Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oct. 31...A Day for Every Christian to Hold Dear.

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenburg, God in His own time loosing His nation free again from political enslavement.

Just in case we'd forgotten that there is something meaningful to remember on the 31st of October, we can always reflect on this precious memory of Martin Luther while we watch for Him(Christ) to return in the same way as those who had seen Him leave.

18 comments:

Paul G said...

Hi Todd!
I hope you mean the Lord Jesus and not Martin Luther.

Paul. :-)

Todd said...

You shouldn't have to 'hope' Paul but just take the upper case H for what Christians use it for.

I guess that's a little too 'meaty' for you(remember back a few posts?) I'll dumb it down a little and add Christ in parentheses for you.

Calvin has really made a 'caviller' out of you.

Paul G said...

I'm sorry Todd! How could I have doubted you, it was a little bit too 'meaty' for my sensitive digestive system. :-)

By the way it was the Lord Jesus who made me a ‘cavalier’ and not John Calvin.
If John Calvin would be alive today, he surely would not love me; perhaps he would condemn me like he did Michael Servetus.

I must admit that John Calvin had a really good understanding on the doctrine of Election.
It seems to me that The Lord has given to some a profound understanding of His Word and Calvin was one of those.

Todd said...

Paul,
You may need to look that word 'caviller' up. The Lord may have made you 'cavalier', I don't know you that well, but one of John Calvin's favorite cuts, instead of answering people's criticism genuinely, was to accuse people of 'cavilling'. That was how he answered criticism instead of in a responsible way. "Nothing could be more arrogant and impudent than this donkey", is how he responded to Menno Simons at one point. Those are the words of a man whose out of bullets. Who's at a loss for wisdom.

No one can dispute that John Calvin's doctrine of election is only theory. Very impressive academically but,...very subjective, and asks others to buy into actual personal opinion and guesswork, that strives to answer questions to which we were intentionally not given answers to by the Lord. John Calvin even seems to unknowingly, or even willingly decieve himself with his tangle of worldly reasonings. In the end, it does not handle what God describes as His simple and pure Word to all of mankind, in a reliable way and to a reliable conclusion. But instead, because of it's reckless nature, it produces an irreconcilable, even irresponsilbe quarrel between the recipients of God's Word.

Yes, I know, just as I was told by a close Charismatic friend that 'praying in tongues' is real -because she does it - and I need to meditate on the Word more and then I'll come to understand it. But...'praying in tongues' is never mentioned in the Bible. I don't doubt that she feels like she's doing it - it's just not mentioned anywhere in scripture.

And I've had Calvinist's tell me the same thing when their merely erudite and man-pleasing theory of election leaves them at a dead end and without any scriptural confirmation. Calvin showed them how impressive piles and piles of men's words can sometimes prevail over substance. And give some the appearance of profound understanding. Well, times up at this end. I may come back with a few more comments if time and mental acuity permit. Thanks Paul, and way to keep on loving the Lord brother.

Todd

Paul G said...

Yes Todd I did bungle up the word 'caviler', my mistake.

As to John Calvin, he was known to have caustic tongue at times but so did Wesley, Whitfield, Huntington and many more of the old Saints and I am certainly not excluded.
Many times I have been called worse names than Simons, by both Calvinist and Arminian brothers.

Some people call me a Calvinist but I'm not, I like to believe in the doctrines of Christ and not in the doctrines of men, perhaps they are just as you said "only theories", some true and some false.
It looks like you have been challenged by some Calvinists and a Charismatic friend, do you think your Charismatic friend might have referred to (1Cor.14:14+15) to pray in tongues?
Only a thought!
I vaguely remember that you have a Pentecostal background and by the way, do you speak in tongues?
Oh! That would make an interesting post.
Bless you brother!

Todd said...

Hi Paul,
I had always considered Paul's 'praying in a tongue' a reference to prayer emanating from his(Paul's) or a person's own spirit, as opposed to the Holy Spirit.

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;

Is Paul indicating in this passage that the Spirit interceding for us is done out loud by us? And is going to resemble speaking consciously, and out loud, in a foreign tongue, in the way the disciples were enabled to communicate with people from foreign lands? I wouldn't think so but then maybe I'm missing something.

Or do some have an altogether man-made idea of speaking in tongues which they've contrived from unrelated areas of scripture to explain their own devoted personal emotional practices?

We have people who claim they are 'praying in tongues', the Spirit praying for them, out loud, in a foriegn language. And to no ones benefit and a good many peoples bewilderment and off-putting. The two don't go together. That is, the gift of foreign languages to evangelize, and the Spirit expressing our hearts to God for us. Or is the Spirit then actually praying out loud, in the congregation, where there is no hope of interpretation being that it's too deep for words anyway, and doing it in a foreign language no less? What's supposed to be going on there? It seems to me like several very differrent scriptural ideas have been forced together here.

