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.
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.
The next gift is the ability to speak in different tongues (v 10). This has been one of the most controversial and most misunderstood gifts of all. When the original outpouring of the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, there were many speaking in tongues. Paul wrote about tongues extensively in 1 Corinthians, chapters twelve through fourteen, but he was reproving the Corinthians for misusing the gift. It’s very difficult out of this passage to get any kind of mandate to speak in tongues, to get any kind of affirmation that this is something to be sought, because what you have here are primarily corrective orders given to the Corinthians. They had actually prostituted the gift of tongues into something pagan that wasn’t even representative of the work of the Spirit. All you need to do is to go back to Acts 2 and read verse 4, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages”. The literal translation in Greek is “glossa” and means tongues. This same word “glossa” (language) is used again in Acts 2:11. This means it is a known language not some unknown tongue. Then it says (in Acts 2:5-11) that there were unbelievers present at Pentecost and were hearing God’s message in their own “dialektos” dialects or language: “Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues” (dialektos or dialects)! So there were unbelievers present at Pentecost hearing God’s message in their own languages and their own local dialects, not ecstatic gibberish. Bible Scripture Images
To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 Bible Verse Wall Art
He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay (called discernment).” These are important gifts and some of them are similar to but different from the gifts of the Spirit that Paul talks about in the New Testament in I Corinthians chapter twelve. There are nine gifts of the Spirit mentioned by Paul in I Corinthians chapter twelve: Biblical Verses Image
Ephesians 4:11 reveals yet more gifts as Paul indicates there are, “…apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers.” Again teachers are mentioned, evangelists are those who are unusually gifted at sharing the gospel with the lost, pastors and prophets (again, this is those who proclaim the gospel). Apostles can no longer exist because by definition, they would be those church leaders who have been commissioned by the risen Christ and having been done so in His presence. Those who call themselves apostles have no such authority given by God and they are self-designated only, thusly disqualifying themselves as a true apostle.
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. Biblical Verses Image
The gift of “distinguishing between spirits” is having the gift of discernment. It is able to discern scriptures and their application to believers in the church. It is also being able to tell whether someone is earnest and sincere, or they appear to have an agenda. Peter displayed this in Acts chapter five when Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property and kept back part of the money and brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet but lied saying they had given it all to the church (Acts 5:1-10). Those with this gift of discernment or “distinguishing between spirits” may be able to know whether the church should or should not do particular things. Bible Scripture Images
Great question my friend…and exactly the right question too. James 4:8 says ” Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Spending time with God through prayer, meditation on His words and obedience will draw us near to God. Staying in prayer, in the Word, and in obedience to His Words helps significantly. God is everywhere, you may not see Him with your physical eyes (Jer.23:23-24). God & Jesus are very much concerned with what you do in your heart (1Sam.16:7). Truly, once you determine in your heart that you really want to be close to Jesus, the Holy Spirit will start immediately to help you, guide you, train you to be following the prescriptions(as found in the Holy Bible) of God to live. As you continue to faithfully follow God’s instruction the closer you will be to Jesus Christ (John 14:23). Even start to pray now that the Lord Jesus should help you to get close to Him, you will soon have testimonies to give, which will help others too. I am not sure I answered your question well enough. I am heading to work shortly and so hope this helps somewhat my friend.
I know many other Christians are feeling His call more than ever. He is prompting me to study, dive into His Word, learn from others that are His teachers and spend more quality time with Him. I am waiting on His leading and for Him to point the way. I will do whatever He wants me to do, go where ever He wants me to go — in His name, for His glory. Bible Scripture Images
I really appreciate the great work you’re doing for the glory of God. I hope you would not mind the following comment: There is a difference between the GIFTS of the Holy Spirit and the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit. The gifts (1 Corinthians 12) are intended to equip God’s people to do The work of Christ for the glory of God. The fruit (Galatians 5:22) of the Spirit is for the believer’s spiritual and personal growth. Scripture Images
Glad to be of any help Pastor. I have an old computer too and was told it was unfixable two yrs ago. God blessed me with a coworker who was former MI intelligence. He took my computer home, used his to boot it up since we were unable to even start it. I had gotten a bug that my antivirus missed and it attacked my windows start up program. He rewrote my program which is now a lost art amoung most computer techs who rely on programs to diagnoise and fix issues. Ask around and maybe you will find an old programer who knows dos. My computer had to have some memory added as its about ten yrs old, runs a little slow but form basic use, its fine.
