33 Comments

Spiritual Gifts and a Question for you…


Back in August of this year I received the link to this article within my feeds. After reading the article I decided to hold on to it in the hope of posting it some day, along with a personal comment and important question.

The gist of the article can be summed up with this extensive quote,

The gift of tongues in the New Testament were known human languages, exercised for the purpose of carrying out the Great Commission (evangelism). In fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to Abraham that through his seed he would be a blessing to all peoples the supernatural gift of speaking and understanding foreign languages, which had never been learned, was essential to fulfilling the Great Commission at that time, but as Paul noted there would come a time when tongues would no longer be necessary and would cease (1 Cor. 13:8-10, being temporary), and that corresponded with the passing of the apostolic age and the completion of the written revelation of God.

In the Acts of the Apostles Luke records several distinct one-time Pentecost type out-pouring’s of the Spirit to different people groups in fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to Abraham. The first was to the Jews (Acts 2); the second was to the Samaritans (Acts 8:14:17); third was to the Gentiles (Acts 10:34-47 ); the last was to the Old Covenant saints/disciples who only knew of the baptism of John (Acts 19:1-6 ), The subsequent three occurrence to the Samaritans, Gentiles, and OT disciples of John were all identical to that of the Jews in Acts 2, the Apostle Peter stating as such (Acts 11:16-18); the “gift” mentioned by Peter is the Holy Spirit.

Taken in context there is no scriptural basis for a teaching of a “second blessing” or a subsequent “baptism of the Holy Spirit”, these would seem to be doctrines of men.

How then do we account for the “experience” which some Christians have today of a second blessing or subsequent “baptism of the Holy Spirit”? With it not being biblical it is either the flesh via an emotional response through the power of suggestion, or demonic. While some reports of tongues as a known human language surface from time to time, for the most part the tongues practiced today in no way resemble the tongues we read about in the New Testament (known human languages), and that alone ought to be the first cause for warning. Rather the ecstatic utterances of today have been linked by respected linguists to resemble almost identically tongues used by primitive pagan tribal sects around the globe who employ witchcraft and divination.

Please read the entire article here

Now, here is my question: If what this author claims is true, how do you explain the incident below. 

Years ago the Church in our small neighborhood was excited to hear an evangelist they knew of was going to be visiting the area, and subsequently would be holding a series of meetings at their Church. Everyone made plans to attend every night, not wanting to miss out. They also held a number of prayer meetings prior to the evangelist coming, praying that God would anoint him to bring forth the word to the congregation.

I can’t tell you on what night this occurred, but I can tell you it absolutely did happen. 

One of the members of this Church worked in a local firm and handled the firms business abroad. He had set up a meeting with a gentleman who was suppose to arrive after this series of meetings at the Church was to end. But through some type of mix up, this gentlemen arrived from Africa early. 

I guess the most logical thing this Church member could have done was forgo attending Church that evening and entertain this potential new business associate, but he didn’t. Instead he invited his guest to attend Church with him. Later, after what occurred that evening, our Church member found out this man from Africa had never set foot inside a Church in his life. 

During the service that night, one of the older sisters in the Church unexpectedly stood up and began to pray. After a minute or so, she began to pray and speak in tongues. This lasted for perhaps 3 minutes. 

After this dear sister sat down this man from Africa stood, and weeping cried out “How can I be saved?”.

Here is the ‘gist’ to my story folks. This gentleman, a business man from Africa, said “God revealed the secrets hidden within his heart” through this elderly sister…in his native tongue.   

I laugh with joy writing that last sentence!  At the knowledge that God, through His Holy Spirit used that old Kentucky sister who most likely only finished grade school. Used her to speak to this lost man, in his own language!  

And that through this, a new name was entered that very night, into the Book of Life.

Explain that.

 

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33 comments on “Spiritual Gifts and a Question for you…

  1. PJ,

    I can only give witness to what I know and have experienced in my short lifetime of just a year shy of 60 about praying in tongues or a foreign language or prophesying the Word of the Lord under the Spiritual Eye and Hand of the Holy Spirit.

