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Now that so much interest is being shown concerning speaking in tongues, you and I need to study the subject seriously and prayerfully. If the adherents of the tongues movement are right, it behooves us to join them. We want to be right. And we should be able to learn what is right. If true Baptists, who have had an indisputable succession from the days of Christ's earthly ministry, cannot learn the truth concerning this question, who under Heaven can do so? If the tongues movement is wrong, we certainly need to know that. This question is on the minds of many sincere saints. So may it please our dear Lord that we study it humbly and prayerfully together.
It seems that most, if not all of the adherents of Holy Spirit baptism, hang
their all on I Corinthians 12:13. And though this verse, like all the
others, is stronger than Gibraltar and Thor combined, it still will not support
this teaching. It is true that our translation says, "For by one Spirit are
we all baptized into one body." Now if we say the Holy Spirit is doing the
baptizing here, we must also say the "one body" is same universal,
invisible thing. But there cannot be any such thing as an invisible body. Even
our Lord and His accompanying angels took unto themselves bodies in Genesis
18 in order that Abraham might be able to see them. Our language just simply
cannot accommodate an in visible body, whether it be a human body or whether it
be a body made up of a group of people. There is just no way for a group of
people to be an invisible body. They must be assembled in order to be a
body. So any one who teaches an invisible body made of people is showing his
ignorance of what a body is.
Some may say, Why does this verse mean 'by one Spirit"? That is a good
question. And I must say I simply cannot see why our translators put it this
way. I can understand why they say, baptize with water" in Matthew 3:11
and also in Mark, Luke, and John, because that supports
their homemade mode of baptism. But so for as I am able to know, the Church of
England did not espouse the teaching of Holy Spirit baptism. So I simply cannot
understand why they say "by one Spirit." This word "by"
comes from the little Greek word EN. And in our King James version some
authorities say this word EN is translated "among" 114 times. It is
translated "with" 139 times, "by" 142 times and
"in" 1363 times. So you see this word is translated "in"
more than thirteen times as many times as it is translated "by." In a
case like this it is the responsibility of the translator to use the meaning
that will make the passage under consideration harmonize with the plain teaching
in other places. With that in mind, let us compare this verse with Romans 8:9,
where we read "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be
that the Spirit of God dwell in you." Here we see that they had to use
"in the Spirit" simply because none of the other three meanings of EN
would make any sense. So in order to make I Corinthians 12:13
harmonize with Romans 8:9, we simply have to say 'For in one Spirit are
we all baptized (immersed in the original) into one body." If we are in the
Spirit (Romans 8:9) we are eligible to be immersed into one body, the
In Luke 8:35 we see the man, out of whom our Lord had cast the demons
sitting at the feet of Jesus clothed and in his right mind. But it seems
that when people get this so-called Holy Spirit baptism they go completely out
of their mind. They are in a state of frenzy and frustration, and seem to be
ready to climb the waIl. It is my firm conviction that it is some other spirit
that brings about such a state of mind as this. It doesn't even resemble the
workings of the precious Holy Spirit. In Isaiah 32:17 we read, "And
the work of righteousness shall be peace; the effect of righteousness quietness
and assurance for ever." The effect of something causes these people to
lose control of themselves and to act as if they were having an epileptic
seizure. But righteousness causes quietness and assurance for ever. Paul says in
I Corinthians 14:40, "Let all things be done decently and in
order," but those who do this so-called speaking in tongues seem to be
devoid of either decency or order.
Now with all this in mind, let us see what the Book has to say about the
tongues. Does it say anything about the jabbering these people do? The first
reference that might be used by those who are devoid of quietness and decent
order, so far as I am able to see, is Acts 2:4. Here we read, "And
they were all filled with the Holy Ghost (Spirit), and began to speak with other
tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Here Peter and the other
apostles were speaking in other tongues. But in verse 6 we read, "every man
heard them speak in his own language." In this chapter, and in 21:40,
22:2 and 26:14 the word is DIALEKTOS in the Greek, and it means a
language. It is so translated in 2:6. Here we see a miracle among
miracles. In Genesis 11 :7 God confused the followers of Nimrod by
causing them to speak languages that others of the group could not understand.
Due to this they were not able to finish what they had started. But those who
were in the group that was speaking could understand what was being said. But
these people who jabber like frustrated joy birds do not understand what they
are saying themselves. That is confusion, pure and simple. In fact, that is the
very worst kind of confusion when the one who is speaking does not know what he
is saying. And in I Corinthians 14:33 we are told that "God is not
the author of confusion." So, since God is not the author of all this
confusion, who is?
I Corinthians 14 seems to be the little Bible to those who adhere to the
tongues movement. In verse 2 we see the expression "unknown tongue."
But this word "unknown" is not the Word of God. It is the word of the
translators. If you notice, it is in italics which means it is not in the
original Greek. The original says, "For he that speaks with a tongue."
The word "tongue" here is from GLOSSA which can mean the tongue in
your mouth with which you speak or sing, or it can mean the ability to speak in
another language. During the early stages of church history, and especially on
the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to speak in other
languages. If you check Acts 2:7-10 you will find there were some
seventeen language groups present on the day of Pentecost. And in verse 8 we are
told that they all heard in their native tongues.
So in I Corinthians 14 when you see the word "tongue" just
remember, it is speaking of an other language. Several years ago, before Castro
took over Cuba, my family and I were vacationing in Clearwater, Florida. One
afternoon while we were enjoying the lovely beach, a group of people from Cuba
came to the beach. They were a few yards away from us, but we could hear them as
they all seemed to be talking at the same time. They sounded to us like a drove
of black birds. We could not understand a word they were saying, but they could.
That is what is meant in I Corinthians 14:4 where we read, "He that
speaketh in an (unknown) tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth
edifieth the church." If a preacher from some foreign country were to get
up in your pulpit and preach in his native tongue he would be built up himself,
but he would not help the congregation In the least because they would not know
what he was saying. However, in the case of someone speaking in what is commonly
known as 'tongues" in our day, no one is edified, because no one, not even
the old devil himself knows what is being said. In fact, nothing is being said
unless you express your thoughts in somebody's language
Paul was a well educated man. He could speck in several different languages.
Still in I Corinthians 14:19 he says, "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 on (unknown) tongue." He s saying
that the congregation will get more good from five words they understand than
they would from ten thousand words in a language they do not understand.
The word "unknown" is found one time in the New Testament in the
original. And there (Acts 17:23) it is speaking of God. It comes from
AGNOSTOS, and is never used in connection with the tongue. There is no such
thing as a tongue, or language that nobody knows.
We should stop and think who it is that speaks in the so-called tongues. Are they a people who stand for the whole counsel of God? Have they been speaking like this from the days of Christ's earthly ministry? If so, we should join up with them. But if we find they had their beginning less than one hundred years ago, in 1886, and that they are made up of false cults, and in these last few years, false Baptists, we should shun them as if they were a rattlesnake with small pox.
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726