You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Spiritual Gifts’ tag.

 

Why is the Church Powerless?

Part 1: Missing the Connection

By Pastor Anton Bosch

Anyone who is half-honest will admit that the church of the 21st century is powerless when compared to the church in the first century and at other times of great blessing. The problem is that making such a statement is akin to saying the emperor has no clothes since most feel quite content with their situation.

I know generalizations are exactly that, and I also freely admit that there are differences between the church in the West and other places where there still is a visible sense of God moving amongst His people. In broaching this topic we also have problems with terms, so allow me to define what I do, and do not, mean by power.

Power is not measured in noise, hype or even large numbers, just as the “anointing” is not measured in shouting, sweat and spit. Power cannot be measured in statistics, budgets, buildings or programs. A telling statement comes from a Third-World believer after visiting churches in the West: “It is amazing what the church in the West has been able to achieve without the Holy Spirit.”[1]

Power must be defined by the Scripture itself, and the definitive text is Acts 1:8: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

This promise of the Lord Jesus is made manifest by the disciples in the book of Acts as “with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the

Lord Jesus” (Acts 4:33). This power is visible in sinners powerfully transformed, powerful preaching and, yes, powerful miracles. And yes, I am painfully aware that my own church and ministry fall into the category of the powerless!

The Greek word for “power” is dunamis. Many point out that the word “dynamite” stems from this word. While that is true, I do not believe that dynamite is what Jesus had in mind when He used this word, simply because

dynamite results in a huge explosion, the release of great power, and then destruction and silence in its wake. The word “dynamo” also comes from

the word dunamis. A dynamo generates a constant flow of (electrical) power. The dunamis of the Spirit should not result in a momentary explosion (as in some questionable “revivals”) but in a constant empowering from within –driving the individual and the church forward in the face of difficulties and attacks, empowering lives that powerfully witness to the power of the Gospel and the power of the Cross.

This stands in stark contrast to modern conversions that seem to be more about joining, behavior modeling, and superficial assimilation; preaching that is clever, eloquent and impressive, but that leaves the sinner and the rebel unconverted; and a reliance on medical science, hype and advertising as a replacement for miracles.

The decline in the manifestation of God’s power amongst His people cannot be ascribed to Cessationism, or Hyper-Dispensationalism. That there is a decline is beyond dispute, but the weakening of the church cannot have been part of God’s original design since the power of Acts 1:8 is intimately connected with the Great Commission, which has not yet been fulfilled. If the dunamis was specifically given to empower the witness of the church, and the Great Commission has not yet been withdrawn nor fulfilled, then the power must still be available.

Concerning the gifts, Harry Ironside said:

There are commentators who insist that some of

these gifts have absolutely disappeared, but I do not

know of any Scripture portion that tells us that. I

do not know of any passage that says that the age of

miracles has passed and I would not dare to say that

the sign gifts all ended with Paul’s imprisonment. I

know from early church history that this is not

true… Therefore I do not think it is correct to take

the position that these sign gifts have necessarily

disappeared from the church. I do, however, believe

that many of the gifts are not often seen today, and

I think there is good reason for that. In 2

Corinthians 11:2 the apostle wrote, “I have

espoused you… as a chaste virgin to Christ.” Paul

was writing to a separated company, the affianced

bride of the Lamb, and it was the delight of the

blessed risen Lord to lavish upon her gift after gift.

The Corinthians “[came] behind in no gift,”…

However, it seems to me that we can see in the

book of Acts that as time went on and the church

began to drift a little, and as dissension and other

things that grieved the Lord arose, there was more

reserve on His part in bestowing gifts. That, I

believe, explains the lack of many of these gifts

today. The church has gotten so far away from what

she should be and there is so much strife, division,

worldliness, and carnality that the Lord no longer

delights in lavishing His gifts as freely as He did in

the beginning.[2]

 

Before I continue I also need to make it clear that while we are solely responsible for our anemic state, God remains sovereign, and we cannot manufacture a revival by applying a formula by which God then becomes obliged to fulfill our wishes.

In a church I recently visited I was rebuked by an elder for not believing that we could absolutely bring about a revival as long as we simply prayed and believed hard enough![3] But we cannot control, manipulate or force God into doing anything. At best, we can simply obey Him and then trust Him to do what He alone wills. The revivalist who touts various formulas for revival is no different than the prosperity teacher, who believes we can bribe God to prosper him, or the Word of Faith evangelist, who believes that God is subject to his faith. To all these God simply becomes a puppet on a string that dances to the tunes of men.

But, at the same time, it is very evident that we can do much that would hinder the work of the Spirit and that would prevent the Lord from pouring out His blessings on us. One of the misconceptions taught during the last century is the idea that the Holy Spirit and the attendant power is a gift and, since a gift cannot be earned, God will pour His Spirit on anyone who asks, irrespective of the individual or church’s spiritual condition. Thus there have been accounts of unbelievers, drunkards, and other vile persons “filled with the Spirit”.

This is not the truth. There are clear conditions set for the receipt of the power of God.

Conditions to the Outpouring of the Spirit:

God does not give His Spirit to those who are disobedient to the Divine will. The Bible does not teach that God will bless and empower those who are disobedient but, on the contrary, there is a clear connection between our obedience and God’s blessings in general, and the empowering of the Holy Spirit in particular:

“… the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him” (Acts

5:32).

Obedience obviously covers a huge area and would include things like holiness, obedience in ministry, and obedience to any of the many commands contained in the New Testament. The prime reason for a lack of power in the lives of individuals and churches is clear when one looks at the general disobedience so prevalent in churches today.

In John 14:15-16, Jesus said: “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.” Jesus Himself predicates the giving of the Spirit on loving Him, and the consequent obedience that flows from such love.

Believers that love themselves, the world, pleasure, ease and comfort are clearly excluded from this promise, as are those who do not love Him sufficiently to obey Him.

These two principles – love and obedience – cover everything else. But under these main principles there are a number of other more specific conditions.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter said: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

Notice again the conjunction “and” which indicates that receiving the Holy Spirit will happen once the conditions had been met. Baptism here is symbolic of obedience. However, repentance seems to be the first condition.

By repentance Peter was referring to two main areas in which repentance is necessary. We need to repent from religion void of the Cross. Peter was preaching to religious Jews but calls them to repent from their religiosity and to believe on the Lord Jesus. But clearly implied in the word “repent” is repentance from any form of sin and disobedience.

