"How is it then, Brethren?" (1Cor 14:26)
(A Look at Pentecostalism and Speaking in Tongues)

Quite often, when people begin to understand the truth of the Bible, they find many changes that are necessary to make in their lives. I certainly found this to be true in my own case. But, in all too many cases, especially where the person has been indoctrinated for a long period of time in one of the not-quite-mainstream denominations, they tend to bring along many of the practices, doctrines and ways of worship from the former association, into the new one.
This is not necessarily bad in all cases, but we need to remember that Satan has his churches and assemblies, too, and if we have unknowingly been in one of them we can be sure that at least some of its practices and beliefs are suspect. A satanic counterfeit can be so close to the truth, that it is often hard to tell the difference. Notice a few scriptures:
2 Cor. 11:12: "But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which de-sire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. {13} For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Messiah. {14} And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. {15} Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
So we see that Satan also has his ministers, and if ministers, then he also has his churches. Of course, these churches are not called by his name. That is the sneaky, underhanded way he operates. He leads unwary ones to think they are worshipping the Savior (usually known by the Latinized, corrupted form of His Name, Jesus, instead of the correct Yahshua), when in fact they are not.
(Rom 1:16) "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Messiah: for it is the power of Yah unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
(1 Cor 15:1) "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;"
Notice that Paul preached the gospel, or "good news," or evangel, that he had been taught, and that leads to salvation. But some have left following this gospel, and are follow-ing another. Their minds have been blinded to the truth by Satan, who is called the god of this world, and his ministers. Others have been "converted" into these false churches, and have never known the truth. Oh, yes, ALL churches and assemblies have SOME truth, and usually lots of error.
(2 Cor 4:4) "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
So we see that some believe not the true gospel. But, is there another gospel?
2 Cor. 11:4, For if he that cometh preacheth another Yahshua, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."
(Gal 1:6-12) "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Messiah unto another gospel: {7} Which is not another; but there be some that trou-ble you, and would pervert the gospel of Messiah. {8} But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. {9} As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. {10} For do I now persuade men, or Yahweh? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Messiah. {11} But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not af-ter man. {12} For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Yahshua Messiah."
Paul is saying that there is, indeed, another gospel being taught - a false gospel that leads not to salvation, but to ruin. Paul pronounces a double curse on those who teach that way.
Well, since we clearly don't want to fall into that trap, how do we avoid it? What do we watch out for? There are many manifestations of Satan's influence in the world's religious system, but let's focus on one particular aspect of it at this time. This is a problem that is be-ginning to gain a foothold among some believers, and it is false, and it needs to be dealt with. Paul said a little leavening leavens the whole lump, and someone else said one rotten apple will spoil the whole barrel if left alone. These things are true.
The problem confronting us is modern-day pentecostalism, as practiced by certain Sun-day churches and a few Sabbath keepers of limited understanding. For example, our neigh-bors (who do not receive this Newsletter) recently joined a "Pentecostal," charismatic congre-gation. They often tell us of the "spirited" services they have there. The pastor goes into a frenzy of babbling, people are shouting and jumping around, and utter confusion reigns. Of course, they think it is wonderful, describing it as the workings of the "Holy Ghost." But is it? Does Yahweh truly work in such an environment, and what would be the purpose of it? Does such activity glorify Him?
We are warned to "try the spirits whether they be of Yahweh," and some, even among what we call "true believers," are not doing that.
(1 John 4:1-4) "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from Yah; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. {2} By this you know the Spirit of Yah: every spirit that confesses that Yahshua Messiah has come in the flesh is from Yah, {3} and every spirit that does not confess Yahshua is not from Yah. And this is the spirit of the antimessiah, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world. {4} Little children, you are from Yahweh, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
Now, let's examine one particular scripture and see if we can determine its true meaning, since it has been misunderstood by so many:
(1 Cor 14:26) "What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up."(NRSV)
Some think this scripture is a command for everyone to come to services equipped and ready to sing a song, give a lesson, to preach a sermon, to prophesy, and to speak in "un-known tongues." And sometimes all at the same time! In other words, to engage in total confusion.
But is this what Paul meant? Was he saying that everyone was to take part in the service in such fashion? Was this an order? NO!! Not at all! If you will notice, Paul starts off this letter to these Corinthians by telling them some of their problems. In 1 Cor. 1:11, he says contention has been reported among them. In chapter 3:1-3, he says they are so carnal minded that he can't speak to them of spiritual things. In the 5th chapter we find that they were tolerating a man who was living openly with his step-mother (incest). Chapter 6 reports they were bringing lawsuits against each other. In chapter 11, they were getting drunk and disorderly at the Memorial supper. Then in Chapter 14, he takes up the question of speaking in a tongue, or language, that some or all of the members did not understand.
The Greek word for "tongue" is #1100 in the Strong's Greek Dictionary, "Glossa," and means, a language, specifically one not naturally learned.
Plainly, those who practiced this were speaking a language unknown to the bulk of the congregation, or Paul would not have required them to have an interpreter present before they used this gift. But note that the word, "unknown" is in italics in all occurrences in 1 Cor. 14, meaning it was not in the original, and the translators added it in an attempt at clarification.
Some Bible commentators and scholars believe that the Hebrew language is the one identi-fied as "unknown." In Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible, he says about 1 Cor. 14: "He (Dr. J. B. Lightfoot) supposes that by the unknown tongue the Hebrew is meant, and that (Yah) restored the true knowledge of this language when He gave the apostles the gift of tongues. As the Scriptures of the Old Testament were contained in this language, and it has beauties, energies, and depths in it which no verbal translation can reach, it was necessary, for the proper elucidation of the prophecies concerning the Messiah and the establishment of the Christian religion, that the full meaning of the words of this sacred language should be prop-erly understood."
