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SCRIPTURE - Ac 2 : 4 MARCH, 1999
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance
SUBJECT - SPEAKING IN TONGUES (2)
Upon closing last month's
message, we looked at the practice of many Christians, trying to get someone who is a new convert, to speak in tongues, upon conversion. This was putting undo pressure, and guilt on them, because they were being led to believe that they were still not saved until they did. This tactic, was forcing them to either shut down, or leave the church, and go back in to the world. The reason being, in the world, they had never been subjected to the likes of what can go on in a church, when they are tarrying (waiting), for the manifestation of speaking in tongues. I was never subjected to it, but, I have heard first hand accounts, and to me, this can be an experience that could very well lead some people, to hate the church and God.
We looked at some scriptures that showed that speaking in tongues, is for the church today. A lot of denominations, dismiss it, as being for the apostles and such, of the early church, and has now ceased. We also looked at the two scriptures, that said people spoke in tongues specifically. They were the household of Cornelius in [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.
The only other scripture that mentions tongues being manifest in someone, is [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 individuals, unlike Cornelius, were not new converts, they were already believers (saved).
If we focus on that scripture, we can see that a person is still saved whether they speak in tongues or not. However, lets remember, that is not the only scripture that supports this. We looked at [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.
These scriptures are the key to salvation. None of them say you have to speak in tongues. You only have to believe, and confess.
Now, don't misunderstand me, tongues, are very important to the believer. In fact, I would say this. If you haven't received it, or don't care to, then you will find it hard to live the type of life God wants you to. Why?? Because it is easier to live that life, when you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God, is working in you, and through you. Hopefully, you will see what I mean, as you read further.
The last thing I said, in last month's tract, was that in this whole thing, they who preach you must speak in tongues, or you are not saved, are making God look unjust. But, there was a biblical truth, that shows how Just and Righteous, He is. And here it is.
First, look at this scripture. [Mr 16:17] And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;....
Notice, Jesus said, the signs, will follow the believer. That means they come after, not, with. That means you have to saved first, then tongues will follow, later. How much later?? When God determines, not man.
As I mentioned before, the manifestation of tongues, is evidence, that provides you with absolute proof, of God, residing in you. With that assurance, you take on a whole new mentality and demeanor. You become more aware of God being with you, wherever you go, and in whatever you are going through. Your staying power increases, and you can be just like Jesus, facing persecution, and other onslaughts of the enemy, and remaining unshaken.
You act almost inhuman. People think you are getting a little strange. You are, you are more aware of the things, as God sees them, and not man. All because of the evidence, of tongues.
Now, speaking in tongues, is not a sign that you are now, some sort of super righteous person. You only have to look at some people, who speak in tongues, and still will curse you out if you bump in to them, play the lottery, or go to the casino's. They seem to be more arrogant, and less tolerant of those that make mistakes, or backslide. None of these things are any thing like Jesus.
Now, if you can understand this, you will see why God, is in control of who speaks in tongues, and when.
The Holy Spirit, referred to, as the Spirit of God, brings with it, power, the likes of which, you can't believe, unless you know God. When Jesus was baptized by John [Mt 3:16-17] And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
If you will read the history of Jesus, before this, He never did any supernatural things. He never healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, cast out devils, raised the dead, or even preached. However, after this, Jesus was equipped to do all of that, and He did. This goes to show, that God equips those that are spiritually ready, with His power. If He didn't, then that would be
like the army, giving a new recruit fresh off of the streets, the keys to one of our nuclear missiles. You have a disaster, waiting to happen. Many people that come to Christ, aren't yet spiritually ready to deal properly with the raw power, that the Holy Ghost brings with it. That is why, God, who knows all things, remains in control of it.
Look at what Jesus told His disciples before He ascended to the Father, [Mr 16:15-16] And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
But, before they were to go do that, He said, [Lu 24:49] And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
He wanted them to wait, until they were endued with the power, to do what He was sending them to do. Now, if we will look at it like this, maybe you can see what I see. The bible does not say this, and I am only revealing my thoughts on this point. The 120 persons in the upper room, represent the new convert. They have not received the Holy Ghost (speaking in tongues), as of yet. Therefore, they are without the power to fulfill the commission that Jesus gave them. However, they were already saved, based on [St. John 3:16 and Rom 10:9-10].
