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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : 1 Corinthians 14:13

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Joined: 2004/2/17
Posts: 99
Sterling, VA


These have been some good dialogs. I have found it very easy to read more into Scripture without realizing it. When listening to another's view on Scriptures to which I've held a particular understanding, it has helped me to be open to listen, and then search the Scriptures prayerfully like a good Berean to see if it is so. If this is more closely aligned to the Word of God, more in line with the life and teaching of Christ Jesus and the life and teaching of His apostles, then I must jettison my thinking and get in line with it. I have been saved for 17 years, and having this kind of attitude of remaining teachable has been a blessing to learn from others whom I normally wouldn't think I could learn from. I come from a 'Pentecostal' background and have grown up in a tongues environment, but I don't go by it simply because somebody said it. I check everything with the Word of God. I have learned a great deal from brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ who have never spoken in tongues, and have been tremendously humbled by the life of Jesus expressed through them. I say these things by way of personal practice that have enriched my life greatly. I believe the Holy Spirit will grant us to see the glory of God in any verse in Scripture if we will ask and wait upon Him to show us (2 Cor. 3:18).

Just a couple comments which I hope may be helpful to consider alongside of what has been already said:


GaryE wrote:
{Quote} Joel

If our language is slurred together in a jibberish context, it is like a useless trumpet in war.

The gift of the Holy Spirit of speaking in tounges is not jibberish. You obviously have not learned that yet.

In 1 Corinthians 14, the context of the discussion on tongues is tongues given in an assembly without there being an interpretation. What Paul is saying is that tongues alone (minus an interpretation) is like a trumpet with an uncertain sound, and therefore useless. It is useless in the context of edifying the assembly of believers because they do not understand the content of the utterance. It is still edifying to the individual speaking in tongues, and God is able to understand it, but Paul wants the church to receive some edification. Paul loved these Corinthian believers, so he took the time to diffuse a wrong thought process that just standing up and speaking tongues for everybody will be a blessing. Not so; it must have a Spirit-led gift of interpretation in order for that to be beneficial. Otherwise it is like sounding brass, a clanging cymbal or a trumpet making an uncertain sound.

Another thought that enters into people's minds is that Paul is somehow saying that tongues and interpretation is "inferior" to prophecying. If you read 1 Corinthians 14 very closely, nowhere does Paul say that these two gifts are inferior. What he does say is that "...he who prophecies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets..." (verse 5). So if someone prophecies and another speaks in a tongue without an interpretation, the prophecy truly is greater because it has accomplished the heart of the Spirit who gave it--to edify the church. But there is the word "unless" we must consider. If one speaks in a tongue and the Spirit-given interpretation is granted, then it too has accomplished the Spirit's intent--to edify the church. So there is no indication of which of these nine gifts of the Spirit is "superior"; they are given to meet the need, whatever that might be. Jesus functioned in various gifts of the Spirit as the need arose and would bring glory to the Father. As it is with Him, so it is to be with us.

Obviously tongues are God's gift to His children, just as salvation is a gift and the indwelling Holy Spirit is a gift and countless other benefits that He daily loads us with. Everything God does is done in the perfection of wisdom, crowned with His love, filled with the highest good in mind, and brings glory and honor to Himself. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights..." (James 1:19).

There have been many verses of Scripture presented in these dialogs. If you are confused still, I would encourage you to seek your Father in heaven, for with Him there is no confusion. He will answer the cry of the humble. We cry out to God for things that really grip us and have value to us. People who lose a nickle don't spend much time seeking for it; but if it is your wedding ring, your wallet or your car keys, you'll diligently seek high and low until you find it. Too many people treat God's gift of tongues as a nickle and not something so valuable that Jesus' death had to procure it. If it is truly God's promise to have it (which I believe it is and has been addressed), then only two things hinder us from obtaining: 1) our ignorance (we are not confident what God has said about it) or indifference (we understand but either don't care or don't trust God to do it for me). I've been blessed for many years now to be able to praise my Father in tongues, to pray to Him, to bless Him, to intercede, and so on. I write these things to encourage sincere God-fearing believers to be bold and ask God to do it for them. It is a tremendous intimacy and God-glorifying gift that comes when we are filled with the blessed Spirit from on high!

Ken Marino

 2006/2/18 16:34Profile

Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3707


1Cr 14:2 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.

1Cr 14:4 He that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

1Cr 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue pray that he may interpret.

1Cr 14:14 For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

1Cr 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that [by my voice] I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an [unknown] tongue.

1Cr 14:27 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.

I always wondered why anyone would want to speak in an unknown tongue. If we have the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit is in us as our teacher, it would seem that both the Mind of Christ and The Holy Spirit would only teach us truth with understanding, lest how can we renew our minds. If I pray with no understanding why am I even praying, for nothing I pray will be fruitful and no one would benefit from the prayer. Sounds like to me it is just a way of getting recognition from man as to how spiritual I am, then I, again I am wanting the glory instead of God getting all the Glory for He is the only One that deserves it by what He has done, as a Father as Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit being One God and Father of us all. For we are all baptized into One Spirit. Gen 31:1 And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that [was] our father's; and of [that] which [was] our father's hath he gotten all this glory. Are the people who speak in an unknown tongue trying to to the same thing by taking all the Glory away from the Holy Spirit who distributes all the Gifts as He wills, not as we will.

