The Gift of Tongues, No. 7 -
This morning the gift tongues, the 7th
series. Just briefly to review, we have
seen in the book of 1 Corinthians that tongues, prophecy, and knowledge
a temporary character. We saw that
prophecy and knowledge were to be abolished or rendered inoperative
arrival of something that was to be completed which was the New
Scriptures. Tongues, we’re told,
die out gradually, of themselves, as their sign and authentication
fulfilled. Tongues, we found, were to
pass away before the gifts of prophecy and knowledge do, and we found
these gifts belong only in the infancy stage of the church institution.
In 1 Corinthians 13:13, we’re
told that “agape” love, or
spirituality, is greater than faith in God and His Word, or than hope
viewpoint, which is doctrine in the human spirit. The
greatest thing is to be filled with the
spirit. It is greater than hope. It is greater than faith, for the others
cannot follow without this filling.
Then in 1 Corinthians 14, we find that
Paul treats tongues
and prophecy and knowledge as gifts which are confined to the New
church. These were superseded by a
completed New Testament canon of Scripture.
When Paul is giving instruction in these chapters
that we are now
looking at in 1 Corinthians 12 through 14, he is giving instructions
for the use
of those gifts in his day. He is not
giving instruction in those chapters as a guide for us to use tongues
prophecy and knowledge today, for the gifts no longer exist.
Actually if Paul were giving
instruction for us to use today
concerning these three gifts, he would, in effect, contradict himself
he said in 1 Corinthians 13 about the temporary nature of these gifts. In 1 Corinthians 14:1-12 we found that
tongues were an inferior way of communicating divine viewpoint to
prophecy. Prophecy was much
superior. In 1 Corinthians 14:13-20 we
found that tongues was an inferior method of worship, of prayer, and of
praise. The purpose of tongues in 1
14:21-22, we saw, was a sign to unbelieving Jews of their national
judgment. It was also an indication in
the book of Acts that various ethnic groups, Jews, Samaritans, and
were included in the new age of grace and in the body of Christ.
So if you’ll turn to 1
Corinthians 14, we’re going to pick
up the chapter at verse 23 this morning.
1 Corinthians 14:23-25 tell us about the comparative
effects of tongues
and prophecy. Verse 23 tells us the
effect of tongues: “If therefore the
whole church be come together into one place and all speak with
there coming those that are unlearned (or unbelievers), will they not
Here is the church in the city of
Corinth gathered together
in public worship just as we are here this morning.
That church in the nature of the case is made
up mainly of Gentiles. Because it is a
great commercial center, there undoubtedly were many Jewish people who
also present in the city, and perhaps some in the service.
Now in this service, suddenly people
began using the gift of
tongues and they create a bedlam.
Everyone is talking in tongues.
Some of these are actually exercising the legitimate
gift of tongues,
speaking in a true foreign language.
Some of them, under the emotional domination of the
soul, are merely
speaking gibberish as was the practice of the pagan priests and
priestesses. Many of the women would be
faking the gift of tongues for they were not given the gift of tongues
the public assembly. And a visitor who
would walk into a service like that looks around and listens to
on, and he says, “This place is filled with lunatics.” Now if you have ever been in a Pentecostal
meeting today, you will understand this passage of Scripture today, you
understand this passage of Scripture exactly because that’s what
describing, the kind of conditions that exist in Pentecostalism today. When you walk into a Pentecostal meeting, the
furor and the bedlam and the noise and the screaming and the swooning
falling on the floor and the working over of people for the casting out
illnesses and demons and the shouting out of people in tongues and
shouting interpretations, this gives you the impression that this place
Now what Paul is saying is that this
is the impression that
the unlearned, those who were devoid of knowledge of spiritual things
think, and also the unbelievers, the unconverted pagans and Jews would
because most spiritual understanding is brought to those visitors from
minus interpretation. Any time a person
walks into a local church service, you should be able to walk out of
understanding concerning the Word of God.
