Etikettarkiv | Peter

The apostle Peter denied Jesus and lost his salvation – Matt. 10:33

This applies to the apostle Peter: ”Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven”

No one really ”loses his/her salvation” while still on earth, because we are not finally ”saved” until we enter the kingdom of God, but I use this word to highlight that Peter died SPIRITUALLY when he denied Jesus. Satan in Eden assured Eve that she would NOT die if she sinned (by disobeying God). Satan lied, because we DO die spiritually when we sin.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me

Peter assured Jesus that he himself would never fall away but Jesus responded that he (Peter) would even deny him three times! Jesus also assured him, (and us all), that if we deny him he will deny us before his Father. Can true believers deny Jesus? Yes, and the story about Peter testifies of this. Also true born again christian can fall for temptation and sin in various ways, even if we also have the option to always have victory over our flesh. Jesus means what he says with his words about denying us, and he is no respecter of persons. This should be something for us to think about when it comes to the future Mark of the Beast where true believers must make a stand. The case could be that some believers will choose to save their own earthly lives by denying Jesus, but their souls are truly at stake. Jesus tells us that unless we take up our cross daily and follow him, we are not worthy of him. What does this ”take up his cross” mean? If we regularly sin and say that we can never stop sinning, would this be ”taking up our cross daily”?

Matt. 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.—38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Jesus tells his disciples that they will be OFFENDED because of Jesus. This word is translated from the Greek ”skandalizó”, which can mean cause to stumble or sin, cause to become indignant, shock, offend or fall away. 

Matt. 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be OFFENDED because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.*) 32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Mark 14:26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.30 And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.

John. 16:31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave ME alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

So the disciples will be scattered and leave Jesus! Jesus explains for his disciples that this happening is prophesied about and he is referring to this verse:

*) Zakaria 13:Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

The sheep (the believers) will be scattered due to something that offends them and causes them to desert their true shepherd who really cares for them. Jesus tells them that they will be offended the same night and Peter (actually all of the disciples) vehemently denies that he will, meaning; he assures Jesus that he will NOT sin by denying Jesus but will stand by Jesus side all the way. He even says he is ready to DIE for Jesus:

John 13:37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

But Jesus corrects Peter and tells him that he WILL be offended and deny Jesus. Jesus is also clear about that IF someone denies him and/or is ashamed of him, also Jesus will be ashamed of him when it’s time for his return in the future! That is very serious, because if Jesus denies us before his Father, we are truly lost!

Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.—38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Luke 12:Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

Here is Peter’s denial in all four gospels, and note that the writers focus on different things. They don’t contradict each other with their stories but they complement each other:

Matt. 26:69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

Mark: 14:66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

John 18:15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.16 But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.17 Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not.18 And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.25 And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.26 One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?27 Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.

Luke 22:54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

We know that Peter repented for his sin (or else we wouldn’t be able to read about him the way we do in Acts, or in his own letters in the New Testament), and it looks like Jesus also knew that Peter would both deny him and later on repent. It’s very possible that Peter repented when he burst out into tears. Some believers might repent at once, some might repent after a few years (King David didn’t repent until after a year for his sins), and some believers never repent and die as unrepentant sinners. Jesus said he would pray for Peter, and prayers can have an effect (influence people) even if they don’t run people’s lives. Jesus says that when Peter is converted, he should strengthen his brethren (who also got offended and were scattered). Peter of course doesn’t understand what Jesus is saying because he is so sure of himself that he will never ever be offended and deny Jesus:

Lukas 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

Peter is not the ROCK on which the Church is built (Matt.16:18)

There are not several rocks which the Church is built upon but ONE. The ROCK is clearly identified as Jesus Christ which the below verses clearly show.

Deut.32:Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.—15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

1 Sam. 2:There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

Psalm 18:31 For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?

Psalm 95:1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Romans 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

1 Cor. 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;And did all eat the same spiritual meat;4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that rock was CHRIST.

