Gifts and Callings of God
I Corinthians 12:1-14:17
Gifts and Callings of GodJoel 2:28, "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon ALL flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions."
Mark 16:17-18, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
Acts 1:5, "For John truly baptised with water; but YOU shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."
On the day of Pentecost these prophecies were fulfilled. The gifts were not confined to any one class of people such as the Levites but extended to all classes (Galatians 3:28) in a wonderful diversity of Supernatural endowment.
Under such extraordinary circumstances and, considering the spirit fell upon ALL flesh, being that there are genuine believers, make-believers, and un-believers in every gathering, it should be of no surprise to us that many disorders arose in that day, as they have in this. For the Holy Spirit falls on the just and the unjust - <a name="saints_and_sinners">saints and sinners </a>. Like Abel and Cain, they each worship God, and like Pope John Paul II each may have the "initial evidence" of speaking with other tongues.
There would be the deluded and the impostors, some with religious spirits, and others dissatisfied with their gifts would envy those they felt were more highly favoured. Some may make an ostentation's display of the Supernatural. In public assemblies, great confusion would arise from so many persons wishing to employ their gifts at the same time.
I Corinthians 14:26, " How is it then, brethren? when you come together, every one of you has a psalm, or a doctrine, a tongue, or revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying."
Perhaps you've attended a modern impersonation of the Pentecostal or Laodicean Church Age, either under denominational groups or the Roman Catholic Charismatic movement. It was the same kind of disorder and confusion Paul was working to eliminate.
Paul wrote three chapters trying to put the gifts in order in the first Church Age. Brother Branham <a name="restored_this_order">restored this order </a> at the close of the Church Ages, where the Pentecostals, like the Corinthians, having turned aside from plain faith and practical Christianity, were employing the gifts of the Spirit for personal gratification and "works", without regard for the edification of the whole Body. They were confusing genuine inspiration on the soul with fanatical excitement of the mortal spirit. Paul commences by stating, "Concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant" (I Corinthians 12:1). And you ARE ignorant concerning their nature and origin, and influenced by demons concerning the use of these gifts.
After teaching three chapters of protocols for their operation, Paul says, "If any man would remain ignorant, let him be so".
Read your Bible as I paraphrase I Corinthians 12:2. You know that you were formerly heathens, in fellowship with demons symbolised by idols that could not communicate, and were inexperienced as to the revelation of the living God. Therefore you are unqualified to judge respecting these Spiritual gifts. You are not much better now as you are Spirit babes in need of simple teaching. So I am going to INSTRUCT you in the proper purpose and appropriate use of Spiritual gifts.
(I Corinthians 12:3). Now the first thing to be understood is that no man speaking by inspiration of the Spirit of God in prophecy or an unknown tongue will anathematise the Man Jesus. That word in the Hebrew is "cherem" and means to devote to destruction some unclean thing for the glory of God. Christians should do a word study on that, because it will open their understanding to serpent seed and the destruction of all that offends God's holiness in the Lake of Fire.
Paul adds that "no man can confess Jesus is Messiah but by the REVELATION of the Holy Spirit".
This is what Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16:17-18, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jona: for flesh and blood (man, books, learning) has not REVEALED to you WHO I am, but my Father which is in heaven has REVEALED who I am and on this rock of Spiritual REVELATION of the Word I will build My Church. And the gates of hell shall not prevail against Spiritual REVELATION of the Word, or faith".
Brother Branham said that "no true believer is any stronger and spiritually healthy and alive than his knowledge of and adherence to the pure Word of God" (Church Ages, 113:1). This is the true test of a genuine utterance by the Spirit which Charismatic's and Pentecostal impersonators almost always fail nowadays. REVELATION by the Spirit. We receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit which is the new birth, AFTER we believe, by revelation of the Word for OUR day (Acts 19:2; Ephesians 1:13). Without revelation by the Spirit, indicating one is a Son of God we can only testify an intellectual conception we've LEARNED from the pastor, or books like the Bible.
