The Gift of Tongues, No. 5 -
As we continue this morning on the
gift of tongues, what we’re
doing currently in this fifth segment is looking in the book of 1
where the apostle Paul has laid out three chapters in 12, 13, and 14
to explaining the place of the gift of tongues in the age of grace. He’s clarifying divine viewpoint
this gift as it existed in the New Testament church, and particularly
as it was
being abused at the church of Corinth because the church of Corinth was
carnal church in its expression.
Tongues, we have found in the book of
Acts, was a foreign
language. Now don’t be surprised if
somebody challenges this. It is amazing
how many people who are in sympathy with the Pentecostal position will
that is not true,” even though the Greek language uses words that
can only mean
foreign language. It uses words that can
only be understood in that sense, and when we get to 1 Corinthians we
same words used again. So don’t be
astounded to hear that people will challenge and say, “No, these
utterances. They didn’t mean
anything. They were meaningless
expressions.” This is an attempt to
defend the current type of tongues practice.
However, on the basis of what the
Greek language says, there
can be no doubt that the tongues that were spoken in Acts were known
languages. Now even Pentecostalists are
forced to say, “Well, in Acts 2 it was,” because all these
people stood there
and they said, “How do we hear our own language spoken, our own
and they are willing to admit that in Acts 2 it was known languages.
they try to say that after that it was not.
But this, of course, is just something that is
interjected and cannot be
drawn out of the Scriptures at all.
Now when we get to 1 Corinthians 13,
Paul says he’s going to
show a more excellent way of living than the carnal style that was
the Corinthian church with its abuse of tongues. This
is the way of spirituality and the way
of being filled with the spirit. That’s
what chapter 13 is all about. This is
the great spirituality chapter of the Bible.
This is the great “filling with God the Holy
Spirit” chapter of the
Bible. This is the more excellent.
Not all in the New Testament possessed
the gift of tongues,
but all could possess the spirit of being filled with the spirit. Paul is saying here that no matter how
spectacular a spiritual gift one possesses, or even that you can
imagine, it is
nothing apart from the controlling of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
So concentrating on some temporary
spiritual gift as they
were doing in Corinth, instead of on the relationship to God the Holy
that is spirituality, this was the problem in the Corinthian church. So without the filling of the spirit, Paul
says in verse 1 that he becomes nothing; in verse 2 that he is
as nothing; and, in verse 3 that he produces nothing.
What he is trying to do is to impress these
people that the gifts are not the primary thing. The
gifts, especially of the spectacular
nature, are not an indication of anything relative to their
God. Instead their relationship to God
is dependent upon the filling of the spirit, and that’s what they
Now in verses 4 through 7, we pointed
out that here you have
the nature of spirituality relative to the exercise of the gift of
spelled out. Verses 4 through 7 says,
now if you are a spiritual Christian, if you are filled with the
is what would exist in your church relative to the exercise of the
being abused. Of course what is said
about this gift would also be true about any other exercise of gifts
Now picking the chapter up at verse 8,
we look at the
permanence of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Paul is saying, “Now here is something that
you can live with through
your lifetime. Here is something that is
of value and that you may continue to possess—the permanence of
the filling of
the spirit,” in verses 8 through 10. In
verse 8 he says, “Love never faileth.”
This is the Greek word “agape.” “Agape”
love is a love that has to do with a mental attitude which is free of
You’ll remember that in Hebrews
12:15, “looking diligently
lest any man fail of the grace of God lest any root of bitterness
trouble you, and by it many be defiled.”
To “fail of the grace of God” means to
break down in grace
orientation. A Christian who is not
oriented to graces is a Christian who does not have a relaxed mental
attitude. This is because a Christian who
oriented to grace is a Christian who is exposed to a root of
bitterness, and a
root of bitterness destroys a relaxed mental attitude and creates all
mental attitude sins, and the result is the status quo of carnality.