    Once, in 1982 my Church family hosted a conference. During a plenary session our Pastor/Director of our Churches south of the border with his wife and two other men and their wives stopped by by invitation to speak about what God was doing in Guatemala. My Pastor wanted to introduce these men to this gathering of men from around the world. The Church we founded back in 1976 was in the hills above Guatemala City, Guatemala. There was a massive earthquake back then and a call went out among our people in the United States to gather together those willing to go down to Guatemala and could afford to go plus we gathered up resources from our sister Churches to take along with them a large sum of money and a willing heart to just go there to that devastated region and help the Guatemalan Government in any way we could to render medical aid, give food and shelter to the displaced and suffering. We then established a Church in Guatemala City a year or two later. It still remains to this day bringing the Gospel to the lost of Guatemala and to other parts of Central and South America as well as other countries around the world. Then one day in 1981 an elder slash principal of our Christian school, a retired former Guatemalan Army General, was requested to go to the Presidential Palace because lower level Colonels and Majors of the Guatemalan Army were surrounding it in a coup to depose the current corrupt political/military regime. Unbeknownst to Efrian Rios Montt he would soon be elevated to the Presidency later that day. Now back to this conference about a year later. During this plenary session the President of Guatemala’s Pastor, a friend of mine and the then Secretary of State of Guatemala and the then chief of Staff for the President with their wives were asked to speak and field questions from the audience of men gathered. It was my Pastor’s way of opening the door for these ministries to meet the President of Guatemala’s Pastor, the Secretary of State and the Chief of Staff of the Presidency and to make ministry arrangements to come down to Guatemala and assist in the work of Ministry in the way the Lord was leading.

    Well after their talk we were asked to gather around these three men to pray for them and send them out with our blessing because they were heading to Washington D.C. next to meet with President Reagan and with members of the United States Congress as well as attend the yearly Organizaton of American States (OAS) conference held in Washington D.C.. During this prayer time a man began speaking outloud prophesying peace and blessings on these men and their wives and saying that the future was going to be great for these men and for the country of Guatemala. Right in the middle of his speaking another man spoke up and asked him to be quiet because that was not the Word of the Lord. A hush solemnly fell over this gathering of people. Then one of the men we recognized as a prophet in our Churches began praying in a gutteral tongue and as he prayed this god awful tongue a thick spiritual heaviness fell over us. Then the man who asked the first man to be quiet began speaking a Word over these men that was quite different. He described the Guatemalan Presidential Palace being under seige and that he saw blood running down the steps of the Palace. Then my Pastor asked a couple of others if they might have a Word which they did. Their Words were much more in line with what we just heard. One saw helicopters flying around the Palace and he too saw bloodshed. The same came from the fourth man to speak. He saw army troops and personnel carriers moving from several parts of the City heading to the Presidential Palace. Then there was silence. And then the wives of these three men began crying.

    About six months to the day I and another man were traveling together on a ministry/business trip. We decided to stop at a sports club to sit in a hot sauna and freshen up. During that time in the sauna I decided to go for some cold drinks. I went out to the refreshment bar and bought some cold sodas. Attached to the wall just above my head was a television. I stood there waiting for my order to be filled when all of a sudden CNN was breaking with some news from Guatemala. That of course caught my attention so I stood there watching in utter amazement live news coverage of a coup in progress at the Presidential Palace and what I saw I was recollected back to the very words of those men six months earlier! Everything I saw with my own eyes about what I heard with my own ears six month earlier prophesied over those men and their wives about what Guatemala was going to experience in the future! And what started that was this god awful gutteral tongue from this prophet after the first man was asked to be silent!

    Now the second story is somewhat similar to the story of the African businessman’s. My wife is a native of the Philippines. She is from the island of Bohol. They have a unique dialect. Most all of the Islands of the Philippines have a distinct dialect. Well we were gathered for a Wednesday Night service and during worship a man began speaking clearly in my wife’s dialect giving praise and glory to God. My wife grabbed my arm and whispered as much to me. After the service we went up to this man and asked him if he knew what language he was speaking or if he knew he was speaking a foreign language? He said no and no just that he was moved to utter a prayer in tongues so he did as he was moved upon by the Holy Spirit to speak.

    The third story is about a friend and elder of one of our Churches who was invited to Japan. He came back from that trip to tell us about a night of worship when he was moved upon to utter a tongue and it was told him after the meeting he had spoken in perfect Japanese! He was speaking perfectly the Word of God in Japanese.

    So, I have also given it some thought to this speaking in tongues business; praying in tongues more than you all is what the Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians. I believe we have two kinds of manifestations of “speaking” in tongues. The first is as the book of Acts describes it and then second is as the Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians a prayer language that we can pray to build ourselves up in our most holy Faith.

    As with all of the Spiritual Gifts operating in the immature they end up as we have seen historically documented and you have published some of this in here a number of times. Todd Bentley comes to mind and the craziness of NAR etc., etc..

    It is the immature that have given this operation of the Spirit working spiritually through the Church a bad name and caused this sort of reluctance among so many.

    God is sovereign. He is not diminished one bit by our foolishness and immaturity. I believe both the speaking of a foreign language uniquely at times happens as I witnessed first hand and the praying in an unknown tongue are Biblical and are operational today but only as the Spirit wills and controls them.

    God’s Word will not be manipulated. God will not be manipulated. Is He a forgiving God when foolishness occurs with the gifts of the Spirit? Yes, on His terms and not the offender’s though!

