Saturday, February 18, 2006

Tongues Tongues Tongues

Tongues Tongues Tongues
Part I

Today, many Christians are confused over the issue of “Tongues”. When I arrived here in PNG, the Charismatic movement had a grip on many of the people. It did not matter if you were Catholic, Pentecostal or Methodist, everyone wanted to speak in tongues. People would come and ask if you had “spoken in the heavenly language yet”. I knew I would need to do a Biblical series on this issue.

Honestly, it is not as difficult as everyone makes it out to be when studied in light of the scripture. It is very clear in the Bible what exactly tongues was, who it was for, and how long it would last.

In this study, we will look at Biblical Tongues (Who, What, Why, When) and the Charismatic tongues of today. (This is the first of three or four parts to this study.)

First, we will look at the true Biblical Tongues, and then we will look at the “tongues” of today’s Charismatic movement.

Biblical gift of “Tongues.”
History: Occurs three times in scripture. (That is all!)
1. Acts 2:1-11
2. Acts 10:44-16
3. Acts 19:5-8
4. The only other time brought up in Scripture is I Corinthians chapters 12,13,14, Mark 16:17

Please notice that each time someone spoke in tongues it occurred at a significant event. Acts 2 we have the Day of Pentecost. Acts 10: 44-16 was the account of the conversion of a Gentile, Cornelius, a major event to the saved Jews. Lastly in Acts 19, we have the conversion of Jews who were in Ephesus who as of yet had not heard of Jesus Christ, but had heard the preaching of John the Baptist, back when they were in their home country.

Now what is the purpose of Tongues?

To answer this question we must first go to the Old Testament, and look at when tongues were first prophesied. Let’s look at Isaiah 28:11-14:

(Isa 28:11-14) 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.

These verses are key to understanding the Biblical gift of tongues. Here is where the Bible talks about this coming gift of “Tongues.” Isaiah 28:11 is quoted again in I Corinthians 14:21, in relation to the Biblical gift of tongues. So we know that this portion of scripture, in Isaiah 28 is talking about the gift of Tongues. These verses teach us the purpose of the gift.

Notice, the part I put in bold in verse 11 and 14. Verse 11 tells us that tongues are for “THIS PEOPLE”. Now we must find out who “THIS PEOPLE” is in order to find the purpose of Biblical tongues. Look at verse 14 and the Bible tells us who “THIS PEOPLE” is. Who does it say the gift of tongues is for? Who? “This people which is in Jerusalem.” Is this the home of Charismatics, of Benny Hinn, of Oral Roberts? Is the home of the Pentecostal movement. NO! Jerusalem is the home of Jews. “This people” is referring to the nation of Israel. The gift of tongues was a sign to the Jews. In context, when the day would come that some would speak in tongues, they would be rejecting truth. It was a sign that truth has come, but you (the Jews) have rejected it!

That is exactly what happened when Jesus came. Did the Jews as a nation receive their Messiah? No. Thus, the gift of tongues.

When we look at the three occurrences of tongues in the Bible you will see it matches up with what Isaiah 28 was talking about. Each time it served as a sign to the Jews!

Let’s examine each occurrence. (For this post we will only examine Acts 2:1-11, and look at the rest later.)

Acts 2:1-11
The Day of Pentecost

By the time Acts 2 tongues occurs, Jesus has already been rejected by his own nation. Those in Jerusalem knew what had happened just a few short weeks before with the killing of Jesus Christ. The disciples filled with the Spirit of God speak in tongues.
Who was present when tongues occur here? Who? Yes, that is correct, Jews. Why? Because this gift is a sign to them, and them only. It was a sign that truth has come to you, but you have rejected it has a nation. After this Peter preaches, and thousands trust Jesus Christ.

Remember biblical tongues according to I Cor 14:21-22 is a sign to those who don’t believe, not those who believe. More specifically it is a sign to unbelieving Jews. (vs21)

I will post more later on this subject.

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