Is it actually an emotional or psychological exercise from the devoted heart of certain individuals as they pray? That's how it seems to me.

Does the apostle Paul discourage much of that sort of thing, or am I overstating it?

Thanks Paul for your feedback. I've got to run or I'd talk somemore.

Todd

Paul G said...

Thank you for your thought on tongues.
The Scripture indicates that there are many different kind of tongues, but there are also a lot of wacky ideas in some Churches.

The tongue issue is a very controversial subject for many believers, but I think it's worth while to investigate because the Scriptures speak about it.

I know we have wandered from your original topic '31 of October remembrance day'.

Paul,

Todd said...

No problem Paul. Yesterday was Veterans Day over here. I couldn't figure out why I had no mail service on Mon. or Tues.

It's too bad how our present day gov't. misuses our military options. A lot of kids at home over here while their mom or dad is over entrenched in the irreconcilable decades old Arab civil war which will only be settled when Grace and Truth gets here on His white horse.

Yes. Many different kinds of tongues. Or simply put...many different kinds of languages. See you.

Todd said...

If anyone was truly speaking out in the congregation in the 'gift of tongues(languages)' then why would Paul silence them for a moment? Unless he was unsure of it.

I think the apostle Paul was dealing with many people who remained after originally hearing of 'tongues' and even seeing them displayed early on, and now were simply doing something else. He simply never gives either legitimacy, instruction or sanction to what they're doing. In fact he's wholly discouraging it. Seems as though there are no interpretors and that no one is able to understand others. Yet there is something they are enjoying there. He's simply telling them to either have an interpretor or be quiet.

Is he questioning whether or not it's the real thing?

He says pray with your spirit but pray with your mind also. He compares it to a lifeless thing - a thing coming from us, presumably our emotions - devoted or not.

He treats it as if something diffferent is now taking place than what had originally been a gift of 'foreign languages' to disciples of the Lord for the purpose of communicating with others in different lands while spreading the gospel to every nation.

I don't have a problem with those people who enjoy doing this , and/or watching other people doing what they call 'praying in tongues' together, if they're doing unto the Lord, much like singing or praying together. But according to Paul, and any other scripture on 'tongues', it's something different than the gift of tongues mentioned in Acts.

It's been my experience that those who do it are sincere and then charge that I need to meditate on scripture more and then finally I will see it(sort of like those who argue limited atonement).

Aren't the supposed 'tongues' practiced by only a relative minority of people and aren't they in effect just listening to their body(psyche, emotion) and then, based on what they are feeling, then concluding that it must be scriptural? How are we who don't have the feeling supposed to test it but with scripture? How else are we to view it but as something that scripture questions?

Paul G said...

Well Todd; tongues are not a feeling, it's a spiritual language given by the Lord to those who believe (Mark 16:17), that does not mean that all believers will speak in tongues.

Paul said, I would like that every one of you would speak in tongues (1 Cor. 14:5+18), so then tongues are encouraged by Paul.
By that I do not necessarily mean the tongues or foreigner languages as in Acts, but the unknowable tongues in (1 Cor. 14:2) which no one understands but the one speaking is speaking mysteries to God.
It also has an additional benefit which is self edification (1 Cor. 14:4)
The unknowable tongue used in Church meetings should be done in orderly fashion so that the hearers will be encouraged or edified. If one speaks in tongue, then there should be another to interpret, if there is no one, then the person speaking should ask the Lord to give him the interpretation, if he has not, then he ought to be silent. (1 Cor. 14:5+13+27+28)

Sometimes as it is with overzealous believers it can get a little bit messy and Paul was addressing that problem, but surely it is encouraging to hear and see the gifts operating in a gathering of believers.
As for me, I speak in tongues and other languages and interpret and also believe the 'limited atonement'. :-)

Todd said...
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Todd said...

Let's take a close look. Praise the Lord that I can look closely at this in His Word and gain undestanding. I'm confident that you can as well.

What does Jesus mean in Mark 16:17 by, "they will speak in new tongues"? If not 'tongues' as 'languages', then what? Displays they are doing which no one understands and only serve to edify the speaker? Well, we know he does indeed mean 'languages' when he says "tongues", but you would have Him mean something else as well. Something He nor anyone else tell us about anywhere. Something created rather by the modern day tongue speakers of his and our time. Something we are doing with our spirit, not the direct workings of God's Spirit.

Paul says they are 'tongues' if they can be interpreted. He wish's that all would speak in tongues that are of that sort. He's speaking of 'tongues' as different languages which are easily understood and meaningful and designed to be interpreted and useful.

What Paul is hearing, he does not approve of. Some men seem to be praying to God from their spirit, and acting as though it were God speaking through them. Not God's Spirit speaking 'tongues' of other nations as they've been specifically defined but rather speaking mysteries to God which no one understands. Not even the speaker understands. It is a 100% emotional experience. How does the bible say we edify ourselves with something that comes from ourselves? What is it that is edifying about producing 'tongues' within ourselves that have not come from the miraculous gift of tongues?

