Saturday, October 13, 2012

Are the miracle spiritual gifts for today? Part 2: Speaking in tongues

Yesterday I wrote the beginning of a look at the question "Are the miracle spiritual gifts for today?" I noted that a controversy exists. People who say that the miracle sign gifts have stopped with the deaths of the Apostles are cessationists (miracle gifts have ceased). People who say that miracles and prophecies and tongues and healings happen today, and that they have never stopped, are continuationists.

I also noted that the controversy is based on a biblical belief that's not a part of the essential doctrines of saving faith, so we need to have grace when discussing these.

I have friends who are in or who came from circles where it was taught or demonstrated that the miracle gifts are a normal part of Christian walk. As I explore whether the miracle spiritual gifts have stopped or not, I plan to make it a biblical exploration. Please do not consider this an attack on any person's particular faith or denomination. I want to soberly take a look at the question, but I know that in so doing, the fact that so many people have had an experience which is tied to their emotions, they may react emotionally. Let's just put Jesus in the center and discern His word, with full assurance from me that this discussion is from the heart and not a jab at any person's salvation or any particular denomination's legitimacy.

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In the last post I posed the question and offered scriptures that indicate that the sign gifts of 'tongues', interpretation of tongues, healing, miracles, and prophecies healing, seemed to have the strongest biblical position as having stopped with the death of the Apostles. Most discussions about the miracle gifts center around a misunderstanding of the ministry of the Holy Spirit's ministry, and a misunderstanding of why the miracle gifts were given in the first place. You can refer back to that part for the biblical discussion for more information. Personally I do not believe the sign gifts are continuing in the church age.

Yet so many people today wonder about being Spirit-filled, or being "baptized with the Holy Spirit" and if it is a separate event from the regenerating work.

Others wonder about “praying in the Spirit”?

Still others wonder about praying in tongues?

We see a lot of external manifestation of these on television and at revivals of different sorts. This is confusing people. They wonder what is real and what is not.

Let's take a look at "tongues."

My understanding of the biblical meaning of speaking in tongues is that the sermon at Pentecost miraculously delivered unto the disciples an ability to speak in the same language as the multitudes that had gathered from the nations for Passover. The annual pilgrimage swelled the walls of Jerusalem because so many people came from so many nations. They all spoke different languages. The disciples didn't have time to go to a mission college and take two years to learn Arabic, the Lord delivered to them an ability to speak in Persian, and Cyrillic and Greek and all the other languages of the day- instantly. It was NOT a baby talk gibberish! Look at the verses:

"And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God." (Acts 2:6-11 ESV).

The Lord opened up their mind so they would be able to preach to the Gentiles who had traveled there from far places for the Passover. They spoke each in their own language so the visitors could hear the Gospel message. It could not be clearer. It means native language, not a gibberish language.

So what did Paul mean in 1st Corinthians when he said,

"Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up." (1 Corinthians 14:5)

The same thing. The word for tongues is glossa, and it is defined by Strong's in the Greek as, "a language, a nation (usually distinguished by their speech)."

How could all those people who spoke other languages understand and be saved if it was in gibberish??? Did the Lord deliver gibberish unto Peter and to Thomas an ability understand Peter's gibberish and to translate? And to translate into what language? The Acts verse states there were people from at least 15 different countries present. It was not gibberish.

Let's take a look at the history of languages and the Lord. Before Nimrod built the tower at Babel, the world had one language. "Now the whole earth had one language and the same words." (Genesis 11:1)

Note that they not only had the same language, but the same words. Same words means same vocabulary. Britons and Americans share a language today but not the same vocabulary words. Boot/trunk, roundabout/rotary, queue/line, like that. But in the early days of history all people understood each other perfectly, with no linguistic variations, no dialects, and no difference in vocabulary.

Then the LORD confused the languages as the men built the tower, and dispersed them over the world. "Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:7).

He will reverse that in the end. Zephaniah 3:9 prophesies: "“For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord."

The word in Genesis for "confused language" and the word in Zephaniah for "same language", is the same: language=saphah.

He confused the languages at Babel... so why can't he make those languages understandable at Pentecost? He did. And it seems that Zephaniah 3:10 speaks to the possibility of one language again at the very end.

So the Lord opened up their mind to give them instant ability to speak and interpret languages. That is so wonderful!

