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SCRIPTURE - Ac 2 : 4 FEBRUARY, 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
The bible, has 66 different books, starting from Genesis, and going all the way to Revelation. There are many stories, and lots of information on everything that you can imagine. People consistently talk about everything that the bible says concerning about every subject, except one. That one is often overlooked by a lot of people, because of what seems to be its controversial connection to the Christian.
From the offset, let me say this. There are differing views on this subject, and I don't propose to say, that I am right, and the rest are wrong. I am not trying to start an argument with anyone about how they have been taught in this area. However, I will address some of these beliefs, and compare them to the only source I have, and that is the bible. Now, if I say something, using the bible, that contradicts what you have been taught, then I would suggest you begin to study for yourself, then ask your pastor about what I said, as well as explain what that particular scripture means, in relation to this subject.
First, there is the belief that speaking in tongues, is something that has passed away with the last apostle. Many have been taught, that it was only for those that lived in the times of Paul, and Peter. Well, I can say unequivocally, that is not true. There is no mention of it passing away with the last apostle, in the bible. Therefore, unless the bible says it specifically, then you are being taught a lie.
[1Co 14:5] I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. The apostle Paul, in addressing the church at Corinth, expressed the desire that all of them might speak in tongues. Since Paul, was anointed to do what he was doing, then it stands to reason, that many in the church, spoke in tongues. That is one of the reasons he was addressing this area.
Now, it stands to reason, if many in that church, were speaking in tongues, then it would mean, it was not just for the apostles.
One scripture, that many misuse, to say that tongues are no longer being manifested is found in these scriptures, [1Co 13:8 - 10] Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. Their reasoning is, that when, that which is perfect is come, then tongues will cease. But, the problem is, there is nothing perfect about any thing, yet. As long as we remain in an imperfect world, where sin abounds, then tongues, will remain.
One would ask, 'what is so special about speaking in tongues, in the first place??' Well first, it is the primary, physical evidence, that God (Jesus Christ), by means of the Holy Ghost, is residing within you.
[Jer 31:33] But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. [Jo 15:7] If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. [Col 3:16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Now, you might want to know, just what all these scriptures are saying. They are saying that God, intends to reside in the heart of man. First, He says He will write His laws, in us, in our hearts. Mankind's main problem, is that he has a sin nature. He was born with it. That is what is in his heart, right now. God is saying, the time will come, when, if you will allow Him, He will move in to, and take up residence in man's heart, and remove that sin nature from him. That is why Jesus said, 'IF......., MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU..... ' Then we have the apostle Paul, saying, 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you. Now, the laws of God, are the words of God, and the word of God, is God. (St. John 1:1-3) Now, God, is made up of three individuals, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Spirit). All three, though separate entities, in their own right, are still One. They act and think alike. There is no difference between what the Father says, and what Jesus says. There is no difference in what Jesus says, and what the Holy Ghost says. No contradiction, whatsoever.
Now 'why tongues,' you ask?? Well, if you will consider this, the only way you can know for sure, that you are saved, and that God is dwelling in your heart, is that there be some sort of evidence, right??? We are, as Christians, to have faith, in His Words. However, God, will honor our faith, with evidence.
If I were the most trustworthy person in the world, and I told you that I was going to deposit a million dollars in your bank account, what would have to happen, for me to remain trustworthy?? I would have to do what I said, right??? It would be hard for you to continue trusting in my word, if I didn't do what I said. And, how would you know I had done what I said??? When the bank tells you that you now have one million dollars more in your account, than you had. Well, God is the same way. He doesn't expect any of us to believe in Him, for nothing (without any evidence that He is in you).
Now, I explained it like this, because I want to address, what I believe is a serious flaw, in what many Christians, have been taught about speaking in tongues, in relation to salvation.
