Jaysun's Journal

Independent Baptist

Praying For A New Tongue?


Praying For A New Tongue?

Most Folks Can’t Handle The One They’ve Got!

When a prophet named Balaam was headed somewhere the Lord didn’t want him to go God sent an angel to block his way.  The beast on which Balaam rode was apparently more sensitive to spiritual things than he was.  Because the animal kept turning out of the way to avoid the angel, Balaam became frustrated and started beating her.

And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?” (Num 22:28)

Notice first of all (1) something is speaking that shouldn’t be.  2Peter 2:16 says this “dumb (mute) ass” was speaking “with a man’s voice.”  This is not the 1st time you find an animal speaking in the Bible (the serpent spoke to Eve in the Garden) but this is interesting.  Notice also, Balaam’s ass was a ‘she’.  In the average charismatic church, I’d say, women do 90% of the tongues speaking.  Paul was dealing expressly with the gift of tongues when the Holy Ghost moved him to write:

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.” (1Co 14:34-35)

Paul knew it was the will of God for the “women to keep silence in the churches” when it came to the matter of tongues.   But Paul was also a realist.   He knew that people do not like being told what they can and can’t do.  Paul knew that later on liberal scholars would rise up out of the crevices of Hell and downplay what he had just written.  Accordingly, some argue that the prohibition against women speaking in tongues here in 1Corinthians 14 and the qualifications of a pastor in 1Timothy 3 are all just Paul’s “opinion.” Paul anticipated all of this and wrote verse 37 for everyone who tries to justify their charismatic grandma or one of their friends who happens to be a woman preacher. In an almost sarcastic manner, he says:

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1Co 14:37) jimmy put the "swag" in swaggart

Paul knew many folks don’t care what the Bible says.  So he writes in verse 38: “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” (1Co 14:38)

Secondly, (2) this unnatural behaviour didn’t appear strange to Balaam.  Any sane person would have found this event beyond bizarre.  But remember, Balaam is not right with God.  People who are out of fellowship with the Lord are frequently and strangely comfortable in unusual circumstances.  For instance, when Jonah was running from God, the Lord sent a storm that nearly destroyed the ship he was in. The heathen sailors were calling on every god they could think of!  (It’s just natural to pray when you’re going thru a storm.)  “…But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.” (Jon 1:5)  In his backslid condition Jonah seemed immune to his problematic surroundings.  If you have the slightest knowledge of the Bible you should know the Holy Ghost won’t make you act like a complete fool.  If you see nothing wrong with men and women foaming at the mouth and babbling on like idiots, then there’s something wrong with you (you’re spiritually retarded).

The Mosaic Law demanded that God’s people (the Jews) abstain from unclean meats. Many of the Jews continued to observe these dietary laws even after they were converted.  They did this more out of habit than necessity.  But, in their defense, there was no verse in the Old Testament that said, “After you become a Christian you can eat whatever you want.”  So in their minds, certain things like pork were still taboo.  When Gentiles started getting saved, because of their eating habits, many of the believing Jews were uncertain whether or not they should fellowship with them.  (It was hard for them to believe God would bless someone who ate bacon.)  On one occasion, because of this mindset, God revealed to the Jewish companions of Peter that He did indeed pour out His spirit upon Jew and Gentile alike.

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,” (Ac 10:44-46)

Again the Bible says they spoke with “tongues” (plural) and not with an “unknown tongue” (singular). Tongues were necessary since, as 1Cor 1:22 says, “The Jews require a sign.”  Until the New Testament scriptures were complete, the sign gifts were necessary for unbelieving Jews.  Mark 16:20 indicates the Apostles had been commissioned to confirm (authenticate, backup, or validate) the Gospel with signs.  The purpose of tongues was to confirm that God had indeed stretched out His saving arm to the Gentiles.

