1st Corinthians – Wayne Barber/Part 84

By: Dr. Wayne Barber
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By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©1998
We come now to the last grouping of manifestations that the Holy Spirit led Paul to give us in chapter 12. As you know by now, there are two Greek words for “another,” and when they are used together in the same text, they are very significantly different. This is why it is important to know those.

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1 Corinthians 12:9-10

To Each His Own – Part 7

We come now to the last grouping of manifestations that the Holy Spirit led Paul to give us in chapter 12. As you know by now, there are two Greek words for “another,” and when they are used together in the same text, they are very significantly different. This is why it is important to know those.

The first word translated another is allos, and it’s found in verse 8. It’s used to link the two gifts, the two equipping gifts that I call them, the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge. It links them together. These are speaking gifts, according to the Scriptures, that God gives to those in the body to speak the Word of God and to edify and to build up the body of Christ. It means another of the same kind. It links those two gifts together.

The second word for another is the word heteros, and it means to another of a different kind. In other words, you’re shifting gears. You have two alike and it refers not only to the gift, but to the people who have the gifts. Then it shifts gears and you have a different category all by itself. It’s found in verse 9. It says, “to another faith.” That introduces a different category. I call that category the extravagant gifts or the extraordinary gifts. These are gifts set apart from the equipping gifts in verse 8. There is the gift of faith which is bound to the gifts of healing (plural) with allos. Bound to it is the effecting of miracles (plural), prophecy, and then distinguishing of spirits which is also in the plural. We’ve already been through these. These are the extraordinary gifts that God chooses to give from time to time. Literally, I’d rather call them manifestations because that’s really what Paul’s addressing here in chapter 12.

The evangelistic gifts

And then we come to the grouping that he will give us in verse 10. It starts right in the middle of verse 10. We find that little word heteros again. I call these the evangelistic gifts. He says in verse 10b, “to another various kinds of tongues, and to another [allos, of the same kind] the interpretation of tongues.”

Many of you have been wondering and waiting patiently when we started 1 Corinthians 1:1 to find out what I’m going to say about tongues. Paul does not address the problem of tongues in chapter 12. He addresses the problem of tongues in Corinth in chapter 14. So, I’m going to disappoint you, because I’m not going to go everywhere you want me to go. It’s not in the flow of the context and you know our pledge is, “Word for word, line upon line.” That’s the way we’re walking through these passages of Scriptures. However, we can, as we wade into these two gifts, understand them a little bit better.

We’ve got to remember the purpose of why Paul even puts chapter 12 in there. He’s not teaching gifts. By the way, there wasn’t a chapter 12 originally. Somebody else did that. It was just one long flow. But why is it there? He’s not teaching gifts. He’s correcting error. Something is amiss in Corinth. It has to do with people speaking and teaching. It has to do with extraordinary things. And it also has to do with some languages that are being spoken. They’re saying that it’s influenced by the Holy Spirit of God. But what is happening in Corinth is, the language they’re speaking is not a known, understandable language. It’s an ecstatic gibberish. That’s where we’ll have to wait until chapter 14 to see it more clearly. They were speaking in a tongue, but the gift that’s mentioned here is tongues, plural. That’s very significant to our understanding.

You see, it had to do with the influence of the Oracles of Delphi which is only 30 miles from Corinth. We’ve already covered this in the first part of chapter 12. He points them back to their former idolatry. He points them back to something that lured them to the idolatry of that day. You remember the Oracles of Delphi. They were women, self-proclaimed prophetesses, who said they could get in touch with the pagan divine spirits.

It was at the temple of Apollo. Apollo was a pagan Greek temple there. It was over in Delphi. They would have inside the inner sanctum a tripod. Every time I think of that word tripod I think of a deer stand. I don’t know why. It just comes in my mind and flits right out. But they would set up a tripod and get into a frenzy. It was emotional. It was ecstatic. Suddenly they would begin to blurt out words that were absolutely senseless. The interesting thing here is the poor people of that day were so lured to it that they would line up for miles. As you read the history of this, as you study this, they had to have three. At the time Paul wrote this letter, they had to have three women to take care of the crowd. They had to work in shifts. People would get in lines because they wanted answers to questions in life. They wanted somehow to be in touch with the divine.

