Apostle Paul: “I Speak in Tongues More than You All”..Who Measured It? 1 Corinthians 14: 18″–Bishop Ponle Segun Alabi New York[RR]–Kingdom-Come–message–Beyond every doubt, one of the most debated topics or concepts found in Christian life and relationship is that of speaking in tongues especially amidst African Christians. What often define Christian denominational alliances in Africa […]
Apostle Paul: “I Speak in Tongues More than You All”..Who Measured It? 1 Corinthians 14: 18″–Bishop Ponle Segun Alabi
New York[RR]–Kingdom-Come–message–Beyond every doubt, one of the most debated topics or concepts found in Christian life and relationship is that of speaking in tongues especially amidst African Christians. What often define Christian denominational alliances in Africa and more importantly in Nigeria is the level of “syncretic permissions” which sits comfortably with a person’s World-view. Unlike in the West where history, principles and modernity may be a factor, in Nigerian Churches- whatever permits the sustenance of our world view and status determines what school of thought is submitted to. I remember a popular T.V. preacher declared that it was because Paul made that statement: “I SPEAK IN TONGUES MORE THAN YOU ALL”, that he was able to do more, say more and “succeed more” than all the other Apostles or disciples combined. As a good Bible student, I tried to confirm that in the scriptures but only found Paul attesting to “grace” as the reason for His doing more, Saying more(letters) and succeeding more. This preacher is such a wonderful Bible teacher that I should naturally have no reason but to believe Him but the Bible says; “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Cor. 15:9 -10). Paul thus explained the secret of His ministry. Now the text used as the topic is that which has been used and abused by many because they sought to explain by implication or experience what actually require a synthesis (a combination of the whole truth) of truth for a proper picture to be built. The Bible did teach about speaking in tongues and ascribes this experience as a continuation of the “supernatural interrupting the natural” which is also found surprisingly in the Old Testament. I am sure, no one would want to trace this back beyond the day of Pentecost, but we should in order to understand perfectly what God did, is doing and shall continue to do amidst men. Paul’s writings creates such a big picture that, unless you walk within the “horizon” of Paul’s perspective, you may misunderstand him and assume that your kaleidoscope sees it all because you have the “experience”. Paul said; “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all….” We should ask, who measured the “speaking in tongues”?
1 Corinthians 14 is not a text book or manual for speaking in tongues, it is the instruction HOW UNDERSTANDING OF EXPERIENTIAL TRUTHS CAN HELP REVEAL PRIORITY AND HOW PRIORITY CAN LEAD TO ORDER AND HOW ALL THESE THINGS ARE AIMED AT ONLY ONE TRUTH- ‘EDIFICATION’. The problem of the Church in Corinth is that they do not understand how damaging too much information and experience can be if there is no prioritising and order. The church do not understand how easy it is to forget the sole aim of Christ death and resurrection and most importantly, God’s manifestation in their midst- the aim of all these is to EDIFY the Church. So it is quite common to hear people teach that 1 Corinthians is the textbook that explains “speaking in tongues”- that isn’t true as the text and co-texts (surrounding texts) shows. In First Corinthians 14, Paul isn’t promoting speaking in tongues and it should not be taken as such. His main purpose is to show that all that God does is for the edification of His people- miss that, you miss the whole point.
Let us begin with certain presuppositions:
1. The word of God alone must reveal and give the final attestation to the truth on the matter of speaking in tongues (not personal experience).
2. The word of God must teach consistently & progressively what the truth is concerning speaking in tongues.
3. The word of God is supra-experience, supra-denomination and supra-cultural and so we must choose to take h(side of the Bible) side not the other way round.
Now let’s answer three questions:
