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Herdman
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Joined: 2003/7/25
Posts: 15


 Re: Speaking in Tongues

Following along in the discussion. Just a few things to add.

First, the disciples who were asked, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?", in Acts 19, were evidently Apollos' converts (Acts 18:24-28) because they only knew John's baptism (18:25; 19:3). They didn't get "saved" until Paul preached to them "that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." At the point that they received Jesus, they would have been baptised by the Holy Ghost into the body of Christ (see below). Then they were baptised in water. When the Holy Ghost "came on them" in verse 6 to speak with tongues and prophesy, he had to already be "in" them or they would not have been saved.

So, there is a difference between being "baptised" by the Holy Spirit and being "filled" with the Spirit.

The baptsm by the Holy Ghost into the body of Christ is a spiritual baptism that takes place when a person receives Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit baptises that person into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (Rom. 6:3-6), spiritually circumcises his flesh away from his soul, "putting off the body of the sins of the flesh," (Col. 2:11-12), and puts him into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 5:30-32), all of which takes place at salvation, and without water. :-o

Subsequently, this person may go through many "fillings" of the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:31; Eph. 5:18), some of which may be very profound experiences.

Second, the tongues in 1 Cor. 14 are unknown to the hearers, not to the speaker. The hearers need an interpreter so that they will know what the "barbarian" is saying (14:11). If the speaker has the "gift" of tongues, then he won't need an interpreter at all (Acts 2) because every man would hear "them speak in his own language," (Acts 2:6). That's why Paul said that these tongues can be learned (14:16, 23) because they are languages.

Evidently, what was going on in this seaport is that foreigners were coming in to the congregation with something to say (14:26) but few, if any, could understand them. Their tongues were "unknown" to the congregation. So, Paul laid down some rules (14:27-28, 34) for these guys. 1) Only two people, or at the most three, 2) one at a time, 3) one interpreter, 4) no interpreter, then don't speak, and 5) men only, no women (that's a booger today). :-? These rules make perfect sense in that case.

The mysteries, then, of 1 Cor. 14:2 are the result of a fellow speaking spanish, for example, to a totally english-speaking congregation. One fellow would ask, "What's he saying?" To which his friend would reply, "I don't know, it's a mystery to me!" Without an interpreter, no one but the speaker and God would know what he is saying, thus Paul said, "let him speak to himself, and to God," (14:28). :-?

 2003/7/25 23:50Profile
Hisrock
Member



Joined: 2003/6/8
Posts: 2


 Re: Tongues

I must say... interesting conversations. Though I don't believe in "tongue speaking" as defined by the current foundation of Christianity, it is refreshing to hear someone say that we don't decide what the desire of our hearts are to be (Todd). That is totally God given and created. He establishes all the desires of our heart. He picks them according to His plan of salvation and will for our individual lives.

As the Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Does not say that we can think up any desire that we want and God will grant it, as the current foundation of Christianity believes. He and He alone decides what the desires of our heart will be. And the first is to live in His Word, etched on our hearts.

Concerning tongues, Acts 2:3-11 is very clear on the matter. "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God."

This was not an "act," but rather individuals speaking in foreign languages that they never had the ability to command before the Holy Spirit came upon them. I do believe that there are individuals that are gifted today in the languages of the world by reason of the Holy Spirit of Witness. That the gospel will be proclaimed throughout the world.

A friend of mine, who was a missionary for years, speaks five languages. He told me that it was a gift of God, given of the Holy Spirit and is to be used to glorify God. I believe that is the closest anyone will get to speaking in tongue's in the literal sense.

One has to examine the definition of a fiery cloven tongue to really understand speaking in tongues. As a ship divides the waters of the ocean as it travels (cloven), so an individual totally immersed in the Word of God divides the world's doctrines from His truth, all by the fire of God's Word.

In Christ
Hisrock :-D

 2003/8/7 23:28Profile
todd
Member



Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573
California

 Re:

Hisrock,
Good to have you aboard. You bring up some very interesting points. Since you mentioned my name, I want to respond.