Many are being taught, that unless they have spoken in tongues, they are not saved. The main teaching for this doctrine, is the subject verse. Since this is what is commonly called the, 'beginning and empowering, of the Church, many have said, that any one that comes to Christ, has to speak in tongues. They say this, because that is when God, in the form of the Holy Ghost, came down and took up residence in the hearts of those in the upper room (120 persons). There are two scriptures to back up this belief. [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. These are the only scriptures, that mention speaking in tongues directly, that's it. However, there are other scriptures like [Ac 8:29-40], [Ac 9:17-20], and others, that many of these people use, to say that all people that get saved, have to speak in tongues. If they don't, then they are not saved. Or, let me put it like this, you are not saved, unless you speak in tongues. This, my friends, is not true. The only scriptures that say directly that persons spoke in tongues upon receiving the Holy Ghost (Spirit), other than Pentecost, are the conversion of the gentiles (Cornelius), and the believers in Ephesus. No other scriptures even mention converts speaking in tongues at the time of conversion, not even Paul.
What has happened, is that people begin to read into the scriptures, something, that is not there. That is what is happening in many of these churches. If God had intended to put such a high priority on speaking in tongues, then He would have had the writer, who was directed by Him to write the book of Acts, to accompany every conversion, with the phrase, 'they spake in tongues, or 'he spake with tongues', or something, but He didn't.
The reason He didn't, was to let us know, that speaking in tongues, is not a recommendation of being saved. People like myself, got saved several months before I spoke in tongues. To say I wasn't saved prior to this, is ludicrous. Our salvation, is dependent on one thing, and one thing only, and that is Jesus Christ's death, burial and resurrection. It is the blood of Jesus, that washes away our sins.
[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. This, is the heart of the gospel, and notice, it doesn't mention that you have to speak in tongues. It says believe in Jesus. [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. This scripture, supports the first one, saying you have to believe in Jesus, and His finished work. Now, Let's look at what Jesus says about this issue of salvation. [Jo 6:37] All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Jesus is saying, that whosoever, comes to Him, there is no way He will turn them down. Now contrast that, with the teachings of some churches, that say, if you come to Christ, and don't speak in tongues, you are not saved. They are, in effect saying that Jesus, did turn you away. They are contradicting Jesus.
Next let's look at this, [Jo 16:13-14] Howbeit when he, the Spirit
of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. In talking about the Holy Spirit, Jesus says, the Holy Ghost, will not glorify Himself, but, glorify Jesus. Today, those that insist on believers speaking in tongues, are actually glorifying the Holy Spirit, and not Jesus. They are doing this, by saying that Jesus, is not enough, you have got to have the Holy Ghost (speaking in tongues).So, as you can see so far, there are major problems with this doctrine, They contradict the bible, and Jesus, who are One.
A certain young man, who, after hearing a preacher, preaching this doctrine, came to him after the service, and he [the young man], was in tears. When the pastor, asked him what was wrong, the young man, pulled out a picture of His mother, and said that his mother had died a few days earlier. He was upset, because the pastor had said that 'if you don't speak in tongues, you are not saved, and will go to hell when you die.' He asked the preacher to tell him if his mother was in hell. The pastor, wanting to be discreet, said softly, yes. He tried to do it in a way, as to make the young man feel good. But, it didn't work. The young man said, that God was unfair, and that he didn't feel like serving a God that was so unfair, as to send a deaf mute, to hell. At that point, the pastor, realizing that he had just opened up a can of worms, backtracked, and said that God, makes exceptions for deaf mutes, in that area, because they can't speak. But, then the young man looked a little relieved, but puzzled. The pastor asked him, what was wrong. The young man responded with this question, 'Then, you are saying that God, is a respecter of persons?? He has one rule for one group of people, and another,. For another group??' The pastor realized that he had just messed up.
The problem, as the young man saw it, is that God, must be a respecter of persons, which the bible says He is not. [Ac 10:34] Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: [Ro 2:11]For there is no respect of persons with God.
You see, if God were that focused on speaking in tongues, then it would be nothing, for Him to restore speech to a mute, so they could speak in tongues. But, that is not the way it is.
This whole thing, makes God look like a hard task master, that contradicts Himself, and can't be trusted.
Because of these teachings, many people, have come in to unnecessary bondage, and pressure to begin doing something that only God can make manifest in them. None of these preachers, and Christians, have ever thought of the fact, that they are trying to force God, to manifest something in the time frame that they choose. As a result, many converts, feeling all this guilt about not speaking in tongues, shut down, and even leave the church (Christ).
There is another area, that would explain, I believe, the whole matter, that is biblical, and makes God, appear to be, just what He is, Righteous, and Just..
NEXT MONTH'S MESSAGE - PART 2