TONGUE, TONGUES, & AN UNKNOWN TONGUE

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TONGUE, TONGUES, & AN UNKNOWN TONGUE

Postby George » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:27 pm

TONGUE, TONGUES, & AN UNKNOWN TONGUE

First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen is known amongst students of the Holy Bible as ‘the tongues Chapter of the Holy Bible’ because either the word “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) or the word “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) are spoken of in Chapter Fourteen of First Corinthians more than any other place in Scripture (16 times in 15 verses!). The misinterpretation of First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen has probably led to more confusion and error amongst both believers and unbelievers than any other Chapter in the Holy Bible; and most of the confusion centers around the interpretation of the phrase “an unknown tongue”.

The only place in the entire Holy Bible where the phrase “an unknown tongue” can be found is in the Book of First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen [1 Corinthians 14:2, 4, 13, 14, 19, 27]. Since the phrase “an unknown tongue” is unique to First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen; sincere Bible believers must be extremely careful and circumspect in “rightly dividing the word of truth” [2Timothy 2:15] concerning the phrase since unique or rare occurrences in Scripture often lead to misinterpretation and error. In order to determine the meaning of the phrase “an unknown tongue” in Scripture, a sincere student of Scripture must undertake a thorough review of all of the verses where the words “tongue” and “tongues” occur in the Holy Bible.

TONGUE” EQUALS A PHYSICAL MEMBER IN THE HOLY BIBLE

TONGUE EQUALS A PHYSICAL MEMBER IN THE OLD TESTAMENT (89 Verses)
[Exodus 4:10; 11:7; Joshua 10:21; Judges 7:5 2; Samuel 23:2; Esther 7:4; Job 5:21; 6:24; Job 6:30; 13:19; 15:5; 20:12; 20:16; 27:4; 29:10; 33:2; 41:1; Psalms 5:9; 10:7; 12:3; 12:4; 15:3; 22:15; 34:13; 35:28; 37:30; 39:1; 39:3; 45:1; 50:19; 51:14; 52:2; 52:4; 57:4; 64:3; 64:8; 66:17; 68:23; 71:24; 73:9; 109:2; 119:172; 120:2; 120:3; 126:2; 137:6; 139:4; Proverbs 6:17; 6:24; 10:20; 10:31; 12:18; 12:19; 15:2; 15:4;  16:1; 17:4; 17:20; 18:21; 21:6; 21:23; 25:15; 25:23; 26:28; 28:23; 31:26; Song of Solomon 4:11; Isaiah 3:8; 11:15; 30:27; 32:4; 35:6; 41:17; 45:23; 50:4; 54:17; 57:4; 59:3; Jeremiah 9:5; 9:8; 18:18; Lamentations 4:4; Ezekiel 3:26; Hosea 7:16; Amos 6:10; Micah 6:12; Habakkuk 1:13; Zephaniah 3:13; Zechariah 14:12]

TONGUE EQUALS A PHYSICAL MEMBER IN THE NEW TESTAMENT (14 Verses)
[Mark 7:33; 7:35; Luke 1:64; 16:24; Acts 2:26; Romans 14:11; Corinthians 14:9; Philippians 2:11; James 1:26; 3:5; 3:6; 3:8; 1 Peter 3:10; 1 John 3:18]

TONGUES” EQUAL PHYSICAL MEMBERS IN THE HOLY BIBLE

TONGUES EQUAL PHYSICAL MEMBERS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT (6 Verses)
[Psalms 31:20; 55:9; 78:36; 140:3; Jeremiah 9:3; 23:31]

TONGUES EQUAL PHYSICAL MEMBERS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT (3 Verses)
[Acts 2:3; Romans 3:13; Revelation 16:10]

TONGUE” EQUALS A LANGUAGE IN THE HOLY BIBLE

TONGUE EQUALS A LANGUAGE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT (6 Verses)
[Genesis 10:5; Deuteronomy 28:49; Ezra 4:7; Isaiah 28:11; Isaiah 33:19; Daniel 1:4]

TONGUE EQUALS A LANGUAGE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT (17 Verses)
[John 5:2; Acts 1:19; 2:8; 21:40; 22:2; 26:14; 1 Corinthians 14:2; 14:4; 14:13; 14:14; 14:19; 14:26; 14:27; Revelation 5:9; 9:11; 14:6; Revelation 16:16]

TONGUES” EQUAL LANGUAGES IN THE HOLY BIBLE

TONGUES EQUAL LANGUAGES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT (3 Verses)
[Genesis 10:20; 10:31; Isaiah 66:18]

TONGUES EQUAL LANGUAGES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT (22 Verses)
[Mark 16:17 Acts 2:4; 2:11; 10:46; 19:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 12:28;12:30; 13:1; 13:8; 1 Corinthians 14:5; 14:6; 14:18; 14:21; 14:22; 14:23; 14:39; Revelation 7:9; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 17:15]

A brief summary of the foregoing follows:

• The word “tongue” (singular) is found 129 times in 126 verses in the entire Bible (96 times in 95 verses in the Old Testament and 33 times in 31 verses in the New Testament).
• The word “tongue” (singular) is described as a physical member in 103 verses in the entire Bible (89 verses in the Old Testament and 14 verses in the New Testament).
• The word “tongue” (singular) is described as a spoken language in 23 verses in the entire Bible (6 verses in the Old Testament and 17 verses in the New Testament).
• The word “tongues” (plural) is found 36 times in 34 verses in the entire Bible (9 times in 9 verses in the Old Testament and 27 times in 25 verses in the New Testament).
• The word “tongues” (plural) is described as physical members in 9 verses in the entire Bible (6 verses in the Old Testament and 3 verses in the New Testament).
• The word “tongues” (plural) is described as spoken languages in 25 verses in the entire Bible (3 verses in the Old Testament and 22 verses in the New Testament).

• The phrase “an unknown tongue” can not be found in the Old Testament. In addition, the phrase “an unknown tongue” is found only six times in six verses in the entire Bible (all in the New Testament, and only in the Fourteenth Chapter of the Book of First Corinthians).
1 Corinthians 14:2 For 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.
1 Corinthians 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

1 Corinthians 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

1 Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

1 Corinthians 14:19 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 an unknown tongue.

1 Corinthians 14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.

After reviewing all of the verses where the words “tongue” and “tongues” occur in the Holy Bible, it is manifest that there are three (3) possible interpretations for “an unknown tongue”:

1. “an unknown tongue” is a “tongue” that is not known to both the speaker and the hearer (which is unprofitable and serves no useful purpose at all - since no edification takes place).

2. “an unknown tongue” is a “tongue” that is not known to the speaker, but which is known and understood by the hearer (which serves as a miraculous “sign” primarily to the hearer).

3. “an unknown tongue” is a “tongue” that is known and understood by the speaker, but which is not known or understood by the hearer (i.e. it is “unknown”).

A careful reading of the Book of Acts reveals: A “tongue” (a spoken language) that is not known to a speaker but which is known and understood by a hearer (No. 2 above) primarily serves as “a sign” to the hearer [See Acts 2:3-4, 11; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:6]. However, in the Fourteenth Chapter of the Book of First Corinthians, a “tongue” (a spoken language) that is known to the speaker but which is not known or understood by a hearer is said to be “unknown” [1Corinthians 14:2, 4, 13, 14, 19, 27]; and as such can not be a “sign” since, although the speaker understands what he is saying, the hearer does not know “the meaning of the voice” [1 Corinthians 14:11], i.e. he doesn’t understand what is being said. “Tongues” that are not known by a speaker but are known by a hearer serve as “a sign”, primarily to the hearer and secondarily to the speaker, because a miracle is involved in the event. “Tongues” that are known to a speaker but are “unknown” to a hearer are not a “sign” since no miracle is involved. Though the speaker may be edified [1Corinthians 14:4], the hearer is not edified and therefore there is no profit in the event.  

It is extremely interesting to note that out of a total of 26 times in 24 verses where the Apostle Paul wrote about the words “tongue” or “tongues” in all of his Epistles, 22 times in 20 verses are found only in the Book of First Corinthians. In addition, the only place in all of Paul’s Epistles where Paul actually writes about “tongues” as spoken languages is in the Book of First Corinthians alone. What is it about the Corinthian church that merited such attention to “tongues”? At this point in the study a brief description of the city of Corinth * is in order,

* Corinth was a Greek city located in the Roman Province of Achaia on an isthmus which separated the Ionian Sea (located between Southern Greece and Southern Italy) from the Aegean Sea (located between Southern Greece and Asia and the entrance to the Black Sea). The city itself stood a little inland; but it had two ports, Lechaeum on the west – with an entrance to the Ionian Sea, and Cenchrea on the east - with an entrance to the Aegean Sea.

Because of its strategic location, Corinth was host to a great number of people (who spoke in varied and diverse languages) from various places throughout the Mediterranean area – See: Acts 2:5-11; which helps to explain why the Apostle Paul cites the words “tongue” or “tongues” 22 times out of 20 verses in the Book of First Corinthians alone - making the Book of First Corinthians the “tongues” Book of the New Testament, and the only Book where Paul references “tongues” as languages. With the exception of Romans 12:10, 12:28; Philippians 2:11; and 1 Timothy 3:8 (all of which reference the “tongue” as a physical member), the Book of First Corinthians is the only place where Paul cites the words “tongue” or “tongues” in all of his Epistles.

It should also be noted that Corinth was a particularly worldly and wicked city, given over to idolatry, fornication, and sensual pursuits (much like most of the major cities in the United States and the rest of the world today), which helps to explain why the church of God in Corinth had so much trouble in the flesh, and why it was necessary for Paul to write two (2) fairly large Letters to the church in an attempt to encourage the brethren to conduct themselves according to the Scriptures and embrace pure doctrine.

A historical scriptural review of the Apostle Paul’s first visit to the city of Corinth* in the Book of Acts [Acts 18:1-11] reveals that, as was his habit, Paul first visited the synagogue in the city, where “he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks” [Acts 18:4], but “when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles” [Acts 18:6]. The “they” in Acts 18:6 is obviously a reference to Jews.

However not all of the Jews rejected Paul’s testimony, for after he spoke those words in Acts 18:6 it is recorded that Paul departed from the synagogue and entered into a man’s house which was “joined hard to the synagogue”, and that “Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house”, and in addition “many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized”.
Acts 18:7 ¶ And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.
8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

It should be noted that Paul testified to the fact that it was he who baptized “Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue”, in First Corinthians Chapter One:
1 Corinthians 1:14 ¶ I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
It should also be noted that Crispus must have lost his position as “the chief ruler of the synagogue” (due to his acceptance of the Gospel of the Grace of God?) because later on in Acts Chapter Eighteen “Sosthenes”  is said to be “the chief ruler of the synagogue” [Acts 18:17].

