azusa Street. To
the tenement people, the tongues were the
sure sign of the approval of the Holy Spirit.
They felt certain
that God was preparing to usher in the end of the age
with the promised latter reign of power spoken of in Joel.
considered this prophecy only partially
fulfilled at Pentecost.
after night the meetings continued as scores of
people, whipped into a high state of emotional fervor, broke into the
torrent of monosyllabic sounds and appeared to be possessed of super
without end for three months or more and the excitement swept the
People came from
far and wide to
scoff, and were convinced.
to their places, carrying the movement with them. It
swept like fire across America, and thence
across the seas to India, Sweden, and other lands.
is today well established in several
foreign countries although its greatest following is in
the tongues movement began from this beginning and spread
It has various
The Assemblies of
God; The Church
of God in Christ; Pentecostal Assemblies; Pentecostal Holiness Church;
Gospel Churches; Four Square Gospel Church, and so on.
on April 3rd,
1960, a dramatic
new era in the tongues movement began.
On that day
Dennis J. Bennett, the rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
in Van Nuys, California, stood up on that Sunday morning and announce
congregation that he had had the experience of speaking in tongues. This
was immediately caught up by the news
media and it was given extensive coverage in Life
magazine and in the Post
apart by this issue.
secured the pastor’s resignation and he began another church
in the Episcopal
tradition but devoted to the tongues practice.
this beginning, however, something new happened in the
tongues movement as we know it today. Up
to now, tongues had always been out in the usual Pentecostal Holiness
From that day,
into the old line denominations so that today the tongues movement is
(only) among Pentecostal groups. You’ll
find it in Methodism.
among Northern and Southern Baptists.
find it among Presbyterians and Reformed Churches.
find it among Lutherans.
you’ll find it among Roman
So the tongues
invaded even evangelical colleges and missions, creating great havoc in
you have religious leaders today, and institutions, who
are reflecting great spiritual confusion now that tongues has moved
It was alright
when it was
out there among the Pentecostalists.
Then they could
make declarations and speak on it. You
would be surprised how many spiritual
religious leaders in the circle of your acquaintance that you would go
and say, “What about tongues?” How
you would get an equivocal answer. You
would be surprised how many people in evangelical denominations, in
churches, and in educational institutions are now beginning to cop out
saying that tongues is either of Satan or it is psychological
One or the other,
is not of God.
going to find that it’s going to be hard for you to
hear a preacher who gets up on a basis of the exposition of doctrine
it that pointedly.
all going to
Do you know why? Because
once Mr. Bennett broke this loose
into the open among regular denominational groups, vast numbers of
been drawn into this delusion, and the support of congregations and the
of educational institutions is now dependent upon people who are
the tongues practice.
students will come home and, because they have had
college professors, nice people, people they know who practice tongues,
have a chance to get up and defend it.
come home and they’ll have a sympathy for it instead of
“He’s wrong. He’s
out of line with
Whatever he is
it is not the practice of New Testament tongues.”
you’re going to have to have a pretty
clear idea on this subject.
place to begin is in the book of Isaiah. Will
you turn to chapter 28?
going to begin at verses 9-12.
records two great failures of
the Jewish people.
The first eight
verses tell you about extensive alcoholism in Israel which led to
verse 7 says,
“But they also have erred through wine, and through strong
drink are out of the
The priest and
the prophet have
erred through strong drink.
religious leaders are on booze.) They
are swallowed up of wine.
They are out
of the way through strong drink, they err in vision, and they stumble
For all the
tables are full of
vomit and filthiness so that there is no place clean.” That’s
their first problem.
destroying the Jewish
to this came a second destructive issue in verses
9 through 12.
These tell us of
negative volition to doctrine which led ultimately to the
in 70 A.D.
Verse 9 says,
“Whom shall he
indicates understanding of doctrine.
When he says,
“Whom shall he teach knowledge,” he’s
indicating that few
would gather to listen to instruction in Bible doctrine.
is the same problem we have today. A
preacher can break his neck with all kinds
of pleading, all kinds of admonition, and all kinds of exhortation, and
say, “Ho hum, yeah, I should be in church to learn doctrine. I
should do this every day.” And
then vast periods of time pass and you
never see them.
Then they phase
in for a
while and then they phase out.
think they’re getting away with something.
don’t know what you’re doing to yourself eternally. But
here’s an example.
It destroyed this
And you will
destroy yourself and you will
destroy your nation.
When a maximum
number of people become confused and disoriented to God’s
viewpoint, the nation
goes down the tube.
