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March 25, 2022 8:00 am
This passage has set the standard by which we are supposed to understand what tongs means and the rest of Scripture. What follows in first Corinthians is building on the foundation that is been laid in this passage is really crucial and critical for you to understand and realize speaking in. There's a hot topic, charismatic circles, but what does the Bible have to say about Pastor Don Greene will show you on this edition of the truth. Pulpit, where he continues teaching God's people. God's word.
I built right in removing further into our series, the Holy Spirit today John, what can we look forward to in this part of the series we know, my friend, this topic on the issue of tongues has a particular significance to me.
I remember as a young man being intimidated by those who claim to speak in tongues.
Why do they have a gift that I don't have I thought was I missing something maybe you felt that same way once again were going to turn to God's word and will find help and clarity that gives us strength against error and helps us to walk in the truth. Stay with us as we study together today on the truth pulpit. Thank you, Don and Fred.
Let's join our teacher white male in the truthful today. What were going to look at is were going to examine the nature of tongues in light of Scripture tongs in light of Scripture. First of all what I want to do today consider the nature of biblical times.
That's the first point you want to take notes. The nature of biblical tongues and then were going to consider the delimitation on biblical times are the limits on biblical times.
Let's look first of all, at the foundational text for Biblical speaking in times and that would be found in acts chapter 2 turned there in in your Bibles to acts chapter 2 I had been a Christian for 30 days and I had not yet been in a church.
I had not yet been under Bible teaching. I was just kind of finding my way in reading the Bible on my own and through a series of providential occurrences that are not important.
The details of which are not important. I found myself in a radio studio with two Pentecostal men who were talking to me in trying to teach me from the Scriptures and they came to me and they asked me.
Have you had been baptized by the Holy Spirit and you know I mean I'm a Christian for 30 days civilize I think so Missy will have you spoken in tongues so immediately. The issue of tongues was placed at the forefront in and made front and center has an urgent matter for me to consider as I was standing there talking to them and through various things I said I said I are not real sure about this.
This is new to me and they came to the one of the men who opened his Bible and went to acts chapter 2 and he read verse four. Look at verse four with me and he said he said they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit was giving them utterance. And he closed his Bible and kinda slapped his hands, figuratively speaking, and he said there you go. They all spoke in tongues. Don't you see, you need to speak in tongues. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit. If you're Christian you will speak in tongues.
Let's a pretty intimidating thing to tell a new Christian who is all of this is new to him.
There was a great deal of fear and confusion in my mind as I drove home from that radio station in a blizzard, no less. I remember it also. Well I wish I had a film of it all. I remember driving home and thinking Lord of tongues are the way it's supposed to be I I'm happy to speak in tongues. All I wanted was what the Lord wanted and what was true. That's all that I cared about. And if tongues were true, then I wanted. And as I'm driving home in this blizzard. Remember, I didn't even know any other Christian I was by myself spiritually speaking. At that point of time in my life. I remember for a moment I opened my mouth and tried to gurgle out a couple of things to see if anything would start happening you know you kinda get prime the pump and get it started. Nothing happened. And so I'm really really confused and I go home and I get home at one in the morning to in the morning, something like that and all I know to do is to turn to the word of God is all that I knew to do. I knew I could turn to the word of God and get the truth straight from that and what happened as I looked at God's word will look at this later, but through the concordance in the back of my Bible that I had at the time God directed my attention the providentially directed my attention to first Corinthians chapter 12. Look at that with me here I am alone as a brand-new Christian people who knew more than I had said you must speak in tongues and all I can do is turn to the word of God in simple faith and look for clarity in it and what did I find in first Corinthians 12 beginning in verse 29 first Corinthians 12 verse 29 says all are not apostles are they all are not prophets, are they all are not teachers, are they all are not workers of miracles are they all do not have gifts of healing do they all do not speak with tongues, do they the expected answer to that question is no, they do not, and in that great profound moment of my spiritual life which animates in and motivates me to this very day.
The simplicity of the word of God refuted what people who had their own radio program were telling me they told me everyone must speak in tongues and red asked to forward to support their position, and yet here it was in plain black-and-white is clear as it obviously could be that not everyone speaks in tongues in the Christian life.
Whatever else that met whatever else tongues were whatever else the right answers were.
I knew that it was not true that every Christian would speak in tongues, because Scripture said the exact opposite and in and in that moment of clarity in that moment of illumination from the Holy Spirit, God gave me a clarity of mind.