1 Cor. 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,And a stone of stumbling, and a rock (petra) of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit

And the below verse is of course THE verse that the Roman Catholic Church uses as an attempt to support the view that the apostle Peter is the rock:

Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said,Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon THIS rock I will build MY church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Peter’s name means rock (petros) but Jesus said: ”You are Peter (Petros), and upon this rock (PETRA) I will build My church.Petra is a feminine noun that refers to a mass of rock, and Petros is masculine in gender and refers to a boulder or a detached stone.  We could read the statement as ”You are Stone, and upon this Bedrock I will build My church.” Jesus words would indicate that the rock on which the church would be built was something other than Peter, and WHY Jesus build his church on PETER of all people when a better choice would be JESUS HIMSELF and God’s words in the BIBLE? Both the old and the new testament constantly warn people from bowing down to other gods/prophets and from deviating from the Scriptures.

The passage starts with a question concerning Jesus identity and ends with Jesus statement about the ROCK. Jesus starts off asking ”Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”. Peter answers ”Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. So”this rock” likely refers to Jesus in His identity as the Son of God since this is that topic that was discussed. Some catholics speculate that Jesus was speaking in Aramaic and only repeated Peter’s Aramaic name Kepha. But the inspired New Testament Scriptures were written in GREEK and not Aramaic and can be trusted since it derives from Divine inspiration. If the Aramaic is clear but the Greek inadequate or confusing, why did not the Holy Spirit simply use the Aramaic word to clear up the case as done elsewhere in the NT? When the Holy Spirit inspired the Greek text of the New Testament, he made a distinction between Peter (Petros) and the rock (petra) and there must be a reason for this. God is not a God of confusion. Some suggest that it’s the confession of faith that Peter made (acknowledging that Jesus is the Christ) that is the rock that the church should be built on, and this will give the same result.

To base an entire doctrine on a verse that doesn’t even come near confirming that Peter is the rock is very risky. Would God really choose to disclose such an important piece of information in such a vague manner, resulting in that millions of honest truth-seeking christians miss out on joining the Catholic Church which supposedly is based on this rock? Couldn’t God have been a bit more clear on this issue if it’s so important? Jesus is that perfect cornerstone upon which the body of Christ is built, and not a flawed and sinful man such as Peter. In Matthew 16:23, just five verses after Jesus spoke of the ”rock”, he called Peter ”Satan”.

Cephas might not be the apostle PETER in Gal. 2:14 but another Cephas

Cephas might not be Peter in Gal. 2:14 (The first part by Bryan Davis)

Many assume that the apostle Paul confronted the apostle Peter in Antioch regarding Peter’s apparent lack of straightforwardness with the gospel. It’s no wonder they think so, because the King James Version of the Bible says exactly that in Galatians 2:11-14. Yet, there are many reasons to doubt this assumption.

Here is the passage in the King James Version:

Gal 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Now here is the same passage from the New American Standard Bible:

Gal 2:11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, ”If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

We notice right away that the texts differ regarding the name of the person Paul confronted. Some Greek texts say that the man’s name was Cephas, not Peter, and the translators of the NASB decided that these were the more reliable. To many people, that difference poses no problem, because Peter was given the name Cephas by Jesus, as follows.

He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, ”You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). (John 1:42)

It’s interesting that Jesus never called Peter by that name again. Not only that, no one in the book of Acts ever called him Cephas, and Peter did not refer to himself by that name in his own epistles. It is clear, therefore, that Cephas was not a name Peter went by after Jesus gave him the name.

Besides the John chapter one reference, the apostle Paul is the only person in Scripture to refer to the name Cephas.

One possible place is in Galatians chapter one, and it’s interesting to note that there is a difference in Greek texts here as well.

Here is the passage in the King James Version:

Gal 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.

And here it is in the New American Standard Bible

Gal 1:18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days.19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.

