Some say that the "perfect" spoken of here is the Bible, the Word of God. Well, God's Word is perfect, praise the Lord! But if this reference is to the Word then knowledge, prophecy, and tongues has already passed away and today's Church is perfect and without any spiritual problems. Ephesians 4:11-12 tells us that the ministry gifts and spiritual gifts are given "for the perfecting of the saints... till we all come in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect (mature, in the Greek) man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, (vs. 13) No brethren, we have not yet fully attained that goal! Rather as Jesus told the Church at Thyatira in Revelation 2:25, "...that which ye have hold fast till l come. "
Now, let's look at a
second common misunderstanding, that is, that Tongues is merely some
kind of "ecstatic utterance", as I've heard it called. That Tongues
is of no useful purpose. Well, once again, what does the Word say?
Paul, addressing himself to this question in 1 Corinth. 14 said, "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." (vs. 2) So then, speaking in Tongues is speaking
directly to God! (the Greek here says, "...speaking divine secrets
to God.) Tongues is not for preaching or teaching, it is for prayer!
Since when is prayer of any kind not important? But, I can pray just
as well in English, one might say. Then why does the Word say in
Romans 8:26 and 27, "...that the Spirit Himself intercedes for us
with groanings which can not be uttered, (the Greek says, words that
can not be uttered in articulate speech) In other words, the Spirit
helps us pray by making it possible for us to speak in a language
that we have never learned and do not understand, which is Tongues.
(1 Corinth. 14:14) So then, praying in Tongues is always in line
with what the Spirit wants us to pray. Can you honestly say that you
always know how to pray with your understanding? So then the need
for Tongues! Paul continues in 1 Corinth. 14 that, "He that speaketh
in an unknown tongue edifieth himself..."(vs. 4) edify in the Greek
means to be "built up", We say that a battery is being "built up"
when we are charging it. The meaning is the same here! We are being
spiritually "charged up" in our faith by speaking in Tongues.
Speaking in Tongues is also called the rest of God in the Old Testament scripture that Paul Quotes in 1 Corinth. 14:21. This scripture (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. " What a telling indictment! We see today that many people choose not to hear about Tongues. Many desire the Baptism in the Holy Spirit but ask, "Can't I receive it without those Tongues?" After all we've seen about the benefits of speaking in Tongues why would one want to reject this free gift from God? One example that I've heard about this attitude is this - can you imagine going out to buy a pair of shoes and asking the salesman, "Can I get a pair with the tongues cut out?" The salesman would reply, "But they wouldn't be complete!" And so it is with the Baptism in the Holy Ghost, the experience wouldn't be complete without Tongues!
Items of Interest in This Issue