A thorough review of the Books of Acts and I & II Corinthians suggests that historically the church of God at Corinth had many more Jews than most of the other churches of God Paul established. And since “the Jews require a sign” [1 Corinthians 1:22] and “tongues are for a sign” [1 Corinthians 14:22], it is evident that the church at Corinth was heavily involved in seeking signs, wonders, and miracles. It is no wonder that it was the most fleshly, carnal, and worldly of all of the churches of God which the Apostle Paul established [Mathew 12:39; 16:4; Luke 11:29-30; John 4:48]!  
1 Corinthians 14:22 Wherefore tongues (that are not known by a speaker but are known by a hearer) are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: (the “them” being Jews - since “the Jews require a sign”) but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

1 Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

Gentiles do not “require a sign”; nor should they expect them like the Jews did during the time of the Apostles [Psalms 74:9]. Gentiles simply believed by faith after hearing the Holy word of God.
Romans 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Since the Jews “require a sign”, God’s main purpose in His giving sign gifts [1 Corinthians 12:1-10], including “divers kinds of tongues” [1 Corinthians 12:10] was to convince the Jews during the time of the Jewish Apostles that they (the Apostles) were from God.

Before attempting to rightly divide the word of God in First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen, a review of the verses found in Acts 2:1-11; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:6 is in order.
Acts 2:1 ¶ And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The Lord Jesus Christ’s Jewish disciples were “all filled with the Holy Ghost” not just some of them. After the disciples were all filled with the Holy Ghost, they all “began to speak with other tongues, (i.e. other spoken languages which were not known to the speakers but were known and understood by the hearers) as the Spirit gave them utterance”. This event was a miracle, and as such it qualified as “a sign” (primarily to the hearers and secondarily to the speakers).  
1 Corinthian 14: 2:21 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.
22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.


1 Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

In the Old Testament God promised that He would speak to the Jews (i.e. “this people”) “With men of other tongues” [Isaiah 28:11-12]; and since the Scriptures state that “tongues are for a sign” and that “the Jews require a sign”, it is manifest that the wondrous event which took place on the day of Pentecost was a true miracle from God, which qualified as a genuine “sign” from Him.
Acts 2:5 ¶ And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

Notice how the Holy Bible defines the word “tongue” in the passages so that there is no doubt as to its meaning: Acts 2:6 – “every man heard them speak in his own language”; and again in Acts 2:8 - “how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born”. From the testimony of the verses in Acts 2:1-12 there can be no doubt that the “tongues” which are being spoken by Christ’s disciples were “languages” which were understood and spoken by people from various places in the world and not some incomprehensible gibberish or indecipherable babble (i.e. a so-called ‘heavenly language’ uttered by the Charismatics or Pentecostals of today)

From the testimony of Acts 2:1-12 it is evident that the “signs” which were performed by Christ’s Jewish disciples were specifically connected to and directed at the Jews who were living during the time of the apostles. The fact that any unbelieving Gentiles (who were living at that time and who may have observed “a sign”) were affected by “a sign” is ancillary to the primary purpose of the sign, which was to convince unbelieving Jews that the speaker was truly from God and that the words which he spoke were true.

It should also be noted that the primary purpose of all of the words which were spoken was the edification of the hearers.

EDIFICATION - EDIFY – EDIFIED – EDIFYING

EDIFICATION (improvement, instruction, or enlightenment, esp when morally or spiritually uplifting)
Romans 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

1 Corinthians 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

2 Corinthians 10:8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:

2 Corinthians 13:10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.

EDIFY (to improve the morality, intellect, etc, of, esp by instruction)
Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

1 Corinthians 10:23 ¶ All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ¶ Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

EDIFIED (having been improved morally, intellectually, etc, esp by instruction)
Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

1 Corinthians 14:17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

EDIFYING (The act of improving the morality, intellect, etc, of, esp by instruction)
1 Corinthians 14:5 I 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.

1 Corinthians 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

1 Corinthians 14:26 ¶ How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

2 Corinthians 12:19 Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

1 Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

{The words EDIFICATION, EDIFY, EDIFIED, & EDIFYING are found 17 times in 17 verses in the Holy Bible. With the exception of Acts 9:31, the words are found only within the Apostle Paul’s Epistles. Also of interest is the fact that Luke (the Apostle Paul’s companion) wrote the Book of Acts.}

Acts Chapter Ten records the centurion Cornelius’ vision [Acts 10:1-8] where God tells him to “send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do” [Acts 10:5-6]. Cornelius obeys God’s instructions and sends men off to find the Apostle Peter. In the meantime, Peter also had a vision [which is repeated three times - Acts 10:9-17] which he eventually interprets to mean “that God is no respecter of persons” [Acts 10:34-35].

The following day Peter (along with certain brethren from Joppa) traveled to Caesarea and was met by Cornelius (together with his kinsmen and near friends) whereupon Cornelius recounts his vision and invites Peter to speak [Acts 10:23-33]. Peter then gives a brief biographical account of the Lord Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection [Acts 10:34-43] which was interrupted by a miraculous event at Acts 10:44:  
Acts 10:44 ¶ While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

QUESTION: WHY were the Jews (i.e. “they of the circumcision which believed”) “astonished”?
ANSWER: “Because that on the Gentiles ALSO was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost” [Acts 10:45].

QUESTION: WHAT convinced both Peter and the Jews who accompanied him to Caesarea that the Gentiles also had received the gift of the Holy Ghost?
ANSWER: Because “they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God”. Remember: “tongues are for a sign” [1Corinthians 14:22] and “the Jews require a sign” [1Corinthians 1:22].

Acts 10:44-48 is another scriptural example where “tongues” (spoken languages) that were not known to the speakers, but were known to the hearers, served as “a sign” to both the speakers and the hearers because a miracle was involved in the event. However unlike Acts 2:1-11 where the speakers were only Jews speaking intongues” (i.e. spoken languages) that they did not know, and who were addressing only Jews from various countries who knew and understood what was being said, the speakers in Acts 10:44-48 were Gentiles speaking intongues” (i.e. spoken languages) which they did not know, but were known and understood by the Jews.

During an ordinary conversation (where both a speaker and a hearer know and understand a “tongue”, i.e. a spoken language) a speaker uses words to inform or convince hearers concerning a particular issue or matter. Under ordinary conditions the hearer is edified and the incident can be profitable. Whenever a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) is a “sign”, the speaker does not know the “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) which he is speaking but the hearer knows and understands it. Although the “sign” is a miraculous event, the hearer is still edified and the event can still be profitable. The main purpose or the ultimate goal of a speaker who endeavors to inform or convince hearers concerning a particular issue or matter is the edification of the hearers so that profit can take place. Likewise, whenever God endeavors to inform or convince hearers concerning a particular issue or matter, His main purpose and ultimate goal is the edification of the hearers so that profit can take place. It is extremely important to keep this scriptural principal in mind when dealing with the subject of “an unknown tongue” in the Holy Bible.

The events in Acts Chapter Nineteen occurred during the Apostle Paul’s third missionary journey. It is necessary to read First Corinthians Chapter Eighteen in order to understand the chronological order of events in Chapter Nineteen. Chapter Eighteen records Paul’s arrival at the city of Corinth and gives a brief summary of his ministry in that city (“And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.” - Acts 18:11). Following his ministry at Corinth, Paul returned to Antioch “And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples” [Acts 18:23].
In the meantime, as Paul is traveling “over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia”:
Acts 18:24 ¶ And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

The baptism of John” was a “baptism of repentance” (concerning only the people of Israel, i.e. the Jews), which was devised by God to draw his people (i.e. Jews) back to Him and prepare them to “believe on him which should come after him (i.e. John the Baptist), that is, on Christ Jesus” [Acts 19:4].  

Apollos had been “instructed in the way of the Lord” . . . . . . . “knowing only the baptism of John” (the purpose of John the Baptist’s “baptism” being that the Lord Jesus Christ “should be made manifest to Israel” - John 1:31), but he (Apollos) was behind the times. What Apollos was not aware of was that Christ had already come to His people (i.e. the Jews) and that they had rejected Him [John 1:11], and had Him crucified, and “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures”, and “that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” [1 Corinthians 15:1-3].

Apollos did not know “the gospel of the grace of God” [Acts 20:24], i.e. the Apostle Paul’s “Gospel”. However, after Aquila and Priscilla heard him speaking in the synagogue, they took him aside and “expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly” [Acts 18:26]. To Apollos’ credit, he accepted the up to date instruction from a couple of simple tent sewers and adjusted his doctrine accordingly; after which he proceeded to the city of Corinth (in the Province of Achaia) where he “mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ” [Acts 18:27-28].     
Acts 18:27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:
28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

In the meantime, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, during the course of his travels, bumped into a group of disciples who knew only “the baptism of John”.
Acts 19:1 ¶ And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
7 And all the men were about twelve.

In the case of Acts 19:6-7 the twelve men (all Jews) who only knew “John's baptism” spoke in “tongues” (spoken languages) which they did not know or understand but which the Apostle Paul (a Jewish apostle) did know. This event served as a “sign” primarily to Paul (the hearer) and secondarily to the 12 men (the speakers).

Notice the similarity between the events in Acts 2:1-11; Acts 10:44-48; and Acts 19:1-7. In all three occurrences the Holy Ghost comes upon the people: in Acts 2:3 the Holy Ghost “sat upon each of them”; in Acts 10:44-48 the Holy Ghost “fell on all them which heard the word”; and in Acts 19:6 it is said that the Holy Ghost “came on them”; and in all three events, all of the people that the Holy Ghost came on spoke intongues” (i.e. languages which the speaker did not know but which the hearer knew and understood).  

First Corinthians is the only Book in all of the Apostle Paul’s Epistles where Paul actually writes abouttonguesas spoken languages (the only other place Paul mentions “tongues” is in Romans 3:13; Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:11; & 1 Timothy 3:8; however, all four of those verses are in reference to a member of the body and not in reference to languages). The following is a list of all the verses in the Book of First Corinthians with the word “tongues” in them which precede Chapter Fourteen. However, since Paul writes about “tongues” (as languages) in First Corinthians Chapters 12 and 13, I highly recommend reading both of the Chapters prior to, and in conjunction with, First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen for a better contextual understanding of the subject .
1 Corinthians 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

1 Corinthians 13:1 ¶ Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13:8 ¶ Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues
{i.e. languages}, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Before beginning a verse by verse exposition of the Fourteenth Chapter of the Book of First Corinthians, a short review of the first five verses in Chapter Fourteen [1 Corinthians 14:1-5] will help to clarify the relationship between the phrase “an unknown tongue” and the word “tongues” as they are found within the Fourteenth Chapter of the Book of First Corinthians.     
1 Corinthians 14:1 ¶ Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
2 For 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.
3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
5 I 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.

There is an indisputable correlation between the unique phrase “an unknown tongue” (singular) in 1 Corinthians 14:2 & 4 and the word “tongues” (plural) in 1 Corinthians 14:5; which unequivocally indicates that the “tongues” (plural) cited in 1 Corinthians 14:5 are undoubtedly the plural of “an unknown tongue” (singular) found in 1 Corinthians 14:2 & 4. Within the context of the five verses, the “tongues” (plural) cited in 1 Corinthians 14:5 are clearly in reference to “an unknown tongue” (singular) in 1 Corinthians 14:2 & 4, and are simply more of the same thing.