It is interesting that all great and true revivals are always accompanied and preceded by deep sorrow for, and repentance from, sin. The notion that the Lord will give His Spirit to a rebellious, sinful and unrepentant heart is utterly contrary to both Scripture and the holiness of God.

Also, leaders cannot demand that their followers repent if they themselves are not truly broken before God.

The connection between obedience, sanctification, and the presence of God is illustrated in Exodus 40:18-38 where the Tabernacle is a type of the individual believer, and also of the church.[4]

The text explains the final erection of the tabernacle and between verses 19-32; it says seven times that Moses did everything “as the Lord commanded Moses.”

Repeating that many times that Moses did as He was commanded is highly significant. Following these seven repetitions, verse 33 says: “So Moses finished the work.”

This statement is immediately followed by: “Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34, emphasis mine).

Note the clear connection between Moses’ obedience, completing the work as he had been commanded, and the descent of the Glory of the Lord.

One of the very real reasons the believer and the church are powerless is because of our disobedience and sin. God will simply not anoint our disobedience, laziness and sin. Many who desire the power of God in their lives, ministries, and churches also do not have it because they want it for the wrong reasons:

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:2-3).

Some want God’s power to make them look good, others want power over people, and others want power so their churches can grow for selfish reasons. While any reason other than the Lord’s will is bad, nothing is worse than those who want God’s power so they can make money out of it. This is not new.

Simon the sorcerer seemed to be motivated by ego and money, and was even willing to offer money to purchase the gift of God (Acts 8).

Even without the real anointing of God, there is still good money to be made in selling books, videos and conferences on revival. If the peddlers of such books were serious about wanting revival they would give the books away. Yet it is a lucrative segment of the Christian market.

Amazon.com lists over 1500 titles on “revival” and over 6200 on “renewal.”[5]

The Lord will never bless our greed, lust for power, or desire for the honor of men. The thousands of prayers going up every day for power for the sake of power are a stench in the nostrils of God and will forever go unanswered.

Only the desire for more of Him, and not just His gifts, will be answered. Once again there is little difference between those who follow the Lord for financial riches and those who follow Him for spiritual gifts – both are rooted in selfishness, a lack of gratitude for the Cross, and lack of true love for the Lord.

Those who have a pure motive pray that they may be consumed, broken and humbled in order to gain more of the Lord. They understand that when God’s fire falls, all of the flesh must be consumed. They are not only willing to pay that price, but they desire the loss of all that they may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8).

Only those with the right motive pray John’s prayer: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

Part 2: Blessed are the Thirsty

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters…” (Isaiah 55:1)

In addition to the need for obedience and holiness, our attitude also affects whether or not the Lord will pour His Spirit on us. The only attitude the Lord blesses and anoints is that of humility, brokenness and utter dependency on Him.

Just as those who are well do not need the physician, so are those who are self-sufficient. They feel they can make God do what they want and have no need the Lord’s power. Yes, they ask for the Lord’s blessing, but they do not really want it since deep down they feel quite adequate to do things for themselves. To make their situation worse, not only does God not support them in their self-sufficiency, but He is actually opposed to them: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).

The problem is that if you feel you are humble then, by definition, you are not! Only those who recognize their pride have any chance of finding true humility, and thus receive the Lord’s blessing.

In the Beatitudes Jesus said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

(Matthew 5:3). The state of poverty of spirit is not only critical to receiving the Kingdom, but is vital to receiving anything from the Lord. Of course, all are poor, and there is no one who has anything to boast about (Romans 3:23). But the problem is that very few recognize their poverty and how much they need the Lord. This applies to every area of the Christian life, whether it is the sinner who recognizes his need for a Savior or the believer who understands that he has no strength in himself.

Sadly, the spirit of our age is that of the church of Laodicea which boasted, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” but of which the Lord said, “[You] do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).

It seems most believers and churches are quite content in their lukewarmness and, like Laodicea, “do not know” how spiritually bankrupt they really are. Like the blind person who compensates for his disability though attuned senses of hearing and feeling, so the church compensates for its spiritual poverty through programs and hype. Like the bankrupt businessman who distorts his accounts and spends lavishly to hide his poverty, the church changes the way it evaluates its spiritual state and embarks on propaganda campaigns to speak of the “great blessing”.

Living in a false state of security and comfort is an old scam of false prophets: “For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace” (Jeremiah 8:11).

In like manner church leaders assure their congregations that they can see when they are blind, that they are rich when they are poor and that they are healthy when they are sick unto death!

Paul had learned that the real secret to power was not becoming more charismatic but realizing his great need and utter dependence on the Lord:

“And He said to me… My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2Corinthians 12:9-10).

May we, too, face our desperate need, and may it drive us to Him Who alone has any strength.

The first Beatitude (poor in spirit) inevitably leads to the second: “Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). Once we see ourselves the way we really are (the way the Lord sees us) it must lead to a great sorrow over our emptiness and lack of power and blessing. But no church wants to be in mourning– we all want to be celebrating and speaking joyfully about the non-existent “move of God” amongst us. Yet there is nothing more inappropriate than being joyful when mourning is required, and I see no reason for cheerfulness amongst the vast majority of churches today.

The gross sin in the church of Corinth should have reduced them to tears and repentance but instead they felt quite good about themselves (1Corinthians 5:2).

So, too, the powerlessness of modern Christians should bring them to a state of mourning over what has been lost, or never found. But rather there seems to be a general state of euphoria in spite of our utter poverty.

Mourning of a godly kind leads to comfort (Matthew 5:4). There is no better way to be comforted than through the comfort (strengthening) of the Comforter.

Just as knowledge of our poverty leads to mourning, so mourning will inevitably lead to hungering and thirsting: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

This beatitude speaks of thirsting for righteousness but the principle also applies to the Holy Spirit. Jesus also said: “‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive” (John7:37-39).

It begins with thirsting. If there is no acknowledgement of our great thirst, no awareness of our poverty, no sorrow over our spiritual bankruptcy and sin, then there will be no drinking at the Living Fountain. Yet churches are kept artificially satisfied through endless programs, events, entertainment and feel-good pep talks. They are dying of thirst but don’t even know it. It seems that the leaders are in cahoots with the devil to keep people from being divinely dissatisfied, remaining unaware that they are spiritually hungry and thirsty, lest they turn to the Lord Jesus for satisfaction.

In defense of leaders, many feel they must keep people happy to prevent them from going to the next church. Meanwhile the people don’t understand that the

solutions are not in the church down the street, but in the Lord Jesus alone.