Tongues means language. It cannot be clearer. Now that we have a biblical understanding of tongues, does the spiritual gift of instantly understanding another's language remain in force today? It does not seem so. We can understand that the miracle of speaking instantly in other languages is ceased for now by implicit position because missionaries aren't given that miracle. They go to school and learn the language the regular way, lol. I know of one missionary who is in Jordan right now wishing she could be instantly delivered into an ability to speak Arabic! But no, she is slogging through the old fashioned way.

The Pentecostals in particular have perverted the notion of "tongues". The proper understanding of tongues is languages, but they take it to mean something completely unbiblical. They have created a Gnostic approach to the faith by instituting a multi-leveled maturity. The Gnostics claim that they have special wisdom and understanding that is higher than the regular Christian. Not so. But Pentecostals say, "You're not really a Christian unless you demonstrate tongues..." This is false. (1 Corinthians 12: 29-30, 1 Cor 14:23). You are saved by grace when you repent and believe on the name of the resurrected Jesus. No tongues necessary.

Justin Peters has a multi-part discernment series titled "A Call For Discernment". In his updated lesson from July 2012, he notes the verse in 1 Corinthians 14:20-22, "Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. In the Law it is written, "By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord." Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers."

In the OT, the way the Hebrews knew the hammer judgment of God was about to come down would be when they looked up and saw many foreign people speaking to them foreign language. Paul referred to it when he said' it is written in the Law', it is found in Isaiah 28:11. When the men in Acts at Pentecost began to speak in foreign tongues it was the same indicator, that judgment was here. God's salvific gaze shifted from the Jews to the Gentiles, where His gaze remains to this day. One day, His salvific gaze will return to Israel. But back then and up to today, His judgment is that the Jews remain in judgment, hardened to his salvation offer.

If a person says they speak in tongues as a private prayer language, that has no biblical support either. The gifts are given by the Spirit for the edification of the body, not for personal, private use. The gifts are for the common good. (1 Cor. 12:7; 1 Pet. 4:10).

"If the gift of speaking in tongues were active in the church today, it would be performed in agreement with Scripture. It would be a real and intelligible language (1 Corinthians 14:10). It would be for the purpose of communicating God's Word with a person of another language (Acts 2:6-12). It would be in agreement with the command God gave through the apostle Paul, “If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God” (1 Corinthians 14:27-28). It would also be in accordance with 1 Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” ... The vast majority of believers who claim to practice the gift of speaking in tongues do not do so in agreement with the Scriptures mentioned above." (source)

So they misunderstand it to begin with and then apply it incorrectly, thus continuing the error.

It always goes back to the Holy Spirit because He is the One who distributes the gifts, and the gifts are supposed to testify to Jesus. Art Azurdia speaking at a Discernment Conference said he has seen an evolution in things said about the Holy Spirit:

40 years ago: Come and get a 'second blessing'
35 years ago: Come and get baptized with the Holy Spirit
25 years ago: Come and get slain by the Holy Spirit
20 years ago: Come and get blasted by the Holy Spirit
15 years ago: Come and laugh in the Holy Spirit
10 years ago: Come and vomit in the Holy Spirit
Today: Come and get punched in the Holy Spirit

The "Charismatic Chaos" that the misapplication of the continuation of the miraculous gifts has bestowed is confusion, doubt, mockery, and  just plain silliness. These in turn have raised concerns. Azurdia said, "A pastoral concern is that the spiritual development of well-meaning Christians easily falls prey to law of diminishing returns. Today's enthusiasm becomes tomorrow's bore. Today's spiritual ecstasy this week will need to be out-done next week. You've seen it, the ordinary gives way to the unusual, the unusual gives way to the extreme, the extreme gives way to the ridiculous, and eventually it always leads to the same end: emptiness."

Azurdia said a doctrinal issue arises after the pastoral issue. The gifts have become Christian-centered rather than Christ centered.

Azurdia said, "It's about meeee, and getting those goosebumps on the back of my neck. And yet, it is as clear as can be. The Holy ambition of the Spirit of God is to reveal and glorify Jesus Christ."

Arthur Johnson, in his excellent expose of mysticism, entitled, "Faith Misguided", a very good book, calls the Charismatic movement, "The zenith of mysticism," and he does so with good reason, because there is the desire, in some cases and through some experiences, to switch off the mind and disconnect yourself from what is rational, and reasonable, and logical." (source)

If the miracle gift of tongues is ceased, and if it was a language and not gibberish anyway, what is all this flailing around in tongues?