In this passage, it is clear that Paul was referring to Peter, because he indirectly refers to him as an apostle in verse 19. It seems to me that the KJV is correct in this case, and the name should be Peter.

Paul more definitely referred to Cephas in other places:

1 Cor 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

Paul differentiates between Cephas and the twelve. This isn’t proof that Cephas was not part of the twelve, because Jesus easily could have appeared to one of the twelve and then to the twelve together, but the following use of Cephas casts doubt on that idea.

1 Cor 9:5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?

Here Paul puts Cephas outside of the group called ”the apostles”. It is theoretically possible that Paul could have listed Peter separately from ”the apostles”, but it would be unnatural to do so.

We have historical evidence pointing to the idea that Cephas was not the apostle Peter. Eusebius wrote:

”And there is a story from Clement in the fifth of his Hypotyposeis in which he also says that Cephas, concerning whom Paul says: But, when Cephas came to Antioch, I resisted him to his face, was one of the seventy disciples, one who happened to have the same name as Peter the apostle.” (Eusebius. The History of The Church. Book 1. 12)

This was Clement of Alexandria, who lived from about 150 AD to 215. He likely had access to records that no longer exist, so this is historical documentation indicating that this Cephas was not Peter. Cephas was one of the seventy disciples, though not one of the apostles.

Internal evidence in the Galatians chapter two passage also indicates that Cephas could not have been Peter. Let’s look at the verses leading up to Paul’s opposition to Cephas.

Gal 2:7 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

If Cephas were the same person as Peter, why would Paul change his name in mid sentence? (In this passage, there are no differences among the Greek texts.) Also, if Peter used ”Peter” in his own letters to Gentiles, why would Paul use the Aramaic form (Cephas) to Gentiles? The most reasonable conclusion is that Peter and Cephas are two different people.

According to this passage, Cephas recognized the grace given to Paul, because Paul had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised as Peter had been to the circumcised. Why, then, would this fact cause Cephas (if he were really Peter) to extend the right hand of fellowship to Paul and divide their ministries (Paul one direction and Cephas the other) when it was the division itself that indicated that they ought to divide? This would have to be circular logic.

To explain this crucial point further, let’s break down this passage:

Gal 2:7 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

The reasons for the actions of James, Cephas, and John are underlined, and the actions themselves are italicized.

”Seeing that” indicates that James, Cephas, and John had noticed something that  happened in the past. What did they notice? That Paul had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised and Peter to the circumcised. Those things happened at some unspecified time in the past, and these three are taking note of the events in order to decide on an action.

What is that action? To have fellowship with Paul so that he would go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

But that had already happened with the real Peter. He and Paul had already made the choice to divide the ministry and choose separate targets. So if Cephas is Peter, what is he using as a basis for deciding to divide the ministry and choose separate targets? The fact that he already has made that decision? That would be nonsense.

It would be like making a decision to become a farmer because you already are one. It is a senseless, circular statement.

The decision was based on something that happened in the past, so using that as a basis for an identical present decision that cannot logically be repeated by the same person proves that this Cephas cannot be Peter.

Again, Paul had already gone to the Gentiles, and Peter had already gone to the Jews, so if this Cephas is Peter, then he would be deciding something that had already occurred. This is not sensible.

We also have proof from the book of Acts that this person in Galatians 2 could not have been the apostle Peter:

From there they sailed to Antioch, from which they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had accomplished. When they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. And they spent a long time with the disciples.

Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, ”Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved”. And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue. (Acts 14:26 and 15:2)

This is a perfect description of what was described by Paul in Galatians 2: There was dissension with Judaizers regarding the necessity of circumcision, it occurred in Antioch, and Barnabas was involved as well. This Acts account perfectly fits the Galatians 2 account, and there is no other event recorded in Acts that coincides with Paul’s account of a dispute in Antioch.

