Introduction 1 Corinthians 2:9-16
The greatest blessing aside from salvation is the promise of God to dwell in us or the Holy Ghost. Many things have been spoken about the (HG) yet this is one of Gods greatest mysteries that are accessible to all. The church has failed to take advantage of this vital gift and has denied a power that God so readily is willing to give humanity.
1. The Spirit (1Cor 2:9-16)
· The (HG) is a spiritual guide given to believers to understand the Gods will.
· He teaches us the mysteries of Gods kingdom thru his eyes or his knowledge.
· Jesus thought it necessary after the crucifixion and resurrection to wait. (JN 14:16-26)
i. The (HG) will abide with you forever; God has blessed us with his eternal presents. (vs16)
ii. (vs. 17-20) The fullness of the God Head dwells within believers, sinners cannot understand this.
iii. (vs. 21) God will manifest, to make known (HG) to those who love God.
iv. (vs. 23) The (HG) will abide, to live within with God lovers
v. (Acts 7:47-51 & 17:24) God does not dwell in temples built with hands
vi. God or the Holy Ghost desires to abide within true believers of Jesus Christ.
· What we are saying God himself desire eternal fellowship with you.
· This is not just a gift but the Shekinah glory of God within you saint.
2. The Old, The New and The Promise
· The Old Testament speaks of the laws of God, building of the Temples, the promise land, etc.
· The New Testament speaks of salvation Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the Old.
· The Promise is our inheritance the Holy Spirit, God within as our guide to heaven.
· Exodus 33:, Moses sees the Glory of God
i. Moses never had this type of relationship, The burning bush and the passing of God, Backside
ii. The Apostles Walked with God and were disciples but did not have this experience.
iii. After the resurrection the disciples were called to (Acts 1:4-8)
1. Jesus command before anything else to wait for the promise (HG).
2. The Disciples ask about Gods Kingdom being established, still not understanding
· It is the (HG), the guide that will reveal all things that pertain to God.
· The church is not equipped to establish Gods kingdom until the have the promise, (HG)
· It was important enough for Jesus to instruct the apostles to wait for the comforter, before the commission was given.
· By ourselves, we cannot do the work of God, examples in scripture, none righteous.
3. Pentecost (Acts 2:1-3)
· This is were the promise was established, with tongues as the evidence
· (Matthew 3:15-17) Jesus insisted to be Baptist and the spirit descended, some things just have to be done
i. There are some thing that just have to be done in Gods Kingdom
ii. John did not want to Baptist Jesus because he knew this was God but Jesus wanted to obey the father
iii. We must stick to the plan of God
iv. I cannot serve God unless God is guiding me, I need Jesus direction or I will fail.
v. This is faith in action, to obey the plan of God, we say I need more of Jesus yet deny the (HG)
vi. If we are to enter into the heavens we must accept them now in simple terms (HG)
vii. Without this how can you plan to receive from God all of what he has for you?
· (John 15:26-27) The spirit allows us to bear witness of Jesus Christ words and promises
· (Acts 19:1-7) Paul meets the disciples and preaches Jesus promise of the Holy Ghost.
· The (HG) is the power source of every believer and you should allow God a temple within you.
(Eph. 4:29-30) We are seal, as belonging to God thru the Holy Ghost (John 16:7-16)
1 Corinthians 2:9-16
9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
16 For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
47 But Solomon built him an house.
48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?
50 Hath not my hand made all these things?
51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
33:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it:
2 And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:
3 Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.
4 And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments.
5 For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.
6 And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb.
7 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.
8 And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle.
9 And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses.
10 And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.
11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
12 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.
13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.
14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
7 And all the men were about twelve.
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
TONGUES OF FIRE.
In the account of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples at Pentecost it is said (Acts 2:3): "And there appeared to them tongues as of fire [Grk. glossai hosei puros] distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them." The words mean that there were seen by them tongues that looked like little flames of fire, luminous but not burning; not really consisting of fire, but only "as of fire." As only similar to fire, they bore an analogy to electric phenomena; their tongue-shape referred as a sign to that miraculous speaking that ensued immediately after and the firelike form of the divine Presence (cf. Exodus 3:2), which was here operative in a manner so entirely peculiar. The whole phenomenon is to be understood as a miraculous operation of God manifesting Himself in the Spirit, by which, as by the preceding sound from heaven, the effusion of the Spirit was made known as divine, and His efficacy on the minds of those who were to receive Him was enhanced (Meyer, Com., ad loc.).