The word ‘tongue’ in Scripture refers to either: a language or an actual part of the body known as the tongue.  As far as the Bible is concerned, the gift of tongues was the supernatural ability to speak in a language not previously learned. For instance if I was suddenly endowed by God with the ability to speak and understand Japanese, that would be similar to the gift on Pentecost.  1Corinthians 14 gives instruction concerning the utilization of this gift.   Many of these rules are violated and completely disregarded in charismatic circles.  However, the utter confusion, which “they” refer to as ‘speaking in tongues,’ is NOT that gift described in the Bible.  Tongues, such as in Acts 2 and 10, were known languages and not ecstatic, unintelligible, gibberish.

Some say that “speaking in tongues” is evidence of being filled with the Holy Ghost.  Some go even further, saying that you’re not even saved if you don’t speak in tongues.  I strongly disagree.  Take Jesus for example.  Can you think of anyone more sanctified and Holy than the Lord Jesus Christ?  None would ever accuse Him of not being Spirit filled.  Yet in my Bible, I never find a single instance where Jesus ever spoke in tongues.  If “tongues” is the evidence of having the “baptism of the Holy Ghost“, why did the Lord not leave us that example in His life as He did with water baptism and communion? Moving on…

For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.” (1Cor 4:2)

The word “spirit in this verse is lowercase.  It refers to our spirit and not God’s Holy Spirit. Notice, the word “unknown’ here is italicized, and the word ‘tongue’ is singular. ‘Unknown tongue’ refers to any language not understood by others.  We are told not to forbid people to speak with ‘tongues’ (plural) in 1Cor 14:39. However, the Bible does NOT say “Forbid not to speak in the unknown tongue” (singular) this is Bible Doctrine, not merely my opinion.

And as Forest Gump once said, “That’s all I got to say about that.”

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5 Comments »

  1. You do err not knowing the scriptures.

    1 Cor 14:14 Paul said
    “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also”

    How is it that Paul prayed yet didn’t understand what he was saying (my understanding is unfruitful)?
    It is because when a person prays by the Spirit of God they do not understand the language – it is pure and incorruptible – a hotline to God. Various scriptures on this.

    Paul chose to continue with this type of praying in the spirit, in an unknown tongue, and also pray with his understanding (in his own language or within his head). He did both.

    Readers should examine the original Greek behind John 3 vs 8. It may save your soul.

    Comment by Follower of Jesus Christ | March 12, 2011 | Reply

    • understanding means “his meaning.” If he speaks in an unknown tongue, nobody gets his meaning. Maybe you should do some studying in greek yourself.

      Comment by Jason Elder | March 12, 2011 | Reply

  2. Are you suggesting that in 1 Cor 14:14 Paul understood what he was praying for?
    Yes or No.

    Here is the Greek from one source
    http://interlinearbible.org/1_corinthians/14-14.htm

    Paul wrote “my mind is unfruitful”. The Greek for my ‘mind’ translates closely to the same as our English word ‘my mind’ and is the same word as in Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”

    When Paul said ‘my mind is unfruitful’ he was talking about his own mind, not the mind of others.

    Also if he meant nobody ‘else’ gets his meaning, why did he continue this fruitless exercise?

    Paul also chose the word ‘pray’ and not a word like ‘preach’.

    He was talking to God not others. He was praying to God using his God given new language to pray in the Spirit.

    Just like Paul, when believers pray in tongues they do not understand what they are saying, and therefore they cannot corrupt it.

    Like Paul they pray with their understanding & they pray in the Spirit also, in their God given prayer language. Particularly in private they might also sing to the Lord in the spirit and also sing in their understanding.

    Have another look at these verses with simplicity:

    1 Cor 14:14-15 Paul said
    “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”

    I didn’t like this when I first understood it either, but God has chosen the foolish things to confound the wisdom of the wise.

    I thank God I was able to stop wrestling the scriptures to my own destruction and humbly press in to receive His precious Holy Spirit.

    Being Born Again is critical (John 3:1-8)

    John 3 vs 8 – important to study the original Greek and answer how a person knows when they are born of the Spirit? and how is this the same with ‘everyone’ that is born of the Spirit?

    Young’s Literal Translation puts John 3:8 as
    “the Spirit where he willeth doth blow, and his voice thou dost hear, but thou hast not known whence he cometh, and whither he goeth; thus is every one who hath been born of the Spirit.”