1. What is Tongues?
2. How do you get it?
3. What is its purpose?
1. WHAT IS TONGUE?
My encounter with what is today called the “move” of the Holy Spirit began in the early eighties though the ministry of my father. I have never heard of Kenneth Hagin nor know of any Benny Hinn or Kathryn Kuhlman, I was just a little Pastor’s kid trying to make sense of the World. I know some other Pastor’s ministry but my father’s ministry although a Baptist preacher was strange. He had meetings or seminars with tags like; “come and be drunk” and wrote on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Our vigils were marked with “extra-ordinary” events. People would begin to speak in unknown tongues and testify to strange experiences. He would sometimes start by saying; “I will remain here and show you from the scriptures what God has for you and we will now worship God whose words we have read and we will wait for Him to work in our midst”. Such was the beginning of the experiences. Something strange happened one night in which something like a “cloud” filled the auditorium where we were and again people spoke in tongues, fell down and revealed secrets unknown to others which I have come to know as prophesy today. I remember He was saying, all eyes closed but I was just a little boy and had nothing to pray about so I opened my eyes to a “smoke-like-filled” auditorium. I quickly closed my eyes out of fear but others who opened their eyes also testified to what I saw. This was a Baptist Pastor talking strange and doing strange things. He himself never spoke in tongues “publicly” as far as I know. I did not understand why a “smoke like cloud” would fill a Church building and why people were talking strange and it baffled me more when I attend other Churches and it seems they were doing “normal” things. This soon turned to a thirst for an understanding of what tongues mean and why such things happen. It was when I saw the likes of Kenneth Hagin and many of the contemporary faith/Pentecostal preachers that I began to understand it wasn’t strange at all. However, unlike what I witnessed in those days where all that mattered was the preaching of the Gospel of the cross- the experience of those I saw later on in life seem to take the central focus of their ministry, became their central message and became the standard gauge for their status. In those days, People fell down and we just moved on. Today people fall down and we make it a television broadcast. In those days, people spoke in tongues and the message was the Holy Spirit is a person and the purpose of His indwelling is a relationship with Him. Today people speak in tongues and they have become exalted and sit exalted above all others. I have to share this so that you would understand why my search through the scriptures is important. My experiences from the past and my exposure to what was beginning to take my environment over created such a big yearning. Revd. Joda is today called the father of Pentecostalism in Nigeria, but in the far corner of Kwara State where I grew up- something un-imported was happening and I had to find out for myself what the Bible has to say.
As I said earlier, to ascribe the truths about speaking in tongues to the New Testament alone may hinder a proper understanding of what speaking in tongues is. Apostle Paul proposed this view when in the same 1 Corinthians 14 he made a reference to an unusual verse to corroborate his explanation on the meaning of tongues. 1 Corinthians 14:21; “In the law[the Old Testament scriptures] 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 quoted from the book of Isaiah 28:11-12. However, even Isaiah 28:11 is a reference of Deuteronomy 28:49 where for the first time God proposed using “strange tongues” to teach Israel, His people a lesson in obedience and righteousness. So the origin of Tongues is not all that positive. The “strangeness” of the language or tongue would make the Children of Israel “wonder” how God would use such people who had no covenant with Him to teach them about staying true. Hence Paul’s reference to tongues being a sign and just a sign unto unbelievers. You will now understand as a Bible student why Israel in bondage would result into Psalms 44:14; “Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people”. Paul says; “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not….” I am sure many who like to tag themselves Pentecostals (when the Pentecostal event is never the monopoly of any denomination but the very “foundation” of the body of Christ) would begin to assume that I am trying to discourage speaking in tongues. You need to really take time to finish this post.
I have seen the use of a single verse to define tongues. Someone shared recently that Mark 16:17; “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;” as doctrinal basis for all believers to speak in tongues and I asked; If casting out devils, taking serpent’s in one’s hands, drinking poisons and praying for the sick are occasional not a compulsory lifestyle, how come speaking in tongues is singled out as that which is compulsory and undebatable? Now what is tongues?
There at least four types of tongues.
1. Mark 16:17 speaks of “NEW TONGUE”- it signifies the beginning of a new language or as the Greek texts says- “kainos”- new and this has nothing to do with age but the beginning of a new experience and it seems to foretell the events that will follow. Hence, the documentation of other extraordinary happenings that will ensue because of faith in Christ and faith in His words. The use of the name of Jesus Christ to unveil or unlock the ability to cast out devils, speak in new tongues, be safe from deadly poison or serpent are all preceded by faith(believe) in Jesus Christ. The context therefore shows that believe in Christ will lead to the use of the name. It is not an explanation of Church doctrine but that of the change in lifestyle and life activities made possible because of “believe” and the consequent use of the name of Jesus Christ for the Bible says “In my name you will….”
2. 1 Corinthians 12:10 says “KINDS (KJV ADDS DIVERS) TONGUES” is a combination of all types of tongues that exist. For in 1 Corinthians 12:28 the Bible again reiterate the possibility of many tongues calling a stock of tongues or languages (Greek- “genos”).
3. Acts 2:4 says “OTHER TONGUES” this is most often used as the “judge and jury” of all who must and should speak in tongues. But the same texts explains what that means which many often overlook. Act 2:6-11 says; “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”. The tongues on the day of Pentecost are simply (according to the text) languages of the people present from all over the world. I heard that happen where someone who does not speak my local dialect started speaking during the worship and then afterwards could not respond again in my local language.