Fakery. Self-delusion. Satanic trickery. Misplaced emotion. Whatever you would like to call it, it does not glorify God because it is not biblical, orderly, edifying, or Jesus honoring.

How can I say that so definitively? Because we're told in many passages the Holy Spirit testifies about Jesus. The gifts are given to bear witness of Jesus, to build His church. Not to sow confusion, spread doubt, or create second class citizens separated from from each other by man-made, artificial levels of maturity.

"But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me." (John 15:26)

Do you think the Spirit is bearing witness about Jesus in the clip below?



If you have been told that you are not saved until you pass some man-made benchmark of maturity, or not until you demonstrate a man-made level of holiness, or not until you show you have an insider track on tongues or being slain or getting a second blessing, then I am sorry. I grieve for you, but we can rejoice now in knowing that the bible declares you saved when you repent and believe.

"From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matthew 4:17)

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Here is a good series on the Gifts and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit:

Miracles and Spiritual Gifts
The Duration of the Miraculous Spiritual Gifts
The Nature of the Miraculous Spiritual Gifts

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Spiritual Gifts part 1
Spiritual Gifts part 3

EDITED to add this link: it is a short, clear, concise essay demonstrating the original purpose for speaking in different languages, and scripturally showing how and why tongues have ceased. "The gift of tongues"

15 comments:

  1. i have watched many of the videos just like the one you have shown Elizabeth and again i beleive this is satanic deception


    1Cor 14:23, If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that you are mad?
    1Cor 14: 27, If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that in turn; and let one interpret

    28, But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

    1Cor 13:8, Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

    so we see that the apostel paul said that tongues will cease but if anyone is to speak in tongues today they must have an interpreter and from what we see today as in the video you have shown is not biblical and i would say not a gift from the holy spirit but a deceving spirit .

    what you have in the video is i would say mild compared to some of the things that i have seen in other videos,this is part of the great deception of the last days sadly many are buying into this and being lead by deceving spirits

    some may disagree with me but the scripture is clear on the gift of tongues as what i have stated above you must have an interpreter or else unbeleviers would never understand what is being said .

    i must say Elizabeth reading your articles has encourage me more to study Gods word in depth and really come to a deeper knowledge of the word of God and i thank God for you and the work you are doing ,God bless

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    1. Hi shane mark,

      Thank you so much for letting me know the Spirit touched you to go deeper!

      When Paul write that about tongues and interpretation of tongues, tongues as a miracle gift was still going. It was still the time of miracles.

      the next generation of church fathers- like Irenaeus or Polycarp- never wrote about the gifts, as a matter of fact they wrote that they had stopped. For the next 1900 years there were no tongues. None. Not until this particular spiritual gift was rediscovered in 1906 with the Asuza Street folderol.

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  2. 1Co 13:9 "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part."
    1Co 13:10 "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."

    The which is perfect has NOT yet come. The gifts of the Holy Spirit have not ceased and won't cease until Jesus returns.

    1Co 14:5 "I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied...."

    Why would Paul tell these believers, some who no doubt lived longer than him, that he wants them all to speak in tongues if this gift was going to stop once he died? Why would God give these gifts to only this first generation of believers and then just take them away? That doesn't make sense to me. And does it really mean the gifts ceased just because Irenaeus or Polycarp never wrote about these gifts? How do you know there were no tongues or other spiritual gifts for the last 1900 years? Is it recorded somewhere?

    I have personally witnessed a supernatural event concerning the gift of tongues. A person was approached by visitors from Germany and was asked if she spoke German. That person said no. She was then informed that she had been praising God in German during the prayer service. This person was my mother and I know that she does not speak any language other than English, and she is NOT possessed or influenced by demonic spirits. She has an overwhelming love for God, and for people.

    1Co 14:1 Follow after charity, AND DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS, ...
    1 Co 14:2 FOR HE THAT SPEAKETH IN AN UNKNOWN TONGUE SPEAKETH NOT UNTO MAN BUT UNTO GOD: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
    1Co 14:4 HE THAT SPEAKETH IN AN UNKNOWN TONGUE EDIFIETH HIMSELF...

    Verse 4 seems to nullify your claim that tongues is not for personal, private use, and the others seem to say that we are to desire spiritual gifts, even the gift of tongues.