So what did Paul and Barnabas do about the problem? They decided to consult the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. Who was one of those apostles? Peter himself:

The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, ”Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are”. (Acts 15:6-11)

If Cephas in Galatians 2 was Peter, it would make no sense at all for Paul to go all the way to Jerusalem to consult the very person who was causing a problem. Peter was already in Jerusalem. He wasn’t in Antioch. So it seems impossible that Peter could have been the man Paul confronted in Galatians chapter 2.

Some refer to other accounts in Acts where they believe the Galatians chapter 2 conflict might have taken place:

Act 11:22 The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. 23 Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; 24 for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord. 25 And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul; 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. 27 Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.  28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. 29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. 30 And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.

We see the presence of both Paul and Barnabas at Antioch along with the desire to provide for the poor, so this could be the first meeting between Paul and these people and when the right hand of fellowship took place. The Galatians text leads us to believe that the first meeting occurred in Jerusalem, so it might not have occurred here, but there is no mention of the dissension similar to what we saw in Acts 15.

If the first meeting did occur here, Peter could not have been present. Where was Peter at this time? In Jerusalem speaking up boldly for the Gentiles. (Acts 11:2 and following) According to the beginning of chapter 12, Peter went to jail in Jerusalem at that time (Acts 12:3), and Paul and Barnabas left Antioch (Acts 13:4). So if this Cephas is Peter, and this was the first meeting (which it might not have been), then he could not have been there at this time.

Others claim that the argument between Paul and Peter took place during another of Paul’s visits to Antioch:

Act 18:22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and went down to Antioch. 23 And having spent some time there, he left and passed successively through the Galatian region and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

There is no mention of any dispute here or of any visit by Peter, so why should we think that the Galatians 2 dispute took place at this time? There is no reason at all except for the fact that this is the only time Peter could have been there, which carries the presumption that the person Paul confronted in Galatians 2 was Peter, and that is the idea in dispute.

Another problem is that Peter, at the time of Acts 18, would have to completely go against what he had so boldly stood for.  It would be totally contradictory for Peter to do that. In fact, throughout the book of Acts, Peter stood up for the Gentiles’ reception of the gospel. Ever since his call by God to preach to Cornelius in Acts chapter ten, Peter was unwavering in his support of unfettered access to the gospel for the Gentiles. There is no evidence in Acts that Peter ever strayed from this steadfast support.

Yet another problem with the idea that the Galatians 2 man was Peter is that Paul indicates that people who do what the confronted man did are not even true believers.

Gal 2:4 But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.

Paul questioned Cephas – ”How is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” To compel someone to live like Jews is an attempt to bring people into bondage. Since Paul indicated that such people were false brethren, they weren’t true believers, so it’s reasonable to conclude that Cephas wasn’t a true believer and certainly not the same person as the apostle Peter.

The evidence, both biblical and historical, is overwhelming that the man Paul confronted in Galatians is not the apostle Peter. That man was named Cephas, likely a Jew who sympathized with the Judaizers.

Because of Peter’s faithful defense of the Gentiles and their reception of the true gospel at every turn, it is important to make sure we do not denigrate Peter’s legacy with the false charge that he dissembled in Galatians chapter two. After the Holy Spirit indwelt him at Pentecost, he was sure and steadfast. Let us honor the truth about Peter and clear his name in the church, especially among those who have so greatly benefitted from his faithful stand for our inclusion in the faith.

More from Galatians (my addendum to Bryan’s excellent article)

Yes, Paul indicates that people who act like the criticized Cephas, are not even saved (unless they repent of course). Is Paul really saying that the apostle Peter is a false brother and not saved?

Gal.2:But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage5To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

All of the below comments about circumcision would be warnings for people who act much like the man Cephas (and not Cephas the  apostle Peter who wrote contributed to our New Testament):

Gal. 5:Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage2Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing3For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. 7Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9Alittle leaven leaveneth the whole lump10I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be11And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. 12I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

Curses against people who act like Cephas:

Gal. 1: 6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed9As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Gal. 3:O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

The answer to the above question is not ”Peter did”. The Cephas spoken of in Galatians 2:14 is likely not Peter the apostle but another Cephas. 