Paul refers to these speakers of so-called tongues as speaking mysteries to God. What does he mean by "mysteries to God"? Does Paul suggest it is something positive or something negative? What are 'mysteries to God'? Where is there a teaching in the bible introducing believers speaking mysteries to God? If as Paul says, in his spirit the so-called 'tongues' speaker is speaking 'mysteries to God', that neither the speaker himself nor anyone else understands, then he is speaking gibberish, perhaps the clanging cymbal, and bringing forth an emotional display which issues from himself, not even knowing what he is doing. Is Paul suggesting that the whole thing these would be tongues speakers are doing is a mystery and should be silenced? To me he is. Apart from the fact that neither I nor anyone else can be sure of what the mysteries are or where they are coming from, we do know they are useless and selfish, perhaps even quite empty, and at best a cheap source of spiritual gratification, according to the apostle Paul.

Let's get back to what the bible seems to say.
Paul says tongues are "of men and of angels". However, he says that the 'gifts' are of the Spirit. Tongues which are the work of the Spirit are able to be interpreted. This would be a real a display of the "gift" of tongues. Paul says there are things that look like tongues that are of no use and no more than a clanging cymbal. This is all reported in 1 Cor. chapter 12. A tongue speaker in and before Paul's day was intended to be used as an instrument within a Christian missionary group to communicate the gospel to others of differrent languages. This is the only use of tongues mentioned anywhere in the Bible. Any other uses than that are not of the Sprirt and are therefore not 'tongues'. Paul regards any other type off so-called tongues as useless and man based to edify themselves. Perhaps not only self-edifying but even selfish. He gives them no value unless they are truly spiritual tongues which can be interpreted. It's not an "unknowable tongue" in 14:2, as you desire it to read, but rather a so-called tongue about which nothing is 'known' except that it originates from the speaker and has no value except to the speaker, therefore, firstly, it would be more accurately termed the 'unknown tongue', and secondly, not knowing what it is or where it comes from, it should be looked upon with suspicion and restraint.

The "orderly fashion" you practice in your own congregation seems to me to open the door for anyone in attendance to attribute anything they say to God. And in the end remain quite "unknown". Scripturally speaking, it seems to me that anything "unknown" would have to be tested and would not be worshiped or encouraged in a congregation of worship in an unknown state. That could be a dangerous practice.

Moreoever, we are never told or asked, or given opportunity in scripture, to recieve a message 'in ourselves' as a 'tongue', as you've stated, and then asked to pray in order to figure out it's meaning, or ask of it's interpretation, in order to tell others. I don't see any example of God working that way, or instructing us to work that way, do you?

And why would the Lord give someone a message, with no one around to interpret, that they could not even interprete themselves after prayer? That would be a God of confusion and anxiety. And how does that fit with the boldness and confidence we can have through Christ through His Word?

There is no denying that practices such as the ones you've described can lead to confusion and even danger.

I am intrigued by the fact that you speak in tongues as well as interprete other tongues speakers. That must be a very unique experience Paul, can you tell me more about it? What are some of the revelations or teachings in particular that the Spirit has imparted to you or others in your congregation when tongues have taken place?

Thanks Paul.

Todd

Paul G said...

Todd;
Mark 16:17 Does not mean or say 'known languages'.
If it would say so; then it would not be a 'sign'.
Many people can speak more than one language and every devil can do the same. Before I was born again I could speak three languages while I was still dead in my sins and trespasses, in fact English is not my Mother tongue and those languages definitely were no 'sign' at all.

Mark 16:17 is speaking about spiritual gifts from the Lord given as a sign of their salvation to unbelievers (1Cor. 14:22), not natural but spiritual gifts and spiritually discerned.

All of 1 Cor. 12—13—14 are spiritual gifts and NONE of those come from the spirit of men. The spirit of a man is dead in sins and trespasses until he has been made alive by a living Spirit the Holy Spirit (born again). For this reason a man cannot function in any spiritual gifts by his own spirit, including speaking in tongues.

An unknown tongue can only be spoken and interpreted by a born again believer filled with the Holy Spirit of God and not by a natural man (unbeliever).
I am not saying that a natural man is incapable and can not mimic tongues, but so can a parrot.
In such a case is needed another gift from the Lord which is 'Discernment of spirits'. (1 Cor. 12:10)

1 Cor. 14:2 That is just as I have said an unknowable tongue which no one understands until someone by the gift of interpretation makes it known (1 Cor. 12:10).
We know that all spiritual gifts come from God to His children for the building up of the body of Christ, the Church.

My experience in spiritual gifts are not unique (meaning only one). The Bible says that those signs will accompany those who believe and they are operating in numerous assemblies and denominations worldwide.
Oh! Enough said for now.
Kind regards Paul.

Todd said...
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Todd said...
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Todd said...

