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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tongues | The Facts

All rights reserved "Lion tongue" by Doug Wheller       1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant
All rights reserved "Lion tongue" by Doug Wheller

  • Tongues | The Foundation
  • Tongues | The Foreshadowing
  • Tongues | The Fulfillment
  • Tongues | The Facts
  • Tongues | The Familiar

  • Tongues What's that about?

    1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant

    Signs Follow Believers

    The Holy Spirit has been, since day one, intimately involved with Mankind. He is the one hovering over us and ready to move at a moment’s notice. Now let's take a look at a few things regarding Tongues in the New Testament and cover some basics. 

    17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

    In Mark 16:17 Jesus tells the disciples that those who would believe the message of the Gospel would speak with New Tongues among other things. This is not optional. So we see from this scripture, and others in a moment, that tongues is for every believer. These signs WILL follow those who believe. This doesn't mean that those who don't speak in tongues are not believers. This simply means that it is the right and responsibility of believers to utilize this gift.

    Supernatural Event - Unknown Tongues

    6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?

    Of course we've seen that in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit came to earth the very first evidence that he had arrived was a fireworks display in the house and public display of tongues. There are some important things to look at in this first account though. 

    Many people believe that tongues is simply the ability to speak in a known earth language, without having learned the language. They would call a language that cannot be understood gibberish. If this understanding of Tongues were true, it would follow that of the 120 disciples speaking to the crowd that day, different ones were speaking in different known languages so that all the languages present were being spoken by all the speakers so that all the hearers would have representation. Therefore there were no strange sounds or incoherent sounds, it was just many languages of the known people present. Many who hold this belief also say that all tongues are this way. They point to Acts Chapter 2 as the evidence for this claim.

    My problem with that interpretation lies on two fronts.

    • First from a logical point of view, there would be no need for a "Gift of Interpretation" if this were true, because all one would need is a person present who spoke that language. If the gift of Tongues was merely a tool for reaching the other lands where the speaker didn't know the language then no "Gift" would be required for interpretation, the hearers would understand perfectly. However since 1 Corinthians 12 clearly states that there is a gift of interpretation and Paul goes on to say that if everyone spoke in tongues in a service than no body would understand anything, it seems clear this isn't a semi-natural event, but a totally supernatural one.

    These are not merely known languages. 

    • Second, although tongues can be manifested as known languages not learned by the speaker, more on that later, this is not supported by Acts 2. A closer look at Acts 2 shows a different scenario. In Acts 2 we see that there are 17 or so different people groups mentioned. Each having languages and dialects. Some could have cross-over since speaking only one language is really unique to the USA. Many regions had multiple languages or dialects per region. So there may have been plus or minus of 17 languages present, probably more. 

    Have you ever heard many people of one language all speaking at once? It's confusing enough in and of itself. Multiple languages all speaking at once would be even harder to hear. That would be quite a chaotic scene. The text of this verse plainly tells us that the people heard the disciples "EACH IN OUR OWN LANGUAGE." 

    This paints a different scenario than that above. This paints that each person, heard the entire group, in his/her language. A Persian heard the WHOLE GROUP in Persian. A Greek heard the WHOLE GROUP in Greek. This not only fits the text more accurately, but it fits the God of Order who created the event. God is a God of order. Disorder and Chaos is not of God. This was addressed by Paul later who said that if there were a Tongue given to the group as a message it should be done in order, one at a time. In this case, all spoke, but they spoke and were heard, as one. 

    As Prayer Language and Unknown Tongue
    The Bible Speaks of Tongues as a Prayer Language. Tongues is an unknown language. It is often called gibberish by those who don't understand what's going on. This is usually by unbelievers, or believers who just don't get it. It's often confused with the devil's counterfeit in witchcraft. More on that later. 

    For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 

    14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. 16 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? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified. 18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 19 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.

    When you speak with and/or pray with Tongues, you are praying "In the Spirit". You are speaking with and to God, not to men. Your spirit is praying words as prompted by The Holy Spirit. This is referred to again in several places. Ephesians tells us that after being dressed in the armor of God we should pray in Tongues.

    18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

    Jude tells us that we are to build ourselves up on our most holy faith, and pray in Tongues. Why is it our most holy faith? Because the words you pray with in Tongues are given by the Holy Spirit. Your mind cannot mess the prayer up with fear, doubt, unbelief, and un-biblical ideas. 

    20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.

    Paul tells us in Romans that we are not without help in our prayer. When we pray, there are often times we just don't know what to pray about, or what to pray. If you are faced with a situation in which you don't know what to pray about, or what the will of God is in that situation, you should pray in Tongues. The Spirit of God prays through us and even though WE don't understand what He's praying through us, we can be sure that He is making intercession and working all things to our good.

    26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

    As A Sign, not THE sign, but a sign.
    44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, 47 "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"

    Peter is invited to Cornelius' house, a gentile worshiper of God. Peter preaches Jesus to the Gentiles for the first time. Peter, and his crew, are shocked to see that the Holy Spirit fell upon them too! Notice what is said here: "For they heard them speaking with tongues..." Tongues were the evidence to Peter that these men had been filled with the Holy Spirit. 

