Pastor Floyd Koenig
Interest in the gift of tongues has had phenomenal growth in the past few years. Multitudes now claim to possess this gift.
As always the children of God "prove all things" by careful study of God’s Word (I Thess. 5:21).
A. The gift of tongues is mentioned in only three books of the New Testament.
2. When the Lord empowered the first church in Jerusalem, they spoke "with other tongues"(Acts 2:1-13).
3. When the Holy Spirit came upon the Gentile believers in Caesarea, Philippi, they spoke with tongues (10:45-46).
4. When the believers were baptized in Ephesus, they spoke with tongues (19:6).
5. Paul lists different kinds of tongues as one of the sign gifts that were given to the church at Corinth (I Cor. 12:1-14:40).
2. The one time when tongues was mentioned in an epistle, it was in rebuke for the elevation and misuse of this gift.
A. The gift of tongues was the supernatural ability to speak in a language that one had not acquired by study.
B. There is no reason to believe that this language was ever anything but an existing human language.
2. Paul warned the Corinthians that the unlearned could not understand tongues (I Cor. 14:16, 23).
- These statements would be meaningless if tongues were not human languages already known by some.
3. Paul quotes an Old Testament prophecy concerning the purpose of tongues (v. 21).
- This prophecy deals with human language thus revealing again the nature of tongues at Corinth.
2. Christians have always viewed these activities as demonic (Isa. 8:19-20).
A. Our Lord makes it very clear that tongues were for a sign (Mk. 16:17-20).
B. Paul informed the Corinthian church that tongues were for a sign.
2. In verse 21, Paul quotes Isaiah 28:11 as proof that tongues were a sign-gift.
3. In Isaiah 28, we find Isaiah rebuking the elders of Judah for their sin.
4. They did not repent, but rather reviled Isaiah’s preaching as being below their intellectual level (vv. 9-10).
5. Isaiah then gives the prophecy that God will speak to them by the foreign tongues of the invading Assyrian army.
6. From this Paul concludes that tongues are for a sign.
- We see this illustrated in Acts 2:1-21.
2. Tongues were a sign confirming the reception of the Gentiles into the kingdom of God.
a. Tongues acted as a sign to confirm the fact the God had granted repentance to the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-48).
b. This sign was even received as proof by the Jerusalem church that Gentiles could be saved and added to the church (Acts 11:1-18).
3. Tongues were a sign of coming judgment.
a. Isaiah prophesied that because Isreal would not heed the warning of the prophets to turn from their idolatry, they would hear their enemies speak to them in a strange and rough language (Isa. 28:11).
b. Many believe that tongues were a warning to Isreal of the coming Roman invasion in 70 AD which ended Israel’s existence as a nation for nearly nineteen hundred years.
The disorders that occurred at Corinth caused Paul to lay down some rules. These regulations must be followed by all who claim to be spiritual (I Cor. 14:37-38).
A. Everything must be done in an orderly manner – I Cor. 14:32-33, 40.
B. Tongues are not to be sought – I Cor. 12:18.
2. Tongues were one of the least gifts (I Cor. 14:5).
D. Only one person at a time may speak – I Cor. 14:27, 30.
E. Only three may speak in tongues at any one service – I Cor. 14:27.
F. Women may not speak in the church – I Cor. 14:34-35.
G. Tongues must not be forbidden – I Cor. 14:39.
2. This Scripture of course would not apply after tongues had ceased.
3. Baptist churches have every right to forbid the modern imitation of this gift.
A. We are told that tongues would cease (I Cor. 13:8).
B. This gift ceased when the Scriptures were completed.
VI. TONGUES TODAY
A. The modern tongues movement contradicts the Bible teaching concerning the nature, purpose, duration, and regulation of tongues; therefore, it is not of God.
2. It may be psychologically induced.
a. Contrary to the New Testament, modern tongues advocates teach people how to speak in tongues.
b. Much of it appears to be a form of self-hypnosis in which the brain is short circuited so to speak..
3. It may be of demonic inspiration.
a. There are many accounts of demons speaking through those possessed.
b. Christians have always viewed the ecstatic speech of pagans as being demonic.
c. When one considers some of the doctrines and evil fruit that have
come out of Pentecostalism it becomes obvious that demons are indeed at
work (Isa. 8:19).
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