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I have recently been studying the bible for myself with the holy spirit’s guidance. This was one of the topics I looked into because a group of people I come in contact with regularly believe they can lay hands on (and no one has ever been healed but of course it’s their lack of faith) and speaking in tongues. My study led me to this same conclusion. I found verses I’d never seen before or simply skimmed over. It was met with total disdain with a few ‘false prophet’ quotes. Anyway, I knew it would be but still got a little depressed and crawled into my own cave. I just asked God was I wrong and did I miss something. Your article was the first thing I brought up. I think God wanted to reassure me and if others are caught up in the power issue there is nothing more I can do. At least I know God is still revealing the truth of the bible to me as He knows I’m ready for.
I now realize many of the things that I did not know I should have been rightly privy to . One of the things he did early on in our marriage and I had lived with as a child was the idea that HIS life was his own private business. I did not poke around or intrude’ into his life . I would show interest and try to broach issues that I knew we should discuss in our marriage together but he was evasive and would not be transparent. I thought that would change but when some issue came up he got better at lying .
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. ... Bible Verse Wall Art
During this time I began to realize when I was becoming under attack from the enemy by the feel of things (not just my own feelings, I could have a great day and suddenly be overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, or angry/irritable for no real reason), sometimes by not only what I have seen but also perceived in my mind (by what I believe God has made me aware of around us in the spiritual realm), and even once what I smelled.
‘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
The next gift Paul mentions is the gift of interpretation of tongues (v 10). This gift is someone who is able to interpret another tongue or language. I am bilingual and can speak English and Spanish but I would not say that I have this gift necessarily. Some have a natural gift or ability to learn a foreign language. It was not natural nor did it come easy for me. For those who this is easy, then they may be imbued with such a gift. If anyone was speaking in tongues in the church, there absolutely had to be someone there to interpret or they were to be silent. And no more than one person was to speak in tongues because there is only one interpreter available to translate at a time. If several were speaking in tongues at the same time, there would be confusion and God is not the author of confusion, but He is the God of order (1 Cor 14:33). It would not be edifying the church to have several speaking in tongues at the same time and with no one to interpret. Tongues are a sign for unbelievers and not for the church. Paul writes, “In the Law it is written: ‘With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.’ Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers” (1 Cor. 14: 21-22). Isaiah 28:11-12 is where Paul quotes Isaiah the prophet, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, ‘This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.’” This clearly indicates that the gift of tongues (Greek for languages) and the interpretation of them is that of a known language as a witness to unbelievers.
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I wanted to be sure I did not REACT but to act upon the wise counsel of GOD …BUT the various ‘ministries’ and other kinds of resources were not trustworthy . The word had much to offer but in my state of sorrow and grief and the incomprehensible reality of my husband’s long term life lived in deceit I did not feel equipped to know what was it that was ‘normal’ for a believer in such a situtation.
Also, I believe that if you feel called into something, like for example visitation (which is part of mercy) by visiting hospitals and nursing homes, you will find whether you really feel passionate about it or not by just diving into it. Many times people discover, no, this is not for me but that’s fine. No harm. If you feel passionate about something, that is almost always an indication that you are called to that for God gives us a passion for something we are likely gifted in. I regularly visit our local nursing home and these residents are so lonely. 70% (7 in 10) never have any visitors and that is a gift of mercy. Same for hospital. Biblical Verses Image
Thank you Shirley for your comment. I am not saying in this article that healings still do not occur but the days of just having a shadow passed over someone would heal them. Who do you know that can heal everyone in every instance like the apostles could? If so, they should empty the hospitals or children’s cancer wards. That is my point. God can heal anyone He wants and He can use anyone He wants but He never promises to heal everyone at every time, everywhere. God alone heals. It is not the person who heals but God who enables those to pray for or lay on hands for SOME to be healed but certainly not all. I am not limiting God or putting Him in a box. If you know someone who has the gift of healing, then get a camera, head to the hospitals and children’s cancer wards and empty them…and then I will believe. God does still heal yes, but not everyone. That was the same then, and yesterday, remember Paul prayed three times and was never healed.
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.
