Summary: Greek Word Study which has convinced many open-minded that this sign gift has ceased in its Biblical form. Link included to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
SPEAKING of TONGUES
I Cor. 14
I want to make it crystal clear that our purpose tonite is not in any way to impune, insult, or attack any brother or sister in Christ. Any friend of Jesus is a friend of mine!
And so, w/ no malice, no anger, and no hatred in my heart toward anyone, we approach a sticky topic in a mature way. We can approach this subject doctrinally, Biblically, w/out attacking anyone’s character or integrity. This is not personal…this is Bible. I only ask you to do what I do in such things and keep an open mind. Don’t be guilty of being one of those people whose goal is to make sure they ’have always been right.’ Make it your goal to make sure you ARE right. If nothing else, you’ll come to understand why we believe what we believe.
Probably everyone in this room knows someone, or even deeply loves someone, as I do, who is a believer in the tongues movement, or at least attends a church that would be a part of that belief. I have some family, and some dear friends who would disagree w/ everything I will say tonite…and yet, my first allegiance has got to be to the Word of God.
It is impossible, and it would be unfair, to try to generalize all tongues-speakers into one category. You cannot lump them all into one basket.
For instance, the AOG church does believe in the basic, essential doctrines of the faith: Bible/Trinity/deity/virgin birth/substitutionary death/resurrection/2nd coming/salvation by grace thru faith/they do not teach tongues to be necessary for salvation…or even an essential evidence that you’re saved. Now, we would disagree on a secondary level, about a non-essential doctrine of the modern practice of speaking in tongues. And yet, I can call them brother and sister w/out reservation…remember, the main thing…
This is an important distinction to make, because there are several Pentecostal groups like United Pentecost, and many others, that teach tongues to be not just a gift/added blessing, but an added requirement for salvation, along w/ water baptism. Some of these groups deny the doctrine of the trinity, and promote a works system of salvation…and that they’re the only ones that will be in heaven…that always has been, and always will be the mark of a cult!
Joke—[Some Baptists believe in what is called the Baptist bride theory]
St. Peter shows a new arrival in heaven around/old-time Presbyterian…distinguished and dignified / Charismatics whooping and hollering / shhhhh!, these are the Baptists, they think they’re the only ones here!
Yes, there’s a big difference between different groups of tongues speakers.
We don’t question anyone’s sincerity tonite. Certainly you can see the sincerity on their faces…they are truly sincere. Their love and devotion for Jesus is very real…but sincerity is not the test of doctrine…it’s possible to be sincere and be sincerely wrong.
I would not question that many of their experiences are real, and that not all charismatic experiences you hear about are psycho-somatic in nature…but experience is not the test of doctrine. We must always line our experiences up beside the Word to see if there’s a match.
Experience/feeling (it could be the pizza you had last night at 11:30!)
In the NT, there are 3 categories of spiritual gifts:
1. Gifted men (Eph. 4) – prophets/apostles/evangelists/pastors/teachers
(gifts from Christ, to His church)
2. Edifying gifts – Rom. 12 – I Cor. 12 knowledge/wisdom/prophecy (preaching…forth telling, not foretelling as before Bible written) /teaching/exhortation/faith/discernment/mercy/giving/ administration/helps
3. Sign gifts – specific enablements given to certain believers for the purpose of authenticating or confirming the gospel message as it was proclaimed before the Bible was written in total – they are: revelations/miracles/healings/tongues/interpretation of tongues.
The sign gifts had a unique purpose as they gave the apostles credentials…to let people know that these men were speaking the truth of God…to confirm the newSscriptural revelations God was giving to His people in the first century.
43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
I Cor. 13:8-10
Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
The only perfect thing on earth today is the inerrant, infallible Word of God. Once the canon was closed (scripture completed by 100 AD) then that which was in part…sign gifts, ceased. Even toward the end of the Apostle Paul’s earthly ministry, we see his miracles and sign gifts and powers begin to wane, and eventually, cease altogether. For example:
I Tim. 5
23Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.