    So let there be no doubt what side of this debate I come down upon. And let there be no doubt that I believe the speaking of an unknown language or praying in tongues for the edification of the Church or ourselves is getting a bad rap just like the gifts of healing or prophecy or any of the gifts listed in Corinthians or Romans are today because we have not matured well enough to make room for them or deal with the immaturity that the human soul makes of these precious gifts of the Spirit when they do?

    • Michael, God bless you for taking the time to type these testimonies out for us…to share them with the readers here. They are all amazing brother Michael…and to God be the Glory!

      So, I have also given it some thought to this speaking in tongues business; praying in tongues more than you all is what the Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians. I believe we have two kinds of manifestations of “speaking” in tongues. The first is as the book of Acts describes it and then second is as the Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians a prayer language that we can pray to build ourselves up in our most holy Faith.

      As with all of the Spiritual Gifts operating in the immature they end up as we have seen historically documented and you have published some of this in here a number of times. Todd Bentley comes to mind and the craziness of NAR etc., etc..

      It is the immature that have given this operation of the Spirit working spiritually through the Church a bad name and caused this sort of reluctance among so many.

      Amen. I agree there are two Holy Spirit manifestations of tongues. And i sure agree with you that the immature (as well as the deceivers) have worked to discredit this Spiritual gift as well as all Spiritual gifts. I should qualify that by saying i don’t believe the immature purposefully set out to do this. But that the enemy has taken advantage of their immaturity.

      God is sovereign. He is not diminished one bit by our foolishness and immaturity. I believe both the speaking of a foreign language uniquely at times happens as I witnessed first hand and the praying in an unknown tongue are Biblical and are operational today but only as the Spirit wills and controls them.

      God’s Word will not be manipulated. God will not be manipulated. Is He a forgiving God when foolishness occurs with the gifts of the Spirit? Yes, on His terms and not the offender’s though!

      So let there be no doubt what side of this debate I come down upon. And let there be no doubt that I believe the speaking of an unknown language or praying in tongues for the edification of the Church or ourselves is getting a bad rap just like the gifts of healing or prophecy or any of the gifts listed in Corinthians or Romans are today because we have not matured well enough to make room for them or deal with the immaturity that the human soul makes of these precious gifts of the Spirit when they do?

      Amen amen!

      God is patient with us all, especially the immature. And as you pointed out so well, never diminished when the “young” occasionally get ahead of the Spirit. And praise God brother, neither are the Spirits true manifestations and gifts diminished by the deceivers, for the false can never cancel out the true.

  2. Does that mean it’s a “second baptism” of the Spirit or just a miracle of the Spirit working? The first teaches a sort of elitism where those who have not had this are sub-Christians. The second is just a gift like evangelizing or the ability to explain the scriptures.

    I’m always so skeptical of this stuff because there are so many Benny Hinn-types. However, I do believe that this stuff happens for the purpose of advancing the Kingdom. One of those rare and beautiful cases I guess :).

    • Cal i hope you’ll read the other comments. Everyone had so many wonderful points and testimonies. As far as being skeptical, its understandable that you and many others would be. There are, as you said, so many Benny Hinn-types.

      Satan is the great counterfeiter Cal. He attempts to counterfeit (in order to discredit) everything of God. Including the gifts of the Spirit. But if there wasn’t a “real” he would have nothing to base his counterfeit upon. See?

  3. An honest answer. I believe and have heard and witnessed many miracles or unexplainable things that I believe happened but I do not believe should be a pattern or even a reoccuring doctrinal phenomenon of the church. I do not believe the gifts of the Spirit ended with the apostles, however I do believe most of what is practiced today is unscriptural. God can and does do things without our permission, and when things occur such as you describe, I am very reticent to be critical. Instead, I leave room for the miraculous even when it occurs in a church about which I would have issues.
    Again, their are things that glorify God and lead s sinner to Jesus that should not be doctrinal or emulated. If we do that we make them a tradition of men.

    • I believe and have heard and witnessed many miracles or unexplainable things that I believe happened but I do not believe should be a pattern or even a reoccuring doctrinal phenomenon of the church.

      Yes, i agree. The deceivers we see today are a prime example of that kind of thing. Amongst that group you have people praying to and commanding Angels and making frequent trips to heaven to converse with Paul. The miraculous hasn’t only become a pattern its a 24/7 occurrence!

  4. PJ, I can somewhat relate to your personal story because of something I witnessed myself.

    From 1997-2000 I attended Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas. One day in chapel the director, Larry Hill, spoke a message in tongues from the stage. A staff member, James Maloney, then gave an interpretation publicly. I probably wouldn’t have known for sure whether or not the interpretation was accurate except that it was confirmed by two guys from Africa, one of whom I knew.

    The author of that article didn’t even begin to exegete I Corinthians 13:8-10. He simply asserted that tongues ceased once the last book of the Bible was written, and went on later in the article to declare other views to be false.