Such a sad picture, but it’s the same thing that’s going on in our world today. In Conyers, Georgia, there were 100,000 people to hear a vision that the Virgin Mary was supposed to have given to a woman. So people are still in that same mindset. It’s like a person trying to call their psychic hotline or a person who reads their horoscope. It’s the same type of thing that was luring the Corinthians, especially the believers, before they got saved.

The people would have a little slate that they would write their questions on and they would take them up and give them to somebody. If they got chosen that day, then they would take it in to one of these women and the woman would go into this frenzy and begin to speak this gibberish, a language never spoken on earth. They would have interpreters, so-called, and they would write it into prose and give them the answer. Can you imagine those pitiful people thinking they had gotten in touch with a divine and they walk away with a little slate and on the slate was an answer that meant absolutely nothing, after standing in line for hours upon hours upon hours? That’s what was going on in Corinth.

Obviously, chapter 14 has gotten to be taken into consideration. If I lean too much into it, I’m going to miss what I want to say. But, obviously, this practice had gotten into the church. They were saying that this ecstatic language, this language that was never known or spoken, that they were speaking—perhaps, in a prayer language or whatever else they were doing, whatever they were doing with it—they were saying was influenced by the Holy Spirit of God. What Paul is trying to do is put their feet back on the ground. He’s trying to turn them right side up. They’re so upside down. This is a sick anemic, ignorant, and immature church and he’s trying to put some balance back into it as he approaches this subject. So, we’re not going to go that far with it. I’m sure some of you are a little bit disappointed, but at least we can clarify what the gift of tongues is or the manifestation of tongues, along with it the interpretation of tongues.

Now, there are some ground rules. Already in verse 3 we have established something we must go back and review. Go back to 12:3. This has got to be there. You may read something in English and say, “Well, it doesn’t say that in English.” Well, friend, when you translate something from one language to another it’s very difficult when there are two or three words in one language and only one word in another. It says in verse 3, “Therefore I make known to you.” That word “known” means you wouldn’t know it any other way unless I show you right now. You’re so upside down you wouldn’t get this from anybody else. But Paul says, “I’m going to tell you.” “Therefore I make known to you that no one [that “no one” means absolutely no one] speaking,” that word “speaking” there is the word laleo. In its root form it means making a noise.

You say, “What’s the significance?” There are two words for speaking. Laleo means to make a noise, any one making a noise. That’s why it can be translated to speak. However, you can translate it just making a noise. So you would be saying, “No one making a noise under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God.”

The word “Holy Spirit” does not have a definite article behind it, which means according to the full character of how the Holy Spirit has and will always work. “Any one making a noise influenced by the Holy Spirit of God says,” that word “says” is a different word, and it’s so significant. If you don’t know the languages, you don’t understand this. Some people say the languages aren’t important. The word legos is used here. That’s the verb form of logos, which always means intelligent, understandable word of integrity. This is the word that was assigned to the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s the Living Word. So what he’s saying is that any one making a noise under the influence of the full character of the Holy Spirit of God speaks intelligently with understanding and with integrity. That’s the ground rules. You don’t break that ground rule.

That is further brought out in our text today. What he says is, “to another various kinds of tongues.” What in the world does that phrase mean? First of all, the word “various” is written in italics. You might want to circle it and say, “Oops, not in the text.” When it’s in italics that means it’s not in the Greek text. It’s implied. Some translator stuck the word there. However, it is implied and I think it’s very important that it’s implied. Because, you see, there’s more than one language. Would you agree with that? There’s more than one language.

The little Greek phrase is gene glossoon. Gene is a form of genos. It’s the word we get for a kind or a family. That’s why it says, “various kinds of tongues.” The word “kind” is there. It’s the word gene. It means a family of something. We get the word genealogy from it. It’s that which something has been derived from.

The word glossoon, translated tongues, is the word glossas. That’s in the plural there. The basic meaning of the word is the physical organ called the tongue. You know good and well that’s not what he’s talking about; however, that’s the basic meaning. You take it a step further, it’s that which enables us to utter words which people can understand. In other words, a step further than that, the word glossas refers to the languages that we speak.

Now, we speak English. We understand one another. If somebody only spoke Spanish, then I would not understand them. They spoke another language. In the book of the Revelation the word glossa is used seven times to refer to languages, and it’s very clear, very specific. It’s used in conjunction with the word tribe with the phrase “a nation,” and it’s also used with the word people. So you have a tribe, people, and a nation. All of those are associated with this word.