Quote:
"I must say... interesting conversations. Though I don't believe in "tongue speaking" as defined by the current foundation of Christianity, it is refreshing to hear someone say that we don't decide what the desire of our hearts are to be (Todd). That is totally God given and created. He establishes all the desires of our heart. He picks them according to His plan of salvation and will for our individual lives.
"As the Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Does not say that we can think up any desire that we want and God will grant it, as the current foundation of Christianity believes. He and He alone decides what the desires of our heart will be. And the first is to live in His Word, etched on our hearts."

I think, perhaps, that I am not understanding you here. I am wondering if you misconstrued something I said. I would appreciate it if you could pull out the specific referrence point. Because I don't think I totally agree with you about this.

While I do think God gives us certain desires, I think we choose to desire Him over other things. We can choose to delight ourselves in the Lord that He might give us the desires of our heart.

My guess is that you either are a Calvanist or have Calvanistic tendencies. Is this correct? I like to get that kind of thing right out in the open.

Paul tells us to earnestly desire spiritual gifts, and we can choose to do so. If this was beyond our control why would he mention it?
God may make the first move and give us a hint of the desire or something but we can choose what we desire depending on what we choose to focus on. Right? I am not really confident on what I am talking about here. I am feeling like it might be one of those paradoxes and I haven't given this topic much thought. So this post is very "off the top of my head." I would really appreciate more explanation of what you are saying here.




 2003/8/8 0:17Profile
Hisrock
Member



Joined: 2003/6/8
Posts: 2


 Re:

Hi All

Hi Todd, Thanks for the welcome my friend!

"My guess is that you either are a Calvanist or have Calvanistic tendencies. Is this correct? I like to get that kind of thing right out in the open."

My Answer: Absolutely not. No way, shape, or form.

My thoughts, concerning "delights of the heart,"
are that all the delights of the heart are created by Him. Since we are of the flesh, our desires, apart from God, are not His desires. The mind is an enemy of God.

When I traveled to the Cross, placed myself on it, was crucified with Christ, and then resurrected in Him; by His grace, He transformed me into a new creature.

At that very moment, everything changed within me. As I was emptied of self, Jesus Christ, the high priest, filled that void within. As self waned, I fell into the loving arms of Jesus Christ. Given over to Christ by my Father. He became Lord and Master of my mind, soul, and spirit.

That, by the way, in my understanding, is the gift of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit. The greatest gift of God's grace and mercy on this earth, is the day of Pentecost, all as a result of the Cross.

You said: "While I do think God gives us certain desires, I think we choose to desire Him over other things. We can choose to delight ourselves in the Lord that He might give us the desires of our heart."

It is my belief that there are no choices on our part concerning desires of the heart. Upon total salvation, His plan of salvation is totally sovereign and implemented in our lives; etched on our heart. I have become a servant of God... not my carnal mind, full of desires of the things of this earth. I am a new creature in Jesus Christ, see new things (a new world), and hear new things. If a butterfly emerges in all it's splendor from the cocoon, can it return to the cocoon and maintain it's beauty?

As a result of this transformation within, through His grace and mercy in my life, I no longer question His authority, because His testimony and witness is now a desire of my heart.

I am now obedient and rest in the Lord because obedience to Him is a desire of my heart.

I am meek and humble before the Lord, and have His grace and mercy; more desires of the heart.

I now labor in all things with understanding and wisdom of the Lord. His understanding and wisdom has been made a desire of my heart.

The law of the Lord is within me and I now walk on His highway of holiness. His path, His commandments, and His highway are desires of my heart.

I now have joy as I walk in this world. He has made joy in knowing Him a desire of my heart.

All these things and more He has etched on my heart. Again, as scripture says, "Delight yourself also (and trust) in the Lord; and He shall give you the desires of your heart." No were, at least that I can find, does it say we create the desires of the heart and God is obligated to honor our request (TV evangelist might disagree with that one).

He controls all the desires of my heart, because He is the author, the creator of those desires. His desires are the delight and trust I have in the Lord above all other things that are of this earth.