    • Another amazing testimony! Thank you Adam.

      Reading what you wrote about how you ‘probably wouldn’t have known for sure except for’….caused me to think of how loving God is. He saw you needed a confirmation Adam and made sure you received one from someone you personally knew.

  5. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 1 Cor 13:8-10

    The author refers to 1Cor 13:8-10 without quoting it. Where does it say that tongues have passed away? It says they will but when? Has the need for knowledge passed away? Do we still know in part? Who can say they know all they need to know? The perfect hasn’t come yet, obviously, because knowledge is still partial and on that basis we continually seek more knowledge. NOW we know in part. When the partial is done away then and only then does the perfect come. We are not yet perfected. When we are perfected THEN we will have no need of the partial benefits that God has provided for us in this life either through gift or knowledge. There is therefore no biblical basis to conclude that tongues have passed away unless we dispense with the notion that we need to know anything more in this life.

    So this quote is fallacious as applied to our present circumstance- “but as Paul noted there would come a time when tongues would no longer be necessary and would cease (1 Cor. 13:8-10, being temporary), and that corresponded with the passing of the apostolic age and the completion of the written revelation of God”

    NOTHING in the New Testament tells us that the passing of “the apostolic age” and completing the New Testament canon ever ended the pentecostal experience. Just a cursory knowledge of church history would prove that the “pentecostal experience” has always been a part of a multitude of christians’ testimony. There is no “apostolic age” ever mentioned in the NT. These are the doctrines of men. This is a clear cut case of adding the opinions of men to the scripture.

    “If I speak with the tongues of men and angels” 1Cor 13:1. The tongues aren’t limited to human languages either. Heavenly language is also mentioned as a possibility.

    Here is the problem for this author. The only way he can justify his own lack of experience is by discrediting the experience of others as false and misusing the scriptures in the process. What he knows, he knows in part.

    • Where does it say that tongues have passed away? It says they will but when? Has the need for knowledge passed away? Do we still know in part? Who can say they know all they need to know? The perfect hasn’t come yet, obviously, because knowledge is still partial and on that basis we continually seek more knowledge. NOW we know in part. When the partial is done away then and only then does the perfect come. We are not yet perfected. When we are perfected THEN we will have no need of the partial benefits that God has provided for us in this life either through gift or knowledge. There is therefore no biblical basis to conclude that tongues have passed away unless we dispense with the notion that we need to know anything more in this life.

      Exactly. Davo you explained it perfectly.

      Cal, i hope you read this post for Davo has explained better then i ever could.

      Here is the problem for this author. The only way he can justify his own lack of experience is by discrediting the experience of others as false and misusing the scriptures in the process. What he knows, he knows in part.

      Yes that seems to be the way it is. If we have never experienced it first hand, we believe it can’t be true.

      I loved what Henry wrote in his comment,

      God can and does do things without our permission, and when things occur such as you describe, I am very reticent to be critical. Instead, I leave room for the miraculous even when it occurs in a church about which I would have issues.

      We should all be that way: leaving room for the miraculous.

    • You make an interesting point when you say that, “The only way he can justify his own lack of experience is by discrediting the experience of others as false….” What you’re suggesting is essentially the Cain versus Abel conflict, where jealousy arose over God’s blessing upon one worshipper and not another. I do often wonder how often that tends to be the case, though I think you overlook the possibility that an individual who once believed he had a genuine encounter with the Holy Spirit might have second thoughts and come to doubt that experience. That’s something I find among members of the Aletheuo forum, where I am, and I think you’ll agree that there’s a big difference between that and the person who never experienced in the first place.

      I, for one, have not ever considered myself to have had any particular “gift,” though I’ve had scant few fleeting encounters with the Holy Spirit. My brother, on the other hand, claims to have seen much, including mostly healing, prophecy and glossolalia. If not having experienced is reason to disbelieve, then I, certainly, should be a disbeliever. There’s another side to this, though. The fact is simply that if belief is necessary for the fulfillment of the miraculous, and if belief is necessary to recognize the miraculous, once it has happened, then the cause and effect could go in either direction. Do the spiritual gifts elude me for my lack of faith, or does my brother see “gifts” everywhere because he’s gullible? He’s emotional; I’m rational. He’s a pastor and I’m a scientist. We both believe that the Bible says we should expect the gifts of the Spirit, and we both believe that the age of the gifts of the Spirit is still alive and well. The only difference is that he sees what he believes in, and I don’t, even though we’re both looking at the same thing. Still, I must believe, because that’s what the Bible says.

    • Thank you Mark. If you intended it to be or not your comment is a wonderful testimony.

      Still, I must believe, because that’s what the Bible says.

      Amen.