Ephesians chapter 4 verses 30 through
32 tell us that mental
attitudes grieve the Holy Spirit. “And
not the Holy Spirit of God by whom ye are sealed unto the day of
let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be
from you in all malice.” And in
it says, “Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving
one another even
as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
The Christian who is grace oriented, who is free of
a root of
bitterness, will have a relaxed mental attitude, and therefore
be an easy thing to him. He will be
harboring the things that bitterness can produce, and he will not be
exercise forgiveness, and he will not be waiting for somebody to come
say, “Will you forgive me for what I did?”
Instead it will be extended and confession will be
permitted on the
person who is offended to the Lord.
Now the reason we say this chapter has
to do with the filing
of the Holy Spirit is because in Galatians 5:22 we read that the fruit
spirit, which is the character of Christ, and which is produced as the
of the filling of the spirit, includes first of all in the fruit of the
the first segment is love. Galatians
5:22 says “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace,
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control.” The primary manifestation of the fruit of the
spirit, and consequently of being filled with spirit, is this quality
here—love. So that to say, in other
words, to use the word can be equated with being filled with the
because you cannot produce “agape” love unless you are
filled with the
spirit. And you cannot have
love, a relaxed mental attitude, free of a root of bitterness, unless
in a status of spirituality.
So 1 Corinthians 13, tied into the
context of the tongues
discussion, has to do with the church acting in carnality over against
better more excellent way of acting in spirituality.
It would express itself in the right use of
tongues. It would express itself in the
more excellent use of all the other gifts and in the more excellent
church and in the more excellent service to the Lord.
So it is essential for a Christian to
recognize that the
number one thing that should concern him is, “Am I filled with
the spirit?” If you are, you will
have the fruit of the
spirit and it will be primarily manifested with this expression of
attitude love, a mind free of bitterness.
If you do not have that, you’re in a status of
carnality, and everything
that you may seek to do is distorted.
You will not think like God thinks.
You will not have His emotions.
Your will will not move as His will moves, and you
will be in a position
where your soul has just literally been distorted.
Consequently you will find yourself moving in
resistance to the very things that God is for, and you will find
moving in sympathy with the things that Satan is for.
Now that’s carnality over against
So Paul says in verse 8, “Love
(or spirituality) never
faileth.” And the word
“faileth” is “pipto”
in the Greek. This word means “to
force” or “to become inoperative.”
filling of the Holy Spirit never becomes inoperative.
It is represented by love. It
stands in contrast to these three
spiritual gifts that follow now in verse 8 which do cease to function,
verse is introduced with something that never ceases to
the filling of the Holy Spirit, never stops operating.
This is the more excellent way that he
introduced in 1 Corinthians 12:31.
But these revelation gifts are going
to pass away, so he
says, “But, whether there be prophecies (predicting the future
divine revelation), they shall be done away; whether there be tongues
in foreign languages that you yourself don’t know), they shall
there be knowledge (the ability to take revelation and to explain it in
doctrinal categories), it shall vanish away.”
Now the question is, as you read this
verse, when will these
gifts cease functioning? Is it possible
for a person to exercise the New Testament gift of tongues? Our question is, “Can you today speak in
foreign language under the filling of the spirit?”
Can you go to some heathen group who speak a
certain native dialect, and can you under the filling of the Holy
find yourself able to speak in the dialect of that tribe and deliver to
the Word of God? Well the question is,
does this ceasing of tongues take place because verse 8 definitely says
going to stop. These will phase
Verse 10 tells us when.
If you’ll drop down: “But
that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done
away. Verse 9 says, “We know in
prophecy in part.” Verse 9 says that
Corinthian Christians in the New Testament church had only partial
and partial revelation through prophecy.
There was no completed can of New Testament
Scripture. All they had was pieces of
of understanding. In this church someone
would stand up and exercise the gift of prophecy and give a revelation. Some other church in another locality
have that information at the moment.
Someone would stand and he would deliver some
knowledge of putting
doctrine together in an understandable category. Someone
in another church did not have that
gift functioning and did not have that understanding of the
that doctrine. So all over the New
Testament world where believers gathered, there was piece-meal and
understanding, partial knowledge, and partial possession of prophetic
revelation. They did not have a
completed New Testament Scripture as a standard from which to learn.