Look with me at just one illustration in Revelation 7:9. It’s very clear that it’s language, a spoken understandable language. He says, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every [now watch] nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands.” Now, the word “tongues” there in the plural has to be languages. It can’t be anything else. It’s referring to the different ethnic languages that people would speak depending on where they were from. Glossa, therefore, can be the organ of the mouth but it doesn’t mean that. It means the language that this organ enables us to speak so that we might communicate with somebody else.

Now go back to your text and put the two words together. He says, “various kinds [gene] of tongues” from the word glossa. It’s the word in the plural there. It’s a family of understandable spoken languages. So again, one more time, various kinds of tongues or many families of spoken understandable, communicable languages.

You may ask the question, “What do you mean, families of languages?” Listen. Don’t you know that there are different families of languages? There’s the Germanic family of languages; there’s a Latin family of languages; there’s the Hispanic family of languages; and the Semitic family of languages. They are not all exactly the same, but they fall into a category of the same, transmittable and communicable languages.

So do we understand? “Various kinds of tongues” rules out any ecstatic gibberish that somebody says they have as a gift and fit it into 1 Corinthians 12.

Some people will say, “If it’s an understandable language, then can you deny my experience that I had when I was praying in my prayer closet?” Not on your life. I wasn’t there. You say you experienced it, you experienced it. It’s good enough for me. But what I am telling you is this. Don’t you ever use that to back up the Word of God. You take the Word of God and check out your experience. That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m not trying to throw rocks at you. I’m not trying to ruin your Christian walk. All I’m trying to do is tell you what he’s talking about in 1 Corinthians 12:10, and he’s not talking about a gibberish. That was what was going on in Corinth, a tongue. It’s never listed in the singular. It’s always listed in the plural and it means families of understandable languages.

Turn back with me to Mark 16:17 where Jesus, for the first time in the New Testament, promises that this is going to happen one day. Mark 16:17, by the way, is a very controversial, very highly disputed passage. If you’ve ever studied Mark you understand more about that. Let me read the context. The Lord Jesus has just resurrected from the grave. He has not yet ascended back to His Father. It says in Mark 16:14, “And afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’” It’s a little different than Matthew 28, isn’t it? “‘He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who have believed; in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it shall not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.’”

Now, the New American Standard picks up something here better than the King James Version. The King James Version does not put, “to those who have believed,” as it says. They have put, “to those who believe.” That’s a big, big difference. It says, “And these signs will accompany those who have believed.” That’s a better translation. The New American Standard has an excellent translation there. These signs are not going to accompany them who will believe. This is not everyone who is going to believe. No, no. Not at all.

Who is He talking to? He’s talking to His disciples and the apostles. He’s saying, “These things will accompany you as you go on. I’m going back to be with My Father.” We’ve already covered much of this ground. That’s basically what He’s telling them. In other words, if it’s not you, you’ll be present. It will accompany you. There will be these things happening around you.

Note the phrase, “they will speak with new tongues.” The word “new” there is the word kainos. It has the idea of qualitatively new. In other words, it’s a language you don’t have presently. If it was neos, it would be the same old language, but you’d just have a different twist to it. But this is qualitatively new. This is a language that you don’t have right now. “You will,” he was telling them, “speak with languages that you don’t have right now.” That was a promise made by the Lord Jesus Christ. There would be others perhaps that would also speak, but you’ll be present. They will accompany you. What the Lord actually promised those whom He was sending out was about to happen, those extraordinary things that were going to happen after He went back to be with the Father.