(I Corinthians 12:4-7), Paul states that there is diversity in the gifts and in their purpose and operation, but their MANIFESTATION is for the common profit and edification of the WHOLE Body, NOT individual gratification of the recipient. When the operation of gifts is perverted for self-exaltation, it is idolatry. When they are continually mis-used out of order it is carnal ignorance that can neither glorify God or Spiritual bless His Church. "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:25).
Speaking of his gift of healing, Brother Branham said, "This gift is not for my use" . He could not see visions at will or choose the visions he wanted to see. Jesus had the same limitation, "The Son can do nothing of Himself but what the Father reveals in a vision: for whatsoever He does, the Son does likewise".
Jesus, Paul and Brother Branham were examples of men under the pre-eminence of the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit are God's gifts and we should wait upon Him to use them. All too often it is MAN using God's gifts against the will of God.
Romans 12:5-9, "We, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us. Let he whose gift is prophecy, prophesy according to the proportion of faith; If ministry let him WAIT on his ministering: or he that teaches, upon teaching; Or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that gives, let him do so with simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be sincere and without pretence".
Too often we see the gifts of the Spirit being used by man and not by the Spirit because the man does not wait upon the Spirit for his ministry. Brother Branham said "A gift of God is just knowing how to relax yourself, get yourself out of the way so God can come in and use you. It ain't something that you've got in your hand, that you stab around with".
In I Corinthians 12:8-11, Paul names the manifestations which seem to fall into three general categories:-
I. The capacity to discourse - "wisdom and knowledge" .
The gift of the <a name="Word_of_wisdom">Word of wisdom </a> is to understand the Word of God by the Holy Spirit and show the Church where it is standing. The word of Wisdom can be said to be theoretical - for expounding the faith to the whole Body. The gift of the Word of knowledge is prophecy which reveals the future from the Word of God or some past event or experience and has practical application for individual.
II. " <a name="Faith">Faith </a>" is knowing God's will to manifest extraordinary deeds. It is the power of energised will to be able to accomplish what is impossible with natural powers.
Paul said in I Corinthians 3:2, "Though I have the gift of faith, so that I could remove mountains". Matthew 17:20, "Jesus said unto his disciples, ' ...If you have FAITH as (unadulterated) as a grain of mustard seed (which can not be hybrid) you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you'."
And in Matthew 21:21, "If you have faith, and doubt not, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if you shall say unto this mountain, 'Be removed, and be cast into the sea; it shall be done'."
For "... The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).
The gift of "Faith" lifts the recipient beyond the realms of mere mortal certainty in the actual realisation of things believed. We have an illustration of faith when Brother Branham's caused the beads on the light fitting to rotate in a clockwise direction and then counter rotate. And again in the first and second "pulls" of his ministry when he would take a person by the hand, and diagnose their affliction or when he would discern the thoughts and intents of their heart.
GIFTS of " <a name="Healing">Healing </a>" is plural. God works in many different ways to heal the sick: sometimes by preaching the Word, sometimes by a neighbour who feels led to lay his hand on you, or to pray for you.
The nine Spiritual gifts are in the WHOLE Body. Although a person may be anointed to manifest one or other of the gifts today, they may never be anointed to operate that gift again.
This applies to healing, working of " miracles ", or " prophecy ". The Word of God comes to a prophet but the GIFT of prophecy is in the Body. The Spirit might come upon a sister tonight to prophesy, and may never come upon her for the rest of her life. It may come on this woman the next night, may be on this man the next time, maybe on one back there the next time. That doesn't make any of them a prophet. Any such prophecy must not be received until it is judged by two or three. But one doesn't judge a prophet, that's a calling foreordained of God to that individual from the foundation of the world.
Then there is " discerning of the spirits " that prophesied: whether they are Divine, demonic, or human. "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good" (I Thessalonians 5:21). Peter discerned the spirits in Acts 5 when he told Ananias and Sapphira how they had lied to the Holy Ghost.
III Speaking with different " tongues ". Like the operation of the other gifts, one who speaks in tongues today may never speak with tongues again. Brother Branham said he spoke with tongues on one occasion about one year after his new birth, and on only about two other occasions.
