Gift of Speaking in Tongues, Prophecy and Healing

speaking in tongues

Gift of Speaking in Tongues, Prophecy and Healing – is it biblical?

Back in the day at Pentecost, in the upper room, a special gift was bestowed on the disciples that they would be able to go out and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ successfully.  One of the gifts was the ability of speaking in tongues.  Many people today who speak in tongues today seem to think that this gift of tongues was a heavenly language. But this is not true.  The gift of tongues bestowed on those in the upper room spoke an earthly language.  The gift given to the disciples enabled them to communicate with people from other nations who spoke other languages, how else could they spread the gospel.

Acts 2:6-11  “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 marveled, 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.”

Now…

All genuine Christians believe that the gift of tongues existed as mentioned in Scripture.

1 Corinthians 12:8-11   “8To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit;   9To another [wonder-working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit, to another the extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit;  10To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret [such] tongues.  11All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses”.

And the Bible clearly states that the Corinthians spoke an earthly language (tongues) and God alone understands all languages.

Corinth, was a market visted by many a merchant from Asia, Africa, and Europe, and had a wildly mixed population speaking many a different language.  To exercise of the gift of tongues in preaching bought many an unbeliever to salvation.

1Cor 14:2    “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”

G1100 γλῶσσα glossa (glows`-sah) n.
1. the tongue
2. (by implication) a language
3. (specially) a language not naturally acquired

1 Corinthians 12:10 mentions the gift of speaking in tongues and also mentions the gift of  interpreting tongues.  Tongues had to be interpreted so believers could understand what was being preached to the unbeliever.

The ‘gift of tongues’ given to the early church was given as the Holy Spirit willed. Because the Holy Spirit is sovereign. No one has the right to demand that he be given any certain gift or gifts as an evidence of the Holy Spirit’s baptism.  Tongues was certainly not evidence of salvation.

The Corinthian church for example did not have the Bible, the gift of tongues was needed in authenticating the Message that was delivered as being DIVINE;  these signs followed the proclamation of the truth.

When a person accepts Jesus Christ into their life they instantly receive the Holy Spirit who comes to abide in them – this alone is a gift.

Do not confuse speaking in tongues as being a fruit of the Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit.  The fruits of the Spirit are mentioned in:

Galatians 5:22-23;   “22But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,23Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].”

However…

Paul ended up rebuking the Corinthians over and over again because they did not understand the gospel.   Paul scolded the Corinthians for misusing the gift of tongues and speaking gibberish and making a mockery of the OT fulfillment of prophecy by Isaiah. This prophecy came about due to Israel’s disobedience to God.

Isaiah 28:11;   “11No, but [the Lord will teach the rebels in a more humiliating way] by men with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people [says Isaiah, and teach them His lessons].”

Paul points out the OT Scripture of Isaiah 28:11 to the Corinthians because they (being Jews) should know the Law well…but they don’t.

1 Corinthians 12:21;  “In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord”.

Paul uses the reference to Isaiah to show them how they lack in knowing of OT scripture, therefore they lack even more when it comes to the gospel.  Isaiah specifically says that tongues will be used as a tool to preach the word of God to Israel, not the way the Corinthians are using it. It also says that even though they hear the word of God they still will not listen.

The gift of speaking in tongues was used as a sign only to unbelievers:

1 Corinthians 14:22   “22Thus [unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for unbelievers [on the point of believing], while prophecy (inspired preaching and teaching, interpreting the divine will and purpose) is not for unbelievers [on the point of believing] but for believers.”

To use tongues in any other way is unbiblical and when used the gospel was preached and people were saved because they heard the message, the sign of the gift of tongues followed only because the truth had been preached and the unbeliever was then on the point of believing.

Tongues was given by God to certain people when they came into contact with others who did not speak their mother tongue.  They suddenly by God’s power could speak the other person’s language and the gospel was preached to them that they may come to know Jesus Christ and be saved.  The gift of interpretation was given to another person, in order that anyone nearby could hear that the TRUTH was being preached.

The Corinthians turned tongues speaking into a mockery claiming they spoke ‘heavenly’ languages.  They used it for self glory and self gratification and they puffed themselves up making one person seem more spiritual than another. Paul lambastes them and calls the Corinthians spiritually immature and childish in their thinking.

1 Corinthians 14:20   “20Brethren, do not be children [immature] in your thinking; continue to be babes in [matters of] evil, but in your minds be mature [men].”

The Corinthians never grew up.  They remained spiritually immature.  They failed to study the scriptures  just like those churches today who follow the Corinthian blueprint.

Hebrews 5:12-14  “12For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food. 13For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]!  14But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.”

