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So, Now You Speak in
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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It is very gratifying when someone receives the Spirit of God, for what precedes it is often a long road.
It is even more delightful when you have rescued people from false teaching that holds them captive by shutting out God’s Spirit and His supernatural gifts. Such is the case with the proud Sabbatarian churches who think they have so much when they have so little.
The SDAs (Seventh Day Adventists), WCG (Worldwide Church of God), CoGs (Churches of God) have all taught AGAINST the super- natural gifts of God, one of which is speaking in tongues.
Their teaching closes the door of the mind and heart, shutting out the moving of God’s Spirit so that spiritual gifts are not accepted or welcomed.
If a rare individual exists in any of those groups who speaks in tongues, it is only because they had previously accepted it or learned it elsewhere. It is certainly NOT to the credit of those organisations. They all block the moving of the Spirit!
What they have instead is a mix of hypocrisy, gross ignorance about spiritual gifts, and deep-seated prejudice. So, when rare individuals hunger and thirst for the spiritual things of God, and are able to receive the baptism in the Spirit with a manifestation of gifts of the Spirit, that is delightsome.
Having had such a dead background in one of the above churches, and then receiving an immersion in the Spirit, I have laboured for 15 years to lead others into the same experience via MM literature.
I remember really thirsting to receive tongues myself, and wondering why I only ever spoke a few words in tongues. At the end of my inquiry, God said quite simply: "You don’t need it." (Tongues, that is.)
Instead, He gave me other gifts of the Spirit. Remember, these gifts are for use – to benefit others. He has given me a writing gift, words of knowledge, interpretation of tongues, discerning of spirits and prophesy- ing. And, with the revelations in dreams, He can use me in the job He has assigned. It’s not for my benefit, but for all who will hear and heed.
Likewise, speaking or praying in tongues is a gift for the benefit of others besides yourself. Certainly you can pray in tongues and be uplifted yourself, but one main benefit is for others. God wants you to bless them through your gifts, just as He wants to bless you through them too.
The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all (1 Cor 12:7).
Here are some of the ways others can profit:
Jude encouraged believers who knew the Spirit:
You, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God... (Jude 20,21).
Praying in tongues is often unintelligible speech – called by some, glossolalia. But, as you yield to the Spirit, allowing God to inspire your utterance, He lifts you up AND works out His amazing divine purposes. For those who don’t understand, you don’t relinquish your control over your tongue. You can stop it any time you want, but you should learn to be sensitive to the Spirit, so that you flow as the Spirit directs. God has a purpose of love behind it. For example this happened in 1945, in Fairbury, Nebraska, USA:
During evangelistic meetings, Christians in the Fairbury community gathered daily to pray that God would move in the services. At these meetings, the evangelist, Gertrude Beck, often became so burdened for souls without Christ that she was moved to intercede in other tongues. In fact, when she tried to pray in her own language, English, the spirit of prayer lifted. So she continued praying in the Spirit.
One afternoon the evangelist noticed something different was occurring in her praying in other tongues. She was conscious of the fact that her lips were forming different words from those she ordinarily used when manifesting glossolalia.
That night there was a special move of God in the service with numbers seeking God for salvation at the altar.
Next day, Miss Tillie Plies said to Gertrude Beck: "I want to tell you that yesterday afternoon when you were praying in tongues you prayed in the German language. You were praying for souls [people to be saved], and you quoted the Scripture which was your text for last night’s sermon."
Gertrude Beck knew nothing of the German language. The incident was especially encouraging to her, since on occasion she has been criticized elsewhere for praying in tongues in a public meeting. (Spoken by the Spirit, p 45. Documented accounts of "other tongues" from Arabic to Zulu by Ralph W Harris, 1973.)
2) As a sign to unbelievers.
According to 1 Corinthians 14:22, tongues can be a sign to unbelievers.
John and Elva Horn were having a hard time getting a Pentecostal church established in Olean [New York]. The many Ukrainian and Assyrian people who lived in the community were good hearted but would not disobey the clergy and enter the forbidden Protestant churches.
One Sunday, however, Bader Bader, an Assyrian, came in to the service. At one time he had been an altar boy in the Episcopal church, but for a long time had been searching for truth and inner peace. He had tried one of the cults and even attempted to drown his unhappiness in alcohol, but without success.
As the Holy Spirit moved in the service, William Dodge began speaking in other tongues. The pastor and his wife wondered what the visitor’s reaction would be, especially since there was no interpretation.
At the close of the service, Pastor and Mrs Horn went to greet Bader Bader – and found him leaning over as though wilted. The Assyrian said: "Who is that man? Does he speak my language? Did you see the light? Did you feel the building shake?" (No, they had not.)
