"All material is written by
Joe R. Price, unless otherwise
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
Many people think the Holy Spirit has given them the miraculous gift of speaking in tongues. They think the Holy Spirit is working in them to cause this phenomenon. Here is a reply offered recently when I was asked to comment on a woman’s defense of present-day miraculous manifestations of the Holy Spirit. She wrote in part,
“I know many people with this gift. The truth of the matter is that you never know how the spirit will hit you, until it does.”
The question that should be asked is what language is spoken by these people? They may say they speak in tongues, but in the New Testament, when the apostles spoke in tongues “everyone heard them speak in his own language” (Acts 2:6). The gift of tongues was the miraculous ability to speak in a discernible human language one could not otherwise speak; not unintelligible gibberish. Those who heard them said, “we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11). All of the personal experiences in the world will not change this clear, simple statement of fact from the Scriptures about the New Testament miracle of speaking in tongues. Today, those who claim the power may have a “form of godliness” but they deny its power (2 Tim. 3:5).
Furthermore, the Bible teaches us how the Spirit “hit” first century Christians. And, we can only conclude that unless he “hits” people the same way today, they have not been “hit” by the Spirit of God. In the Bible, the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of the promise Jesus made to them (Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4). It required an apostle to lay his hands on a Christian before that Christian received any miraculous gifts of the Spirit (Acts 8:14-17). In that passage we see that people “had received the word of God” and been saved, yet the Holy Spirit “had fallen upon none of them.” The apostles Peter and John “laid their hands on them (the Samaritan Christians, jrp), and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:17). There are no apostles on the earth today. Nobody receives miraculous manifestations of the Holy Spirit today like they did in the New Testament because: 1) We are not apostles, so we cannot expect to receive Holy Spirit baptism, and 2) There are no apostles on earth to give miraculous gifts of the Spirit to anyone. This is not a problem, because the Holy Spirit fully accomplished His miraculous work during the days of the first century (Jno. 16:8-13; Heb. 2:3-4; 1 Cor. 13:8-10). The day of miracles has ceased. One must not put his trust in things that are not found in the Bible, including the “lying wonders” of Satan (2 Ths. 2:9).
You also wrote:
have felt the spirit of the Lord on me, and the truth of the matter is that
it is entirely overwhelming. I cried and cried uncontrollably for the
better part of an hour, for complete lack of a better way of physical
expression...what's to say that others wouldn't laugh uncontrollably? It
has not happened to me since, I think mostly because I am more guarded than
I used to be. It is a scary thing to not be in control of yourself, even
when you know you're in better hands. <<
In the New Testament those who had miraculous gifts of the Spirit could control the use of those gifts; they did not act “uncontrollably” as you suggest some do. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:27-33:
27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
It is clear from what the Bible says that they took turns speaking in tongues, that no more than two or three at the most were to speak, and if there was no one present to interpret the language, they were to keep silent (that means they could control when they spoke). And, a prophet could stop speaking and yield the floor to another prophet. It was to be done orderly: “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” None of the confusing, uncontrollable, scary loss of self-control you describe happened in Bible times. What you and others have experienced and are trusting in is not in the Bible; it is not from the Holy Spirit.
>> I guess that it just kind of upset me that the site was so quick to question how the Spirit would work. He works differently in all of us...and like the saying, "Birds of a feather flock together", we tend to attend a place of worship that feels comfortable to us. With different levels of comfort in different churches, of course the Spirit of the Lord would Manifest Himself differently to us. <<
Dear Madam, I do not question how the Spirit works; the Bible teaches how He works. I question how you say he works, because what you say is the Spirit working is not to be found in the Scriptures! Remember please, the Holy Spirit inspired the Scriptures (Jno. 16:13-15; 1 Cor. 2:10-13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). He has told us in the New Testament how he works, but what you have described contradicts what the Spirit wrote about Himself. Now then, whom should I believe? Whom should you believe? Shouldn’t we both believe what the Holy Spirit says in His inspired Scriptures? Yes, of course. He said tongues are human languages that helped communicate God’s word (Acts 2:6-11).
in tongues was just one of many miraculous gifts of the Spirit given to
Christians by the Holy Spirit through the apostles (1 Cor. 12:1-11; Acts
8:14-17; Heb. 2:3-4). They were temporary, lasting until the revelation of
the gospel of Christ was complete (1 Cor. 13:8-10).
Finally, you wrote:
church I attend now is unbelievably mild compared to the churches I attended
in my youth, I actually miss that people don't get up and start spouting out
the word of God in tongues...and on that occasion that someone is given an
interpretation, they stand up and shout it out. And you hear the word of
God spoken in words directly to your ear, and you can't deny that He has
just spoken. There is nothing like that in the whole world! <<
We must be careful not to deny the word of God as revealed in the inspired Scriptures. The ways that seem right to men often lead to death (Prov. 14:12; 16:25; Jer. 10:23).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:22-32
Misunderstanding church leads to many other errors.
I. DEFINING AND UNDERSTANDING THE CHURCH.
“Called Out Ones,” an Assembly, cf. Acts 7:38 (Hosea 11:1), 19:39 (32, 41).
II. THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH, Heb. 12:23.
A. God’s People
wherever they are Found, Matt. 16:18; Eph. 5:23-27 (Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 12:13;
Eph. 4:4; 1 Tim. 3:15; 2 Tim. 2:19.
III. THE LOCAL CHURCH, Rev. 1:11; 2:1.
Autonomous Congregations of Christians, Acts 11:22, 26.
IV. CONTRASTS BETWEEN THE UNIVERSAL & THE LOCAL CHURCH.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 2:8-15
“Concerning Bible Authority – I have heard it preached (rightly so) about a woman’s duty to learn in quietness & full submission and not to teach or have authority over a man (1 Tim. 2:11-12). The preceding verses (1 Tim. 2:9-10) concerning decency & propriety, seem just as specific about braided hair, gold & pearls. They seem to be in the same context of appropriate worship so what is the difference in these instructions? Why are the verses treated differently?”
I. THE TEXT IN CONTEXT, 1 Tim. 2:8-12.
-This verse does
not exclude women from praying, but it defines spheres of duty for men &
II. WOMEN PROFESSING GODLINESS, 1 Tim. 2:9-10. (Prov. 7:10; 4:23; Rev. 17:1, 4)
A. Heart Issue:
(internal) modesty is reflected by (external) clothing, 1 Tim. 2:9-10; 1
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA