I have struggled with this question, literally, for years — at least 30, I would say. It began with an experience that occurred when I was friends with a young man who was Charismatic and was, he, himself, very charismatic! He introduced me to the concept of speaking in tongues. He did it himself and encouraged me to do so as well. As I look back on it, I felt like he PRESSURED me to speak in tongues, making me feel like I was missing something if I didn’t. It made me feel inadequate as a Christian and I so wanted to be fulfilled by everything the Spirit had to offer, yet, somehow, I could just not muster a syllable. Then one evening, we had a small prayer group of mostly his friends that I had become acquainted with and they laid hands on me. I opened my mouth and out spilled this gobbledy-gook of words that I knew in my heart I was just making up so that I could prove to them that I had the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I felt shame, not joy. I continued to fake it, questioning the depth of my faith and why the Spirit was not giving me this gift.
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. Bible Verse Wall Art
Each and every believer has been given by the indwelling of the Spirit of God, gifts of the Spirit (Acts 2:38). In Acts chapter 8 and in 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 we see external gifts of the Holy Spirit. They were not gifts that they have been developed by human capacities, therefore the believer has absolutely no right to brag on these gifts. If we exalt in our gifts, we are taking credit for something that we have not earned ourselves. It is like taking credit for a gift you receive on your birthday. It is just that; a gift that was not yours but given to your freely and it is given apart from any inherent capabilities that you have within you. It is not like changing the old hymn from How Great Thou Art to How Great I Am. Biblical Verses Image
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Biblical Verses Image
Again my Brother my hearts desire is for believers to be taught and led by the Spirit of God so the can experience the word of God as a tangible reality. That is why I believe the Bible and know it is the word of God. I know it is important that everything must line up with scripture. But many things we believe are not written in the Bible like the word “trinity” but we all know there is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Scripture Images
I tell my Brothers and Sisters for God to give them the ears to hear what, if anything, the Spirit of God is speaking through me or any other preacher/teacher. I tell them that the Spirit may speak to them through the whole message I have to share, by one paragraph, by one sentence, or by one word. The words we receive by the Spirit will be life changing. The Spirit has shown me that a word received from Him will produce more love for God, more love for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, and more love for our neighbors as we love ourselves, where we fulfill all the law of God (Mt 22:37-40). All Christians will stumble and fall in their walk with God. No one of us is perfect. Fortunately, by God’s grace and love for us, we can receive the grace to repent and confess our sins, then be forgiven, cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Where God enables us to get up after we fall and get back on the path with Him. Biblical Verses Image
While many white musicians gravitated toward country, folk, and old-timey music to express their spirituality outside of traditional Christian hymns, Black Gospel music drew heavily upon the traditional spirituals that had been passed down from the days of slavery, picking up its more driving rhythmic emphasis from blues and early jazz. Composer and singer Thomas A. Dorsey crystallized the style in 1932 with his epochal "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," and went on to compose a great many songs that later became standards. When performed in the churches, the music was traditionally sung by a choir, with individual soloists sometimes taking the spotlight; this often happened in a form known as "call and response," in which either the choir or the soloist would repeat and/or answer the lyric which had just been sung by the other, with the soloist improvising embellishments of the melody for greater emphasis. As the music developed, these soloists became more and more virtuosic, performing with wild emotion (and, in the South, physicality) in order to properly express the spiritual ecstasy the music was meant to evoke. The music was quite egalitarian in terms of gender, as both male and female performers -- Brother Joe May, Rev. James Cleveland, Mahalia Jackson, the Clara Ward Singers, etc. -- gained wide renown among both black and white audiences. The small-group format was also prevalent, with major figures including the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Soul Stirrers, the Swan Silvertones, and the Dixie Hummingbirds; in general, these groups placed a greater premium on smooth vocal harmonies, although some performances could approach the raucous energy (if not quite the huge sound) of a choir-with-soloist group. As the years progressed, black gospel and black popular music influenced and borrowed from one another, reflecting the gradual change of emphasis toward R&B; black gospel also had an enormous impact on the development of soul music, which directed gospel's spiritual intensity