Wednesday: Sensitivity to the Spirit’s Call
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Throughout his ministry, Paul was guided by the Spirit, convicted by the Spirit, instructed by the Spirit, and empowered by the Spirit.

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

In his defense before King Agrippa, he described the heavenly vision on the Damascus Road. He then testified that the purpose of his ministry to both the Jews and Gentiles was “‘“to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me”’” (Acts 26:18, NKJV).

In light of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, what is significant about the apostle Paul’s response to his Damascus Road vision? Contrast Paul’s response to the call of the Holy Spirit to King Agrippa’s response. Acts 26:19-32.

In direct contrast to Paul, King Agrippa did not yield to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. His own self-inflated importance and egotistical desires were in conflict with the Spirit’s prompting for a new life in Christ.

Jesus stated it clearly: “‘A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.’” (John 12:3536, NKJV).

As we obediently follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and walk in the light of God’s truth, He will continually reveal more light and truth. At the same time, too, the more that we push away the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the more that we resist Him, the harder our hearts will become.

“Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:28). Those are some of the most poignant, powerful, and sad words in all the Bible. In what ways can we be in danger of harboring a similar attitude? For instance, how does compromise in our walk with the Lord reveal the same principle that is seen in Agrippa’s words?

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Wednesday: Sensitivity to the Spirit’s Call — 40 Comments

  1. [Moderator's Note: Please use full name when commenting. Thank you.]

    The Holy spirit is trying to resist evils from us, but we tend to hesitate due to pride or boasting ourselves. Lets us be humble and listen Gods word to revive us.

    Like(12)
  2. What was the apostle Paul's response to the Damascus road vision?

    Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads." So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" (Acts 9:5-6 NKJV).

    And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank (Acts 9:9 NKJV).

    Like(5)
    • Just wondering if you are contrasting Paul's response to Jesus's interference in Paul's journey with that of King Agrippa's response to Paul's presentation of the gospel to King Agrippa?

      From the beginning of Paul's life in the service of the Lord(I am thinking of the time when Stefan was stoned), he was honestly serving the Lord even though his service was misguided. That is why Jesus had to hit him so hard, figuratively speaking with a 2x4 between the eyes, to reach him. Paul was intellectually honest and extremely focused in his service to the Lord. It was his tendency to be so focused hat required Jesus to use such extreme measure to reach him. King Agrippa on the other hand was not intellectually honest, nor extremely focused type of personality, so the approach by the Lord to reach King Agrippa had to be softer and not so drastic.

      Like(4)
      • Actually, I wasn't contrasting the two in my comment here but I do in another thread. What I was focusing on was Paul's response.

        Concerning what you say I basically agree.

        Like(0)
  3. [Moderator's Note: Please use full names when commenting. Thank you]

    Agripa was convinced that this gospel of Paul is but becouse os his position he was compelled to desist the light which was shown to him. sometime we reject clear massages of God becouse of wordly things (material).

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  4. King Agrippa had an opportunity to accept the light that was revealed to him through Paul. Because of his high status and rank in life, he refused the opportunity that was freely granted to him. We should all learn a lesson here. As Christians, we need to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. That's God's way of communicating with us. Irrespective of our high ranking status in this life, nothing matters that when we heed the voice of God through his sincere followers.

    Like(7)
  5. When Paul accepted the work of God the Holy Spirit was always with him, even when he was speaking to Agrippa the Holy Spirit guided him. If we obediently accept Jesus as our personal savior the Holy Spirit will never cease to be with us, and we will always be a light shining to those who have not received Jesus as their personal savior.

    Like(7)
  6. Whatever I want must be surrendered to what God wants. Surrender is a powerful thing. Still, that fully committed state brings peace to our hearts and minds. There is much joy in following humbly after our God and looking to Jesus who once prayed the prayer to the Father "Not My will by Yours be done."

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  7. Agrippa thought that being a king he was above everything and everyone. His pride lured him to speak such poignant,powerful and sad words. Maybe we have used our positions to blasphemy God,through His messengers. God help us and create in us asteadfast spirit that was in Paul.