Contrary to the multitudes of individuals in the current foundation of Christianity, the desires of the heart are not reasoned of the mind of humankind and conceived of the flesh. The desires of the heart are not of the wealth of this earth, rather the wealth of God's Word that He supplies. He authors the desires of the heart. He also identifies and eliminates false desires. I have found out that His desires are not the same as our desires.

The greatest gift of Pentecost, in my opinion, is the union of the Holy Spirit with His saints. All His true saints dwell with the Holy Spirit within 24/7. The ability to rightly discern the light of the truth from darkness. Dividing truth from darkness, a cloven tongue of fire. But I had to make the choice to surrender to Him a contrite spirit and a broken heart; the only thing I could offer Him. So that rules out Calvinism. Glory be to God!

Would appreciate hearing all your thoughts.

Hisrock in Christ Jesus

 2003/8/8 12:04Profile
JNugent
Member



Joined: 2003/8/10
Posts: 14


 Re:

"What I would like to see is more mature Christians loving and reaching out to younger believers and discipling them, and churches that will get together 2 or 3 times a week for the sole purpose of prayer."


While I believe in and support your entire statement concerning discipling, my focus is on the words, 'more mature Christians'. I will be as honest as possible, here. I don't know very many 'mature' Christians. I would like to know what you mean when you say 'mature'. I'm not saying I don't know what maturity in Christ is, I would just like to hear your take on the subject.
It would seem that all of our churches 'should' have mature Christians (mature in Christ AND mature in age) discipling younger, less mature believers. But I don't see it. My experience with older Christians has not been very good. Christians whom I have known who have supposedly been 'in Christ' for some 20-30 years have not, in my experience, been interested in discipling younger believers. Contrariwise, they seem to be complacent, possibly fearful that they will not 'get through' or be acceptable to a younger Christian, or maybe they are just 'at ease in Zion', contented enough to step into heaven when they die.
Any response you, or anyone would like to add, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

 2003/8/11 23:28Profile
TaKa
Member



Joined: 2003/4/17
Posts: 124
Louisiana

 Re: Speaking in Tongues


My Pastor was visiting with one of his mentors who is also a Pastor some time ago. He asked him what he thought was the greatest need in the church today. The older Pastor replied, "Fathers" - meaning spiritual mentors.

I don't know many mature Christians either. I also belive that all of our churches should have mature Christians discipling younger believers, but for the most part, I don't see it either.

If someone's been 'in Christ' for 20-30 years, then they will be doing the things that Christ did and walking in obedience to the command of Christ to go into all the world and make disciples.

I always say that if those of us who have been saved for 10 years or more can't look at a younger believer and say with the apostle Paul, "Follow me as I follow Christ", then something is wrong with us.

Yes, I believe that many are 'at ease in Zion' and they've taken the path of cheap grace where all they think they have to do is get saved and go to church a couple of times a week and they'll be okay.

This is the sad state of most of our churches today. I think God needs to send us a serious wake-up call.



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Troy

 2003/9/5 12:49Profile
jeremyhulsey
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Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re:

I saw an interesting discussion on the desires of our heart earlier in this thread. Delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:4). Someone mentioned TV preachers and this verse. They(TV preachers) do love this one, but they have no understanding of it either.

Delighting ourselves in the Lord has the connotation of making Him the desires of our heart. This is spelled out earlier in Genisis with the wonderful proclamation to Abraham that God is our exeedingly great reward.

A better way to translate this verse is to say, "Make the Lord the delight of your desire, and He will give you the desires of your heart."

Seeking out anything else, or having any other desire can only lead to emptiness and reduces our love of God to that of loving Him for what He gives us. We are only truly fulfilled when He becomes our desire and finally our reward.

In Christ,
Jeremy Hulsey


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Jeremy Hulsey

 2003/9/5 20:59Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Speaking in Tounges

This is a follow up to PTC's recent reply in the thread "Prayer request" since it involved tounges, thought it best to continue here.

