Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 108 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; The doctrine of tongues.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 108 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; The doctrine of tongues.


Announcements / opening prayer:



Today is seven weeks after Easter and so is the celebration day of Pentecost or Shavuot, the Hebrew word for the same. And so, it is fitting that we learn about the gift of tongues this morning. Jewish tradition after the beginning of the church claimed that Shavuot was the day that Moses brought the Law down from Mt. Sinai, but this is more likely a reaction to the church's celebration of the day that substantiation. However, it is interesting to note that when Moses came down from the mountain, in Exo 32, and saw the spectacle of people dancing around and worshipping the golden calf that about three thousand of them were executed by the swords of the Levites and at Pentecost, the first day of the church, 3000 were saved.


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


The gift of tongues was an amazing supernatural gift from the Holy Spirit which graced the beginning of the full ministry of the Holy Spirit to the believer that would mark the church age. It was fitting that it would be prevalently displayed on the day that the church began as a sign to the Jews that the gospel was not just for Israel but for the whole world. Many different Gentile languages were spoken to the Jews at Pentecost that had been the tongues of the various Gentile lands to which they had been dispersed. The gospel would be for all men in all languages. It is a sign of the grace of God to all men. The gift was not the ability for a person to speak in Hebrew, the language of the Jewish fathers, but a gift given so that the early church believers could spreads the gospel to various lands without a language barrier. Once pastors, evangelists, teachers, and other witnesses who would be the first Gentile believers in those lands who spoke their native Gentile tongue had come to know the gospel of Christ, the gift of tongues was no longer needed. The gift was never given to edify any one person or persons, but simply to reveal the supernatural power of salvation and to communicate that power all over the world.


We have already noted in 1Co that the temporary gift of tongues is mentioned as being last on a list of gifts important to the church; that those who did not use the gift in love were no more than clanging cymbals; that is was inferior to the temporary gift of prophecy; that is was for edification, exhortation, and comfort; that it was clearly known languages [barbaros]; and that it was a sign for unbelievers.


g. Tongues are declared to be a sign to unbelievers, and not intended primarily for the edification of believers.


Paul equates this pattern for the use of the gift of tongues as extremely immature.


1CO 14:20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be babes, but in your thinking be mature.


1CO 14:21 In the Law it is written, "By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to Me," says the Lord.


1CO 14:22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers, but to those who believe.


The prophecy is given by Isaiah.


ISA 28:11-12

Indeed, He will speak to this people

Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue,

He who said to them, "Here is rest, give rest to the weary,"

And, "Here is repose," but they would not listen.


That context of this makes it clear that the thing said to them was to be the gospel of grace. This is a prophecy of Pentecost.


h. Speaking in tongues will fail to convince unbelievers, however, unless there is order, but even here prophecy is the greater gift leading to faith and worship.


This reveals to us that in all church gatherings that there should be order in what we do as we worship God, especially in learning, which is your highest form or worship. There should not be interruptions and distractions. People shouldn't be getting up to speak or ask questions. Questions are for later. Paul states here that one person is to speak at a time whether it is tongues or prophecy. Since neither of these gifts lasted past the first century, the gift of pastor teacher is the gift to the church for instruction. There may be other men with the gift and other men who are called to speak to the congregation, but one at a time and in order. Again, as with tongues and prophecy in the early church and with all other spiritual gifts, all is done to the edification of the  church and never for the edification of an individual.


1CO 14:23 If therefore the whole church should assemble together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad?


1CO 14:24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all;


1CO 14:25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.


i. Tongues as well as the gift of prophecy was to be regu­lated and used only when it will result in edification of the church.


1CO 14:26 What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.


1CO 14:27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and let one interpret;


1CO 14:28 but if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God.


1CO 14:29 And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.


The judgment is obviously the evaluation of others who are learned in the congregation, who maybe have the gift of knowledge or prophecy, who can determine if what is said is in accordance with the character of God's grace and salvation. It is clear that Satan could send his own into the church, the wolves in sheep's clothing, to speak false doctrines in foreign languages and to pretend to have the gift of prophesy and speak false doctrines.


1CO 14:30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, let the first keep silent [not interrupt].


1CO 14:31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted;


Exhortation in the church is through learning and not some display of a special thing that another can do.