(From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)
What is the Gift Of Tongues?
One of the most talked about topics in religious circles in the last decade has been tongue speaking. Contemporary tongue speaking is often confused with New Testament gifts of tongues, but they are not the same.
The New Testament gift of tongues is described in five passages and you might want to write the passages down. From these five passages three things are evident. First, the New Testament gift of tongues consisted of languages of men which were spoken miraculously, without previous knowledge of the language. Second, these tongues were given as signs to confirm that both the man who spoke and the message he spoke were from God. Third, only those who received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and those who received the laying on of the apostles' hands possessed this miraculous gift.
The first mention of speaking in tongues in the New Testament is Mark 16:17-20. In this passage, Jesus promised five kinds of signs which would accompany those who believed: (1) Casting out demons; (2) speaking with new tongues; (3) picking up serpents; (4) drinking deadly poison; and (5) healing the sick.
In verse 20 Mark says that the apostles went everywhere preaching the word and the signs followed them. Jesus promised that such signs would follow. Mark said that they did. These miraculous signs confirmed the new revelation of the gospel. They did then, and they still do. The gospel was confirmed then by miracles. Both the message and the confirming miracles were recorded in the New Testament. We have in the New Testament today both the revealed message and the confirming signs.
The second passage is Acts 2:4-8. It tells the happenings on the day of Pentecost. The twelve apostles miraculously spoke in tongues which they received through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. These tongues were human languages which the apostles miraculously spoke. Testament gift of tongues. Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits to see if they are of God.
The Holy Spirit gives many gifts to believers. One of the gifts is speaking with other tongues. Though these gifts are called as the gifts of the Holy Spirit, actually these gifts comes from God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. 1Cor 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. However the operations of all gifts in the church are executed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives the gifts to those whom he seems fit. 1Cor 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
(All the Bible references are from the Authorized King James Version)
1. Speaking With Tongues
The gift of speaking with tongues was first promised to believers by the Lord Jesus Christ. Mark 16:17 -- these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
A. The Holy Spirit gives Utterance as Believers Speak
If the gift to speak with new tongues is given to a person, the Holy Spirit gives the utterance as he speaks. We may even say that the Holy Spirit speaks the languages through the person. Because the person speaks with the Holy Spirit, it is called the gift of speaking with other tongues. Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
B. Devout men heard as Believers spoke
God gives believers the gift of speaking with other tongues. God not only gives utterance to speak, but also enable the devout people to hear the speaking in their own language. But others, who were not devout believers, did not understand anything. Always there will be two groups of people. God may interpret the language to the devout group but not to the other. Acts 2: 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 --- because that every man heard them speak in his own language. --- 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Acts 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.
C. Believers discerned the Tongues
The spoken tongues were not made known to believers who were with apostles Peter and Paul. Even then they were able to discern that the speaking of tongues was of God. Acts 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
D. Apostle Paul spoke in Tongues
Ordinary people took the gift of speaking in tongues for drunkenness. Even at this present time people, who are not devoted to God, will not be able to discern the gift of speaking in tongues. It is not given to them to understand. Acts 2:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Apostle Paul encouraged the people that everybody should speak with tongues. He also testifies that he spoke with tongues more than all of them. 1Cor 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, ---. 18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
E. Gifts of God are given to Profit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given so that God may dwell among believers, who are the body of Christ. Psalms 68:18 --- thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. The purpose of manifestation is that the believers must be profited by the gifts. "1Cor 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
2. Diversities of Tongues
Believers speak with other tongues as God gives them utterance. They speak in many different languages. These tongues have different functions and purposes. These are the diversities of tongues which is diverse kinds of tongues. 1Cor 12:10 --- to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. ---- 28 --- then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
A. Tongues of Men and of Angels
Believers are given to speak any language, which are spoken by men or even by angels, as God the Holy Spirit gives utterance. 1Cor 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,-- Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
B. Speaking to God with Tongues
By the gift of tongues believers speak to God even mysteries. But others can not understand the language. 1Cor 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. By this gift believers may speak to God, as the Holy Spirit inspires them, even if the person who speaks the language may not understand what he prays. Here, the spirit of man spoke, but the person did not understand. 1Cor 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also:
C. God Speaks through Tongues
God speaks his messages through prophetic tongues. Prophesy is for the believers in the Church. So the tongue should be interpreted to them. God gives gift of interpretation to believers so that the church may get the message. If no one in the church have the gift of interpretation, God says that you pray for the gift of interpretation so that you may receive it. 1Cor 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. 6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?-- 13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
D. Tongues for Self Edification
God says that those who speak with tongues edify themselves, even though nobody understands how. 1Cor 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; ---
3. Workers and Gifts of God
There are orders of ranks set by God in the church for his service. These ranks start from the level of apostles and end with the level of believers in his body, the church. God gives gifts in all level for personal profit as well as the profit of the body.
