Poetry With A Mission

...a thought provoking poetical exercise.

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages [known languages], as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes. Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power’ ”  (Acts 2:1-11).

“Tongues, then, are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers” (1 Cor 14:22).

“Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you in some revelation or knowledge prophecy or teaching? So with yourselves; if in a tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is being said? For you will be speaking into the air. Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five [a few] words with my mind [that is, intelligible to others], in order to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue [that is, in such a manner as they]” (1 Cor 14:6,9,19).

“All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually [any one to whom a special gift is given] just as the Spirit chooses” (1 Cor 12:11).

“Dear brothers, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent babies when it comes to planning evil, but be men of intelligence in understanding matters of this kind” (1 Cor 14:20, LB) — Here, is the only time I have used a paraphrase. The reason I have, is because I feel it conveys the writers [Paul’s] intent so well.

“And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues [various known but unlearned languages, as explained in the third verse of my poem]” (1 Cor 12:28).      

Genuine tongues:
Are understood by others (1 Cor 14:6,22,23).
Build others up spiritually (1 Cor 14:12,13,19).
Address people (1 Cor 14:6,22).
Is a non-ecstatic state, the conscious mind functions normally (1 Cor 14:9).

False tongues:
Are not understood by others (1 Cor 14:2,9).
Attempt to build up the speaker (1 Cor 14:4).
Address God (1 Cor 14:2).
Is an ecstatic [rapturous] state, the conscious mind is dormant [inactive, in a sleep like state] (1 Cor 14:2).


Speaking In "Tongues"

God communicates clearly, and He wants us to converse the same,
Otherwise, any utterances will just simply be in vain.
When God speaks, the words are clear and distinct, never a mere sound,
For unintelligible utterance within heathenism is found.

Thus, regarding speaking in “tongues,” we need to turn to Scripture,
For there within its pages is an unambiguous picture.
God wants us to very clearly understand what He is saying,
Lest we mistakenly practice error; such be conveying.

Though the apostles hadn’t learnt all the languages of their day,
When they preached, each race understood, and learnt about God’s way.
Via this gift that’s called “tongues,” that God gave to spread His Word,
The various races — the gospel message — in their own language heard.

The devil has a substitute for each truth that God has given,
For Satan, (who's the father of lies), via falsehood is driven.
Thus, whenever we study Scripture in order to wiser be,
Both a false, and genuine speaking in “tongues,” we can clearly see.

Satan’s false speaking in “tongues” the hearer never understands.
Its meaningless utterance just engenders pride, and error fans.
Satan’s false speaking in “tongues” seeks to build up those speaking,
And it wrongly addresses God, not the ones who truth are seeking.

Satan’s false speaking in “tongues” is simply an ecstatic state,
Where the mind’s inactive, sleep-like, giving Satan an open gate.
Thus, any utterance that is heard via this trance-like condition,
Will (unsurprisingly) arouse much derision and suspicion.

Genuine speaking in “tongues” the hearer clearly understands.
It respects the human mind; the words uttered, God’s truth fans.
Genuine speaking in “tongues” builds others up spiritually,
Whereas, the false is simply focused on, “What’s in it for me?”

Genuine speaking in “tongues” addresses the human hearer.
The speaker’s mind is conscious, words spoken make truth clearer.
Thus, the saving gospel message, the non-believer clearly hears,
Receiving the opportunity to repent before Christ appears.

The gift of “tongues” is for the benefit of the non-believer,
Not for the selfish benefit of any Christian receiver.
As well as this, not every Christian the gift of “tongues” receives,
Though the old devil, with an opposite story, many deceives.

It’s tragic and alarming that strange sounds are being uttered,
Like the ones that witch-doctors throughout history have muttered.
Hence Christians should be careful, for the Lord should not be mocked
By such incoherent sounds, that even Paul himself, clearly knocked.

Thus, there’s no mysterious language that only God understands,
One that’s just imparted to Christians — no, that sad theory is man's.
God always does things openly, and He treats everyone the same,
And never has time for utterance that’s used wrongly in His name.

God says, “Let’s reason together,” invites us to study and pray,
Knowing that prayer and deep study help us to find the right way.
Yes, God communicates clearly, so why would He lead us astray
With mysterious utterances that clearly nothing convey?

By Lance Landall


(1 Cor 14:28).

The Corinthian church was a church where many different nationalities meet together to worship.  Things became confusing when members prayed, testified, or preached in a genuine language that was unknown to others present, In such a case, unless they used interpreters, they were better to remain silent.

The translators used the word “unknown” to indicate that the language being used was foreign to most who were present.  A Greek word for “unknown” isn’t found in any original Bible manuscripts.