FROM: 3/31/02 Radio Program
Why do you not believe in speaking in tongues?
Do you use these scriptures for your proof? I Cor. 13:8-10
We know the perfect one had already come (Jesus Christ, before the day of Pentecost, his birth, death, burial and
resurrection had already happened. His second coming has not happened yet. (That's when perfection comes and
tongues will cease then. We also know knowledge hasn't vanished away. In fact people get smarter every day. I agree
if one doesn't have charity (love) all of these things are of no avail.
Give Bible proof that speaking in tongues is not for today and several scriptures.
Acts 2:4 Acts 2:38
Peter and Paul and others spoke in tongues.
I don't believe all speak in tongues. There are many gifts.
The word "tongue" simply means a language. In Acts 2:4, a passage you mentioned in your letter, it says that the
apostles were speaking with other tongues "as the Spirit gave them utterance." When one keeps on reading, we
learn the "tongues" the apostles spoke were languages. In Acts 2:6, the multitudes "heard them speak in his own
language." These people said they heard the apostles speak "in our own tongue, wherein we were born" (Acts 2:8).
Therefore, I do believe in speaking in tongues. I do that when I speak in English, French, Spanish, etc., these are
"tongues" according to the Biblical definition of Acts 2.
I imagine our querist has reference to the spiritual gift of tongue-speaking (I Corinthians 12:10). In such a case,
it is true that all such spiritual gifts, including tongue-speaking are gone. Paul spoke to the Corinthians, telling them
that such things, (including prophecies, and supernatural knowledge) would "fail," "cease," and "vanish away"
(I Corinthians 13:8). It amazes me that when some people read such words as "fail," "cease," and "vanish away,"
they then turn around and say words to the effect: "No, they won't!" Paul, inspired of the Holy Spirit, said such
spiritual gifts (including tongue-speaking) were temporary in nature. He did not teach that they would still be in
existence some 2000 years after he wrote these Corinthian Christians!
Concerning the word "perfect" in I Corinthians 13:10 ("But when that which is perfect is come, then that which
is in part shall be done away") has nothing to do with Christ's second coming. The second coming of Christ is not
even in this context. It has reference to the completed revelation of God. Tongue speaking, and all the other spiritual
gifts, were used in the early church that they might know the will of God, that they might be aware of who is teaching
false doctrines, etc. in the absence of the completed word. But, when the revelation was complete, there is no need
for spiritual gifts. If there is a need for spiritual gifts today, what is it? These gifts are not needed:
1) To produce faith in men, the word does this (Romans 10:17; John 20:31).
2) To save men, the gospel does this (Romans 1:16; II Thessalonians 2:14).
3) Edification of the saints (I Thessalonians 5:11; Ephesians 4:29).
The gift of speaking in tongues (languages) that they had not known, nor studied, served it's purpose, and is now gone.
We remember that such spiritual gifts were only passed on by an apostle (Acts 8:14-17, 19:6), and so in absence of
apostles, who would pass on such gifts to us today, if indeed they were in existence?
Further, our friend says there are many gifts besides tongue-speaking. I wish he had been more specific. Does he believe
that people can be raised from the dead today? Or healed of blindness, or have limbs reattached? These things were done
in New Testament days. If he believes such can, and is being done today, then let us see the proof of it that we may believe
also. I do not say this flippantly, but sincerely. Let us see the evidence of such. Let us see the evidence of one speaking in
a language (Japanese, French, Swahili, etc. - NOT jibber-jabber) that he has never studied, and speak the gospel to those
of that language who can understand, and be saved.
Until such a time, I will continue to preach and teach just what the Bible says, that such spiritual, supernatural gifts have
failed, ceased, and have vanished away. What abides today is faith, hope, and love.
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