The tongue is not a language intelligible to the speaker so he can not discourse in the assembly at will. The strange utterance is inspired by God. And as the speaker has no idea what he's saying, he should hold his peace unless in seclusion with God, he has the gift of interpretation, or an interpreter is present. It's a gift he should surrender to God to use if and when He chooses.
" <a name="Interpretation">Interpretation </a>" of tongues is not learning the vocabulary of men or angels but like tongues the message is inspired only in English or whatever the local language might be. The interpreter does not translate but repeats what he has heard.
Both tongues and interpretation are spontaneous and must be judged by two or three witnesses with the gift of discernment before they are released to the general congregation.
These gifts should be in every local Body, inspired by the Spirit Who anoints the saints individually as He chooses.
(I Corinthians 12:12-13), the organic unity of the Church is typed by the human body in the diversity of its members and their functions. But the interdependence is such that the diversity is necessary for the unity of one complete Body.
We are all baptised into One Spirit by which we are one by faith, and all made to drink of One Spirit. This cup seals the marriage contract or the New Testament in Christ's blood (I Corinthians 11:25; "Israelite Marriage").
(I Corinthians 12:14-26), as the Body is not one member, but many, it is as absurd for the foot to complain that it is not the hand as it is for one member of the Body to complain that he is not another. Like the human body, the Church also requires a diversity of gifts and offices for its existence.
God set these offices in His Church and gave them a Divine purpose and He set each individual saint in the Body in sovereign grace "as it has pleased Him". So Paul identifies the more highly gifted as equally dependent on those less favoured as they are on them. He rebukes the more highly gifted as each member is indispensable to the other and must show mutual interest and care. Therefore, pride is as out of place in the Church, as is discontent.
Paul goes on to apply what has been said concerning the human body to the individual members of the Church of Christ.
I Corinthians 12:27, "Collectively you are the Body of Christ but individually you are members of it - each with your own position and function.
Paul names the Offices of the five-fold ministry and discourages exclusive regard for particular gifts as diversity or distribution was necessary so we cannot each possess them all. It is worthwhile noting from Ephesians 4 that the five-fold ministry is NOT for the sinner but to bring to maturity those who are already saints.
Brother Branham described this ministry in the Message, "Warning then Judgement". The highest office is the <a name="apostle">apostle </a> who is a special man sent from God to set the things in order.
The <a name="prophet">prophet </a> is a special man to whom God's Word comes first hand. His subconscious and first conscious are so close together that he doesn't go to sleep to dream but sees visions while he's awake. That's sovereignly given by God to enable him to see future events. He sees the cup of God's wrath, full, before it is filled. He can say, "THUS SAITH THE LORD. God will destroy the city except you repent."
God likens His prophets to eagles. An eagle is a special bird that can fly higher and see further than other birds but unlike so many of them he is not a scavenger and eats only fresh meat. Likewise a prophet walks in the Light of the PRESENT Truth, not the glare of a day gone by. Vindicated prophets have the Word and signs of God. His Word is not his own but God's, and It will come to pass. John saw the Book of Revelation. It didn't happen in his day. But we see it coming to pass now.
Daniel prophesied from his day to the Millennium. He didn't live to see it. God said, "Go your way Daniel, Seal up the book, you'll sleep in your lot, but at that day you'll stand."
The evangelist is a special man, on fire for God. He runs into a city and preaches his message, then moves on somewhere else.
The pastor is a special person. He's a burden-bearer, the ox of the team, built so he can confront the fusses of the people. One who can mediate between two families in dispute, and reason it out without taking either side, and bring them back the sweetness. He knows how to take care of things.
The teacher is a special man. He sits back under the anointing of the Spirit and is able to take the Words and put them together by the Holy Spirit in such a way that the pastor or evangelist cannot compare with him.
You cannot <a name="mix">mix </a> two or three offices together at the same time. And God's ministers should be isolated persons, not social leaders but in the quietness and Presence of the Lord. It's their duty to get the revelation and teach the people, to solve any doubts and prove their teaching before the people without compromise - knowing they will answer for those souls on the day of judgement.