A. Ministers of God and Miracles
Among the ministers of God, apostles are ranked first, prophets are ranked second and teachers, who are pastors, are ranked third. Evangelists are in the same rank of pastors, but they minister in the field to bring believers to the church. Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 1Cor 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, ---. Workings of miracles are mentioned just after the three ranks of office. These miracles are done by the above ministers as God gives them power to do it. 1Cor 12:28 --- after that miracles, ---. Gal 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, --- 2Cor 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. Heb 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
B. Helps, Governments, Healings and Tongues
In this group two categories of functions and two categories of gifts are mentioned. Helps and governments are not placed one over the other. But they should work side by side and they are placed under the first group. Gifts of healings and diversities of tongues should operate in this group. 1Cor 12:28 --- then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
C. Believers and Gifts of the Holy Spirit
God brings the believers to the church. Acts 2:47 --- And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. The ministers of the first three ranks are given by God to bring the believers to perfection up to the same measures of the fullness of Jesus Christ. Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 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 fulness of Christ: The Holy Spirit has given many gifts for the benefit of these believers according his will. 1Cor 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit: 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
4. Misunderstandings of Tongues
God gives instructions for the operations of gifts, including the use of the gift of the tongues. But some people throw the gift away by misunderstanding the instructions. Instructions are meant to use the gifts properly, efficiently and profitably. But it is not to destroy or to discard the gifts.
A. Sounding Brass and Tinkling Cymbal
Jesus Christ loves his people and saves them from their sins. He gave himself to gain our souls for his kingdom, on earth and in heaven. "Matt 1:21--- call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." This love is called charity. If we have charity we will also give ourselves to save others from their sins, and will bury multitude of sins. 1Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. The gifts of God must be used for the cause of the kingdom of God, which is to save people from their sins. If not those who use the gifts will not be rewarded for their works. This truth should not discredit the gifts, but emphasize the importance of why the gifts are in operation. Here the instruction is not to use the gift of speaking with tongues for a show, but only with charity, which is to love and gain the souls for the kingdom of God. 1Cor 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
B. Charity compared with the Gifts
Charity is sacrificial love somebody has on anybody to save his/her soul from eternal destruction. Charity, holiness, righteousness, etc becomes the part of the character of a true believer. This character is the part of the soul, which will continue through eternity. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to us for the edification of the church, to bring the church to maturity. This should be done in our life time and will not continue after our death. So the gifts will cease and charity will remain with us in eternity. 1Cor 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. ---." This is the comparison of the position of the gifts with charity.
C. Has the Gift of Tongues Ceased ?
1Cor 13:8 ---prophecies they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. False teachers claim that the gift of tongues is ceased. If so, the knowledge also should vanish with the tongues. But they claim that they still have the Knowledge of God to understand the Bible. As the gifts fail, both tongues and knowledge should have stopped simultaneously. They still have the knowledge of God. If the knowledge has not vanished, then the tongues also could not have ceased.
Prophesies are not the full picture of the hidden things or things to come. But they give a partial understanding. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit are supposed to work in part. But when the Perfect comes the believers will have perfect understanding of the mysteries of God and the things to come. Then the gifts which work in part will not be needed. So they will cease. 1Cor 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." Now the big question is, which is the "Perfect" that comes?
1Cor 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. The world is in total blindness concerning the kingdom of God. But believers are given the sight to see kingdom through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. However the given sight is partial as they see through a dark glass. But when Jesus Christ who is the Perfect comes for his Church, his bride will be transformed to his glory. Now his bride sees not as through the dark glass, which was through the gifts, but directly. Now she does not need the gifts, so they cease. But until Jesus Christ the Perfect comes for his Church, the gifts of the Holy Spirit will continue in operation to build the Church, the bride.