Paul,
May God bless your sincere and devoted heart. And thanks for your kind regards.

The plain fact that 'tongues' speaking is found in many worldly religions and has nothing to do with any actual Divine spiritual gifts from God should bring the conversation to a quick end. But let's not.

'Tongues' has always meant 'languages'('known languages'). There has never been a distinction made in the bible between people speaking in 'unknown tongues' and 'known tongues'. There is the one 'tongues' of spoken of in prophecy. I see how you've divided that 'tongues' and taken the people who Paul refers to as 'speaking mysteries to God', as another sort of 'tongue'. That sort of 'tongues' can be easily produced and in fact is practiced by people in religions other than Christianity who also purport to speak in tongues. That's no miracle nor is there evidence that God disires to work in such a flippant way. The 'tongues' of the Bible become a miracle when it is witnessed that God alone enables a person to speak coherently to others in a language which the one speaking had no previous knowledge. That's the miracle. Undeniably clear and astonishing, impossible to reproduce, with clear and present usefulness, intended for the unbeliever who then proceeds to hear the Lord's gospel. 'Unknown' and unknowable mysterious chantings are not a miracle and never will be.

The disciples and apostles were beside themselves in giddy astonishment at their new found gift to "speak with other tongues as the Spirit was giving them utterance". To those with no understanding they even appeared drunk. To those who didn't realize that the apostles were speaking in 'tongues' in which they hitherto did not known how to speak, there was no miracle going on but only foolishness. When Peter spoke up and pointed out that the apostles had just been gifted by the Spirit to prophesy and teach in other tongues, and the mforeign men confirmed it, the people began to praise God and devote their lives to serving Him.

Whereas, people speaking incoherent sounds coming from no one knows where or why would not seem as a miracle to anyone but the naive or the easily decieved. There are many false religions whose practitioners can do that. What makes it a miracle is someone speaking a tongue(language) to another, for the unmistakable glory of God. What makes it a 'sign' from God is that it is not able to be reproduced by anyone but the Lord.

Anywhere 'tongues' is pointed to in prophecy there is mentioned only one 'tongues'. And this 'tongues' was the one that came onto the scene and was being displayed to and by the apostles gathered on the day of Pentecost and to be used for the benefit of the foreigners in the room. The apostles were amazed and the foreigners were amazed saying "We hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God".

So I would argue that an 'unknown' tongue would be no sign at all, and that in order for a 'tongue' to be a sign, it would have to be in a 'known language'. I would argue secondly that there are no 'unknown tongues' spoken of in scripture.

In Mark 16:17 speaking in tongues was never meant as a 'sign of someone's salvation', as you say, nor could it serve as that, or you would have people freely mimicking tongues and decieving others as to their salvation. The Lord would not provide something of that sort as proof of His divine workings.

Neither are the tongues presently for our time. Just as neither are we protected from the venom of poisonous snakes or drinking deadly poison or laying hands on the sick and healing them or casting out demons. Those things are not happening anywhere today. Yes I know that there are men who pretend to do it. They cannot show by their fruit that they indeed impart a participant with anything but earthly hope. Or perhaps even spiritual hope but which is hope based on man-made practices.

Not everything that comes from a believer is necessarily a spiritual gift. Paul reminds us of "the principle that evil is present" in all believers. There is the "law of sin" waging war in the members of our bodies against the law of our minds where God's Word resides. So then on the one hand, with our minds we serve the law of God, but on the other, with our flesh, the law of sin. Just because it's a believer doing any given thing does not mean that it is emanating from God or even His own faith. Our fleshly spirit is capable of producing things of which we do not know. The history of worldly religions is full of such things. Our test is the scriptural Word of Truth. You get into a dangerous area by judging whether something is spiritual or not by whether it is a believer or an unbeliever doing it.

When you say...

"An unknown tongue can only be spoken and interpreted by a born again believer filled with the Holy Spirit of God and not by a natural man (unbeliever)."

Some teacher has invented this. Now you've invented 'tongues' that are not intended for the unbeliever anymore. I thought scipture tells us that 'tongues' were intended for the 'unbeliever'? The original gift of tongues needed no interpretor. This teaching you've embraced which began about a century ago, or at least began to be practiced widely at that time in small circles, has taken on a life all its own. One misinterpretation leads to another which leads to this sort of morphed understanding that there are tongues intended for the unbeliever that are actually not accessible to the unbeliever.

It's not so much that these teachings you follow manufacture their own interpretations, but moreso how they distort and even contradict what is actually there in scripture. That is why, even though you practice this as your own conviction to the Lord, I can't get comfortable with it. Modern day unknown tongues speaking appears to be a "learned behavior"(which for better or for worse is a phrase I've thought of that seems to fit) that was started to be taught widely about a century ago. And does indeed appear to come from the spirit of men, all be they devoted or not. Or simply unkown spirits as you say.

When you say...