The Corinthians thought they were so spiritual, but the Bible says they were manifesting carnality:

1 Corinthians 3:1;   “HOWEVER, BRETHREN, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!]”

And there was even gross sin among these spiritual Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 5:1;  ” IT IS actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, impurity of a sort that is condemned and does not occur even among the heathen; for a man has [his own] father’s wife.”

The gift of speaking in tongues was a TEMPORARY gift bestowed on people by the Holy Spirit

  1. To preach the gospel to all nations
  2. As a sign to confirm the gospel message preached because people would come to be saved thereafter.
  3. The fulfillment of OT scripture.

Once the Bible was written the gift of speaking in tongues has ceased and was replaced by love and truth.

1 Corinthians 13:8   “Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].”

Tongues served their purpose, a very useful one,  Now with God’s complete revelation in our hands (the Bible), we do not require signs to manifest it as the Word of God. When preached, it authenticates itself.

Truth = The Word of God

Paul says that LOVE never fails and this leads us to the 2 commandments that Jesus spoke about in

Mark 12:30-31  and they are:    30And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment.    31The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

The gift of prophecy (foreseeing the future) too shall be entirely unnecessary as the Bible contains everything you need to know for yesterday, today and tomorrow.  God has a stern warning for those with new words, new revelations that fall outside of scripture:

Revelation 22:18   “if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book”.

In those days Paul and the other Apostles wrote and prophesied in part – in other words they did not know everything until it was give to them by the Holy Spirit.  Paul said in…

1 Corinthians 13:8-11;   “8 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. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

that which is perfect = The Word of God / Bible

G5046 τέλειος teleios (tel’-ei-os) adj.
1. complete
{(neuter as noun, with G3588) completeness; in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.}

Truth = The Word of God

Jesus Christ = Perfect and the Truth.

The imperfect, the incomplete =  speaking in tongues, prophecy (new knowledge / foretelling the future) has ceased!

Now the big question WHEN exactly did speaking in tongues cease?

The Berean Bible Society says:

“The sign gifts, speaking in tongues, prophecy, the gift of healing, etc. were operating all through the Book of Acts, and these gifts are mentioned in the letters that Paul wrote during the Acts period. But when we turn to the letters written after the Book of Acts—the 4 Prison Epistles, and the 3 Pastoral Epistles, we find that the sign gifts either aren’t mentioned at all or we see—as with the gift of healing—that they were no longer operating in Paul’s life. What he could do in Acts 28, he could no longer do in Philippians, or in 1 and 2 Timothy. He could heal all the sick on the island in Acts 28:9, but he couldn’t heal any of his closest co-workers—Timothy, Epaphroditus, Trophimus—after the close of the Book of Acts.

Arranging Paul’s letters in the order that he wrote them allows us to see the pattern of truth that is found in the Word of God:

The sign gifts were operating in Acts and in all of the Acts Epistles: Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians and Romans.

But in this time period, in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12, Paul tells us that the Lord had revealed to him that these gifts would cease some day. And they did, because in the letters written after the Book of Acts, the sign gifts had ceased, just as the Lord said that they would….”

“We can now give a scriptural answer to the question that we started with: when did the sign gifts cease?

The answer: The sign gifts ceased at the end of the Book of Acts. There is no record in Scripture of any of the sign gifts operating in any of the letters that Paul wrote after the end of the Acts period, and it is clear that the gift of healing had ceased since Paul could no longer heal even his closest co-workers after the close of the Book of Acts.”

A note about the gift of healing

“As we have seen, Paul was able to heal many sick people all through the Book of Acts. He healed every sick person on the Island of Malta in Acts 28. And he wrote to the Corinthians about the gift of healing that was operating in their church during the Acts period (1 Cor. 12:9). But we have also seen that with the close of the Book of Acts, the gift of healing ceased to operate. Paul could no longer heal anyone—not Epaphroditus in Philippians 2, not Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:23, not Trophimus in 2 Timothy 4:20. The gift of healing had ceased to operate, along with the other sign gifts.

Today God no longer gives the gift of healing, and there are no “healers.” But we should not think that God Himself no longer heals! In Philippians 2 we read of a healing that God did after the gift of healing had ceased to operate:

“Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.

“For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

“Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful.

“Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me” (Phil. 2:25-30).

Paul commends Epaphroditus very highly for his faithfulness even unto death. But when Epaphroditus fell sick—near to death—Paul was no longer able to heal him because the gift of healing had ceased to operate. But we read that Epaphroditus was healed—directly by the Lord: “He was sick unto death but the Lord had mercy on him….”