  6. Hello PJ,

    My name is John and I co-run the Aletheuo website and forum with a few other Christians. I wanted to thank you first and foremost for your feedback, and would just like to offer a little information that may be of some benefit on this comment thread. Especially as it is directly from the person who started the website you’re quoting from, and for which you have both my permission and gratitude.

    We began our online venture at about the same time the Lakeland fiasco broke out a number of years back, which was about the same time many various bloggers seemed to start too. We were a group of Christians from diverse backgrounds, all of whom seemed to be disillusioned and confused with the visible church in general, and in all honest were extremely ignorant in more ways than one.

    Over the years some have come and some gone, but the “engine room” of all that we did was a simple forum where we openly thrashed out our differences, studied the Word together, and laid our hands upon every ounce of solid teaching that we were able to lay our hands on. And whilst this has brought much unity between us, we are still very much individual believers, and still hold our differences of opinion quite openly. Obviously the subject you are dealing with is one such thing that we probably all differ slightly over, and continue to prayerfully seek out the truth just as yourself.

    Some such as myself came from a heavily charismatic background, where the natural reaction to such things was to run away from them rapidly, whilst others from a more traditional background had different reactions. I know that from a personal point of view I utterly detest the way in which much of the conduct I have witnessed in the past, and see all too often today, is little more than a circus that parades to the desires of the flesh. And if I can play my part in opening peoples eyes to the lies that abound in such charismania I will do so gladly, just as I would gladly pull out the carpet from under the feet of the many false prophets and apostles that run amok through the visible church today also.

    All that aside though, I am not someone who rules out unexplainable phenomena today, especially that which the Holy Spirit chooses to use for His own glory through the hands and mouths of imperfect men regenerated by His power and grace. Whilst I cannot speak for Jim (the author of the post), I most definitely do not rule out the miraculous even today, as though somehow I can comprehend the mind of the Spirit beyond what He has revealed in His Word. However I do believe the majority of that which claims to be such work of the Holy Spirit today by many, is actually nothing but vain imaginations at best, and demonic manifestations at worst.

    There are a number of us who write posts at our website, and all authors are free to write from their own convictions. But those who do so are left to give a response to anyone who chooses to query what they’ve written. This can be seen in many of the anti-dispensational/premillennial posts I’ve written myself, where I’ve had to deal with comments from visitors and other members of Aletheuo who disagree with me quite strongly over this issue! ;)

    Anyway, thanks once again for your visit, and if at all possible I will point Jim in the direction of this post, that he might give a brief response directly.

    God bless you and your site here,

    John.

    • Hi John, and a belated happy new year :-)

      Your website and the articles published have been a great blessing to me the last few years. One thing i really like is you post messages from various authors which, while i may not always agree with all, are always challenging to the reader. Its something i try to do at this little blog too. Challenge myself and the readers.

      I’ve read numerous articles concerning the doing away of miracles and the Spiritual gifts over the years but because the authors were somewhat questionable (in their other doctrinal positions) didn’t want to link to them in order to bring about a discussion here on the topic, but after reading the article at your website, which i’ve come to trust, and checking out the author’s website, Immutable Word Ministries, i thought, wallah! now we can have a good discussion!

      Some such as myself came from a heavily charismatic background, where the natural reaction to such things was to run away from them rapidly, whilst others from a more traditional background had different reactions. I know that from a personal point of view I utterly detest the way in which much of the conduct I have witnessed in the past, and see all too often today, is little more than a circus that parades to the desires of the flesh. And if I can play my part in opening peoples eyes to the lies that abound in such charismania I will do so gladly, just as I would gladly pull out the carpet from under the feet of the many false prophets and apostles that run amok through the visible church today also.

      Believe me, i understand that reaction completely John. My background isn’t charismatic but what i guess many folks outside of this part of the country would call old-time pentecostal. And there is a huge difference. But that doesn’t mean abuse (concerning spiritual gifts etc) cannot be found in pentecostal churches too: i’ve seen it occur myself over the last 33 years. But i’ve also been a witness to the real manifestations of the Spirit as well. And that’s what i wanted to bring out in this post…that just because there has been, and continues to be the false, the “true” is still possible and does happen on occasion, as God wills.

      All that aside though, I am not someone who rules out unexplainable phenomena today, especially that which the Holy Spirit chooses to use for His own glory through the hands and mouths of imperfect men regenerated by His power and grace. Whilst I cannot speak for Jim (the author of the post), I most definitely do not rule out the miraculous even today, as though somehow I can comprehend the mind of the Spirit beyond what He has revealed in His Word. However I do believe the majority of that which claims to be such work of the Holy Spirit today by many, is actually nothing but vain imaginations at best, and demonic manifestations at worst.