Cor. 12:10).I am not saying that a natural man is incapable and can not mimic tongues, but so can a parrot.
In such a case is needed another gift from the Lord which is 'Discernment of spirits'. (1 Cor. 12:10)

1 Cor. 14:2 That is just as I have said an unknowable tongue which no one understands until someone by the gift of interpretation makes it known (1 Cor. 12:10).


The men who recieved the gift of Tongues at Pentecost were not unconscious of what they were saying. They knew what they were speaking. They had no reason to have an interpretor. They were consciously teaching in another tongue, with no need for anyone to interprete for them. The unbeliever, whose language they were talking in, understood them. That's what helps to separate the miracle 'Tongues' from the tongues speakers in question at Corinth. The tongues speakers in question at Corinth were speaking mysteries to God, which they nor anyone else knew, nor is there any evidence that even God Himself knew what they were speaking, nor has He ever told us of speaking mysteries to Him. The Corinthians in question were not speaking in tongues to men in the way that tongues had been prescribed in scripture, but instead, something new, which had no foundation, which was speaking tongues to God that they did not know the meaning of. A totally different thing from the gift of tongues. Something not coming from God through man, but from a man in a mystery toward God. Where did that come from? That is the only mystery. It appears we men have created the second 'tongues'. Presumably it comes from the man's own devoted heart, for his own gratification as Paul says.. But that's not the gift of tongues. Nor did Paul see any place for it. Speakers with the gift of tongues would always know what they are saying. Having the need for an interpretor would mean something is out of place. That's what Paul is getting at. They are not the purposeful gifts of tongues from God to men, but mysteries from men or from other unknown spirits, that we should not mistake for the work of the Spirit. And does it say that He desires us to speak mysteries to Him, or rather to be sober and with sound fruitful mind?

So you go on to say that 'discernment of spirits' is now a third gift necessary for all of this to happen accurately? When God works a gift through someone can we not be sure that an evil spirit may behind it without having three different people authorize it? No way. The answer is "only in the charismatic christian community".

This is also the first mention of 'discernment of spirits' as a gift. What is Paul doing then. Is he now adding safeguard to this area of evil spirits, men's spirits and unknown spirits in unknown languages he is witnessing? Doesn't sound like he's describing a process through which people become filled with spiritual wisdom and knowledge of God and His will. Paul can only be implying that, in this new area, which to the uninformed appears to be people speaking in tongues, therre are actually other spirits at work here, men's, and unknown spirits, decieving people that they are of God. And I ask you a most spiritually discerning question Paul G., "if evil spirits can masquerade as God then why would God consider using something that even they can do, as a miraculous sign coming from Him?" There is nothing miraculous about it. Demons cannot perform miracles? Therefore it's plainly no longer the gift of tongues. God is not going to put forth something even demons or men can do, and have us believe that it is a miracle if He does it, but not a miracle when an unknown spirit or a man does it.

These 'unknown' things operate in congregations and assemblies where they have been artificially introduced and taught. According to Paul they edify the 'self' instead of the building up of the Body of Christ, the Church. They are not of one mind with scripture but rather seem and act more like they come from the imagination of certain men. Are Charismatic style tongues not simply "learned" or "taught" of men? The doctrine certainly is.

Where is all of your astonishment and amazment in yourself as a gifted vessel of tongues and interpretor and discernor of spirits? Instead I'm seeing all these vague and mysterious, even manufactured scriptural contradictions. I truly believe I'm controlled by the love of God, but to be taken by the power of His Divine Spirit and be enabled to utter His Truth in languages I've never been taught for His glory is something I would be shouting from the housetops. I would go to the end of the earth to share in witnessing the visible work of God's Spirit on earth. What you do is not convicting. The Spirit is active! and alive! and strengthening us to at this very moment in the attaining spiritual fruit and knowledge that a natural man has no hope of ever attaining. The Charismatic style of spirit is no more powerful than a man or a demon. We can have indescribable peace, patience, self-control, endurance, understanding, and love in an abundance that no man can otherwise hope to know without the Spirit of God in him. That's real present day Spiritual magnificience. We've recived the greatest 'sign' there could be in the Lord coming to earth and dwelling among us. To ask for more signs now, or manufacture cheap ones, is to contend against the Lord's will that we would stop looking for and asking for signs, examine ourselves, and see that the Lord lives in us. Know He was sent from the Father and returned to the Father, leaving His unmistakable Spirit here to guide and to comfort us.

There will be a time of great tribulation when signs return. May it be the will of the Lord that believers will be raptured up by that time.

Thanks for considering these things in the brotherly love with which they were intended Paul G. One of my dearest friends in the Lord is a Charismatic. May she understand that I've said these things in the spirit of love and true spiritual knowledge as well.

May the Lord find us prepared, Todd

By the end of the day on Friday, Lord willing, I'll be out of this dial-up nightmare and onto Hughs.net.

Paul G said...