Since the above observation is true, the sincere student of Scripture must be extremely careful and circumspect in “rightly dividing the word of truth” [2 Timothy 2:15] wherever the word “tongues” appears in First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen since the word has more than one meaning (i.e. a  “tongue” = a member of the body [1Corinthians 14:9]; “tongues” that are understood by both the speakers and the hearers; “tongues” which are meant to be “a sign” to unbelieving Jews; and “tongues” which are “unknown” to the hearers). Conclusion: the meaning of the word “tongues” in First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen must be determined by the context in which the word is found.

In the Fourteenth Chapter of the Book of First Corinthians, a “tongue” that is known to the speaker but which is not understood by a hearer is said to be “unknown” [1Corinthians 14:2, 4, 13, 14, 19, 27]. Although the speaker understands what he is saying, the hearer does not know “the meaning of the voice” [1 Corinthians 14:11], i.e. he doesn’t understand what is being said, and as a result the hearer is not edified and there is no profit in the event - which is contrary to God’s main purpose in the speaking of God’s words (i.e. edification), for “God is not the author of confusion” [1Corinthians 14:33].
1 Corinthians 14:1 ¶ Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
2 For 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.

First Corinthians Fourteen Verse Two does not say that the speaker is speaking in some unknown ‘heavenly language’ that the speaker does not know or understand. If in all of the other places in the Holy Bible (wherever the word “tongue” is used to describe a spoken language) the word “tongue” is used to describe a spoken language which is known and understood by a particular people, why would the use of the word “tongue” in First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen be any different just because the word “unknown” precedes it? What has to be determined is: to WHOM is the “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) “UNKNOWN”?

As I said previously, I can only think of three possible interpretations for “an unknown tongue”:
1.an unknown tongue” is a “tongue” that is not known to both the speaker and the hearer (which is unprofitable and serves no useful purpose at all - since no edification takes place).

2.an unknown tongue” is a “tongue” that is not known to the speaker, but which is known and understood by the hearer (which serves as a miraculous “sign” primarily to the hearer).

3.an unknown tongue” is a “tongue” that is known and understood by the speaker, but which is not known or understood by the hearer, thus it is “unknown”.

We now come to the crux of the matter: What did Paul mean when he said: “howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries” in Verse Two of Chapter Fourteen in the Book of First Corinthians?  
1 Corinthians 14:1 ¶ Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
2 For 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.

It is manifest that there can only be two (2) interpretations of the phrase “in the spirit” in Verse Two of First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen:

1.he that speaketh in an unknown tongue” . . . . . “speaketh mysteries”: “in the spirit”, i.e. in the Holy Spirit.

2. Or “he that speaketh in an unknown tongue” . . . . . “speaketh mysteries”: “in the spirit”, i.e. in his own “spirit”.

The interpretation of Verse Two of First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen will often determine how a person interprets the rest of the Chapter.

1. IF a person interprets the phrase “in the spirit” to mean ‘in the Holy Spirit’ they will claim that the speaker is under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit and the words that he speaks are coming directly from the Holy Spirit (whether anyone understands them or not). But IF the edification of the church is paramount to God, how is it that the Holy Spirit is introducing confusion in the church by uttering words that no one in the church (including the speaker) understands? Remember: “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” [1 Corinthians 14:33].

2. However, IF a person interprets the phrase “in the spirit” to mean in “the spirit of man which is in him” [1 Corinthians 2:11], i.e. in his own spirit, then the speaker knows and understands the words which he speaks, even though the words are “mysteries” to the hearers and “no man understandeth him”. Or to put it another way: A person who, in his own spirit, speaks in a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) which he knows and understands, but which “no man understandeth”, is speaking in a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) which is “unknown” to the hearer.

At this point a search of the phrases “in the spirit” and “in the Spirit” in the Holy Bible is necessary in order to try to determine what is meant by the phrase “in the spirit” in Verse Two of Chapter Fourteen of First Corinthians. Remember, a thorough search of the Scriptures is the best way to determine the meaning (or definition) of the words found within the Bible, since the Holy Bible (in and of itself) is its own best dictionary for determining the meaning (or definition) of the words found within its pages.  

The phrases “in the spirit” or “in the Spirit” in Scripture

OLD TESTAMENT - “in the spirit” (2 Times in 2 Verses)

in the spirit” = man’s own “spirit
Proverbs 15:4; Micah 2:11

OLD TESTAMENT - “in the spirit” (1 Time in 1 Verse)

in the spirit” = The Holy Spirit or man’s own “spirit
Ezekiel 37:1
Ezekiel 37:1 ¶ The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,

I highlighted Ezekiel 37:1 because the phrase “in the spirit” in the verse is open to interpretation,  although at first glance it would appear that the word “spirit” (with a small “s”) in Ezekiel 37:1 may be in reference to the Holy Spirit.

Ezekiel 37:1 has only two possible interpretations:

1. The “spirit” depicted “in the spirit” (i.e. small “s”) equals the Holy Spirit of God.

2. Or the “spirit” depicted “in the spirit” (i.e. small “s”) equals the spirit of man.

In the Holy Bible the spirit of man is separate and distinct from the body, soul, heart, mind, and conscience. The spirit (pertaining only to mankind) is that substance (given by God) within every living man, woman, and child wherein our very life resides. Since Almighty God is the Author of all life, the spirit in man is life itself and, unlike our body, can not die.
Job 33:4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

Ecclesiastes 8:8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

The spirit of man (regardless of whether a person is saved or lost) is unique from all the rest of man’s substance and faculties, in that when the body dies the “spirit” returns to God “who gave it”.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. [See also: Ecclesiastes 3:21; James 2:26]


NEW TESTAMENT - “in the spirit” (12 Times in 12 Verses)

in the spirit”  (i.e. “spirit” with a small “s”)  = man’s own “spirit
Luke 1:17; John 11:33; Acts 18:5, 25; 19:21; 20:22; Romans 2:29; 1 Corinthians 4:21; Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 4:23; Philippians 3:3; 1 Peter 4:6

NEW TESTAMENT - “in the spirit” (4 Times in 4 Verses)

in the spirit”  (i.e. “spirit” with a small “s”)  = man’s own “spiritor possibly the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 14:2; Revelation 4:2; Revelation 17:3; Revelation 21:10
1 Corinthians 14:2 For 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.

Revelation 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

Revelation 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

Revelation 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,


NEW TESTAMENT - “in the Spirit”  (10 Times in 9 Verses)

in the Spirit” (i.e. “Spirit” with a Capital “S”) = The Holy Spirit of God
Romans 8:9; Galatians 3:3; 5:16, 25; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 1:8; 2:5; 1Timothy 3:16; Revelation 1:10

In addition to Ezekiel 37:1 in the Old Testament, there are Four Additional Verses (which I highlighted in Blue – 1 Corinthians 14:2; Revelation 4:2; 17:3; 21:10) in the New Testament where the phrase “in the spirit” may be open to interpretation. However, since approximately 83% (i.e. the overwhelming majority) of verses in both the Old Testament and the New Testament where the phrase “in the spirit” (with a small “s”) appears clearly renders the word “spirit” (with a small “s”) as man’s own “spirit”, we can safely say that the phrase “in the spirit” (with a small “s”) is plainly not limited to the Holy Spirit in the Holy Bible, especially in light of the fact that the word “Spirit” is capitalized Ten Times in the Nine verses where the phrase “in the Spirit” appears in the New Testament, where the Holy Spirit is clearly distinguished from “the spirit of man which is in him”.

Regardless of what someone thinks, or how they may feel, about the interpretation of the phrase “in the spirit” in 1 Corinthians 14:2, the facts are that all of the verses in the New Testament with the phrase “in the spirit” (with a small “s”) preceding 1 Corinthians 14:2, and all of the verses following 1 Corinthians 14:2, up to Revelation 4:2, clearly render the phrase “in the spirit” (with a small “s”) as referring to man’s own “spirit”, and not the Holy Spirit. Add to that the fact that all of the other verses in First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen where the word “spirit” shows up render the word “spirit” as “the spirit of man which is in him” [1 Corinthians 2:11]. Considering the context of all of those verses it is highly unlikely that 1 Corinthians 14:2 is in reference to the Holy Spirit of God.    

Conclusion: It is perfectly clear from the testimony of Scripture that the phrase “in the spirit” (with a small “s”) in the Holy Bible is not limited to the Holy Spirit; and that, within the context of the text of Chapter Fourteen of First Corinthians [1 Corinthians 14:1-40], the phrase “in the spirit” (with a small “s”) in 1 Corinthians 14:2 is far more likely to be in reference to “the spirit of man which is in him” than it is in reference to the “Holy Spirit” of God.  
1 Corinthians 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
1 Corinthians 14:4 states that “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself”. IF, as the scripture states, the speaker of “an unknown tongue” genuinely “EDIFIETH HIMSELF”, the question arises: HOW can someone be edified if they do not understand that which is spoken? According to 1 Corinthians 14:15-17: if a person does not understand what is said he “is not edified”; and yet 1 Corinthians 14:4 unequivocally states that “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue EDIFIETH HIMSELF”. Since the scriptures are absolutely clear concerning this issue, the scriptural principal concerning the subject of edification is as follows:

1. In order for genuine edification to take place it is imperative that a person understands that which is spoken.

2. Edification can not take place if a person does not understand that which is spoken.

The reasonable conclusion is that since the person who spoke in “an unknown tongue” was edified, he must have known and understood what he was saying.
1 Corinthians 14:5 I 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

Notice that the Apostle Paul said “I would that ye all spake with tongues” (i.e. spoken languages), and not “I would that ye all spake with unknown tongues”. WHY is that? Because the more “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) that a Christian can speak the more people can be reached with the Gospel (in their own language) and the more believers can be edified (in their own language); hence the emphasis “that the church may receive edifying”. Paul spoke with more “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) than all of the Corinthian believers [1Corinthians 14:18]. It was essential that he know various “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) since he needed to communicate with so many different people in the many places he visited in the course of his missionary journeys.

Paul stated: “greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret”.

Question: What kind of “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) is the Apostle Paul referring to in Verse Five? He can not be talking about “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) that are understood by both the speakers and the hearers because there would be no need of interpretation. And he can not be talking about “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) that are not known to the speakers but are known to the hearers (i.e. “signs” as in Acts 2:1-11; Acts 10:44-48; and Acts 19:1-7) because, even though the speaker does not know the “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) which are being spoken, the hearers know and understand what is being said; so again, there is no need of interpretation. The only reasonable conclusion a sincere Bible believer can reach is that the “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) the Apostle Paul is referring to in Verse Five of First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen must be “unknown”, and that they are only “unknown” to the hearer because Paul indicates that “he that speaketh with tongues” should “interpret” the words which he spoke (i.e. “except he interpret” – “he” obviously being the speaker), which means that he (the speaker) must have known and understood the “tongues” (i.e. the spoken languages) he was speaking in or else how could he “interpret” them???
1 Corinthians 14:6 ¶ Now, 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?