So this gift of prophecy and this gift
of knowledge brought
revelation in various ways to various places.
These revelations were the means of producing the
is what was revealed through these gifts
and what was brought together through the ability of knowledge that
the content of the New Testament as we have it today.
These revelations were through the apostles
and the New Testament prophets. These
revelations were to cease when the Scriptures were completed. We have this indicated in several passages of
Scripture, that it was to come to an end; that is, the Bible today is
open book. You can’t add revelation
the Word of God. We cannot expect
someone to arise who will be inspired and who will say, “I have
revelation.” Every now and then
history, somebody arises and adds to the revelation from God in a
form. That’s a fraud.
Jude 3 speaks about the faith which
was once delivered unto
the saints. By “faith,” it
content of revelation once for all delivered to the saints. It’s a completed delivery.
Hebrews 1:1-2 refers to God speaking to us in
a climactic revelation in these last days of the age relative to His,
His Son, Jesus Christ, He has brought a climactic and final revelation. Then in the book of the Revelation, chapter
verses 18 through 19 you have the caution declared that no one is to
take away from this book—this book which is the closing of the
canon, this which finishes the revelation of the New Testament. So in the last book of the book of the Bible
you have this statement, “Don’t try to add anything more to
Scripture.” The revelation is closed.
So as long as the gift of prophecy was
functioning, and as
long as the gift of knowledge was functioning, we could expect more
revelation. As long as prophecy and
knowledge were operational, you could expect more and new information
from God. But once God’s revelation
complete, it would also be natural that would expect that there would
more prophetic revelations from God, no more exercise of the gift of
of putting doctrine together.
This is what happens in Pentecostal
circles today. People are constantly
standing up in churches
and saying, “I have a prophecy. I
revelation from God.” And then they
something. Sometimes they make a
prediction. They make these
declarations. Here’s what’s
place. Here’s what’s going to
place. It is in effect declaring that
God is still speaking in a direct way through individuals.
But the revelations of the New Testament
prophet were authenticated by the apostles.
One of the ways used to determine whether a book was
inspired was to determine if it had apostolic authentication. Did the writer write under the authority and
approval of an apostle? Was the book
written by an apostle?
Now obviously today we no longer have
apostles because to be
an apostle you had to have seen Jesus Christ personally in His
and we have nobody around today who can qualify on that account. Therefore we have no apostles.
And without apostles we have no way of
confirming that a revelation is indeed, in the form of a prophecy, is
from God. The gift of knowledge dealt
with supernatural revelations that clarify doctrinal statements. This gift again confirmed by the presence of
apostles, and again we can’t confirm anything of that nature.
So here in verse 10 it says,
“But when that which is perfect
is come, then that which in part shall be done away.” You will notice that the contrast is between
what is perfect and what is in part. And
when it says that which is perfect is come, then that which in part
done away. Well what was the thing in
this context that is imperfect? Well the
thing is the limited pieces and piece-meal parts and parts of
revelation that were
scattered around the New Testament church.
They had only partial understanding and partial
information because the
gifts of prophecy and knowledge gave them limited insights. But there was coming something that would be
called “the perfect.” In the
Greek it is
“telion.” This is a very
that means “complete.” Something
going to come along that is complete.
Now, as you read your Bible,
especially in the Authorized
Version, the translation makes it look like this is a verb. This is not a verb. In
the Greek this is actually a noun, and it
is the subject of this sentence. This
noun in the Greek is what is called the neuter gender.
If it were talking about a man who is going
to be complete, it would be masculine gender.
If it were talking about a woman who was going to be
complete, it would
be feminine. But because it uses neuter,
we know that it is talking about something which is going to become
Secondly, the number here is singular. It is one particular thing that is going to
be complete—not a lot of things but one particular thing is going
complete. What it is referring to is in
contrast to what is incomplete piecemeal revelation.
James 1:25 speaks of the Word of God (particularly
the New Testament) as being the perfect law of liberty.