      Amen. I think that’s a good place to be…not ruling out the possibility, but being very discerning concerning everything. And sadly John i agree that the majority of what we see today, especially promoted by ministries on the internet, which claims to be directed by or is of the Holy Spirit is either foolishness or out-right demonic. And regrettably for many Christians, that is ALL they have to go on. That and the Todd Bentley’s of this world.

      There are a number of us who write posts at our website, and all authors are free to write from their own convictions. But those who do so are left to give a response to anyone who chooses to query what they’ve written. This can be seen in many of the anti-dispensational/premillennial posts I’ve written myself, where I’ve had to deal with comments from visitors and other members of Aletheuo who disagree with me quite strongly over this issue!

      Ahaha! don’t get be started on the issue of dispensational theology! :-) While it doesn’t happen as often today when i first started posting on the topic a few years back, i got hammered on the topic by faithful dispensationalists. In fact i believe i linked to a couple of your posts on the topic!

      By the way, im reading a very good (older) book right now which covers the history of dispensationalism in America written by Timothy P. Weber: On the Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel’s Best Friend.

      Thank you so much for stopping by John. I hope you’ll return again soon… and yes, that would be nice if the author stopped by too, even if we’d never convince the other to change their position on the topic in question. Aha!

      God bless you and your ministry brother.

      As my fellow blogger Bene says, “blog on!”

  7. NOTHING in the New Testament tells us that the passing of “the apostolic age” and completing the New Testament canon ever ended the pentecostal experience. Just a cursory knowledge of church history would prove that the “pentecostal experience” has always been a part of a multitude of christians’ testimony. There is no “apostolic age” ever mentioned in the NT. These are the doctrines of men. This is a clear cut case of adding the opinions of men to the scripture.

    I didn’t want to address the pentecostal claims in the above quote, but I would like to offer a short study I did regarding the ministry of the apostles, which is hinted at here in the above comment. Thanks.

    http://2tim215.co.uk/2012/09/07/the-ministry-of-the-apostles/

  8. Here is the problem for this author. The only way he can justify his own lack of experience is by discrediting the experience of others as false and misusing the scriptures in the process. What he knows, he knows in part.

    Before you make your judgements on this man, you need to find out more about him. I can tell you from personal knowledge, just I was, he was a staff member on a 4square church and did have the experience. I have also had the experience, and I agree with him.

    The point I believe he is making, is if there is a “second blessing” experience. And frankly, just because Paul said “..if I speak in a tongue of men or angels…” doesn’t necessarily mean that we would speak in a language of angels. What if the language of angels is no different from tongues of the earth. Maybe when God gave all of the new languages at the Tower of Babel, those languages were also tongues of angels. Scripture is silent on this, don’t take it beyond what is written right?

    • Hi..i actually checked out the author’s website before putting up the post. So please understand, no one is judging the author personally only disagreeing with some of his positions stated within this article.

    • I was quoteing what another person said and reacted. Sorry for my two posts. I know Jim personally and he is a man that has helped me see the error, as with John above and many others and frankly your site as well, of the hyper-charismatic camp. I fell into it slightly and it was Jim that helped open my eyes. So as friend I became defensive for him, yet, he is certainly confident in his abilities to defend himself if he wishes to.

      I wanted to point out that he is not not without experience in the “second blessing” and tongues and he does not talk without some knowledge of what we call “experiences”

  9. The other thing about 1 Cor 13:1, Paul is speaking of himself. The text actually states “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

    Notice the word “I” . Where does this refer to “all”. Understand, I believe the gifts are for today as well. I think that if God wants to use tongues in spreading the gospel and convicting of sin so that an unbeliever believes, of course He can and will. In my own experience I will not and cannot deny the initial experience, but what I did afterwards as a tongue was not a tongue but gibberish.

    If you want the whole testamoney I would be glad to share, but I am a bit taken back by the judgement of the person who wrote the article rather than the article on this site. Many are making a judgement call on this man and YOU HAVE NO IDEA how wrong your conclusions are.

    If you want to know more about him go to His site other than where you found the article…

    http://immutablewordministries.blogspot.com/

    • As stated, no one is passing judgment upon the author. Only disagreeing with his positions within this article.

      The other thing about 1 Cor 13:1, Paul is speaking of himself. The text actually states “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” Notice the word “I” . Where does this refer to “all”.

      Paul was writing to the church at Corinth, explaining that any spiritual gift without love use useless,

      “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal”

      At the conclusion of the preceding chapter the apostle promised to show the Corinthians a more excellent way than that in which they were now proceeding. They were so distracted with contentions, divided by parties, and envious of each other’s gifts, that unity was nearly destroyed. This was a full proof that love to God and man was wanting; and that without this, their numerous gifts and other graces were nothing in the eyes of God; for it was evident that they did not love one another, which is a proof that they did not love God; and consequently, that they had not true religion. Having, by his advices and directions, corrected many abuses, and having shown them how in outward things they should walk so as to please God, he now shows them the spirit, temper, and disposition in which this should be done, and without which all the rest must be ineffectual.

