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 Corinthians where the apostle Paul has laid out three chapters in 12, 13, and 14 relative to explaining the place of the gift of tongues in the age of grace. He’s clarifying divine viewpoint relative to 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 a very 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 say, “No, 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 have the same words used again. So, don’t be astounded to hear that people will challenge and say, “No, these were ecstatic 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 dialect spoken,” and they are willing to admit that in Acts 2 it was known languages. However, then 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 current in 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 Spirit, 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 nothing—he continues 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 relationship to God. Instead their relationship to God is dependent upon the filling of the spirit, and that’s what they should be concentrating on.

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 tongues spelled out. Verses 4 through 7 says, “Alright, now if you are a spiritual Christian, if you are filled with the spirit, this is what would exist in your church relative to the exercise of the tongues that’s being abused. Of course, what is said about this gift would also be true about any other exercise of gifts within the church.

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 the root of bitterness.

You’ll remember that in Hebrews 12:15, “looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God lest any root of bitterness springing up 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 is not 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 kinds of 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 grieve not the Holy Spirit of God by whom ye are sealed unto the day of redemption, let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you in all malice.” And in contrast 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 forgiveness will be an easy thing to him. He will be harboring the things that bitterness can produce, and he will not be failing to exercise forgiveness, and he will not be waiting for somebody to come along and 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 of the spirit, which is the character of Christ, and which is produced as the result of the filling of the spirit, includes first of all in the fruit of the spirit, the first segment is love. Galatians 5:22 says “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, 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 right here—love. So, that to say, in other words, to use the word can be equated with being filled with the spirit, because you cannot produce “agape” love unless you are filled with the spirit. And you cannot have “agape” love, a relaxed mental attitude, free of a root of bitterness, unless you are 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 the 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 within the 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 mental 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 yourself moving in sympathy with the things that Satan is for. Now that’s carnality over against spirituality.

So, Paul says in verse 8, “Love (or spirituality) never faileth.” And the word “faileth” is “pipto” in the Greek. This word means “to lose force” or “to become inoperative.” The 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, but the verse is introduced with something that never ceases to function—the spirituality, 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 and giving divine revelation), they shall be done away; whether there be tongues (speaking in foreign languages that you yourself don’t know), they shall cease; whether 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 a 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 Spirit suddenly find yourself able to speak in the dialect of that tribe and deliver to them the Word of God? Well the question is, “When does this ceasing of tongues take place because verse 8 definitely says it’s going to stop. These will phase out.

Verse 10 tells us when. If you’ll drop down: “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. Verse 9 says, “We know in part, we prophecy in part.” Verse 9 says that the Corinthian Christians in the New Testament church had only partial knowledge and partial revelation through prophecy. There was no completed can of New Testament Scripture. All they had was pieces of information—pieces 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 didn’t 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 implications of that doctrine. So, all over the New Testament world where believers gathered, there was piece-meal and partial 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 New Testament Scriptures. It is what was revealed through these gifts and what was brought together through the ability of knowledge that produced 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 not an open book. You can’t add revelation to the Word of God. We cannot expect someone to arise who will be inspired and who will say, “I have additional revelation.” Every now and then through history, somebody arises and adds to the revelation from God in a written form. That’s a fraud.

Jude 3 speaks about the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. By “faith,” it means the 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, through 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 add or take away from this book—this book which is the closing of the New Testament 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 coming from God. But once God’s revelation was complete, it would also be natural that would expect that there would be no more prophetic revelations from God, no more exercise of the gift of knowledge 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 have a revelation from God.” And then they say something. Sometimes they make a prediction. They make these declarations. Here’s what’s taking place. Here’s what’s going to take 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 legitimate and 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 resurrection, 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 indeed 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 shall be 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 important word that means “complete.” Something is 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 complete.

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 to become 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, the 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 the Scriptures.

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, God’s 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 understood 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 chapter 16 of John, verse 12, here again the Lord says God the Holy Spirit is going to 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 revelation of God.