Here is what I wanted to respond to from that thread;
PTC wrote

Quote:
I'm probably one of the few pentecostals who has always been around geniune manifestations of tongues in worship services. Though, on a few online voice chat things, I've heard people fake it, or have been around a few folks who have joked saying "the way you speak in tongues is to say 'see my tie tie my tie, who stole my honda' really fast." I've heard numerous false prophecies though, but, it was at a neo-charismatic (Rick Joyner) church... where such is to be expected.


It ended up being one of the final straws for me in the church we were going to. Right after 9/11 they had a friday night service which started out on the right foot, many of us were pouring out hearts over the situation as it was a time of mourning. Then the pastor said that they felt they should continue with what they had been teaching on, tounges. This really grieved me, how do you go from mourning to sign gifts on a dime?
Regardless I thought 'Lord, if this is Your will, so be it'. Then it went into this whole idea of not 'quenching the Spirit', "you have to let go of your mind, that's why so many of you can't speak in tounges, you can't let your mind get in the way". BIG red flag. Still, though this was so grevious to me I still prayed "Lord, if You want me to speak in tounges, You will do it, I will not force anything to come out of my mouth, I will not give over my mind to anyone but You"
So on it went, with a bunch of people speaking gibberish, nonsense, no interpetation whatsoever, it made me sick, it seemed almost demonic, especially on this particular night. In addition to all that was this story our pastor told about being "drunk in the spirit" so bad that he got pulled over by the police because he was weaving all over the road and after explaining to them that he had just came from a meeting and was a pastor, they gave him an escort home! Can you imagine the implications of that? This is from a pretty well known pastor, with a huge church out here, t.v. ministry, etc. Of course with a lot of ties to Hinn, Hinckley and the like. It also caused no small argument with my wife afterwords who had been primarily brought up spitiually through this church. I believe that was the last time I ever went there, I had been hanging in there praying for change, even attempted to get some questions answered about some of the Benny Hinn 'prophecies' (they had close ties with him) and was basically shut down with an 'don't touch the Lords anointed' kind of attitude, ironically this was another topic I was trying to get some clarity on)

In light of recent understanding I want to state that though this was very grevious, I still hold out hope that this church would come away from this type of thing, I have a brother in the Lord that still attends there and he feels that he is to stay, maybe to be a lone voice or a help to reconcile without being a cause of division. He is equally frustrated by a lot of these things because they are unscriptual, my prayers are with him, that the Lord would use him to bring about positive change, not because he is 'more spiritual' but just the plain fact that he really cares. This all was happening at a time when I was still very early on in my walk, still trying to sort through a lot of things. The church does a lot of good things, there music ministry, worship, is just incredible, involved in the community, outreach, missions, etc. Sadly it has to be tainted with a lot of false teaching, a muddy mixture, some of it is good, a lot of it bad, prosperity a big topic, that whole type of thing. I guess if I was still there now I would have pursued my concerns a lot more directly with the pastor himself, though that was what I was attempting to do in the first place. Now, I wouldn't have given up so easily. I would never want to be a cause of division for the sake of division or to push my own agenda. These things break my heart, I hate seeing people being mislead even if it is unintentional. Seems to me that there should be some kind of mutual humility in this body, the church, the Lords body, not to compromise but to be one as He stated we are to be.

Sorry for the length of this, guess you kinda hit a button in me PTC and out it came :-)


_________________
Mike Balog

 2003/9/9 11:37Profile
jeremyhulsey
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Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re: Speaking in Tongues

Part 1.

You all bring up some interesting points and ask some good questions. I would like to say first that I appreciate the points the you have made and I would like to try to answer them.

In taka's initial post a couple of topics arose that he repeats often.

One is John the Baptist and his being filled with the Holy Spirit in the womb. John's filling must be understood from the position of the covenants in which he appears. He was the last of the O/T prophets and so was filled like they were. He fits the pattern of a prophet being filled and cannot be taken as a pattern for the Church wich was born on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. He was filld in the way Isaiah and Jeremiah were filled. Unlike the day of pentecost, this was not the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel.

The book of Acts is brought up. I'm going to quote extensively from Stanley M. Horton's book "What The Bible Says About The Holy Spirit" to give an account of what a pentecostal scholar teaches about the Baptism of (in, by, with) the Holy Spirit.