The Scriptures showed me that what they had said to me was not true and I could go to bed with a clear conscience with a clear heart not thinking that I was missing something because the Scriptures told me that that was. Not true. Acts chapter 2 verse one says when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves and they rested on each one, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Now, pause for a moment there this critical text. These first four verses in the book of acts. Record the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus had ascended into heaven a few weeks earlier he had promised his disciples that he would send the helper to them and he promised them and he told them to wait until the spirit came will how do you know when the spirit comes how are they to know it and what the Spirit did in his coming was he came in a supernatural way to mark the supernatural fulfillment of the promise that the Lord had given to them. He arrived beloved with outward signs and with supernatural effect and the question is you know you say what were these times. What were the tongues that they were speaking.
How can we know was that this was it just kind of gibberish. Were they just babbling random syllables in the end were they doing something else will. All you have to do is keep reading read it in the context to understand what they were doing. Look at verse five with me now. There were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven.
And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. They were hearing known human languages. They were hearing actual human language being spoken that they knew beforehand and that they could understand as it was being said. That is critical to understand in verse seven, they were amazed and astonished, saying, are not all these who are speaking Galileans and how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia Judeo and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia for IGN, Pamphylia, Egypt, in the districts of Libya Rance Irene visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes Cretans and Arabs we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God. They recognized immediately that these uneducated Galileans were speaking fluently in languages that they had not studied before.
And as native speakers. They recognize that something supernatural was taking place. And so the biblical gift of tongues as set by this foundational text was this the biblical gift of tongues was the supernatural ability to speak in foreign languages that the speaker had not previously learned by me say that again because that's a mouthful, the biblical gift of tongues was the supernatural ability to speak in foreign languages that the speaker had not previously learned and that is what happened in the book of acts when you read the full passage in its context, rather than and so the way that you approach it. Is this the way that we think about this is we go to the Bible we go to a text, and we say, what does it teach us about the nature of tongues we see we see here that tongues is a is a word for language and we use the word tongue that way sometimes, but the word tongues here is being use to refer to known human languages as it is borne out by the fact that people from many different regions heard their own language being spoken by others who had not studied that language in the past would not naturally acquired that language now if you've ever tried to study a foreign language, you realize it it's a lot of work and it's a lot of practice to get vocabulary down to get grammar down to get syntax down to get inflections down to get punctuation down going on and on and it takes it takes an extended period of intense study to acquire human language that you never studied before.
If you've ever studied languages you know that to be true.
Well here are people who bypass that entire process and began speaking in a language that they had never studied that they had never known and they were speaking it with a fluency that was utterly undeniable and inexplicable. Apart from a sovereign, supernatural act of God. That is the biblical gift of tongues and native speakers recognize the language being spoken as legitimate. Now, beloved, here's what you need to understand going forward as as you read through the rest of the New Testament and you find passages that that address the issue of tongues. You need to understand that this passage has set the standard by which we are supposed to understand what tongues means and the rest of Scripture. What follows. What follows in first Corinthians. What follows elsewhere in the book of acts is building on the foundation that is been laid in this passage is really crucial and critical for you to understand and realize and last, and you know, unless Scripture came along and utterly completely redefined it and said, we mean something else by times that would be different. But when tongues is used without qualification were to understand it in light of this foundational passage that the history that proceeded after acts chapter 2 is using a common basis of understanding what tongues met and that's really really critical and you can see this as it unfolds elsewhere in the book of acts look at acts chapter 10. Acts chapter 10 beginning in verse 44 now when the tongues appeared in acts chapter 2 it was it was a Jewish audience that was gathered together as you know, the gospel expanded beyond the Jews went to Gentiles went to Old Testament saints, and how were the apostles supposed to know and recognize how were the people of the early church going to recognize that the that these other groups had received the same salvation that they did how what was going to be the common point of manifestation that would show that the salvation received by the Gentiles in Old Testament saints was the same as the salvation in the same Holy Spirit that had been received in acts chapter 2 will look at acts chapter 10 beginning in verse 44, Peter had been preaching in while he was still speaking these words in verse 44, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message and watch this all the circumcised believers.
That is all of the Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also, how did they know that it was the gift. How did they know that it was the Holy Spirit verse 46 four.
For this reason because they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. In other words, they said the same phenomenon that occurred to us when we were saved when the Holy Spirit came upon us in acts chapter 2. It's happening here as well.
