Plainer Words since 1968
October 16, 2013
The Gift of Tongues
It should be kept in mind that during the Pentecostal dispensation, the Gentile believer came “behind in no gift” while “waiting for the coming [apokalupsis: unveiling] of the Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 1:7). That is, the Gentile believer was not lacking in any spiritual gift. The blessing of Abraham came upon the Gentiles, and they, too received the promise of the out-pouring of the Spirit.
Old Testament prophecies pointed to the fact that the Spirit would be poured out upon the children of Israel; “and it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all your flesh” (Joel 2:28).
The “all your flesh” is a reference to all of those in Israel who were to believe the Gospel of the Kingdom. “I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring” (Isa. 44:3).
The outpouring took place in Acts 2 and is the fulfillment of prophecy. It was, also, prophesied that God would speak to Israel with a people that are “no people.” Paul does not hesitate to say:
“In the law it is written, with men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord” (I Cor. 14:21).
When Paul writes I Corinthians 14:21, he seems to be alluding to Isaiah 28:11:
“For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people.”
In Isaiah’s day, God was saying that Israel would not listen to Him in obedience even though He spoke to them in a tongue they understood. The time was going to come, however, when He would speak to them in a tongue of strangers; that is, in the tongue of their enemies, but even then, they would not hear. It is very important to note that He was speaking to Israel in warning and judgment. During the Acts Period, he was speaking to the unbelieving in Israel through men of other tongues. The gift of tongues was primarily, to provoke the unbelieving among Israel (I Cor. 14:22).
Wherefore, tongues were for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe NOT.
TONGUES USED TO PROVOKE ─ ISRAEL
Gentiles received the “promise of the Spirit” in Acts 10. The blessing of Abraham coming on the Gentiles, at that time, was in accordance with prophecy. However, the Apostle Paul gives additional information on the “gifts of the Spirit” as they related to the Gentiles during the period of the Pentecostal dispensation.
Paul stated in Romans 10:19: “But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.” The reference to them who are “no people” is a reference to Gentiles.
During the Acts Period, the majority of Israel remained in an unrepentant state; despite the fact that they heard the Word and saw the “evidential signs” of the believers.
The promised Spirit came on the Gentiles in Acts 10. Throughout the rest of the Acts Period, in an ever-widening circle, the Spirit promised to Israel came upon the Gentiles. The out-pouring upon the Gentiles was part of God’s program to provoke Israel to jealousy with the view that they, too, might believe; even as the Gentiles did.
“Salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy” (Rom. 11:11).
“If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them” (Rom. 11:14).
Recently, while I was surfing through a series of Christian TV channels, one caught my attention. I paused and watched for ten or fifteen minutes of what I considered a shameful presentation of what the Preacher-Man called “the Gospel.” The preacher said he was “in the Spirit.” I watched as he skipped away from the lectern while he was speaking in Tongues, to wit, “Gibberish”. He removed his suit coat and threw it behind him and paused. He shivered as if a bucket of cold water was thrown on him, then he spoke in English while shaking his body like a dog would do as it came out of water. Then he shouted, “I am drenched with the Holy Ghost.” Accurately, I would say he was drenched with sweat.
While he “waltzed” across the stage he jerked his tie from around neck and then did a tap-dance which he called a “Holy Ghost Jig.” Needless to say, the congregation was in a wild frenzy speaking in “tongues.” This took place in a church in New York. It seems that most of these shows are in performed in the South.
Here is additional light upon the inclusion of the Gentile into the Kingdom program. It had the provocation of Israel in view. The Gentile was included in God’s Kingdom purposes during the Acts Dispensation with a view to arousing unbelieving Israel to equal, or excel the faith shown among the Gentiles.
It is concluded that “the blessing of Abraham” (Gal. 3:14) and the promise of the Spirit being received by the Gentiles, during the “Acts of the Apostles,” took the form of the “gifts of the Spirit.” Therefore, Gentiles spoke to unbelieving Israel, with tongues, in their synagogues during Acts (see Acts 13:26, 42-52; 14:1-3 and etc.).
The Gentile, during the Acts Period, was likened to a wild olive “graffed,” (spelling as in KJV), which was contrary to nature, into the true olive tree (Israel): see Romans 11:11-25. The “wild olive” graft was to cause the true olive tree to be fruit-bearing. As the Acts Period progressed, Israel was, fast-falling into a deadly slumber. The grafting-in of the Gentiles was of no avail. The day finally came, at Acts 28:28, when Israel was dismissed. God, temporarily, suspended His Kingdom dealings with Israel. And, all prophecies were set in abeyance. After the Book of Acts closed (Acts 28:31), the Secret purpose of God for the Gentiles was made known—The Mystery.
If we allow a place for the testimony of I Corinthians 14 and Romans 10 and 11 in our views of Gentile blessing, we shall see how, utterly, impossible it is to try and make the teaching of Ephesians fit into the Pentecostal Dispensation.
With Israel’s dismissal, the gifts of the Spirit were withdrawn. “The Jews require a sign” (I Cor. 1:22) and with Israel set aside, there were no grounds for signs to be carried on. The Gift of Tongues should have spoken to the hearts of Israel as a sign, warning them of their unbelief. Considering tongues in the Scriptural setting in which they occurred, the honest Bible student must admit that these languages were a forceful sign to those who were hard-hearted among the Israelites.
The tongues spoken by the New Testament saints, during the Acts Period, were the languages of men. They were not ecstatic sounds but real languages. The gift of tongues took its place among the signs of Mark 16 which confirmed the Pre-Millennial-Kingdom purposes throughout the Acts Period.
This gift of speaking in tongues (the Languages of men) had its place as a warning to the unbelieving Jew and as a means of the rapid spread of the Gospel of the Kingdom (Acts 3:19-26). Take the gift of tongues out of its Divine context, and it becomes a serious error.
(To be continued)
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From Plainer Words
The Gift of Tongues - Chapter Nine
Posted in: 2013
By Tom M. Ballinger
Oct 17, 2013 - 10:45:25 PM
Oct 17, 2013 - 10:45:25 PM
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