    1 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." 3 And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John's baptism." 4 Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 7 Now the men were about twelve in all.

    Later Paul comes across a group of men who believed in the Messiah, but they were baptized into John's Baptism. They hadn't heard of Jesus or the Holy Spirit yet. They were saved! Just hadn't been filled yet. Then Paul lays hands on them and they are filled with the Holy Spirit. What is the result? They speak in tongues and prophecy.

    Tongues are also called a sign in 1 Corinthians 14. It is said that Tongues are a sign for unbelievers. This refers back to Acts 2 when people were astonished by what they heard. If however, there is no supernatural interpretation, the people who are unbelievers would be confused by what they heard and consider the group out of their mind, which was also a reaction by certain people in Acts 2.

    22 Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe. 23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.

    Separate from New Birth
    3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. " 4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" 5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

    19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." 

    4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
    8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

    The "New Birth" is when our spirit has been created new by the Holy Spirit. THAT is the point that we receive the Holy Spirit. He doesn't just come in and re-create us and leave. He lives in us. We know we are born again by His Spirit 1 John 3. The same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us! Romans 8.

    We see in John 20, Jesus comes to His disciples and breathes on them and they receive the Holy Spirit. They are born again at THAT moment, in a room with Jesus present. BUT Jesus tells them to go and wait until the Holy Spirit comes upon them in Acts 1, which He does in Acts 2. Now wait a minute...

    How can Jesus give them the Holy Spirit in a room in John 20, and then tell them to wait for the Holy Spirit in Acts 1? Is the scripture contradicting itself? Are these two conflicting stories about how the Holy Spirit came? Are there two Holy Spirits? No. These are two different events both describing the same Holy Spirit. One event is that which got them Born Again, just like the men Paul ran across in Acts 19. The other event describes the FILLING of the Holy Spirit, which brings power to be witnesses, which is where the signs come from in Mark 16. This event is separate but also important. We see the original disciples got it in two rounds. The men in Acts 19 got it in two rounds. But the men in Acts 10, with Peter, got it in one round, at the same time.

    So it's possible to be born again and spirit filled simultaneously and it's possible to have these occur as separate events. 

    12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw. 14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money...

    We see this a third time in Acts 8. Philip is in Samaria preaching Christ there. The men of the city believed in Jesus and were baptized in water. These men, scripturally, are born again. Yet John and Peter come down to check out this event and the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them. So we see here that there is something missing that gave the Apostles CLEAR indication that the Holy Spirit had not fallen on ANY of them. We also see that Simon the sorcerer SAW something that he felt was worth paying for! So although Tongues was not directly mentioned here, it's clear that a sign was involved, from all the other accounts of the Holy Spirit coming on people, its clear that Tongues was the evidence they lacked and then saw.

    So a few things are obvious from these scriptures:
    • The Filling of the Holy Spirit is NOT the same as being born again.
    • The Filling of the Holy Spirit is NOT required to BE born again. 
    • The Filling of the Holy Spirit is NOTICEABLY different and easily evident.
    • The Filling of the Holy Spirit is desirable, and something believers should have, otherwise the Apostles wouldn't have bothered to lay hands on them for it, and Jesus wouldn't have told the disciples to go and wait for it before going out as witnesses. 
    • The Holy Spirit filling can come by simply believing
    • The Holy Spirit filling can come by the laying on of hands (which we also saw in the Old Testament several times in Part 1)
    • The Filling of the Holy Spirit, should also be a more than one time event (Be Ye Being Filled Continually)
    For everyone
    1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant
    4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:

    This is by far one of the least taught aspects of 1 Corinthians 12. Of all the things there is to say about the gifts of the Spirit This deserves an extra few moments. First of all, these gifts do NOT belong to you. These gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12 are manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In other words these are HIS gifts to His body.

    When the Holy Spirit shows up with physically noticeable presence, these are the types of things that will occur. If these things are not occurring in your Church, the Holy Spirit is not showing up there. He may be there, He's everywhere. He may want to show up in a physical way. If the most you allow Him to do is give you a few Goosebumps during an "afterglow service", He'll take that opportunity. He's always there, always wanting to participate in a service and in a life. But those Goosebumps are the least possible physical showing up He can do. These gifts are His primary modus operandi (method of operation).

    Also, notice that it's all one. The Holy Spirit, The Son, and The Father are all mentioned here, because when they show up in the fullness of their trinity they are here to do one thing: Remove Burdens and Destroy Yokes. Jesus said that is what the Anointing is here to do, and the Holy Spirit IS the Anointing.

    But this is the part I've never heard anyone teach on, they may be teaching on it, but I've never heard it. GOD WORKS ALL IN ALL. That settles ALL debate for me. All means "ALL" and that's all "ALL" means. God works all these gifts in all people as He wills. He works all in all. End of debate. All people can and should operate in all of the gifts. Period.