D. Perfection of the Bride of Christ
"2Cor 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." But the false workers are trying to deceive the bride by subtilty so that she may not use the gifts of God to make herself perfect as a chaste virgin. They try to falsify or corrupt the simplicity of Christ, which will accept only a chaste virgin for his bride. Without the word of God, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the work of Lord Jesus Christ, nobody can become the chaste virgin of Christ. "Eph 5:25 --- Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
5. The Tongues are Signs for Unbelievers
A. In the law it is written
"1Cor 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. 21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. 22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not:..." This gift of speaking with tongues is the fulfillments of an Old Testament prophesy. If one verse in the Bible refers to another verse, then we must study the other verse also so that we may know the actual truth of the original verse. So let us refer the Old Testament verses Isaiah 28:9-13, which explain the context. There we find that the gift of speaking with other tongues, which edifies the believers as a gift, condemns the unbelievers as a sign.
B. Are You weaned from the milk?
There is a time to desire the milk and to grow by it as we drink. "1Peter 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious." But in order to receive milk we should lay aside malice, guile, envies and hypocrisies. The milk is the basic doctrines of the Word of God. Drinking is to do what the basic doctrines ask us to do. If we have obeyed then we have tasted the grace of God. "Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe." Again, just obeying the basic doctrine only is not growth. God wants them to grow from being babies so that they can eat meat. "Isaiah 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts." God shall teach spiritual knowledge and doctrines, only to those who has fulfilled and grown above the foundational doctrines.
C. Precept upon precept; Line upon line
"Isaiah 28:10 For (they say*) precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 But (therefore*) the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken." (* added to match eastern Bible.) The so called believers, who has no desire to obey God, say that they will obey a little at a time, here a little and there a little. Because they say thus, God speaks to them with stammering lips and another tongue. God says that this will give rest to the weary and this is the refreshing. The true believers will receive this. "1Cor 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not:" But the so called believers would not believe what God says. So God set the gift of speaking in tongues as a sign to the so called believers that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. This means that they are spiritually destroyed while on earth and will also eternally be condemned.
6. Christ Commands
Lord Jesus Christ, through Apostle Paul, commands the believers to desire prophesy and not to stop anyone from speaking with tongues. 1Cor 14:37 --- I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord 39 --- covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. But false workers are trying to stop the gifts of God even by committing blasphemy by saying that tongue speaking is of the devil. 1Cor 14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. The gift of tongues edifies the speaker. With the gift of interpretation it edifies the church. 1Cor 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; ---. God desires that every believer should speak in tongues. 1Cor 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, ---. May God bless you.
1 Corinthians 2:10
[By his Spirit] By the Holy Spirit, that was promised by the Saviour. John 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:7-14. This proves:
(1) That people by nature are not able to discover the deep things of God-the truths which are needful to salvation.
(2) That the apostles were inspired by the Holy Spirit; and if so, then the Scriptures are inspired.
(3) That all Christians are the subjects of the teaching of the Holy Spirit; that these truths are made known to them by his illumination; and that but for this, they would remain in the same darkness as other men.
[For the Spirit] The Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of God; see 1 Corinthians 2:11.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)
1 Corinthians 2:10
[The deep things of God] He has a thorough knowledge of the hidden counsels or purposes of God; of all his plans and purposes. He sees all his designs. He sees all his councils; all his purposes in regard to the government of the universe, and the scheme of salvation. He knows all whom God designs to save; he sees all that they need; and he sees how the plan of God is suited to their salvation-This passage proves:
(1) That the Spirit is, in some respects, DISTINCT from the Father, or from him who is here called God. Else how could he be said to SEARCH all things, even the deep purposes of God? To "search" implies "action, thought, personality." An attribute of God cannot be said to SEARCH. How could it be said of the justice, the goodness, the power, or the wisdom of God that it "searches," or "acts?" To search, is the action of an intelligent agent, and cannot be performed by an attribute.
(2) The Spirit is omniscient. He searches or clearly understands "all things" - the very definition of omniscience. He understands all the profound plans and counsels of God. And how can there be a higher demonstration of omniscience than to "know God?" -But if omniscient, the Holy Spirit is divine-for this is one of the incommunicable attributes of God; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalms 139:1; Jeremiah 17:10.