    Like(1)
  8. At times we reject the truth not that we do not believe it, but because of the messenger. When we first became Christians,there were things that were unthinkable for us to do, because at that time when the Holy Spirit was prompting we were sensitive to His bidding. Little by Little we became insensitive to the Holy Spirit's prompting and were are now doing bizarre things that we never thought we will do. Breaking the Sabbath and the rest of the commandments willy nilly because the Holy Spirit's prompting has been pushed away and our hearts have become hardened. There were times we could listen to sermons without questioning because the Holy Spirit was besides us, in us, with us. Now when messages are being presented to us, we scrutinise and analyse them, indirectly we are repeating King Agrippa's world, " You almost persuaded me to become a Christian". We need to take advantage of the light while it is still there, make use of the admonition that we get through sermons and other teachings make good use of the church services we attend for a time is coming where all this will be no more.

    Like(21)
  9. Pride and prestige can prevent us from seeing the light that the gospel gives. People often allow worldly things to keep them away from accepting the truth and to live thereby. We must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us by being obedient to His promptings. Only complete surrender can help us become more like our Savior

    Like(10)
  10. When we fail to submit our trust and faith in the light given to us and to allow the Holy Spirit's guidance in our lives, we compromise our walk with the Lord.

    Like(4)
  11. Lord, help me to be guided by the Spirit, convicted by the Spirit, instructed by the Spirit and empowered by the Spirit.

    Like(10)
  12. Just as the rich young ruler rejected Christ. Today, some of us, though we are not rich, we are so busy trying to make ends meet that we keep saying tomorrow. Saying tomorrow is just as bad as saying I'm almost persuaded

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  13. If we look upon what King Agripa did, we're going to see that he refused to hear what Paul said to him because of his Rank. Many of us today we do the same,but Jesus is still speaking to us the same way He spoke to Paul. Let's allow the Holy Spirit to Guide us in our daily doings.

    Like(4)
  14. [Moderator: Please be sure to use your full name when commenting on this blog as stated in the Comment Guidelines. Thank you.]

    These lesson have come in time...but i note one of the problem that we as adventist have,its saying that revive and reformation buy our words which we say do they come deep from our heart?????the problem is that we,only,just say through mouth....God should help us,to understand the lesson and to us to be revived

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  15. Iam truly touched by this lesson. For king Agrippa is no stranger to the christian faith, you see it in his response. We to are guilty of the same actions. For we may look like christians come sabbath, but our interactions with others is the testing ground of our faith. God bless!!

    Like(3)
  16. It is baffling to anyone who has exercised faith in God's grace and humbled themselves, to ponder the rejection of other humans who have just as much to gain and lose. It makes one wonder if all have the same opportunity, yet my conclusion is that God's love for every soul is equal, so the opportunity due to His effort to save is equal. Stubborn pride...so foolish and yet so powerful, especially with those who feel they have too much to lose in worldly ways, which prompted Jesus to proclaim that few of the wealthy will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The price seems just to high to their limited vision, though they are given the faith to see further if they will.

    Covetousness is such a deep pit to fall into, yet it is a conscious choice with all who go that way. Each downward step adds to the difficulty of retracing our wayward steps by faith, and Satan is ever near to make it seem both impossible and undesirable. How precious the Promises of God to the believing soul!

    Have you ever realized that every human who has ever lived on this earth will be part of the new earth? Some will enjoy the fruits of the soil while the others will be part of the soil. The choice is for each to make.

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    • Robert you said, "which prompted Jesus to proclaim that few of the wealthy will enter the Kingdom of Heaven." I would like to extend that by asking, "wealthy in what ways?" Is it only financial wealth that He referred to? What about those who are covered in fame or are held in high regard for their knowledge or are considered glamorous such as movie stars or models? How far are we to take what the true witness says to the church, "you say,`I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing" (Rev. 3:17 NKJV) especially when it talks of being miserable, blind and naked?

      Besides is it only the world that feels that it is wealthy and without need or do we need to be a little less arrogant in our estimation of ourselves especially for those of us who teach and feel we have great light (I include myself in this more than anyone else).

      Like(1)
      • Yes Tyler, it applies in every way the Holy Spirit can bring conviction on. As I was applying it toward the story of Agrippa, his wealth was more than material, but also position, power, influence and popularity. Lucifer was proud of his influence, position, wisdom and beauty, and look at the result.