If you find that it is the pattern of your
experience to be able to walk
into a place and never walk out with any information concerning the
God, you should stop walking into that place and walk into one that is
Tongues is not a sign for Gentiles, so
the confusion in
these meetings in Corinth was an offense to the unbelieving Gentiles. The Jews who may have been present, for whom
tongues was a sign that national judgment was coming upon them, were
by the confusion, and neither Jew nor Gentile could understand what was
On the other hand, beginning at verse
24, we have the
effects of prophecy in a church service.
That is, the gift that delivers revelations from God
in the language of
the people that they understood. Verse
24 says, “But if all prophesy and there cometh one that believeth
not (or one
unlearned), he is convicted of all and he is judged of all. Thus are the secrets of his heart made
manifest, and so falling down on his face he shall worship and report
is in you of the truth.” Unbelievers
unlearned are convicted and judged in their hearts by the exercise of
prophetic gift, these direct revelations from God, because they
these, so they are effected. The truths
of doctrine that we share with one another out of the Word of God was
gift of prophecy delivered to the New Testament church before the New
Scriptures were completed.
Now these people who heard this gift
themselves exposed to other instances that struck home.
They found conviction upon themselves for
their own status, for their sin. The
result was that they worshipped God and that they had to admit that
what they heard
was the truth about themselves, and they had to admit that God was
this group of people that they had come into.
Now that’s the difference, the
comparative value, as it
existed in the New Testament church of tongues and prophecy. If these gifts were in existence today, it
would be the same thing. Tongues had very
limited use—these foreign languages that nobody understands,
an interpreter had very limited use, but being able to tell what God
bringing doctrinal understanding, is of great value.
Now beginning at verse 26 therefore,
the apostle Paul lays
down regulations for tongues. Here’s
line of instruction. In 1 Corinthians
12, Paul has related tongues to the other spiritual gifts, all of which
for edification of the church—for building up Christians as
believers. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul has
to spirituality, and he has shown the temporary nature of the gift of
tongues. In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul has
shown the superiority of the prophetic gift over tongues, and he gives
now for the use of tongues in the New Testament church—mind you,
not for today,
but in the time when these gifts existed, here is how they were to be
Now if the modern tongues movement, if
churches were ever to obey these rules, the movement would die out
overnight. Pentecostal churches know
that they cannot afford to subject themselves to the rules that Paul
here in 1 Corinthians 14 because the movement would die.
It would collapse overnight. It
is structured on being able to violate
these rules. Pentecostalism, as Marjoe
discovered, has exactly what the people want.
They want an emotional experience that blanks out
the directive side of
their mentality so that their emotions are commanding their personality
directing them. God says that when
emotions come in, this violates the order that He has placed in our
our minds filled with doctrine are to guide us.
Once emotions takes over, grace leaves.
An emotionally dominated soul cannot function under
the grace of God
because grace only functions through doctrine.
The modern tongues movement, because it wants to
operate with the
emotions ruling the soul, must violate these regulations.
In verse 26 we read, “How is it
then brethren when ye come
together every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue,
revelation, hath an interpretation? Let
all things be done unto edifying.” These
were the directions for a New Testament church service before the New
Scriptures were completed. You will
notice that the main purpose of a church service is given at the end of
26. “Let all things be done unto
edifying.” There is no other purpose
people gathering in a local church except for the building up of the
through knowledge of the Word of God.
Edification therefore is not inspiration. What you get in the average church service is
a big dose of inspiration. But
edification comes only through learning doctrine. That
is the thing alone which will build your
soul to spiritual maturity. You can
never develop as a Christian because somebody tells you some inspiring
or gives you some pointed illustration.
Inspiration merely meets some emotional charged,
challenged, some emotional mental images and suggestions, and you walk
you feel great for a while. This is what
is being done to the average Christian.
He is being emotionally oriented to God and so his
soul collapses in its
Worship is not possible therefore
apart from the learning of
doctrine. You cannot worship God in a
church service unless you have a teacher standing up in front of you
are learning doctrine. Emotion is a
deceit that is practiced upon the people of God. But
when doctrine is clearly taught, and it
is applied, it bears its fruit.