God is not willing that any should perish 1 Peter 3:9

2 pet. 3The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9)

In order to get around the notion that God would want all to be saved, Calvinists suggest that the pronoun us in the phrase ”to us-ward” refers to the elect only, since Peter’s greeting at the beginning of his epistle is addressed to the saints. However, most letters in the New Testament are addressed to saints and it does not follow that we can therefore interpret pronouns in such a restrictive way. Moreover, if Peter would be speaking only of those already saved, why all the warnings and why does Peter express his hope for that they should come to the knowledge of the truth? If Calvinism is right, the elect are by definition those who have already come to the knowledge of true salvation. It is clear that Peter believes that they have already come to the knowledge of the truth and that they must still be aware in order to not be led away on wicked ways and fall from their steadfastness.

2 Cor. 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

When it comes to verses such as Rom 3:23 where it says that ”all have sinned”, then Calvinists believe it literally means every single human being (apart from Jesus), but when it comes to verses such as 2 Cor. 5:14-15, where we can read ”–that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again”, then Calvinists choose to interpret ”all” as the elect only, just like they do with 2 Pet. 3:9 and whichever other verse that suggests that God really does not want anyone to perish.

Ez. 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

Ez. 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Peter tells us that some people are willfully ignorant of God’s coming judgment, and they are scoffers who walk after their own lusts – something that definitely would be against God’s will.

2 Pet. 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

In v. 7 we can read that such people will perish when it is time for the judgment – due to their ungodliness (something against God’s will). Peter urges his readers to not be ignorant of such serious warnings, and he comments that some people twist the scriptures to their own destruction. (It does not seem they were chosen to be non-elect before the creation of the world, but they actually cause their own destruction just like the Bible says.)

2 Pet 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Note Paul’s statement about longsuffering in Romans 9:

Rom. 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

God is longsuffering with those who disbelieve, but some vessels are fitting themselves to destruction. Clay has a will of its own, but there is a proper place for clay that is eventually rendered totally useless and that is on the scrap heap. Clay can be marred in the potter’s hands (Jer. 18), and what potter wants his clay to be marred? If the potter would be the one causing his own clay to be destroyed, the word ”longsuffering” would be very much out-of-place. ”Longsuffering” rather indicates that the potter is very patient with the clay, and strongly desire for it to be useful in one way or the other. However, there are limits for how many attempts the potter can handle, and one day the clay will finally end up where it belongs – due to its own actions. It has caused its own destruction despite many chances to become something useful that could please his maker.

2 Tim. 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.21 If a man therefore PURGE HIMSELF FROM THESE, he shall be a vessel unto HONOUR, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Preachers might express themselves with the pronoun ”us” in their sermons before a group of Christians in a church, and still include a larger part of people other than those present in the church.

Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, IF we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. 

Speaking in tongues can edify both you and others and we are encouraged to use them

The Bible says that when we speak in tongues then NO MAN UNDERSTANDS and that we in the spirit speak MYSTERIES not unto men but unto GOD. This should settle the whole argument about tongues always being understood, because the Bible says they are not understood (unless they are interpreted).

1 Cor. 14:2For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue SPEAKETH NOT UNTO MEN; BUT UNTO GOD: for NO MAN UNDERSTANDETH HIM; howbeit in the spirit HE SPEAK MYSTERIES.

1 Cor. 14: 16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

Nowhere in the Bible does it say speaking in tongues was ever used for spreading the gospel. Here is what Acts says about the very first encounter of the tongues:

Acts 2:1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.–-6Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?13Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17And it shall come to pass IN THE LAST DAYS, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit UPON ALL FLESH: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come

Notice that is says THE LAST DAYS, and surely we are living in that last days even more today than 2,000 years ago?

