You may not think that prophecy has anything to do with the charismatic gifts that Paul lists in 1 Corinthians chapters 12, 13 & 14 but you would be wrong. There are many reasons today why the leaders in the non-charismatic churches want to eliminate the gifts as taught by Paul in Scripture. Prophecy is just one of them. But why? Theology in general is very creative. They have created many ages which are not expounded upon by scripture writers, and thus they become theory.
One such theory is the church age theory, which today has much less appeal even to them for various reasons, but its tenants are still in use.
Listen to how one writer in one of his points, brings in the Apostolic age without emphasizing it, and he is not even a dispensationalist.
“The transitional nature of redemptive history in the first century.
Tragically, Israel had spurned Yahweh for centuries, culminating in the rejection of her Messiah. Consequently, God judged Israel in faithfulness to his word and covenant warnings. In part, this judgment involved setting Israel aside for the sake of the church. God would no longer center his redemptive plan on the ethnic nation of Israel, but a spiritual nation; the church. Acts records this glorious transition, as the Spirit empowered believers to make disciples from and among all nations. The idea of an individualized private prayer language contradicts the redemptive historical purpose of the gift of languages during the transitional time of Acts.
In a very vivid way, the God of the nations showed with the gift of languages that one need not immerse themselves in Israeli ethnicity to enter his favor. Believers need not speak Hebrew and become a Jewish proselyte. Instead, God miraculously enabled people to speak the languages of the nations in order to speak the good news of Christ to the nations. Thus, the transitional nature of salvation history in the first century forbids the idea that this gift was a private prayer language. In no way is it a private phenomenon, but a corporate marvel for the nations and in judgment of Israel (cf. 1 Cor. 14:21).”
I want you to notice here that only one verse of scripture is used to support this understanding. Others use other single verses in this same effort. But the prophetic is in play here. However, I must add that his conclusion is without full knowledge and evaluation of what is said by Paul, and with what has been preserved as Scripture. Even his acts transition is biased. When Peter went to Cornelius there was no need for foreign language mentioned in order to communicate the gospel yet tongues were given just as at the first.
If the era or age of Israel can be temporarily done away with and replaced either permanently or temporarily by the Gentile concept of the church, then all sorts of false understanding can be imagined.
I am going to analyze parts of what is said by Davis in order to point out the prophetic error. First he says:
“God miraculously enabled people to speak the languages of the nations in order to speak the good news of Christ to the nations.”
Although this has merit because “all present” when Peter delivered his Pentecostal sermon heard in their own native tongue. Thus as far as it goes it is a true statement. But some truth is normally always involved at the foundation of biblical error. This truth stated does not take into account all of the truth on this subject. Listen and we will explore further.
“Thus, the transitional nature of salvation history in the first century forbids the idea that this gift was a private prayer language.”
So Davis has concluded here from this truth that this private prayer language is an “idea” forbidden because of the transitional nature of salvation. I could pick this entire statement apart, but I am going to stick to private prayer as much as I can, and include the charismatic gifts, which for them, cannot be allowed in most Dispensational or even replacement theologies. They because of their very doctrines require different ages in order to support their understanding.
Both insist upon eternal security but for different reasons. Both appeal to the sovereignty of God, but refuse to allow Him sovereignty in deciding one’s eternity, if that one was once saved or chosen by God, whichever suits their particular theology. God does blot men who disobey without regret and repentance from the book of life. Research it, and then tell me otherwise.
So what does Paul teach concerning the gifts? Read 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14.
1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (KJV)
1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way. (KJV)
Love is the better way than coveting, as shown in chapter 13. Then:
1 Corinthians 14:1 Follow after charity (love), and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. (KJV)
1 Corinthians 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.
Why would one not wish to speak to God in the spirit?
1 Corinthians 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
1 Corinthians 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
1 Corinthians 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. (KJV)
The statements of Paul are very easy to understand. But men who have certain underlying doctrinal aspirations must twist them to make their teaching seem correct. And this is why Peter says: that the word is twisted to one’s own destruction. Jesus put it this way:
Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (KJV)
And Paul put it this way.
Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:15-16 NASB
Both of these teachers, Peter and Paul taught as did Jesus that twisting scripture, adding to it or taking away from it will lead to one outcome — false teaching and one’s own destruction.
1 Corinthians 14:6 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? (KJV)
Paul’s emphasis is that the private use of tongues is the only appropriate use without an interpreter. There is no evidence in scripture that “there is no gift of tongues”, but there is evidence in scripture that there are both false teachers, and misusers of God’s gifts. Beware of false teachers.
Davis has a two part conclusion. I’ll speak to both. First “Taken together, we conclude that the “gift of tongues” was the foundational-era gift of languages. This was the miraculous ability to speak an unlearned earthly language for the purpose of exalting Christ and building up others. It served as a loud statement at the birth and foundational time of the church to declare that God’s plan of redemption is no longer restricted to one nation, but all nations, while proclaiming God’s judgment on Israel.
This is not a Dispensational presentment of an informational argument, although both they and replacement theologians use the same basic argument against tongues. And both use the age or era distinction to divide Israel from the church. This division is not taught in scripture. Gentiles are now grafted into the commonwealth of Israel and are made partakers of Israel’s covenants Of promise Eph 2-3.
This was not a judgment as is stated against a nation Israel, but against individuals within that nation, who were cut off for unbelief to make room for individuals from all nations who would become believers, and be added to Israel’s commonwealth.
The second part of his conclusion is telling:
“This gift ceased with the apostolic era in the first century as the NT church foundation was established. The question is frequently asked, “Then what is this tongues phenomena which many Christians claim to experience?” I do not know. What we do know, however, is that one cannot justify the experience from Scripture, and, therefore, the practice must not be sought, practiced, or propagated by Christians.”
So, what Paul tells us to earnestly desire, man tells us not to seek, because he does not know this experience. We might be able to forgive him for this comment based on his inexperience, but his argument that there is no Scriptural justification is just plain false.
Remember there are men today within the church who use the same arguments against the born again “experience”. They do not know it, and they can not understand it from scripture.
Following is the link to Davis’ 11 reasons as to why there are no tongues. Read them at your own risk, and ask yourself, do they take away from or add to what Paul has taught in scripture?
So how do tongues and the gifts relate to prophecy? Unfortunately they as other Scriptural truths give rise to false teachers.