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  17. Last week when this lesson was scheduled, I was dealing with a sister-in-Christ who was going through a difficult time. Now I see this study came just in time. This Sabbath I experienced the Holy Spirit urging me to do something that the my church may not accept. I share in leading the singing with another. When I am not leading, Often the Spirit calls me to pray in tongues, always knowing the jest of my words as He reveals it to me, which usually is directed at the church, the ministers, the work of the Holy Spirit, and such. I often obey, speaking in a whisper so as not to offend. Other times, He calls me to sing in tongues in a beautiful descant that I hear first in my head and sing with my mouth as the Spirit gives utterance; something that has developed over the last few years before I joined this group. When I am in my seat, to dare to sing it in harmonization. No one has said anything to me about it. Maybe because I hold back the volume.

    This Sabbath I was leading when He urged me to sing descant in a heavenly language, I kept singing with my partner instead, and found that hard to do. Then I was called to pray in tongues. At that time I stepped back and prayed without the mic. He led me back to the descant; I believe I was suppose to sing it to bless God in the ears of the Church. I resisted, held back because I didn't want to hurt anyone, or cause dissension. Today, as I read this lesson, I am bearing conviction. I love this church, and do not want to lose spiritual fellowship with them. I've found a home and I don't want to lose it because of some prominent members who would be seriously offended if I spoke into the mic in tongues. How important is it to obey this prompting in my spirit? The cost might be great. Please advise.

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      • William, I listened to the site all the way through, and it seems to focus on only one aspect of tongues without consideration of the others.

        Since the site you used to answer my question dealt with the question whether or not the tongues I speak of was of God, I answer this. I, too, did my own thorough study on tongues, but I took into account all the scriptures which show that the gift of tongues had other purposes than what was seen at Pentecost. We must be careful to consider all of scriptures when searching out the truth.

        With such controversy throughout the churches concerning the gift of tongues, I, whom He gave the gift, asked myself these questions when seeking out the truth: “Why did God think tongues so important that He purposely made it one of the special gifts when He brought His Holy Spirit to guide us, and why had He prescribed it in scriptures along with all the other gifts for all Christians to see today? Why do some churches dispute this special gift, if God saw fit to give it, making it plain in scripture? Why would someone want to discourage others from the gift by telling them it was probably from the devil? Why would God give a gift of interpretation of tongues if He only intended it to be said if someone already knew the language spoken? Such a gift of interpretation would have no purpose then. Why did Paul say “If I speak in tongues of men and angels,” if tongues did not include languages known only by the angels which would need interpretation for men to understand? If someone truly searched the scriptures on the subject, how can they miss the fact that speaking an unknown tongue in the Holy Spirit has a good purpose? Did not Paul say in 1 Cor 14, “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues?” There is a clear danger when believing what men say without testing it. (Jer. 17:5-8)

        My question in my previous blog was not whether or not the tongue given me to sing in a descant was of God. It was of God. It passed the test. I was referring to the Bible Lesson that we should listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and be obedient. I wondered how it applied to my dilemma. I refer to the Amplified Bible version of 1 Cor. 14:32. “For the spirits of the prophets (the speakers in tongues) are under the speaker’s control [and subject to being silenced as may be necessary]. My question was sincere and was not meant to be contradictory. Neither was it intended to be controversial.

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    • Celeste, I have a great amount of respect for William, to me he is a real soul winner. I am not and often I am viewed as a wet blanket, a troubler of Israel (1 Kings 18:17) and so what I have to say may not be welcome but please hear me out.

      Today we don't hear so much about tongues and other spiritual phenomenon but I remember when it was a big thing in the USA. Because of that there was a lot of study done on such things to determine if it was from God or the other side.

      There were two main areas they looked at:
      1. What happened at Pentecost, "Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, 'Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?'" (Acts 2:7-8 NKJV).
      2. Paul's discussion of the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Cor 12, especially where he asks, "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?" (1 Cor. 12:29-30 NKJV) which is important because the congregations that are involved in what is commonly referred to as tongues usually require that single manifestation to be present among all members.