We can read above that every man heard them speak in his own language” but does it say that every man understood ALL languages spoken by ALL disciples? No, it doesn’t say that. If a Cretan man heard his own language spoken by a disciple, is it certain that he also understood Arabic and other foreign languages spoken by OTHER disciples? It doesn’t sound likely that ALL those men who were present had knowledge enough to understand 10-20 languages. One can easily assume that for a Cretan person most other languages must have sounded like total gibberish to him – but we know that at least ONE disciple spoke in such a way that this Cretan person understood since ”every man heard them speak in his own language”. It doesn’t say each person understood ALL languages spoken. The case could also be that the tongues that were spoken were already ”interpreted” into worldly languages. (I’ve heard myself speaking in French and Finnish, and actually also in Swedish but when I did not use my own words.)

Acts 10:44While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Above we can read that these particular jews understood that the Gentiles in question had received the Holy Ghost for the reason that they spoke in tongues and magnified God. This was a SIGN to these people. Below we can read again that speaking in tongues, among other things, is one of the signs for a believer:

Mark 16:17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Since Paul gives instruction about tongues within the christian church, it’s evident that tongues should be used among christians – and of course only if someone can interpret them. Speaking in tongues is naturally controllable just like any other language. You decide when to speak and when not to.

It’s in the book of Corinthians where we can read the most details about tongues (see further below)

The book of Corinthians tells us that the reason for speaking in tongues is that IT CAN EDIFY BOTH YOU AND (if you have the gift of interpreting) ALSO OTHERS. It is a BETTER deal if you can edify the church, but if you don’t have the gift if interpreting SPEAK TO YOURSELF AT HOME SO YOU CAN BE EDIFIED.

1 Cor. 14:4He that speaketh in an unknown tongue EDIFIETH HIMSELF; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 

1 Cor. 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and LET HIM SPEAK TO HIMSELF, AND TO GOD

So speaking in tongues is not only for other ears, particularly not when we can read:

he that speaketh in an unknown tongue SPEAKETH NOT UNTO MEN; BUT UNTO GOD”

If, according to Paul, you don’t even speak to men but to GOD, then of course speaking in tongues is not only for others to hear. IF they are interpreted, then they could be for others to hear, if done in proper order. It’s not certain that a person who can speak in tongues also has the gift of interpretation, but he should be EAGER to get also this gift so even MORE people can be edified.

1 Cor 11:30Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31But COVET EARNESTLY the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1 Cor 14:1 Follow after charity, and DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS, but rather that ye may prophesy. 2For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue SPEAKETH NOT UNTO MEN; BUT UNTO GOD: for NO MAN UNDERSTANDETH HIM; howbeit in the spirit HE SPEAK MYSTERIES.

We are to speak in both ways; 1) spirit (tongues) and 2) mind (our own understanding):

1 Cor. 14:19 I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding ALSO: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

If you’re honest; are you really eager to speak in both ways as Paul says you should? Take notice of that not ONCE does Paul discourage people to speak in tongues in any way but he ENCOURAGES them, and that is what I feel all pastors and evangelists should do. It’s just the disorder that Paul warns about. If tongues were supposed to cease shortly after the generation he was addressing, why are we not able to read information about this anywhere? It would have been so easy to add a little note about this to warn people about upcoming ”fake” tongues or similar IF that were true. The question that needs to be answered by those who believe speaking tongues has ceased is this: Why haven’t they ceased? I can only see two reasons to why christians in MANY MILLIONS continue to speak in tongues (if they have indeed ceased)

1) The tongues spoken today are not real tongues but from Satan, so the people who speak in tongues are demon possessed.

2) Those who speak in tongues today make them up, i.e. those who use them are LYING since the speaking in tongues is fake.

