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SCRIPTURE - Ac 2 : 4 APRIL, 1999
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them
SUBJECT - SPEAKING IN TONGUES (FINAL)
PART 2 [MAR 99]
PART 1 [FEB 99]
In this final look at this subject, let's review what was said in the first two parts.
First, looking at all the scriptures that say specifically that believers spoke with tongues, are found in three. The first, of course is the subject verse. The other two are [Ac 10:45-46] And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. [Ac 19:6] And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. Other scriptures that don't mention believers speaking in tongues are, [Ac 2:41] Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. [Ac 9:17-18] And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. Note that Paul was to be filled with the Holy Ghost. It did not say that he spoke with tongues at that time, or when he did. But, he was still saved.
[Ac 8:15] Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
Ac 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Ac 8:17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Ac 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
This scripture, which was not mentioned in the previous tracts, could be interpreted that after the laying on of hands, something happened that showed that the Holy Ghost had come on them. And since tongues, is the only physical evidence that the Holy Ghost is in the believer, I can accept the idea that they may have spoken with tongues, even though it doesn't say it specifically.
However, as I had mentioned earlier in both tracts, the people were still saved, despite not speaking in tongues. If you will notice, verses 15 and 16, let us know that when the apostles came to them, they did not pray for them to get saved, because they were already saved, they just hadn't been filled with the Holy Ghost. That supports what I have been saying, all along. And what is it that I have been saying??? That speaking in tongues, is not necessarily, a requirement to being saved. People that say you have to speak in tongues, or you are not saved, are in error. And this error, is driving many souls away from the church and Jesus Christ. That alone, should let them know, that something is wrong with what they are doing.
The apostles in the upper room before the Holy Ghost came, and the believers in Ephesus, both represent, to me, the state of the believer, prior to receiving tongues. They are still saved, but waiting to be endewed with power, the filling of the Holy Ghost.
I also mentioned, that those that get saved, should seek tongues, because without that part of what God has for you, you will find it difficult to live the type of life that God wants you to live. And what type of life is that?? A life of faith, holiness, righteousness, victory and power. And that is next to impossible to do, unless you are 100% sure that God is with you. And tongues, provide that evidence. Evidence, as you should know, provides proof, that something has occurred.
Many Christians, mistake the fact that speaking in tongues, makes them some sort of super holy or righteous person. But, you have to only look at some people that say they are saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues, that gamble, chase women, will curse you out, gossip, smoke and do other things that the unsaved do, and you will see that something is wrong. Speaking in tongues, only makes you aware that God, is inside you, but He does not control you. You can still do whatever you want to do. Of course, you do so, at your own peril.
God does, on the other hand, control who speaks in tongues, and when. As I mentioned, it's His timing that counts, not ours.
Also, I mentioned that all Christians have the ability to speak in tongues. All they have to do, is let the Spirit take control. They have to get out of the flesh, and in to the Spirit. If you will notice the scriptures where speaking in tongues occur, they say that the person, was filled with the Spirit. That term 'filled' is the key. You have to be full of the Spirit. In otherwords, the flesh, has to be completely, eliminated. Another thing that you should realize, is that this 'filling'. does not always remain. There is the initial 'filling', and many 'refillings.' Just like you fill your car's gas tank up with gas, and drive it awhile. The tank starts to head towards the empty point. At some point, you will have to refill the tank. Well, with the 'filling' of the Holy Ghost, the same thing is true. People don't always remain full of the Holy Ghost. As they go on in their daily activities, they tend to get back in to the flesh, but still be influenced by the Spirit, hopefully. But, at some point in time, they will want to get back in to the fullness of the Spirit, so they can talk to the Father, in a spirit to Spirit conversation.
You might be saying, how do I get in to the spirit, and eliminate the flesh?? One of the most effective ways of doing that, is by praise, and worship of Jesus Christ. The bible says, God, inhabits the praises of His people [Ps. 22:3 paraphrasing]. The more you praise God, the more you get out of the flesh. The more you get out of the flesh, the more you get in to the Spirit. Soon, you will be totally in the Spirit, and when that happens, God, will turn on the tongues. And you will realize that you had it all the time. God, is not going to make you speak in tongues, so stop waiting for Him to do that. You have to seek it.