There is healing today, but there is no gift of healing, there are no “divine healers.” There is no gift of healing today but God still heals!”  (Emphasis added) https://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/when-did-the-gift-of-tongues-cease/

God still heals if you go to Jesus Christ directly in prayer and pray for healing.  If it is God’s Will that you be healed, He will heal you.  You do not go to a faith healer, or a divine healer to heal you.  You do not need an intermediary between you and Jesus Christ to pray for healing.  You go to God through Jesus Christ yourself in prayer.

Tom Lessing says “As far as healing is concerned, Paul could have laid his hands on Timothy and prayed for him. Instead, he wrote, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine (not the wine we know today) for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. (1 Timothy  5:23). Paul himself could probably have gone to one of his brethren and asked him to pray for his healing. Instead, he himself prayed and God said, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Wow, think of that. Paul was content with his suffering because he preferred to be endowed with the power of God. That’s the best medicine there is.”

Jews (signs) vs Gentiles (faith)

The end of the Book of Acts was also the end of God’s dealings with the nation of Israel. Acts 28:25-28 stands as God’s last words to the nation of Israel for nearly 2000 years. The Jews sought after signs (1 Corinthians 1:22) so God gave them signs including the Gentiles who were among them in order to provoke Israel to jealousy (Romans 11:14). But with the close of the book of Acts, God sets aside Israel for a time to turn his attention to the Gentiles, and when God gave up on the ‘the people who needed signs‘ (Jews) for a time, the sign gifts passed away. Jews need signs – Gentiles believe by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7)

If Tongues was a heavenly language what confusion there would have been.

Tom Lessing says: “Whereas the confusion of tongues in Genesis 11:1-19 was the means God used to judge humankind during the construction of the Tower of Babel, the tongues phenomenon in Acts 2 was the means to bless all the nations. The original curse in Genesis was upended in Acts by removing the curse of confusion and replacing it with a blessing of clear comprehension. It heralded a new beginning for all mankind, showering on every single human being the grace and mercy to be saved through faith alone in the finished work of Christ alone, and through the blessed work of the Holy Spirit alone. Faith and faith alone is the means by which lost sinners are saved (Hebrews 11:6). However, faith is not simply a leap in the dark. It must and always does go hand in hand with a clear understanding of the Gospel. (Romans 10:17). To facilitate his blessing on all mankind, God enabled his disciples to speak in the languages of every nation present on that glorious day of Pentecost when the Comforter, in fulfillment of Christ’s promise in John 14:16, 26; 15: 26 and 16:7, was poured out on all flesh (John 17:2).

Bear in mind that there was no-one on that day who interpreted the various languages. The multitude of nations who were present heard them speak in their own mother tongue (Acts 2:4). The interpretation of tongues (other known languages) became necessary only when the church was established and believers began to worship in their own venues convenient for them to attend. The interpretation was for the benefit of the believers and the speaking in tongues itself for the unbelievers who began to frequent the different churches (1 Corinthians 14:22). The gift of prophecy was not to predict future events but to preach the unadulterated Gospel.

If it had been true that the disciples spoke in unknown, heavenly tongues on the Day of Pentecost, without someone having to interpret them, confusion would have been the order of the day. No one would or could then have been saved (Romans 10:17). Confusion, as already mentioned, was a means God used throughout mankind’s history to judge them. (viz. Genesis 11:7 Deuteronomy 28:49).”

IMPORTANT!  In very very rare instances God can and will give the gift of speaking in tongues to people who might come into contact with other people where their is a language barrier.  In that instance the gospel will be preached to unbelievers, and unbelievers will come to Jesus Christ and be SAVED.

Today speaking in tongues and prophesying is self-induced or demonic.  If you speak in tongues I urge you to read your Bible and study the matter urgently and rid yourself of this childish behavior or worse, demonic affliction.  See here for help Seeking Salvation or Deliverance?

Dueling Tongues from Acts2031 on Vimeo.

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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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48 Comment authors
Tom (Discerning the World)Murray ForbesTom (Discerning the World)bethrahamThe Meaning of Being Filled with the Holy Spirit ⋆ Discerning the World Recent comment authors
bethraham
Guest

I pray that all at Discerning The World might take time to read / listen to the references in my article at http://www.bethraham.com/Strange-Fire-or-Perfect-Life/ about the balance between Cessationist and Continualist views and find the truth.
References are at:
1. http://www.cwmfellowship.org/articles/PhilipPowell_Cessationism_v_Biblicism_Part9.pdf
2. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/waltermartindotcom/2013/09/08/charisma-cultic-occultic-or-christian
3. http://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/perspectives/spiritual-gifts
These are shared here in the interests of encouraging polite and respectful dialogue on this topic between Brothers and Sisters IN CHRIST. Is that possible?