So what kind of “tongues” was the apostle referring to in the first part of verse six? Paul was concerned that if he came “speaking with tongues” that were not known to the hearers that there would be no “profit”; except if he came speaking in “tongues (i.e. spoken languages) which were known and understood by the hearers so that they might receive some “revelation”, “knowledge”, “prophesying”, or “doctrine” and be edified, rather than be confused by “an unknown tongue” which they did not know or understand.
1 Corinthians 14:7 And 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?
8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
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.

Paul is concerned that the brethren in the church at Corinth speakwords easy to be understood”, because “how shall it be known what is spoken?” if a speaker speaks in a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) that is “unknown” to the hearers? A reading of 1 Corinthians 14:10-14 will substantiate what I have said.
1 Corinthians 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
Paul states: “There are . . . . . so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification”. “VOICES”? – What is Paul referring to? When Paul said “if I know not the meaning of the voice” he is obviously talking about a ‘language’ that is spoken by a speaker, but which is not understood by a hearer. Verse Eleven defines what the “so many kinds of voices” is referring to, i.e. ‘languages’ which are spoken (a person speaks with his “voice” and a hearer hears the “voice”).

1 Corinthians 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.


The Apostle Paul makes it absolutely clear that when someone desires to speak in the church “the edifying of the church” is paramount. And once again he emphasizes the importance of a speaker who “speaketh in an unknown tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) “interpret” what he has said so that the church (i.e. the brethren) may be edified (Paul writes about the importance of the church receiving “edification” five times in Chapter Fourteen - 1 Corinthians 14:3, 5, 12, 17, & 26).

1 Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
15 ¶ What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.


In regards to the definition of “the spirit” in Verses 14-16 of First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen: the context of the verses is obviously talking about an individual’s “spirit” (in this case the Apostle Paul’s spirit - i.e. “my spirit” - 1 Corinthians 14:14), and not the Holy Spirit. A person’s SUBSTANCE consists of a body, a soul, and a spirit (a person’s FACULTIES consist of a heart, a mind, and a conscience), and when a person prays, or sings, or blesses, he not only does these things with his (or her) heart, mind, body, and soul, they also do those things “with the spirit”; whether they are consciously aware of it or not.

At this point someone might be asking why bother spending time defining words like “tongue”, or “tongues”, or “edification”, or “spirit”? I know of no other way to determine the meaning of the words found within the pages of the Holy Bible than to search all of the verses where the words are found and then read (in context); compare; and meditate on them to ascertain their meaning.

1 Corinthians 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
19 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 an unknown tongue.
20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.


The Apostle Paul contrasts the importance of speaking “in the church” in a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) that is known and understood by the hearers as compared to speaking “in the church” in “an unknown tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) which is not known or understood by the hearers by stating: “I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue”! WHY is that? Because speaking in “an unknown tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) which is not known or understood by the hearers does not edify the church (i.e. the brethren) and as such there is no profit to be had. Think about the contrast: “five words” to “ten thousand words”. WHY would any sincere Bible believer seek to speak (“in the church”) in “an unknown tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) which is not known or understood by the hearers with those odds - i.e. 2,000 to 1???

1 Corinthians 14:21 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.
22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

In the Old Testament God promised that He would “speak unto this people” - “With men of other tongues” [Isaiah 28:11-12]. Just WHO was the Lord referring to when He said “this people”? Was He referring to just anybody, or was He referring to just “His people”, i.e. Hebrews/Israelites/Jews [1Samuel 12:22; Deuteronomy 7:6-9; 14:1-2]? Context always determines meaning; and within the context of 1 Corinthians 14:21 the mention of “this people” is clearly a reference to God’s people, i.e. the Jews. And since the Scriptures state that “tongues are for a sign” [1 Corinthians 14:22] and that “the Jews require a sign” [1 Corinthians 1:22], it is manifest that the primary purpose of the “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages that were not known to the speakers but which were known and understood by the hearers - as in Acts 2:1-11; Acts 10:44-48; and Acts 19:1-7 – and which qualified as genuine “signs” from God), was to convince the Jews during the apostles time that the speaker was from God and that the words which he spoke were true.

Now that we know WHAT kind of “tongues” served as “signs” from God; and specifically WHO those “tongues” were intended for (i.e. Hebrews/Israelites/Jews), we can proceed to finish our review of the verses in Chapter Fourteen of First Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

WHAT kind of “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) is the Apostle Paul referring to in Verse 23? They can’t be the kind of “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) where both the speakers and the hearers know and understand what is being said (as I previously described in No. 1 above).
No. 1: A “tongue” (a spoken language) that is known to both the speaker and the hearers, and which both can understand (This how people normally communicate between each other - there is nothing unique or out of the ordinary in the discourse).
And they can’t be the kind of “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) which I previously described in No. 2 above, because if they were, they would have truly been “a sign” from God and the hearers would have been “amazed” (as they were in Acts 2:7), or they would have been “astonished” (as they were in Acts 10:45), rather than think that all of the speakers were “mad”!  
No. 2: A “tongue” (a spoken language) that is not known to the speaker but which is known and understood by the hearers (Such an occurrence serves as “a sign” - primarily to the hearer and secondarily to the speaker. See Acts 2:3-4, 11; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:6).

IF the “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) of 1 Corinthians 14:23 were truly “signs” from God, at least some of the ‘unbelievers’ (especially unbelieving Jews) would surely have believed. And yet Paul said that IF “all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?” The “unlearned” would be believers who may have been ignorant of some portion of God’s word, and as such needed to hear it taught in a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) which they knew and understood in order to receive edification. The “unbelievers” would be both Jews and Gentiles who had not believed the Gospel of the grace of God, and as such needed to hear it in a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) which they knew and understood, since “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” [Romans 10:17].

IF the “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) of 1 Corinthians 14:23 are neither the kind of “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) which I described in Nos. 1 & 2 above , then they must be the kind of “tongues” which are described in No. 3 above. And as such should not have been spoken unless they were interpreted so the hearers could be edified.    
No. 3:an unknown tongue” (a spoken language) that is known to a speaker but which the hearers do not know and can not understand (which serves no useful purpose, i.e. no edification or profit takes place, and which only leads to confusion, disorder, and chaos – unless it is interpreted).  

Since the Apostle Paul is referring to the third kind of “tongue” (a spoken language as described in No. 3 above) in 1 Corinthians 14:23, the interpretation of the verse becomes clear. For example: If the speakers in the church were speaking in “tongues” (spoken languages) which they knew and understood (such as Hebrew or Aramaic) and “there come in” (the church) “those that are unlearned, or unbelievers” who do not know or understand those “tongues(i.e. spoken languages)will they not say that ye are mad”? Of course they would! So what was Paul’s solution?
1 Corinthians 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

1 Corinthians 14:5 I 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.
QUESTION: How could the speaker be expected to “interpret” an “unknown tongue” unless he knew and understood it? It is quite obvious that although the hearers did not know or understand the “unknown tongue” the speaker did! Also, just in case someone tries to separate “an unknown tongue” (singular) in Verse Thirteen from the “tongues” (plural) mentioned in Verse Five, Paul said that both (“he that speaketh with tongues” and “him that speaketh in an unknown tongue”) be required to “interpret”, and “if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church” [1 Corinthians 14:28]. WHY would both of the speakers be required to “interpret” unless they both were speaking in “tongues” (spoken languages) or “an unknown tongue” which were not known or understood by the hearers?

Thus the definition of “an unknown tongue” is a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) that is known to a speaker but is “unknown” to the hearers and not some so-called ‘heavenly language’ that neither the speaker nor the hearer knows or understands!’
[B]1 Corinthians 14:24 [/B]But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not,  or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
[B]25[/B] And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
[B] [/B]
Notice Paul’s continued emphasis on how much more valuable and profitable “prophesy” is in contrast to “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages - See: 1 Corinthians 14:18-19). The contrast between “prophesy” and “tongues” must have to do with the fact that the one, i.e. “prophesy”, is spoken in a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) that is known and understood by both the speaker and the hearers, while the other, i.e. “tongues”, are spoken in languages that are known and understood by the speaker, but are not known or understood by the hearers (i.e. they are “unknown”).  

Paul mentions both unbelievers and the unlearned in both 1 Corinthians 14:23 and 1 Corinthians 14:24 in order to demonstrate the contrasting reactions that they both had to hearing “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) and hearing “prophesy”. WHY would they both have had such a negative reaction to the “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) if they knew and understood them? WHY would they think that “the whole church” was “MAD” if they knew and understood what was being said? On the other hand 1 Corinthians 14:24 clearly discloses that upon the hearing of “prophesy”, the hearer (i.e. “one that believeth not, or one unlearned”) is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth” [1 Corinthians 14:24-25]. WHY was there such a remarkable difference in their reaction to hearing “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) as against hearing “prophesy” if they both were spoken in a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) they knew and understood?

The only reasonable explanation for the vastly different reactions which both the unbelievers and the unlearned had upon hearing “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) and upon hearing “prophesy” is that, while they both knew and understood the “tongues” (i.e. the spoken languages) in which the “prophesy” was spoken in 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 (and so some of them were “convinced of all”), they did not know or understood the “tongues” (i.e. the spoken languages) which were spoken in 1 Corinthians 14:23 (therefore the speaker would be considered “a barbarian” to the hearer, and/or the hearer would think the speaker “mad” - 1 Corinthians 14:11 & 1 Corinthians 14:23).

Review 1 Corinthians 14:1-5 to clarify why speaking “prophesy” (“edification, and exhortation, and comfort” – 1 Corinthians 14:3) is to be preferred over speaking in “tongues” (i.e. “an unknown tongue”).  
1 Corinthians 14:26 ¶ How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

The verses in listed 1 Corinthians 14:26-33 reveal that the services in the early churches of God were conducted in quite a different manner than modern-day Fundamentalist and Evangelical church services are conducted today (where one man, i.e. the pastor, controls the agenda and the order of events and the majority of the congregation is passive, unengaged, inactive, and barely participates in the church service).
1 Corinthians 14:26 ¶ How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

In 1 Corinthians 14:26 the Apostle Paul not only reaffirms the importance of “edifying” the church, he sets forth a scriptural universal principal concerning all of the activities that may take place in the church (i.e. the congregation): “Let all things be done unto edifying”. This simply means that “ALL THINGS” that are “DONE” in the church of God are to be “EDIFYING”; and conversely, NOTHING SHOULD BE DONE THAT IS NOT EDIFYING!
1 Corinthians 14:34 ¶ Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

There are only two possible interpretations for the verses in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35:

1. Women are to “keep silence in the churches” concerning all matters and issues “for it is not permitted unto them to speak”.

2. Or, Women are to “keep silence in the churches” concerning speaking in “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) “for it is not permitted unto them to speak” in “tongues” in the churches.