Somebody the other day came up and
told me that they had
been listening to Dr. Vernon McGee on the radio, and that he had given
illustration of what the light of doctrine does for a person. He indicated the response of people to
identified what the person is. He used a
very amusing illustration. He said that
when he was a boy, probably here in Texas (he’s from Texas). He said when he was a boy sometimes he would
forget, out on the farm, to feed some of the animals in the barn. So after it was dark and after supper and
when it was late, his father would make him go back out to the barn to
animals that he had neglected. So he
said he would get a lantern and he would walk out from the house to the
and he would throw open the barn doors and walk in with this lantern
the darkness. And the moment he walked
in and flooded the inside of the barn with the light of that lantern,
the birds that were perched around the barn would begin to sing, but
would run. Whenever you come with the
lantern of the illumination of doctrine, the birds begin to sing
they’re heavenly creatures connected with God, but the rats begin
Now you needn’t kid yourself
because you’ve got some good
Christian friends and you hate to think of them in this category. You needn’t kid yourself for one moment
anybody that in your experience who has deserted a place where the
the Word of God is shining doctrine clear and true, and is not singing
of heaven, and the thrills of gratitude to God for information that He
shared with us, is joining the rats who are scurrying.
And I’ll tell you something else about the
rats. The only place they go to is
darkness. Now you get yourself over the
notion that you think you’re going out to some greater light, to
devoted service, to some finer expression and fulfillment, because when
rats leave that barn illuminated by the light, the only place to go is
the darkness and that’s exactly where they go.
Now Paul is trying to get across to
these people that those
of you who are negative in your response to the Word of God are the
are running for darkness. That’s why
you’re resisting—not because of something with the Word of
God. You don’t even have to like the
speaker. As a matter of fact, he probably
think too much of you, but that’s irrelevant to the issue of the
Word of God. When you become a grown-up
makes no difference who is delivering the truth. You’re
not hung up on somebody’s
personality. But when you’ve got
peanut people in the congregation they’re hung up on personality. They think they have a great big point on,
“Well, it’s not what he says. It’s
he says it.” Which is translated,
rat and I want the darkness.” Because,
as John 3:20 says, “For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light. He that cometh to the light lest his deeds
should be reproved.” And you
the deeds of your fine Christian friends that they don’t want
reproof, so don’t
kid yourself. “But he that doeth
cometh to the light that his deeds may be manifest that they are
Now our fellowship, as John tells us,
is with the Lord in
the light, not in the darkness. In the
there is no fellowship. That’s why
doctrine is important. Without the
lantern of the doctrine of the Word of God, the birds are never going
Edification is still the main purpose
of a church service
today, but now it’s based upon doctrine that we draw from the
Testament Scriptures. So when here in
verse 26 the apostle Paul says, “How is it then brethren,”
he is saying, “What
then is to be done,” is a little better translation.
He has shown the comparative value of tongues
and prophecy, the strategic place of doctrinal illumination. Now he says, “Alright, what is to be
then when it comes time to have a church service?”
And he tells them, for their day, what is to
be done, all of which leads to the primary purpose which is ours today
approach from a different direction—edification of the people who
gather. “Every one of you” is
believer in the New Testament church, when you have come together in a
service, every one of you hath a psalm.
You provide a song to lead, a song of praise in a
service. You have a doctrine.
You have the gift of knowledge in operation
that classifies truth and you can present doctrinal explanation. You have a tongue, a foreign language
delivers a divine revelation from God.
And another person has the gift of interpretation
which is a translation
of that tongue so as to make it useful and also to confirm that what
you’re saying is indeed what God has said through you. Then you have a revelation which is a direct
communication from God through the gift of prophecy in the normal
These features of a New Testament
church service were
provide through the temporary spiritual gifts which were designed to
church through its infancy stage until the New Testament was completed
mature stage. That’s what 1
13:10 told us, that when that which is perfect is come, the neuter New
Testament Scripture, then that which is in part, scattered doctrinal
understanding through these various spiritual gifts here and there
done away, and these gifts leave.