Tom (Discerning the World)
Admin
Member

bethraham,

Here is something very interesting you may want to read about Walter Martin.

http://www.thebereancall.org/content/do-we-violate-matthew-18
http://www.thebereancall.org/node/7170/print

I said earlier in one of my comments that these days it is no longer about cessationsim or continualism because 99.9% of the gifts practiced in Charismatic and Pentecostal churches are false. It is more about discerning the true gifts from the false ones. In fact, the gift that is most needed today is discernment. However, anyone who dares to discern the true from the false is frowned upon with disdain. You don’t seem to care too much about discernment yourself because if you had you would have known that Walter Martin OK’s occult practices like hypnotism and psychology. There was a time when he also spoke with much aplomb about Robert Schuller – a New Age occultist and Freemason.

I don’t think you would like to discuss this topic in an amicable way if you knew what was going on in the circles you seem to approve. For instance, did you know Walter Martin says Seventh Day Adventism is not a cult. What do you say? Do you also believe Seventh Day Adventists are Christians because they also speak in tongues?

bethraham
Guest

Tom Wrote:
Here is something very interesting you may want to read about Walter Martin.
http://www.thebereancall.org/content/do-we-violate-matthew-18
http://www.thebereancall.org/node/7170/print
————————————————————————————————————Tom, I will take one reference at a time:
http://www.thebereancall.org/content/do-we-violate-matthew-18
It is not clear what there is ‘about Walter Martin’ in this reference that you may have an ‘issue’ with
I have read the full text in the reference and agree with all that is stated therein.
http://www.thebereancall.org/node/7170/print
In this reference Dave Hunt & Tom McMahon stated:
Tom: “…. we had an on-going dialogue with Walter Martin and Walter felt that hypnotism was all right as long as it was in the hands of medical personnel. But that doesn’t change the technique or the device. It doesn’t —
Dave: ” ….. Occultism is occultism. If the witch doctor dresses in a business suit and has a Ph.D., that doesn’t change anything. I’m going to go by the Bible and the Bible warns against this.”
By way of the above reference I take it that you are implicitly challenging the general credibility of Walter Martin; based on the mention of his opinion about ‘Hypnotism’ by Hunt & McMahon. I will defer to Walter Martin to answer for himself on that matter.
Kindly please go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pJulSsStQw ( Time mark 0:00 to 1:35)
An example of the use of hypnosis in medical practice, that I presume Water Martin may have being referring to, can be found at http://www.livescience.com/35827-clinical-hypnosis-medial-problems.html
A brief google search today has not indicated any reference to scripture where the Bible warns specifically against ‘Hypnotism’ per se. Please feel free to quote me some verses for further study on this topic.
Although ‘Hypnotism’ is not the topic of this discussion; it is pertinent to advise (seeing as you have brought it up) that I have not thoroughly studied ‘Hypnotism’ as a topic. Personally, I would neither use on another person nor partake in anything to do with hypnotism without first doing a thorough biblical study of it. Up until now that has not been a topic that has demanded my attention in my life.
There are a number of examples in scripture, though, that speak about being in a ‘trance’. That is the closest word to ‘hypnos’ that I could see during my brief google search today. Two examples are:
Peter explaining to the Apostles about his revelation regarding the Gentiles: See Acts 11:5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was.”
Paul speaking after his conversion: See Acts 22:17-18 “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord speaking. ‘Quick!’ he said to me. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me.”
————————————————————————————————————
Tom Wrote: I said earlier in one of my comments that these days it is no longer about cessationsim or continualism because 99.9% of the gifts practiced in Charismatic and Pentecostal churches are false. It is more about discerning the true gifts from the false ones. In fact, the gift that is most needed today is discernment.
————————————————————————————————————
I humbly and politely suggest the gift most needed today is, as well as discernment, is love:
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”
————————————————————————————————————
Tom Wrote: However, anyone who dares to discern the true from the false is frowned upon with disdain.
————————————————————————————————————
Is that your experience? I too, have found a similar responses at times when I have ‘spoken out’ for biblical truth.
I hope you are not implying / hinting that you think/feel I might be “frowning upon you with disdain”.
I respect you enormously for the work you have done / are doing on your site. It is much needed.
That is why I am taking the time to interact with you. Hopefully we will both be enriched from the interaction.
“Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another. ” [Proverbs 27:17]
————————————————————————————————————-Tom Wrote: You don’t seem to care too much about discernment yourself because if you had you would have known that Walter Martin OK’s occult practices like hypnotism and psychology.
————————————————————————————————————
With polite respect your assumption ‘ ….if you had ….” is totally without foundation and wrong. I do care very much about discernment. I do not pretend to know everything about everyone. Kindly, cut me some slack here, my friend and brother-in-Christ! Stop with the quick jump-to-ill-informed-conclusions and personal innuendo. Be gentle.
I am not ‘I of Walter Martin’, nor ‘I of Phillip Powell’ nor ‘I of The Alliance Mission / A W Tozer’, nor ‘I of anybody else’. I am ‘I of Christ’.
————————————————————————————————————Tom Wrote: There was a time when he also spoke with much aplomb about Robert Schuller – a New Age occultist.
————————————————————————————————————
Do tell. What time was that? Do please feel free to send me the reference to that ‘time’.
I share your view about Robert Schuller – New Age Occultist….. and then some. …… it was under the influence of Peter Drucker that Robert Schuller was a key figure in the start of the Church Growth Movement.
See 13 December 2012 article by Alan Roebuck at:
http://orthosphere.org/2012/12/13/peter-druckers-key-role-in-the-corruption-of-evangelicalism/
Article Title; “Peter Drucker’s Key Role in the Corruption of Evangelicalism”. In the article Alan Roebuck states,
“I recently watched a fascinating two-hour online video titled Church of Tares: Purpose Driven, Seeker-Sensitive, Church Growth & New World Order. [On the linked page, scroll down a bit to find the embedded video. There is also a longer “director’s cut,” which can be viewed here.] It describes the so-called “seeker-sensitive” (or “purpose-driven”) movement within Evangelicalism. If you have the time, or can listen while doing work which will not be disrupted while you listen, I highly recommend the video. It helps make sense of much of the foolishness and apostasy that plagues Evangelicalism. I want here to focus on one part of the documentary: the decisive role played by Peter Drucker. [Drucker’s contribution is discussed beginning at the 1:04:00 mark.] Drucker, born in Vienna in 1909, moved with his family to America in the 1930s and became a professor and public intellectual. But, unknown to most people, Drucker played a key role in the seeker-sensitive church movement. That movement, under the name Church Growth, was started independently in the 1950’s by pastor Robert Schuler (of Crystal Cathedral fame) and seminary professor Donald McGavran.”