1 Corinthians 12:6-12 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

It sounds to me like the Holy Spirit is in charge of all the Gifts of the true Gifted one that is born again in us, which is Christ for it is His Body and if He were not the Gifted One the Body could not function.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:10 To another the working of miracles ; to another prophecy ; to another discerning of spirits ; to another divers kinds of tongues ; to another the interpretation of tongues :

Genos: Divers kinds: 1085. genos
Search for G1085 in KJVSL
genoV genos ghen'-os

from 1096; "kin" (abstract or concrete, literal or figurative, individual or collective):--born, country(-man), diversity, generation, kind(-red), nation, offspring, stock.

Glossa: of tongues: 1100. glossa
Search for G1100 in KJVSL
glwssa glossa gloce-sah'

of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication, a language (specially, one naturally unacquired):--tongue.

This would have to be like, Spanish or Greek or Hebrew or another language that it would take to build up the body of Christ by an interpreter that understood the speakers language or tongue and the one being spoken to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in us the Hope of Glory. I did not acquire Greek naturally because Greek was not spoke in my family. So if I was to bring the Gospel of Christ to a Greek I would either have to learn the language or The Holy Spirit would have to give me supernatural abilities to speak to the Greek person and present the Gospel to him.

hermeneia: interpretation: 2058. hermeneia
Search for G2058 in KJVSL
ermhnia hermeneia her-may-ni'-ah

from the same as 2059; translation:--interpretation.

Why is this so hard to separate language interpretation of spreading the Gospel and building up the Body of Christ by the severally as He wills, that is the Holy Spirit being the one in the believer that is doing the speaking In different tongues to build up the Body of Christ?

Am I missing something here? Are there two different kinds of tongues that are being spoken about here, that is one of the Spirit and one of man. I guess I will just have to trust God and that He knows what the Holy Spirit is doing when it comes to the Gifts of Christ in us. Without Christ in us there are no Gifts, and I believe that the Holy Spirit knows what the Gifts are and by Whom they come, and He distributes them just as He wants for one reason, to glorify God the Father in building up the Body of Christ in His Son.

In Christ: Phillip


 2006/2/18 19:43Profile

Joined: 2004/2/17
Posts: 99
Sterling, VA


“tongues” could be used in todays worship if there were people visiting from Brazil, or Russia that didn’t know English, and if the Lord willed it, I believe the Spirit would enable those people to hear the Gospel and trust in Christ.

Brothers, I would just to comment a bit on this that has been mentioned in this thread. I think some of the thoughts that come to the conclusion that tongues are for preaching the gospel come out of Acts 2. We know that on the Day of Pentecost many men from various language groups were able to understand the tongues. In a sense, we can say the "gospel" was preached to them. The Word of God only says about the content of these tongues was that they had to do with "the wonderful works of God" (Acts 2:11). We don't read that anybody got converted to Christ as a result of hearing the tongues. We do know, however, that after Peter preached his powerful sermon in a language everybody understood that the response from the crowd was, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" And of course, we know that 3,000 souls responded to that gospel presentation.

Again, the reason Paul is writing 1 Corinthians 12 - 14 is to correct some abuses in the believer's meeting. The gifts of the Spirit mentioned in 12:7-10 are in connection with their use in the believers' meeting (i.e., in "church"). Certainly these gifts can function towards the lost outside of the believers' gathering; Jesus demonstrated this in His ministry time and time again. But Paul's concern is setting God's house in order. So when Paul is addressing the gift of tongues and its accompanying gift of interpretation, he is speaking to its usage their among believers. The goal of these gifts is to edify believers. The attitude the church is to operate in these gifts is love. So, yes, tongues are a "sign to unbelievers" (14:22) (just as they were a sign to unbelievers on the day of Pentecost) when conducted in an orderly fashion, initiated by the Spirit of God, through yielded believers, it's purpose is for edifying the saints. See the times Paul uses those kind of terms throughout chapter 14--"edifies the church" (verse 4), "that the church may receive edification" (verse 5), "let it be for the edification of the church" (verse 12), "Let all things be done for edification" (verse 26).

Although certainly it is possible that God could grant tongues to someone to preach the gospel (and I have heard testimonies like that), I do not see that as what the Scriptures are teaching. If someone has some other illumination on these verses that indicate to the contrary, I'd sure like to hear; maybe I'm missing something. Anyway, that's enough for now!

Ken Marino

 2006/2/19 17:57Profile

Joined: 2005/11/8
Posts: 619


1 Corinthians 12:10 To another the working of miracles ; to another prophecy ; to another discerning of spirits ; to another divers kinds of tongues ; to another the interpretation of tongues :

YOu can't get around the fact that "interpretation of tongues" is listed as a spiritual gift and not a natural ability to understand a particular language.

However, when we come to 1 Corinthians, and get the undrlying thrust of Paul's words, He is steering them away from this gift, not undermining it's validity, but rather showing it's relitive importance in the overall scheme of things.

Paul's burden is that the corinthian believers would not be taken up with the exercise of this or that gift for it's own sake, for boasting, or even for personal edification, but rather to seek the gifts which build up the body of Christ and to prophecy is the primary gift.

And in the New Testamen, to prophecy is not to predict the future, but rather to speak Christ and to speak forth Christ. That is to speak what they have gained of Christ, what they have seen of Christ in His Word, what the Spirit has impressed them with in order to benifit all so that all may recieve from their portion of Christ. To the end that the body of Christ might be built up not just by the "joints of the rich supply" but also by the measure of each one part. In this way the body builds itself up in love.

To exercise a gift just to be amomg the "gifted ones" is a poor thing. It is a degraded use and misuse of gifts. The purpose of gifts is for the building up of the body of Christ by ministering Christ to one another.


 2006/2/25 10:54Profile

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