Lesson 10 The Gift of Tongues
Reading: 1 Corinthians 13
they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues,
as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Corinthians 14:1–9. Follow after charity, and desire
spiritual gifts, but rather that
ye may prophesy. 2For 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. 3But he that prophesieth speaketh
unto men to edification, and
exhortation, and comfort. 4He that speaketh in an unknown
tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 5I
would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater
is he that prophesieth than he
that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive
edifying. 6Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues,
what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by
knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? 7And even things
without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction
in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 8For if
the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? 9So
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.
ON THE LESSON TEXT
Love is first in value, and among spiritual gifts prophecy excels. V2.
The tongue is unknown because no one present understands it. But what is spoken
has meaning. Vv 3–4. The relative value of tongues and prophecy is
compared. V5. Tongues are all right, but prophecy is better. Tongues
edify the church only if interpreted. V6. Tongues alone do not profit the
church. Vv 7–9. The uselessness of unintelligible speaking is compared
to b bugle call not understood. Hence the gifts of tongues in not intended for
the edifying of the church unless interpreted.
TOPIC: THE GIFT OF TONGUES
IN THE EARLY CHURCH
Promised to believers.
Mark 16:17 Jesus promises new tongues to the believers. This does not imply that
every believer shall also take up serpents.
Pentecost and on two other occasions the baptism with the Holy Ghost was
accompanied with the gift of tongues. It was no doubt exercised at times not
gift was clearly established in the early church.
THE GIFT DEFINED
What it is not.
A physical new tongue. There is no occasion for such a physical change and no
hint of it. B) A purified conversation. This results from salvation, but Jesus
did not refer to this. C) Ability to hear differently from what is spoken. The
miracle is in the speaking, not in the hearing. D) A mixture or repetition of
sounds. The tongues were real languages which were understandable to those
acquainted with the language spoken.
What it is.
A power to speak intelligent languages. At Pentecost several languages were
spoken, and understood by listeners. There is no proof that “unknown”
tongues are not languages capable of being understood by someone. B) There are
languages previously unknown. The listeners marveled that the Galileans were
able to speak their languages. The speakers attributed their power to the
Spirit. C) A power conferred by the Spirit of God. It is one of the gifts of the
Spirit and is exercised as the Spirit gives utterance.
THE PURPOSE OF THE GIFT
Not for evangelization.
It was not needed for that purpose at Pentecost, for all present understood a
common language. B) Peter did not preach in tongues but in the common language.
C) There is no Bible record of the use of tongues for evangelization.
A sign to unbelievers.
So Paul declares it to be. It is not intended to be a proof to its possessor, or
other Christians, but an evidence to unbelievers. B) When understood it is a
sign. The hearers were impressed at Pentecost and knew it was of god. C) When
not understood it becomes disgusting. The unbeliever does not understand and it
A blessing to the speaker.
might edify the speaker but is of no value to the people, thus cause a
disturbance of a public service.
Comparative value of tongues.
is of less importance than prophesy.
THE PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT
The present Pentecostal Movement came into motion in southern California in
1906. B) It is not new. Similar outbreaks have occurred among various sects and
at various intervals. C) It is divided into factions. There are several of
these, and still others are coming. The chief designation terms are Apostolic
Faith, Pentecostal, Four Square Gospel.
They say “speaking in tongues is THE evidence of the baptism with the Holy
Spirit.” The Bible nowhere says tongues is the evidence. There is no such
statement to be found. The promise of Joel, which Peter quotes on Pentecost,
says is to our children, speaks of prophecy. B) There is no proof that all spoke
with tongues. We have three instances on record where tongues were given with
the baptism. Tongues were not mentioned in connection with the others who
received the Holy Ghost. C) The inference is that not all did speak in tongues.
When Peter relates the experience of Cornelius he compares it with the
experience of the Jews “at the beginning” which he would not likely do if
that had been the common experience of all through the intervening years. Luke
records the speaking with tongues of twelve men at Ephesus. Why does he mention
this comparatively unimportant case while omitting the many instances that must
have occurred during past years, if all received it? D) The fact that the gifts
are distributed as the Spirit wills indicates that not all have this gift. Paul
makes it plain that not all have the gift of tongues. E) The Pentecostal claim
is that not all have the gift of tongues but that all speak with tongues, which
is different, as the evidence of the baptism. Paul makes no such distinction but
uses both expressions in the same connection. How else is the gift of tongues
exercised except through the speaking with tongues? F) Should we allow that Paul
knows such a distinction (which we do not) we have Paul asking, “Do you all
speak with tongues?” To which the evident answer is “No.” G) There are
many false tongues which Pentecostal people confess are manifested among them
and which they cannot distinguish from the true. Thus their proof is of no
Its fruits and accompaniments.
The spirit of the movement. In general a spirit of extremism and of spiritual
superiority pervades the movement. Much fanaticism and unseemly conduct is also
in evidence. B) Having admitted its fundamental, most any doctrine not
inconsistent therewith can find place in the movement. The doctrine of the
millennium is quite prevalent. C) Doctrinal differences and competitive
leadership have caused many divisions in the movement. It would be difficult to
determines which is the orthodox group. God has a people in this movement whom
he wishes to lead into the pure light of this present reformation.