————————————————————————————————————-Tom Wrote: I don’t think you would like to discuss this topic in an amicable way if you knew what was going on in the circles you seem to approve. For instance, did you know Walter Martin says Seventh Day Adventism is not a cult.
What do you say? Do you also believe Seventh Day Adventists are Christians because they also speak in tongues?
————————————————————————————————————
I will be loving and gentle / kind with you = amicable as long as it works both ways.
I am not sure what ‘circles’ you are referring to that you think I seem to approve. As I stated above, I am of Christ and I approve of the Bible.
Walter Martin has a clearly defined description of what he calls a ‘cult’. As far as I recall (without looking it up) it is related to what the people or group in question think / profess/ believe about the nature of the person of Jesus and His work on the cross at Calvary. I recall that under that definition, he did not include them as a Cult – at least at one time. However, I also recall (again without looking it up) that he expressed reservations about some other of their teachings that may have been ‘cult-like’.
The SDA’s have a lot of beliefs that I do not agree with and I certainly would not join their church.
Further than that, I would be happy to look up any particular, detailed aspects of your concern about them and provide a response based on a biblical study of the matter.
Beyond that, I am not sure what relevance a discussion about the SDA’s has on the topic of Cessationist vs Continualist – and that is ultimately the topic I am interested in pursuing with our discussion.
Tom, You have not given any indication that you have looked at the article written by Phillip Powell. Find it at:
http://www.cwmfellowship.org/articles/PhilipPowell_Cessationism_v_Biblicism_Part9.pdf
Please respond to that article if you would like to take this discussion further.
————————————————————————————————————Tom Wrote: What do you say? Do you also believe Seventh Day Adventists are Christians because they also speak in tongues?
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Kindly refer to your other Blog page https://www.discerningtheworld.com/2009/05/10/be-continually-filled-with-the-holy-spirit/#comment-447325
————————————————————————————————————Tom Wrote: bethraham, Do you believe that the speaking in tongues is the evidence of salvation and the baptism of the Spirit?
Bethraham Wrote: No
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Tom, You have not given any indication that you have looked at the article by the Alliance Mission. Find it at:
http://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/perspectives/spiritual-gifts
Please respond to that article if you would like to take this discussion further. For ease of reference and convenience to the readers I quote herewith the part of that article that addresses the specific topic you have referred to, that being whether or not speaking in tongues is evidence of being filled with the spirit:
Quotation in italics from http://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/perspectives/spiritual-gifts
What is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit?
There are some who believe that the gift of tongues is the “initial, physical evidence” of being filled with the Spirit. Again, we affirm tongues as a valid gift for today. But we do not believe that the Scripture supports tongues as the only evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Paul, as he writes to the believers in the Ephesian church, commands them to…be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). “Filled with the Spirit” is a frequent expression in the Book of Acts describing the source of the mighty power of God working in believers in Christ. This expression implies being under the control of the Holy Spirit. We believe this is still a valid command for today, and every believer should seek to be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. So, what is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit?
Though there is a record of people receiving spiritual gifts when they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 10:44–48; 19:6), there are other instances of people being filled with the Holy Spirit where there is no mention of spiritual gifts (Acts 4:8, 31; 8:15–17; 9:17–18; 13:9, 52). Though some may speak in tongues when they are filled with the Holy Spirit, others do not. While rejecting the “initial evidence doctrine” we must be careful to say there “should be” and “will be” evidence that a person has been filled with the Holy Spirit. As Tozer strongly notes, “no one ever received the Holy Spirit’s power without knowing it” (Keys to the Deeper Life, p. 57). A creed of power without the experience of power is worthless. One phrase that could describe our posture in this encounter with God is “Expectation without Agenda.” It would seem to be a dangerous thing to try and convince someone they have been filled with the Spirit if there is no manifest evidence in their lives. Our expectancy should be that God will meet His people in a powerful way. However, it would be equally dangerous to demand a specific agenda or manifestation in that moment. Again, we should come to the Lord with great expectation, while seeking to free ourselves from human agendas or motives.
Regardless of the gifts or manifestations a believer may experience, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as described in Galatians 5:22–23 is the primary evidence of the Spirit-filled life. These qualities are produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The fruit of the Spirit shows that the Holy Spirit is in control of the believer’s life.
Another strong evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is a fruitful ministry. In Acts 1:8 Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would give power to be His witnesses. We often mention the scope of our ministry–Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, but we also need to focus on the source of power for our ministry–the Holy Spirit, who wants to fill us for a holy life and effective service.
Finally, 1 Corinthians 12 lists a variety of manifestations that occur when the Holy Spirit is ministering. We have no reason to believe this is an all-inclusive list of manifestations or evidences. Weeping, for instance, is not mentioned. Yet many believers have experienced tears as a manifestation of the Spirit’s work and power. Others may experience a manifestation of “joy unspeakable” and God’s love, but never shed a tear. Rather than demanding a single gift or manifestation as the evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit, we ought to gratefully embrace all the gifts, manifestations and fruit that the Lord desires to bring into our lives.
END QUOTE
Again, in conclusion, I say this information is provided in the interest of encouraging polite and respectful dialogue on the topic of Cessationist vs Continualist views of the scriptures.
I am a Continualist. Tom, you are obviously a Cessationist. Can we talk about this politely as Brothers IN CHRIST. Is that possible?
Cheers
Bethraham