The first fulfillment of Mark 16:17 was at Jerusalem at Pentecost. Will you turn to Acts 2:4-11? I’m only going to take two verses out of that passage for the sake of time. I want to key in on verse 4. This is Pentecost. This is when it happened. This is the inauguration of the New Covenant. We must understand that. They were out in the Old Covenant. Hebrews 8:6 says, “We are of a better covenant.” That covenant was inaugurated when the Holy Spirit came to live in the lives of believers. That’s what’s happening right here. Verse 4 says, “And they were all filled [that means each and every one in the whole group] with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other [Remember the word heteros, of a different kind? Languages that they don’t normally speak.] tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”

Drop down to verse 8 and you’ll see that what they were speaking was a language that people could understand. In verse 8 it says, “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?” So, when you speak of the tongues that he’s talking about here, it’s a known understandable language. The disciples spoke to many nationalities that day and each one of them heard in their own language. The key was the hearer. You see, that’s why we have to continue to drive this point home. They’re understandable. Why? Because of the hearers. In other words, they can comprehend what’s being said. This was a temporary enablement of the Holy Spirit, because you never find these disciples speaking in those languages at any other time. It was just on this day and for the purpose of communicating the gospel to all those Jews who are present in Jerusalem for that day.

The second fulfillment of our Lord’s promise was at Caesarea. This is as the gospel now is spreading out. The outline for Acts is in the first chapter, to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth. It just kind of extends it all through and covers that outline. This involved Gentile believers. Look over in Acts 10. Gentile believers were at Caesarea in the home of Cornelius. You remember that. No manifestation of this gift had been recorded in the eight years since it had first occurred at Pentecost, not one, in any kind of history book, Josephus or any of them. It only appears now eight years later. Acts 10:45 says, “And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.”

The Jews were astonished that these Gentile believers, that the Spirit had come upon them too. Their whole thinking was that the gospel was only for the Jews. Paul himself said in Ephesians, “It’s a mystery to me, a salvation that you could be brought near.” They are all in the body of Christ. We’re made into one brand new person. The language that the Gentiles were speaking must have been understood. You say, “Are you reading into the text?” No sir. It says that they magnified God. There was no interpreter there. How could they have known they were magnifying God? You have somebody walk in church. He may have tears in his eyes speaking another language, but you haven’t got a clue what he’s saying unless you understand that language or unless somebody translates that language to you. They knew exactly what was going on. They didn’t need an interpreter. They saw what was happening there. They understood that the Spirit had come upon the Gentile world. Jesus had told them it was going to happen that way.

The third fulfillment of this historic event of our Lord’s promise was at Ephesus to the disciples of John the Baptist. Look in Acts 19:6. And, again, they had to be understandable because there was not interpreter. They would not have known what was going on unless there was someone to share with them, or they must have understood what language they spoke. Acts 19:6 reads, “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.” Now, again, we see the gospel now spreading itself out. It’s gone from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world. You can see more and more people and the evidence is that the New Covenant is not just for the Jews. The New Covenant is also for the Gentiles. We’ve been grafted in and the Holy Spirit now lives in believers.

It’s interesting it happened in Ephesus. It was a cosmopolitan city. It’s very important that it happened there, because there were so many languages spoke. Caesarea was the same exact way. But there was a specific purpose at a specific time already promised by our Lord Jesus Christ that it would take place. Again, we do not find these disciples speaking in other languages at any other time. It’s just these three recorded events and Jesus predicted every one of them.

This speaking in known languages has to be what Paul is referring to in 1 Corinthians 12:10, languages that speakers had never learned, but which the Holy Spirit enabled them to speak on occasion. They spoke instantly, though not necessarily as one might continue to speak a language he’s learned. They didn’t go on speaking that language.

I don’t know if that story is true or not but I have heard from so many different sources over and over again that a man was in Poland several years ago. He was preaching to thousands of people through an interpreter. The interpreter was a Communist. It was a set-up. And when the man got to the blood of Christ, the interpreter turned and spit in his face and walked off that stage leaving that poor man standing there by himself in the middle of a message with thousands of people sitting in front of him. As I understand the man spoke twenty-five more minutes in pure Polish, understood everything he said and hundreds of people got saved.

That’s what we’re talking about happened at Pentecost. That’s what we’re talking about happened at Caesarea. That’s what we’re talking about happened at Ephesus. People speaking in languages other than their own; people are hearing them, understanding them, and coming to know Christ. We must never lose sight of the ground rule of all the gifts he speaks of in chapter 12, all the manifestations.

Look in verse 7 one more time. Make sure you do not lose sight of this. This is important. It’s got to be nailed down in your mind. Verse 7 says, “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the [what?] common good.” That word is sumphero, to bring the body together, to build and to edify the body of Christ. It defies all comprehension that someone would walk into a group of people, stand up and speak in a language nobody else could understand and say they were under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God when not a person in here could be edified by what was said. So, again, they are understandable languages, otherwise they could not profit the body of Christ.

