Tongues and Faith

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I saw a story on the evening news about one year ago. Peter Jennings introduced it as “a segment of our program tonight will deal with the phenomenon of ‘glossolalia.’ It has now gone mainstream.” That may not be an exact quote, but it is very close.

I received an e- mail last night asking about ‘the tongues of angels,’ of 1Co 13. I will be answering that today. Again the part Paul is deliberately trying to de- emphasize is the part that is being emphasized. Paul, in chapter 13, is, in essence, flatly stating that you can speak in real foreign languages that you have no training in and yet “have not love [agape].” It is undeniable that Paul spoke “in the tongues of men.” But the “of angels” is in the same category as “give my body to be burnt.” Paul had spiritual gifts in their proper perspective. A “carnal … babe in Christ,” with spiritual gifts, would never be able to deceive Paul on any point because Paul was not looking for ‘gifts’ or ‘experiences,’ but for the “more excellent way,” the ‘agape‘ in the life of any man. It is only ‘agape,’ that ‘never passes away.’

Wherever spiritual gifts are mentioned, ‘tongues,’ are always last on the list and healings are always ahead of tongues. Remembering that fact, look in Galatians where Paul tells us that he had an, “infirmity which was in my flesh,” which many believe was a disease in his eyes.

Gal 4:13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.

Gal 4:14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

Gal 4:15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.

Gal 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

I again remind you that Paul could not convince God to heal Trophemus, Epaphroditus or Timothy with his “often infirmities.” If Paul’s faith had been based on a constant physical display of gifts, as Pentecostals require with their ‘gift of unknown tongues,’ then Paul’s faith would have failed him. But Paul knew that gifts were for newcomers. A newborn babe is not “chastened and scourged,” as a young adult is. You don’t spank a new born baby. You wait till it can begin to respond to your instructions. That happens to be a whole lot earlier than most people in today’s society believe, but that is another subject for another time. I am today posting two new letters. One has to do with the different steps that a Christian takes toward maturity. The other has to do with the prophetic sequence of events. Both reveal that maturity is, by God’s own sovereign plan, a time consuming process that is designed to “try our faith” (Jas 1:2-4). God fought the Egyptians for Israel, at the very beginning. Later they were required to do their own fighting, even before they had ever ‘crossed over Jordan,’ and while they were yet uncircumcised. Never ever fail to realize that even though God tells us to ‘go out and fight the Amorites,’ that in reality, the real truth is that “ I have [ already] given them into your hands.” These things “are written for our admonition.” As in life itself, God ‘carried Israel’ for a very short time. The earlier we encourage our children to stand on their own two feet the better off they are. And the sooner the ‘trying of our faith,’ begins, the better off we are.

Having prayers answered, and answered soon, is essential, for those with untried faith, that is for new born babes. It would absolutely inhibit the spiritual growth of a more mature ‘uihos.’

In conclusion, “forbid not to speak with [ foreign] tongues,” but have nothing at all to do with ‘unknown tongues.’

1Co 14:9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.

God bless you as you mature in Him,

Mike

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