Tom (Discerning the World)
Admin
Member

bethraham,

I am very familiar with all the arguments for and against cesstaionism and continualism. I really don’t need to read all the articles you mentioned in your comment. I simply do not have the time to read them all. You are wrong in assuming that I believe in cessationism. God is capable of healing the sick in the same way He did when He was still on earth. He is also quite capable of using missionaries to preach in their own language and to open the ears of their audiences to hear their message in their own language. That is why I said the glossolalia at Pentecost was more of a hearing miracle than a speaking miracle.

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? (Act 2:5-8)

The disciples didn’t speak in unknown or strange languages on the Day of Pentecost

John the Baptist never performed a single miracle and he never spoke in tongues or prophesied even once in his entire life and yet the Bible says he was filled with the Holy Spirit while he was still in his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:15). Jesus said of him, “What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:7-11). If we were to use John the Baptist as a barometer that speaking in tongues, prophecy or any other gift is the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we would have to disqualify him as a fraud. Imagine someone asking John, “Have you received the evidence for your baptism in the Spirit?” “No, I was not even born yet but my mother told me that I was baptized with the Holy Spirit in her womb.” “No, sorry John. That just won’t work for you. We want some evidence. Merely saying that you were baptized with the Spirit in your mother’s womb is not enough and even somewhat dangerous.” There goes Tozer’s statement and your comment on it up in smoke when he said,

As Tozer strongly notes, “no one ever received the Holy Spirit’s power without knowing it” (Keys to the Deeper Life, p. 57). A creed of power without the experience of power is worthless.

John’s baptism with the Holy Spirit completely debunks the statement in your comment, ” It would seem to be a dangerous thing to try and convince someone they have been filled with the Spirit if there is no manifest evidence in their lives.”

As for the dangers of Hypnotism, you can read this article.

https://www.thebereancall.org/content/hypnosis-medical-scientific-or-occultic

In the instances of people who went into a trance in the Bible, they did not lose or capitulate their faculty to reason or to think and to remain conscious of their surroundings. They did not capitulate their sober-mindedness. They were fully in control of their minds. The Bible warns against any form of mind control where the subject needs to come under the control of something or someone else. Hypnotism and slain in the spirit are examples of the latter.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Sir John Eccles who won a Nobel Prize for his work on the brain said, “The brain is a machine a ghost can operate” meaning that when we surrender our mind to a hypnotist or any other occult practice like slain in the spirit, another entity like a demon can take possession of your mind and control it. Hence the warning in the Bible to beware of the doctrines of demons.