Oh, that we would just recognize that the void within cannot be filled with more meetings, mindless entertainment, or anything else the world, or a worldly church, has to offer, but that God through His Spirit alone can satisfy the deep longing within. “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalms 42:1-2).

“O GOD, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water” (Psalms 63:1).

Thirsting must drive us to Christ. Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37).

Jesus, and not the pastor, conference or Internet, is the source. How often when we thirst do we inevitably run to the counselors so they can affirm us, assure us that everything is okay, and tell us that there is no need to be stressed. When young Samuel first heard the Lord’s call he ran to Eli who assured him that he was not being called and told him to return to sleep. Every day pastors just as spiritually blind as Eli shush believers to sleep, assuring them that there is indeed no voice from heaven.

Pastors, prophets and visiting evangelists are not dispensers of the Spirit. Jesus alone is, and it is to Him alone we must turn and cry to be filled to overflowing. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts” (Revelation 21:6).

In coming to the Lord Jesus there is a need to wait (tarry) until we receive what we need. In Luke 11 Jesus teaches on the need for persistence in prayer (the man asking bread from his neighbor). He then tells us to ask and keep on asking, to seek and keep on seeking, and to knock and keep on knocking, which He then relates to the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13).

The message is clear; we need to ask until we receive. The problem is that most believers ask a few times, and maybe for a few minutes, and when they do not receive, they move onto the next thing on their agenda. Yet, it is clear from Luke 11 that we need to be persistent.

Jacob understood this principle when he wrestled with the Angel at the brook and said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” (Genesis 32:26). I do not see that kind of persistent wrestling with God anymore. Our instant religion has made us believe that if we don’t get what we want immediately and easily then we just need to move on to the next fast-food place or item on the menu. But God is not into fast food nor is He into instant gratification. It is not because He does not want to bless us, but because He knows we are fickle and often not really serious about our need for His blessing.

When He does not respond immediately, and we simply stop wrestling with Him, he says: “See, I did not give it to you because I knew you were not desperate and by giving up after five minutes of prayer you have proven that you are not serious about this.”

Just before Jesus ascended, “He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father…” (Acts 1:4). Previously, he had commanded them to go into the entire world, but now He told them not to move until they had received the Promise. They would wait for ten days and then, at the appointed time (when the day had fully come – Acts 2:1), the Promise was fulfilled.

I have often wondered what would have happened had they given up after a week or nine days. Ten days is a long time to wait, and others have waited even longer. Yet most believers cannot wait ten minutes, let alone ten hours, ten days or ten years. Unfortunately many Christians are like King Saul, who could not wait for Samuel to offer the sacrifice and so resorted to taking matters into his own hands, thus incurring the wrath of the Lord (1Samuel13).

As we persist in prayer, as we wait on the Lord, He in due time, will hear us and will pour out His blessing. Even if He does not, the time waiting on Him is not wasted but is precious, refreshing and empowering:

“He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. ” (Isaiah 40:29-31)

Endnotes:

[1] The origin of this statement is unknown but is variously attributed to

a Chinese and African believer.

[2] HA Ironside – Commentary on 1Corinthians 12 – 1938.

[3] In spite of these leaders regarding themselves as experts on revival

this church is literally falling apart at the seams. The less than a dozen

people are divided and bullied by the leaders who constantly berate them

for their lack of prayer, faith and results. The leaders are directly

responsible for this sad state of affairs, yet are arrogant and abusive as

they blame the church for failure for which they are personally

responsible.

[4] The Tabernacle is primarily a type of Jesus, but also of the church

and the believer.

[5] Searched by “Christian revival” and “Christian renewal” in order to

filter out secular books containing the terms “revival” or “renewal.”

 

The Gift of Spiritual Discernment

What is the Gift of Spiritual Discernment?

The Bible makes it clear that, even in the church’s infancy, there were many false prophets and teachers who claimed to speak God’s words with God’s authority. These men were strangers to God and yet claimed to speak for Him. Many Christians were drawn in by their words and were led astray by them. Because of this Scripture contains many exhortations for Christians to test all teaching. John writes, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Just one verse earlier, in John 3:24, John has spoken of the fact that the Holy Spirit is given to us as evidence of God’s presence in our lives. And having spoken of the Spirit, John now ensures that his readers know that not every spirit is holy. We are tempted to believe and obey spirits, for they represent a spiritual realm that is outside of our experience, but many spirits are commanded by Satan, the father of lies. Because of this we need to test or prove the spirits to see if they come from God.

Some commentators draw a direct line from the spiritual gift of prophecy to the gift of discerning spirits, but I am not sure this argument can be sustained. When we combine the presence of this gift with Paul’s exhortation to “test everything,” it seems that the gift of discernment would be likely to extend far beyond prophecy.

All Christians are responsible to test words of teaching and prophecy. The Bereans were considered noble for hearing the teaching of Paul and Silas, receiving them with eagerness and “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11). These believers tested the words of the apostles, examining the Scriptures to see if what they were being taught was consistent with what they knew of God’s revelation of Himself. In doing this they modeled the task of all believers. Christians are ultimately responsible for what they choose to believe, no matter whether or not they have been gifted with the spiritual gift of discernment.

 

Finish Article HERE

Second Article

http://www.challies.com/articles/the-gift-of-spiritual-discernment-part-2

 

Third Article.

http://www.challies.com/articles/the-gift-of-spiritual-discernment-part-3

Speaking In Tongues Study

August 6, 2013 at 12:26pm

By Mark Jungwirth.

Speaking in Tongues is only mentioned in 3 books in the Bible: Mark, Acts, and Corinthians. In Mark, it is spoken of, but not in detail. In Acts, it is referring to someone speaking an understandable human language that they couldn’t possibly know how to speak. And in Corinthians, tongues are mentioned by Paul only to give a rebuke to the Corinthians for perverting and misusing the gift. The next point that must be understood is that when the Bible talks about speaking in tongues, the word “tongues” is glóssa, which simply means “tongue (the body part)” or “languages”. It’s obvious from the context that the meaning in the case of “speaking in tongues” is languages. In other words, the gift of tongues is more properly translated “the gift of languages”.

 

Mark 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. [ languages]

 

Acts 2:3  Tongues [ the body part] like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them. 