    However, as this is specifically addressing how things should operate IN A CHURCH SERVICE, not everyone can or should do all these things all the time every time. So He will move upon certain people at certain times in public situations. Typically He will move upon those who have been praying and preparing themselves spiritually and mentally to be used. The guy who shows up 20 minutes late to service every Sunday and doesn't pray throughout the week probably won't be the one used. The gifts in a person’s life outside the Church walls are a different subject.

    Paul goes on to say, in 1 Cor 12:31, that we SHOULD seek and desire the BEST gifts. What are the BEST gifts? They are the gifts that are best for the occasion. If you come across a man bleeding to death on the sidewalk, prophesying to him may not be the best gift for the situation. Jesus promised you in Mark 16 that anyone who believes would be able to lay hands on the sick and they would recover. So lay hands on that man and expect God to move. If you are in a Church service, prophecy may be a more appropriate gift. Or maybe it would be helpful when talking to someone at work that asks for your advice to operate in a Word of Knowledge or Wisdom? Tongues, more often than not, are for personal use in prayer.

    Anointing for Everyone
    Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to us. He said that it would be BETTER that He go to heaven, because we'd get this gift of The Holy Spirit. What a great statement! If the Holy Spirit is more useful to me on this earth than Jesus, I want to know why. Don't you?

    12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

    37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

    So then the Holy Spirit is here to comfort and guide us and lead us into truth that we were not able to receive while Jesus was still here. Why weren't we able to receive? Jesus hadn't died, therefore we weren't born again, therefore we were still spiritually dead. The Holy Spirit in us makes us alive again. That same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus' body from the dead lives inside of us. Romans 8:11

    13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"

    Our Father, who loves us enough to send his own Son to die for us, took it another step closer and wants to give us The Holy Spirit. This is more important to our livelihood than bread or water. Now that's saying something.

    38 Then Peter said to them, "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. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

    The promise of the Holy Spirit is for everyone who believes. You don't believe, don't worry, you He won't bother you. It's for those who believe.  

    18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
     1 "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
     27 It shall come to pass in that day That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, And his yoke from your neck, And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.
     16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
     1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

    We see that Jesus was baptized and after received the Holy Spirit which was His anointing for Ministry work. He did his first miracles afterward, in John 2:11. He was led by the Spirit afterward. He preached about His Anointing afterward. So we too, should be Anointed of the Holy Spirit, and then afterward do the works He's called us to do. We see that Jesus did what he did because He was anointed of the Holy Spirit. 

    Received By Faith
    This is important. Faith is required for everything. Without Faith it is impossible to please God. (Heb 11:6) Jesus, in His hometown, was unable to do miracles because of  unbelief. The Son of God was unable to do mighty works in because of unbelief. False religious doctrines and unbelief will prevent you from receiving the Holy Spirit. Religiously trained people have a harder time with this than those who have no Church upbringing. (Mark 6:1-10) We receive the Holy Spirit, like we receive ALL of God's gifts to us, by and through Faith. Faith is an active force, not a simple belief. If you don't already know that Faith is a spiritual tool by which we access all the promises of God, I invite you to check out this two part article from KCM.ORG. Understanding Faith part 1 and  part 2

     4 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

    In my case, I came from a deeply religious background, with lot's of things to UN-learn. The baptism of the Holy Spirit didn't just fall on me. I went to multiple people to lay hand on me to receive, but they didn't have it either as far as I know now, so it didn't do much for me. That is, nothing happened right away. But I was able to use that laying on of hands as a point of mental contact for my faith.

    As I recall, I drove my truck out to a patch of dirt where no-body would bother me. I got in the back under the stars and prayed for a little bit.

    I said: "Lord, I'm convinced by your Word that Tongues is real and that I received the Holy Spirit when hands were laid on me. I feel crazy and silly, but I am going to speak in Tongues now and you're going to help me."

    Well, nothing came for a moment. But then I saw these words floating to the top of my mind, it felt as though they came from my belly. I chose to speak them. More came. It wasn't long before a whole language developed, now days it's several languages depending on my mood and the mood of the Holy Spirit. Now I hear someone saying: "You can't just choose to speak, you've got to be led." Well yes and no. The bible says in 1 Cor 14:32 when referring to the gifts of the Spirit, that the spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet. This statement was issued in direct refute to the idea that being led by the Holy Spirit makes you unable to control yourself or be in control of the situation. We yield to Him, yes. We are the one who chooses to speak or be quite though. He's always ready to talk to you, he's just waiting for you to speak. More on prayer Tongues later.

    I've heard as many stories about how and when it came as I've met people who use it. Tongues are as personal to prayer as fingerprints are to hands. It's an amazing gift. Many people who are waiting on God to give them this gift are waiting in vain. God gave them the gift 2,000 years ago. They only need take it.

    Until Then #BeStillBeLed?

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    And now I leave you with a question:

    So... what are your thoughts about this? What did this make you think about? 

    Hit me up on Twitter @DarrellWolfe or on Google +DarrellWolfe

    By Darrell Wolfe


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