Hi Jerry…Okay if I am not misunderstanding what you are asking, wanting to know why so many Christians are against the modern practice of tongue while they easily accept the other gifts of the spirit, the simplest answer is that the time for tongues as a gift benefiting the church has past with pentecost. As Pastor Jack said many time before, this was a signs gift given to glorify God and prove Christ deity! Just like so many big in your face miracles like the feeding of the loaves and fish. These things proved to the Jews and the gentiles that Christ was the son of God. It was also necessary for the spreading of the word and the formation of the new church. This is why it was never to be used in public without an interpreter…It was so that foreigners could understand what was being preached and to provide prophesy. The reason we do not practice it today is because it is simply not needed in the modern church. The time of prophesy has ended and we are in the time of the fulfillment of prophesy for the coming of the end times. We can preach in any language needed either because we have ministers of all nationalities and in most every country, or we can use interpreters. Miracles do still happen and so they are still a valid church gift of the Spirit but even those have changed…We have miracles happen all around us if we open our eyes and accept God, we can see them. However we no longer need the parting of seas,etc. We don’t need big signs to say see God is real…believe! The bible tells us that once the church was established and Christ had returned to his father, we are to believe by faith, not signs. When big churches tell people they must speak in tongues to show salvation, that is not biblical teaching. Also the fact they have no interpreters is not biblical. Finally the fact that many times they are in a frenzy and babbling in no actual language is not biblical, not of God, and sometimes possibly of the enemy not God! God is never the Lord of confusion! With that said, the bible says if it is done in private ( such as in your own Prayer life), because it can not be translated, it is to remain between you and God! I won’t say it could not happen in private but than that makes it a personnel experience and therefore not a gift of the Spirit…Gift of the spirit are not for personnel edification! So as long as this is not happening in church without proper interpretation, than that is between you and God. The other gift that are not signs gifts are still in use/effect today because they have a place in the edification of the whole church. I am sure that if you have tongues as a private gift, you still have one or two more gifts that fall into the catagory of Gifts of the Spirit which are still needed and used validly within the church today! However, the most important gift should be seen within all believers and that is thee most important Fruit of the Spirit…Charity/Love…That which we are all to be known by! Scripture Images
I was not even aware that there was a NAME for this kind of thing until more recent years …it was “Higher Criticism’ that was one of the key elements along with many other ‘isms’ added to the faith …going back to the most basic way that the Serpent used and still finds most effective to deconstruct people’s hope in learning truth from the Bible , the scriptures that are GOD breathed and trustworthy are being ripped apart by anti christian ‘scholars’ who are nothing more than skeptics and workers of evil intent upon destroying the faith of those who are unstable and unlearned at the earliest age possible.
God has made us exactly the way that it pleased Him and we all must remember that God has chosen the weak and the base of the world (1 Cor 1:27) and what the world considers despised and lowly (1 Cor 1:28) is important to God and that’s all that matters, isn’t it? He looks at the inward parts of the human heart, not the outward appearance, so don’t worry about what the body looks like, be concerned with the things that God sees because in the end, that’s all that’s important and that’s all that really matters. What others think is nothing…what God knows is everything. Bible Verse Wall Art
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.
The next gift of the Spirit Paul mentions is the gift of faith (v 9). Those with this gift are truly amazing in how they see things. They tend to exude confidence in all situations. For example, our church deacon has said about our church growth “when” it grows we will need more Sunday school books, while others say “if” we grow we will need additional books. I met an evangelist once that spoke about things as if they already had existed or had come to pass. He spoke about finances that God would provide while simultaneously have nothing to show for it in the church’s bank account. He would always later prove to be right. This is a person more like God. He sees things that aren’t as if they already are! Bible Scripture Images
As for having a forum or website that allows discussions for Christians to grow, there are several but some problems occur where readers differ and sometimes argue over non-essentials (to salvation) issues that are needless to debate. What I sense you want is to grow and many churches have Sunday school programs (such as the church I am under-shepherd of) that allow the class to have input (which we do). Others have Sunday night services that are dedicated to a more intensive Bible Study and still others have Weds. night studies of the same magnitude. There are many Christian forums but you will find that frequently they are taking about issues that do not have to do with doctrine but about personal beliefs in grey areas that sometimes lead into wrangling which the Bible commands Christians not to do. Please note that our website allows comments on all of the articles and you can ask or comment with other readers and even the authors of these articles and to me, it is one of the greatest tools for growth. The vast majority of our readers and commentators who reply with comments have so much to add that I grow too in the process. I hope this helps. We have over 300 articles about various topics. You can type in a key word or question at the top of the webpage Homepage where it says “Questions? Need Answers? Ask Us.” and type into the search box. Happy hunting and growing in grace and knowledge Cynthia. Bible Verse Wall Art