I think our nation is headed very very rapidly.
that’s all well in keeping with prophetic Scripture.
shall he teach knowledge and whom shall he make to
Most of the Jews
were negative to teacher, teaching, and technique.
they were negative, they were plumb
ignorant of doctrine.
Now mind you: They
were religious to the core.
It was religion
that was destroying
weren’t discontinuing all of
their religious practices.
have said, “Oh, isn’t it wonderful? This
fellow has really gotten on the ball here.
He used to kill
one animal in sacrifice.
Now he kills five
has gotten so active for the Lord. Isn’t
when he was negative to teaching, teacher, and
technique; when he was rejecting Isaiah’s instruction, he was
He was religious
but he was not accomplishing
anything that God was commending or rewarding.
So he says,
“Whom shall understand doctrine.” Why
couldn’t they understand it? Because
they were rejecting it.
Jews remained in the
babyhood stage of spirituality.
they have been “weaned from milk, and drawn from the
breasts,” and that’s where
He got them far
along that they were living off of the basics, and there they stayed. Instead
of growing on spiritually into
adolescence and into maturity, they stopped there.
verse 10, here is the means of growth that they
must be upon
“precept” is a
principal of doctrine.
It says that one
doctrine has to be added to another doctrine to develop a necessary
reference for the classification of truth, precept upon precept. Then
he goes on and says, “Line upon line,”
which means expository explanation of the revealed written Scriptures: word
by word, verse by verse, “line upon
line, here a little, and there a little,” meaning that you
keep at it.
don’t just show up for church once in a
don’t just open your Bible
once in a while.
don’t just play
some arrogant role and say, “Well, Sunday School is not for
me,” as if you were
that capable of getting along without a segment of doctrinal
ignoring this divinely provided means of spiritual
maturity because it was too much trouble or because they knew all that,
the destruction of the destruction of the Jewish nation as it will to
says, “Here’s the judgment.” This
sign of divine rejection of Israel. This
is the sign.
In this verse God
because you’re great for living it up in pleasure and fun
which has led to
alcoholism; because I can’t get you out to Bible class to
listen to the Word
and to respond to it and learn it and act upon it, you have come to the
where I’m going to reject you as a nation.
Now mind you: This
is hundreds of
years before the event has happened that God is declaring this. This
is even before the first 70-year
captivity in Babylon.
11 says, “For with stammering lips and with another
tongue will He speak to this people.”
here’s what Isaiah is saying:
“stammering lips” in the Hebrew means a language
erratic, jerky, or choppy.
A choppy type
of language which has a choppy sound to it.
Hebrew has a
rather melodious and flowing sound to it. He
is contrasting this with the Hebrew
are going to be taught the
Word of God in a choppy erratic language.”
Right away they
knew what that meant—not in Hebrew, not in our melodious
he adds to it:
will he speak, meaning tongues foreign to them; that is,
He would speak to
What would God
speak to them?
The Word of God
which they had rejected.
He was saying
that the time is going to come
when you Jews who have consistently rejected Bible doctrine taught to
your own Hebrew language are going to come to the place where I am
reject you as a nation, and then I’m going to bring Gentiles
with their choppy
jerky gentile-type of languages and they’re going to teach
you the Word of God
in those languages.
that is so humiliating to a Jew to think that he would
be taught by a Gentile.
This would be
like somebody coming up and saying, “Do you know what? The
Asian/Afro nations, let’s say China and
Africa are getting together and they’re forming mission
organizations to send
missionaries to the United states—Christian missionaries to
that would cause you to say, “They’re going to send
missionaries to the Unites
got Bibles to burn
going to send missionaries
And it seems
some nation would going to send missionaries to us.
that’s the way it was with the Jews. “You
must be kidding, God.
can’t be serious that Gentiles are going
to come and teach us the Word of God.”
offensive to them.
The Tower of Babel
to whom was this to be done?
Verse 11 says,
“To this people.” Who
are the people, in this context? The
that’s very important. God
is going to speak in foreign languages to
the Jewish people.
Have you got
Not to Gentiles. A
tongues language to Jews alone.
From Adam to
Abram was a period of the
All the world
spoke in one
evangelization was carried
on in that one language.
Apostasy set in
after the flood and the people responded to a plan that Satan proposed
one-world government in the form of the tower of Babel.
you read the historical record in the Scriptures
concerning the Tower of Babel, you will see that if God permitted man
to go to
one-world government, no evil would be restrained unto him. God
knows that He has to restrain the old sin
nature by having nations which can counter one another, in balance of
one another, so that no nation can have a totalitarian control to
access to the Word of God.