I'm sorry Todd, I have been away for a while.
I read your comment a few times and hope I understood you correctly.

1Cor.14:2 I have been calling that 'UNKNOWABLE' tongues or languages, because of the fact that no one understands that tongue or language regardless of their nationality. It is impossible to understand it intelligently, (1 Cor. 14:9) because he speaks by the spirit and not the intellect mysteries to God.
God does understand that tongue or language because He knows the innermost thoughts of our hearts.

This 'unknowable' tongue or 'non intelligible tongue' (1 Cor.14:9) is definitely not a foreign language, because every foreign language is intelligent and understandable by someone.
(1 Cor. 14:10) "Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning."
Except the gift of tongue which is from God (1 Cor. 14:2) and no one understands.

No where in the Bible are tongues for teaching.

A known language is NOT a sign, because it is known and can be debated.

Mark 16:16-17 that is a sign of their salvation (v.16) and (v.17) is the sign itself (tongues the gift).

Tongues are a sign for the unbeliever (1 Cor. 14:22), so that they know that we are believers in the Lord and testify of the Lord our God Jesus Christ.

To the believer tongues are a gift from the Lord and NOT a sign.

Acts 2:4 is a different kind of tongue than (1Cor.14:2) just as it says in (1 Cor. 12:10) and they should not be mixed up.

Discernment of spirits is not a third gift; it is another gift just like prophecy, healing etc. and they are not evil spirits, they are from the Spirit of God. (1Cor. 12:4-6)

I know brother that those things are not easily understood, they have been debated throughout the centuries just like Calvinism and Arminianism, grace and works etc. but in all those things our wonderful Lord and savior Jesus Christ is teaching us and leading us into all the truth just as He said.
Lot’s of love;
Paul.

Todd said...

Paul,

The doctrine of tongues is not being debated, has not and will not. The doctrine of the "gift of tongues" is clearly defined. But one cannot give up after just a few seemingly contradictory passages, in an effort to give it it's full voice. If one takes the pains of bringing the whole counsel of our Lord to the study table, and turns away from the distractions of his flesh, the Word gives us full direction. There are just these displays you refer to, both in modern day and at Corinth which Paul was trying to give instruction to, which have no indication that they are coming from the Spirit of God. When looked at closely they come up empty and/or contrived. But there is particularly no ambiguity in scripture as to what is going on with "the gift of tongues". No ambiguity that is, for anyone who might chose to appeal to scripture for guidance.

As they are displayed in your church, they are in violation of all scriptural directives. What little has been reasoned here by you contradicts and/or dismisses scripture. Each one of your remarks except one directly contradicts scripture. Let me explain.

To start with, there is one concept here that you do not have even a basic understanding of. You say, "Nowhere in the Bible are tongues for teaching".

Paul to the Corintians says, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will it profit you unless I speak to you by way of teaching?(1 Cor. 14:6)

Do we need to say more about "tongues' with regard to teaching?

Those at the Pentecost celebration heard the people say, "we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty works of God". These are not like your "tongues" at all Paul G. These tongues are clear, imparting useful information meant for learning and teaching and the upbuilding of the Body of Christ. Here Jesus is enabling the apostles through gifts of languages to perform His great commission to spread the good news of the Kingdom. Nothing like your 'unknowable tongues'. Peter pointed out that that people who did no know scripture thought they were drunk.

Peter cited scripture that says God will pour forth His Spirit and people will prophecy(teach). He doesn't even mention the kind of so-called tongues that your congregation practices.

Jesus told them, "go therefore and make disciples of all the nations". In other words, to make students and followers amongst all the nations who will be taught the knowledge of God's revelation of Himeslf through Christ.

The speaking in tongues in Acts prompted the visitors from far away to remark "we each hear them in our own language to which we were born". They were listening to things in their own language which the Lord intended for their edification and learning.

1 Cor 14:21, [In the Law it is written, "BY MEN OF STRANGE TONGUES AND BY THE LIPS OF STRANGERS I WILL SPEAK TO THIS PEOPLE, AND EVEN SO THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME," says the Lord.]

In this instance in scripture, are people listening to incoherent speech with no meaning, or does the Lord speak His Truth to them expecting them to understand? Paul soon after remarks that God is not a God of confusion. These tongues are not like your tongues Paul G. The apostle Paul says 'tongues' should come by way of teaching. You say otherwise. Let's move on.