Since the entire context of First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen is dealing with the scriptural subject of “tongues” (especially speaking in “tongues”), I believe the second interpretation is the correct interpretation. However, based on the verses in 1 Timothy 2:11-12, I do not believe that women should be allowed to teach (even children) in the churches of God because of Paul’s explicit  teaching on the issue and his repeated emphasis on women keeping “silence in the churches”, or for a woman “to be in silence”.
1 Timothy 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

As a Bible believer, I cannot accept the modern day secular feminist teachings on this issue. The Apostle Paul (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) wrote 13 of 27 Books in the New Testament. And those Books are meant to guide the churches of God (and individual Christians) in all matters of faith and practice. If Christians choose to ignore Paul’s teaching on this matter it will only be a matter of time before they will choose to ignore other parts of Paul’s teachings on other matters. Remember: “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” [Galatians 5:9].

As far as women speaking in “tongues” in the churches of God is concerned, as a young Christian (unlearned and ignorant of sound doctrine), I attended an Assembly of God church with my young wife for approximately three years (1962-1965?). At the time I had no idea about the “tongues” which were spoken in the church; as to whether they were genuine, or as to whether they were something I needed to acquire as a Christian. However, even though I was ignorant of the issue, I couldn’t see where there was any practical value or benefit to the practice, and since I am cautious by nature, I never did speak in “tongues” (and neither did my wife) the entire time that I attended that church. But there are two conspicuous observations that I came away with after having attended the church for as long as we did.

1. 80% - 90% percent of the people speaking in “tongues” were women.

2. And there was NO INTERPRETATION of the “tongues” 99% of the time!

During the time that we attended that church they would often hold joint services with other Assemblies of God churches (and other Pentecostal churches outside of the Assemblies of God Denomination). As far as the speaking in “tongues” that took place in those services is concerned, the same exact things took place in all the other Pentecostal churches as they did in the church we attended (i.e. 80% - 90% percent of the people speaking in “tongues” were women, and there was NO INTERPRETATION of the “tongues” 99% of the time). My wife and I left that church soon after the “pastor” placed the Holy Bible on the floor of the church building and declared: ‘I’M STANDING ON THE PROMISES OF GOD’! I shall never forget that perverse exhibition as long as I shall live!

A side note: Near the end of our stay in that church, I started to search the Holy Bible concerning the issue of “tongues” in Scripture and I noticed the verse in 1 Corinthians 14:34 (i.e. “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak”) and brought the verse up with the “pastor” and some people in the congregation, and I was told:
Back in Paul’s day the men would sit on one side of the building and the women would sit on the other side, and during the course of the service some of the women would shout across the building and ask their husbands about what the preacher was teaching; and that was why Paul said that the women should “keep silence in the churches”. But the verse no longer applies today since women no longer do what they did back then.
Of course this lame explanation was complete nonsense since there is no scriptural support for it; especially in light of the fact that the early churches of God which Paul established met in houses (not large buildings) and there is no way that the women of that time would have been so rude and unruly as to disrupt a man when he was preaching or teaching the word of God (some ‘liberated’ Western “Christian” women might do it today, but no courteous and respectful Christian woman would have done it back in Paul’s time).  
1 Corinthians 14:36 ¶ What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
40 Let all things be done decently and in order.


There are some very important scriptural precepts (or principles) contained in the last Five Verses of First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen.

1. By asking a couple of questions [i.e. “What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?” - 1 Corinthians 14:36], the Apostle Paul declared his authenticity as a genuine Apostle from Almighty God; who, under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had the legitimate authority to write Scripture (i.e. nearly half the Books in the New Testament), as opposed to any of the members of the church at Corinth, none of whom had such authority, and as such, had no legitimate authorization from God to question, hinder, impede, or oppose what Paul had written. The same holds true for all Christians today. See comments on Verse Thirty Seven.

2. Christians are to acknowledge that the Apostle Paul’s writings are from God and that the things that he wrote are “the commandments of the Lord”, not some suggestions we can choose to ignore whenever it suits our fancy [1 Corinthians 14:36-37].

3. If any man (or woman) thinks differently from what Paul taught, he is ignorant; and, if after trying to reason with such a man (or woman), we are unable to persuade them concerning the truth of God’s Holy word, we are to “let him be ignorant” [1 Corinthians 14:38]. It is an exercise in futility to continually try to reason with an ignorant man (or woman) and there is no profit to be gained from such an effort.

4. As Bible believing Christians we are to: “covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues” [1 Corinthians 14:39]. See the comments on Verse Forty.

5. As Bible believing Christians we are to make sure that: “all things” are done “decently and in order” in the church of God [1 Corinthians 14:40]. Which, in the context of First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen, means we are to follow all of Paul’s teachings concerning the importance of “prophesy”; and obey his all directives preferring “prophesy” over “tongues” (because of edification); and we are to faithfully observe all of Paul’s commandments concerning the conduct of all men who undertake to speak in “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) in the churches of God.


The following are some of the things which I have observed from the study of this subject.

• The words EDIFICATION, EDIFY, EDIFIED, & EDIFYING are found 17 times in 17 verses in the Holy Bible. With the exception of Acts 9:31, the words are found only within the Apostle Paul’s Epistles.

• Whenever God endeavors to inform or convince hearers concerning a particular issue or matter, His main purpose and ultimate goal is the edification of the hearers so that profit can take place. It is extremely important to keep this scriptural principal in mind whenever the word of God is preached or taught.

• Whenever anyone speaks in a “tongue” (a spoken language) concerning God’s Holy word, they must always remember that the primary purpose of the preaching and teaching of the Holy words of God is the edification of the hearers - not the exaltation or glorification of the speaker.

• In order for genuine edification to take place it is imperative that a person understands the words which are spoken. And conversely, edification can not take place if a person does not understand the words which are spoken.

• The Apostle Paul makes it absolutely clear that when someone desires to speak in the church “the edifying of the church” is paramount [1 Corinthians 14:12, 26; Ephesians 4:11-12].

• “ALL THINGS” that are “DONE” in the church of God are to be “EDIFYING” [1 Corinthians 14:26]; and conversely, NOTHING SHOULD BE DONE THAT IS NOT EDIFYING!

• The words “tongue” or “tongues” in the Holy Bible are either in reference to a member of the body [James 3:5-6], or the words are in reference to spoken languages [Acts 2:6-8].

• The interpretation of the phrase “in the spirit” in Verse Two of First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen will often determine how a person interprets the rest of the Chapter.

• First Corinthians is the only Book in all of the Apostle Paul’s Epistles where Paul actually writes about “tongues” as spoken languages.

• The word “tongues” in First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen has more than one meaning.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
    1.  A “tongue” which equals a member of the body [1Corinthians 14:9]
    2.tongues” that are understood by both the speakers and the hearers [1Corinthians 14:5]
    3.tongues” which are known and understood by the speaker [1Corinthians 14:18]
    4.tongues” which are meant to be “a sign” to unbelieving Jews [1Corinthians 14:21-22]
    5.tongues” which are “unknown” to the hearers [all remaining verses with “tongues”]

•  Conclusion: The meaning of the words “tongue” or “tongues” in First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen must be determined by the context in which the words are found.

• There is an indisputable correlation between the unique phrase “an unknown tongue” (singular) in 1 Corinthians 14:2 & 4 and the word “tongues” (plural) in 1 Corinthians 14:5; which unequivocally indicates that the “tongues” (plural) cited in 1 Corinthians 14:5 are undoubtedly the plural of “an unknown tongue” (singular) found in 1 Corinthians 14:2 & 4. Within the context of the five verses, the “tongues” (plural) cited in 1 Corinthians 14:5 are clearly in reference to “an unknown tongue” (singular) in 1 Corinthians 14:2 & 4, and are simply more of the same thing.

• A “tongue” (a spoken language) that is not known to the speaker but which is known and understood by the hearers serves as “a sign” - primarily to the hearer and secondarily to the speaker. The primary object of a spoken “sign” is to convince the hearer that the speaker is from God and that the words which he speaks are true. The primary object of the words which are spoken is the edification of the hearers.

From the testimony of Scripture and the evidence I have presented concerning the subject of “tongues”, I have reached the following conclusion in regards to the meaning of the scriptural phrase “an unknown tongue” in the Holy Bible:

• “an unknown tongue” is a “tongue” that is known and understood by the speaker, but which is not known or understood by the hearer. A “tongue” that is known to the speaker but which is not understood by a hearer is said to be “unknown” [1Corinthians 14:2, 4, 13, 14, 19, 27]. Although the speaker understands what he is saying, the hearer does not know “the meaning of the voice” [1Corinthians 14:11], i.e. he doesn’t understand what is being said, and as a result the hearer is not edified and there is no profit in the event - which is contrary to God’s main purpose in the speaking of God’s words (i.e. edification), for “God is not the author of confusion” [1Corinthians 14:33].

Since I do not have dominion over my Christian brethren [2 Corinthians 1:24], they are at liberty to disagree with my conclusions [2 Corinthians 3:17] regarding the subject of “tongues” in the Holy Bible. However, I would caution the brethren in their use of “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) in the church of God because of all of the confusion and false teaching that has taken place in so many so-called “Christian” churches over the miss-use and abuse of the ‘practice’ of speaking in so-called “tongues” in those churches, which are in reality just incomprehensible gibberish and/or indecipherable babble and not a genuine spoken language which the words “tongue” or “tongues” in the Holy Bible are meant to convey.    

Psalms 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
George Anderson    http://www.thywordistruthkjv.com/

. . . . . yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written . . . . . Romans 3:4
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Re: TONGUE, TONGUES, & AN UNKNOWN TONGUE

Postby PeanutGallery » Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:52 pm

Thanks; I'll save a copy and go through it.
1Peter 1:18,19 Redeemed with the precious blood of Christ
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Re: TONGUE, TONGUES, & AN UNKNOWN TONGUE

Postby Chette » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:53 pm

Great work on "the Unknown tongue", George.

I would like to add to this the one use of unknown tongues that points to "mysteries".  To God there are no mysteries that any man could communicate to him.

I will start by saying, if a man were at that point in History in Corinth and was to speak in the Peruvian tongue, it would have been an unknown tongue to all present, and of no benefit to the church which was limited to the Mediterranean Asia and the Middle East.   However the one speaking, according to 1 Cor 14:2, speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he is speaketh mysteries, the one speaking is speaking mysteries in the spirit.  I do not think that todays unknown tongues movement is doing that.  But that is my opinion.

"Mysteries" is mentioned five times in scriptures and all of them are in the New Testament.  and the first use is about the use of parables, and why Jesus explained or interpreted the parable for the disciples.  Mt 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Some people did not understand even their own tongue because their hearts did not understand.

