Food for Maturing Believers by Deniz22
QUESTION: What does 1 Corinthians 14:20 mean?|
ANSWER: "Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature."
Paul is asking the church to grow up in their understanding of spiritual things.
In this instance, he shows the purpose and limitations of the gift of tongues (supernatural power to speak in a foreign language unknown by the speaker).
The call for kindness to replace malice may speak to the misusing of this sign gift to "lord it over" those who did not speak in tongues by those who did.
Paul himself said not every believer speaks in tongues.
And here he points out this sign gift is not to identify true believers, but instead is meant for unbelievers.
How misused today by those who insist tongues shows believers they are the real deal!
Paul goes back in the scriptures to prove the real purpose of tongues. (Isaiah 28:11)
Isaiah warned unbelieving Israel when they heard foreign languages, it was a wake up call from God.
He had warned them He would disperse them from the Promised Land among the nations if they disobeyed Him.
This actually happened a number of times when disobedient, unbelieving Israel was taken captive by their enemies and often transported to their captor's land.
When Christ came, Israel was in bondage again, this time to Rome.
The sign of tongues in Acts 2 was really intended for unbelieving Israel's leadership, to let them know they were being replaced by the Church as God's instrument of salvation in the earth.
This new entity, the Bride of Christ, filled with the Spirit, would be faithful to their crucified, risen Lord Jesus, whom Israel's leaders rejected as Israel's Messiah.
Understand, Israel has not and never will be abandoned by God. "Glorious things of Thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God" which will yet be accomplished!
All of Israel in the Second Coming, will recognize, with broken hearts, the One they treated with such cruelty and rejoice to say, "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of God!"
"And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced.
Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.
And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself,
and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves;
all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves."
Zechariah 12:10-14 -NKJV
What a glorious day awaits God's beloved people because of God's great faithfulness and eternal love!
Believer, if failing, falling, faliable Israel will never be forsaken by Him, cannot we who have trusted Christ rely on His sure salvation in spite of our own similar weakness, waywardness and woes?
"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
Hebrews 13:5-6 -NKJV
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