 

(When it says “tongues as of fire”, it is describing when God supernaturally manifested literal tongues (the body part) that looked as if they were made of fire, which represented the language that each individual was speaking. This was the 2nd physically noticeable sign from God, the first being the “noise like a violent rushing wind”, in the previous verse Acts 2:2)

 

Acts 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues,  [ languages] as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

Acts 2:11  Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues [ languages] the wonderful works of God. 

 

(For absolute proof that regular human languages were being spoken, look at verses 5-11, “And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language to which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”  First, the listing of the different countries, and the fact that it says specifically in verse 8, “And how is it that we hear, each in our own language to which we were born,”  proves undoubtedly that “speaking in tongues” means speaking in a human language that the speaker has not learned. Second, the fact that Gallileans were speaking in Jewish languages is a big deal. Gallileans were uneducated and couldn’t speak those languages. Also, it was unimagginable to the Jews that God would communicate in a Gentile language. This was part of the miraculous sign to them that God had brought salvation to both Jews and Gentiles through Christ. The fact that Jews were hearing works of God declared in their own dialects by people who didn’t speak such languages was fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 28:11, which Paul addresses specifically in 1 Corinthians 14:21.)

 

Acts 10:46  For they heard them speak with tongues [ languages], and magnify God. Then answered Peter.

 

Acts 19:6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues [ languages], and prophesied.

 

*Note: The KJV sometimes says “unknown tongues” in Corinthians, rather than just “tongues”. The word “unknown” does NOT appear in the original Greek. As well, it could be logically concluded that when it says “unknown tongues” that it is not saying the language is some sort of mystery language that nobody knows, but that it means the language is simply a language that the speaker does not know, which is exactly how the gift of tongues is described every place in scripture.  

 

1 Corinthians 12:10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another diverse kinds of tongues [ languages]; to another the interpretation of tongues [ languages].

 

1 Corinthians 12:28  And 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 [ languages].

 

1 Corinthians 12:30  Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues [ languages]? Do all interpret?

 

1 Corinthians 13:1  If I speak with the tongues [ languages] of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

 

(Just to note: 1 Cor. 13:1 in the KJV says “Though I speak”, not “if I speak”, but in the original Greek it is properly translated “If I speak”.  Paul is using hyperbole here, saying “I don’t care if you speak like a man or an angel, if you do it without love, its meaningless.” This is well supported by the very next 2 verses, and by the ending of the previous chapter. Some Pentecostals and Charismatics have taken the words “tongues of men and of angels” out of context here and claim that it means speaking in an angelic language for private prayer. They combine this verse with Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities for we know not what we should pray for as we ought but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”  Nowhere does it say anything about a private prayer language there. It says that the spirit makes intercession for us with groanings that CAN’T be uttered, not language that CAN be uttered (meaning cant be spoken with words). And it’s not us doing it, it’s the Holy Spirit. The word “groanings” is stenagmós – groaning (sighing), especially brought on by circumstances creating great pressure. See 4727 (stenazo). Stenázo (from 4728 /stenós, “compressed, constricted”) – properly, to groan because of pressure of being exerted forward (like the forward pressure of childbirth); (figuratively) to feel pressure from what is coming on – which can be intensely pleasant or anguishing (depending on the context). The words “can not be uttered” is alalétos in the Greek, which means “unutterable” or “inexpressible”. When it says “groanings too deep for words” or “groanings that cant be uttered” it means literal groaning or sighing, not speaking gibberish. Therefor, this scripture is clearly NOT referring to speaking in tongues or an “angelic language”. It is simply saying that when you are under great stress and pressure that you may actually groan or sigh (being too stressed to speak properly) and the Holy Spirit, knowing what you are groaning for, makes intercession for you to God.   It’s important to realize that nowhere in scripture is it ever recorded that angels have their own language or speak in non-human language. Every instance where an angel speaks in scripture it is in a regular human language. A very interesting point that must be made here is found in the Greek in Matthew 6:7.  “But when you pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”  The word for “vain repetitions” is battologéo, which means “to blubber nonsensical repetitions.” And the word comes from “batta” and “logos”. Logos means “word”. Batta is an onomatopoeia, which means it is a word whose sound suggests the sense. Example: The letter B makes the “buh” sound, the letter K makes the “kah” sound, and the letter G makes the “guh” sound. Buh, kah, and guh are onomatopoeias, as are words like “hiss” and “whoosh”. In other words, what Christ is saying in Matthew 6:7 could be taken to mean “Do not say ‘Kah buh lo tay ma’ like the heathen do.”  But regardless of whether or not this rendering of battologéo is what was intended, there is still no scriptural justification for speaking in such a manner.  

 

1 Corinthians 13:8  Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall pass away; whether there be tongues [ languages], they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall pass away.

 

(Here the words for “Cease” and for “Pass Away” are 2 different words, which may mean 2 different things. “Pass away” is katargethesontai, which is a future indicative passive verb. Passive meaning nothing is going to act upon it. It will “pass away” on its own. While “Cease” is pausontai, which is a future indicative middle verb (not passive) which could mean something will act upon it, making it cease, or putting it to an end. I say “which could mean something will act upon it” because it can’t be proven if the author meant for a different meaning by using the terms “cease” VS “pass away”. It is very possible that Paul simply meant that all of these things will stop when “the perfect comes” (mentioned in the following verses). 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 says, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”  The “perfect” can’t be the 2nd coming of Christ because knowledge and prophecy will still have their place, as we will still be in our human bodies here on Earth. The “perfect”, according to many Bible scholars, is the eternal state, the New Heaven and New Earth. This can be verified by looking at the Greek word for “perfect”. The word is teleion, which means “absolutely complete, or fully developed in all parts”; then by looking at the Greek word for “be done away” at the end of verse 10. The word is katargethesetai, which means “to be rendered ineffectual.”  In other words, “we know in part and prophesy in part, but when that which is complete has come, the partial knowledge and partial prophecy will be rendered ineffectual.”  God is saying that knowledge and prophecy will be complete and fully developed, that we will have all knowledge. This is further proven by Luke 12:2 “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”  This explains why partial knowledge and partial prophecy will be ineffectual. And if prophecy and knowledge won’t be rendered ineffectual until we’re in our spiritual forms in the eternal New Heaven and New Earth, and tongues will cease by something making them cease, then this means that tongues must cease sometime in regular Earthly human history. Based upon historical evidence and study of scripture, the most logical time for this to happen would be with the completion of Biblical scripture. In all known church history and writings after the New Testament, the “gibberish version of “tongues” had never been regarded as orthodox (accepted by most Christians) until the rise of Pentecostalism. References to speaking in tongues by the Church fathers are rare. Other than Irenaeus’ 2nd-century reference to many in the church speaking all kinds of languages “through the Spirit”, and Tertullian’s reference in 207 AD to the spiritual gift of interpretation of tongues being encountered in his day, there are no other known first-hand accounts of speaking in tongues, and very few second-hand accounts among their writings. And in their writings we see again, “speaking in tongues” is talking about actual human languages. I do not take the cessationist position that tongues have ceased with the completion of scripture, based upon testimonies from various legitimate Christians (all of whom speak of “tongues” as being a human language that they didnt know how to speak), and based upon the fact that cessationists also say that all of the “sign gifts” such as healing are no longer in operation but regardless, it is abundantly clear that it is not gibberish talk. It is being able to speak in a language that the speaker has not learned.)