To be fair I also looked up mystery which is found 22 times and only in the new testament and its first use also is about understanding the parables or the explanation/interpretation of it.

the use of mysteries has nothing to do with a parable only with an unknown tongue, while the term mystery differs from that.  All but five uses of the word mystery are found in Paul's writings.  His first use concerned Israel being set aside, the second was about the Gospel of Grace being kept secret until Paul was called (many of the uses of mystery refer to this Gospel), and his third use which is in 1 Corinthians, refers to not just the rulers of that day but even if the prince of the air had known would not have allowed Christ to be crucified  1Cor 2:7, 8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The fourth use is about not all Christians dying when the Lord comes for his body.

then there is the mystery of iniquity, the mystery of the faith, the mystery of godliness (a really great one at that seeing godliness is in Christ).

That last four uses are from the Book of Revelation and are self explanatory.

The benefit of an unknown tongue is only in the sign (if the hearer understands) all other uses without interpretation are useless to the body of Christ.  As I said earlier I do not believe that the modern tongue movement people are speaking unto God or man mysteries.  Even Paul expressed mysteries unto men but he did so in their language because the word of God was not completed at that time.  After the mysteries Paul revealed were spoken they were no longer mysteries but became doctrines for the church.

Again, it is great to see the Lord use George to expose the scripture and expound them.  Glory unto God in the highest for using George and may the Lord bless him with more years that we all me continue to learn the words of God.  Amen.
Psalm 49:3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart [shall be] of understanding.

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Re: TONGUE, TONGUES, & AN UNKNOWN TONGUE

Postby George » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:54 pm

Aloha Brother Chette,
It’s good to hear from you again. I hope that you and your family are in good health & doing well.

I appreciate your kind remarks concerning the study on “tongues”; however, after reviewing your reply, I have a few questions concerning your comments and a few comments of my own. To begin with, by now I think you know me well enough to know that whatever questions I ask, or whatever comments I may make, are not personal, and I have no underlying motives other than to try to determine “what is truth”.
  
Before I begin, I am real curious to know how you arrived at the conclusions you have reached concerning “an unknown tongue” in 1 Corinthians 14:2? Did you reach those conclusions after carefully studying the subject on your own, or were you taught them by men? I asked the question because your comments appear to be contrived (i.e. obviously planned or forced; artificial; or strained), and not something that you actually came up with on your own.  

Chette said:
I would like to add to this the one use of unknown tongues that points to "mysteries".  To God there are no mysteries that any man could communicate to him.

You are correct when you said: “To God there are no mysteries that any man could communicate to him”. However, the entire context of Chapter Fourteen of First Corinthians is about “speaking with tongues” in the church of God [1 Corinthians 14:6]; and we must always keep the context in mind whenever we attempt to rightly divide the word of truth.  

Whenever a man speaks in “an unknown tongue” in the church he is speaking "mysteries" because, while the words he is speaking may be true and edifying, “no man understandeth him” seeing he is speaking in a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) that is “unknown” to the hearers and only God understands him. Since all believers believe that God knows everything, the speaker is obviously not trying to instruct God concerning "mysteries", but since “no man understandeth him” he ends up speaking only to God “in the spirit” (i.e. “the spirit of man which is in him” - 1 Corinthians 2:11).

1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

Most of your observations concerning “mysteries” in the Holy Bible are valid, but I believe (in the case of 1 Corinthians 14:2) you have made far too much of the word "mysteries" and that the application you made to the verse in 1 Corinthians 14:2 is faulty because there is something else to consider. Whenever a man undertakes to teach or preach God’s Holy word in a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) that both the speaker and the hearers know and understand, much of what he says will be a “mystery” to the hearers unless God reveals the “mystery” to the hearers; and even more so if the hearers do not know or understand the “tongue” (i.e. spoken language) he is speaking in. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘I don’t understand what you are saying because it’s all Greek to me’ when someone hears something they don’t understand (even though it is said in a language they do know and understand and obviously not actually ‘in the Greek’ language)?

QUESTION: Can you define what kind of “tongue” is spoken in 1 Corinthians 14:2? It can not be a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) that served as “a sign”, such as in Acts 2:3-4, 11; Acts 10:46; and Acts 19:6, since all the hearers understood what was being said in those verses. So what kind of “tongue” was it? In addition, did the speaker understand the words which he spoke, when he spoke?

QUESTION: Was the “tongue” spoken in 1 Corinthians 14:2 a unique and completely different “tongue” (i.e. a spoken ‘heavenly language’) from all the rest of the “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) mentioned in First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen? And if so, where else in Scripture is there a reference to such a unique “tongue” (i.e. a spoken ‘heavenly language’)?

From my studies of the words “tongue” and “tongues” in the Holy Bible, I concluded that the word “tongues” in First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen has more than one meaning:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
1. A “tongue” which equals a member of the body [1 Corinthians 14:9].

2.
“tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) which are known and understood by both the speaker and the hearers [1 Corinthians 14:5 – the first part].

3.
“tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) which are known and understood by the speaker [1 Corinthians 14:18].

4. “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) which are not known or understood by the speaker but which are known and understood by the hearers, and which are meant to be “a sign” - especially to unbelieving Jews [1 Corinthians 14:21; 14:22].

5. “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) which are known and understood by the speaker but which are not known to the hearers - i.e. they are “unknown” [1 Corinthians 14:2; 14:4; 14:5(the second part); 14:6; 14:13; 14:19; 14:23; 14:26; 14:27; 14:39].

I find no scriptural support for the idea that the “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) which was spoken in 1 Corinthians 14:2 was some unique ‘heavenly language’; different from all the rest of the “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) mentioned in First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen.

Chette said:
However the one speaking, according to 1 Cor 14:2, speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he is speaketh mysteries, the one speaking is speaking mysteries in the spirit.  I do not think that today’s unknown tongues movement is doing that.  But that is my opinion.

QUESTION: Can you define the meaning of the phrase “in the spirit” in 1 Corinthians 14:2? Is the phrase in reference to the Holy Spirit or to the spirit of man which is in him? If the reference is to the Holy Spirit, how is it that the Spirit is leading a man to speak in “an unknown tongue” in the church of God which “no man understandeth”; where the speaker only “edifieth himself” and not the church; and where only God understands him? What is the point of a man standing up in the midst of the church of God and speaking only to God in a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) that “no man understandeth”? Wouldn’t it be far more edifying if he did so in his own closet rather than in the church? What about “Let all things be done unto edifying”? Is God the author of this confusion?  

Chette said:
“"Mysteries" is mentioned five times in scriptures and all of them are in the New Testament.  and the first use is about the use of parables, and why Jesus explained or interpreted the parable for the disciples.”  Mt 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Some people did not understand even their own tongue because their hearts did not understand.

To be fair I also looked up mystery which is found 22 times and only in the New Testament and its first use also is about understanding the parables or the explanation/interpretation of it.

The use of mysteries has nothing to do with a parable only with an unknown tongue, while the term mystery differs from that.  All but five uses of the word mystery are found in Paul's writings.  His first use concerned Israel being set aside, the second was about the Gospel of Grace being kept secret until Paul was called (many of the uses of mystery refer to this Gospel), and his third use which is in 1 Corinthians, refers to not just the rulers of that day but even if the prince of the air had known would not have allowed Christ to be crucified  1Cor 2:7, 8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The fourth use is about not all Christians dying when the Lord comes for his body.

Then there is the mystery of iniquity, the mystery of the faith, the mystery of godliness (a really great one at that seeing godliness is in Christ).

That last four uses are from the Book of Revelation and are self explanatory.


QUESTION: What has all of the above to do with 1 Corinthians 14:2? As I said before ‘I believe (in the case of 1 Corinthians 14:2) you have made far too much of the word "mysteries".’ The word “mysteries” shows up only once in First Corinthian Chapter Fourteen and then only in Verse Two; but there is no way that we can tell what kind of “mysteries” the Apostle Paul is writing about since he doesn’t expound on them. And if Paul mentions “mysteries” only once in 40 Verses in Chapter Fourteen of First Corinthians (a Chapter in which the entire context is dealing with “speaking with tongues” in the church of God - 1 Corinthians 14:6), we should focus on understanding the meaning of the phrase “an unknown tongue” and not get sidetracked with words (such as "mysteries") which we can not clearly define and which are open to interpretation.
  
In the Holy Bible the word “mysteries” is used to describe:

• “the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” [Matthew 13:11]

• “the mysteries of the kingdom of God” [Luke 8:10]

• “the mysteries of God” [1 Corinthians 4:1]

• “understand all mysteries” [1 Corinthians 13:2]

• “in the spirit he speaketh mysteries” [1 Corinthians 14:2]

In light of the foregoing verses (and the verses you supplied concerning the word "mystery"), there is no way that a sincere student of Scripture can tell exactly what kind of “mysteries” the Apostle Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 14:2, except to say they are “mysteries” (i.e. anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown) which are known unto God and unto the speaker, but which are “unknown” to the hearers.

Chette said:
The benefit of an unknown tongue is only in the sign (if the hearer understands) all other uses without interpretation are useless to the body of Christ.  As I said earlier I do not believe that the modern tongue movement people are speaking unto God or man mysteries.  Even Paul expressed mysteries unto men but he did so in their language because the word of God was not completed at that time.  After the mysteries Paul revealed were spoken they were no longer mysteries but became doctrines for the church.

I agree with your premise, but a reading of the six verses where the phrase “an unknown tongue” occurs never refers to “an unknown tongue” as a “SIGN”. Please review the verses and you will see that “an unknown tongue” is not known or understood by the hearers (not once), while “tongues” that serve as a “SIGN” are always known and understood by the hearers; hence the division or difference between the two expressions (Please see the differences in the meaning of the word “tongues” in First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen which I listed in 1 - 5 above). The sound scriptural way to express the “benefit of an unknown tongue” would be to write: “an unknown tongue is only beneficial to the church if it is interpreted; all other uses without interpretation are useless to the body of Christ.” Do you see the difference? The phrase “an unknown tongue” never refers to “a sign” in Scripture.      

Chette said:
Again, it is great to see the Lord use George to expose the scripture and expound them.  Glory unto God in the highest for using George and may the Lord bless him with more years that we all me continue to learn the words of God.  Amen.
Thanks again for your heartfelt compliments; I remain your friend and brother in Christ,

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THE MAIN PURPOSE IN TEACHING & PREACHING THE HOLY WORDS OF GOD = GLORIFYING GOD - EDIFICATION OF THE BRETHREN - THE SALVATION OF SOULS: Simplify - Don’t Mystify!

Psalms 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
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Re: TONGUE, TONGUES, & AN UNKNOWN TONGUE

Postby Chette » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:46 pm

my statements are from my own study

1Co 14:2 For 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.


the tongue of 1Cor14:2

1) Not a sign gift

2) Not of use to edify the body

3) It is done in a man's spirit not the Holy Spirit (never meant to imply it was the Holy Ghost).  That is why I left it without capitalism just as the KJV does.

4) the verse identifies the one speaking such speaketh not unto men, but unto God: then after the colon it is identifying that which is spoken as mysteries.  

But what use is it to speak to God in a mysterious language if you don't know what you are saying?