Any time a
totalitarian control comes in, a one-world-like government comes in
segment of people, the first thing that is destroyed is access to
and the Word of God.
that’s why the
Tower of Babel came, because God saw a united nations being formed, a
government, and God knew that no evil would be restrained then to man
old sin nature in the governmental authorities.
access to the Word of god and to enlightenment would be
He confounded the languages.
He mixed them up
and confused them into many
languages in order to ensure national entities which are
God’s plan for
This protects the
race and the
access to the Word of God, and it restrains evil.
from Abraham to Pentecost was the period of the
It was a period
The Jews were
during that period of the divine revelation, and they were responsible
bringing the Word of God to all nations.
They were the
however, turned apostate.
rejected God’s revelation. They
in their missionary responsibility. So
God has sent the Jews into dispersion and He has raised up a new
agency in the form of the Christian church.
It is Gentiles
with their many languages who are now responsible as the
body of Christ for the missionary enterprise of reaching humanity. The
Jews had failed in it.
what Isaiah 28:11 is doing is predicting a national
destruction resulting in the Jews themselves being evangelized in
going to be a
destruction of the Jewish nation so that they are evangelized in turn
When did this
It took place on
the day of Pentecost.
When they stood
in Jerusalem from all the
nations of the world and they were Hellenistic Jews.
of them couldn’t speak Hebrew. All
they knew was Greek, the trade language,
and the local language of the country they came from, and they found
hearing their native country’s speech being spoken to them by
(Galileans), who weren’t too hot at speaking their own
language, speaking to
them in their own language.
was the fulfillment of Isaiah 28:11, that they were
being evangelized in the stammering foreign tongues of Gentiles. This
(was the) signal to the Jews, that they
were no longer God’s custodians of the Word, and that the
church had taken
It indicated what
verses 27-46 describe as the fifth stage of discipline that God
would bring upon the Jewish people where they would be brought under a
power and dispersed out of the land of Palestine.
this condition of dispersion will continue until the
return of Jesus Christ.
The Jews found
this prediction with the sign of tongues hard to believe, and they
national failure stemmed
from their indifference to doctrine and their not going on to spiritual
Isaiah 28:12 says, “To whom ye said, ‘This is the
which ye may cause the weary to rest, this is the refreshing. Yet
they would not hear.’” Here
he is offering the rest of the
The Lord Jesus
said, “Come unto
me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you
languages there will be offered
This was the low
point in Jewish history, for them to be given spiritual refreshment as
the response of the Jews as a whole would be negative to
this, as historically was confirmed.
negative to the New Testament church, to the apostles, and to
the message of salvation.
And they would
not hear, which is what verse 12 says.
they would not hear.”
years from Pentecost would come national dispersion in 70 A.D. It
was a grace period for them to escape the
curse which was upon them.
if you will turn to 1 Corinthians 14, we’re going to
give you the connection for all that has been said.
Corinthians 14, beginning at verse 21: Here
the apostle Paul, in a segment of the
book of 1 Corinthians, which goes from chapters 12 through 14: This
segment of 1 Corinthians deals with
spiritual gifts, and particularly with the abuse of the gift of tongues
New Testament church.
In this segment
Scripture dealing with tongues, the apostle Paul in verse 21 connects
of tongues on the day of Pentecost with the verses in Isaiah that we
The Purpose of the
Gift of Tongues
21 says, “In the law it is written (that is, in Isaiah
28:11-12), ‘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
This passage is
the only direct declaration
which we have of the purpose of the gift of tongues.
be sure you get that.
When you ask,
“Why tongues?” Only
this passage, beginning as a matter of
fact with verse 20, 1 Corinthians 14:20-22 is the only passage you have
New Testament that explains to you the purpose of tongues.
you miss it here, you’re going to be wrong
all the way through in your thinking concerning tongues.
what it says:
tongues as the gift of the least value in these
He points out
Christian would not have tongues. In
Corinthians 13 he stresses that what is of value is
“agape” love, that is being
filled with the spirit.
important—not some spiritual gift. Then
in 1 Corinthians 14 he points out that the primary purpose of all
gifts is edification, building up of individual believers in the local
(1 Corinthians 14:26).
A spiritual gift
is not exercised for your own edification.
It is only
exercised for the edification of other people. That’s
verse 20 says, “Brethren, be not children in
understanding; however, in malice be children, but in understanding be
God’s purpose for the
There is here a
against being immature about this gift, thinking as a spiritual
the tongues gift while overlooking its purpose.
“men” at the end of verse 20 is the Greek word
means “mature.” This
is the very failure
of the tongues movement today.
not come to a mature understanding of this gift.
in verse 21 he quotes Isaiah 28:11-12. This
was fulfilled on the day of
This is when god
messengers to evangelize the Jews in Gentile languages.