(3) He is not a distinct BEING from God. There is a UNION between him and God, such as may be compared to the union between a man and his soul, 1 Corinthians 2:11. God is one; and though he subsists as Father, Son, and Spirit, yet he is one God, Deuteronomy 6:4 - This passage is, therefore, a very important, and a decisive one in regard to the personality and divinity of the Holy Spirit.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)
1 Corinthians 2:11
[For what man ...] The design of this is, to ILLUSTRATE what he had just said by a reference to the way in which man acquires the knowledge of himself. The purpose is to show that the Spirit has an EXACT and THOROUGH knowledge of the things of God; and this is done by the very striking thought that no man can know his own mind, his own plans and intentions, but himself-his own spirit. The essential idea is, that no man can know another; that his thoughts and designs can only be known by himself, or by his own spirit; and that unless he chooses to reveal them to others, they cannot ascertain them. So of God. No man can penetrate his designs; and unless he chooses to make them known by his Spirit, they must forever remain inscrutable to human view.
[The things of a man] The "deep things" - the hidden counsels, thoughts, plans, intentions.
[Save the spirit of man ...] Except his own mind; that is, himself. No other man can fully know them. By the spirit of man here, Paul designs to denote the human soul-or the intellect of man. It is not to be supposed that he here intends to convey the idea that there is a perfect resemblance between the relation which the soul of man bears to the man, and the relation which the Holy Spirit bears to God. The illustration is to be taken in regard to the point immediately before him-which is, that no one could know and communicate the deep thoughts and plans of God except his Spirit-just as no one could penetrate into the intentions of a man, and fully know them, but himself. The passage proves, therefore, that there is a knowledge which the Spirit has of God, which no man, no angel can obtain, just as every man's spirit has a knowledge of his own plans which no other man can obtain; that the Spirit of God can COMMUNICATE his plans and deep designs, just as a man can communicate his own intentions; and consequently, that while there is a DISTINCTION of some kind between the Spirit of God and God, as there is a distinction which makes it proper to say that a man has an intelligent soul, yet there is such a profound and intimate knowledge of God by the Spirit, that he must be equal with him; and such an intimate union, that he can be called "the Spirit of God," and be one with God, as the human soul can be called "the spirit of the man," and be one with him.
In all respects we are not to suppose that there is a similarity. In these points there is-It may be added that the UNION, the ONENESS of the Spirit of God with God, is no more absurd or inexplicable than the union of the spirit of man with the man; or the ONENESS of the complex person made up of body and soul, which we call MAN. When people have explained all the difficulties about THEMSELVES-in regard to their own bodies and spirits, it will be time to advance objections against the doctrines here stated in regard to God.
[Even so] To the same extent; in like manner.
[The things of God] His deep purposes and plans.
[Knoweth no man] Man cannot search into them-any more than one man can search the intentions of another.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)
1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:14
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
[Now we have received] We who are Christians; and especially we, the apostles. The following verse shows that he had himself and the other apostles chiefly in view; though it is true of all Christians that they have received, not the spirit of this world, but the spirit which is of God.
[Not the spirit of this world] Not the wisdom and knowledge which this world can give-not the learning and philosophy which were so much valued in Greece. The views of truth which we have, are not such as this world gives, but are such as are communicated by the Spirit of God.
[But the Spirit which is of God] We are under the teaching's and influence of the Holy Spirit.
[That we might know] That we might fully understand and appreciate. The Spirit is given to us in order that we might fully understand the favors which God has conferred on us in the gospel. It was not only necessary that God should grant the blessings of redemption by the gift of His Son, but, such was the hardness and blindness of the human heart, it was needful that he should grant His Holy Spirit also, so that people might be brought fully to see and appreciate the value of those favors. For people do not see them by nature; neither does anyone see them who is not enlightened by the Holy Spirit of God.
[The things that are freely given us] That are conferred on us as a matter of grace or favor. He here refers to the blessings of redemption-the pardon of sin, justification, sanctification, the divine favor and protection, and the hope of eternal life-These things we KNOW; they are not matters of conjecture; but are surely and certainly confirmed to us by the Holy Spirit. It is possible for all Christians to know and be fully assured of the truth of those things, and of their interest in them.
1 Corinthians 2:13
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
[Which things we speak] Which great, and glorious, and certain truths, we, the apostles, preach and explain.
[Not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth] Not such as human philosophy or eloquence would dictate. They do not have their origin in the devices of human wisdom, and they are not expressed in such words of dazzling and attractive rhetoric as would be employed by those who pride themselves on the wisdom of this world.
