Saturday, February 5, 2016
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Hey, Amigos, thank God for the Holy Spirit!
Way back in the Spring of 1980, I sat on a couch in the living room of a duplex in Oklahoma City. My future wife was there, along with her mother and aunt. They were on a mission to get me filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. Mission accomplished! I am eternally grateful to God for His gift, and to those ladies for their love and determination. What a blessing it is to be able to pray in a God-given, heavenly language. It transformed my Christian walk. Unfortunately, that power-from-glory-experience is increasingly rare, even in our s0-called Spirit-filled churches.
Part of the problem is our dumbed-down society. In many churches, folks don’t even carry a Bible, much less look at it. The scriptures, if there are any, are on a TV screen with fancy graphics and flashing lights. The translations read by most people are in “modern” or “contemporary” language. Therein lies the rub. Many of the more recent translations gloss over
the topic of tongues in such a way that it is basically a non-issue. They give the impression that this was an interesting ability given to special people to speak human languages, but now we have schools to teach us, so we don’t need it any more.
Compare the King James to the very popular New Living Translation of Acts 2: 4:
KJV: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
NLT: And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
The NLT is more true to the text in 1 Corinthians 14, but in 1 Corinthians 12:10, where the King James has “divers kinds of tongues,” the New Living has “the ability to speak in unknown languages.” Many of the newer translations use the term “languages” all the way through. Combine this with the fact that many churches no longer mention the subject at all, and you have a generation that is woefully ignorant of the things of the Spirit. The question is, if we don’t tell them about it, who do we think is going to do it?
· Pastors: Talk about the Holy Spirit, tongues, and spiritual gifts. Give opportunity to hear people speaking in tongues. Offer prayer for the Baptism of the Spirit. Educate your people on the differences in translations and paraphrases.
· Parents: Speak in tongues around your kids. Allow it to the norm for them. Be aware of what Bible translation you provide them. As soon as they express curiosity, lead them into the Baptism with the Spirit. Don’t force it, demonstrate it. Explain the different beliefs about tongues as soon as they are old enough to grasp it. We don’t want them to be argumentative, but we do want them to be informed.
Somebody Said: Praying in tongues charges your spirit like a battery charger charges a battery. Kenneth E. Hagin
Scripture Reading: I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you. (1 Corinthians 14:18 NLT)
Paul said he wanted everyone to experience this wonderful blessing (1 Corinthians 14:5). I feel the same way. If I don’t tell anyone else, I am either ashamed or selfish. I don’t like the sound of either one. I’m gonna be bold. Won’t you join me?
Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
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