    Those closest to me will tell you that I am one of the biggest skeptics there is when it comes to "spiritual things." I question EVERYTHING. If it does not line up with scripture, I reject it. But I cannot find anywhere in the New Testament that tongues or any of the other spiritual gifts would cease after the apostles died.

    For the record, I speak in tongues in my private prayer time. I am not possessed or influenced by the devil or demons. To paint me, and others like me, with such broad strokes is not fair or correct. I profess that Jesus is Lord. I love God with all of my heart. I have the Holy Spirit living within me.

    I don't want to create strife, but I think that the fear of being deceived by the enemy is so strong in some people that they end up rejecting the good gifts that God longs to give them. I know because I was one of those people. I am still struggling with it to a degree. But the spiritual gifts that God gives us are just that - GIFTS. They are for our edification both personally and corporately, and also as a witness to unbelievers.

    We DO have to be careful because there is a LOT of deception out there in the church today in weird and evil manifestations. But to reject these precious gifts that God has given us is a tragedy and I would believe that it breaks His heart when we do. We are His children and He loves us and wants to bless us with His gifts.

    Mat 7:11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

    Luk 11:13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

    Why would we refuse, reject, or discount them as being unimportant in this day and age? Because of all of the deception running rampant in the world and in the church today, I would say we need them even more now than they did back then.















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    1. Hi Nina,

      You asked, "Why would the Spirit deliver a gift and then take it away"? Because the sign gifts were meant for a sign authenticating the first generation Apostles as divinely commissioned by Jesus. Paul spoke of tongues because tongues were still going on at that time. Then they stopped.

      Further, why would the sign gifts be evident in the first generation and then NOT EVER AGAIN until the early 1900s? If he meant the gifts to be used continuously, then He failed. And since the Spirit does not fail, then we assume that the gifts were indeed a sign only to lay the foundation and indeed stopped, and the miracle gifts today are fake.

      Just witnessing something supernatural doesn't make it part of the true faith. Satan comes in signs and wonders to deceive. People also lie. The gullible are deluded.

      "If a distinction is to be made in the spiritual gifts it should be between sign gifts (prophecy, tongues, miracles) that were given to the apostolic church to lay the foundation and continuing gifts (teaching, helps, etc.) that operate until the second advent."

      "Note, the apostle Paul tells the Corinthians that the miracles he performed proved his apostolic authority. “Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds” (2 Cor. 12:12)."

      "If miraculous signs were common in Paul’s day, the apostle’s statement would have proven nothing. The author of Hebrews asks, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will” (Heb. 2:3-4)? This passage refers to those who heard Christ--the apostles"

      lots more here- http://www.reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/Spiritual%20Gifts,%20Part%201.htm

      You may indeed speak in tongues privately but if you do then it is not a Spiritual gift. The gifts were meant to be used for the whole body of the church, as noted in the verses I listed.

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    2. Note that the testimony of witnesses is not the authority we use to determine what is right or wrong, pleasing or displeasing to God.

      As far as the deception goes, you're right! That is why we have the bible, God's word. We don't need the word of the apostles anymore who were accompanied by signs, because the apostles were inspired to write down for future generations what God wanted us to know and now we can read it after they'd died. Check the bible as your truth barometer, not other people. The apostles are still speaking and their signs of the authenticating faith are in the word now!

      Nina, one last comment: did you read the scriptures that state that speaking in tongues means suddenly having the gift of speaking in other known languages? Did you wake up one day and suddenly spoke, say, Chinese? If not, then you don't have the gift of languages. That's what "tongues" means. It is not a gibberish language. Please review the scriptures used in part 1 and 2 and ask the Spirit to open your mind to understanding.

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    3. Elizabeth, you said, "Because the sign gifts were meant for a sign authenticating the first generation Apostles as divinely commissioned by Jesus. Paul spoke of tongues because tongues were still going on at that time. Then they stopped."

      You’re right to a point. Jesus said after his resurrection when he told the disciples to go out into the world to proclaim the gospel (Mark 16:17) "And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;" I don’t see where it says that it wouldn’t apply to anyone else after those first generation of believers. It NEVER says anywhere in scripture that these signs would stop. The only place IN SCRIPTURE that it says this is “when that which is perfect shall come” then these gifts will cease. And we both know that that hasn’t happened yet. Just because you cannot find any evidence in historical records that there were no “sign gifts,” as you put it, until the 1900s, doesn’t mean they weren’t there or being used.