The word “perfect” there is this word,
completed law of liberty. So James uses
this very word, and James was written before 1 Corinthians. So this word was already a word applied to
Now this word “telion”
means something partial but which
develops and becomes complete. In
Ephesians 4:13 you read about the church coming to maturity. It is the same word, to completeness. It does this by a stage and a progress as it
moves along from an incomplete to a complete state.
Until the book of Revelation was written,
revelation in the New Testament was incomplete.
So Christians could expect more revelation. As a matter of fact, as you look in the
Scriptures you are aware of the fact that the believers must have
that God’s revelation to them was progressing and unfolding; that
is, that they
were betting more and more, piece upon piece.
For example, John 14:25-26 says,
“The Lord said you are
going to be given, bit by bit, more information.”
Consequently the Christians expected
revelation to be piling up.” In
16 of John, verse 12, here again the Lord says God the Holy Spirit is
unravel information to you, and one piece will be added to another. In Colossians 1:25, the apostle Paul
envisions himself as one who is called to bring to completion the
So the gift of prophecy, the gift of
tongues, and the gift
of knowledge were to cease when that perfect thing came into existence
was the New Testament scriptures, in contrast to the imperfect partial
information they had at the time that the New Testament gifts were
exercised. So when you get down to the
end of the first century, John has written Revelation, the New
scriptures were completed, and therefore you cannot add to them, and
the gift of prophecy had to cease, the gift of knowledge had to cease,
along with them it says also that the gift of tongues had to cease at
when the perfect came in.
Now there is something additional that
notice. You have the word
and you have the word knowledge. Now the
King James Version uses different words when it describes what’s
happen to these. It says for prophecies
they shall be done away. It says for
knowledge it shall vanish away. But in
the Greek it’s the same word “katargeo.”
This word is used of both of these gifts prophecy
and knowledge. Now the word means to
reduce to inactivity—to
render useless. You might translate this
simply by the word “abolish.”
What is going to happen, the time is
going to come when
prophecies and knowledge are simply going to be abolished.
This is in the future tense which means that
sometime in the future from when he was writing, this was going to
happen. But it is what we call the passive
voice. This means that that the subject
is acted upon. That receives the
action. What is means is that something
(someone) is going to act upon these gifts and just abolish them, and
someone of course was God. The time came
when God was going to terminate these gifts.
He was going to abolish them. He
was going to cut them off because they were no longer necessary. Now the time of this termination is when the
partial piecemeal revelation becomes the completed New Testament
scriptures. That’s what verses 9 and
mean. “For we know in part and we
in part, but when that which is completed is come, that which is part
done away.” The technique of the
prophecy, the technique of the gift of knowledge, the information
gift of tongues could only always be partial.
Therefore the time came when those had to be set
aside for the more
complete written revelation of the New Testament scriptures. Now once the canon was completed, these gifts
were no longer necessary.
The word “tongues” which
is sandwiched between these two is
spoken of as ceasing, and this is a different Greek word.
It is “pauo.”
This word means a gradual passing away, a gradual
phasing out. It says that of prophecies
and knowledge the
time is going to come when God will have cut them off summarily. Their usefulness will have been
fulfilled. They will be terminated. But of tongues it says that gradually
going to phase out. This also is in the
future, meaning sometime ahead this is going to happen from when they
writing, but the voice here is middle.
In the middle (voice), it means that the action is
participated in by the subject. That is,
tongues will phase itself out. Tongues
of its own accord, without any further action, will gradually die out.
This makes sense because the purpose
of tongues was to be
first of all a sign to the Jews. That’s
the purpose of tongues, to be a sign to the unbelieving Jews that a
judgment was coming. It was also
to authenticate the New Testament messengers and the message, and
this was fulfilled. Here and there
gradually Jews were informed, Jews were informed, Jews were informed. As the Jews became alerted when that happened
you didn’t need tongues. It phased
itself out. Gradually as the messengers
of God stood up and spoke and as the spirit of God descended first upon
Samaritans and then upon Gentiles, and it spread out, there would be
authentication with tongues, that here was God moving, God was working,
this was for real. Well after the
authentication had taken place, there was gradually less and less need
authenticate, gradually less and less need to have a sign to the Jews,
finally this gift phased itself out.