      Clarks Commentary

  10. Davo made this comment….

    Here is the problem for this author. The only way he can justify his own lack of experience is by discrediting the experience of others as false and misusing the scriptures in the process. What he knows, he knows in part.

    I interpreted that as a judgement call on Jim…. if I mis read that my apolgies…

  11. The assumption is that he has a lack of experience… I wanted to point out that he does have the experience because he was on staff of a 4square church for 5+ years and testivies to the experience.

    In fact he was basically shunned from his previous denomination because of the experience. I wanted to correct that assumption on Davo part.

  12. Quote-”Taken in context there is no scriptural basis for a teaching of a “second blessing” or a subsequent “baptism of the Holy Spirit”, these would seem to be doctrines of men”

    Words almost fail to describe my amazement at how turned around things can become and then be presented as what is truth. The clear biblical precedent of the experience which I think is most often referred to in the NT as “receiving the Holy Spirit” and its’ additional experience of “praying in the spirit” which is also stated as “praying or speaking in tongues” is not only referenced in the book of Acts but 1Cor 2:12, Gal 3:2,5 as “receiving the spirit”. 1 Cor 14 many times, Eph 6:18, Jude 20 as speaking or praying in tongues or praying in the spirit.

    This is the scriptural basis for a teaching. What is taught in the Bible!! What is in the Bible is not “doctrines of men”.

    Doctrines of men are what is NOT taught in the Bible. Like “apostolic age” and the written revelation of scripture putting a halt to receiving the power of the Holy Spirit and it’s accompanying sign of praying in the spirit.

    To take doctrines so extra-biblical and then use them to pronounce clear biblical doctrine and practice as “doctrines of men” is one of the modern theological marvels of our day.

    “You draw near to Me with your lips but your hearts are far from Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men”

    “Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues” 1Cor 14:39

    • You know, i came across writings from a number of early church fathers and church historians years ago in which they recorded what they called “a baptism of fire” along with unknown tongues, manifestations of Spiritual gifts etc. It was quite amazing Davo. Amazing for the fact they wrote about these things not as a rarity but as common in the churches of their day! I posted it on a forum i was helping moderate, so will try to go back and see if i can locate it. In the meantime i did find this doing a quick search tonight,

      Historical evidence of speaking in tongues in the early church from the writings of Eusebius, Irenaeus, Chrysostom of Constantinople, and Augustine of Hippo…

      My point is, it is the church, through neglecting to continue to teach these doctrines, which has helped perpetuate this idea these things were “done away with” after the death of the last original apostle. When the truth is, the gifts (and tongues) continued on within the church for centuries.

      Today we see the same thing occurring with other doctrines, like holiness, for instance. This doctrine, so commonly taught years ago, you might as well say has been added to the list of “lost doctrines”. As has personal sanctification, the power of the blood, the Cross, etc. etc.

      Its pitiful how far we have strayed from the original teachings of the early church.

  13. A lot of REALLY GOOD comments here. I find it truly amazing how the Spirit of God moves at times. And the common factor among the critics on both sides is that they always are trying to put God in a box in order to make Him conform to their own theological agenda. I have seen some fairly bizarre stuff that, in hindsight, I am pretty sure was a genuine move of the Spirit of God along with some very acceptable, even attractive phenomena, that I am quite sure was the work of the enemy. And there are certainly more than enough examples of the latter and far too few of the former. But oddly (or perhaps not), those cases that are genuinely of God, seem to often attract more criticism than those that are obviously little more than just cheap spiritual entertainment. Oh well …

    • Amen George, there are some excellent comments here! I even deeply appreciate the ones i may not totally agree with. ahaha…

      These topics and the back and forth which they generate was why i always loved our Monday evening adult bible study meetings. :-)

  14. There is no clear Biblical teaching that the gifts of the Spirit have ceased. The suggestion that there is a prayer language is a giant stretch, though, and if it was as important and empowering as is suggested in some circles, why is it not more pronounced in the NT? Additionally, when you read about Luther, Zwingly, Huss, Livingston, Whitefield, Finney, Moody, Wesley, Carey, and a long list of believers used mightily by God, why is there no open testimony of a power experience that included tongues?
    There is way too much focus on something that is an aside in the NT. When the church gets to the point where our lives are so consumed with hours upon hours and night after night of prayer, perhaps we can then dabble with other things. But while we ride past a darkened church most nights on our way to WalMart or a restaurant or the theatre we will be distracted by things like tongues.

    • The suggestion that there is a prayer language is a giant stretch, though, and if it was as important and empowering as is suggested in some circles, why is it not more pronounced in the NT?