The way Peter looked at Joel's prophecy shows he expected a continuing fulfillment of the prophecy to the end of the "last days."(the age of the church) This means also that Joel's outpouring is available to the end of this age. As long as God keeps calling people to salvation, He wants to pour out His Spirit upon them. "For the promise[That is the Old Testament promise in Joel] is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:39)

Subsequent fillings(Fresh Fillings):

The first example of a fresh filling is of Peter before the Sanhedrin, the same Sanhedrin that condemned Jesus to death. For fear of it Peter earlier had denied his Lord. This time, as Peter stood up he was filled anew with the Spirit and gave an answer that proclaimed the truth and glorified Jesus(Acts 4:8,10-12). The form of the Greek verb clearly indicates that this was indeed a new filling. Ervin supposes this could not be because Peter was alread filled and full. But the idea is not that he had lost anything form the previous filling. God just increased his capascity and poured out the Spirit anew upon him in all his wisdom and power.

The Gentiles Receive:

While Peter was preaching, the Holy Spirit fell on the shole household of teh friends and relatives of Cornelius. The six Jewish Christians who were with Peter were astonished because "on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 10:45). The evidence that convinced them was "they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God."...
Something had to show this was the identical gift with that given in Acts 2:4 before the Jerusalem Christians could be satisfied. Peter did not say, "I hope they receied the outpouring, the Gentiles took it by faith, so I think they have it, I believe they have it." He knew they were filled, not by thier testimony, but by the Holy Spirit's testimony through them. The Spirit gave the evidence, and He gave only one. "The spoke with tongues and magnified God" (exactly as in Acts 2:4,11).
Obviously, speaking in tongues was the convincing evidence here. And in a day when so many think, hope, believe, and then wonder whether they have the baptism in the Spirit, perhaps a convincing evidence is still needed.

The Assemblies of God believe that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an act that takes place after belief unto salvation has taken place. This can be immediate or take a period of time. Every account of a person initialy being filled in the book of Acts either explicitly states or is implied that they spoke in tongues. While no express doctrine is layed out by the Apostles as to how this happens, there is a definate pattern recorded in the book of Acts. That is why we hold to this doctrine.

The UPC unfortunately is a splinter group that almost enveloped the A/G's. While I love those who are apart of this movement, it is still based on the ancient heresy of modalism.

The book I have been quoting from is an excellent commentary on the Holy Spirit as he is taught and referred to in the whole Bible. All Christians can benefit immensly from this book. You come away from reading this knowing that God is the one in charge.

I will deal with other questions in further posts to help break up the length of my entries.

In Christ,
Jeremy Hulsey


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Jeremy Hulsey

 2003/9/11 1:24Profile
jeremyhulsey
Member



Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re: Speaking in Tongues

Part 2.

Here are more replies to some very good posts I would say by Taka.

Taka wrote: It is also important to note that Pentecostalism has not only accepted an understanding of the book of Acts that is "novel" but it has also made this doctrine the most important distinguishing feature of its identity. An essential area of contemporary Pentecostal theology, then, was simply absent from the church until modern times.


Reply: Many things were lost as the Catholic Church slowly fell into apostacy. The Early Church was by and large filled with all of the Charismata right up untill the end of the 3rd century (200's). Many restoration movements would arise through the years that would either be put down or fall into error, many times both happened. But as the Church began to split off of the Catholic Church, at which point should we have stopped seeking the restoration of all the Church's former glory? Many things were lost to Catholicism that have been regained by protestantism. What's to say that this isn't one of them?

Taka wrote:

Quote:
Three things are mentioned in Ephesians 5:18-21 as evidence of being Spirit-filled: a joyful heart, a thankful heart and a submissive heart. Nothing is said about speaking in tongues. To sum it up in one word, Christlikeness is the manifestation of being filled with the Spirit, and the Scriptures do not tell us that our Lord ever spoke in tongues.