You will notice in verse 8 Paul
mentions three temporary gifts
in contrast to spirituality which never ceases and never is abolished. He mentions three temporary gifts in verse in
8. Then in verse 9, referring back to
those gifts, we know (we have knowledge in part), and we prophesy (we
in part), notice that he left out tongues.
This suggests that tongues is the first thing to go. That before knowledge and before prophecy
ceases, the gift of tongues will have been phased out.
This is confirmed as you read through the New
Testament epistles, that early (it seems) the gift of tongues was one
first things to be phased out of operation.
Then in verse 11 we have the progress
maturity. Verse 11 speaks about the
infancy stage of the church. “When I
a child I spoke as a child; I understood as a child; I thought as a
child. But when I became a man I put away
things.” Now we have to ask
why would Paul suddenly start talking about being a child?
Here he is explaining in this great
spirituality chapter and a greater way of living for believers but the
coming when we’re going to have a complete New Testament
scripture, we’ll have
all full understanding, there won’t be anything that God wants
you to know
about yourself that you don’t have access to, and all of a sudden
talking about children and acting like little kids.
Well, the point is that he is speaking
about a certain stage
of the church’s history. He’s
about the church on earth in its infancy stage.
He connects exactly with what he is speaking about. He’s saying, “What I’m
telling you is that we
are now in the babyhood stage, the infancy stage, of the church
experience. Therefore we have certain
features that make up our church life as children.
But the time is coming when we are going to
move from childhood in our local life to maturity,” which
happened as the New
Testament scriptures were completed near 100 A.D. At
that point he says you give up the things
that deal with childhood. He’s using
normal progression that a human being goes through.
When you’re a child, you do certain
things. You engage in certain
activities. You have certain
interests. As you mature you gradually
discover that you drop those activities, you drop those interests, and
pursue totally different directions in your life in the direction of
maturity. As a matter of fact, if you
cannot overcome the features that characterize childhood and the
characterize childhood, you are in a lot of trouble as an adult. And many an adult is in trouble just because
of this. He can’t get with the
of living for the simple reason that he still wants the wonderful
world of the child, and adulthood calls for certain responsibilities
refuses to cope with or he cannot cope with.
This is the problem with urging
children on into adult
relationships prematurely. Do you know
what happens? They rob themselves of the
experiences of children, and children have to have certain experiences
growing up. If you don’t have these,
come to a certain stage when you begin to look back, and you look upon
people who are in the certain stage of their youth and you see what a
fun they have, or things they are doing that are extremely
like to do. You begin to realize that
you’ve missed a few things in life. Some
people never can adjust to growing up then because they want to play. They want to be children.
I don’t know how many specific
cases of divorces that have
arisen entirely out of the fact that you have a wife or a husband who
cannot get over being a kid. They move
so early into the relationships of marriage that after a little bit
discovered that what they really want to do is to have the fulfillment
and now it has deluded them so they are not able to cope with the
responsibilities that they’re required to take on as adults.
So Paul is saying there are features
that make up childhood
in the church and there are features that make up the later maturity of
adulthood. The sign gifts such as
tongues, miracles, prophecy, and knowledge, these were infancy stage
things. If you’ll turn to Hebrews
chapter 2 for just a moment we have another example of this, in Hebrews
2:3. The book of Hebrews is being
written to second generation Christians.
The first chapter has reviewed the tremendous things
that God has done
and that God has provided. In chapter 2
we come to verse three and we have this warning about neglecting so
salvation. “How shall we escape if
neglect so great salvation which at the first began to be spoken by the
and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him?”
Salvation, the reality, was confirmed, and
you notice it’s speaking in the past tense because this is the
tense. It means in the past, once for
all, it was confirmed, and this book was written in 67 A.D. It is saying that some place in the past
before 67 A.D., we had confirmed once and for all to us the reality of
Christianity and of salvation by grace—some kind of
authentication. And if it is way back,
does it have to be? The authentication
experience by the first generation Christians.
