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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Leonard Ravenhill and tongues

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Alf
Member



Joined: 2008/4/11
Posts: 82
Miami, FL

 Leonard Ravenhill and tongues

ive never heard ravenhill preach on tongues, im just curious did he believe in the baptism of the holy spirit with evidence of tongues ? i know he was fond of the pentecostal movement (if not pentecostal himself) and preached at alot of AG churches but dont know if even he himself spoke in tongues or even supported the theology of the sign of speaking in it to be filled with power


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Alfredo

 2008/10/8 19:10Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re: Leonard Ravenhill and tongues

I wrote the following brief essay on Ravenhill and tongues:

http://iamadisciple.blogspot.com/2008/08/was-leonard-ravenhill-pentecostal.html

Hope it satisfies your questions.


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Jimmy H

 2008/10/8 19:16Profile
poet
Member



Joined: 2007/2/16
Posts: 231
Longview WA

 Re:

someone could ask his son David Ravenhill.
he has a website too.


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howard

 2008/10/8 19:36Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

That was a fine essay, KJ. Thanks for making it available to us. I would like to add that I have an old sermon video of Ravenhill in my library where he mentions in passing the traditional Pentecostal doctrine of obligatory tongues at Spirit baptism as "junk theology".

He was an amazing man; like KJ said he fellowshiped with ministers of all denominations, which I think is very healthy and wise. It really frustrates people when they can't put a label on you. I balked when I fist heard him make that statement, because I was certified with the Assemblies of God and held to the traditonal Pentecostal view. Now, years later, I believe that he was right.

I can get the name of the sermon if you like, as I'm sure Greg has it here in the archives.

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2008/10/8 19:51Profile
Fuegodedios
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Joined: 2007/2/21
Posts: 220
Richmond, VA

 Re:

I 2nd that. very good article KJ


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Demetrius

 2008/10/8 20:03Profile
BrianPaul
Member



Joined: 2007/10/3
Posts: 68
Moorpark, CA

 Re: Leonard Ravenhill and tongues

This might help and you might want to add this to the article that was written. I recall Ravenhill stating his father took him to a all night prayer meeting at 14 years of age where is was born again, and then he said he was filled with the Holy Ghost at 18. I think this may have been around the same time he started reading David Brainerd's life story and got the book Power Through Prayer by Bounds. Hope this helps.


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Brian

 2008/10/8 20:27Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

The essay I wrote was part of my blog. Feel free to write a comment on it and contribute to the article for whatever future readers may stumble across it, regarding Ravenhill's pentecostal views :-)


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Jimmy H

 2008/10/8 20:42Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4476


 Re:

Hi KingJimmy...

That is a nice article. I didn't know that Ravenhill claimed to have never spoken with tongues. I have listened to many of his messages, so I assume that I might have missed such references. However, I know that he was quite cynical of those who claimed to speak in tongues yet have little passion to rightly live for God.

When I met with Brother Ravenhill in his home as a teen (shortly before he died), I told him that I was Pentecostal, to which he replied, "Lovely." I thought that it was a strange reaction, but he wasn't at all cynical by it. Of course, at the beginning of the meeting, he asked me many questions about my faith. Eventually, I assumed (and was told by others) that he did this to weed out those who are simply star-struck so that he could spend time with those who are openhearted and sincere. By the time he responded to me telling him that I was Pentecostal, I had already "survived" the weeding process.

Although I am Pentecostal, I am not a traditional Pentecostal either. I cringe every time I am in a congregation and the pastor asks people to pray out loud in tongues -- as if it were something people could turn on and off like a water faucet. My own experience was that I spoke with tongues when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. I was alone – and had finally given up the desire to simply speak with tongues. I told the Lord that the reason that I wanted to be baptized with the Holy Spirit was because I simply wanted to know Him more. I began to worship Him…and it happened suddenly and unmistakably. There was no one around (thankfully). Like the time at summer camp when I cried out to the Lord in repentance with an unquenchable desire to truly know Him, I had this experience when I was completely alone.

Since that experience, I have never been able to just “speak in tongues” like so many people seem willing and able to do. I see ministers telling people to “pray out loud in the Holy Ghost” as if the Holy Spirit was subject to our desires (or as if the ability makes them truly bilingual at all times). Even before I was baptized with the Holy Spirit, I was quite skeptical of this sort of thing (and other “signs” like it). Many of the most ungodly “Christians” seemed to speak with tongues or get “slain in the spirit” the most often. I used to really contemplate just how such a thing could happen.