Let's get to the core for a moment. No one in your congregations 'speaks in tongues' or 'interpretes' or 'discerns spirits'. This will easily be proven by looking at them closely. What you would have us believe then is that you do what you would call "praying in tongues". That's where someone stands up, speaks incoherently, no one is able to understand, and calls it "praying in tongues", claiming they are speaking in the "unknowable language", or mysteries to God. Not 'from' God, mind you, but 'to' Him. This is the only real so-called gift that would be left to sort through in your congregation after the others were held up to the light. By the other so-called gifts I mean that, if we took each speaker at your church and did a language search, because as Paul says there are "a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind of language is without meaning", we would find the speaker is not speaking a language at all with any meaning. And if he was indeed found to be speaking a meaningful language that was able to be interpreted correctly, it would be found to be coming from the speaker himself, as opposed to an edifying message spoken directly by the Spirit of God. It would actually be the speaker himself creating his own message. This is the 'speaking in tongues' that goes on in your church. These instances such as those which go on in your church and charismatic churches as a whole have been seen and tested from their beginnings and have been found to be something strange that is not of God nor does it fit with scripture. It does not passes the scriptural test. Not only are those tongues manufactured but their alleged presence in scripture is runs contradictory to scripture this is truly there. But at the very least one tenable instance of these alleged tongues done in modern times would be very helpful in your support and earnestly and marvelously embraced by all of Christendom. There is instead a jumble of things that don't play out as anything which rings True.

To make matters more unsettling, your 'tongues' actually performs what scripture prohibits. By that I mean, in your church, 'tongues speaking' would not be clear nor in a real language coming in a "God breathed" way to the speaker because your are "unknowable"(whereas Paul says all gift of tongues languages have meaning). And if it were "knowable", then there would be no legitimate interpretor of what was being said. And if there was an interpretor interpreting and it were varified that he were indeed interpreting the meaningfully spoken language accuarately, it would be found to have been contrived by the speaker, and the interpretor.

Paul says, moreover, that even the one speaking should know what he is saying{should "pray that he may interpret") so that his mind is fruitful. Paul is saying the speaker should know what he is saying otherwise let him speak to himself and to God. Tongues was defined by Paul as speaking meaningful languages from God to others.

A Mennonite Christian brother of mine visiting from Canada just last week discussed with me that years ago before his arrrival in the Mennonite church he was introduced to and participated for a few years in a charismatic church, where he found he could have a "tongues" experience before the congregation. He was completely convincing and even considered it a gift. But he knew he was simply generating it himself able to turn it on or off at will. He finally had to admit to himself that he was lieing to himself and others. Perhaps he is an isolated case.

He also told of a friend of his who was attending a charismatic based Christian college out East who was challenged by a fellow student to stand up during "tongues" time and recite the 21st Psalm in the Hebrew "tongue", as he knew Hebrew. As usual an interpretor stood up and gave an interpretation. Only it was not an interpretation of what the speaker was saying. It was something completely different, and false. This area referred to as 'tongues' by a few such as yourself tongues Paul G. is the playground of Simon the magician of Acts who wanted to buy these spiritual powers from the apostles. In your church they are free for the taking. They are free gifts from yourselves to yourselves for your own edification only. The are free to whoever has the natural ability to produce them. Others, simply think you are mad because it is not a sign distinguishable as coming from God.

Your tongues may truly wield power, yes, but not miraculous power. These are the spirits of men and of angels as the apostle Paul says. Perhaps fallen angels; angels of darkness; perhaps the rulers of darkness in this world; or spiritual wickedness in high places. They may well be the powers of deception, if they are, as you say, "unknowable" to you, and you are giving them a voice in your church.

And then you have "discerners of spirits" who tell you if the "unknowable" spirit is good or bad? Oh my.

These powers have no meaning and do not edify. For the apostle Paul said for them to "utter by the tongue speech which is clear". And "if there is no interpretor he must keep silent in the church;". And if he does not keep silent he edifys only himself.

And let's note here that anytime a biblical 'speaker of tongues' would speak anything in a 'tongue', it would be a miracle in progress, and would have to be edifying to anybody within earshot and would never be discouraged or silenced by the apostle Paul or anyone else. But that's not what is going on here with some of the Corinthians. Paul describes something else which is not meeting his definition of 'speaking in tongues', which are 'clear' and have 'meaning'. From the spirits of men and angels(perhaps angels of light, perhaps angels of darkness). Paul tells us to keep quiet and give them no voice. There is only one tongue, one Spirit; One which we would never think to quiet.

So...

In your congregation, as you stated above, you speak:

(Paul G.)-["'UNKNOWABLE' tongues or languages, because of the fact that no one understands that tongue or language regardless of their nationality. It is impossible to understand it intelligently,"].

Which is not the 'gift of tongues' because the gift of tongues in Acts was not only understood, but purposed to be understood by the hearer with meaning to be grasped. So you do not, 'speak in tongues' at all, because the apostle Paul says tongues are in known languages and have meaning.

You say:

(Paul G.)-["Except the gift of tongue which is from God (1 Cor. 14:2) and no one understands."]

You are under the impression that you speak the 'gift of tongue from God that is unable to be understood by anyone'. So therrefore,in your congregation, you cannot be speaking the 'gift of tongues' from God at all, because they would have meaning which would be expected to be understand.

You say...

(Paul G.)-["God does understand that tongue or language because He knows the innermost thoughts of our hearts."]