 

1 Corinthians 14:2  For he who speaks in a tongue [ language] is not talking to men but to God; because no one knows what he is saying; but in the Spirit he speaks mysteries. (Paul is not affirming the idea that “tongues” are also a privatre prayer language to God, he is saying “If you speak in a tongue [ language] only God knows what you are saying. You may speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit, but its useless because nobody understands you.” This is proven by the context and content of the very next verses and the rest of the chapter.)

 

1 Corinthians 14:4  He who speaks in a tongue [ language] edifies himself; but he who gives the prophet’s word edifies the church. 

 

(It is clear by the previous verses that the gift is for edification of the church, not for edification of yourself. Self-edification puffs you up and makes you prideful. Here, Paul is warning against the selfish and show-off-ish use of the gift.)

 

1 Corinthians 14:5  I would that ye all spake with tongues [ languages] but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, unless he interprets, that the church may receive edifying.  

 

1 Corinthians 14:6  Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues [ languages], what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

 

1 Corinthians 14:11-19 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me. Even so, you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel. Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue [ language], my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the mind. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the mind. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified. I thank my God I speak with tongues [ languages] more than you all, yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue [ language].

 

(Paul makes it abundantly clear that speaking in tongues is pointless if the hearer can’t understand you.)

 

1 Corinthians 14:21-23  In the law it is written, With men of other tongues [ languages] and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues               [ languages] are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that do not believe: but prophesying is not for them that do not believe, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues [ languages], and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that you are mad? 

 

(When Paul says, “In the Law it is written,” he is referencing Isaiah 28:11 because when the Gallileans spoke in Jewish dialects at Pentecost, it was the fulfillment of that prophecy.) 

 

1 Corinthians 14:27-28  If anyone speaks in a tongue [ language], let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.

 

(This is very clear and tight restriction on use of tongues in the church. All Paul is saying here is, “If you’re going to speak in a language, make sure it gets translated so that everyone knows what is being said. Otherwise, be silent, because without translation your gift is being abused by showing it off with no purpose.” These two verses should be shown to almost every modern tongue-speaker. Regardless of whether or not someone chooses to believe in the modern gibberish version of tongues, they should at least recognize and live by the guidelines laid out in God’s Word.) 

 

1 Corinthians 14:34-38  Let women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church. Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. But if anyone does not recognize this, let him not be recognized.

 

(Many women will not want to acknowledge these scriptures, and many pastors will not teach the truth of what they say, however, God’s Word is God’s Word. And here Paul is stressing this teaching so much that he actually says “If anyone does not recognize these teachings as being commanded by God Himself, let that person not be recognized as a true believer.” It doesn’t get much clearer than that. Women are not to speak in tongues, or at all during church service. They are to be submissive, in general, toward men, and should look to their husbands for spiritual headship and instruction.) 

 

1 Corinthians 14:39  Wherefore, brethren, desire to prophesy, and don’t forbid to speak with tongues [languages]. 

 

(Finally, after giving such a rebuke, Paul closes by clarifying that there is indeed a proper manner in which to exercise the gift of tongues.)

 

* If what modern tongue-speakers do is actually speaking an “angelic language” why are there no discernible words in that language? Why is it that you can compare 2 modern tongue-speakers and often they sound so similar (even saying the exact same “words” in order), but when the supposed translation is given you often find they said vastly different things? (Example: Person 1 says “Ka lo boba tah see tah tay no mo.”, and person 2 says “Ka lo boba tay tah see tah no mo”  These 2 “sentences” should be translated to say similar things if this is an actual language with actual words, however, we often find that “tongues” will be this similar, but with vastly different translations. And often times the length of the supposed translation won’t seem to match the length of what is being said “in tongues”.  If this is a language, why is it that we can’t analyze words and conjugations and figure out what is being said, at least to some degree? The answer is: because it isn’t actually a language. Its gibberish. And if it isn’t an actual language then it isn’t the gift of languages. 

 

 

* In 1972, William J. Samarin, a linguist from the University of Toronto, published a thorough assessment of Pentecostal glossolalia which became a classic work on its linguistic characteristics.[6] His assessment was based on a large sample of glossolalia recorded in public and private Christian meetings in Italy, The Netherlands, Jamaica, Canada and the USA over the course of five years; his wide range included the Puerto Ricans of the Bronx, the Snake Handlers of the Appalachians and the Russian Molokan in Los Angeles.

 

 

Samarin found that glossolalic speech does resemble human language in some respects. The speaker uses accent, rhythm, intonation and pauses to break up the speech into distinct units. Each unit is itself made up of syllables, the syllables being formed from consonants and vowels taken from a language known to the speaker:

 

 

It is verbal behaviour that consists of using a certain number of consonants and vowels[…]in a limited number of syllables that in turn are organized into larger units that are taken apart and rearranged pseudogrammatically[…]with variations in pitch, volume, speed and intensity.[7]

 

 

[Glossolalia] consists of strings of syllables, made up of sounds taken from all those that the speaker knows, put together more or less haphazardly but emerging nevertheless as word-like and sentence-like units because of realistic, language-like rhythm and melody.[8]

 

 

That the sounds are taken from the set of sounds already known to the speaker is confirmed by others. Felicitas Goodman, a psychological anthropologist and linguist, also found that the speech of glossolalists reflected the patterns of speech of the speaker’s native language.[9]

 

 