Both these options result in that those who speak in tongues are not saved unless you believe that people who are demon possessed or unrepentant liars will be saved. So this means that the cessationists believe speaking in tongues is a sign for that they are UNBELIEVERS – contrary to what Mark 16:17 says.

Paul encouraged tongues and spent a considerable amount of time and words in the book of Corinthians to give instructions about them. It certainly doesn’t seem he believed they would shortly cease and that all those instructions were in vain. IF they would shortly cease, he should have spent some time to WARN about upcoming fake tongues, but he doesn’t say one word about it. Paul gives two cases where PUBLIC speaking of tongues is inappropriate:

1) Unbelievers would think you’re crazy if they ONLY hear gibberish from you

2) No one would understand you and thus it wouldn’t really benefit others. The case could be that you actually prayed for others BUT the thing is that they would still not UNDERSTAND that, so it would be totally useless if you stood up in church and spoke in tongues. Praying for others or yourself using other tongues is fine, but just not out loud in a church for obvious reasons.

Maybe the corinthians believed ”the more tongues the better” since they really believed that tongues are from the Holy Spirit, but it still doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to babble them in any way you want. There must be a proper order. So Paul’s friendly instructions should not be viewed as rebuke, but just a help to sort out misunderstandings and to enable a better order in church. Public speaking in tongues would be a total waste of time if there is no interpreter.

1) The term ”oudies” in 1 Cor. 14 rules out tongues being a known language.

2) The phrase ”face to face” is a Judaic idiom expressing personal interaction with the presence of God and is the same Greek as the LXX in Moses ”face to face” with God. This means that tongues will cease when we meet God face to face so clearly not NOW.

3) ”The perfect” cannot be the Bible because the canon wasn’t even finished.

4) Tongues as a sign to unbelievers is only ONE of the uses of the gift. Acts 10 and 19 say that the sign is to believers, just as Mark 16:17.

5) Why is there a gift called ”interpretor” if all tongues are languages that can be understood? Why are we asked to pray for the gift of interpretation of tongues? 

Rom. 8:26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

It’s true that speaking in tongues is a free GIFT, but this doesn’t mean it’s wise to do nothing and wait for this gift to be handed to you. It’s called ”free” because you can’t work for it, and it’s not given to those who have reached a higher level on the ”holiness scale”. However, we are told to DESIRE this free gift and be EAGER to get it. If you’re not even seeking this gift or consider it valuable in your life, then there is a risk you’re quenching the power of the holy spirit. You’re risking to miss out on a wonderful and powerful gift.

1 Thess. 5:19Quench not the Spirit20Despise not prophesyings. 21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Examples from real life

Do you obey the below instructions to the fullest?:

Matthew 6:6″But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

Do we always obey this exactly as it says? Of course we don’t. We check the context and try to understand the reasoning behind the words. Surely we sometimes get together with other christians and pray together with them and NOT in our closets? Paul wants order in church and gave this as a reason for his instructions about tongues. Let’s not add to his words.

Let’s take a private setting as in a Thursday night prayer meeting in church OR in someone’s home. Suppose 10 christians are present and the leader asks them to start off with prayers and thanksgiving to God. Everyone begins to pray quietly, and there is usually a person who is leading the prayers and speaks out loud (naturally so that all can understand) whereas the others might say ”amen” or just continue in their own private prayers. Well, what if a few of these christians prefer to speak in tongues in his/her prayers? Only believers are present, and no one is standing up demanding other people’s attention. If you wouldn’t be upset if you heard Spanish beside you in a prayer meeting, why would you be upset about tongues that you happen to overhear? You weren’t supposed to listen anyway, and Paul’s instructions concerned PUBLIC speech. If you still feel this violates Paul’s instructions, then aren’t you also violating the instructions in Matt 6:6? You are supposed to pray SECRETLY inside your closet and you should shut the door, and not to be in a public prayer meeting praying together with others.