If God has sent a man as His ambassador, He has to honour His Word. All the power of God stands behind His servants, as it is written, "Whatsoever you bind on earth, God will bind in heaven". If you can't respect the man, respect the office of the man. You must love your pastor whom the Holy Ghost has made overseer. "He that receives whomsoever I send receives Me".
Are all Christians Apostles? No! The Gifts and callings of God are without repentance. Do all Spirit-filled Christians speak with tongues? Obviously Not! God is sovereign in His giving.
Jesus said "these signs shall follow THEM that believe". The signs are AMONG the believers and will manifest in GROUPS of believers. He did not declare that every individual will manifest the gifts. The Spirit flows through the GROUP which will work and worship in harmony: "decently and in order". When people attempt to force the gifts, it brings confusion. Though all gifts have their value and are conferred by God, some are more valuable than others. Does Paul exhort us to speak with tongues? No! He says to be zealous for and cultivate the best gifts. Which is more important? Speaking with other tongues or the gift of wisdom to put the Word of God together and bring Life?
In I Corinthians 14:1-6 he identifies the "best gifts" as prophecy (revelation) and teaching. Then he says there is a more excellent way to obtain gifts, and that is charity, which is agape, which is God's Own love we apprehend in the new birth. So it is possible to operate the five-fold ministry and all of the gifts without being born-again. Speaking with other tongues, gifts of healing or being a minister does not mean one is a Christian. Satan can impersonate all of the gifts and the five-fold ministry.
The only test of Christianity is the Word test. Does an individual have a clear revelation of the PRESENT Truth, and is It on display in their lives. We can "pray earnestly for the best gifts" but the callings or offices of ministry are sovereignly predestinated of God (Romans 11:29), like Jeremiah, John and Brother Branham.
Paul begins I Corinthians 13 by mentioning the gift of tongues, as his chief contention was against its exaggerated merit in his day, a disorder which repeated in the Pentecostal or Laodicean Age that ended in 1963.
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as a noisy gong, or a clanging cymbal".
"Tongues of men" are known languages. "Tongues of angels" are unknown utterance by which the speaker speaks NOT to other men but to himself and God alone in private prayer. Charity does not mean giving alms but "agape" love which is God, which is the new birth, or baptism with the Holy Ghost. Love excludes all self-seeking in the possession and use of gifts and is directed exclusively to the edification of the Body.
In verse two, Paul says "though I have the "more excellent gifts" like prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (or the new birth, Christ in me), I am nothing".
One can be right in his doctrine but without the Life of Christ he has learning without the Spirit. We must be right in our doctrine and right in our spirit, or teachable.
Paul next describes the exercise of outward forms of love. "Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I'm burned alive for preaching the Gospel, without Christ - God's love in me by a new birth - it profits me nothing".
If such self-sacrifice does not spring from God's love and was a parade of heroic endurance or defiance, I am nothing. So all of our good works, our tithes, Pentecostal sensations and the joy and peace we have has nothing to do with the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. Those things can all be carnally impersonated. A Christian Scientist can out-smother us with the fruit of the Spirit and deny Christ. The charity we're considering is God's Own love that comes in to us by the new birth.
A man who speaks with tongues without being born-again has nothing edifying to say and is likely to sow discord. Prophecy is a more excellent gift, yet in the case of Balaam (Numbers 22; II Peter 2:15) and of Caiaphas when he declared by inspiration of the Holy Spirit "that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not" (John 11:40-54), prophecy was worthless without God's love.
Let's not judge our spirituality by how much power we have to do miracles. Judas and the seventy exercises more power and performed more miracles than you or I. And don't judge our lives by how much knowledge we have of the Word - check to see whether the Token is on display in our lives today.
I Corinthians 13:4-7, "God's Own love is longsuffering..."
We are to suffer, and be Christlike in doing so. Paul said, "I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his Body's sake, which is the Church" (Colossians 1:24).