Samarin found that the resemblance to human language was merely on the surface and so concluded that glossolalia is “only a facade of language”.[10] He reached this conclusion because the syllable string did not form words, the stream of speech was not internally organized, and – most importantly of all – there was no systematic relationship between units of speech and concepts. Humans use language to communicate but glossolalia does not. Therefore he concluded that glossolalia is not “a specimen of human language because it is neither internally organized nor systematically related to the world man perceives”.[10] On the basis of his linguistic analysis, Samarin defined Pentecostal glossolalia as “meaningless but phonologically structured human utterance, believed by the speaker to be a real language but bearing no systematic resemblance to any natural language, living or dead”.[11]

 

Felicitas Goodman studied a number of Pentecostal communities in the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico; these included English, Spanish and Mayan speaking groups. She compared what she found with recordings of non-Christian rituals from Africa, Borneo, Indonesia and Japan. She took into account both the segmental structure (such as sounds, syllables, phrases) and the supra-segmental elements (rhythm, accent, intonation) and concluded that there was no distinction between what was practiced by the Pentecostal Protestants and the followers of other religions.[12]

 

Conclusion:

 There is no biblical support for the idea that speaking in tongues means speaking in “angelic” gibberish. Every instance in scripture where tongues are mentioned it is clear that it is talking about an actual understandable human language. There is also no scientific evidence that the gibberish modern tongue-speakers use is a language. Tongues may or may not be in operation in modern times. Although it appears from church history, and from scripture study, that the gift is no longer in operation, even if it is, the gift is being able to speak in a language you haven’t learned, not speaking gibberish. Hence the gift being called the “gift of languages”, not the “gift of gibberish”.   

By Mark Jungwirth.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-jungwirth/speaking-in-tongues-study/606796462693394

 

Experiencing God – Part 4- Anton Bosch

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (1Cor 2:9,10). The things of God cannot be seen with natural eyes, heard through natural ears or perceived through natural emotions because God is a Spirit and spiritual things can only be perceived by that which is spiritual.

In the same way as a man born physically deaf cannot understand the glory of music and a person born blind cannot begin to partake of the visual beauty of God’s creation, so spiritual things cannot be perceived through the natural senses and emotions. The only way you can receive and be affected by a glorious piece of music is by hearing it. You cannot hear music with your tongue or nose and you cannot “experience” God with natural senses. Thus “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1Cor 2:14). The natural man is the man who operates in the realm of the carnal, fleshly or soulish and in that realm, he will not encounter God. Thus the first requirement to meet with God is that man needs to move beyond the natural to the spiritual. This does not only require that he be born-again, but that he be willing to meet God on His terms.

The man who is governed by fleshly and carnal desires will not be able to meet with God as his carnality will blind him to spiritual matters. Thus the church of Laodicea was pronounced “blind” because of their worldliness (Rev 3:17); the brother filled with hatred is in darkness (1John 2:11) and the person who is not diligently pursuing Christlikeness is shortsighted and blind (2Pet 1:5-9). There have been many very wise, sensitive and perceptive people on this earth who never met God simply because they could not or would not go beyond their human faculties.

As much as God cannot be “seen” by the natural man so He can also not be revealed by natural means. You can put on the most magnificent audio and visual display, throw in some smells, vibrate the building so you can feel the motion and then dish out some snacks to taste and thus assault every one of the five natural senses but none of this can, or will, give you an “experience” of God. This is true simply because God is a Spirit and spirit cannot be heard, seen, smelt, touched or tasted. The millions of dollars that churches spend on appealing to the natural senses can not and never will give people an experience of God. People have experiences all right, but it is not God! In the context of the first two chapters of Corinthians, Paul also includes excellent oratory, human wisdom and miracles as some of the things that are not able to cross-over from that which is natural to that which is spiritual.

On the other hand there are many that are propagating many mystical ways of accessing God. These include chants, meditation, mantras, labyrinths etc. Most of these methods have existed in the church for a long time but are also very much part of Eastern religions. These are simply different ways of stirring the soul within man and also do not go beyond the natural, except in those cases where demons hijack the process.

How then do I get to meet with God?. First we have to understand that we cannot meet Him through natural means. Then we need to realize that we cannot work ourselves into a spiritual state or earn the right to meet with Him. We have access into His presence through a new and living way. That’s right – no more sacrifices, chants, endless singing, ear-splitting decibels or trying to earn the right. We have access through three things: His shed Blood, His broken Body and His high priestly ministry (Heb 10:19-21). It has all been done for us.

Don’t let people deceive you by promises that they will allow you to experience God, usher you into His presence, bring the glory of God down etc etc. We have access. It has all been done by Jesus. If we are born again, we have every right to enter directly into the holiest of all. It is complete and anything added to this will simply drag you back into the Old Testament Laws and rituals. Why then do so many promote those things? Because it makes you dependant on them to “experience God” and that is how they make their money. We need none of those things. Jesus did it all at Calvary. The way is open. Anything else is smoke and mirrors and will lead you to experience something that is not God.

So is there nothing we need to do? Yes, there is one thing. “He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6). That’s very easy, but also very difficult. Faith requires that I simply accept that I am able to draw near to His presence because of the complete work of the Cross. If we really believe that, then we will not need the manipulations of men or to work ourselves up to “feel” God. We will simply accept His promises that He will never leave nor forsake us (Heb 13:5).

Those who truly believe, do not need a sign, feelings or some display to prove that He is with us. “We will believe His Word in spite the absence of physical evidence of His presence, and walk with Him. As Paul said: “in him we live, and move, and have our being“ (Acts 17:28). Those who need the experiences are not approaching God by faith and He rejects those who do not come by faith. He also rejects, as thieves and robbers, any who come by some other way, except through the door – Jesus.

“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Heb 10:19-23)

Anton Bosch

anton@ifcb.net

3310 W Magnolia Blvd

Burbank, CA, 91505

Tel 818 846 5520

http://www.burbankchurch.org

 
 
 

 

 untitled-4.jpg

This is a very interesting article about Testing the Gift of Tongues. One time my father gave me an account of listening to someone speaking in tongues and then hearing the interpretation.  His eyes glowed when he told me of the simply beautiful words of praise that come from the interpretors mouth.  Then again, I heard a story from my mother who attended a revival meeting many years ago in Bellevue, WA and received the gift of tongues there. On a return trip back to the meeting place she noticed that those speaking in tongues were actually worshiping a man named Ted, and calling him Lord.  The hair raised on the back of her neck and she realized that the meeting was demonic.  She renounced the gift she had received suspecting that it was satanic in origin. So I have two accounts from my own family, one appearing to be the true gift of tongues and then the second being a counterfeit gift.