They’re for the infancy stage.
All gifts are to build up the believers in the local
assembly and never
for self-edification. Pentecostalism
likes to argue that these gifts that they practice are fore their own
edification and that is never the case in Scripture.
In 1 Corinthians 14:27-28 are the
regulations. Paul says, “If any man
speak in a tongue (a
foreign language), let it be by two or at the most by three.” At any one service no more than three
speakers were to stand up and exercise the gift of tongues in the New
church. Two speakers are viewed as
ample. Three would be the outside
limit. Now the point of this is to
prevent an inferior from monopolizing the time of instruction in the
which can be delivered through prophecy.
Another regulation is, “and that
by course,” which means
that the tongue speakers are to take turns in order that those who are
may hear what the individual is saying and thereby may hear the
thereby may be benefited by this revelation from God through tongues. If you were in a Pentecostal church today you
would discover that everybody is jabbering at the same time all over
the place. If you were to attend a Full
Men’s International breakfast you would find that there may be a
fifteen men who are standing up in the meeting on the floor jabbering
same time in tongues. It’s a
of this principle—one-at-a-time. Also
this is to allow the Jews who might be present to be able to clearly
what is being said because the tongues purpose was a sign to the Jews
day of judgment was coming, and it came in 70 A.D.
They had a 40-year grace period.
Now this taking turns is also to guard
fanaticism and disorder in the service.
When you get a lot of people speaking in an
emotional way all at the
same time, it’s contagious. Pretty
you’ve got the whole place jumping. Then
it says that “one interpret.” One
is to interpret the tongues. This can be
viewed perhaps in two directions. The
word “one” is actually a number, and it may suggest that
only one person is to
do the translating for all the speakers in the service.
Or it may mean simply that one interpretation
is to be given for each delivery of tongues.
In Pentecostal services today you’ll find
somebody who stands up, he
lets go with the gibberish, and two or three people stand up and
he says, always in King James language.
Now the tongue speaker is not to speak
if there is nobody to
interpret. It says in verse 28, “If
there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church. Let him speak to himself and to god.” If there is not interpreter, and this
indicates that you know beforehand that there is an interpreter there. In the New Testament church, if necessary
they would stand up and say, “I have a message from God. Is there an interpreter present?” And if there was no interpreter present he
sat down and he kept his mouth shut because what he had to say was
useless unless there was somebody to translate.
That’s what “interpret” means in
the Greek. It means to translate what was
said. This incidentally is a command in
the Greek. They are not to do this. This is violated regularly again in
Pentecostalism. If there is no
interpreter, it says talk to yourself and to God. You
understand what you’re saying. God
understands what you’re saying. Do
not speak to someone else. The speaker is
not to be his own interpreter
because what he says is to be confirmed by the declaration of another
the prophet’s message is to be confirmed by other prophets. Now these regulations all connote translation
of existing languages, not translation of ecstatic gibberish.
In verse 29 you have the words given
for the gift of
prophecy, this thing that Paul puts in highest esteem.
He said, “Let the prophets speak, two or
three, and let the others judge.” No
more than two or three prophets are to get up and talk in one church
because if they did more than that they would get so much material
be more than the people could absorb at one time. And
time has to be allowed in the service in
the New Testament for the exercise of these other spiritual gifts,
tongues. Now a prophet’s message is
be confirmed. Let the others judge as
the other prophets say, “Amen,” what you are saying is the
truth. This is of God.
This was confirmed also by those who had the
gift of discernment, that this was a message that was indeed
message. But no prophet was to
monopolize the time.
Verse 30 says, “If anything be
revealed to another” (that
should apply to another prophet), then the one who is talking should
come to an
end and sit down and let another prophet speak.
He is not to monopolize the time.