Would not one want to speak to God with understanding?    

Why did Paul decide to identify their unknown tongue as speaking unto God?

Was he trying to say, like many of us today, "God only knows"?

It would still be without understanding for the one speaking and the others around you, just like these that practice that today.  

Why Paul chose the term "Mysteries" (plural) instead of "a mystery"(singular) may be because many were doing it, but that is an opinion.

the preserved word has it written 1Co 14:2 For 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.  But we are to understand it as mysteries that only God knows.  and because it was done in a mans spirit I don't believe it was even speaking in a way God would understand except intention of heart.

Which leads us to wonder what is the purpose in an unknown tongue that is a mystery to men but only God understands?

I outlined the mysteries of Paul to show that they were revealed to men. Paul revealed mysteries to men to teach a doctrine, and it shows that a tongue being understood is far more important than any tongue that only God could understand.  It would seem the mysteries that are revealed in scripture are for men to know not for God.  The term mystery or mysteries could never apply to God for nothing is hidden from him.

That this one time use of Mysteries is not sufficient to justify men to continue to practice this heresy.  If men want to speak mysteries to men let it be in a tongue that is understood and can be applied just as Paul and Jesus did.
Last edited by Chette on Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: TONGUE, TONGUES, & AN UNKNOWN TONGUE

Postby Chette » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:30 pm

Something came to mind so I am not trying to be a sophist or anything but clearly trying to understand a mystery here.  forgive me if I have gone to far in questioning.  It is not done in a way that I do not believe the words of God found in His Book.

If men know the things of man for the spirit of man is in them 1Co 2:11a For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?  

Why is it the spirit of man, which was in them, did not understand the things of this speakers spirit when he spoke in an unknown tongue?

1Co 14:2 For 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.

Did, the Spirit of God in them, keep them from understanding the tongue spoken in the spirit of man?   1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

If God then knows the mysteries being spoken, why did not the Spirit of God in them, reveal to them what was being spoken?

Some today believe that people are confessing sin in the Spirit when they speak in an unknown tongue, and God is allowing it to be kept secret?   Others believe that they are praying personal prayers in the Spirit, and God is allowing it to be kept secret. (I do not believe that by the way).  These believe that the "spirit" in 14:2 is the Holy Ghost, but they err.

my son James speaks a word that we now understand to mean "no" or "I don't want or like".  But so far in my search it is not a known language.  The word is "dya"  pronounce die-ya.  At first it was a mystery but now we know what he is saying but it is not a known language.
Psalm 49:3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart [shall be] of understanding.

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Re: TONGUE, TONGUES, & AN UNKNOWN TONGUE

Postby George » Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:29 pm

Aloha Brother Chette,

I can see that we are not that far apart on this issue and I will reply to your two Posts as soon as I can. In the meantime I want you to know that I would never suspect that you were a “sophist”, or that you would ever conduct yourself in a sophistical manner.

Although we have never met “face to face”, after having read hundreds of your Posts for nearly seven years and having personally communicated with you concerning numerous scriptural issues over those years, I believe that I know you fairly well. I have never seen you acting in a cunning, devious, or deliberately misleading way (like some of the “brethren” we have dealt with on the Forums we have been on), and I would never suspect you of purposely engaging in a deceptive practice in order to gain an advantage on someone. I don’t believe that there is an insincere bone in your body, and as such, ‘what you see is what you get’. As a matter of fact, if someone were to ask me what I thought of you I would say: ‘Behold a modern day Christian indeed, in whom is no guile’ – which is an extremely rare thing in these corrupt, wicked, and evil days of wholesale compromise and apostasy.

Irene and I think about you and your family often; and we hope and pray that you will continue to be faithful to God and stand strong on His Holy word through all the trials and tribulations you are going through.

1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
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Re: TONGUE, TONGUES, & AN UNKNOWN TONGUE

Postby George » Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:36 pm

Aloha Brothers Chette & Peanutgallery,

The following Post is a followup to my previous posts and hopefully it may clear up any questions or misconceptions I may have left you with.

CONTEXT DETERMINES MEANING - CONTEXT IS THE KEY

The following is an overview of all the verses with the words “tongue” & “tongues” in the Book of First Corinthians in order to determine the meaning (or definition) of the words as they are found in context.

The meaning of the words “tongue” and “tongues” in the Book of First Corinthians
1 Corinthians 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

“divers kinds of tongues” = different kinds of spoken languages.

“the interpretation of tongues” = the interpretation of different kinds of spoken languages.
1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

“diversities of tongues” = various spoken languages.
1 Corinthians 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

“do all speak with tongues?” = do all speak with various or different kinds of spoken languages?
1 Corinthians 13:1 ¶ Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels” = Though I speak with the spoken languages of men and of angels.
1 Corinthians 13:8 ¶ Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

“whether there be tongues, they shall cease” = whether there be different kinds of spoken languages, they shall cease.

The words “tongue” and/or “tongues” in First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen  

1 Corinthians 14:2 For 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.

“he that speaketh in an unknown tongue” = he that speaketh in an unknown spoken language.
1 Corinthians 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

“He that speaketh in an unknown tongue” = He that speaketh in an unknown spoken language.
1 Corinthians 14:5 I 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

“I would that ye all spake with tongues” = I would that ye all spake with different kinds of spoken languages (some of which may be “unknown” to the hearers).

“greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret” = greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with different kinds of spoken languages (some of which may be “unknown” to the hearers), except he interpret.
1 Corinthians 14:6 ¶ Now, 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?

“if I come unto you speaking with tongues” = if I come unto you speaking with different kinds of spoken languages (some of which are “unknown” to the hearers), what shall I profit you?
1 Corinthians 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.

“except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood” = “the tongue”, in this particular case, equals a physical member of the body.
1 Corinthians 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

“let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue” = let him that speaketh in an unknown spoken language.
1 Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

“if I pray in an unknown tongue”= if I pray in an unknown spoken language.
1 Corinthians 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

“I speak with tongues more than ye all” = I speak with various or different kinds of spoken languages (some of which are “unknown” to the hearers) more than ye all.
1 Corinthians 14:19 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 an unknown tongue.

“in an unknown tongue” = in an unknown spoken language.
1 Corinthians 14:21 ¶ 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.

“With men of other tongues” = With men of other spoken languages.
1 Corinthians 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

tongues are for a sign” = spoken *languages are for a sign (Cannot be ‘spoken languages’ which are known & understood by both the speaker and the hearers. Must be spoken *languages spoken by men who do not know or understand them, but which are known and understood by the hearers).
       
1 Corinthians 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

“and all speak with tongues” = and all speak with different kinds of spoken languages (some of which are “unknown” to the hearers).
1 Corinthians 14:26 ¶ How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

“hath a tongue” = hath a spoken language (which may be “unknown” to some of the hearers).
1 Corinthians 14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

“If any man speak in an unknown tongue” = If any man speak in an unknown spoken language.
1 Corinthians 14:39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

“forbid not to speak with tongues” = forbid not to speak with different kinds of spoken languages.
(However, if a man undertakes to speak in the church in a “tongue” (i.e. a language) which the congregation does not understand he is required to make sure that interpretation takes place; and if there is no one to interpret what he says, let the speaker “keep silence in the church”.)

When the Apostle Paul was writing about the words “tongue” and “tongues” in the Book of First Corinthians, he was referring to their use in the church of God. Paul’s overriding concern regarding the use of “tongues” in the church was that the church would receive edification.  

I listed all of the verses with the words “tongue” and “tongues” in the Book of First Corinthians (with the least amount of commentary) in order to establish a scriptural foundation from which to work from. Since I already covered the meaning of the words “tongue”, “tongues”, “edification”, and “spirit” in my previous post, I won’t repeat my comments concerning those subjects in this post. Instead, I will re-examine certain verses which may be in need of further exposition. I believe that the majority of the verses of Scripture in the above list are self explanatory; however there are a few verses in the list which require further consideration, careful division, and added commentary [1 Corinthians 14:2; 1 Corinthians 14:27-28; 1 Corinthians 14:14; 1 Corinthians 14:22].
1 Corinthians 14:2 For 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.

“he that speaketh in an unknown tongue” = he that speaketh in an unknown spoken language.

The word tongue in the Holy Bible refers to either a member of the body or a spoken language. A careful review of all of the verses with the phrase “an unknown tongue” in them renders the phrase as an unknown spoken language; and not as some mystical heavenly language.  

According to the Apostle Peter, there are “some things hard to be understood” in the Apostle Paul’s Epistles [2 Peter 3:14-16]; and the subject of “an unknown tongue” in Chapter Fourteen of First Corinthians is a classic example of one of the most difficult “things” which Paul wrote about. In addition, 1 Corinthians 14:2 is extremely hard to interpret because it contains words and phrases which can be easily misconstrued or misinterpreted (such as the term “an unknown tongue” itself; or “speaketh not unto men, but unto God”; or “howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries”).

The phrases cited above in 1 Corinthians 14:2 can be made to say almost anything a person wants them to say, and therein lays the danger in attempting to rightly divide them. In addition, the words “unknown”, “spirit”, and “mysteries” are suggestive in and of themselves, and they can easily be made to imply something other than what God intended them to actually mean when Paul wrote them. The phrase “speaketh not unto men, but unto God” is especially difficult to decipher because, at first glance, it appears as if the speaker is not speaking “unto men”; but a careful review of 1 Corinthians 14:1-5 reveals that the speaker is addressing the congregation, so what is going on? We have to go back to First Corinthians Chapter Twelve for the answer.

When the Apostle Paul said: “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For 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” [1 Corinthians 14:1-2], he was referencing the “spiritual gifts” he first mentioned in First Corinthians Chapter Twelve:
1 Corinthians 12:1 ¶ Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

We must remember that when Paul wrote his Epistles there were no Chapter and Verse divisions in his Letters. And, although the Chapter and Verse divisions are extremely handy in searching the Scriptures, sometimes men will read a particular Chapter in the Holy Bible and not make the connection to the Chapters and Verses preceding that particular Chapter or the Chapters and Verses following it. Remember: ‘CONTEXT DETERMINES MEANING’; and ‘CONTEXT’ is not limited to just a particular sentence, or a paragraph, or a Chapter in the Holy Bible [Isaiah 28:9-13].

Concerning spiritual gifts”: the “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” (i.e. different kinds of spoken languages - 1 Corinthians 12:10), is not the same as the miraculous events that occurred in Acts 2:1-11 (where the Holy Spirit “sat upon each of them”); or Acts 10:44-46 (where the Holy Spirit “fell on all them which heard the word”); or in Acts 19:6 (where it is said that the Holy Spirit “came on them”). In all three of those occurrences the Holy Ghost came upon the people; and in all three events, all of the people that the Holy Ghost came on spoke in “tongues” (i.e. languages which the speaker did not know but which the hearers knew and understood).