So, the gift of prophecy, the gift of tongues, and the gift of knowledge were to cease when that perfect thing came into existence which was the New Testament scriptures, in contrast to the imperfect partial piecemeal information they had at the time that the New Testament gifts were being exercised. So, when you get down to the end of the first century, John has written Revelation, the New Testament scriptures were completed, and therefore you cannot add to them, and therefore the gift of prophecy had to cease, the gift of knowledge had to cease, and along with them it says also that the gift of tongues had to cease at that time when the perfect came in.

Now there is something additional that we should notice. You have the word “prophecies” and you have the word knowledge. Now the King James Version uses different words when it describes what’s going to 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 that 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 10 mean. “For we know in part and we prophecy in part, but when that which is completed is come, that which is part shall be done away.” The technique of the gift of prophecy, the technique of the gift of knowledge, the information through the 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 it’s going to phase out. This also is in the future, meaning sometime ahead this is going to happen from when they were writing, but the voice here is middle. In the middle (voice), it means that the action is received and 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 national judgment was coming. It was also secondarily to authenticate the New Testament messengers and the message, and gradually 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 the Samaritans and then upon Gentiles, and it spread out, there would be authentication with tongues, that here was God moving, God was working, and this was for real. Well after the authentication had taken place, there was gradually less and less need to authenticate, gradually less and less need to have a sign to the Jews, and 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 have prophecy 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 of the first things to be phased out of operation.

Then in verse 11 we have the progress to spiritual maturity. Verse 11 speaks about the infancy stage of the church. “When I was 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 childish things.” Now we have to ask ourselves, 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 time is 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 he starts 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 talking 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 the 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 you 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 qualities that 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 business of living for the simple reason that he still wants the wonderful irresponsible world of the child, and adulthood calls for certain responsibilities that he 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 in growing up. If you don’t have these, you come to a certain stage when you begin to look back, and you look upon certain people who are in the certain stage of their youth and you see what a lot of fun they have, or things they are doing that are extremely attractive—things you’d 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 simply cannot get over being a kid. They move so early into the relationships of marriage that after a little bit they discovered that what they really want to do is to have the fulfillment of youth 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 great a salvation. “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord 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 aorist 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, whose authentication 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, “God also bearing them witness,” is how He authenticated in that first generation both with signs and wonders, with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will—the nature of the authentication, these marvelous 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 have said, “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 stronger argument.

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 necessary 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 was a child I spoke as a child (the gift of tongues—a childish gift), I understood 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.” Paul advances to the maturity of teaching from the completed canon of Scripture. That’s where he’s headed for.

Verse 12 talks about partial insights of the church, a mirror which is symbolic of the imperfect knowledge of the child stage of the church. “For now we see in a mirror darkly.” But then “face to face” is symbolic of the mature stage. “Now I know in part. Then shall I know even as also I am known.” In the mature stage of the church where the canon of Scripture is completed, you will be able to see yourself in all the light and all the information that God has for you, and that’s where we are today. The partially possessed word produced a hazy picture, but the completed New Testament revealed man in God’s plan clearly from diving viewpoint.

So, what does verse 13 say? We tie it up. “Now abideth faith, hope love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.” “Now abideth faith” is trust which God the 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 of the 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 use it. This gives you hope because as you need instruction God the Holy Spirit has something to give up to your directive 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 conscience 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 here to 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 something more important. That is that right here at this point, as from God through the Bible through the pastor-teacher comes down the Word, right at this point here everything can short-circuit unless you are filled with the spirit. And the filling of the Holy Spirit, that’s the greatest thing in the Christian life.

It makes no difference what gift you have. This is the difference as to how the gift is 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 the 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 because it’s not dependent upon your human IQ. But if you have not the filling of the spirit represented by the primary manifestation 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 your mentality.

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, and so 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 your emotions, 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 “heart” 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 didn’t 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 by their 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 thinking is off-beat.

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 the things of God. But unless you act on information so that you are thinking God’s thoughts, so that your emotions are 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 satanic counterfeits. In the tribulation emotions will dominate fantastically and Satan will have his day.

Dr. John E. Danish, 1971

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