Every prophet may speak, but each in his turn.
Verse 31 says, “But you may all
prophecy, one by one, that
all may learn and all may be comforted.”
“All may learn” means they may gain
spiritual knowledge. “Comforted”
means given direction and
encouragement in life.
Verse 32 says, “And the spirit
of prophets are subject to
the prophets.” That is, a prophet
control of himself. A prophet has
control of his human spirit and what he delivers through his gift.
Now God does not create confusion in a
church service, so
Paul in verse 33 says, “For God is not the author of confusion,
but of peace as
in all the churches of the saints.” When
God is working in a church service, He produces restraint of emotions. He produces an orderly dignity.
When emotional fanaticism and wild boisterous
disorder take place it’s a sign of Satan working, not of the Holy
Spirit. Again, in Pentecostalism today
condemnation upon the movement because of the nature of a Pentecostal
service. It is anything but decency and
The lusts of the old sin nature and
the ignorance of
doctrine make false teachers of many preachers.
They don’t intend to be false teachers, that
is, many times. Sometimes they do. But often they don’t intend to be false
teachers. But because of the old sin
nature, because of their lack of training, because of their lack of
understanding, many preachers become false teachers.
1 John 4:1 therefore tells us, “Beloved,
believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God
many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
So many believers today are sincerely
responding to what 1 Timothy 4:1 calls the doctrine of demons. Now the demons is not merely flagrant
liberalism. It includes whole deceptions
of thinking with the emotions. This
whole deception of thinking with your emotions is what is included here
false prophets, and that’s today’s charismatic movement.
And a person’s human IQ is no
defense against deception by
doctrines of demons. I get very tired of
college students who come along and think that they are giving me a
argument when they repeat to me the testimony of one of their college
who is a Christian in defense of his practice of speaking in tongues. That is both tiresome, wearisome, and
juvenile to the extreme. Somebody with a
good human IQ and education is not preserved from doctrines of demons. If he willingly commits himself to emotional
domination of the soul, he’s just as big a sucker as the most
walks the face of the earth. That’s
Satan needs is somebody whose emotions he can manipulate.
Satan promotes false concepts about the Holy
Spirit therefore to this type of person.
So you hear about people tarrying for the Holy
Spirit—the Holy Spirit
who is here and in us and we are to tarry for Him.
You hear about people waiting for their
Pentecost, and the day of Pentecost is come and gone, and we
don’t have anything
like that again, but the results continue.
We have people who speak about finding the baptism
of the Holy Spirit as
a second work of grace, when the Word of God indicates to us that all
baptized into union with Christ, and this is positional truth that
in our salvation. We’re told that
are new revelations available and we just have to wait for somebody to
in a church service and announce what God has said.
That there are visions that deliver
information. That there are voices to be
If you don’t accept that, if you
reject the fact that God
delivers information today through visions, through voices that people
through dreams, then there’s only one way He can deliver
that’s through this book, His Bible, and the doctrines that He
has recorded in
it, and the method that He has provided for you to get it, for a
and the system of grace perception.
Male Spiritual Leadership
In verse 34 he touches a very
sensitive spot in
Pentecostalism today. He says, “Let
women keep silent in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to
but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the
Lord.” In a Pentecostal service,
women are in
prominence. It is really a creepy thing
to sit in a service and see some monstrous, usually, formidable,
type of woman standing up there running the show and to see little men
around like peons waiting upon her. Many
a woman who is in evangelical churches has this temperament. If she were in Pentecostalism, she would be a
star. I have known in my 21 years at
Berean a fantastic number of women who have walked through these
of ours who would have made beautiful Pentecostalists just by their
temperament. If they had ever gotten
hold of a pulpit, they’d have never let go again.
But in Corinth, this is what was
happening. Women were up there trying to
speak in tongues which is a gift not given to women because it’s
information from God to the assembled group.
