So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air, 1st Corinthians 14:9.
I have owned a couple of Toyota Camrys in my life. I have owned a couple of Volkswagens. Like American made cars they needed periodic maintenance. I never once heard a mechanic tell me that he had to learn Japanese or German to learn to work on my cars. No matter how technical the problem, no matter how intricate the procedure to fix it, my mechanics have always been able to keep my cars running exactly like the manufacturer intended by reading translations of the manuals from the original tongues.
Isn't it a shame that God couldn't do that? (I speak as a fool.) Isn't it a shame that God wrote the most important book of all time and that something Toyota and Volkswagen were able to do quite handily is apparently out of his capabilities or at least nowhere in his desires? Continuing as a fool... Isn't it a shame that God speaks into the air? Isn't it a shame that over 7 billion people on this earth cannot easily understand what he says? Isn't it a shame that God demanded for us to read and study his word but he keeps it at arm's length away from us by speaking in Greek and Hebrew which are not easily understood?
Just for the record, I hate that God. He is the God of men who would have us to worship him, believe him, trust him and yet they keep him behind a veil of ancient languages and claim that only they can truly know what he is really saying. To all of us regular folks he speaks into the air. As an experiment, do some research. Find 500 churches whose statements of faith declare that they believe the scriptures in the original manuscripts. Interview the pastor of that church.
Ask him if he is capable of reading, writing and speaking in Ancient Greek and Hebrew without a lexicon or dictionary right at hand. He preaches and believes falsely. In fact it would be very difficult to call 500 colleges and to find such a man. (That is explained in this earlier post. Click here.) He pretends for his people's sake that he is running behind the veil to get messages from his God, but he is running behind the veil to get the opinions of men as they pontificate on their interpretations of Greek and Hebrew. He has taught the people that what they hold in their hands is but a shadow of what is really being said by God. The engineers at Toyota and Volkswagen are more adept at what they do than that man's God.
The God of these men is a barbarian. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me, I Corinthians 14:11. He is a barbarian to them and they are barbarians to him. I didn't write the rules for tongues. God did. If what they say is correct, and God only spoke his word in Greek and Hebrew, then that God is a barbarian to me and to almost every other living person on this earth.
I received Jesus Christ in January of 1982. The man who preached to me had a 10th grade education. Both he and I had believed every word written in a King James Bible exactly as we found it. Both he and I had been solemnly warned that what we had was inaccurate. We were warned that it wasn't the real bible and that the real bible had perished over 1900 years earlier. Yet when he preached to me, the words that he preached did exactly what Jesus said they would do. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you, John 15:3.
I found that the words that he spoke to me in the English Language were exactly what he had promised in John 6:63, the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. I found that the words that were preached to me were more than just words. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake, 1st Thessalonians 1:5. God in his grace made me to be meek and able to receive his words. They were delivered to me in English. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls, James 1:21.
What is truly remarkable in the year 2019 is that for over 100 years we have been led to believe that men are getting us closer and closer to what God really said, but that our churches have less power than ever, our lands have been swept free of righteousness and that the fruits of the word of God are almost non-existent.
50 years ago, I was a 15 year old boy attending Catholic Mass in a small country parish. We were a poor parish and to compensate for our rural isolation, the local Bishops would send us brand new priests every year. This served a dual purpose. We always had a priest, and the local Bishop was able to keep an eye on his rookie priests. As a result, we often received visionary young men who sought hard to be cool, hip, snazzy, mod and up to date. There was nothing lacking in their sincerity and a couple of them taught me things that were good. Nevertheless, they felt a need to prove their relevance.
In those years, the folk mass was coming into style. Most of the old people groaned, but quietly endured it, and not a few escaped by coming to an earlier more traditional mass. My sister attended a folk mass before I did. She told me of an amazing spiritual experience. She told me that when the guitars were being rhythmically strummed, and while the priest lifted the host to consecrate it, the entire room changed and she felt at one with everyone in that room. A few weeks later it happened to me.
To seem more relevant, the priest used a pizza crust as the host. He held it high over his head as he implored us to look on. He broke it into little pieces to hand out for communion. At one point in the mass, the same thing that my sister experienced happened to me. It was as if an aura had descended. The music, the lighting, the awe of what was happening melded into one and for a few brief moments I felt to be truly at one with everyone in that church. I loved that moment.
The problem with that moment is that it didn't change me. I was still a liar. I was still gross in defiling my body. I still swore like a sailor. I just felt a lot better about all of that. I could always come back to church and get my "high" back.
I have watched mainstream Protestantism go the same way. They have been joined by Bible Churches, Charismatic Churches, Happy Sappy Baptist Churches and just about every other group. They fill their sanctuaries with rhythmic pulses, lift their hands in ecstasy and experience a filling of some spirit or another. Any old bible will do. It doesn't matter.
Their cool, hip, snazzy, mod and up to date, worship leaders lead them in whatever. They are unified by feelings and not by mutual truth. All around the country there are reports of wonderful revivals taking place on college campuses and huge tent meetings. What doesn't change is the population at large because what they are receiving and grooving on is not bible. To such a people, any bible is just as good as another.
A friend once quoted one such worshiper, "I don't care what the bible says, I know what I felt." The fruit of having a God who cannot easily be understood is spiritual darkness disguising itself as spiritual ecstasy. In those few churches still trying to cling to the David Cloud fantasy of a perfect Greek and Hebrew Text but an imperfect English Bible, they have become so dry and dead that they cannot long survive. They eschew the snazzy music, but also eschew the power of God to speak perfectly to them in more than one language. In my next post I hope to show from within the scripture itself how that God made provision to speak in the vernacular.