In the case of the Pentecostal experience, there’s a tremendous possibility—nobody has really disproved this—that when the apostles spoke, that they spoke in the language they knew, but the Holy Spirit took that same language and communicated it to the hearers that were there. That is a strong possibility. For instance, how many were dialects were there? It wasn’t the speaking, it was the hearing. I probably sound like a broken record. It is not for the benefit of the one speaking, it’s for the benefit of the one hearing. The hearing has got to be understandable. That’s the only way the body can be edified, unified, and built up.

I think a lot of people have just not had the experience. You ought to come to one of our conferences in Europe. I’ve been over there and they’ve had different translation booths and you see somebody standing up. I want to tell you something. It’s as confusing as anything you’ve ever heard in your life if you don’t have somebody to make it understandable to your ears. I hear that all the time. People say, “Oh, no. It’s some mysterious thing.” Paul says, “No, that’s what’s going on in Corinth. But what God does is very understandable, has integrity, and a lot of intelligence behind it.” This gift has got to be a clear understandable language. You see, to understand the tongues and to understand why the families of languages are there, you’ve got to get away from the speaker and take into account the hearer. If you don’t do that, then somehow you’re getting twisted already in your thinking.

Why is it that the gifts of tongues and interpretations of tongues in three lists are found twice together? Once in 12:10 and then in verse 30 we see it again. They’re put right side by side. Why would you need to interpret something if it’s not necessary you understand what you said? Again, the understanding has got to be there or it doesn’t qualify. It says in verse 30, “All do not have gifts of healing, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?” You see, if the listener cannot understand you, do you realize what they think about you? They think you’ve lost your mind and gone mad.

Look over in 14:23. I don’t like to get too much into chapter 14 because that’s where you’re going to see where the problem of tongues is in Corinth. Look over in 14:23 just for an understanding when people would start speaking in different, ecstatic languages and nobody’s interpreting, what it looks like. By the way, it’s not a sign for believers. It’s a sign for unbelievers. “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?” I looked up the word “mad” in the Greek. Do you know what that word is? It’s the word we get the word maniac from. What he’s saying is, do you realize how stupid this is if you got in here and started speaking in some ecstatic tongue which, evidently, was going on. He said unbelievers will come in here and think you’ve lost your mind, that you’re a bunch of maniacs. That’s what he said. No, what God does is understandable and if you can’t understand it, somebody’s there to translate it so that you can. It’s in a family of known, understandable language.

Now to further underscore that these tongues have got to be in an understandable languages, the very thing that he gives is the interpretation of tongues. I want to tell you something, folks. What the world has done to this interpretation of tongues is the same thing they did in Corinth in the Oracles of Delphi. They’re saying that somebody can literally interpret the gibberish and unknowledgeable words that somebody’s saying and actually bring a message. That’s what they were doing in Delphi. That was sick.

The word “interpretation” is not what you think it is. The word for interpret is simply the word hermeneia. Guess what word we get out of that—hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is what? The art of properly interpreting Scripture. That’s what the word actually means. So in other words, if you’ve got somebody speaking in a known, understandable language but you’re sitting there and don’t know what that language is, even if it’s only the Holy Spirit which it was at Pentecost, somebody’s got to translate what has been said so that you can understand. It’s just to further underscore that these are understandable languages.

Look in John 1:38 and let me show you where it’s translated in other places so you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s taking something from one language, whether written or spoken, and putting it into another language so that they can understand it. It doesn’t matter if it’s spoken or not. It’s actually the gift of translation, not the gift of interpretation. That kind of throws you. Hermeneia is more the idea of translation. In John 1:38 I think it’s pretty clear what the word means. “And Jesus turned, and beheld them following, and said to them, ‘What do you seek?’ And they said to Him, ‘Rabbi [now watch this. In parentheses look at what it says. This is in the Greek. It’s right there] (which translated (from Hebrew to Greek) means Teacher), where are you staying?’” That’s the word hermeneia.

Look down in John 1:41. We find the word again. Verse 41 says, “He found first his own brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which translated means Christ).” One more time, Hebrew to Greek. Look at verse 42, “He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, ‘You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).”

