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CHAPTER 3-section 9

Discussing the spiritual.gifts as found in 1 Corinthians, John Chrysostom (A.D. 345-407) begins his "Homily XXIX" (on 1 Corinthians 12:1, 2) thus: "This whole place is very obscure [referring to 1 Cor. 12:1, 2], but the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the facts referred to and by their cessation, being such as then used to occur but now no longer take place." 4

Was this perhaps the crucial point where glossolalia had done its work and was no longer given? There is no reason to doubt the validity of Chrysostomís statement, especially since Augustine (A.D. 354-430) reaches practically the same conclusion. In his "Ten Homilies on the First Epistle of St. John," Homily VI, section 10, he writes: "In the earliest time,íthe Holy Ghost fell upon them that believed: and they spake with tongues,í which they had not learned, Ďas the Spirit gave them utterance.í These were signs adapted to the times. For there behooved to be that betokening of the Holy Spirit in all tongues, to shew that the Gospel of God was to run through all tongues over the whole earth. That thing was done for a betokening, and it passed away." 5

Some theologians have tried to build a case for a continuation of the supernatural languages on the basis of an isolated questionable example (Montanus), but after having been manifested in strength in the apostolic age and possibly up into the third century, it faded from the scene, and no historian since that time has ever uncovered concrete evidence to the contrary. If it had remained within the church, the writings of other church fathers of those early centuries surely would have referred to this "gift of the spirit" in glowing terms, as it was a major manifestation of God-power. The gift was so controversial and so clearly supernatural from its inception that a continuation of it could hardly have gone unnoticed.

True glossolalia disappeared because of its decreasing need-but what about the other "gift of tongues," the gibberish, the senseless syllables that resembled the devil worship of the pagans?

Occult practitioners maintain that it has never disappeared, but has remained active within the coves of the witches, the magiciansí caves, and the seance rooms of the mediums. Theirs is a satanic counterfeit, for God would never manifest Himself in this manner within their circles. Even then their gift lay semidormant until a full thousand years after Christ, when a woman, Hildegard, Prophet of the Rhine, (A.D. 1098-1179) forced it back into the limelight.

 

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