Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 107 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; The doctrine of tongues.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 107 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; The doctrine of tongues.


Announcements / opening prayer:



Principle: The temporary gift of tongues in relation to the work of the Spirit.


Speaking in tongues in 1Co:

a. It is mentioned last in a list, 1CO 12:28.


b. Tongues are declared to be “sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal” unless used in love, 1CO 13:1.


c. Tongues with prophecy and knowledge are said to be tem­porary, 1CO 13:8.


In chapter fourteen, a number of important points are made:

d. Tongues are declared inferior to prophecy as a means of edifi­cation, exhortation, and comfort.


1CO 14:1 Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.


1CO 14:2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.


There is certainly not some gibberish language that is the tongue of God. God speaks all languages. The point of verse 2 is that when no one understands the language being spoken, the only one in the room who understands is God.


1CO 14:3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.


1CO 14:4 One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church.


1CO 14:5 Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.


1CO 14:6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching?


1CO 14:7 Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp?


1CO 14:8 For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle?


1CO 14:9 So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.


Verses 10 and 11 settle the case of gibberish verses known language. All passages must be interpreted in their context.


1CO 14:10 There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning.


1CO 14:11 If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me.


1CO 14:12 So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.


There are a number of striking things here.


e. It is clear that no one understands the tongue unless it is interpreted, but is it gibberish or another language?


Paul writes in verses 10-11 that there are many languages and they all have meaning to those who understand them. If I'm talking to a barbarian whose language I don't know then I don't know the meaning of what he says. It's plain, clear, and simple.


By barbarian is meant anyone who does not speak the common language of the area, usually Greek, Aramaic, or Latin, depending, of course, on location. The word has in modern times come to mean some kind of cave man in animal skins.


"barbarian" - ba,rbaroj[barbaros] = not understandable (bar bar). Punic, Coptic, Aramaic, Syriac, Gothic, Celtic, Galatian, Cappadocian, Phrygian, Pisidian, and many more.


The use of this word by Paul is really the smoking gun in the debate over whether the gift of tongues in Corinth was gibberish or foreign languages.


This word was used for those who spoke a known language but which the hearer did not understand.


This spiritual gift definitely signified that the gospel was for the whole world, and this is likely the reason that it was the first spiritual gift displayed at Pentecost.


f. The command from God through Paul is that they seek for edification of the church.


Paul states in verse three that prophesy edifies because the hearers understand what is being said. The one who speaks in a tongue, in verse four, only edifies himself, since no one understands what he is saying. And in verse five, the only way a tongue could be edifying would be if there were someone there to interpret the language.


In the modern tongues movement, people are clamoring to speak in tongues. How does speaking gibberish edify the church?


1CO 12:7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.


In later dis­cussion, Paul states that five words with understanding are of more benefit than ten thousand words in a tongue.


So then, if I can speak English and my audience understands English, how does speaking something that no one understands adhere to the truth of this verse in the word of God which God Himself breathed into the heart of the apostle?


1CO 14:19 in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind, that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.


So then, tongues could not be used in the assembly unless an interpreter is present.


1CO 14:13 Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.


1CO 14:14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.


1CO 14:15 What is the outcome then? I shall pray with the spirit and I shall pray with the mind also; I shall sing with the spirit and I shall sing with the mind also.


1CO 14:16 Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the "Amen" at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying?


1CO 14:17 For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.


1CO 14:18 I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all;


This statement could mean that Paul spoke more languages through the gift of the Spirit than the people who had the gift in Corinth. This would make sense since Paul traveled far.


1CO 14:19 however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind, that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.


It is apparent that the Corinthians with the gift were even praying and singing in the tongue and as such had no idea what they were saying. We can only conclude that this was being done for prideful reasons. So he says in verse 15 that it is far better to pray and sing with understanding or with the mind also.


It was legitimate for the one speaking in the tongue to pray that he might interpret it, verse 13. That means that they didn't always understand the language they were using.