Tom (Discerning the World)
Admin
Member

bethraham wrote,

By way of the above reference I take it that you are implicitly challenging the general credibility of Walter Martin; based on the mention of his opinion about ‘Hypnotism’ by Hunt & McMahon. I will defer to Walter Martin to answer for himself on that matter.

Kindly please go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pJulSsStQw ( Time mark 0:00 to 1:35)
An example of the use of hypnosis in medical practice, that I presume Water Martin may have being referring to, can be found at http://www.livescience.com/35827-clinical-hypnosis-medial-problems.html

So, what you are saying is that when someone else other than a medical doctor applies a demonic practice like hypnosis, it is OK? Walter Martin, and I presume you too, are saying that hypnosis is a gift from God to medical doctors only because they presumably have a special knack of making hypnosis to work for you. Anyone else who practices hypnosis is a fraud?

Tom (Discerning the World)
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Member

bethraham wrote,

Tom Wrote: I said earlier in one of my comments that these days it is no longer about cessationsim or continualism because 99.9% of the gifts practiced in Charismatic and Pentecostal churches are false. It is more about discerning the true gifts from the false ones. In fact, the gift that is most needed today is discernment.
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I humbly and politely suggest the gift most needed today is, as well as discernment, is love:
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”

I humbly and earnestly suggest that Paul of Tarsus who was filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit knew what true love meant when he applied his gift of discernment to the brim and wrote the following,

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Gal 1:8-9)

Now that’s what I call a nice kind of love.

Would you say to your daughter who may have started using drugs and was on the verge of destroying her, “Oh sweetie, I love you too much to warn to against your destructive use of drugs and have you put away in an institution where you can be treated for you drug abuse. Mommy will never allow that to happen to you.”

Please beware of a hellish love. (Prooverbs 27:6).

Tom (Discerning the World)
Admin
Member

bethraham wrote,

Regardless of the gifts or manifestations a believer may experience, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as described in Galatians 5:22–23 is the primary evidence of the Spirit-filled life. These qualities are produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The fruit of the Spirit shows that the Holy Spirit is in control of the believer’s life.

Another strong evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is a fruitful ministry. In Acts 1:8 Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would give power to be His witnesses. We often mention the scope of our ministry–Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, but we also need to focus on the source of power for our ministry–the Holy Spirit, who wants to fill us for a holy life and effective service.

There is not a single verse in the Bible where it says that the Spirit of God must be in control of your life. We are not puppets on a string for the Holy Spirit to control us. Satan and his demons take control – not the Holy Spirit. The Bible says we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12). That means whatever the Holy Spirit works in us we must work out. It does not mean that we should work for our salvation. It means that we ourselves must manifest the work of the Holy Spirit in us so that it may be observable outwardly. The Holy Spirit is not going to do it for us by controlling us. The only way we can work the Spirit’s work in us outward is to deny ourselves, take up our cross (die to our fleshly nature) and follow Him. If we don’t do it we cannot work out the Spirit’s work in us.

What do you mean by a fruitful ministry? I know of several missionaries who had worked for many years among heathen people and never won a single sinner to Jesus. Would you call that a fruitful ministry? Jesus would because He inspired Paul to say,

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. (1 Co 3:6-7)

Would you say that Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, and Benny Hinn have very fruitful ministries? I assume they all speak in tongues.

bethraham
Guest

Tom
The ‘ministers’ you have mentioned in your last sentence / question all operate under false understandings of the bible in various ways. It is important to publish the errors in their teachings.

Since you do not have time to read it all, I am emailing you a pdf copy of the paper by Philip Powell that I have referenced with certain parts highlighted for your convenience. Hope you can take time to look at it.

Cheers
Bethraham

Tom (Discerning the World)
Admin
Member

bethraham,

The fact is that there is only one evidence that a saint has been baptized with the Holy Spirit and that is God’s promise which He spoke through the mouth of John the Baptist.

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. (Mat 3:11)

Now, why would the greatest prophet who ever lived say something like this when he himself never spoke in tongues and was so filled with the Holy Spirit that he could say something so loving and compassionate as this,

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Mat 3:7)

Anyone who needs any other kind of evidence other that the promise God gave through the mouth of John the Baptist is seeking for a sign and probably not saved (Matthew 12:39).