Women were trying to be pastors, act as pastors,
which many Pentecostals
One of the seminary professors said
that he was talking to a
Pentecostal woman and preacher one time, and he asked her, “How
do you explain
this verse of Paul, ‘Let your women keep silent in the
churches’?” And this is an
example of what I mean by the
inane exegesis that they will come up with.
She said, “Oh what that means is that women
are to keep the children
quiet in the church services. They are
to maintain silence while the speaking is going on and the gifts were
Well what Paul means here is that if
you are a woman,
Genesis 3:16 lays down a place of subjection to your husband and to the
leadership. Obviously, in Corinth the
major reason for the disorder from this passage we see indicated was
reason for that in Pentecostalism today—it is dominated by women. A major violation in Pentecostalism is the
result of women functioning. Even major
cults have been founded by women. A
woman teaching in assembly is out of place.
A woman’s teacher in spiritual things is not
to be some other woman, but
is to be her husband.
Verse 35 says, “And if they will
learn anything let them ask
her husband at home” for it is the same for a woman to speak in
church. For women to teach men in a
worship service gathering of the local church is the same.
That’s why the tongues movement today is
under a great cloud of shame no matter how famous the personalities on
or other personalities that dignify it.
Women with questions about spiritual things should
ask their husbands
privately at home. This does not mean
that she cannot ask the pastor-teacher who is responsible and he is
instruct, or if she is not married that she cannot ask him or some
Christian man. But the normal person the
married woman is that she asks her husband at home.
Now, isn’t that interesting.
Let’s talk to you people who haven’t
gotten married here this morning,
and maybe to the regret of some of you who have. How
many of you women who have been thinking
about getting married have ever asked themselves this vital question? “Now I’m going to marry this
fellow, but the
Word of God says everything spiritual has to come to me through the
command of him. I am to seek from him my
spiritual guidance in life and instruction.”
How many women ask themselves that before they say
“yes” to this
gentleman? And he may be the biggest
spiritual moron there is. And she
doesn’t realize that when she says “yes” to this
spiritual moron, she is
inviting the same role for herself. How
many promising women I have seen descend to the spiritual moron level
eventually because this is what they married.
If you’re not teaching your daughter who is
going out with somebody to
start asking this prospect some strategic questions about the Bible. Not some easy ones like, “Who made the
ark?” Because he can probably figure
that out on his own. But I mean start
asking him some of these pertinent doctrinal questions.
Then you’ll find out something about
him. Passages of Scripture that need
some interpretation for you.
He’ll do one of two things.
He’ll answer you which shows that he knows the
Word and what he’s
talking about and that he’s qualified to marry you, or else
he’ll go out and
he’ll find the answer. But if he
silent, that should be a red flag as big as the side of a barn. This guy is indifferent to spiritual things. Steer clear of him, at least until he shapes
Now you go ahead and play the fool if
you want to. It’s your life. But I happen to know what I’m talking
about. In this church we preach the best
doctrine in the world. We preach the
soundest insights and application you’ll find any place in 100
here, and we’ve got enough experience to know how these things
work. You’re your own priest, but
when you find
somebody that you’re seriously interested in marrying, then
you’d better not
get carried away with the fact that he shows you he loves you because
get physical with you.
I have to smile how often when some
fellow wants to convince
a girl that he is for her, he proceeds to prove it to by getting
physical. What does that prove? That’s a kind of a bad sign. If he gets physical with you, you ought to
pull back and say, “Wait a minute.” The
order is spiritual comradery, spiritual unity, spiritual intimacy
then we get cozy down on a physical level and start taking freedoms
other. If that isn’t the restrained
order, that should be a signal to you.
If he was really going to prove it to her, a fellow
who is really a good
lover is one who knows doctrine. A man
oriented to divine viewpoint is the man that knows what love is because
knows what “agape” love is.