into more secular concerns, and included a great many performers whose musical skills were developed in the church. As a recognizable style unto itself, black gospel music largely ceased to develop around the 1970s; progressing racial attitudes had helped black popular music reach wider audiences (and become more lucrative) than ever before, and tastes had turned towards the earthy hedonism of funk and the highly arranged, sophisticated Philly soul sound. The former wasn't quite appropriate for worship, and it wasn't all that practical to duplicate the latter in church services. However, the traditional black gospel sound survived intact and was eventually augmented by contemporary gospel (an '80s/'90s variation strongly influenced by latter-day urban R&B); plus, singers like Whitney Houston continued to develop within its ranks. Bible Verse Wall Art
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, ... Biblical Verses Image
Hello cat I know what you are talking about Just when you think you have satan figured out he comes at you at a different angle . the attacks get strong at times . he was not nice to Jesus eather but he over came satan for us . Cat I have heard a voices 2 times in my life when I first got saved I was working and was thinking about satan getting kick out of heaven and I heard a mans voice from some where say I wished he had not got kicked out of heaven and another time I was talking to a man at work and he was telling me he was a Christian I heard a childs voice say he,s fooling you and later that day I saw him curseing and swareing calling gods name in vain I have never heard a voice again like that since that time and that’s been around 37 years . when I told my dad about the mans voice he said I wished satan had not got kicked out of heaven eather the world would be a better place if he had not sined . Bible Scripture Images
So the situations of these kinds of debilitating and destructive sins in this day and time , where adultery is not only tolerated but encouraged in our society AND rewards are often offered to women who have children out of wedlock , the victim of such sinful crimes is left to try to figure out what is the way to go on in life as Christ would have us do. Bible Scripture Images
On gifts, one thing is clear, you can desire a gift! Working with the Holy spirit you can discover gifts already deposited in you or an awakening of ‘latent’ gifts or even one you feel you don’t have at all! However, it is meant for the body of Christ. Just as Jack says, we should reflect a life that attracts non-believers to the Kingdom. That life is largely judged by the fruits-Love, Joy, Peace, etc.
Hello Pastor Jack! Thank you for a great article. I completely understand the confusion and hesitancy to believe that miracles, healings, and tongues could exist today. But when I read in the Bible about how such great wonders were done back then I think to myself “Why couldn’t such things happen today within the church?” I believe it’s because we’ve set limits to what we think is possible in our day. But is anything impossible for our God? If we let Him work in us and through us anything is possible. With regards to speaking in tongues, I can testify that tongues can be both a known and unknown language. Several years ago I left a women’s retreat speaking in tongues. While the Spirit spoke through me in what sounded to me as an unknown language, my husband understood what I was saying in his native language, spanish. I had no idea what God told him at the time because it was a message only for him at that moment. That same night the Spirit sent me to call someone else who I spoke to in this unknown language and they understood me in english. I encourage you to seek further with the Lord; experiencing these gifts are too wonderful to pass up! For me, I felt closer to the Lord, like He was allowing me to participate in His plans in a very unique and special way. God bless you! Scripture Images
Glory of ChristChrist AtoningThe Effect Of The Word Of GodChrist's Own GloryimagepersonalityThe Beauty Of NatureGod On HighRight Hand Of GodRadiancyGod Sustaining CreationPower Of Christ, ShownHand Of GodGod, Living And Self sustainingRight SidesSalvation, Nature OfKnowledge, Of Jesus ChristCreatorGod's Glory In Jesus ChristMediatorGod, Power OfBeing Cleansed From Sin
Thank you for your article , I don’t agree with you when you said healing is of the new testament. In a way you’re saying that the God that worked with the apostles in the new testament is not the same working with us today when the Word of God clearly tells us he’s the same yesterday,today and forever. And since these is the same God, what he did yesterday he can also do today and forever. Please let’s stop limiting our God we put him in a box and he’s bigger than a box. Healing is for our time just like it was in the old and new testament IT IS THE SAME TODAY. HE IS THE SAME GOD. Scripture Images
As Christians, it is so easy to become stuck in our daily lives that we easily forget about the fact that we are sharing the same space as those in the spiritual realm (that is, the devil and his minions, as well as the angels God sends down to complete His Will.) But this does not need to be our focus. Our focus must always remain on God. I feel that most people, in these days, are so out of touch with the idea of this that when someone comes along that is more sensitive to such things they’re not sure how to handle it and avoid questions or try to redirect.