[But which the Holy Ghost teacheth] That is, in the words which the Holy Spirit imparts to us. Locke understands this as referring to the fact that the apostles used "the language and expressions" which the Holy Spirit had taught in the revelations of the Scriptures. But this is evidently giving a narrow view of the subject. The apostle is speaking of the whole course of instruction by which the deep things of God were made known to the Christian church; and all this was not made known in the very words which were already contained in the Old Testament. He evidently refers to the fact that the apostles were themselves under the direction of the Holy Spirit, in the words and doctrines which they imparted; and this passage is a full proof that they laid claim to divine inspiration. It is further observable that he says, that this was done in such "words" as the Holy Spirit taught, referring not to the doctrines or subjects merely, but to the manner of expressing them. It is evident here that he lays claim to an inspiration in regard to the words which he used, or to the manner of his stating the doctrines of revelation. Words are the signs of thoughts; and if God designed that his truth should be accurately expressed in human language, there must have been a supervision over the WORDS used, that such should be employed, and such only, as should accurately express the sense which he intended to convey.
[Comparing spiritual things with spiritual] pneumatikois (NT:4152) pneumatika (NT:4152) sungkrinontes (NT:4793). This expression has been very variously interpreted; and is very difficult of explanation. LeClerc renders it "speaking spiritual things to spiritual men." Most of the fathers rendered it: "comparing the things which were written by the Spirit of the Old Testament with what is now revealed to us by the same Spirit, and confirming our doctrine by them." Calvin renders the word "comparing" by "fitting," or adapting ("aptare"), and says that it means "that he adapted spiritual things to spiritual people, while he accommodated words to the thing; that is he tempered that celestial wisdom of the Spirit with simple language, and which conveyed by itself the native energy of the Spirit." Thus, says he, he reproved the vanity of those who attempted to secure human applause by a turgid and subtle mode of argument.
Grotius accords with the fathers, and renders it, "explaining those things which the prophets spake by the Spirit of God, by those things which Christ has made known to us by his Spirit." Macknight renders it: "explaining spiritual things in words taught by the Spirit." So Doddridge-The word rendered "comparing" sungkrinontes (NT:4793), means properly "to collect, join, mingle, unite together"; then "to separate or distinguish parts of things and unite them into one"; then "to judge of the qualities of objects by carefully separating or distinguishing"; then "to COMPARE for the purpose of judging," etc. Since it means to compare one thing with another for the purpose of explaining its nature, it comes to signify to "interpret," to "explain;" and in this sense it is often used by the Septuagint as a translation of the Hebrew word paatar (OT:6622), "to open, unfold, explain." (See Genesis 40:8,16,22; 41:12,15); also of paarash (OT:6567), "to explain"; and of the Chaldee peshar (OT:6591), (Daniel 5:13,17). See also Daniel 2:4-7,9,16,24,26,30,36,45; 4:3-4,6,16-17; 5:7-8,13,16,18,20; 7:16, in all which places the noun sungkrisis (NT:4793), is used in the same sense. In this sense the word is, doubtless, used here, and is to be interpreted in the sense of "explaining, unfolding." There is no reason, either in the WORD used here, or in the ARGUMENT of the apostle, why the sense of COMPARING should be retained.
[Spiritual things] pneumatika (NT:4152). Things, doctrines, subjects that pertain to the teaching of the Spirit. It does not mean things "spiritual" in opposition to "fleshly;" or "intellectual" in opposition to things pertaining to "matter;" but spiritual as the things referred to were such as were performed, and revealed by the Holy Spirit-his doctrines on the subject of religion under the new dispensation, and his influence on the heart.
[With spiritual] pneumatikois (NT:4152). This is an adjective; and may be either masculine or neuter. It is evident, that some noun is understood. That may be either:
(1) anthroopois (NT:444), "men" - and then it will mean "to spiritual men" - that is, to people who are enlightened or taught by the Spirit and thus many commentators understand it; or,
(2) It may be logois (NT:3056), "words" - and then it may mean, either that the "spiritual things" were explained by "words" and illustrations drawn from the writings of the Old Testament, inspired by the Spirit-as most of the fathers, and many moderns understand it; or that the "things spiritual" were explained by-words which the Holy Spirit THEN communicated, and which were adapted to the subject-simple, pure, elevated; not gross, not turgid, not distinguished for rhetoric, and not such as the Greeks sought, but such as became the Spirit of God communicating great, sublime, yet simple truths to people. It will then mean "explaining DOCTRINES that pertain to the Spirit's teaching and influence in WORDS that are taught; by the same Spirit, and that are suited to convey in the most intelligible manner those doctrines to men." Here the idea of the Holy Spirit's present agency is kept up throughout; the idea that HE communicates the doctrine, and the mode of stating it to man-The supposition that logois (NT:3056), words, is the word understood here, is favored by the fact that it occurs in the previous part of this verse. And if this be the sense, it means that the words which were used by the apostles were pure, simple, unostentatious, and undistinguished by display-such as became DOCTRINES taught by the Holy Spirit, when communicated in WORDS suggested by the same Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
[But the natural man] psuchikos (NT:5591), de (NT:1161) anthroopos (NT:444). The word "natural" here stands opposed evidently to "spiritual." It denotes those who are governed and influenced by the natural instincts; the animal passions and desires, in opposition to those who are influenced by the Spirit of God. It refers to unregenerate people; but it has also not merely the idea of their being unregenerate, but that of their being influenced by the animal passions or desires. See the note on 1 Corinthians 15:44. The word "sensual" would correctly express the idea. The word is used by the Greek writers to denote that which man has in common with the brutes-to denote that they are under the influence of the senses, or the mere animal nature, in opposition to reason and conscience-Bretschneider. See 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Here it denotes that they are under the influence of the senses, or the animal nature, in opposition to being influenced by the Spirit of God. Macknight and Doddridge render it: "the animal man."