In Matthew 5:11-12 Jesus said, "Blessed are you, when men shall revile and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you".
"God's love is kind; is not envious or jealous of others; is not vain or boastful, not proud or arrogant, does not display unseemly obtrusiveness in the use of the gifts, seeks not its own rights, advantage, or influence, is not supersensitive and aroused to even a transient passion, and does not bear in mind the evil done to it but forgives it".
The Holy Spirit will never cause you to do anything contrary to the Word. It will not be angry and will always receive correction by the Word.
"God's love rejoices not in injustice or in the downfall or injury of others springing from ill-will, but when truth prevails. It is loyal under all circumstances, believes and expects the best of every person, endures suffering and persecution in their defence, confidently expecting the victory of good in others".
Unlike Spiritual gifts, these attributes of love are permanent.
The PROOF of God's love is in <a name="election">election </a> - because we are in Christ. We can know this because He said so. We prove our love to Him by believing what He said and by conducting ourselves with joy amidst the trials that He in His wisdom allows to come to pass. I Corinthians 13:8-10, "God's Own love is eternal and can never be extinguished: but all gifts and powers like prophecies, tongues or knowledge shall vanish away. Even with the gifts our knowledge is in part, and our prophesy (inspired teaching) is incomplete. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away".
According to Brother Branham, "I Corinthians 13 says this: 'When that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away with'. So all these little things of jumping up-and-down like a kid, trying to talk in tongues, and all these other things, when that which is perfect... And we do have today, by God's help, the <a name="perfect_interpretation">perfect interpretation </a> of the Word with Divine vindication. Then that which is in part is done away with. 'When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child; but when I become a man, I put away childish things'. Amen" (COD, 1005:56).
During the Church Ages when the Bible was sealed with Seven Seals we had only PART Word and Christ was a Mediator in behalf of our ignorance of the sealed mystery. The revelation of the Seven Seals brought Him back to earth in WORD form: "That which is perfect" is Christ, the Fullness of the Word. Since we now have the fullness of the Word, PART Word and a Mediator is done away, and the operation of the nine Spiritual gifts is diminishing as we grow into the unity of the faith or maturity for the manifestation of the Sons of God and the translation.
We're living in what Brother Branham called the "Capstone Age" . If you recall Isaiah prophesied that "the Lord would be as a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem" (Isaiah 8:14). Paul teaches that this was fulfilled in their rejection of Jesus Christ because they sought to apprehend Him by their carnal works without faith (Romans 9:31-33).
Jesus and Peter taught that the Stone the builders disallowed is made the head of the corner; the Stone from which the structure is measured and without which the Building can not be completed.
The Building is the Body of Christ represented by Brother Branham as the Great Pyramid upon which the Capstone was never placed. The structure beneath the Capstone represents Pentecost and the Seven Church Ages that followed. The Capstone Itself is the fullness of the Word, Christ, now becoming incarnate in His end-time Bride as she comes under pre-eminence to the fullness of the Word.
As the Bride grows by understanding the fullness of the Word, into the unity of the faith and maturity, she knows who she is and does not need the consolation of childish gifts that are passing away.
I Corinthians 13:11-13, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see a dim reflection of reality as through a mirror; but when that which is perfect is come we will see face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (For the Word is a discerner ...) And now faith, hope, and God's love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is agape love".
"Love" is what the end-time Bride together will be. God's Love is eternal and the ultimate grace. It is the fullness of the Word and Life that makes the Capstone Bride who crowns the Body. Therefore she will not see death in the flesh, whereas the Church Age saints were all baptised into the PART-Word majority of the Body. Because it was hybrid with GUESSWORK, PART-Word was NOT Life so the Church Age saints, like the gifts of the Spirit, all die. They enter the Presence by resurrection from the grave.
Regarding the gifts, Brother Branham said, "'That which is in part will be done away with when that which is perfect is come,' or when that which is perfect is MADE KNOWN", in the revelation of the Seven Seals (COD, 1017:97).