Therefore, you 'speak in tongues' backwards. Because the 'gift of tongues', in Acts, and which Paul describes, is not our innermost thoughts going to God, but God helping speakers to speak His thoughts to men.

You say...

(Paul G.)-["Except the gift of tongue which is from God (1 Cor. 14:2) and no one understands."]

You don't even 'speak in tongues' then, because one is able to understand tongues "from God".

So what's going on here? What do you do?

You 'pray in tongues'.

There, someone has finally said it.

Well...wait a minuste,you what? Where, and how? What is "praying in tongues?

This statement of yours below points to what is at the heart of what you do.

Acts 2:4 is a different kind of tongue than (1Cor.14:2) just as it says in (1 Cor. 12:10) and they should not be mixed up.

You've come up with two different kinds of 'tongues'. The kind descibed in Acts 2:4, and the kind described in 1 Cor. 12:10 which you call "unknowable". So anything "knowable" is Acts 2, and anything "unknowable" could not be those of Acts 2.

You have added another tongues to the Bible than the one given to communicate Truth and to teach. This is the one that Simon the magician from Acts was looking for.

The only second tongues of the Bible are these tongues that Paul says are being done wrong. He says that their source is from spirits of this and that and doesn't associate them to the 'Spirit' of God.

We assume there were persons in many congregations, including Corinth, who were originally given "gifts of tongues" on the night of Penetecost, when "tongues" were gifted to some of the men, and many more therafter we suppose to carry the gospel into foriegn languages. And this produced still others who misread scripture, misread what was truly going on, misread the excitement of their own minds and bodies, and were producing sounds 'into the air' which were not tongues.

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.

It says right there that one speaks in a tongue to God. But he does so from his spirit. Notice that all the rest of the time Paul is referring to 'tongues' that comes from God to us that will be able to be clearly interpreted and will contain revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching. There are two different kinds of tongues here. Paul defines one as coming from men(who are speaking for who knows what) and the other comes as a meaningful message from God.

This appears to help explain what appears to some as a 'second kind tongues' in the Bible, which Paul brings up to the Corintians. Tongues that differ from the gift. Tongues who's source is not God, and whose destination, other than "into the air", cannot be known.

When all is said and done, and one is finally able to understand what you believe, based on what little information you've given, when this is all boiled down, you would be claiming that you are actually 'praying in tongues'. Which you likely feel is unable to be either proven or refuted. And that you are free before the Lord to believe these things.

You would explain this 'praying in tongues' with the help of Romans 8, as the Spirit Himself interceding for you to the Lord with groanings too deep for words. Just as in Rom. 8:26-27. Now whether or not one can soundly leap from 'tongues' from God in 1Corinthians and Acts 2, to 'groanings' in Rom. 8, and combine them into something like "praying in the groaning tongues of the Spirit", this is indeed your scriptural basis for 'praying in tongues', right? That is then coupled with Paul's remark in 1 Cor. 14:4 "For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays...", and his remark in v.14:15 "I will pray with the spirit...". And 1 Cor. 14, "For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God". And you get your congregation's version of 'praying in tongues. Did I leave out anything important?

And so, instead of 'tongues' being a sign for unbelievers, your "unknowable" tongues, according to the apostle Paul, causes unbelievers to think that you are "mad" or "barbarians", and possibly fall further into unbelief. One with the gift of prophecy(teaching) would need to come forward so that the unbelieverr is ultimately convicted by all and called to account by all, falls on his face and declares instead that "God is certainly among you".

Do you see that no one among you fulfills the make-up of one with the "gift" of tongues. Don't you see how your "unknowable" tongues are actually a detriment; a stumbling block to unbelieves? And not for 'unbelievers' as scripture states, and not at all like the 'gift of tongues'?


Perhaps we would have to finally say that there are two 'tongues' in the Bible(even in the absence of even one place where it says so). Perhps there are truly 'tongues', on one hand, with the "gift of tongues" one the other? The former being empty at best and dangerous at their worst, and the latter being miraculously and undeniably of God.

Paul G. I don't mean to insult you but I do mean to be honest with you. I think you will continue to cling to a simple false teaching that feels good to you and rest there upon instead of applying yourself to think through these unpleasant corrections I've raised from scripture.

I've got to take a breather after all off that. Thanks Paul for leading me into this discussion. I needed to understand all this much better. By way of scripture it's happening. I ask the Lord that His words that give us direction in this area of 'gifts' be a blessing to not only you but to those who come into contact with you from now on. But I've got to take a break here and look at this all again. I need to narrrow this down and make it more manageable. My expectations of God's gracious knowledge and understanding which is available to us were surpassed through the looking at all of this in the last few weeks. We need to try and get these things right, and He dwelling in us, and His Word are our way, truth and our wisdom that gives life. Thanks for your patience Paul. Love and God's grace to you brother.

Todd