      The question I think you need to ask is exactly what is the purpose for tongues? Is it to impart knowledge and understanding with conviction of truth as it is with the gift of prophesy or is it to have a warm fuzzy feeling. What did Jesus do who was filled with the Holy Spirit more than anyone else? To me it seems that you need to listen to what John told his church, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 Jn. 4:1 NKJV) and what Paul said to the Thessalonians, "Test all things; hold fast what is good" (1 Thess. 5:21 NKJV). We test with the word of God, the Bible, "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20 NKJV).

      I pray that the Holy Spirit will be with you in a mighty way that, "He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine" (Jn. 16:13-15 NKJV).

      Like(2)
    • Hi Celeste,

      To answer your question: It is extremely important to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

      But when we have promptings of any sort, we need to "test the spirits" (1 John 4:1) to understand what kind they are. Promptings may come from other directions than from the Holy Spirit, including our own impulses and whisperings from Satan.

      The Holy Spirit never leads contrary to the guidance He has given through the Bible. And that's why I highly recommend that you give the subject of the gifts of the Spirit some serious study. Satan is in the business of impersonating the Holy Spirit, and we are safe only as we prayerfully fill our minds with the truth of Scripture as we walk in obedience to His clear commandments.

      You can start by studying what is on the page of our Fundamental Belief concerning Spiritual Gifts and Ministries.

      It may seem like a "great cost" to you may to give up your belief that the experiences you have had are from the Holy Spirit. Perhaps that is equal to the great possessions of the rich young ruler. (Mark 10:17-22) I pray that you will make a better decision than he did.

      I am familiar with the kind of "tongues" to which you refer. I have observed my students and friends engaged in speaking in "tongues." Most of it was a sort of auto-hypnosis. (They were conditioned to believe that the Holy Spirit would work that way.) But "tongues" are not a Christian phenomenon and they can lead to dangerous involvement with evil spirits. They predate Christianity by thousands of years. Probably most non-Christian religions have a sort of ecstatic utterance that is like the "tongues" to which half of Christianity subscribes. And you can meet the same kind of "tongues" at any occult fair.

      I have read a paper by a psychologist who analyzed the experience of tongues and other such experiences. What she found is that the mind goes into sort of an auto-pilot mode in which the pre-frontal cortex portion of the brain (which is the seat of judgment and discernment) is turned off. And that means that the door is open to suggestions by the spirits, without anyone standing guard. A similar state of mind is common in Yoga and participants in rock concerts. (That's all from the paper I read years ago.) And just recently, I read that scientists have measured brain waves of people watching typical movies and other TV fare and have found that the brain enters a similar state -- where alpha waves (as usual in sleep) predominate and judgment is shut off.

      Truly, we battle not against flesh and blood!

      If you can access Youtube, the video by Doug Batchelor to which William referred is a good one. Tyler's comments are right on track as well.

      I am praying for you -- that the Lord will give you discernment and show you how you may experience the peace and the joy of the Lord according to His plan.

      PS There is nothing wrong with singing a descant to a song, as long as you exercise judgment regarding when you do this and whether it fits the occasion. It seems to me that it would usually enhance the music. :)

      Like(1)
      • Inge, thank you for bringing up the psychological study on tongues, it adds a significant amount of information on the subject.

        I also have read studies done on the tongues phenomenon from the linguistic point of view and they could find no scientifically defined language involved, in other words, they found no information transfer when speaking in tongues. They determined that by looking for the common things that make up all known languages.

        You being multilingual and people like you would know more about that than I would since I only know English.

        Like(2)
        • Hi Tyler,

          Yes, I did find it very interesting to listen to the "tongues" speaking, particularly of my students. Knowing several languages does help, and I think it is possible to identify a person's native language from his/her "tongues" speaking because the rhythm, the syllables, and the intonation of English speakers resemble the English language, even though what comes out are nonsense syllables. The resemblance to real language varies from individual to individual, with some repeating actual words in nonsense sequence to others stringing together so many syllables that no word pattern is recognizable.

          The original word for "tongues" meant languages, and languages are meant to communicate. Thus when there is no information transfer, we are not dealing with a language.

          It seems to me that even in Corinth, where Paul gave specific counsel, the people were speaking real languages, but they were showing off, speaking a foreign language when there was no one to understand. So Paul counseled that if there was no one to interpret, they ought to keep silent in church.