Romans 12:7-8 also speaks of additional gifts; “if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” This shows that some are gifted at teaching, some at showing mercy, some in giving to the work of the Lord, and some who show an unusual amount of forgiveness (called mercy). Bible Verse Wall Art
The next gift is the ability to speak in different tongues (v 10). This has been one of the most controversial and most misunderstood gifts of all. When the original outpouring of the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, there were many speaking in tongues. Paul wrote about tongues extensively in 1 Corinthians, chapters twelve through fourteen, but he was reproving the Corinthians for misusing the gift. It’s very difficult out of this passage to get any kind of mandate to speak in tongues, to get any kind of affirmation that this is something to be sought, because what you have here are primarily corrective orders given to the Corinthians. They had actually prostituted the gift of tongues into something pagan that wasn’t even representative of the work of the Spirit. All you need to do is to go back to Acts 2 and read verse 4, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages”. The literal translation in Greek is “glossa” and means tongues. This same word “glossa” (language) is used again in Acts 2:11. This means it is a known language not some unknown tongue. Then it says (in Acts 2:5-11) that there were unbelievers present at Pentecost and were hearing God’s message in their own “dialektos” dialects or language: “Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues” (dialektos or dialects)! So there were unbelievers present at Pentecost hearing God’s message in their own languages and their own local dialects, not ecstatic gibberish.
Roger, I don’t understand “I am a married man and six months before my wedding day, during a time of prayer, the Holy Spirit told me “whatever you want from your wife, you have to love it out of her, and no matter how she may act your only response is to be love.” If you can please show me where this is stated in the Bible?” and in particular, are you wanting to know where this is found in the Bible? It is no where that I know of. The Great Commission is central to the mission of Christians but yet a person’s first and most important earthly ministry is to his or her family. Central to the Christian’s life is that of the Great Commission to take the gospel to the whole world, even if it’s next door. Repentance, confession, sanctification, and trusting in Christ are the essentials to what we learn from the Bible and so, although I do not disagree with what you are saying, the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing, and that is Christ died for sinners and to rescue them from hell fire. Agree? Bible Verse Wall Art
I admitted to my friend that I had faked it all those years ago. I stood on the message that God had given me that I did not have to speak in tongues to know that the Spirit is alive and working in me. I already know it. And as far as other spiritual gifts? Yes, I have them. Several. But, tongues is not one of them. God has blessed me, protected me (often from myself) and humbled me over the years. I have experienced the presence of the Spirit for over 40 years.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Scripture Images
Since I learned that the thoughts that came to mind which were scripture were actually the way that the Spirit of GOD ‘spoke ‘ to me and that the whole word of GOD is God’s VOICE in how HE teaches us by His spirit then I became free of the way others’ who seemed to have more authority were my teachers. Lifting up men is not useful and oftentimes is destructive . This is where the false teachers take advantage for their own agendas.
Thank you for your question my friend. Something just doesn’t sound right. This laying hands on your forehead and then speaking to you in tongues doesn’t sound biblical. Is it the Holy Spirit? I do not think it is because the Holy Spirit always points to glorify Jesus Christ and focus exclusively on Him and never man or his gifts. You are not questioning the Holy Spirit, so you are fine…what you are doing is seeking to find the truth and it obviously doesn’t feel right and I don’t think it is. I would talk to a pastor of another denomination. If you speak to the pastor of this church you had this experience in, then he will likely support this.
My chest xray was done and the Doctor has not told me much . I don’t have a personal regular physician since moving here so there is no one that ‘knows’ my baseline health very well. Over the years with many moves I have tried to make a ‘connection ‘ so that whatever doctor I have seen would care about and know my health. I believe that the many moves and the bigger load that many doctors now have has left that kind of care in the past along with the town doctor sort of experience.