This begins with
the Greek word “hoste,”
This word in the
indicates that a conclusion is being reached on the basis of the verse
quoted, verse 21.
What he says is,
“Therefore, tongues are for a sign.”
Tongues are for a
This is a
Greek way of expressing a purpose. The
purpose of tongues is (to be) a sign, to prove something.
28:11-12 revealed to us that the
miracle of tongues in the church age was for the purpose of a sign. Paul
connects it to the Isaiah passage. Paul
says, “And tongues came on Pentecost—the
purpose of God in the gift was to be a sign.”
To whom? This
Jews—not to Gentiles.
It has no purpose
beyond the Jews, and it has no purpose beyond the Jews who lived in the
also here, has the definite article, “the tongues,”
which indicates the tongues that Paul has been about through these
through 14, the New Testament gift of tongues.
It refers as a
“sign” means something that is concrete to reveal a
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 who believe.
21, speaking of this people, identifies that tongues
as a sign gift is to this people which is the Jews.
tongues would be a sign to them that
believe not—Jews who believe not, not to Gentiles who believe
In the Greek, the
words here “believe not”
express a state of hardened condition that these people are in. They
reject the evidence that God is giving
to them through this gift of tongues as a sign.
verses 23 through 25 here in 1 Corinthians 14 go on to
indicate that Gentile unbelievers would listen to tongues in an
they’d say, “You’re crazy.”
Jew listened to it, because he knew Isaiah 28, he would say,
“Do you know what’s
happening is Isaiah
We are hearing
We are hearing
the Word of God preached to us
in Gentile languages as Isaiah told was going to happen to us. And
it signaled to them that God is through
with the nation that He is now turning to Gentiles.
it signaled to them that the fifth stage
of discipline, when Israel is to be dispersed from her land, is
This was 30 A.D. The
dispersion didn’t come until 40 years
40 years of grace. Why?
a Jew is under a two-fold curse. He
is under a curse now nationally that God
has placed upon him.
He is also under
the curse that you and I are under because of our spiritual death. He
could escape the curse nationally and of
spiritual death by turning to Christ as Savior.
In Luke chapter
21, we have the Lord’s declaration that this stage of
discipline is coming upon the Jewish people.
beginning at verse 20.
The Lord says,
“And ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies.
know that its desolation is near. That’s
what happened in the invasion in 70
Then let them who
are in Judea flee
to the mountains.
Let them who are
the midst of it depart.
Let not them
that are in the countries enter into it.
For these are the
days of vengeance that all things which are written
may be fulfilled.
Woe unto them
with child, them that nourish children in those days, for there shall
distress in the land and wrath upon this people (the Jews). They
shall fall by the edge of the sword” And
about a million-and-a-half of them did in
the invasion and siege of Jerusalem. “And
shall be led away captive into all nations.”
Which is where
they are today and will remain until the return of the
Jerusalem shall be trodden
down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be
the Scriptures reveal, beginning with Isaiah and Paul’s
connection in 1 Corinthians 14, is that God is now reaching humanity
And Jews may
position of spiritual death and of the curse of their nation by turning
Christ as Savior.
Galatians 3:13, escape their spiritual death by returning to Christ. The
Jew today who rejects Jesus Christ
remains under his two-fold curse. The
day of Isaiah’s curse began the same day that the blessing
cursing is turned to blessing when we receive God’s solution. The
solution was to receive Christ as
picture I want you to understand clearly this morning is
that Isaiah 28 tells you what the purpose of the gift of tongues was. What
was the purpose?
To go to the
Jewish people and to signal to
them that God was not through with them as a nation; that He was
that He was delivering God’s understanding in the Word of God
to them in
Gentile languages; that national dispersion was just over the hill;
they had to turn to Christ to escape the double curse that was upon
You can see
obviously that once
this purpose was fulfilled, the point of tongues ceased.
don’t have tongues today because God is no
longer testifying to the Jews.
going to discover that when tongues occurred in the New Testament,
The tongues were
toward them, not the Gentiles.
not have the New Testament gift of tongues operating today. Whatever
is operating, it is not the New
Testament gift of tongues.
that’s just the beginning point. There
is a lot more evidence and factors than
that which we’re going to come to. But
want you to understand that the purpose from Isaiah, as Paul connects
to the Jewish people.
It was a sign to
it’s almost over for
the Jewish nation.
Turn to Christ. That’s
your only route of escape.
The curse of God
is upon you.
John E. Danish, 1971
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