Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
I was reading Adam’s second email about tongues. I agree with him that there are some wonderful things in Brother Jerry’s email. While mulling over what he said and the thoughts about tongues being a sign for unbelieving Jews, I had a thought come to mind.
In 1Corinthians 14, Paul also refers to Isaiah 28, as we know well. What came to mind was what Isaiah prophesied (Isa. 28:11-12): “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 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.”
In particular, the phrase “to this people” stood out. Who are “this people” but the Jews, as verse 14 shows: “Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.”
So, Isaiah’s prophesy agrees fully with what the Spirit spoke to Brother Jerry. Not surprising, but still I love that. The truth has an unbreakable quality that is dear to my heart.
It is interesting who are singled out in verse 14 - scornful men that ruled “this people”. This certainly applied to rulers among God’s people at the time the Spirit came in Acts 2.
Sadly, there were many of these unbelieving Jews who were never convinced by God’s sign to accept that Paul really had a gospel from God for the Gentiles – and from that unbelief came the religion of Christianity (xty).
The truth about Paul’s gospel is the only thing that will bring God’s children out of xty eventually, and for those who still refuse there will be the final delusion from God. Thank you, God, for letting us see, believe, and love this gospel!
Barbara brought up the topic of Jerry’s email, and Adam’s response, this morning, and it reminded me of the great importance of Peter in the events surrounding the Gentiles’ holy Ghost baptism.
We are told that when Peter returned from Cornelius’ house to Jerusalem, he was rebuked by certain of the elders there for entering into the house of a Gentile (Acts 11). It was during the course of Peter’s self-defense before them that he made the famous statement, “Who was I, that I could withstand God?” Peter maintained in the councils convened throughout this time that the Gentiles received “the same gift” that the Jews had received in the beginning at Pentecost.
Peter was a rock for the Gentiles; if Peter declared that the same gift from God fell on Cornelius as fell on the Jews on the day of Pentecost, and if the evidence from God (speaking in tongues) was present, there was no Jew who could dare to say that the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house had received a false spirit. And there were multitudes of Jews who were very willing to say that any man who claimed to have received the real holy Spirit of God without first becoming a Jew (being circumcised) was deluded.
This controversy over the Gentiles’ need of circumcision was the greatest doctrinal issue among the earliest saints. It consumed the attention of most of Paul’s writings to his Gentile converts. And in the end, Paul failed to persuade his dear Gentile converts that they were OK with God without circumcision and the other rituals of the Law that followed that one. As a old man, Paul lamented that all the saints within the Roman province of Asia had forsaken him and turned “to another gospel” which included ceremonies, or “works of the Law”. But because God had given His sign of the covenant (speaking in tongues) to the Gentiles, and because Peter was not ashamed to call them brothers before the Jewish elders, the Gentiles were given time to grow enough in grace to allow the gospel to become established in some hearts, and the message was not altogether lost.
That tongues is a sign to unbelievers is still true, even if the “unbelievers” originally intended were those among the Jews who would not have believed God would take us Gentiles into His kingdom. And we owe Peter respect and thanks for his courage in confessing that Christ had indeed entered into Gentile hearts, even though doing so made him some powerful enemies among his own countrymen.