Testing the gift of tongues, what are you afraid of if you do? 

 God commands believers to not forbid speaking in tongues (I Corinthians 14:39), but He also commands them not to believe every spirit but to put them to the test to see whether they are of God or not (1 John 4). The spiritual gift ‘distinguishing of spirits’ is one of the least sought after, and least preached about spiritual gifts, that is very seldom mentioned let alone practiced. However this gift is vital for any Spiritual church’s day to day life – as the Apostle John tells us many false spirits NOT of God have gone into the world. Note also that testing the spirits in the Biblical sense is completely different to ‘blaspheming against the Holy Spirit’ which is a commonly given reason for not testing spiritual gifts. However, it is one thing to accuse a person or spirit they operate by the power of Beelzebub (without scripturally testing them), and quite another to test and see if the spirit acknowledges Christ or not as per the test in 1 John 4 before one makes any accusation.

After fifty-five years of ministry, A.E. Ruark believed around 90% of all tongues manifestations that he tested were false. He believed there was a true gift of tongues so he was not against spiritual gifts. However he realized that for every spiritual gift there was an anti-gift – a false gift that is antichrist. He claimed that tongues was one of the most frequent entry points for Satan in his attack upon Christian people (as they do not know what they are saying and rarely discern it or interpret it properly) and that their fear, or reluctance, to test the spirits was a major strategy Satan used to avoid being uncovered.

The test he suggested of a tongues spirit should be made when someone is speaking in tongues. The one who does the testing should address, not the human being, but the spirit, in this manner, “Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, answer, is Jesus Christ come in the flesh?” A demon is most reluctant to answer this question. It will refuse to answer that question, will give an evasive answer, or say “no” in English with the person’s voice. “The tongues speaker must agree that the spirit of the tongue may answer in English, and that he himself will not give the answers, but will as it were “sit back”, and allow the spirit controlling his vocal organs to give the answers, while he simply listens. Then we are testing the spirit of the tongue directly, and will prove whether this spirit is of God or of the devil.”Gerald E. McGraw said that the Holy Spirit promptly, freely and consistently confesses Christ. A demon will give one or several answers that betray his real identity, or he will stubbornly evade the question, in itself a refusal to confess. A demon may give a number of favorable answers, for he hopes to preserve his hold on the victim, but persistence and faith will soon unveil his actual identity, name and purpose.

W.L. McLeod, the pastor in whose church the Canadian Revival began, said,‘On a number of occasions I have been asked by tongues speakers to test their gift. I have found some that were entirely a self thing, and some that had demonic overtones, but I cannot deny that some were as genuine as any Scriptural test could make them. The test I applied was simple. I would kneel with the person and ask them to exercise the gift. . . . When they go into this other tongue, I then address the spirit controlling their tongue and ask it, on the authority of 1 John 4:1-3 to confess in the English language that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. I think of one such case where the reply was given in perfect English, loud and clear, “Yes, yes, Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He came in the flesh.” The person was so overcome afterwards by the manifestation of the power of God, that she was unable for a few moments to rise from her knees…. . . There are probably as many genuine cases as there are phony ones.’

Gerald McGraw claimed that many religious spirits would be deceptive, and call themselves ‘Jesus’ (albeit another Jesus). ’During a deliverance session, we encountered a spirit named Jesus. He hated the Lord Jesus Christ. I was suspicious because past experience had revealed that tongues demons often deceptively adopt the name Jesus. Upon my inquiry the demon admitted he was the spirit giving her, her gift of tongues, rather than the Holy Spirit.’ Some apparently even claim to be the Holy Spirit till revealed to be otherwise.Strong Christians can be invaded by a tongues demon, therefore anyone with a gift of tongues should make certain the gift was not a satanic counterfeit, since missionaries have reported hearing tongues speakers blaspheming in the language they had used on the mission field.

Tongues should be tested….At that time McGraw had never tested any tongues, nor had his colleagues. But soon someone asked for a test…. she was ‘an outstanding Christian lady – capable, talented, balanced, dependable, a soulwinner. She said she never used her tongue except in private. As she related her spiritual experience to my wife and me I just could not imagine that this fine believer could have a tongues demon. I told her so….Upon testing we found a tongue quite manifestly of the Holy Spirit. But soon another tongue appeared in the same woman- a tongue that was bitter and hateful toward Christ, toward her and toward us. The true tongue was clear evidence to me that her sanctification was genuine. Yet it was undeniable that a demonic tongues spirit inhabited her.’

‘Others who have had tongues tests are utterly sincere and deeply spiritual people. The lives of several show marked evidence of conversion, spiritual hunger and growth. I do not believe that a tongues demon can sever a person from Christ’s love. I have no doubt that many in the charismatic movement are earnest Christians, with more zeal and love than their anticharismatic critics. Yet my experiences of testing make me suspect that multitudes of tongues enthusiasts are deluded.’

There is seemingly slight ground that can admit a tongues demon, particularly where an unscriptural view is entertained…. God will never give a stone if we ask Him for the good gift of His Spirit (Luke 11:11-13), but experiences of many demonstrate that unscriptural views on tongues are frequently sufficient provocation for Satan to give an unsuspecting victim stones and scorpions of false tongues at the same time. God offers no automatic protection to the unwary. One middle-aged lady visited only one charismatic meeting. When a saintly looking elderly man there urged, “Just yield your tongue,” she did. She received nine different demonic spirits who all professed to provide her with tongues gifts.Tongues are no plaything. A properly tested tongue can provide a channel of spiritual enrichment to a Christian and to a congregation. But it appears much of the current wave of tongues-speaking is satanic delusion.’Edited excerpts from ‘Distinguishing Between True and False Utterances’ by K. Neill Foster.

Alexander Seibel of Germany was a Pentecostal of good standing. His friend was a missionary in India and on a visit in Germany. They shared missionary experiences and decided to pray. While Alexander was praying in tongues the missionary jumped up and demanded Alex to stop speaking as he was saying, in a known Indian dialect, the most horrible blasphemy words against God.

There are many other similar occurrences. Tongues must be tested. Note I do not say all tongues are false, I say some are. K. Neill Foster continues –‘Can it be claimed as certain assurance that those who insist upon a tongues experience contrary to scriptures will never get a stone or serpent? If this scripture can be used in this way, why then the manifestation of false gifts on every side?