      You talk about the deception in the church with all the weird things going on, which I do agree with you about, but think about this:

      What if there is a deception, a lie being put forth by the enemy to discount the gifts of the Holy Spirit as being relevant in this day and age? It would be just like satan to perpetrate this lie because it would mean he is hindering the saints from using the gifts given to them by the Holy Spirit to further the kingdom of God. God gave us these gifts for a reason and we are to use them, whether it is for the salvation of souls or for edifying the church or ourselves (1Cor.14:4).

      As far as witnessing a supernatural event, (my mother speaking in German) the young man who told her she spoke in German gave his life to God because of that very event. Are you saying that God had nothing to do with that?

      You also said: "You may indeed speak in tongues privately but if you do then it is not a Spiritual gift." Then what is it and how do you explain 1 Cor. 14:4? FYI, I do not speak some gibberish language. There are words and sentences involved.

      I understand what you are trying to say. Speaking in "tongues" or other "languages" is not the same thing as what you see in that video you shared. I do not believe in that either. But true “tongues” is a real and relevant thing, although NOT a gift for everyone. Everyone has different gifts.

      1Co 12:27 - 31: Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way."

      Paul goes on to say that if we don't have love that these gifts are just clanging cymbals, etc. (1 Cor 13).

      But how do you explain away those verses above that say God appointed in the church apostles, prophets, teachers, etc? Was it only for that first generation of the church or are they not for all the body of Christ throughout the ages? We must take in to consideration ALL of what scripture says and not just those that support our own beliefs. Like you, I am still learning and I’m sure that none of us will ever fully know the entire truth until Jesus returns. I don’t want to be deceived anymore than you do, so we must be like the Bereans and search out the scriptures to support what we are told and not take what we read from websites and blogs and books as the gospel truth. If it doesn’t line up with scripture, then we should reject it. I hope you will review the scriptures I shared and ask the Holy Spirit to open your mind to understanding as well. Believe me, I have prayed long and hard over this whole issue for years. It is not something I take lightly.

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    4. Nina,

      I showed with scriptures that tongues means existing languages and how they were a sign gift that disappeared with the disappearance of the first apostles. I leave it to the Holy Spirit to apply that to your heart as He wills.

      As to your query about the apostles: there is spiritual gift of apostle and office of Apostle. Big A and little a. The Apostles were qualified by the biblical standards. 1. Those who held the office or position of apostle were chosen specifically by Christ (Mark 3:16-19). 2. They were eyewitnesses to the resurrected Christ, Acts 2:32; 10:41; 3:15; 1 John 1:1-4.

      Spiritual gift of apostle is different. The word "apostle" means "one sent as an authoritative delegate." In that sense, we are ALL apostles. For example, apostleship in a secondary sense applies to such people as Barnabas (Acts 14:3-4, 14), Apollos and Sosthenes (1 Corinthians 4:6-9), Andronicus and Junias (Romans 16:7), James (Galatians 1:19), and Silas and Timothy (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2:6). They, like apostles today, were gifted individuals sent out to move from place to place in order to begin and establish local churches (Acts 13:3-4). This gift also includes the capacity to minister cross-culturally (Acts 10:34-35; Ephesians 3:7-8). Today, church planters and missionaries are operating out of their gift of apostleship as well as those Christian leaders God raises up to lead and influence multiple churches and pastors.

      Do You Have This Gift? (apostle)

      Can you effectively minister cross-culturally?
      Are you called and qualified to plant a church?
      Can you start a church from nothing?
      Are you an entrepreneur?
      Has God given you leadership and influence over multiple churches as a movement leader?
      Can you pioneer a ministry where others have failed?

      source, The Resurgence http://theresurgence.com/2009/06/01/spiritual-gifts-apostles

      The fact is, scripture tells us the miracle gifts were given as a sign of authenticating the original Apostles' work for Jesus in laying the foundation of the church. WHen the foundation was laid, the sign gifts ceased. The evidence for that is that the miracle gifts never re-appeared for 1900 years...until the recent generation, the very generation we're told will be full of falsity.