      Personally i believe its not referred to more because we’re never to make any of the Spiritual gifts our focus. But neither are we to ignore them or deny they do exist and were given to each as God sees fit in order to profit the church. 1 Corinthians 12

      Additionally, when you read about Luther, Zwingly, Huss, Livingston, Whitefield, Finney, Moody, Wesley, Carey, and a long list of believers used mightily by God, why is there no open testimony of a power experience that included tongues?

      May i recommend a book? Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians Author: Lawson, J. Gilchrist (James Gilchrist), 1874-1946

      You can also download it Here

    • Your doing it AGAIN. You are dismissing clear biblical instruction by dismissing it as insignificant. Based on what? The experiences of men? Your experiences? The precepts of men!! There is a supernatural prayer language, it was the experience of the NT church in the Bible. It was the evidence of receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which was the power of the Holy Spirit in a believers life. The manifestations of the gifts of the spirit follow upon this experience. “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts” 1Cor 14:1.

      The believers in Samaria in Acts 8 were considered as lacking something in their experience even though they had believed and been baptized. They were saved yet it was considered necessary for Peter and John to come and lay hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit. This is represented in Heb 6:1,2 as part of foundational christianity. Verse 2 literally says ” baptisms of instruction and the laying on of hands”. Baptisms of instruction as taught in Romans 6. Baptism of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands which is what Peter and John did in Samaria and what Paul did in Acts 19 to the 12 disciples in Ephesus whose experience was also determined to be lacking. This gift was ministered at times through the laying on of hands.

      Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” Acts 2:38-39 This gift is for ALL who God calls to Himself. Hardly an aside in the NT. This is for everybody who is a believer.

      Paul in 1 Cor 14, “I would that you all spoke in tongues” “Don’t forbid it” “I will pray with my spirit, I will pray with my understanding” Jude says, “Building yourself up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit’. “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” Eph 5:18,19 “I will sing with the spirit, I will sing with my understanding” 1Cor 14:15 It’s an expression of worship to God. It’s linked with being filled with the Spirit Eph 5:18. “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit” Eph 6:18. You can pray constantly this way to God when your words or thoughts run out. In the spirit I can speak mysteries to God, 1Cor 14:2, not limited to my understanding. It is a source of edification to a believer in the same way that prophecy is a source of edification to the church. It edifies or recharges your spirit like charging a battery. Why should we dismiss it?

      It was standard operating procedure in the NT church, a blessed thing, a biblical thing, an historical thing, a prophetic thing(In the last days I will pour out My spirit on all flesh) and a useful gift to be implemented up to and beyond the limits of all that we could ask or think. I heartily recommend it, can you tell?

  15. Thank you, I have read it decades ago and I believe in and seek that which comes f4rom the Spirit. Where you and I agree is that this modern version of evangelicalism eshcews spiritual power and embraces earthly power, or more accurately, earthly persuasion.

    • Its a wonderful little book. :-)

      After lending out my original copy many years ago my mom bought me the copy i own today.

  16. Thanks for the link to the book…. I kept an e-copy and will read…. As I stated before, I believe the gifts (ALL) are for today including tongues. I personally have a problem with the “so-called-praying-in-tongues” in a worship service because 99.5% of the time they are not interpreted and everyone is “praying” out loud. To me this breaks the “groundrules” the scriptures put forth. And I believe NOW, not so in the past, that tongues will be a known language, that can and will be interpreted by someone who actually speaks the language and can interpret it properly. Not this “interpretation”, which to me, is nothing more than a guess. I feel this way because if most people have read the scriptures they will know how God talks and can bring forth an “interpretation” that sounds like it came from heaven above. That is just my perspective on it.

    My own testamony is that I prayed for the “experience” and found myself praying/singing in what I believe was an American Indian dialect. I was taken aback when it happened because it was about 4 hours after I had someone lay hands on me and pray for me. I changed from the “tongue” to english singing praises to the Lord. It reminded me of the Acts experience because that is what happened with the Apostles before Peter stood up and began to preach.

    Personally, the gibberish I spoke after that initial “experience” did not ever really sound like anything and frankly if it is suppose to edify ones self, I was never edified and I never “enjoyed” speaking it. So I came to the conclusion that what I was speaking was flesh speaking. That is my own perspective. I do not pray in tongues any longer and since I have re-arranged my thinking on the gifts and their use, I actually have felt freer because I do not feel that I have to “manifest the gift(s)” in order to have a close relationship with the Lord.

    As my pentecostal Greek Professor told me one day, I can still be a believer in the gifts and hold to a reformed theology. That is where I stand today. I do not seek after “signs and wonders” anymore, I do not participate in the hyper-charismatic camp anymore and I walk in a new found freedom as I see Gods hand in mine, my family, and friends lives. And I feel like I have a better focus on the “true” gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Blessings to all
    Tim

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