4. Acts 10:46 also speak of “TONGUES” and this time it was the necessary sign for the Jews who witnessed the conversion of the gentiles to understand the mystery that in Christ all will be one. However, the Bible does not specify what tongues they were speaking but it was enough a sign to the Jews that the gentiles have been accepted by God. The key to understanding that is the word “GIFT” (singular) of the Holy Spirit. The book of 1 Corinthians 12:4 speaks of “GIFTS” (plural). The gift is given at new birth, the gifts are given at the endowment. Act 2:38 is a proclamation of the promise of God – “the gift of the Holy Spirit” and that which is received later through the GIFT (person of the Holy Spirit) are the gifts. Romans 12:6, Ephesians 4:8, and Hebrews 4:8 saying; “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and GIFTS of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” We cannot seek the gifts without the gift (Holy Spirit). So the tongues they heard was a confirmation of the new birth the gentiles had just experienced through the preaching of the Gospel. If these Jews who were literarily “compelled” by God to witness to the gentiles did not hear the tongues, they would not have accepted the new birth experience of the gentiles. God is wonderful! So what tongue did they speak? Maybe like the day of Pentecost or just another tongue which did not come by natural acquisition. The Bible just says tongues and we will do well to “speak where the Bible speaks and be quiet where it is quiet”.
The Bible therefore shows that when1 Corinthians 12:10 says “divers kinds of tongues” is a combination of all types of tongues that exist. And studying Acts 2:8, we see that the speaking in tongues was understood by the different nations and languages present for the Pentecost celebration for they said; “And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?”. However Paul in 1 Corinthians attest to another speaking in tongues in which no man can understood except God; “or he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him…”. So these four tongues can be further divided into;
1. Comprehensible- Acts 2:8.
2. Incomprehensible- 1 Cor. 14:2.
So before anyone jam-packs everything together, this must be clear. We must understand these two before we can justify it is diver’s tongues as the scriptures says.
2. HOW DO YOU GET IT?
The question of how to speak in tongues is that which has caused both interest and disinterest. You hear of people learning it. You take up a teacher who teaches you. Someone once said; “when many of us get to Church we take off our hats and our brains with it”. That is what happens when we begin to talk about Church doctrine- we seem to stop thinking. God calls us to reason (Isaiah 1:18). Is it not clear therefore that; “IF YOU CAN EXPLAIN IT, GOD IS NOT IN IT”. Before we understand the how, it is important to understand the nature or characteristics the Bible reveals about speaking in tongues.
1 Corinthians 14:39 says; “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues”. He gives them instructions NOT to stop the speaking of tongues, there is a question there too. If speaking in tongues can be stopped by the Church, who are those stopping it? The people speaking it or the people who are not speaking in tongues? What does that imply? There are those who speak and those who don’t, isn’t it? Since it is “impossible” for you to make use of a thing and then restrict it if you are still using it. Can we not say the gift of tongues was present but not all spoke in tongues as suggested by the Bible texts above? The Bible teaches directly through Jesus Christ that the infilling of the Holy Spirit was necessary for empowering the new Christians. Acts 1:8; “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth”. Not forgetting that Jesus spoke of this infilling in the Gospels too making it essential for the Christian life- see also John 14:16; John 7:39; Luke 3:16 & Luke 24:49.
You can only “covet earnestly the best gifts” (1 Cor. 12:31) not dispense it yourself the gifts as the Bible declares boldly; “Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?” (1 Cor. 12:30). In fact the word there in the Greek texts is ‘God forbid all speak in tongues’ or ‘never will all speak in tongues’. So you Paul suggests that gift of speaking in tongues is not for all or like Paul said in the Greek text- ‘never will all speak in tongues’. The Holy Spirit determines to apportion unto believers and believers can desire other gifts too even though it is the Holy Spirit that dispenses it. The reason all did not speak was because the Gift (Holy Spirit) is for all but the gifts are simply according to His (Holy Spirit’s) decision. I have asked many where the Bible says all must speak and I have only be shown “speculative” evidences. For example because Acts 2:4 where all were filled and spoke in tongues, has been turned into a doctrine. Unfortunately, the next place where all was filled with the Holy Spirit, it was followed with speaking the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31) not speaking in tongues.
And as 1 Corinthians 12 helps to elaborate on the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit, we can clearly see that only the Holy Spirit gives the gifts and not a Church. Obeying the Bible alone releases this ability. Let no man or denomination play God. Michelangelo’s, the great artist was asked by his teacher why he loved making naked statures. He replied that he wanted to catch man as he is and only man’s nakedness offers him that privilege. His teacher replied; “IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MUCH YOU TRY TO CAPTURE THE WHOLE ESSENCE OF MAN, MICHANGELO -YOU ARE NOT GOD”. The Church is the Body of Christ and God’s word alone must supersedes and no denomination can play God. Any child of God will stick only with the scriptures and bow only to the truth of the scriptures. Speaking in tongues therefore is one of the many evidences of indwelling of the Holy Spirit for not all spoke and it is not the only evidence of the indwelling. How do we know this? Paul said in 1 cor. 14:5; “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues”? Does this not mean not everyone spoke in tongues? Yes it strongly suggests so. However, Paul proposes a more beneficial thing to do; “I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.”