Whitby understands by it the man who rejects revelation, the man who is under the influence of carnal wisdom. The word occurs but six times in the New Testament; 1 Corinthians 15:44,44,46; James 3:15; Jude 19. In 1 Corinthians 15:44,44,46, it is rendered "natural," and is applied to the body as it exists before death, in contradistinction from what shall exist after the resurrection-called a spiritual body. In James 3:15, it is applied to wisdom: "This wisdom-is earthly, SENSUAL, devilish." In Jude 19, it is applied to SENSUAL persons, or those who are governed by the senses in opposition to those who are influenced by the Spirit: "These be they who separate themselves, SENSUAL, having not the Spirit." The word here evidently denotes those who are under the influence of the senses; who are governed by the passions and the animal appetites, and natural desires; and who are uninfluenced by the Spirit of God. And it may be observed that this was the case with the great mass of the pagan world, even including the philosophers.
[Receiveth not] ou (NT:3756) dechetai (NT:1209), does not "embrace" or "comprehend" them. That is, he rejects them as folly; he does not perceive their beauty, or their wisdom; he despises them. He loves other things better. A man of intemperance does not receive or love the arguments for temperance; a man of licentiousness, the arguments for chastity; a liar, the arguments for truth. So a sensual or worldly man does not receive or love the arguments for religion.
[The things of the Spirit of God] The doctrines which are inspired by the Holy Spirit, and the things which pertain to his influence on the heart and life. The things of the Spirit of God here denote all the things which the Holy Spirit produces.
[Neither can he know them] Neither can he understand or comprehend them. Perhaps, also, the word "know" here implies also the idea of "loving," or "approving" of them, as it often does in the Scripture. Thus, to know the Lord often means to love him, to have a full, practical acquaintance with him. When the apostle says that the animal or sensual man cannot know those things, he may have reference to one of two things. Either:
(1) That those doctrines were not discoverable by human wisdom, or by any skill which the natural man may have, but were to be learned only by revelation. This is the main drift of his argument, and this sense is given by Locke and Whitby. Or,
(2) He may mean that the sensual the unrenewed man cannot perceive their beauty and their force, even AFTER they are revealed to man, unless the mind is enlightened and inclined by the Spirit of God. This is probably the sense of the passage. This is the simple affirmation of A FACT-that while the man remains sensual and carnal, he cannot perceive the beauty of those doctrines. And this is a simple and well known fact. It is a truth-universal and lamentable-that the sensual man, the worldly man, the proud, haughty, and self-confident man; the man under the influence of his animal appetites-licentious, false, ambitious, and vain-DOES NOT perceive any beauty in Christianity. So the intemperate man perceives no beauty in the arguments for temperance; the adulterer, no beauty in the arguments for chastity; the liar, no beauty in the arguments for truth. It is a simple fact, that while he is intemperate, or licentious, or false, he CAN perceive no beauty in these doctrines.
But this does not prove that he has no natural faculties for perceiving the force and beauty of these arguments; or that he MIGHT not apply his mind to their investigation, and be brought to embrace them; or that he MIGHT not abandon the love of intoxicating drinks, and sensuality, and falsehood, and be a man of temperance, purity, and truth. He has all the natural faculties which are requisite in the case; and all the inability is his "strong love" of intoxicating drinks, or impurity, or falsehood. So of the sensual sinner. While he thus remains in love with sin, he cannot perceive the beauty of the plan of salvation, or the excellency of the doctrines of religion. He needs just the LOVE of these things, and the HATRED of sin. He needs to cherish the influences of the Spirit; to RECEIVE what He has taught, and not to reject it through the love of sin; he needs to yield himself to their influences, and then their beauty will be seen.