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
In my life as a Christian for the past 30+ years, especially during the early years; I have heard various different doctrines and teaching about the word of God, the Bible. Because I was being taught by people who were very sincere in what they were teaching, but often very sincerely wrong in their understanding of the word of God. This caused much confusion. And I confess that even with the gift of teaching upon my life I can fall into the same category.
Jesus knew the heart and since He is God, He knows the thoughts and motives of every human heart for He is also the Creator. God looked at the religious leaders and knew that they were hypocrites because they taught one thing but did another as Jesus said “on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” (Matt 23:28). They liked to be seen and wanted others to think highly of them but Jesus knew that inwardly they were as dead as could be and were full of all sorts of evil and uncleanliness. It is never what others think about us that’s important; it is only what God knows about us that counts. We might be able to fool others but we can never fool God because “Lord, you know everyone’s heart” (Acts 1:24) “for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed” (1 Sam 2:3).
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.
Went to ER and of course five hrs later after sitting still I was much better. Dr could hear wheezing comming from throat but said that while I may have asthma, that would not cause me to loose voice for this long. Ordered chest and throat xray which were clear. Said that something is causing airway obstruction/swelling which is not good, we need to find cause because they hospitalize people for airway issues. Ordered me to see specialist so he can scope my airway and determine the cause…it can be as simple as reflux disease, which I am not having symptoms of, or it can be much more serious. In meantime, I was put on double dose of steroids for five days. Plus reflux meds in case that the case until I can see specialist.
Another example one time last month I was reading Hebrews chapter 10. In verse 10 it tells us that we have been sacntified once and for all by the offering up of the body of Jesus. This sounds wonderful But verse 14 says that we have been perfected forever. I started to question that because I can see so many imperfections in my life. Then the Holy Spirit told me that my sanctification has perfected me and everything in my life for God ‘s calling upon my life.
From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all. Biblical Verses Image
3. I believe, as I am sure you do, that Scripture teaches us about the “now” and the “not yet” of the Kingdom of God, as our Jewish counterparts were taught, and therefore until Jesus returns, as you know, not everyone we pray for to be healed is healed IN OUR TIMELINE of experience. Does this mean we should not ask? Does this not mean that we are not to be expectant, obedient? Does this not mean we should start with the small (headaches, aches) and build into our lives an expectation that he is interested in our illnesses before we visit drugstores or look in our well-stocked medicine cabinets rather than knocking hard on his door when serious illnesses draw near? Biblical Verses Image
I believe being endued with a supernatural power to preach the gospel of the kingdom. I do not believe as many people in the “charismatic movement” teach, that “speaking with tongues” is the evidence that you are baptized in the Spirit. For instance the young lady who shared the gospel with me to be saved did not “speak with tongues” but there was a power being manifested through her that kept me from walking away from her, because I did not want to listen to what she was saying. But I could not escape her, I was set down in an empty classroom to hear what she had to say in college.
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. Scripture Images
They faithfully brought in the contributions and the tithes and the consecrated things; and Conaniah the Levite was the officer in charge of them and his brother Shimei was second. Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath and Benaiah were overseers under the authority of Conaniah and Shimei his brother by the appointment of King Hezekiah, and Azariah was the chief officer of the house of God. Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the keeper of the eastern gate, was over the freewill offerings of God, to apportion the contributions for the LORD and the most holy things.
One new one he shared was Acts 10:45, 46 in which Cornelius (a gentile) and his household received the Holy Spirit and burst out speaking in tongues. But why? This was a sign to Peter that the Holy Spirit was also for gentiles. He got the message. Now, we don’t need to continue getting that message, we get it, too. Jesus is for ALL. Every time someone is saved we are taught in God’s Word to recognize the fruits of the Spirit and we don’t need these miraculous signs to know that God is at work. And in my humble opinion, it is not a sound teaching of God’s to try and force people to speak in tongues to PROVE that they have received the Holy Spirit and make them feel less of a Christian if they don’t. Bible Verse Wall Art