How then do we get the gifts of the Holy Spirit? We must get the GIFT first, that is the Holy Spirit through obedience to the Gospel of Christ. Jesus Christ died, was buried and rose again for all sinners. We sinned, Christ took the wages of our sins upon Himself. When we accept we cannot help ourselves and we ask Him to be our Lord and believing He died for us and was raised for us- we shall be saved. Furthermore, Mark 16:16 presents many opportunities for those who BELIEVE but we must understand that believe is either 1. A state and 2. An act. Mark 16:16 says; “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved….” The addition of “believe and baptized” presents a deeper understanding of what kind of BELIEVING” the Bible means. “Believe and baptized” refer to a continuous act or a progressive act. The “baptized” signifies that it was not just a response to an altar call but a progressive public statement. I hope I am making sense. This shows that it means these signs will follow those who (continued) believe that that this signs will follow. For it is obvious that you shall speak in tongues and take up serpents or drink poison are incidentals not a basic occurrence for every moment. It means you cannot be going about looking for poisons to drink. They are incidentals not normal- “all the time” experience.
The goal for all who are born again is to be filled with the Holy Spirit not speaking in tongues. Acts2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” is so profound. 1. They were ALL filled. & 2. They spoke in tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance. All got filled- event concluded. They spoke as the Spirit gave the utterance is a language showing dependence on the utterance giver. Their infilling was not debatable, but their speaking was dependent on the utterance given. The scriptures should have said; Acts2:4- And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues”(full stop) but the Spirit giving the utterance puts it all in another dimension- their speaking was still under control of the Holy Spirit, the GIFT of the new birth. So it is an error to equate the infilling of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues because the Bible does not show or teach that. They were filled is not the same as “they must speak”, for the Holy Spirit determines the utterance as it is shown in the other similar events in the book of Acts. Not forgetting that the book of Acts are the trials and errors of the early Church not necessarily good enough for a standardized doctrine.
The Holy Spirit is not speaking in tongues, He gives the utterance. The gift is not the giver. The reference to speaking in tongues and prophesying in Acts19:6 further suggests that the coming of the Holy Ghost surpass just the speaking in tongues. The infilling in Acts 19:6 witnessed both a speaking in tongues and also prophesying. And more importantly, the gifts of the Holy Spirit which includes speaking in tognues are that which is given because you have received the GIFT of the Holy Spirit at new birth. Twice the disciples received the Holy Spirit. Hey! I am not trying to create a theological school of thought that promote “two times” experience just stating what the Bible teaches and asking that we will check the scriptures to see if these things are true. The first time was in John 20:22-23; “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” And again Jesus Christ asked them to wait in Acts 1:8 to receive the Holy Ghost. The first came after His resurrection when the new birth became a possibility and the second the endowment with power to be His witness all over the World. We must emphasis this. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit which includes speaking in tongues is manifested at the infilling of endowment. Paul explained this better in 1 Corinthians 12:1-3 that only by the Holy Spirit is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Lord possible. So the Holy Spirit comes in for the new birth experience and then after fully taking-over, He manifests the various gifts/manifestations He chooses to dispense. John 1:12 says; “But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on his name”. Children is what we become when we are saved. But again Romans 8:14; “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”. This time they become matured sons worthy of the inheritance of the father (Galatians 4:1-6 uses this analogy). The later infilling (indwelling) experience exposes us to the “manifestations” of the Holy Spirit. And this second experience should not be taken as more important than the first even if it seems so. The first opens the door to the adoption as sons by the Holy Spirit. If you need the gifts of the Holy Spirit- YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN by the gift who is the Holy Spirit. If you learn speaking in tongues from someone- ask yourself if that person is the Holy Spirit or the dispenser of the gifts or manifestations of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit dispenses His gifts only through His gracious choice.
3. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE?