    Comment by Follower of Jesus Christ | March 14, 2011 | Reply

    • “Yes” Paul knew exactly what he was praying for… (he posed a hypothetical situation in vs 14, but I know what you mean).

      As for “the Greek” (lol sorry, I try to stick to English) But still, I think you’re being a little disingenuous about νους (nous). Yes, it deals with the intellect/mind. But by implication, it conveys the idea of “meaning” or “understanding.” (See Strong’s if you doubt this)

      In vs. 14 Paul IS talking about praying in PUBLIC… Read the context “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?” (1Cor 14:15-16)

      Also, its not that I don’t “like” speaking in tongues. I just think its ridiculous. I used to think it was blasphemy of the Holy Ghost to speak against it, but after I got saved and started reading the Bible, the Spirit of God showed me just how incredibly silly the whole thing is.

      But just to show I’m a good sport, tell me what you think about vs. 34? Do yall let women speak in tongues at your church/cellgroup/? Any women preachers there?

      Comment by Jason Elder | March 15, 2011 | Reply

  3. This discussion is getting subtle and critical.

    v14 was not a hypothetical situation that would not happen. Paul went on to say “I will” pray in the spirit (in the unknown tongue). He also went on to say (vs18) “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” and “forbid not to speak with tongues” (vs39). Not hypothetical.

    Do you forbid [prevent, hinder, discourage] to speak with tongues? It’s fairly clear you fight verse 39.

    Paul made it clear in vs14 that he would continue to use this language (tongue) that no-one could understand. Why? Why do you think he would continue to pray in a language no-one could understand? Why not put it aside and go straight to the ‘interpretation’?

    If we’re interested to look, the Bible indicates God has a rest for His people and some will fail to enter into His rest. Isaiah 28:11-12 says “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.”

    Paul points to the above Isaiah verse in 1 Cor 14:21 and tells us “In the law it is written, With other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet FOR ALL THAT WILL THEY NOT HEAR ME, saith the Lord.”

    He then builds on this telling us that speaking in tongues is a sign. A sign to the unbelievers. 1 Cor 14:22 “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not”

    A sign of what? If we believe Paul when he links 1 Cor 14:21 with Isaiah 28:11-12, then the sign of speaking in tongues shows who has entered into God’s rest and who hasn’t.

    Read these verses as a unit – Paul did.

    God uses praying in tongues as the rest & refreshing to His people and as a sign to unbelievers.

    Tongues is an amazing miracle. 1 Cor 14:4 declares “He who speaks in a tongue edifies [builds up, strengthens, recharges] himself”.

    When Isaiah 28:11-12 says it is “THE rest” and “THE refreshing” it isn’t wrong. I and many others find praying in tongues for sometimes a few hours at a time in the privacy of our ‘closets’ to be an amazing source of rest & refreshment and we immediately see it bring out the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.

    No wonder Paul said “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all”

    Decently and In Order:

    A big issue people have with ‘pentecostal’ or ‘charismatic’ people is the many ‘excesses’ they can fall for. Instead of praying and pressing in patiently for a true experience from God, people fall for all sorts of quick seemingly spiritual experiences that are not in the Bible.

    [ By the way, praying for God’s Holy Spirit takes an attitude of patience and persistence to press in prayerfully and keep asking UNTIL we receive it. Read Luke 11:1-13, knocking on our neighbours (God’s) door at midnight until our importunity (persistent & insistent asking) sees us receive the Holy Spirit (vs 13). Also Acts 1 to 2:4 – they prayed for 10 days to receive. Acts 8:15-17, Acts 19:1-7 and others. We are entitled to ask people “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you beleived?” – Acts 19:2 ]

    If we are honest, there is little New Testament evidence to support ‘Slaying in the Spirit’ (falling over out the front of a meeting), ‘Dancing in the Spirit’, congo lines, Toronto blessings and similar practices.

    Sadly people are put off speaking in tongues by the above excesses, but they owe it to themselves to look deeper into the Bible.