For instance I use to attend a church where the pastor and I were friends before he had been ordained. When we were only friends, we would be discussing the Bible and he saw that I had certain insights on Biblical subjects that He had never heard before. When he began to work as a pastor, he would often ask me to present the message for the following Sunday. I would go through the whole week trying to figure out what I would speak about. However each time I would be asked to this. The Holy Spirit would wake me up at 3:00 am on Sunday and give me the message with the corresponding scriptures. Everyone would be blessed in the church and be encouraged. I would always advise the members to don’t just listen to what I am saying or teaching. But to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying through me. Because I am just a vessel He is using, and i being a human just like them, I could easily insert my own two cents into what is being taught. Jesus told us the Holy Spirit would teach us all things. He can speak through anything, including a donkey, as described in the book of Numbers. In His teachings Jesus often said “he who has ears to hear, let him hear” and as believers ask in faith they will be given ears to hear. In the book of Revelations He was advising the churches”He that has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches”. I believe that when we learn from the Holy Spirit, we will also be given the power to be doers of the word and not just hearers only Ezek. 36:27. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would teach all things. I can appreciate pastors who have gone to seminary to learn the Bible, but I have heard some strange teachings from many of them. But I believe that they are trusting in their education instead of believing in the Spirit to use them in teaching. I have often heard some teachings that I did not understand or agree with. Then the Holy Spirit would let me know it is the truth, then lead me to scriptures to prove it to me. I agree with most of what you teach, but some things I don’t believe you have a true spiritual understanding of. I am not trying to judge you, because only God knows your heart. I don’t claim to know everything in the Bible, because God has shown me how little I know by teaching out of one chapter in the Bible for five years. God Bless You, my Brother in Christ.
NO one is saying the gifts are not here anymore, but you but the Greek word for tongues does not refer to an unknown language (the word “unknown” is not in the original manuscripts) but we can agree to disagree. Paul said not all spoke in tongues and in the Book of Acts, we see this disappearing, although God is God and does whatsoever He pleases. I never wrote “you can’t have them today” so you are totally wrong about that, but we are still brothers or sisters, regardless, but sadly, I think it’s easy to put more emphasis on the gifts than it is the Gift Giver. For example, two churches I visited, believe that unless you speak in tongues, you are not filled with the Spirit. Some even go so far as to say, you are not saved if you’ve never spoken in the tongues. Then there are miracle healers who are quite different from Jesus. Jesus would tell the person who was healed to tell no one about it, but today “miracle healings “ are on TV, posted on You Tube, and flaunted by some ministries, but most say nothing about the gospel of the kingdom of God, which Jesus said includes repentance and faith (Mark 1:14-15), or about the fruits of the Spirit. Jesus said there are at least two ways we can know who is and who isn’t His disciple; by their love for one another (John 13:34-35) and by their fruits (Matt 7:15-20). James said that a faith with no works is a dead faith, or not genuine saving faith at all (James 2:14-16). Even though we’re not saved by works (Eph 2:8-9), we are saved to do works (Eph2:10), but even these works are from God and to His glory, so why would we ever put more emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit than the fruits of the Spirit? Why are gifts of the Spirit often elevated over the fruits of the Spirit? In a few cases, they overshadow the giver of those gifts, and that is God Himself, from which all good things come (Psalm 107:9). Scripture Images
the Gifts of GodSin Produces DeathDeath ofWages For Evilnatural DeatheternityLife After DeathconsequencesNatural DisastersJesus DeathfreePunishment, According To DeedsAvoiding SinAccepting ChristBeing Born AgainBad Childreneternal life, gift ofBeing Dead In SinChristmasRomeSinSin, Consequences OfPunishment, Nature OfGenerosity, God'sSalvation, As A GiftDeath, Description OfServants, Working Conditions OfHell, As An ExperienceRepentance Biblical Verses Image
This is a list of Christian worship music artists or bands. This list includes notable artists or bands that have recorded or been known to perform contemporary worship music at some point in their careers. This includes worship leaders, Christian songwriters, and contemporary Christian music artists. It is not a list of contemporary Christian music artists alone.