          Your previous question is excellent regarding the purpose for the gifts of the Spirit, including tongues. I believe Paul gives us the answer in Eph 4:12-13. The gifts of the Spirit are to make us more like Jesus and bring us together into unity in Christ.

          Like(0)
      • We recently studied that our personal witness is powerful. I would like to speak mine so you may hear another side concerning the gift of tongues.

        I was in church one day and we were all worshipping God, some in tongues and some not. It was pure worship time and everyone joined in. My heart testified of the Holy Spirit’s presence (not by a feeling.) God was being manifested. My ear was tuned into a tongue someone was speaking which stood out from all the rest; and God was revealing the interpretation as he spoke. I wish I had written it down word for word because it was the most beautiful and perfect prayer I have ever heard from a person. It was humble, it was sincere, it was purposeful, and it ultimately glorified God. Only God could come up with such a perfect prayer. Many times I have thanked God for the privilege of hearing it. After hearing this with my own ears, no one will be able to convince me that the unknown tongues given by the Holy Spirit are only of a language that someone there knows. I didn’t know the language. It may have been strange, but it was beautiful; and even more beautiful was its interpretation. It left a mark in my heart that brings praise to God every time I think of it. The sad thing is that I have yet to hear a prayer like it since.

        Another time I was going to a church that worshiped on the Sabbath because I longed to join one. They discouraged tongues. One day while I was singing and worshiping God, I received a message which first came through a different tongue than my own. I spoke under my breath so as not to offend anyone. As I spoke, I also saw the interpretation. God urged me to speak of it to the church on this day, and I obeyed.

        As I spoke the interpretation many faces displayed such awe in their hearing. The words I spoke brought the knowledge of God and His glory to the congregation, therefore edifying the church. God ministered in a miraculous way that day. Right after the message, the Pastor spent a half-hour discouraging the use of tongues. He did that right after seeing the congregation receive the loving words of Christ spoken in the interpretation. Later he put on a seminar where he gave several proofs that tongues come from the devil, insinuating that all tongues that aren’t in a language that someone knew in the congregation aren’t from God. (Luke 6:39)

        As you can see by my witness, that I personally witnessed the glory of God through the use of tongues, and the interpretations. The test came out positive. These gifts of tongues were of God.

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      • Satan was an angel. He knows the angels language. If he was to whisper to you something in an angel’s language, it would definitely be blasphemous and believe me, the Holy Spirit would let God’s children know it. I have heard such a tongue in a child who spoke words she learned would exorcise ghosts. I thought she was being foolish at first, but when she started to speak I immediately felt how real and defiling the words were. It was no game, and the Spirit made it known. There was no mistaking it. I stopped her immediately. I explained to her the dangers of speaking such words and begged her not to ever say them again. She got scared and promised not to. Believe me, if the words were under Satan’s influence, you would know it too.

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        • Hi Celeste,

          I have only a moment for a brief reply because we are preparing to leave on a trip. (That will explain if I don't immediately reply to other comments.)

          You write that " If he [Satan] was to whisper to you something in an angel’s language, it would definitely be blasphemous."

          Something for you to think about: Did Satan speak blasphemy in his first two temptations when he spoke to Jesus in the wilderness? (Matthew 4:1-4) How did Jesus know it was Satan? Because he spoke blasphemy?

          Paul writes that "Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light." (2 Cor 11:14) Now, how do you suppose Satan would act/speak as an "angel of light"? Would he speak blasphemy?

          It seems to me that you are basing your certainty on your own suppositions rather than the Word of God. That is very dangerous when Satan has the ability to appear and act like an angel of light, as Paul tells us he can and will. We are only safe when our convictions are based on the sure word of God. His Word is given to protect us from Satan's deceptions. (Ps 119:11)

          I appreciate your sincerity, but I caution you to dig deeper into the Word because Christ Himself said that "false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." (Matt 24:24) Did you get that? Deceivers will be able to "perform great signs and wonders." In fact, so great will be the signs and wonders that even "the elect" are nearly deceived. So we cannot safely trust miracles or miraculous manifestations such as ecstatic tongues. (I am not prepared to say that all non-language manifestations are of the devil. Some are simply the result of a firm belief in the manifestation and the result of training and/or auto-hypnosis. I have known many sincere Christians who believe and practice "tongues." I am just concerned for their safety, in case they trust their charismatic experience instead of the Bible. However, the ones I know realize that every message needs to be tested by Scripture. Do you?)