We are not to play with the gifts but let God use them and move up into perfection or maturity as His Capstone Bride. The veil of flesh is what prevents us from seeing the Supernatural face to face and keeps us physically out of His presence. But in this Age we will see Him face to face after we are changed in the atoms. We will begin to break into the other dimension at the time of the Body Change when we recognise the resurrected saints.
Ephesians 4:11-16, "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; to bring the saints to maturity for the work of the ministry (witnessing to others how our candle was lit), and for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: (MATURITY in the Capstone manifesting the Token which is the Life of Jesus Christ, God's Own love manifest).
That we henceforth be no more CHILDREN, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head (or Capstone), even Christ: From Whom the whole Body fitly joined together and completed by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, grows to maturity building Itself up in love".
As a natural bride is to reflect the character of her husband, who is her head, the Bride of Christ will together be the Capstone or Head of the corner incarnate. And what she says in the time of the manifestation of the Sons of God He will do.
Partial and immature realisation is passing away to be swallowed up in <a name="perfect_realization">perfect </a>realisation.
In I Corinthians 14:1-5, Paul turns to the proper management of the gifts and exhorts us to pursue the baptism of the Holy Ghost as our goal in life and be especially zealous that we may prophesy (or declare the Word under inspiration). Then he explains why:
"For he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not unto men, but unto God: for no man understands him because what he speaks in the Spirit is unintelligible".
According to Brother Branham, "Speaking in tongues comes in such a combustion that the person barely knows what they're saying" (COD, 1076:63). What he says in TONGUES imparts nothing the hearer can understand or profit by. He speaks for his own emotional comfort and to God.
I Corinthians 14:3-7, "However he that PROPHESIES (or speaks under inspiration), edifies, exhorts and consoles others. He that speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself; but he that prophesies edifies the whole Church, promoting its growth in wisdom, piety, holiness and joy.
I wish that you ALL spoke with tongues, (you see, "all" Christians do NOT speak with tongues) but would prefer that you prophesied: MORE USEFUL is he who prophesies than he who speaks with tongues, unless he interprets what he has said so the whole Church may benefit.
Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with some language you can't understand, how would that help you? But if I plainly share what God has revealed to me, or what I know, or prophesy, or teach doctrine, I will help you. Even inanimate musical instruments like the flute or the harp, must have some intelligent modulation so that the listener may understand what is played".
Even the trumpet, so strong and unmistakable in its character has an intelligent order to give distinction of meaning to its notes.
"For if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise you, if the unknown words are unintelligible, how will anyone understand what you are saying? You'll be speaking into the air.
There are so many kinds of languages in the world unknown to us, and none of them is without expression of meaning. However if they are meaningless to me I shall seem a barbarian to the speaker, and he shall seem to me a barbarian, (or outside the sphere of Greek language and thought). But since you are so anxious to receive the gifts of the Spirit, ask Him for those that will be of genuine help to the whole Church. And let he who speaks in unknown tongues pray that he may also know what he has said so that he can afterwards tell the believers plainly" (I Corinthians 14:8-13).
If the speaker in tongues does not have this gift, or there is no interpreter present, he is not at liberty to be heard in the Church at all - not even in the little room before the service (I Corinthians 14:28). Because "if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is UNFRUITFUL".
On the day of Pentecost those who came from the upper room were speaking Galilaean yet everyone HEARD in his own native tongue. So the miracle was not SPEAKING with unknown tongues but <a name="HEARING">HEARING </a> or UNDERSTANDING them in one's own language (Acts 2:8-11).
I Corinthians 14:15-17, "I will both pray by the Spirit within me, and I will pray intelligibly with my mind in a language everyone understands: I will sing by the Spirit within me, and I will sing intelligibly with my mind and understanding also.
Else when I bless and give thanks with the Spirit, how shall the outsider say 'Amen' to my thanksgiving, seeing he doesn't know what I am saying? Doubtless I gave thanks well, but the bystander hasn't a clue as to what I've said".
Christ's building His Church upon "Faith" or a clear understanding of the revealed Word of God. bb980513.htm