We have seen that 1 cor. 14:14 was not an exaltation of tongues but a comparison of that which is available and beneficial (edifying). Paul said in verse 4; “Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?” Speaking in tongues is not in understanding, prophesying is in understanding. And so Paul suggested balancing the two and looking at the time and place appropriate for its use. “Therefore; “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Cor. 14:15). Note that praying in the spirit (small s) does not mean out of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 6:18(“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”) uses capital S when talking about the Spirit, signifying the Holy Spirit. Both praying “all” prayers and supplications plus speaking in tongues can be done in the Holy Spirit. Paul talked about praying in understanding and in the spirit (small s meaning spirit of man) in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 which are done IN THE HOLY SPIRIT. His prophesy which is in understanding and the speaking in tongues in the spirit- are both in the Spirit (capital S) although carried out by the man’s spirit (small s) as revealed in I Corinthians 14:2-3. The two verses began with “HE WHO”( For HE that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh …3 But HE that prophesieth speaketh ….” This means your spirit (he that speaketh) can pray in tongues and you can also pray in understanding which 1 Corinthians equate with prophesying in 1 Corinthians 14:22-24.
Speaking in tongues (out of understanding) is contrasted with prophesying (in understanding). How do we know the two must be done in the Holy Spirit? 1 John 5:14 says; “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us”. ONLY WHAT IS PRAYED OR REQUESTED FOR ACCORDING TO HIS WILL (WORD) WILL BE HEARD BY GOD. His word spoken in understanding is spirit and life (John 6:63) and that spoken out of natural understanding is also in the Spirit (capital SPIRIT).
Finally the Bible reveals Paul’s comparison of the two rather than a promotion of speaking in tongues when it says 1 Corinthians 14:39; “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues”. Which means don’t stop speaking in tongues, but rather pursue prophesy (not speaking in tongues) so unbelievers can be saved. But Paul teaches boldly that;
1. Speaking in tongues is for speaking mysteries to God. 1Co 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”.
2. Speaking in tongues is for personal edification. 1Co 14:4 says; “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.e that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.”
3. Speaking in tongues is only profitable to the Church if it is interpreted. 1Corinthians 14:12; “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.”
Speaking in tongues is not the “all in all” as many have been told and have proclaimed. Paul never turned speaking in tongues into his message. The Gospel of Christ- the death, burial and resurrection was His message. Paul chose to use as was his character, every logical edge when making an argument for consideration so he said; “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” (He uses this same style when attesting to his Apostleship and authority -2Cor. 1:1, Gal. 1:1 etc.) and he said this to gain the attention of his audience who assumed that speaking in tongues transfers the “wonders” of the Holy Spirit away from the Holy Spirit unto self. It does not. Every gift is for His purpose and to His glory. No place where the Bible says; all must speak and speaking in tongues is the measure of salvation or the only presence/evidence of the Holy Spirit. And the gifts of the Holy Spirit or speaking in tongues must lead to the “wonder” of our relationship with God. What speaking in tongues does is to embolden us for the word “edify” in Greek is “oikodomeo” which means build up or embolden. But when it comes to the congregation, prophesy is what it needs if there is no interpretation present. And there is another way to self-edification- Ephesians 4:16 reveals this.
God’s word through Apostle Paul says; “I would that ye all spake with tongues, but RATHER that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying” and again “How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying”. 1 Corinthians 14 shows where God’s priority lies- EDIFICATION AND SALVATION of the souls of the unbelievers who comes in contact with us, sorry to say it is not in speaking in tongues or “kabashing” (a meta-label for speaking in tongues). I am sure you will begin to wonder what we will do with the many teachings of many great teachers on the subject- I have simply shared from the scriptures and if the truths the Bible teaches is beneath the teachers you listen to, then it is between you and the most high. I have read over and over again the transmission of many of the “copy and say” exactly messages from great Christian teachers and I have called it the promotion of “experiential theology” over the search for truths. For many of these teachers speak of what they are witnessing in their ministries as the framework for understanding the truth of the Bible. The Bible alone explains itself. I only ask that you read and study the Bible by using its progressive truths alone as the framework. Again I am not the one to tell you 5 steps or 7 steps to being filled with the Holy Spirit, the Bible says when you are saved- the promise is unto you. Some years back, alone in our house, I asked for Him to fill me because Acts 1 and 2 teaches it and it happened. I have followed the same principle of direct gleanings of the scriptures and see many speak in tongues as the Holy Spirit gave utterance. And I have re-echoed the truth- the HOLY SPIRIT is not equal to speaking in tongues for the giver is greater than the gifts. And oftentimes wonder why Romans 12:8 is never spoken of as an evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit or is it because it requires much from and of us? Romans 12:8 says;” he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness” and I pray a time will come when we will see these kinds of gifts manifesting in the Church over that which is only self-edifying. As we seek to be edified, we must never forget- greater is he who edifies the Church of God. Shalom!
Credit: Bishop Ponle Segun Alabi
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