Some Christians say, if you don't speak in tongues, then that is a sign you have some hidden sin that you are not confessing. That, is not true. As I mentioned earlier, there are those that do speak in tongues, and are as bad, if not worse than the worldly folks. They are still carnally minded. These people will receive the greater damnation because, the world looks at them and says, "if that is what being a spirit filled Christian is like, then I don't want any part of it."
To identify a person that is a Christian, Jesus gave us a couple of factors to look at. [Mt 7:20] Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. What fruits??? [Ga 5:22 - 23]
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Also, He said, [Jo 13:35]
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Do you see tongues mentioned in any of these scriptures??? I don't. If these people, would worry more about doing these things, then all of us would be a lot better off. The church, could really be growing by leaps and bounds. Paul said, [1Co 13:1] Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
Praying in the Spirit (tongues), is important, in that you are talking to God, through your spirit, rather than your flesh. This type of communication with Him, edifies (builds up) the believer, [1 Co 14:4].
The more you use it, the better you feel. And the better you feel, the more confidence you will have in doing the things that God says you should do. This translates in to more faith, and as a result, more blessings from God, as you begin to walk by faith, and not by sight. The power that the old testament saints had, like Abraham, Noah, David, Isaiah, Elijah, Elisha, Ezekiel, and the rest, came by them walking in the faith of God, because God, spoke to them audibly, and therefore, they would move at His direction. Now, God lets us know He is present, through the Spirit. [Ro 8:16]The Spirit itself [God] beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
This is why it is important to have speaking in tongues. Because I can tell you that you are saved, because you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, according to [Jo 3:16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Or [Ro 10:9-10] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
But while I may tell you to have faith that you are now a child of God, there will still be that little doubt in you that says, "am I really saved?? How do I know for sure??? It's just like my telling you that I just put one million dollars in your bank account. I may be the most trustworthy person in the world, but you still have that doubt, until the bank notifies you that you have one million more dollars in your account, than you had earlier. Then, you have the evidence. Well, if a worldly bank can do this, don't you think God can, too?? That is why evidence, and the witness of the Spirit, are of such importance. Without that, anyone can come up to you and challenge your faith, and belief, and you will have nothing to stand on, but, what the bible says. Now, while that is good, it is nearly impossible to keep on believing that, without the evidence of speaking in tongues. With it, you will know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that YOU ARE GOD'S CHILD.
That is the power that speaking in tongues brings with it.
You should, seek this manifestation of the Spirit, for your own self assurance. Those that say it is not for today, and that it is of the devil, especially the latter, are not walking in the truth of the bible, and are in danger of damnation, because of blaspheming the Holy Ghost. Because they are attributing the work of the Holy Ghost, to the devil.
Ohhhh the Joy that you will feel, when it happens to you. It opens up your relationship with God, and Jesus Christ, like nothing else you can ever experience. Also, having it also opens up God's Word, the bible, to your understanding. As you begin to read it, the scriptures will seem to jump out at you, and you will be wondering why, when you read them before, they seemed to be saying nothing, that you could understand.
You will have a hunger to learn more. You will want to be in church when ever the doors are open. You will become a different person in the eyes of those around you, especially the unsaved. You will start to talk differently. If you cursed a lot, you will find that if you do it now, instead of feeling good, or indifferent, you will find yourself apologizing to God, and to those that heard you. You will find it a lot easier to forgive others in their wrongdoing. Bad habits, will start to disappear.
When it comes to witnessing for the Lord, you will have a whole new boldness about you. You will find that you will want to tell everybody about what Jesus has done for you. You will even be wanting to pray for those that are around you, and even lay hands on them. You will start to see the devil in things, and rebuke him. That is why he (the devil) doesn't want you to get this from God. He knows what you will be able to do. Read what happened to some people who tried to rebuke the devil out of a man, when they did not have the Holy Ghost [Ac 19 : 13-16].
The devil knows who has the power and who doesn't. That's why Jesus told His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem, until they were endewed with power. That's why you need to seek to be endewed with this same power.
Christians, that don't desire to have this power, for whatever reason, will continually find themselves falling short of what God has promised them. But, they are still saved.
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