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  3. Oh my word, thank you thank you thank you for this, especially for including that video! I live in a small town in which there are only 3 options, each about a 45 minute to over an hour walk away from me, as far as places of faith for gathering. A Baptist Church, A United Church and a non denominational. I have only made it to the non denominational one, and from my very first visit, I have been turned off, because of the wild physical actions, and what to me seemed crazy laughter, and some out right freakish and scary, callings out, groanings, moanings and movements. As well as what was dubbed the speaking in tongues and praying on tongues just as shown in this video. I not felt so completely out of place, it made me question my faith. It made me doubt if I was truly saved. It made me wonder what I was doing wrong, that I wasn't also speaking or praying in tongues as they were, and why I didn't seem to be "touched by the holy spirit", as they were. I was never made to feel full of laughter. I never fell down under the power of the holy spirit, as they say. I didn't have any of those manifestations. Over time, and more secure in my faith, I began to sense demonic/satanic, influence. I believe while some may be faking, some may be just going with the crowd, I believe some are opening their selves up to demonic manipulation, and that it is demons speaking through them. It is demons giving them those weird feelings in their bodies. I have a friend who told me he would all of a sudden get a warm feeling over his body, and a tingling sensation like electricity surging or something. I too sought God's word to both see if what was being experienced was biblical, and what reason there could be for why I wasn't experiencing any of it. Because if it was biblical, if it was something I should be experiencing as a Christian, I wanted to correct myself, to be in obedience, and to receive what God wanted me to.

    You support my belief that it's not biblical. That these people are either lying, or being manipulated, and are deceived. I tried to tell my friend, but he refused to listen, because he was so sure what he felt was God. You're right, people often put feeling over the word of God. I too have had emotional revelation from God, so far, the only one being Him sharing with me His grief for the lost, and it was only one time, however, I don't believe every emotional experience that seems to be of God, necessarily is. And I believe that personal pride can prevent people from true revelation, such as the true revelation that what they think is divine impact, from the holy spirit, in relation to those warm tingly feelings, to the falling, to the jerking movements, to the laughter, to the groaning, and yelling out, to the speaking/praying in tongues, may not be divine at all, and may in fact be satanic.

    Thank you again, you are a blessing, may God continue to bless you and others through you! :)

    J.L.

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  4. First of all thank you Elizabeth, your search is really what we all should do when we come to a fork in the road. Go to the scriptures and search it out.
    I worked with a gentleman who was convinced that christians had to have two have two baptisms of the Holy Spirit. He was relentless, the spirit that motivated him was one that was suspicious. Finally I told him that if he could show me from the Word of God that what he was selling was true then I would consider it, and the Holy Spirit would be the one to convince me. He came to work the next morning with two pages of substantiation from the bible. Most of that was taken out of context. I spent the whole evening reviewing what he presented and the next morning he was waiting for me. I had to tell him that I did read it all and I had still not been convinced. He became very angry and started yelling, and I asked him if it was the Holy Spirit that was motivating him then. He never spoke to me again. The communication that God uses brings understanding. The miracle that occurred wasn't in the speaking but in the hearing.

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  5. The Satisfaction of Looking Unto Jesus

    Keep on looking unto Jesus. Faith shall soon be changed to sight, and hope to certainty. Looking to Jesus on earth by faith, you shall end with seeing Jesus eye to eye in heaven. Those eyes of yours shall look on the head that was crowned with thorns, the hands and feet that were pierced with nails, and the side that was pierced with a spear. You shall find that seeing is the blessed consequence of believing, and that looking at Jesus by faith, ends with seeing Jesus in glory, and living with Jesus for evermore. When you awake up after His likeness, you shall be satisfied.

    ~ J.C. Ryle
    just a little encouragement for you all ,God bless

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  6. The video demonstrates what is very obviously satanic signs or self deception.

    Many people in false religious systems also speak in "tongues" - gibberish - when involved in their worship of their god. MORMONS have a history of speaking "tongues" in their worship in the 1800s (see especially the happenings during the opening of the Kirtland temple).

    Everyone I've ever known who speaks in "tongues" learned how to do it, practiced how to do it, etc. Real tongues are miraculously given.

    I refuse to say that the gift of tongues have totally ceased. I believe that if there is someone needing to preach the Gospel in an area where he does not know the language, that God may very well give him the gift of speaking that language. God can do what He wants!

    However, I have NEVER seen or heard biblical tongues, neither in the charismatic churches I have attended nor in the many videos I have seen.

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  7. Elizabeth, I understand what you are saying. There is a difference in between what you call sign gifts and spiritual gifts. You're saying one has been discontinued and the other continues. I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one, but I do have one more question. How do you explain the scriptures that talk about the former rain and the latter rain?

