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Tongues: revisted

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It seems for whatever reason... The tongues thing is always controversial.
It always comes up here on TJ 2 or 3 times a year it seems. There is always confusion about it.

Part of Mark's version of the great commission says...

Mark 16:17; "These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;
Mark 16:18; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some people would say, this is just natural for missionaries to learn the language of the locals wherever they go. But this says "new tongues". Not learning an "old tongue". Also in the context here of healing the sick, drinking poison and handling serpents, this appears to be a supernatural thing.

You don't need Jesus to speak another language. Many people all over the world do this without believing in Jesus. But you do need the Holy Spirit to speak "a new tongue".

If you look at 1 Corinthians 12... also known as the Spiritual gifts chapter of the Bible....
One of the things mentioned here is speaking "in tongues". ( verse 10, verse 28 )

1 Cor 12:10; and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.

I add the "interpretation of tongues"... because well, if you don't have tongues.. there is no need for interpretation.

People have a lot of different ideas about what this means. For example in Acts 2... it meant speaking
languages that people from other nationalities understood.

Acts 2:4; And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Acts 2:5; Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven.
Acts 2:6; And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language.
Acts 2:7; They were amazed and astonished, saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
Acts 2:8; "And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?
Acts 2:9; "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
Acts 2:10; Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
Acts 2:11; Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God."

But it seems sometimes tongues can also mean an "unearthly" language. In the "love chapter" of the Bible (immediately after the spiritual gifts chapter) Paul mentions...

1 Cor 13:1; If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

It says tongue(s) plural, not singular, so we are talking about at least two languages here. It specifically mentions the tongues of men (earthly) and the tongues of angels (heavenly).

Another place that mentions "the Spirit" praying...

Rom 8:26; In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;

Most Pentecostals take this to mean "sounds that are not the same as common words". To them praying in the Spirit usually means praying in tongues.

... to be continued ...

Some people get really hung up on the tongues... but tongues are just one of the nine gifts listed in 1 Cor 12.

There are people who take certain verses and say tongues don't apply anymore. They were just for first century
Christians. If that's true then apparently the great commission was just for 1st century Christians. ( Mark 16:17; )

1 Cor 13:8; Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

Some people like to cut the middle out of this verse. Tongues will cease... yes at some point they will.
But also knowledge and prophecy will be done away will also at the same time.

When will these things cease?

1 Cor 13:10; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.

What is "when the perfect comes"? Some say Jesus was perfect... true but He came long before 1st Corinthians was written.
So it must be something else.

.... to be continued ...

Generally the "baptism" of the Holy Spirit is considered a different event than the "initial indwelling" of the Holy Spirit.

Tongue tied

Four out the five times people received the "baptism" of the Holy Spirit in Acts, it says they spoke in tongues.
The fifth one would be Paul himself. It doesn't mention him speaking in tongues at Ananias's house, but we
know he spoke in tongues later. ( 1 Cor 14:18; )

All five of these instances were people who had already been saved for a period of time before receiving the
Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor 14:1; Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
1 Cor 14:2; For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.
1 Cor 14:3; But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.

Prophesy is to speak to men. Tongues are to speak to God. No one it saying it always has to be in tongues.
Certainly it wasn't always in the Bible. But it is one way.

I mentioned interpretation going with tongues earlier. This also goes with prophesy.

1 Cor 14:13; Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.

Also this goes for believers and non-believers.

1 Cor 14:22; So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe.
1 Cor 14:23; Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad?
1 Cor 14:24; But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all;

Tongues are a sign to unbelievers, but tongues also go before prophesy.

1 Cor 14:27; If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret
1 Cor 14:28; but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God.
1 Cor 14:29; Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.

So while some tongues may be for unbelievers, some tongues are given to interpret. The interpretation is for
the church (believers).
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What is "when the perfect comes"? Some say Jesus was perfect... true but He came long before 1st Corinthians was written.
So it must be something else.
I think Paul is talking about Christ's second coming, when He gives His bride their new heavenly bodies. As 1 Corinthians 15 says that the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable. The first part of 2 Corinthians 5 covers this as well.
Luke 11:13; "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

Acts 5:32; "And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him."

Acts 2:38; Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 11:16; "And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'

Acts 1:5; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

With all of the verses that emphasize the Holy Spirit... you would think more churches would talk about it.

Matt 3:11; "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Luke 3:16; John answered and said to them all, "As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Mark 1:8; "I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

John 1:33; "I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.'

John the Baptist is speaking in the four verses above. He came to prepare a way for Jesus.
John baptized with water (for repentance)... But the one who came after him (Jesus) is the one who baptized with the
Holy Spirit.

Note in the verses above... being baptized in water is always a different event from being baptized in the Spirit.
In fact they aren't even done by the same person. Anyone can baptize you. If you are baptized, likely it was a human
person, a pastor, or a friend that baptized you. But only Jesus can baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

We can water baptize "in the name" of the Spirit. But we aren't the one who baptizes you "in the Spirit".
Matt 28:19; "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Great post BAC. I wish people wouldnt be so hung up about it. Its just one of the gifts. Its exciting to receive a new tongue though, but you got to beware in front of others who wont know what you saying, but have noticed God will have you speak when He wants you to, He gives you utterance and there are many testimonies from people that have heard others magnifying the lord in a tongue they didnt know, but others knew.

As for private prayer language, well, thats private in your prayer closet so...its not to be flaunted in front of others. You can pray to God in whatever tongue you like but its best when the spirit helps you, cos then you know its of God and not yourself.

I think people are just miffed because they dont bother with it, thinking well God knows my thoughts anyway I dont even need to speak them or pray. But His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.

Its seems to be always the people that dont bother that accuse others of using their gift. But gifts are given to be shared and used! I dont see people complaining when they being healed! Yet many people would rather others dont use the gifts God gives them and pay to see a doctor. And this can be applied to other aspects of spiritual life too, like why share a meal when you can buy it at a restaurant. Why have faith in God to provide when you can ask others for money. That kind of thing.

Why not just have a secular job rather than do the work God wants you to do. Why bother fasting when you can just give up coffee and give money to a charity. Why not just stay home and watch a sermon on tv instead of actually physically meeting with other christians at church.

If my mum speaks in chinese and I dont understand, yes that can be annoying but Im not going to stop her from speaking in her tongue. If she does it all the time then it could be considered rude, but then I speak in english and dont always expect she understands what am saying either. Sometimes will speak half in half.

In the spiritual, tongues are for others but they are also for God, who understands them all. Really it is no big deal but if everyone is talking in english then its better we all speak the same tongue. Some people are just so monolingual that they forget that english is not the only tongue that people speak.

When I taught esol do you know how different it is teaching a language rather than to have it come naturally. Its so different! You cant just copy someone. If you speak a tongue it comes from within. You didnt really have to learn your native tongue, its just something you were born with. Some people can learn by rote but its not the same as having a tongue, well, roll off your tongue word perfect. No pronunciation problems at all.
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