For example, I know personally a former preacher who finally discovered his gifts were not of God. I was in the counseling room when he was converted. During his Bible college days I had occasional contact with him. He began working in what would be called a non-charismatic evangelical denomination. He left to pastor a Pentecostal church because of his speaking in tongues and also other “gifts” such as the ability to identify the sins of the people in the congregation. At the same time his marriage deteriorated. He finally left the ministry. In his case there were also frequent outbursts of obscenity and later abject backsliding. Finally in desperation he came to his former friends, so-called non-charismatic pastors. In a deliverance which lasted several hours these pastors drove out eight demons, many of them naming themselves as false gifts, several of them speaking in tongues.One brother who has tested tongues for forty years says that in his experience nine out of ten were false.

In a recently published article one of our contemporaries cites a similar statistic: Ninety percent of the tongues he and his colleagues have tested have been false. In my own experience perhaps eighty percent of the tongues manifestations that I have had to deal with have been false.

Still I doubt that the statistics tell the whole story. Because people with genuine gifts and healthy spiritual life do not come for counseling nearly so frequently. But there is no denying that the devil has been having a field day among charismatic’s. His penetration, whatever the percentage, appears to be massive.

But to face the issue of false gifts, stones and serpents, the open door to satanic penetration is in the merging of the work of the Holy Spirit which is for all with a spiritual gift that is given only to some as God wills. The resulting confusion is very often tragic.

A teenager was subjected to the overtures of a radical charismatic group, a group which in turn would certainly be rejected by mainline groups of Pentecostals. He allowed hands to be laid on him and “saw” a bright light. Later in a “Canadian revival” atmosphere, as distinct from “charismatic” atmosphere, the youth felt a bondage he could not escape until he made a verbal commitment much like this, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I now refuse, repudiate and renounce completely any and all spirits of false prophecy from _____ (naming the false prophet). And I send them to the abyss in Jesus’ name.” He was instantly liberated and sensed within that the “charismatic” bondage had been broken.

On one occasion a pastor friend came to me asking for assistance. He had two young fellows preaching in his church, one of whom he knew spoke in tongues, and he was uneasy about their ministry. He wanted the test to be applied….We applied the test to both, but we were unsatisfied with the results. It appeared that the fellows spoke in tongues, switched off the manifestation to answer positively to the question, “Did Jesus Christ come in the flesh?” and then shifted back into their tongues. I realize now that we found out only if the fellows believed that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. We did not succeed in trying the spirits at all. But the experience was not wasted; we learned what not to do.

The manifestation must be allowed unhindered and uninterrupted expression while the test is being made, and no effort must be made by the person involved to supply the “right” answer.

The repetition of the question, “You spirit now manifesting, is Jesus Christ come in the flesh?” may be important. I have come to expect a spontaneous affirmative answer when the tongues manifestation is genuinely of the Holy Spirit, especially when the test question is put several times.If the enemy is involved, repetitious questioning (like repetitious commanding, Mark 5:8, Amplified New Testament) will often shake the enemy loose and provoke abrasive or antagonistic reactions – and of course clarify the case.Sometimes the spirit may respond with a positive answer that is at the same time equivocate and/or evasive. For example, a spirit might respond, “Of course I believe in Jesus.” But which Jesus is not specified. If there is any hint of subterfuge, stick to the biblical test. Repeat it. Enlarge upon it by requiring answers to such questions as these: Is Jesus Christ Lord? Is Jesus Christ anathema? Does all the fullness of the Godhead dwell bodily in Jesus Christ? This procedure is likely to clarify the issue fully.In 1 John 4:2 and 3 the verb forms used indicate that every spirit that continually and genuinely confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. Therefore reluctant admissions or occasional positive declarations that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh are not sufficient.

The confession must be continual. A superficial understanding of this principle can short circuit the whole procedure of testing.

(Demons can and do lie. Thus, the words continually and genuinely in the paragraph above are of utmost importance. Also, as we have just noted, the Greek verbs used in 1 Corinthians 12:3 and 1 John 4:2 and 3 do come down strongly on the continuous idea.)

Illustrations of deceitful positive affirmations are not hard to come by. In the Dominican Republic I met a Christian woman who habitually twitched and shuddered in prayer meetings. She had a tongues manifestation which seemed to take over when she wanted to praise the Lord. But when the manifestation was confronted, the confession of Jesus Christ, though positive, was accented, even faintly humorous or mocking, and in English which the woman definitely did not know. I believe in retrospect that it was a false confession.

A friend who wrote to me during the writing of this book related an incident where invading spirits named one of their co-inhabitors, “Jesus.” So of course they all knew and loved “Jesus.” The spirits had to be confronted with “which Jesus?”

Another friend added yet another illustration. In the process of a deliverance a spirit claiming to be the Holy Spirit manifested itself in the victim. All tests were applied with positive results. When my friend returned home from a trip, he found his colleagues persuaded that the Holy Spirit indeed had taken control of the person. All he had to follow was a discerning witness that something was wrong. He initiated a confrontation and the phony “Holy Spirit” was uncovered.

Thus, as we have said elsewhere in these pages, there are four possibilities with spirit-testing: (1) a positive affirmation which is genuine and continual, (2) a positive affirmation which is not continual but is intended to deceive, (3) a denial, and (4) silence. 1 John 4:2 and 3 lays a four-sided trap for the enemy, and the Christian worker must know where the biblical lines are drawn.

If a pastor observes doubtful manifestations in his congregation, as a shepherd of the flock, I feel personally he has every right to ask to be permitted to test the manifestation. But he should be ready for the fireworks and to proceed with exorcism in the event of false manifestations. He should also be prepared to instruct the inquiring person if the manifestation proves fleshly. If the person himself is creating the “tongue” and no spiritual manifestation is involved, it may be judged fleshly.

Also, before the test is applied, one should prepare the person involved for the possibility that there has been deception. To admit that one has been deceived is a very high hurdle indeed. Terminology is important. Use the full title of the Lord Jesus Christ, because there are many antichrists in the world. At one of our conventions a sister who was in the process of being delivered was taken by a spirit which said repeatedly, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” Unfortunately the “Jesus” was not the Lord Jesus Christ. The spirit was dislodged in His name.’

From ‘A Third View of Tongues’ by K. Neill Foster

I found this article Here.

August 2019
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Archives

a

Blog Stats

  • 1,648,953 hits

Donations

I do not ask or want donations for this blog. God supplies all I need to share His Word and His Way of Salvation. Revelation 21:6 says, “..I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. “