The passage here PROVES that WHILE a man is thus sensual, the things of the Spirit will appear to him to be folly; it proves nothing about his ability, or his natural faculty, to see the excellency of these things, and to turn from his sin. It is the affirmation of a simple fact everywhere discernible, that the natural man DOES not perceive the beauty of these things; that while he remains in that state he CANNOT; and that if he is ever brought to perceive their beauty, it will be by the influence of the Holy Spirit. Such is his love of sin, that he never WILL be brought to see their beauty except by the agency of the Holy Spirit. "For wickedness perverts the judgment, and makes people err with respect to practical principles; so that no one can be wise and judicious who is not good." Aristotle, as quoted by Bloomfield.
[They are spiritually discerned] That is, they are perceived by the aid of the Holy Spirit enlightening the mind and influencing the heart.
(The expression psuchikos (NT:5591) anthroopos (NT:444); has given rise to much controversy. Frequent attempts have been made to explain it, merely of the animal or sensual man. If this be the true sense, the doctrine of human depravity, in as far at least as this text may be supposed to bear upon it, is greatly invalidated. The apostle would seem to affirm only, that individuals, addicted to the gross indulgences of sense, are incapable of discerning and appreciating spiritual things. Thus, a large exception would be made in favor of all those who might be styled intellectual and moral persons, living above the inferior appetites, and directing their faculties to the candid investigation of truth. That the phrase, however, is to be explained of the natural or "unregenerate" man, whether distinguished for intellectual refinement, and external regard to morals, or degraded by animal indulgence, will appear evident from an examination of the passage.
The word in dispute comes from psuchee (NT:5590), which though it primarily signify the breath or animal life, is by no means confined to that sense, but sometimes embraces the mind or soul "as distinguished both from man's body and from his pneuma (NT:4151), or spirit, breathed into him immediately by God" - See Parkhurst's Greek Lexicon. The etymology of the word does not necessarily require us, then, to translate it "sensual." The context therefore alone must determine the matter. Now the "natural man" is there opposed to the spiritual man, the psuchikos (NT:5591) to the pneumatikos (NT:4152), and if the latter be explained of "him who is enlightened by the Holy Spirit" - who is regenerate-the former must be explained of him who is not enlightened by that Spirit, who is still in a state of nature; and will thus embrace a class far more numerous than the merely sensual part of mankind.
Farther; the general scope of the passage demands this view. The Corinthians entertained an excessive fondness for human learning and wisdom. They loved philosophical disquisition and oratorical display, and may therefore have been impatient of the "enticing words" of Paul. To correct their mistaken taste, the apostle asserts and proves the utter insufficiency of human wisdom, either to discover spiritual things, or to appreciate them when discovered. He exclaims "where is the 'wise'? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" 1 Corinthians 1:17,31. Now it would be strange indeed, if in bringing his argument to a conclusion, he should simply assert, that "sensual" people were incapable of spiritual discernment. So lame and impotent a conclusion is not to be attributed to the apostle. The disputed phrase, therefore, must be understood of all unregenerate persons, however free from gross sin, or eminent in intellectual attainment. Indeed it is the "proud wisdom" of the world, and not its sensuality, that the apostle? throughout has chiefly in view. Add to all this; that the simplicity of the gospel has "in reality" met with more bitter opposition and pointed scorn, from people of worldly wisdom, than from people of the sensual class. Of the former, is it especially true that they have counted the gospel "foolishness" and contemptuously rejected its message.
Of this natural man it is affirmed that he cannot know the things of the Spirit of God. He CAN know them "speculatively," and may enlarge on them with great accuracy and beauty, but he cannot know them so as to approve and receive. Allowing the incapacity to be moral, not natural or physical, that is to say, it arises from "disinclination or perversion of will:" still the spiritual perception is affected by the fall, and whether that be directly or indirectly through the will, matters not, "as far as the fact is concerned." It remains the same. The mind of man, when applied to spiritual subjects, does not now have the same discernment that it originally had, and as our author remarks, if it is ever brought to perceive their beauty, it must be by the agency of the Spirit. (See the supplementary note on Romans 8:7.)