That’s what he’s referring to.
He’s talking to second
generation Christians and he’s
saying, “Look back to the first generation and do you see how the
things of Christ
were authenticated to our predecessors in the first generation?” By then is the early church the leaders and
the believers. In verse 4, he says,
also bearing them witness,” is how He authenticated in that first
both with signs and wonders, with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy
according to His own will—the nature of the authentication, these
signs and spiritual gifts. All of this
in the past tense at the time that this book was written--referring
back to the
baby hood of the church. This is because
if these gifts were functioning in 67 A.D., why would the writer not
“You see how in our own midst here we have these gifts confirmed? You see the authentication of these signs,
these wonders, these miracles, and these gifts of the spirit.” Why didn’t he speak about their
generation? That would have made a lot
more sense. It would have been a much
Well, the reason was it wasn’t
happening anymore. But it had happened in
the infancy stage of
the church. The words “bearing them
witness” is in the Greek language in a present participle and
that means that
that action takes place at the same time as the main verb of the
sentence is “confirm.” “Was
confirmed” in verse 3 “to us by them
that heard them,” took place at the same time that God was
bearing witness to
them. When was it confirmed?
When God was bearing witness. When
was God bearing witness? In the infancy
stage of the church when he
was showing these spectacular gifts like tongues and prophecy and so on. Now they had to look back to that time
because it was no longer in operation.
Ephesians 4 describes the whole church
coming to maturity
through the spiritual gifts. The point
is that some gifts are necessary at the infancy stage, and some were
later after Scriptures were completed.
The childhood gifts are phased out.
In 1 Corinthians 13:11 you may have a
subtle reference to
these three gifts. It says, “When I
a child I spoke as a child (the gift of tongues—a childish gift),
as a child (the gift of knowledge—a childish gift), I thought as
a child (the
gift of prophecy). This may be a subtle
indication that these gifts are tied together and abolished.
Alright, in verse 11 it says, “I
put away childish things.” “Put
away” is the same word that we had right
here, “katargeo,” and it means abolished.
“I abolished these things.”
advances to the maturity of teaching from the completed canon of
Scripture. That’s where he’s
Verse 12 talks about partial insights
of the church, a
mirror which is symbolic of the imperfect knowledge of the child stage
church. “For now we see in a mirror
darkly.” But then “face to
symbolic of the mature stage. “Now I
know in part. Then shall I know even as
also I am known.” In the mature
the church where the canon of Scripture is completed, you will be able
yourself in all the light and all the information that God has for you,
that’s where we are today. The
possessed word produced a hazy picture, but the completed New Testament
man in God’s plan clearly from diving viewpoint.
So what does verse 13 say?
We tie it up. “Now
hope love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.” “Now abideth faith” is trust which
Holy Spirit produces in us toward the diving revelation, the Word of
God. Faith is important only in its object. You have faith in the Word of God. That’s a great thing.
When you learn the word of God you may
understand it but it is faith that stores it in your being for use. Then it has hope. That’s
the confidence from possessing diving
viewpoint. The only way you get hope is
by the fact that you have divine viewpoint in your human spirit.
Here is your mind, the perceptive side
and the directive
side. Here is your soul with its
elements of the mentality, the will and the emotions.
And here is the human spirit. You
take the Word of God and you receive the
information from the preaching, from the exposition, and from the study
Word of God. What does this
produce? This produces an understanding
of the Word of God. When you believe it,
you go at it with positive volition rather than with the negative side. This comes into your human spirit. Now you’ve stored the word where you can
it. This gives you hope because as you
need instruction God the Holy Spirit has something to give up to your
mind to give you action guidance.
Because you have a frame of reference up here, you
have divine viewpoint
up here, and you have your values and your standards up here in your
so that you have a good conscience and son on.
Now this is what hope is.