When we as Jews receive the Holy Spirit. We spoken languages, known human languages. We had never studied before. Now we look at these Gentiles who were strangers to the cabin and who are outside the promises of God. There doing the exact same thing and so the supernatural, speaking in other languages that they were doing in acts chapter 10 verified that they had received precisely the same Holy Spirit that the Jews had received in acts chapter 2 it was undeniable. It was a supernatural attestation to the spiritual reality that it taken place. They couldn't see the Spirit indwelling them. The Spirit's presence in the hearts of those who had believed was invisible, so how were they to know then that these people had truly received the spirit God graciously wisely miraculously gave the Gentiles the same ability in acts 10 that had been given to the Jewish believers in acts chapter 2 had to be the same thing because they were seeing the same thing and they drew the conclusion this is this is the same. This is the same manifestation. Therefore, it must be the same spirit. Therefore, they have the same salvation that we had that we received so the tongues in acts chapter 10 were also known human languages because it was the same gift, pointing to the same spirit in the same salvation. Now look at acts chapter 19 acts chapter 19 beginning in verse one it happened that while a Paulus was at Corinth, Paul pass through the upper country and came to Ephesus and found some disciples.
He said to them, did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed. And they said to them know we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit, and so he goes on and it says in verse three he said into what then were you baptized, and they said into John's baptism.
These were Old Testament saints who would who had gotten revelation from John the Baptist, but did not receive the final full message of the gospel of Christ, and so they said they said you know, we believed, as far as we've been taught, but the spirit they knew nothing about. Paul says in verse four John baptized with the baptism of repentance telling the people to believe in him who is coming after him.
That is in Jesus. And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And what happened these people coming out of the Old Testament dispensation, having received the message of John the Baptist, but having not yet received the finality of the gospel since the resurrection of Christ.
What happened to them.
Verse six when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying and there were all in all, about 12 men. The spirit came upon them in the same way and manifested in the same way through the speaking in tongues. The fact that this that the the true spirit has truly indwelt them as shown by the fact that they are manifesting the exact same gift as had the Gentiles in acts chapter 10 as had the Jewish believers in acts chapter 2. A complete identity of the manifestation in order to show that God had brought everybody together in one body. Jews and Gentiles.
Now in one body Old Testament saints completed in Christ now brought together in the same one body indwelt by the same one spirit manifested by the same one gift of speaking in tongues speaking in known languages that they had not studied before and so beloved. What tongues were doing in the book of acts was showing Israel that the new covenant had come that the Holy Spirit had come that there is a transition taking place away from the Old Testament economy into the New Testament. The new covenant economy where the spirit will indwell all believers going forward. And so we see this transition having taken place now.
Later on, tongues served in a transitional way to edify the church when they were translated go back to first Corinthians chapter 12 with me now. First Corinthians chapter 12 Paul says in first Corinthians chapter 12 verse seven but to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good and he goes on to say for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit and to another the word of knowledge. According to the same spirit to another faith by the same spirit to another gifts of healing by the one spirit to another. The effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, to another to the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. And so here they are in first Corinthians.
This is important to realize first Corinthians was one of the earliest letters that Paul wrote the canon was not yet complete. Here and so the spirit is at work in the early church, bringing them to maturity helping them, leading them, but it's the same spirit.
It's the one spirit, and as he gives them tongues at this point in the ministry of the Spirit of God.
Note that it also emphasizes that he's giving to them. Also, the interpretation of tongues so that as a foreign language was being spoken. It would be interpreted for the benefit of those who were there so that they could understand the message that was being spoken and in that way in that transitional.
God provided for the needs of the early church to build them up in their understanding and in their spiritual growth and that was the purpose that was the nature of biblical tongues recognizing that there was a transition that was taking place in the first century. Recognizing that the Old Testament economy with the temple and with the sacrifices had been established for so long, but now God was moving his people into a new era moving them into a new dispensation moving them under the terms of a new covenant, that would be marked by impart the indwelling Holy Spirit. That's a massive change taking place new revelation being given to help men understand what was happening and that was the nature of it. A supernatural gift of languages being given. That was an undeniable attestation that this was a true supernatural work of God as no one can fake that people don't do that people don't suddenly start speaking in foreign languages that they've never studied with fluency they don't do that, you know why because they cannot do that and therefore it took a supernatural act of God to make that happen. And God is a testing, get the point in tongues again secondary to an attestation of the reality of the greater work of the spirit that was happening in the midst, and it was undeniable there was no human explanation for it which will be important as we consider some things next time after hearing today's broadcast. You should now have a better understanding of the nature of local tongues Pastor Don Greene will take a look at certain limitations that the Bible puts on tongues and also what the word says about the duration of the gift. Join us for the continuation of our series, the Holy Spirit today. That's next time you're on the truth pulpit right now though Don's back here in studio with a few closing words. I just want to express my gratitude for the many friends whose generosity make this program possible. You know if you would like to join with those who are supporting us.
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