Why do you question the ministers whom I mentioned. Don’t they all speak in tongues which is supposed to be the main evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

By the way, why didn’t you comment on my explanation of John the Baptist not having spoken in tongues and yet was the greatest prophet who ever lived? With due respect (you see I can also be gentle) please respond to my comment on John the Baptist and then I will read Powell’s article and respond to it.

Tom (Discerning the World)
Admin
Member

bethraham wrote,

With polite respect your assumption ‘ ….if you had ….” is totally without foundation and wrong. I do care very much about discernment. I do not pretend to know everything about everyone. Kindly, cut me some slack here, my friend and brother-in-Christ! Stop with the quick jump-to-ill-informed-conclusions and personal innuendo. Be gentle.
I am not ‘I of Walter Martin’, nor ‘I of Phillip Powell’ nor ‘I of The Alliance Mission / A W Tozer’, nor ‘I of anybody else’. I am ‘I of Christ’.

That’s where you are wrong again. Discernment is not about knowing everything about everyone. Discernment is to test the things everyone says and writes against the Word of God. It is not a personal thing; it is a doctrinal thing. And yes, you should care about discernment because if you don’t you are being downright disobedient to Jesus. You keep on tapping me over my fingers for supposedly not being gentle and kind. But you are not being courteous to Jesus because if you disobey Him you are slapping Him through his face.

Tom (Discerning the World)
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Valerie,

Thanks for reminding us of her book.

Murray Forbes
Guest
Murray Forbes

Hi your quote of 1Cor13:8-11 and associated argument almost convinced me that you must be correct. That was until I read the passage in my bible and read also verse 12 which says “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” And then I realised that the scripture tells us that the perfect thing to come is Jesus’ return when we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is and when we shall know even as we are known by him. Are you deceived and trying to deceive us by omitting this verse in your quote – especially as you later refer to the complete passage as 1Cor13:8-12 during your argument. This smacks of deceit. What do you honestly think would motivate you to do this?

Tom (Discerning the World)
Admin
Member

Hi Marray, do you mind if a ask you a few questions?

1) Do you speak in tongues?
2) If you do, for what reasons do you speak in tongues?
3) If you do, where did you start to speak in tongues? Did someone lay hands on you; were you slain in the spirit?
4) How do you understand tongues in terms of the return of Jesus Christ?

Tom (Discerning the World)
Admin

Burning Lamp wrote:

This is a supernatural way of God showing Himself, through the Spirit, that He is in our midst. Remember, we are dealing with God, who is Spirit. In His mercy and grace He has provided a way in which we can actually “see, or hear” Him working in our presence. It’s a personal touch in a way we can understand.

Your comment would have been more balanced if you said that the speaking in tongues does not prove in any which way possible that God is in our midst; His promises alone are sufficient to know that He is in our midst. What more do we need than his promises in his Word? To seek other means for God to show HImself in a supernatural way, other than faith in his promises, is very dangerous and opens you up to demonic activities in which Satan and his demons can supernaturally present themselves to you as an angel of light.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Mat 18:20).

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Heb 13:5)

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Mat 28:20)

Moreover, the blood of Christ is the only acceptable supernatural way to show that we are in God’s presence and He in ours.

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, . . .. (Heb 10:19).

Burning Lamp wrote:

I remember praising God one night in my bedroom in a language which seemed familiar. When I listened to it closely there were certain words which sounded like the words I’ve read in books and concordances. It sounded like koine Greek. Now I don’t know how koine Greek, which is a dead language, sounded like. But it is a phonetic language and I remember sounding out some of the words when I would do my studies in the word of God.

But there were two words which kept coming up. In fact they were so distinct that I remember writing them down later phonetically. When I went to my concordance later I actually found these two words. They were different and yet they both spoke of the same thing. They spoke of death and dying.

Now, I didn’t get the interpretation, but I suspect that I was praising God for the death of His Son for my sin and that I might continue to die to self and live to Him.

To suspect that you were worshiping and praising God for the death of his Son is very dangerous. “Suspecting” is a form of unbelief (not knowing for sure) and cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6).

At any rate, you know as well as I that the issue of tongues today is not about speaking in archaic (dead) languages so that we may praise God in our closets. Why do I need to speak in an archaic (dead) language to thank God for the death of his Son. Surely, He must understand plain English and Afrikaans (my native language)? The issue today is the belief that they are speaking in heavenly tongues (languages) which is absolutely unbiblical. Here’s the reason.

I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. (2 Co 12:2-4).

Paul does not say he heard languages (tongues – plural). He heard words. There is only one language in heaven. Yet, today’s charlatans who claim to speak in heavenly languages have never been in the third heaven like Paul. If they’d been there they would have known it is forbidden to speak heavenly words. So, what does that tell us? The so-called heavenly tongues they speak these days, must be from Satan and not God.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Mat 7:21-23)

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