Hope is having Bible doctrine in your human spirit
so that you have
guidance of divine viewpoint. But as
valuable as it is to have an understanding of the Word of God and faith
store it (that means you’re positive toward it), as great as it
is to have hope
that this produces for guidance in your life, obviously there is
important. That is that right here at
this point, as from God through the Bible through the pastor-teacher
the Word, right at this point here everything can short-circuit unless
filled with the spirit. And the filling
of the Holy Spirit, that’s the greatest thing in the Christian
It makes no difference what gift you
have. This is the difference as to how the
used. But without the filling of the
Holy Spirit you will never get knowledge of the Word of God. You’ll never exercise faith for it takes
filling of the spirit for you to go positive.
You will never have the spirit to guide you because
it takes the filling
of the spirit over here to cycle this information back up.
You’re dead all around. God
has provided a beautiful system by which
under grace we may learn spiritual things, and everybody is equal
not dependent upon your human IQ. But if
you have not the filling of the spirit represented by the primary
of the fruit of the spirit, love, you have nothing.
Faith in the Word cannot be productive of
doctrine in the human spirit apart from the filling of the spirit. Hope from divine viewpoint cannot be achieved
apart from the filling of the spirit to cycle that doctrine up to guide
1 Timothy 4:1 says, “To beware
of the doctrine of demons.” Tongues
is a doctrine of demons today. There are
various reasons why people pursue
tongues. People who have been it who
have come out of it say that it is primarily psychological. It is self-hypnosis. It
is to be learned by hanging around people
who do it, by practicing certain syllables, and by psyching yourself,
on. At worst it is demon possession or
demon influence, but there is no bonafide tongues gift today. The reason people go into it is because they
violate what Isaiah 28:10 tells us to be careful of relative to being
responsive to the Word of God, to learning the Word of God.
I’d like you to turn, just in
closing, to 2 Corinthians
6:11. There is in Pentecostalism today,
relative to tongues, a lot of emotion.
There is within the local church a lot of emotional
reaction. I don’t know how often to
say this, but when
you come to the point where this part of your soul is under control of
you have a very hazardous condition in your life. This
is what happened to the
Corinthians. 2 In Corinthians 6:11 the
apostle Paul says, “Oh ye Corinthians, our speech to you is
candid, our heart
is wide open.” Generally the word
refers to this part of the mind—the directive side.
“Our heart is wide open to you.” That is, we are directed by God the Holy
Spirit. We are functioning on doctrinal
principles. We are giving you
instruction that is the true knowledge and insights of the Word of God.
While Paul and his associates minister
to the Corinthians,
they could never say, “You didn’t tell us.
You didn’t inform us. You
give us the straight scoop. However, in
spite of all that you have the carnality that existed among those
believers. Why? Verse
12 says, “On our part there no
constraint, but there is constraint in your emotions.” It is their emotions that created the
problem. Because they were negative to
the Word of God they had had a flip-flop.
Instead of the mind directing actions, their
emotions came up here and
they stormed the directive center of their mentality.
The emotions took over as a monster
controlled by the old sin nature, and now their lives were controlled
emotions. They were thinking with their
emotions and they were chasing rabbits spiritually with their tongues
enthusiasm and the fakery that takes place today. This
is what’s happening. People without
control of the emotions are
under the control of the old sin nature.
The emotions are controlling your thinking and your
Now this is very dangerous.
Yet we constantly have people who are standing up
and they are shoveling
out emotion to believers. Not that there
is not emotion that comes from the Christian life and the knowledge of
of God. But unless you act on
information so that you are thinking God’s thoughts, so that your
feeling God’s way, you expose yourself to a lot of hazard. This is what has happened to people who have
pursued tongues. Emotions have dominated
the soul and they have pursued this delusion of Satan.
You will do the same unless you come to an
understanding of what God has to say about the subject and then you
will say, “I
don’t care what your experience is. I
don’t care what your reports of somebody’s experiences are. I know what doctrine says, and I know what
God thinks, and I know what I need to act upon.
Anything else is a delusion of Satan and I will not
for it. Beware of being led by your
emotions. The Holy Spirit now restrains
counterfeits. In the tribulation
emotions will dominate fantastically and Satan will have his day.
Dr. John E. Danish, 1971
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