These days it is difficult to hear how many believers have married those who they thought were of equal devotion to the Lord but due to wrong teaching, lack of knowledge of the Word and time applying it, often because we now have GENERATIONS not trained up in the things of GOD by parents who GOD ordained to do so ..and even if they were kids in church the churches have long since fallen away from godly right teaching in many instances….SO we have a lack of knowing what to look for and how to determine the true devotion of anyone who claims the Lord …until there has been sufficient time in study and right doctrinal instruction for a person newly entering into Christ. Bible Verse Wall Art
What source did you find to say that these men talked about tongues as necessary? I have never found these sources. You said that they called down the Holy Spirit on them…and it is EXPECTED that the converts should speak in new tongues but the word tongues in the New Testament is Greek for “languages.” Even so, I emphasize the fruits of the Spirit as evidence, as Jesus said you will know them by their love and by their fruits (John 15) and not by their gifts. That is the real evidence of conversion, right? We can therefore move on to something else my friend. Bible Verse Wall Art
Each and every church member is clearly a part of “… the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles (no longer in this church age), second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts“(I Cor. 12:28-31). I pray you not only seek and discover your gifts but that you utilize them to the strengthening of the Body of Christ, for which you are a part. If you are not, then today is the time to become part of Christ’s church because members of this body will live on into eternity. Scripture Images
Paul wants to make clear that we should not elevate one gift over another but esteem each and necessary for the completeness of the Body of Christ as Paul says in I Corinthians 12:12-23, “Now if the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. Scripture Images
Hi Jerry, Thank you for your great response. I have no doubt that the Spirit moves you in your prayer to speak in tongues. Paul said he spoke in tongues more than all of them. I just don’t happen to have that gift. I also don’t think that I have a gift of miracles either. I have some other gifts that are very strong, however, and I am prayerfully seeking His will. That is not to say that at some point God might bestow a gift of tongues upon me if it was His will and was for His glory. I read Pastor Jack’s response as well and will restate that not all people have all gifts. Paul was very clear about that point. A day may come when God needs me to speak to someone whose language I don’t know, I have no doubt that He would use me as He needed me and I would speak in tongues, as I am His willing vessel. Biblical Verses Image
1 Timothy 4: 11- 14 “Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.” (The Message)
Anthony…my friend, you are giving me more credit than I deserve. Yes, it would be like you being there with us in church. I like that thought. I record almost every Sunday when our tech guy is there anyway and he and his wife are only there about 2 out of every 4 to 5 Sundays about which I am concerned for their trying to follow Christ seriously and taking Matt 6:33 as face value as Jesus said. By the way, the enemy loves our terror but God is the God of all comfort but even longtime Christians battle this fear and doubt and times of lack of faith so you are not alone my brother. Why I pop into your head…that’s a scary thought…I will pray that doesn’t happen too often. Just kidding…don’t know why it happens. The Holy Spirit maybe? Not sure. Take care Anthony my friend. Biblical Verses Image
1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Biblical Verses Image
When you wrote about the meaning of being an apostle, which in most of the forms of its use means a person who follows an ideal, you said that there were none in this age of the church. However aside from the eleven we know and the countless others Christ Jesus showed himself to after the resurrection, we see another example in Paul. He saw Christ and was ordained to be an apostle well after, Would it be strange to believe that something like this would occur throughout all generations until the return. I am no Biblical powerhouse, but this seems to me a more than reasonable thought.
‘No believer can say that they have no gift of the Spirit from God. God has given all believers gifts; some have several but everyone has these gifts. These gifts of the Spirit are given not for the believer but for the Body of Christ. It is to make the Body complete. These gifts are intended for the church to edify it, to strengthen it, to feed it, to exhort it, to encourage it and to have the Body of Christ empowered to do the work of Christ. These gifts are always to exalt Christ, to witness of God’s power, to build up the Body, and to work to enlarge the Body of Christ by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. There are several biblical tools and surveys that believers can use to discover their own gifts of the Spirit. These are helpful applications to allow the Christian to see what their gifts are and therefore how they can best help the church. *No believer in Christ has any gift of the Spirit.* Bible Scripture Images
I apologize if you think what I said was accusing you of teaching anything contrary to the gifts of the Spirit. That was not my in tensions. I was just trying to emphasize the importance of learning from the Holy Spirit using whatever vessel He chooses or even when reading the Bible. For instance I will give you two examples of the Holy Spirit teaching me. Biblical Verses Image
Again my Brother my hearts desire is for believers to be taught and led by the Spirit of God so the can experience the word of God as a tangible reality. That is why I believe the Bible and know it is the word of God. I know it is important that everything must line up with scripture. But many things we believe are not written in the Bible like the word “trinity” but we all know there is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Bible Verse Wall Art