The Best Gifts Versus The Gift Of Tongues

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First of all, I do not believe that every miracle that is claimed is a fraud. I have experienced answered prayer personally, and I am fully convinced that God does answer prayers. In fact it is my belief that God answers more prayer for newborn “carnal … babes” (1Co 3:1-4) than he does for more mature Christians. Now let me give you the scriptures that indicate that this is the case.

Israel’s “for our admonition” history reveals a second baptism in the Jordan just before they began doing battle in the promise land. God does not expect infants, or even toddlers, to ‘fight the giants in the land.’ These battles await those who have been matured and are somewhat ‘circumcised,’ after going through the ‘first baptism’ of the Red Sea and learning about the proper way to worship and make proper offerings to God in our ‘wilderness experience. There is generally a great distance in time between our Red Sea baptism and the time when we undergo a ‘second baptism’ in the Jordan. The ‘Jordan baptism’ is a baptism of far greater maturity than the ‘babes in Christ’ baptism of the Red Sea experience.

We are used more by God’s Spirit as our old man ‘dies daily.’ In other words, we have all of God’s Spirit right from the get- go, but God does not have all of us right from the get- go. Having ‘all of God’ does me very little good until He has ‘all of me.’ As we ‘die’ to the things of the flesh, we are able to be used of the Spirit which is always there all along in full measure. It is only with the rebellions of the ‘wilderness experience behind us that we are, at last, ready to experience a second, more mature, ‘baptism in the Jordan.’ Then, only after that ‘second baptism,’ are we ready to become truly ‘circumcised in heart.’ And it is only after we have become ‘circumcised in heart’ that we are then able to do real battle in ‘heavenly places,’ represented by the “giants’ who occupy the ‘land of promise.’

All of our battles up to this time have been battles within our spiritually immature physical bodies. There are ‘giants’ on both sides of the Jordan, but the ‘giants’ occupying the ‘promised land’ are far more intimidating than the ‘giants’ in the ‘wilderness’. The battles on the other side of the Jordan are fought against “powers and principalities in heavenly places” (Eph 6:9). We will prefer to ‘return to Egypt’ or ‘die in the wilderness’ rather than to face and conquer the giants ‘in heavenly places’.

I truly believe you and I are engaged in that battle at this very moment with these e- mails. If we have what John calls “the spirit of error” while we think we have the Holy Ghost, our battles will be impaired by ‘Babylonian robes and gold.’ The first thing to affect Israel in a negative way in the land of promise, was “silver and gold and a Babylonish robe” (Jos 7:20-22). As long as we desire the ‘clothing’ of Babylon, any ‘gold or silver’ we have becomes ‘gold, silver and precious stones’ of Babylon (Rev 18:12) ‘ The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones…”

It is very few Christians who can distinguish between the “gold, silver and precious stones,” of 1Co 3: and the “gold, silver and precious stones,” of Rev 18. In truth, they both are “gold, silver and precious stones.” The only thing that makes one to differ from the other is their location. It is instructive to note that when Israel destroyed Achan, they destroyed the riches he had lusted after, with him. It will be much better for us to ‘judge ourselves,’ and get rid of any ‘Babylonish garments,’ that we may have lying around in our tents before God is forced to do our judging.

It was Christ who said, “He that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Mat 10:22). But He also warned us that one thing in particular would tend to prevent many from ‘enduring to the end.’ What keeps people from ‘enduring to the end,’ is not because they don’t speak in unknown tongues. The reason people don’t ‘endure to the end,’ is a much better gage of one’s spiritual health than tongues, real or unknown. What keeps “many,” from, “enduring to the end is that “the love [ the fruit of the Spirit] of many will wax cold:” (Mat 24: 12). This warning against allowing our, “love to wax cold,” is from Christ Himself. So it is Christ Himself who has inspired Paul to de- emphasize the gifts that minister to our physical appetites, gifts like physical healings and foreign tongues. These are the ‘manna from heaven,’ which minister to our fleshly needs. But Paul’s advice is to “covet earnestly the best gifts,” and the “more excellent way.” Here are ‘the best gifts:

1Co 12:28… First apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, [ and what is it that comes after “the best gifts?] after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, [ and what is always last?] diversities of [ real] tongues.
1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
1Co 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
1Co 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

The “more excellent way,” is what Chapter 13 Is all about. It is all about ‘agape‘ love. In other words Paul follows Christ’s advice, and de- emphasizes the truly miraculous physical ‘feeding of the four thousand and later of the five thousand,’ and instead places his emphasis upon the “true bread from heaven,’ which ministers to our spiritual needs and has no immediate outward physical display. This doctrine, will of course cost you “many disciples,” as Christ experienced in John six. It was Christ Himself who had fed the 4,000 and again the 5,000. But it was also Christ Himself who chastened those same people He had fed, for becoming attached to that physical gift. It was not “the best gifts.” As hard as it is for us to accept, “Son, thy sins are forgiven,” is by far “the best gift.” It is incalculably better than, “Arise, take up thy bed and walk.”

Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits[ not ‘their gifts’] ye shall know them.
Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?[ including ‘tongues]
Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
1Jn 4:6 We [ the Word of God] are of God: he that knoweth God [ His word] heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass[ mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [ This is true spiritual growth; becoming more and more like Christ] even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

I hope this has helped you to see the subject of tongues in a better scriptural perspective.

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