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    1. Hi Nina,

      No, Nina I *am* speaking of THE spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit dispenses to all believers. SOME of those Spiritual gifts were for a sign to authenticate the person as being Divinely gifted: those were tongues, interpretation of tongues, healings, prophecies, miracles. It is shorthand to say 'the sign gifts' rather than list them every time.

      Because the scriptures say they were given for a sign, to authenticate the apostle and to lay the foundation of the church, and because the foundation is now laid, and because no church Father after the first generation ever wrote about having seen these gifts demonstrated, we can be sure they have stopped. Paul wrote they would cease, (1 Cor 13:8) and after the book of Acts they are increasingly NOT mentioned until by his last letter they are not mentioned at all.

      I'll be happy to offer some information about the former rain and latter rain when I get home from work, because it will take some time. Have a blessed day!

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  8. This is a rather old piece, but I came upon today. I want to know what your experience tells you. I have been in the bible since I was a very young child and while I may not have a degree in theology, I have a very deep relationship with the Lord. I have a degree in both mechanical engineering and accounting and I have a love for the Word.

    I grew up in a church that was all about telling me about who God is, but I was never really introduced to Him. I learned all about His do's and don'ts and if I was a good girl and believed in Jesus when I died I would go to heaven. I memorized many scriptures and could recite what I was told to believe. I feared God, but I never really knew Him when I was growing up. I had a legalistic religion that was dependent on my will power.

    I have lived a very hard life and searched for God in numerous churches. I wanted to true God of the bible, not a watered down version that man put in a box. I wanted to know God, really know Him. I spent years praying and finally I found Him or you could say He found me.

    I would say that your article may be factual, but it is missing the passion of God. The same power that rose Jesus from the dead lives in all believers. The same Spirit that created the universe lives in all believers. Think about that power and it lives in us, without killing us. I believe you limit God in this piece. He isn't required to answer to us. This topic is so under fire for one reason. If the church realized the power living inside of each one of us, the enemy wouldn't be able to lull us to sleep. Instead of doing His will, preaching the gospel and go after all people compelling them to come to the knowledge of Christ, we are fighting over if tongues still exist today.

    I asked the Holy Spirit to fill me many many years ago. I have been entrusted with many gifts and I answer and give glory to God for them all because I am just a vessel. I don't believe all Christians have given the gift of speaking in tongues, but I know from 15 years of experience that the Holy Spirit still fills people with the evidence of tongues. I know when God moves, because He is my Abba Father and I have spent enough time in my Father presence to know Him, as much as He has allowed me to. I do believe it is logical if God has His own kingdom, he probably has His own language.

    For example, if I live in an area where there is no electricity, can I say that refrigerators no longer work? If I have never been exposed to an electrical outlet, does that mean they don't exist? I can pray God send me an electrical outlet, but I might have to go searching for one to see it for myself. If one is never installed in my house, I can't say that electrical outlets no longer exist. I can tell you that the Holy Spirit still uses tongues. Don't put God in a box. I pray the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of your understanding and reveals more of Himself to you. The Holy Spirit is my best friend and I hope He becomes yours too!

    John 21:25 is an example of how not every thing is in the bible. "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."

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    1. Hi Jen,

      You asked, "I want to know what your experience tells you."

      My experience tells me nothing, except I'm flawed and sinful. And it certainly doesn't trump the Holy Word of God.

      You said, "I wanted to true God of the bible, not a watered down version that man put in a box."

      The true God IS in a box. The box is called the bible.

      You said, "I asked the Holy Spirit to fill me many many years ago."

      The Spirit fills all Christians at the moment sovereign God decides to justify someone. He doesn't fill you again. read more here
      http://www.gty.org/resources/positions/P04/What-Does-It-Mean-to-Be-Filled-with-the-Spirit

      You said "but I know from 15 years of experience that the Holy Spirit still fills people with the evidence of tongues"

      Your experience can be 15 years or 150 years but it doesn't make it accurate. Tongues ceased, and they certainly aren't babble and baby talk. More here
      http://www.gotquestions.org/gift-of-tongues.html

      You said "John 21:25 is an example of how not every thing is in the bible."

      No, but everything He wants us to know...IS.

      I responded to your comment here in lengthier fashion, especially your plea of "don't put God in a box."
      http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2013/09/help-god-is-in-box-we-have-to-get-him.html

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