          I believe we are living in the end time. And the end-time book of the Bible, the Revelation, tells us that there will be a power that will be able to perform great signs and wonders, and this power will be opposed to Christ. (Rev 13:11-17) That should tell us that trusting in miraculous manifestations is not safe.

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      • I sang a descant in a tongue at the Sabbath believing church mentioned above. A elderly member made a special effort to come to me and tell me of a special blessing she received from God, and she thanked me for the beautiful descant.

        When we were worshipping in a bible study I was conducting, I worshipped softly in tongues. Afterward, I gave them a summary of what was being said, as I often do if it is within anyone’s hearing. The people in the study came from different religions and most were not familiar with the gift. One of these woman witnessed to me that the language was so beautiful and when I spoke it all her stresses seemed to pour off her like water, and she felt at peace from the words, even though she didn’t understand them at the time. God encouraged me through her witness.

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  18. Celeste,to answer on your question:
    "How important is it to obey this prompting in my spirit?"
    1 Corinthians 14:4
    English Standard Version (ESV)
    4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.

    There is no need for publicly speaking in a tongue.

    Like(1)
  19. Celeste, thank you for your comments. Here are some questions for you to consider:

    Acts 2:1-6 —————- How did every one hear the apostles speak?

    Acts 2:7-11 —————————– Did anyone need an interpreter?

    1 Corinthians 12:1-10 ——————— Do all receive the same gift?

    NOTE: In the modern charismatic movement, it is claimed that all

    must receive the gift of UNKNOWN tongues.

    1 Corinthians 12:7- Are the gifts given to benefit the believer or body?

    1 Corinthians 12:11, 18 ————- Who decides who gets what gifts?

    1 Corinthians 12:28 – What place does tongues hold in the list of gifts?

    NOTE: Of the three lists of the gifts of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:11-14;

    Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14), only Corinthians lists tongues

    (and even then at the bottom of the list), and that in seeking to correct

    a problem that had arisen from a corruption of the true gift.

    1 Corinthians 13:1-3 – What is needed for any of these to be effective?

    1 Corinthians 14:1, 5 —————- Which gift is the most desirable?

    1 Corinthians 14:4 — Why is this greater than an unknown tongue?

    1 Corinthians 14:6, 9, 11 -Why should others understand what is said?

    1 Corinthians 14:12 ——- What is the primary purpose of the gifts?

    1 Corinthians 14:15 —- What should one always have when praying?

    1 Corinthians 14:18, 19 — What did Paul say about tongues in church?

    1 Corinthians 14:22 ———————– To whom are tongues a sign?

    NOTE: In the modern charismatic movement, it is taught that the gift

    of tongues is the sign to the church that one has received the Holy

    Spirit. This is in direct opposition to what Scripture teaches.

    1 Corinthians 14:26, 33 — What was the apparent problem in Corinth?

    1 Corinthians 14:40 ——————– What is Paul’s closing counsel?

    I hope that these questions will help us understand that the gift of tongues is used to help the unbeliever hear the gospel while the gift of prophecy is used for instruction in the church. This tells me there is no reason for the gift of tongues to be used in the church but rather the gift of prophecy.

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    • William,
      When I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, I did not speak in tongues. My evidence was that I was open to His communication and I couldn’t stop reading, thinking, or speaking about Him. I wanted and did spend every waking moment in the scriptures or in prayer for at least the duration of 6 months after, even while working. Now that was a clear sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit within me. I hadn’t spoken in tongues until much later. Tongues and Baptism in Holy Spirit are separate entities.
      I can honestly say that the Holy Spirit bears witness with my spirit that tongues is just as useful today as it was when He filled the disciples, and not just when someone knows the language, because God also felt it necessary to give gifts of interpretation. God had His reasons why He wouldn’t let me believe anything I hear or read, but only what He personally bore witness to with His Spirit.
      I am settled in my beliefs. I have no desire to convince you of anything.
      Besides, it’s not about who has what gift. It’s about the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, and in the church.