The fruit of the Spirit is mentioned in Galatians 5:22, 23 and includes nine characteristics. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” None of the sign-gifts are included in this nine-fold cluster of fruit. The Christian who is filled with the Spirit will manifest the fruit of the Spirit apart from ever having spoken in tongues. As a matter of fact, in Ephesians and Galatians, where the fullness and fruit of the Spirit are discussed tongues-speaking is not mentioned once.

All Christians should be filled with the Spirit and all are to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, but not every Christian has all the gifts. Spirituality does not depend on speaking in tongues. God’s goal for every child of His is to be Spirit-controlled, but that goal does not include speaking in tongues. No Christian need ever feel that he is lacking in spirituality because he has not spoken in tongues. Quality of life is the best evidence of the fullness and fruit of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptizer was filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15), yet this Spirit-filled man did no miracles and never spoke in tongues (John 10:41).

It is a mistake to seek the gift of speaking in tongues. It is clear that not all in the church at Corinth spoke in tongues. Why didn’t they? The Apostle says, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit ... for to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will” (I Corinthians 12:4-11).



One of the difficult aspects of the epistle is that they are occasional letters dealing with specific situations arising in the Church. I would hope that Paul and the other writers would not have to mention and reteach the first things. Hebrews states that they don't have to lay the foundation again (I know that this is talking about repentance, but it is applicable here too). Paul is dealing with the ongoing effects of being led and filled with the Spirit. He should not have to talk about the initial response of one baptised in the Spirit to those who have been disciples, in many cases for years.

Taka wrote: Paul said that not all of the Corinthian Christians spoke in tongues (I Corinthians 14: 5), and yet he stated clearly that all had been baptized with the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13).

Reply:If you prayed for God to heal someone and he did, and never healed anyone as the result of your prayers again, would you say that you had the gift of healing? In the same sense; if when you were baptized in the Holy Spirit and you spoke in tongues and never spoke in tongues again, would you say you had that gift?

I'll quote Stanley Horton on ICor. 12.

Paul, in fact goes on to ask, "Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?" These questions are stated in such a way as to call for the answer, "No!" God has purposely given different gifts and ministries to different people. He wants us to realize we need each other. The Church as a body should not be satisfied with merely the first gifts(referring to an earlier part of his book listing the gifts in order so he's referring to apostles, prophets, teachers...etc.). The Holy Spirit wants to use every member and bring in all the variety that will build up the Church in unity.

There is no intention here of setting up sharp distinctions between clergy and laity, either, nor between full-time and part-time ministries. All are working together under the direction of the Holy Spirit as He wills. It is clear that some will be regularly used in particular ministries. Some are prophets, some are teachers. The verbs used in 12:30 are continous presents. Some do keep on ministering gifts of healings. Some do regularly minister to the Body in various kinds of tongues. Some do regularly interpret these tongues for the congregation. It should be noted here also that since these are talking about regular ministries to the Body, the fact that the questions call for a negative answer should not be pressed too far. The fact that all do not have a ministry along the lines of gifts of healing does not mean that God cannot usen them occasionally to minister healing to the sick. The fact that all do not have a ministry of tongues does not mean that all could not speak in tongues on occasion or in their private devotions. Nor does it rule out tongues as the initial physical evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4.

Paul does go on to challenge the Corinthians to covet earnestly the best gifts, that is, strive for the more valuable spiritual gifts. This can hardly mean the enumeration given in verse 28. It may refer rather to whatever gifts are most needed and most edifyin at the time. The command also reemphasizes the fact that we do not have the gifts automatically just because we have the Spirit. Further steps of faith are needed. In addition, it is clear from this that though we may have a gift or ministry, we need not be limited to the same one forever. The Holy Spirit does apportion the gifts "as He wills," but He deos not disregard changing needs. Nor does He violate the integrity of our personalities by forcing a gift on us for which we do not have this earnest desire.

In Christ,
Jeremy Hulsey
P.S. I would like to add that the gift of tongues is not what is to be sought, but the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Many have taught wrongly that we should seek tongues. Any reading of the book Azusa Street will find out quickly that the central focus is on a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, not the gifts. Augustine said that we should not throw out a system because of the people who abuse the system.





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Jeremy Hulsey

 2003/9/11 2:14Profile





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