Do you see what’s happening here? From one language to another so that this person can understand what this person has said or written. Look in John 9:7. I’m breaking right into the middle of a sentence because I’m not interested in the context. I’m just interested in showing you how the word is used. It says in verse 7, “and said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which is translated, Sent).”

So evidently in the Corinthian church from what we can gather from 1 Corinthians 14, anyone can get up at any time, call for the singing of a sing; they could teach, proclaim a revelation, or speak in an—not several—unknown tongue. Anybody can do that. And nobody was checking whether or not this was truly of the Spirit of God. Nobody understood a thing that they were saying. You’ll see all this unravel as we get to chapter 14. Their unknown tongue in Corinth stood on its own ground as a language. Nobody knew it. Nobody had ever heard it. Nobody had ever spoken it. It stood on its own. It was just like the Oracle of Delphi. It was just like a bunch of gibberish that nobody seemed to understand, yet they said it was a message from God Himself. This is why I think Paul adds the gift of interpretation or translation, so that from one language it can be brought over into another language.

That’s 1 Corinthians 12:10, folks. Anything else you want to jam into it will not fit because the gifts have to edify. They have to unify. And they have to bring together the body of Christ. As a matter of fact, in chapter 14 he’s saying, “When you speak in a tongue, you do not edify others. You edify yourself.” That is your huge difference here.

Somebody says, “Are you going to get mad at me if I disagree with you and have these experiences in my quiet time?” No, my goodness. I hope you know that I love you no matter where we differ or not. But I do want to tell you something. You do whatever you want to do in your prayer closet. I don’t really care. You can speak in Hebrew backwards. I don’t care what you do.

But now here’s where I’m going to get a little bit upset. If you bring whatever you do in that prayer closet into the body of Christ and tell somebody in the body of Christ that they need that because they didn’t get everything when they got Jesus and they have to this as some kind of signal that the Holy Spirit of God is really using their life, I’m not only going to embarrass you in the church, I’m going to embarrass you publicly. Because I want people to know the people who are causing division in the church. Now, as long as we understand that, we can live together. But I guarantee you one thing. Just because I said that, there are people who will divide the church over their gift because they’re not connected to the giver. They’re connected to the sensual, fleshly gift that they have. And if they don’t have that feeling when they pray, they don’t think they’ve somehow gotten in touch with God.

I doubt if Job had much feeling when he got in touch with God. If you walk through those characters in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit of God didn’t live in them. It lived with them. That’s the difference of the covenant that we’re in. They stagger my imagination the way they lived honoring God with no feelings and with no answers, just believing God and doing it His way. So I’m not going to get angry. We can write the letters and have the discussions. That’s alright. You’re my brother and sister in Christ. It’s Jesus who draws us together, not our differences of opinion on what you say you have as a gift. But I’ll tell you this. Whatever you’re doing, don’t you dare try to put it in 1 Corinthians 12:10. It won’t fit. It won’t fit. Wherever you’re going to put it, I don’t know; just find some place else to park it but it won’t fit there.

Oh, me! You know, I feel like sometimes I’m out in the middle of the road with a flare trying to warn people that if you don’t connect up with the giver, you’re going to get hung up in the gifts. That’s all I know to do. I’m not going to fight anybody. I’m not going to be embarrassed because you disagree. But come, let us reason together. What is he talking about in thus saith the Word of God? First Corinthians 12:10 says that it’s an understandable family of languages. The interesting thing is, verse 7 says that it doesn’t even qualify unless it edifies and builds up the body of Christ.

Let’s stay very clear; let’s just take it a step at a time. The gifts of the manifestation of tongues, families of kinds of tongues, gene glossoon, families of known communicable languages. And to make sure that you understand that it needs to be understood, “and to some the interpretation of tongues,” the translation of tongues. Why would it need to be translated? Because people need to hear. If God’s doing it, He wants His people to understand. That’s 1 Corinthians 12:10. Whatever else you do, whatever other experience you have, it will not fit 1 Corinthians 12:10.

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Dr. Wayne Barber

Dr. Wayne Barber

Wayne has taught the message of “Living Grace” around the world. He is president, founder, and principal speaker of Living Grace Ministries and Senior Pastor of Woodland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He learned to exegete Scripture by studying for 10 years with Spiros Zodhiates, one of the leading Greek scholars.
Dr. Wayne Barber

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