      Like(0)
  20. Inge,
    From the example of when Satan tempted God, I see Satan quoting scripture to deceive Jesus. It could be a warning to us not to trust in the scriptures alone lest we miss something or Satan uses it to lead us to error.
    The true test in 1 John 4:1-3 is: “My dear friends, do not believe all who claim to have the Spirit, but test them to find out if the spirit they have comes from God. For many false prophets have gone out everywhere. This is how you will be able to know whether it is God's Spirit: anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ came as a human being has the Spirit who comes from God. But anyone who denies this about Jesus does not have the Spirit from God. The spirit that he has is from the Enemy of Christ; you heard that it would come, and now it is here in the world already.” If we test someone who speaks in tongues by this scripture, than it isn’t likely that a child of God will speak in anything but a good tongue that glorifies God.
    I also gave witness in my blog to Tyler how the Holy Spirit used the gift of tongues that I received to bring glory to God, to heal, and to edify the church. The outcome was concrete proof and indisputable.

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    • Celeste, you indicated that it is obvious when Satan speaks, because He would speak blasphemy. You see this was not so when he tempted Jesus.

      And now you are saying we should not trust Scripture alone!?

      Jesus set the example of trusting the word of His Father, as recorded in Scripture.

      Satan quoted Scripture out of context, and that's what made it deceptive. He does the same to you and me today. And it seems to me that saying that this passage may indicate that we are not to trust Scripture alone is doing something similar, because the context indicates the opposite.

      Just a note on the passage in the first epistle of John: This was written towards the end of John's life in the context of the inroads of gnosticism. It was very specific to the time. It is not the only test of a "spirit." Any activity or words of a "spirit" that is out of harmony with the recorded Word of God indicates that the spirit is not of God.

      When someone who speaks in tongues denigrates the Word of God, the source of the "tongues" comes into question. And in our experience this is not uncommon. One pastor, when confronted with evidence from Scripture that did not agree with his experience, threw down the Bible and said he did not need it because the Spirit communicated with him directly.

      God does not contradict Himself. A spirit that disagrees with His inspired Word is not of Him.

      And it seems to me that you missed the importance of recognizing that miracles (whether in church or out) are not necessarily an evidence of God working. Satan can imitate many miracles of God.

      Our only sure anchor is the written word of God. By it all spirits must be tested. In light of the long history of non-Christian glossolalia (tongues), this is especially significant. For a good article on the subject see "Speaking in Tongues"

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    • Celeste, in addition to what Inge has replied, I would ask you to realize how Jesus responded to Satan's misuse of scripture; "It is written". If we are not to trust in God's Word alone, why did Jesus? Why does the Bible teach us to do so?

      There is no proof of any spirit without God's Word to guide us. It is this established Word that allows us to be taught of the Spirit of God and not deceived by evil spirits. Faith, the vital part of our salvation, comes by hearing the word of God which the Holy Spirit amplifies in our minds, enabling us to understand and follow it. There is no security for us outside of this means provided of God.

      I would also remind you of Jesus' witness to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, who, "beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." Jesus did not require them to take His word alone, even though He is the very Son of God and the inspiration behind all scripture, but gave them the true manna from heaven; God's written word. Upon this alone was their hope and faith to be aroused into living a Godly life by grace, as taught in this sacred Word of God.

      In the scriptures alone do we have a safeguard.

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      • Thank you William. Are we saying the same thing?
        The scriptures that I find that supports my understanding is
        John 14:26
        The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.

        And

        Luke 24:45
        Then Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

        And it seems to me you are saying the same thing when you said:

        “Faith, the vital part of our salvation, comes by hearing the word of God which the Holy Spirit amplifies in our minds, enabling us to understand and follow it. There is no security for us outside of this means provided of God.”

        That’s what I’ve been trying to say all along. Not the scriptures alone, but the scriptures and the help of the Holy Spirit to understand them. Thank you for clarifying the important part the Holy Spirit plays.

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        • Celeste of course I agree with the texts. Thank you. We must remember the Holy Spirit will only confirm what is in Scripture and will never lead us otherwise. And if we get a feeling that contradicts Scripture then we know that feeling is not from God. Isaiah 28:10 teaches us that the Spirit teaches us to come to an understanding of God's Word by comparing Scripture with Scripture and not Scripture with feeling.

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