I want to tell you something else. A man who is to have a mental attitude free
of bitterness on a mental attitude of “agape” love toward
his wife cannot have
that love until he has developed that quality in his soul in general
everybody. So don’t be deceived,
because this guy goes to Sunday School and church with you, or that
even owns a Bible for that matter. That
doesn’t prove a thing. And
estimate it on any other factors that may surround him except he
himself. After the wedding is over, do you
happens? You go home and you slam the
door. And what you’re left with is
knight in shining armor that you have just related yourself to
eternally. And when that door slams
that’s when you
discover that there’s rust on the joints, and he creaks, and he
apart. And when you open up the armor,
he’s this shriveled little peanut in there when it comes to
things. So don’t go around saying,
I just love him so. We just have such a
rapport. We just hit it off.
I just think about him all the time.” These are inanities of identification that
God is speaking to you.
Here’s a good one:
you want to learn something, your husband is your number one teacher. If you don’t have a man that can teach
spiritual things, God pity you. And if
you’re not married yet, this is the thing to look for, not the
shape and size
of his lips or how big his hands are when he wants to get cozy with you. If he doesn’t answer, he doesn’t
know. If he doesn’t find out and let
you know, he’s
bored, and it’s a sign of spiritual indifference and it’s
going to get
worse. You think he’s the
type who’s passed these points of sensitive commitment of faith
to the precious
Word of God. That’s what he’s
you. He’s telling you that
for a better way than his childish faith in this precious book. You’d better believe it.
You’ve got something that’s going to get
worse and not get better. This man who
thinks he proves his love to you by being physical is going to get to
be a very
tiresome lover in time.
We were talking about this in a group
not so long ago, and
there was a young woman in the group.
And after a few things were said, she said with a
gleam in her eye, “My
husband is going to be able to teach me.”
Now that’s a smart girl. “My
husband is going to be able to teach me.”
I think she’s got a couple of ideas as to who
the prospects are. But one thing that was
clear to her was, “My
husband is going to be able to teach me.”
That’s the thing she’s going to go for.
Not his bankroll. Not
personality. Not how cute he can be with
her. Not how much she misses him. But it’s how much he can teach her
spiritually, and he’s willing to do it.
He’s willing to enter in unashamedly and say,
“I am a Christian. I am a Christian
in terms of the fundamental
doctrinal stands of the Word of God, and I’m proud that this is
because this is truth and I accept it.”
Now that kind of a man is worth having.
This conclusion is in verse 36. Paul gets a little sarcastic here: “What, came the Word of God out from you
came it unto you only?” Paul
the conceit and the defiance of apostolic doctrine that was taking
place in the
Corinthian church. He asks his church,
“Did you produce the Word of God that you know so much about what
is true and
what is not true?” He says,
“Did it come
to you only? Are you the sole recipients
of it, that you are the judges of what God is saying and not
Pentecostalism today reflects this
again—this pride from the
delusion that they have more power and truth than non-tongues churches. The tongues advocates are usually very
insubordinate to Bible doctrine. That’s
why they defy the plain regulations of Scripture. Those
who are positive to the Word of God
will respond to doctrine about tongues in the Bible.
Verses 37-38 say, “If any man think himself
to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that
unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
But if any man be ignorant, let him be
ignorant.” A man who claims to be a
prophet or claims to
be a spiritual man will admit that what Paul has written in 1
through 14 is divine viewpoint about the practice of tongues in the New
Testament church and about the limitation of tongues in the future as
phased out. Those who reject do so
because they are willfully negative to Bible doctrine, so Paul says
them go ahead and be ignorant. If
going to be negative, let them be negative.
Do you see the principle?
Some of you people keep tuning yourselves out. Some of you people keep having guilt
complexes because the people that you hold the lantern up to
don’t sing like
the birds. You say, “What’s
wrong with me? What have I done wrong? What new technique can I get, throwing open
the barn doors and jumping in with my light so they’ll all sing
like the birds? You’re bothered by
the fact that the rats are
heading for the darkness. But the Word
of God says if they’re going to be ignorant, and you’ve
held up the lantern of
the light of the Word of God, then let them be ignorant.