Paul states: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” [1 Corinthians 12:4]; and a review of First Corinthians Chapter Twelve demonstrates that the “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” (i.e. different kinds of spoken languages) is only given to certain men within the church of God (not all of the people - 1 Corinthians 12:7-11); and nothing is written about the Holy Spirit coming upon those men who receive the “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” in a miraculous fashion (as in Acts 2:1-11; Acts 10:44-46; and Acts 19:6) when they exercise their “gift”.

Paul stated: “Now there are diversities of gifts”. A careful search of the Scriptures concerning “spiritual gifts” reveals that there is no such thing as ‘the gift of tongues’ in the Holy Bible. There is an acute difference between the specific “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” (i.e. different kinds of spoken languages) in 1 Corinthians 12:10 and a so-called ‘gift of tongues’. The specific “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” cannot easily be privately interpreted to mean something other than what the verse says; the so-called ‘gift of tongues’ can be made to say practically anything a person wants it to say because it is not specific as to WHAT KIND of tongues are being spoken of.

FACT: According to First Corinthians Chapter Twelve, the Holy Spirit gives “gifts” to certain men within the church of God. Among the gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:10 is the “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues”, which is simply a “gift” of different kinds of spoken languages; and not some mystical heavenly language that no one understands, and which is supposedly received directly from the Holy Spirit in a miraculous way (as in Acts 2:1-11; Acts 10:44-46; and Acts 19:6)!

The truth of the matter is that God blesses His people with different “gifts” (i.e. innate aptitudes & abilities) of His own choosing. God gives “gifts differing according to the grace that is given” to men [Romans 12:6] for the edification of the body of Christ; and the “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” (i.e. different kinds of spoken languages) is just one of them. Have you ever met someone who has a natural tendency or predisposition to learn various languages? From the testimony of Scripture, it is obvious that the Apostle Paul possessed such a “gift” [1 Corinthians 14:18].

There is another aspect to the subject of “gifts” and “tongues” in Scripture which I have not commented on. The Bible states that there is a “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” (i.e. different kinds of spoken languages) and there is “the gift of the Holy Ghost” [Acts 2:38 & Acts 10:45]. The “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” is not the same as “the gift of the Holy Ghost”.
    
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Since the phrase “divers kinds of tongues” and the phrase “the Holy Ghost” are different, it should be obvious that the “gifts” concerning the two subjects would be different. However many people who profess to be Christians conflate the two “gifts” and make them the same, which they are not.

Now I don’t want to stray too far away from the subject at hand so very briefly:

When the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost they were “baptized with the Holy Ghost” [Acts 1:5-8]; and the physical manifestation of that event resulted in the disciples speaking intongues” (i.e. spoken languages) which they did not know but which those that heard them did. And, according to the Apostle Peter’s testimony, the exact same thing occurred in Acts 10:44-48 (i.e. “on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost”).
Acts 11:15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?


The disciples (on the day of Pentecost) and Cornelius and the Gentiles did not receive the so-called ‘gift of tongues’ on the occasion of both events. Instead, on both occasions, they were “baptized with the Holy Ghost” and simultaneously received “the gift of the Holy Ghost”, and they spoke with “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages which they did not know but which those that heard them did) as a “sign” that they had genuinely received “the gift of the Holy Ghost”.

NOTE: It would appear from the Apostle Peter’s testimony in Acts 2:38 that not everyone who received “the gift of the Holy Ghost” spoke in “tongues”, since it is hard to imagine “three thousand souls” [Acts 2:41] all speaking in different “tongues” (i.e. different spoken languages) at one time in the same place; especially since “God is not the author of confusion” [1 Corinthians 14:33].

Conclusion: There is no such thing as ‘the gift of tongues’ in Scripture. There is a “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” (i.e. different kinds of spoken languages), which God gives to certain men of His own choosing, for the edification and benefit of the church of God. Under no condition should the “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” be confused with “the gift of the Holy Ghost” since the two “gifts” are not the same!

1 Corinthians 14:27-28 helps to rightly divide the word of truth in 1 Corinthians 14:2:
1 Corinthians 14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

“If any man speak in an unknown tongue . . . . . . . . . . . .  let him speak to himself, and to God”.
1 Corinthians 14:2 For 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.


In both 1 Corinthians 14:27 and 1 Corinthians 14:2 the man who is speaking in “an unknown tongue” is obviously addressing the church (the congregation). But since he is speaking in a “tongue” (i.e. a spoken language) which is “unknown” to the hearers, he is (in essence) speaking only “to himself, and to God” - “for no man understandeth him”. In which case he should “keep silence in the church”, since no one understands him and no one is edified.

Note the word “for” in 1 Corinthians 14:2:
1 Corinthians 14:1 ¶ Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
2 For 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.


DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF THE WORD “FOR
for”: As a Conjunction: In consequence of the fact that; or as a Preposition: In consideration of.

1 Corinthians 14:2: . . . . . . “for (i.e. In consequence of the fact that) no man understandeth him”; “he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God”.

Back in 1 Corinthians 12:4 the Apostle Paul states that “there are diversities of gifts” (i.e. different kinds of “gifts”); and he goes on to describe them in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11:
1 Corinthians 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.


Amongst the “gifts” that Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 there is the “gift” of “prophecy” (which is given to some man, or men, in the church); the “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” (which is given to “another” man, or men, in the church); and the “gift” of “the interpretation of tongues” (which is given to “another” man, or men, in the church – 1 Corinthians 12:10). When Paul states “desire spiritual gifts” in 1 Corinthians 14:1 he is referring to all of the “gifts” which he mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. However, in 1 Corinthians 14:2-40 he goes on to single out three (3) of those “gifts” (i.e. “prophecy”; “divers kinds of tongues”; and "the interpretation of tongues”) and makes a spiritual comparison of those “gifts” as to their value and benefit to the body of Christ in Corinth (or to any other church of God, wherever it may be). Within the context of 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, the particular “gifts” that the Apostle Paul is writing about in 1 Corinthians 14:1-40 are clearly limited to “prophecy”; “divers kinds of tongues”; and “the interpretation of tongues” - there is no special “gift” in Scripture called “an unknown tongue”!

Compare all of the verses where the words “gift” or “gifts” occur alongside the words “tongue” or “tongues” in the entire New Testament. Not once does the Holy Bible ever indicate that there is a special spiritual “gift” called “an unknown tongue”. And to separate the meaning (or definition) of the phrase “an unknown tongue” in 1 Corinthians 14:2 from the plain meaning of the phrase in all of the other verses where the phrase occurs in Chapter Fourteen of First Corinthians [i.e. 1 Corinthians 14:4, 13, 14, 19, 27] is not proper, sound, or trustworthy scriptural exegesis. The phrase “an unknown tongue” in Scripture simply means ‘an unknown spoken language’; and any attempt to make the phrase mean anything other than that entails “private interpretation” on the part of the person doing the interpreting [2 Peter 1:20].  

A SIDE NOTE: I don’t have time (or space) to include the verses concerning the “spiritual gifts” described in Romans 12:1-8, but it is extremely interesting to compare the “gifts” described in Romans Chapter Twelve with the “gifts” described in First Corinthians Chapter Twelve. Note the absence of any “gifts” that have to do with “signs”, “wonders”, and “miracles” in Romans Chapter Twelve . . . I wonder why?  
1 Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
15 ¶ What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

I identified “the spirit” in Verses 14-16 of First Corinthians Chapter Fourteen as being “the spirit of man which is in him” and not the Holy Spirit in my initial Post, so I won’t repeat my comments in this post. However, I would like to point out that, in view of the verses in 1 Corinthians 14:6-13:
1 Corinthians 14:6 ¶ Now, 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?
7 And 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?
8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
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.
10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.  

The context of 1 Corinthians 14:14 is in reference to the Apostle Paul praying out loud in the church (i.e. in the congregation) and not praying to God in private by himself.
1 Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

However, a review of all of the verses from 1 Corinthians 14:6 through to 1 Corinthians 14:20 reveals that the Apostle Paul is using himself as an “ensample” [Philippians 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:9] for others to follow. Notice the word “if” when Paul speaks about himself (“if I come unto you speaking with tongues” and “if I pray in an unknown tongue”), and then the inclusion of “ye”, “he”, and “him” in the verses. It is clear that the instructions that Paul gives in 1 Corinthians 14:6-20 are intended for any man who endeavors to speak in the church of God.

There is one more thing about 1 Corinthians 14:14 that should be mentioned.
1 Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

When Paul said “my understanding is unfruitful” he wasn’t stating that he didn’t understand what he was saying when he was praying out loud in the church, he was stating that his personal “understanding” of what he was saying when he was praying out loud was “unfruitful” because the people in the church who heard him praying out loud “understandeth not” what he was saying and were “not edified” because he was praying in “an unknown tongue” (i.e. a spoken language which he knew and understood but which the hearers did not know or understand).
1 Corinthians 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.


From a reading of all of the verses in the Holy Bible where “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) serve as a “sign” [Acts Chapters 2; 10; & 19], “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) which are known and understood by both the speaker and the hearers plainly can not serve as a sign. In addition, neither can “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) which are known and understood by a speaker but which are not known by the hearers serve as a “sign”; since the hearers have no idea as to what the speaker is saying and they are not edified. Therefore, according to the Scriptures, the only “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) which serve as a genuine “sign” must be “tongues” (i.e. spoken languages) which are spoken by men who do not know or understand them, but which are known and understood by the hearers.

Conclusion:

According to First Corinthians Chapter Twelve, the Holy Spirit gives “gifts” to certain men within the church of God. Among the gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:10 is the “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues”, which is simply a “gift” of different kinds of spoken languages; and not some mystical heavenly language that no one understands, and which is supposedly received directly from the Holy Spirit in a miraculous way (as in Acts 2:1-11; Acts 10:44-46; and Acts 19:6)!

There is no such thing as ‘the gift of tongues’ in Scripture. There is a “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” (i.e. different kinds of spoken languages), which God gives to certain men of His own choosing, for the edification and benefit of the church of God.

The Bible states that there is a “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” (i.e. different kinds of spoken languages) and there is “the gift of the Holy Ghost” [Acts 2:38 & Acts 10:45]. The “gift” of “divers kinds of tongues” is not the same as “the gift of the Holy Ghost”; and under no condition should the two “gifts” be conflated since they are not the same!

The word tongue in the Holy Bible refers to either a member of the body or a spoken language. A careful review of all of the verses with the phrase “an unknown tongue” in them renders the phrase as an unknown spoken language; and not as some mystical heavenly language.  

When a man speaks in “an unknown tongue” in the church, even though he is addressing the congregation, he is (in essence) speaking only “to himself, and to God” and “not unto men” - “for no man understandeth him”, because only he and God understands what he is saying!

Psalms 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
George Anderson    http://www.thywordistruthkjv.com/

. . . . . yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written . . . . . Romans 3:4
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Re: TONGUE, TONGUES, & AN UNKNOWN TONGUE

Postby PeanutGallery » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:19 pm

Thanks; I will read it through.
1Peter 1:18,19 Redeemed with the precious blood of Christ
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