    The people in the video above might believe in Jesus, the Bible, baptism by full immersion and speaking in tongues. Does their ‘dancing’ mean we can disregard all of these things? Can we laugh at them then throw out the Bible? (some do) Can we laugh at them then throw out speaking in tongues? (some do) Or should we only throw out the ‘dancing’?

    We are not on safe ground if we say to God that we won’t follow the Bible or speaking in tongues just because some of those who speak in tongues or some Bible believers do excessive and disorderly behaviour?

    Particularly concerning speaking in tongues in a church meeting, it must be done decently and in order (sequence). 1 Cor 14:39-40 “..forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.”

    If tongues is used in a random, disorderly fashion then unbelievers would say God’s people are mad/crazy; 1 Cor 14:23 “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?”

    In our meetings we are scriptural. There is a dedicated time towards the end of a meeting when we pray to use the voice gifts of the Spirit. After prayer someone will speak in an unknown tongue, then someone will pray for a message of interpretation. This will be repeated 2 or 3 times. Then we will pray for 2 to 3 gifts of prophecy (speaking boldly by God’s Spirit for edification & encouragement). Just like in 1 Cor 14:27-29 which reads;

    “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. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.” and vs 33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, AS IN ALL CHURCHES OF THE SAINTS”
    This is how it should be run in ALL churches of the saints.

    Do you run your meetings this way? Or do you need to earnestly content for the faith that was once delivered to the saints? (Jude 3)

    The role of women in God’s church:

    * Should a woman teach God’s ways to children at home? Yes.

    It appears Timothy was taught the Bible as a child at home by his mother & grandmother.
    2 Tim 1:2,5 “To Timothy,.. When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” 2 Tim 3:15 “from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures”

    * Should a woman teach children God’s ways in the Sunday school? I would say Yes from the above verse.

    * Should a woman teach men & woman in a main ‘church’ meeting? No.
    1 Cor 14:34 clearly indicates not to.

    So I agree with you in this respect – the Bible does not condone the official role/authority of women preachers or pastors. So to be clear, there are no women preachers in our fellowship throughout the world.

    * Should a woman exercise God’s gifts of tongues or prophecy in a church meeting?

    On this point we need to look more closely.

    Acts 21:8-9 says “we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.”

    That’s clear enough for most people as a Yes, it is ok. However it can also prompt us to have a closer look at Corinthians to clarify any guidelines on this.

    1 Cor chapters 12 to 14 are a block [it starts with 1 Cor 12:1 “Now concerning spiritual (matters|gifts), brethren, I would not have you ignorant.” and 1 Cor 14:38 ends “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.”]

    As a block these verses cover more than just tongues and prophesy (speaking boldly) but they also cover the roles of apostles, teachers and others; 1 Cor 12:28-29 “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”

    Verse 34 of 1 Cor 14 on it’s own is not conclusive as to the extent of ‘silence’ this verse is covering. Does it mean they can not utter a single word from the moment they step in the door? Or is it restricted to “learning” [in vs 35 it says to save the ‘learning’ and ‘asking|questioning’ for home; Greek ‘manthano’ (to learn) and ‘eperótaó’ (to question/interrogate/demand/ask pointedly)].

    In contrast to ‘questioning|interrogating’ we read the spiritual voice gifts are about building up, encouraging & comfort; 1 Cor 14:3 says “he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” This covers speaking words to remind, encourage and comfort.
    The voice gifts are not a ‘platform’ for laying down one’s own opinion or new views. Those that stand by should ‘judge’ (vs 29) what is being said, both to be encouraged by it and to make sure it is scriptural.

    In light of this and Acts 21:8-9, any man or woman from the church can pray and look to be used by God to operate the voice gifts (speaking in tongues, interpretation or prophecy) as long as it is decent & in order (2 or 3 in sequence), there is interpretation for each message in tongues, and what is said is encouraging, comforting and in line with the Bible.

    This sheds light on how any local meetings would have taken place in the house of Philip the evangelist in Act 21:9 “the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.”

    For a genuine enquiry, you can email me privately if you wish at followerofchrist2@gmail.com, just give me plenty of time to respond as I have a lot of responsibility to take care of.

    Comment by Follower of Jesus Christ | March 19, 2011 | Reply


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