Now that’s doctrine. It’s
not Christian education, but it’s
doctrine. And on this you can
stand. Those who reject do so because of
their choice. Pentecostalists consider
speaking in gibberish a sign of spirituality.
That’s part of their ignorance.
They forget that the Indian fakers, the Muslim
fakers, the spiritistic
mediums—all of them speak in this same ecstatic gibberish under
and it is not spiritual. Read through 1
John 4:1-4. It gives you that
warning. There is plenty of fakery in
the world. Even carnal Corinthians here
we find are able to use the gift of tongues in the New Testament. So just because they were using the gift of
tongues is no sign of spirituality.
1 Corinthians 3:1-4 tells how terribly
were. A spiritual Christian, if he’s
really spiritual, is going to accept the teaching about tongues as we
in these chapters. He’s not going to
to have arrogance and be self-sufficient because he thinks he’s
experience that proves otherwise. Now
this protects us from seeking an experience which is not sanctioned by
Scripture in the first place. All of our
experiences that we do have are evaluated in the light of the Word of
the basis of the common laws of interpretation and bible exegesis.
Most Pentecostal leaders you will find
are ill-equipped to
teach doctrine, but their own training.
What they do consequently is never rise above the
fallacies of the group
that they grew up in or that they committed themselves to.
They are not equipped in training to deal
with sound doctrine. Consequently they
go along in the old paths. The modern
tongues movement, among those who are cultured and educated, still
because these adherents who are cultured and educated also have a poor
doctrine. But willful ignorance in the
face of the lantern of sound doctrine will cause you to harden in your
and be blind to satanic influences.
Verses 39 and 40 give us a summary of
the chapter. Paul says, “Wherefore
brethren, covet to
prophesy, forbid not to speak with tongues (in the New
Testament—both of these
were operational). Let all things be done
decently and in order.” The local
Testament congregation should desire above all the gift of prophecy
not forbidden—the proper exercise under the regulations listed
here under the
gift of tongues. These things are not
directly applicable to us today. There
are no more revelations or messages directly from God.
This is all to be done decently and in order,
not indecently. Order in what is
important. Order in what comes one after
another. Following the regulations for
tongues would ensure this in the New Testament church.
Today the tongues movement is wild,
indecent, and a
disorderly emotional binge. The word
“decently” means “gracefully” in the Greek:
gracefully, that is, in good Christian taste, fittingly.
And “order” is “taxis,”
which means “an
arrangement,” in contrast to confusion.
A church service should be … fittingly in
order and things lined up in a
Now tongues in Acts and 1 Corinthians,
just to compare for just
a moment. I remind you that tongues in
the book of Acts that we’ve looked at, and now we’ve looked
at it in 1
Corinthians, are both the same. Both
existed as foreign languages. They’re
the same words in the Greek in both books.
Both were produced by men under control of the Holy
the gift of tongues. Both had
significance as signs to the Jews and to the new age of grace. Tongues did have a different emphasis in
Acts. In Acts the emphasis was on
tongues as a sign to the Jews and of the judgment coming upon the
nation. It also had an indication of a
sign, it was
used as a sign to indicate ethnic groups:
Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles included in the
church. In 1 Corinthians the emphasis is
edification of the local church congregation.
Now the regulation on tongues were
given orally. Paul wrote this book of 1
Ephesus. He wrote the book on his third
missionary journey. It was on his third
missionary journey that the fourth example of tongue-speaking of the
of John which were recorded in the book of Acts chapter 19 took place. It was while Paul was in Ephesus that he ran
across these disciples of John who then spoke in tongues as he
them the new age of grace and it was from that city that he wrote 1
I want to show you that Acts and 1
Corinthians are close
together relative to these regulations.
Some people like to say, “Well, Acts came
along and then a long time
later came 1 Corinthians and they had to write these regulations, and
tongues is different than 1 Corinthians tongues.” That
is not so. They’re very closely
connected. There is no break whatsoever.
Dr. John E. Danish, 1971
to the Basic Bible Doctrine index
the Bible Questions index