What if Charlie asked the others to pray for him? The others wouldn’t say that they preferred not to because it would violate Matt 6:6, but they would pray for Charlie who asked for it. Maybe one person would take the lead and pray so that Charlie can hear and understand, and maybe the rest would pray quietly at the same time – some in their own language and some in tongues. Charlie has no reason to be upset about other people praying for him in whatever way they like. The same people might later on return home and continue to pray for this person, and he won’t be able to hear, understand or say Amen to those prayers either. Again, the prayers are NOT for anyone to listen to but they are prayers from one person to GOD. When someone wants another person to understand, then naturally a foreign tongue is NOT a good idea since other people cannot say Amen.

Tongues in churches today

Ja. 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.16 Confess your faults one to another, and PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, THAT YE MAY BE HEALED. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

People seem to be so freaked out about tongues that they decide to turn their backs on tongues altogether. Doesn’t this mean that Satan is the winner with this type of reasoning? Speaking in tongues is a very useful weapon against the darkness, so it’s a shame that we let Satan fool us by making us flee from this wonderful gift which could edify us. He would then have disarmed us of a weapon which could be used against him.

WHERE in the Bible can we read that pastors should discourage church members to speak in tongues and/or neglect to inform them about the benefit of them? Paul is definitely encouraging tongues. He said ”I would like every one of you to speak in tongues”. Since Paul is highlighting the benefit of tongues I wouldn’t be comfortable in a church where the pastor doesn’t do his job to encourage them. The best way to avoid the misuse of tongues is not to avoid tongues all together, but to obey Paul’s instruction about them.   Speaking in tongues is supposed to be a sign that will accompany those who believe, so it’s rather essential. I therefore feel it’s a duty of a pastor to encourage the spiritual gifts such as driving out demons, healing people, speaking in tongues, etc.

Maybe there are people who get mightily upset if they are in a church where the pastor might be overheard speaking a few words in tongues quietly to himself when he walks from the pulpit (where he just had a sermon) back to his seat. They might jump up and say:

– ”See?!! I heard him speak in tongues! That’s clearly unbiblical because tongues are supposed to be interpreted if made in public, and this was not the case here so this church must be really BAD!” etc

But what about other churches where the gifts of the spirit are not even in use? Why would THIS not be a cause for concern? Why don’t the same people jump up and say:

– ”See?!! I have been to this church for weeks now and not ONCE have I heard a single whisper in tongues from anyone, nor seen anyone speaking in tongues in public (interpreted of course), nor seen any signs for ANY of the gifts of the holy spirit. This is clearly against the Bible so this means this church must be BAD!”, etc.

”Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” Some people interpret this as in ”Forget about tongues, and rather desire to prophesy ONLY” but it doesn’t say that. It says ”desire spiritual gifts”. That would include tongues. Of course it’s better to be able to prophesy since MORE people can be edified, but if you don’t have this gift then don’t neglect the desire to at least speak in tongues! Of course one gift is better than no gift at all!

Finally, here is what the book of Corinthians says about tongues

1 Cor. 1:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: — 28And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31But COVET EARNESTLY the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1 Cor. 13 8Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 

1 Cor 14:1 Follow after charity, and DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS, but rather that ye may prophesy. 2For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue SPEAKETH NOT UNTO MEN; BUT UNTO GOD: for NO MAN UNDERSTANDETH HIM; howbeit in the spirit HE SPEAK MYSTERIES. 3But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 4He that speaketh in an unknown tongue EDIFIETH himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 5I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. 6Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?— 9So 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. 10There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. 11Therefore 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. 12Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, SEEK that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. 13Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue PRAY THAT HE MAY INTERPRET14For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding ALSO: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 16Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? 17For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. 18I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all19Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. —22Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 23If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? 24But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 25And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. 26How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 27If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and LET HIM SPEAK TO HIMSELF, AND TO GOD. —39Wherefore, brethren, COVET to prophesy, and FORBID NOT to speak with tongues.