Are Speaking in Tongues a Requirement for Justification or Sanctification: Part 3?

Are Speaking in Tongues a Requirement for Justification or Sanctification: Part 3?

5) If tongues are the ultimate spiritual gift and the ultimate witness of the Spirit’s work in the life of the believer, then why is there virtually no record of it in church history from the time of the early church, until the 20th century?

  •  If tongues are for the entire church age, including today, then there should be an obvious pattern of tongues throughout church history, but there is none.  We only find sporadic outbreaks of them that are associated with questionable movements.
  • There is no indication of Christ speaking in tongues; there is no record in church history of other saints speaking in tongues.  If speaking in tongues is necessary in getting closer to God, then all the famous saints of old fall short.
  • This has been the majority view throughout church history.
  • The great men of church history say nothing of this gift in their lives.

6) If tongues are the ultimate spiritual gift and the ultimate witness of the Spirit’s work in the life of the believer, then why do many apply its God given purpose in error?

  • Tongues were a sign of judgment to unbelieving Israel (better explanation).
  • Remember that Acts is book of transition.
  • There is a shift from the program because of Israel’s rejection (Luke 21).  Jesus said that Jerusalem would be trodden down under the Gentiles.  Peter’s Pentecost sermon, told Israel to save themselves from this crooked and perverse generation.
  • Therefore, speaking in tongues would be God’s grace – giving unbelieving Israel a chance to repent and accept Christ.
  • Corinthians 14:21 quotes Isaiah 28:11 which is a prophesy of a coming invasion of the Assyrian army.
  • Isaiah’s point was that hearing the speech of the Assyrians was a sign that his prophesy would be fulfilled.
  • Paul says that tongues are a sign of judgment.
  • In I Corinthians 14:22 Paul beings with the conjunction “so then,” – he is going to draw an application from Isaiah 28. Tongues are for a sign.
  • A sign is something that authenticates something else. It points to something, and is a sign to the unbeliever.

I Corinthians 14:20-23 “Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore **tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?”

Isaiah 28:9-19 “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.”

7) If tongues were for today (which I don’t believe because their purpose has ceased), then why do people disregard clear instruction for the use of the gift of tongues in the early church when its exercise was both legitimate and necessary?

  •  Even if one were to hold the position that tongues are for today, they would be required to follow the biblical instructions that were to control the exercise of the gift:
  • Paul wrote the church of Corinth to rebuke them for their use of speaking in tongues, not to commend them.

I Corinthians 14:4-9 “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”

  • God’s Spirit and His Word cannot contradict one another.
  • Paul commanded the church to let all things be done unto edification of the body.
  • The context of these commands were in the body, so these are to be done in the church.
  • Only two or at the most three may speak in tongues if it is done in the church.

I Corinthians 14:27 “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.”

  • If there is no interpreter of the language, there should be no speaking in tongues.

I Corinthians 14:28 “But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church;”

  • Women are not permitted to speak in tongues in the church, for it is a shame for them to speak in the church.    

I Corinthians 14:34-35 “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

  • Modern tongues does not resemble biblical tongues.  People are not speaking in a known language.  Even if we grant the two-fold view of tongues, which I do not hold, where is the language part; most often we find the ecstatic part.
  • Why are translators used? If Benny Hinn goes to Germany to preach, why does he need an interpreter from English to German?  If he claims to speak in tongues, why does he not speak the language of the people?

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