However, I have spoken with tongues. There are times when I am alone in prayer…or reading the Word of God…or even reading the newspaper – when I am intently moved by such a great need of God. Sometimes, that same overwhelming thing happens. Sometimes, I simply begin to suddenly weep almost uncontrollably…and the words of another language simply flow out of my mouth as though they were flowing from deep inside of me. Once I am finished weeping, praying and/or speaking as such, I am so acutely aware at the moment that this is such a holy thing that I would never try to make a spectacle of it. In fact, I am usually struck with an overwhelming hunger to spend time alone with God in prayer and worship.

I once told my wife that I suspected that most of the people who claim to speak with tongues probably do not really speak with tongues. I have heard the same “shunddai shunddai shunddais” over and over again in many Churches. Typically, it seems to do nothing for the person but draw attention to the fact that they can apparently speak with tongues. My experience is entirely different. I have never been able (or even wanted) to make a spectacle of such a thing.

Of course, I hesitate writing this right now. There are some good believers here who might be just as skeptical of such a thing as I was. I do believe in speaking with tongues, and I am entirely convinced that this gift is available today. Is it the initial sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? I don’t even pretend to know! I know that I was taught that it was, but I was skeptical at the time. I know that it happened frequently to those who were baptized with the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts. Yet on at least one occasion, it doesn’t say WHAT happened. I guess that the point is that our eyes and minds should not even be on such a thing. We should be entirely focused upon Christ.

Once, there was a missionary who visited our rather large Assembly of God congregation. He was adamantly in favor of the notion that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. He had a very clear way of convincing the congregation of the need for the baptism of the Holy Spirit – and the need to not be ashamed if you do not speak with tongues. At the end of his message, the preacher asked everyone to raise up their hands if they had NEVER spoken with tongues before, and probably 4/5 of the congregation raised their hand (including many people who acted like they had for years). What would possess people who don’t speak with tongues to act like they do? Maybe a “churchy” sort of peer pressure? The point is that many people who believe in tongues as the initial evidence for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit do not actually speak with tongues.

I have sought for the answer many times. Is tongues the initial evidence? I don’t know. And you know what? I don’t think that I even really care to know. The important thing is to know Jesus. I think that Brother Ravenhill made it clear that – even if we could speak in tongues, prophesy and heal the sick – our faith is not worth much if we don’t daily spend time with God in prayer and live for Him. Instead of seeking tongues (or healing, or any other gift), why can’t we just seek Christ? Besides, He is the Giver of the gifts anyway. If He really wants us to have such a gift, He would freely give it.

Anyway, thanks for the article! It was quite a “lovely” description regarding the life of a wonderful man of God! I would prefer a dozen Leonard Ravenhills over another million mere "tongue talkers" (or people who claim to speak with tongues).

:-)


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Christopher

 2008/10/8 22:36Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Thank you for your wonderful thoughts and insights about Ravenhill, ccchhhrrriiisss. What a precious thing to have sat around talking with such a man. I too consider myself Pentecostal, but don't believe that speaking in tongues is the evidence of the baptism of the Spirit. I believe, of course, there will always be some outward demonstration of power accompanying that baptism, and that (generally speaking) more often than not, tongues will likely accompany that experience.

I sometimes raise and eyebrow when I testify of my baptism experience, for I say I do not remember if I spoke in tongues or not. I was alone in my room, simply seeking God, and all of a sudden I had an awareness of God like I never had since I first heard the gospel. I know I was in deep agonizing prayer, and I know I muttered some things while just having communion with the Lord. I don't really recall to be honest. I simply remember being so overwhelmed with the Spirit of God that it does not bother me one way or the other whether I spoke in tongues back then or not. In fact, it would be quite a little while before I ever prayed in tongues and was conscious of what it was the Spirit was prompting me to do. In fact, I don't think it was until I was in Bible college that I even understood that is what I was in fact doing from time to time (I was attending a Baptist church for a while).

Personally, I believe so long as one has the personal witness of the Holy Spirit regarding this experience, then that is all the "evidence" one needs. Of course, so long as one stays full of the Spirit thereafter, one should continue to demonstrate the power one received.


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Jimmy H

 2008/10/8 22:53Profile
JoanM
Member



Joined: 2008/4/7
Posts: 797


 Re:

KingJimmy: My brother asked me the original question on this post yesterday after hearing A Man of God. Thanks for answering. It was a good article that catches some of his way of speaking about things.

I was not successful in posting this on your site. [i]“Indeed, he denied ever speaking or praying in tongues all his life”[/i]. Could you maybe give one example or reference? The sentence, as you write it, suggests many denials.

 2008/10/8 23:44Profile





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