Ministry Of HS

THE PRESENT MINISTRY
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT


The Holy Spirit is the giver of spiritual
gifts. They are to be used for the common
good. The Holy Spirit desires to have a body
made up of many parts all functioning together
as a whole. I do not exalt one gift as more important
or valuable than another
(1 Corinthians 12:12-31). [ See also Spiritual Gifts ]

The gift of speaking in tongues is often erroneously used to separate Christians into two categories—those who are “spirit-filled” and those who aren’t.
(Comment: It is curious that nobody ever asks if you have the gift of administration or teaching or missions or evangelism in determining whether one is “spirit-filled”!)

Firstly, spiritual gifts are only available to the born-again whom are already Spirit-filled at the moment of regeneration. The Holy Spirit does not give gifts to the unregenerated.

Secondly, all gifts are exercised at the will of the gifted. The gift does not mysteriously come upon the gifted and take control of the believer.


Thirdly, evidence of the Holy Spirit working in someone’s life ought to result in fruit of the Spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

SPEAKING IN TONGUES

TONGUES:1 Corinthians 12:10; 14:27-28 - to speak in a language (often not previously learned and not their native language) allowing the listener to hear God’s message in their own language.

INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES:1 Corinthians 12:10; 14:27,28 - to translate the message of someone who has spoken in tongues

Speaking in tongues is but one of the 25 identified spiritual gifts (see also Spiritual Gifts). It is not the determining barometer whether one is filled with the Spirit (as many erroneously teach). Not every Spirit-filled Believer receives the gift of speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30). It is the least of all gifts in that it does not edify the church (1 Corinthians 14 esp. v.4). Speaking in tongues is a sign for unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:22) originally for the Jews because they required signs (1 Corinthians 1:22).

Speaking in tongues was never used in the Bible for self-glory. It is the easiest gift to fabricate, especially for vain-glory or as a result of peer pressure. This makes it a spiritually contentious practice in the general assembly. When the Apostles spoke in tongues, the gospel was communicated in foreign languages and heard by foreigners (Acts 2:4-8; 10:46; 19:6).

It is not to be used in the general assembly except when the message can be translated (1 Corinthians 14:27,28) and only by one or two speakers. There is never a true spiritual occasion, nor is it seen in the Bible, where the whole congregation speaks in tongues simultaneously. God is one of order and not confusion. Confusion is many people speaking in unknown languages in a roomful of people who are not spiritually connected, where nobody is prophesying, and nobody can amen. One cannot translate a roomful of speakers. (
Comment: When God wanted to scatter the nations at the tower of Babel He confused their languages. Why then do we want to go back to everyone speaking something that nobody else can understand?)

The Bible says we are to earnestly seek the other spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1,12).
See 1 Corinthians 12 through 14 for a authoritative discussion on spiritual gifts.

THEREFORE, I do not exalt speaking in tongues as a way to demonstrate higher spirituality or closeness to God. If it energizes the individual towards a closeness to God, let it be. I do not teach that the gift is the only way to know one is filled with the Spirit. I do not teach that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (only or always) results in speaking in tongues—the Bible specifically says otherwise.

Whether speaking in tongues is a known foreign language or an unknown language of mysteries I will leave to the individual believer. I ask that the individual believer exercise their gift in personal prayer not in the assembly
(1 Corinthians 14:23).

People In The Bible Filled With The Spirit
Many people were filled with the Spirit to do great things.
  • Joseph (Genesis 41:38,39),
  • Bezalel (Exodus 35:31),
  • Eldad & Medad (Numbers 11:26-30),
  • Balaam (Numbers 24:2),
  • Othiniel (Judges 3:10),
  • Gideon (Judges 6:34),
  • Jephthah (Judges 11:29),
  • Samson (Judges 13:25; 14:6,19; 15:14),
  • Saul (1 Samuel 10:5-6,10; 11:46),
  • David (1 Samuel 16:13),
  • Saul’s messengers (1 Samuel 19:20),
  • Elisha (2 Kings 3:15),
  • Amasai (1 Chronicles 12:18),
  • Azariah (2 Chronicles 15:1),
  • Jahaziel (2 Chronicles 24:20),
  • Christ (Isaiah 11:2),
  • Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:2),
  • Mary (Luke 1:35),
  • Elizabeth (Luke 1:41),
  • Zecharias (Luke 1:67),
  • Simeon (Luke 2:25,27),
  • New Christians (Acts 2:4; 10:44),
  • Stephen (Acts 7:55),
  • Philip (Acts 8:39),
  • Peter (Acts 10:19),
  • Paul (Acts 13:9),
  • Ephesian Christians (Acts 19:6).

Except for in the church of Corinth we do not see Believers speaking in a language of mysteries in connection with the Holy Spirit. Paul set out to correct this in their church, 1) “
But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way” (1 Cor 12:31; 14:1-40). Paul’s desire was to speak five words that might instruct others than 10,000 words in a tongue. Let this be our attitude.

Praying in the Spirit: Paul said he prayed in tongues more than anyone. He prayed in the spirit. And he prayed without understanding (1 Corinthians 14:2,4,14). And we too should pray in the spirit and worship God in spirit and in truth. I believe the Bible teaches us that praying in the spirit is an inward spiritual activity between our spirit and the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:12-17 reveals this connection we have with God.

I would not forbid the speaking of a known tongue in the general assembly if there is a translation available and there is someone there who needs the specific language. The purpose is because one cannot “amen” what cannot be understood (1 Corinthians 14:16).

I would therefore ask that the believer keep their praying in tongues for personal prayer times and not in the general assembly. I ask the church to be tolerant and flexible of those who cannot contain themselves. The church should not expel the speaker for this specific behavior.