They had first hand experience, they saw Him in person. However,
that does not diminish the fact that belief in the heart, and confession with the mouth, is all that is needed for salvation.
In the case of the believers at Ephesus, they were already saved, but, they had never heard of the Holy Ghost. Can you imagine what would happen to a person, if when they got saved, they started speaking in tongues, and they didn't know what it was??? They would be terrified, and probably denounce the experience as being of the devil. Believers from denominations, that have never heard of speaking in tongues, are still saved, they just need to be enlightened.
Then, we have those that are scared of it, because of all the controversy surrounding it. On the one hand, we have those that say you must speak in tongues. On the other hand you have those that say it has ceased. Then you have those that say, it is of the devil. With all the controversy, people are uncomfortable with it, and therefore, don't want anything to do with it. Therefore, they don't seek it. If they don't ask, they don't receive. However, they are still saved. Many believers, have not sought tongues, because they don't understand it. God is not going to give them something they don't understand. They could destroy themselves, and others.
Once again, stating my belief on an issue that is not mentioned in the bible directly, is that any saved person can speak in tongues right now, if they will allow their faith, and this is the key, to overcome what they have been taught, and the fear surrounding it.
You see, the devil, does not want you to get this, because he knows the power that it has. It can totally transform your way of thinking, and make you a real danger to him and his kingdom. You will have a whole new boldness. Your confidence will be unbelievable. You will see things in a whole new light. You will be endued with the power to cast out devils, heal the sick, and even raise the dead. [Mt 10:7-8]And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is
at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Notice what Jesus said, [Jo 14:12-14] Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Now we all know what works Jesus did, while He was here, don't we?? And He, not me, is saying we will do greater works??? That is something to shout about. In fact, I think I will, Hallelujah!!!!!!
Now, how do you know you have the power??? When you know that God is in control of your life.
It is my belief, that any believer, can speak in tongues. All that is needed, is that you, get out of the flesh, and in to the spirit. What do I mean by this??? I mean, that in order for the Holy Ghost to take control of your tongue, you will have to allow Him to do it. He is not going to force you. Many Christians, tend to try to understand what they are saying, which means they are trying to analyze what God is doing. They feel if they can't understand it, then it will make them look silly, so they subconsciously resist it
If you will notice the last part of the subject scripture, it is the Spirit that gives the utterance. Speaking in tongues, comes from the spirit, not the flesh. Therefore, you will have to learn to 'get in to the spirit' in order to speak in tongues. And doing it, is not all that hard. It can be done, if you get in to praising the Lord. The more you praise Him, the more in the spirit you will get. The more in the spirit you get, the less you operate in the flesh. The less you are in the flesh, the more you open yourself up for the Spirit of God to take over. Soon, you will find yourself speaking in tongues. And, once that happens, you will realize that you had it all the time, and didn't know it. You just had to allow God to do the work. You see, there is no pressure at all. Just you and God, working it out.
Another thing. There are two types of tongues. The apostle Paul says, [1Co 13:1] 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.
Paul is letting us know, that these tongues have two different functions. The tongues of men, are the ones that were manifest on the day of Pentecost, and are used by God, to show others of a different language, that He is in control. Look at [Acts 2:6-11].
God manifested this type of tongues, so that all the people in the city, could understand the message that Peter and the apostles were preaching. God doesn't manifest this type of tongues, unless He has a special need to do it. The other, is for praying to God. This is the one that most of you will need, in order to pray the way you should. [Ro 8:26-27] Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (understood by man). And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Praying in the Spirit, is a great help, in that you have a spirit to Spirit connection, rather than a flesh to Spirit connection. People that pray, in the flesh, tend to do one of two things. One, they seem to stammer and not be able to express themselves the way they are feeling. They get up from praying, and feeling like they didn't get through, or that they forgot something. The others, tend to make long drawn out prayers, in hopes that they will be heard by God, for their long speaking. They too, many times, finish and still feel like they forgot something. When you pray in the spirit, the Spirit, knows the deepest concerns of your heart, and delivers them to Jesus. That is why tongues are important. They also help build you up [1 Co 14:4].
But, tongues or not, you are still saved.
NEXT MONTH'S MESSAGE - PART 3
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