This seems to me to be a reasonable analysis, for we know that, despite the doubters and nay-sayers who say that Hebrew is a second-rate language that came on the scene late in Bib-lical history, it is likely that it (Hebrew) is the original language spoken by Yahweh Himself to Adam and Eve. Before we get back to 1 Cor. 14, let's examine that thought a little further.
We see in Gen. 10, the descendants of Noah and his 3 sons. Verse 32 says that "These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood."
Note that the earth was divided in the days of Peleg, a descendant of Shem (vss. 21 - 25). His name means "Divided" in Hebrew. According to Bullinger (Companion Bible), "Di-vided" in judgment. Compare v. 25. Disruption in judgment. (Yah's) division (v. 25) in-cluded Zion. Man's disruption included Babylon (ll:2-9).
Genesis 11:1, And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. V. 6, And Yahweh said, "Behold, the people is one and they all have one language---." These were ap-parently not Shemites, but descendants of Noah's other two sons. Shem's progeny did not follow Nimrod in the rebellion against Yahweh's edict to scatter over the face of the earth. Nimrod wanted to gather them into one large group in cities so that he could be their ruler (one-world government). But their language was confounded (V. 7-8-9), so that they no longer understood the original language (Hebrew?), but instead they were given a diversity of languages. This forced them to scatter, as Yahweh had intended for them to do in the first place.
The tower was called, "Babel," which means "confusion" in Hebrew. Even today to "bab-ble" is to talk incoherently in a confused way.
The history of the Shemites, who apparently retained the original language (Hebrew), not having been present at Babel, begins in Genesis 11:10. Shem was the ancestor of Abraham, to whom Yahweh made the promises, and covenanted with him.
The Old Testament Scriptures were written and preserved in Hebrew; Yahshua spoke in the Hebrew tongue (Acts 26:14); Paul spoke in the Hebrew tongue (Acts 21:40 and 22:2); and we are promised a pure language during the 1,000 year reign (Zephaniah 3:8-9).
Is it not therefore reasonable to believe that this "pure language" to which we will be re-turned will be the original language spoken by Yahweh Himself, and retained by His chosen people?
Now, back to 1 Cor. 14. Paul plainly shows that someone speaking a language no one un-derstands but himself, is not edifying the Body. It would be an exercise in pure vanity. Even if someone could interpret, Paul says that "prophesying" or inspired preaching is more to be desired, because it edifies the body of believers.
In 1 Cor. 14:22, Paul points out that "tongues" or languages (the ability to speak in a lan-guage not naturally acquired) is a sign, NOT to them that believe, but to them that believe NOT. He adds that "prophesying" (inspired preaching or teaching) is not for the unbelievers, but for those who believe. And that is what we find in the three examples of speaking in tongues in the book of Acts.
In Acts 2, the apostles confounded the unbelieving Jews by speaking in, or being heard in, their own native language (Acts 2:4-12), thus launching Yahweh's New Covenant religion.
In Acts 10, the Evangel was going to the Gentiles for the first time (verse 1), and while Pe-ter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell on them who heard, and they also spoke with tongues as a sign to the Jews that Gentiles should share in salvation (verses 44-48).
In Acts 19:1-7 we find an example for re-baptism. These men had been baptized unto re-pentance by John the Immerser, but had not received the Holy Spirit. So they were rebaptized and Paul laid hands on them for receiving of the Spirit, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied, as a sign.
Now, back to 1 Cor. 14:26. What else is Paul saying? That everyone, the entire congrega-tion, is to get up and do or say something? NO! In the case of tongues, and with an inter-preter present, only two or at most three, he says. Then in verse 29 he is talking about the "prophets," the preachers and/or teachers. He says to let the prophets speak "two or three, and let the other judge." This "two or three" is the "all" meant in verse 31. Paul did not in any way mean that the entire congregation should be allowed, permitted, or encouraged to get up and speak, all during a single service!
In verse 26, Paul was stating the problem, not giving a solution. That's what certain of the people wanted to do, not what they should do.
Adam Clarke in his commentary on verse 26, says: When the whole church came together, among whom there were many persons with extraordinary gifts, each of them wished to put himself forward and occupy the time and attention of the congregation; hence confusion must necessarily take place, and perhaps not a little contention. This was contrary to that edifying which was the intention of these gifts.
Then on verse 29, he says: Let the prophets. Those who have the gift of speaking to men "to edification, and exhortation, and comfort," v. 3. Two or three. As prophesying implied psalmody, teaching, and exhortation, Dr. Lightfoot thinks that the meaning of the place is this: "Let one sing who has a psalm; let another teach who has a doctrine; and let a third exhort, or comfort, who has a gift of that kind."
And let the other judge. The other prophets or qualified persons judge of the propriety of what had been spoken;----. It appears to have been taken for granted that a man might pretend to this spirit of prophecy who was not sent of (Yah); and therefore it was the duty of the ac-credited teachers to examine whether what he spoke was according to truth and the analogy of faith.
Verse 33: For (Yahweh) is not the author of confusion. Let not the persons who act in the congregation in this disorderly manner say that they are under the influence of (Yah); for He is not the author of confusion. But two, three, or more praying or teaching in the same place at the same time is confusion, and Yahweh is not the author of such work; and let men beware how they attribute such disorder to the (El) of order and peace. The apostle calls such conduct "tumult, sedition"; and such it is in the sight of all good men. How often is a work of (Yahweh) marred and discredited by the folly of men! (End quote).
Brethren, let's remember that these gifts are given at Yahweh's own discretion, as HE wills. We must use them properly. It is His intent that we gather in peace, and conduct an or-derly meeting that will be edifying to those in attendance, and that will honor and be glorify-ing to Yahweh and His Son, Yahshua our Savior. ~Frank Brown

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