Bader Bader went on: "He told me in my language [Assyrian, (Aramaic)] perfectly all the wonders and marvels of God. A great light shone, and the building shook. Didn’t you feel the building shake?"
God came into the man’s life and also into his home which had been on the verge of breaking up. God sent the light and the shaking for one man that morning. (Spoken by the Spirit, pp 62,63.)
3) Calling to repentance.
The middle-aged couple had been married about a year. The husband had come to America from Scotland and had become acquainted with a young widow. He had been filled with the Holy Spirit a few months earlier. She had received the same experience in her teens but had drifted away from God.
It was somewhat aggravating to the wife that her husband had found such a blessed place in the Lord, while she could not seem to pray through.
After returning from a church service one night, the wife knelt in the living room to pray – but could make no progress. Suddenly, she felt God was impressing her to ask her husband to pray with her. Although it humbled her considerably to do so, she obeyed the impulse.
The husband was glad to pray. As he knelt by her side immediately words began to pour from his lips in a language he had never learned.
The wife could hardly believe her ears. He was speaking Italian, a language she had heard from her parents from earliest childhood, a language she knew her husband did not know.
It was a message from God to her heart. The Lord was telling her in Italian about some sins she had allowed in her life. He was calling her to repentance and a separated life. He was promising her that if she would obey He would fill her mouth also with a heavenly language.
When the altar call was given the next night in the service, the woman hurried to the prayer room, and in a very short time she was praising and singing in a tongue inspired by the Lord.
(Later she told evangelist Gladys Pearson that if the evangelist or her pastor, Kenneth Short, had spoken to her the way the Holy Spirit had done, in Italian, she would have resented it deeply.) The Lord knew just how to deal with her. (Ibid, pp 50,51.)
I relate in Miraculous Manifestations, an experience which our son Richard had, when aged about 17. He had just received the gift of tongues, and was working on the car one day. A nut was so corroded that it was impossible to turn. Suddenly, the Spirit spoke to him and told him to pray in tongues. He did. When he tried the nut again, it turned as easily as a knife slicing through butter!
The incident did not merely demonstrate that miraculous power is released when you pray in tongues, but something more besides. It was a symbolic representation of what we are all like as people. We are all stubborn nuts – some more so than others – but God knows how to ‘turn’ each of His children.
4) Countering doubt.
This occurrence happened in September 1970 in Rome:
With his wife and 11 other people, William Buechel was visiting the Eternal City, Rome. While there, they went on a tour of the Catacombs, that network of underground passages which lie beneath the city. It is estimated that they reach for a total of 500 miles and contain 100,000 bodies of Christians who were buried there.
Because the Buechels’ group was a small one, it was included with a group comprised of 40 to 50 Jews from America. The leader of the larger group was a professor.
While going through the tunnels of the Catacombs, Buechel felt an irresistible impulse to go up to the professor at the end of the tour and speak to him in other tongues. In fact, he mentioned this to his wife and others in his group. This impulse in itself was strange, for although William Buechel had been baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1968, and had often spoken in tongues since, he had serious doubts about the experience. He was nagged by the thought that possibly he was forming the sounds out of his own mind.
But Buechel followed his impulse and after the tour went up to the professor and began speaking to him in other tongues. But let him tell his experience himself (his wife and others were witnesses):
"I had no sooner started to speak in tongues than I saw his eyes widen perceptibly, and I thought to myself, ‘This man knows what I am saying.’ When I had finished what probably was a sentence or so, I said to him the one word, ‘Translate.’ And he did! It was something of praise to the Lord, but I cannot recall now exactly what it was, I was so excited!"
William Buechel asked, "What language is it?" And the professor replied, "It’s Aramaic-Hebrew of the third century, neither before nor after."
Buechel doesn’t doubt glossolalia now! (Spoken by the Spirit, pp 58,59.)
Unfortunately, many people do doubt it. Those who have not experienced it, but who think they are wiser than they are, tend to decry the experience, particularly because it is generally unintelligible.
But God does not work through the wisdom of man, nor via human reasoning. He works at cross purposes with anything and everything that lifts itself up against the knowledge of God, as Paul said:
Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Cor 10:4).
Tongues is a spiritual gift which is given so that he who glories, may glory in the Lord (2 Cor 10:17).
Accepting The Gifts of The Spirit
The biggest hindrance to the acceptance and furtherance of God’s supernatural power is unbelief!
I’m not talking about the situation outside the Church; I mean – WITHIN it! There are so many unbelievers who call themselves ‘believers’.
If you believe in God, you must believe in His supernatural power. That is a prerequisite to receiving from God. Jesus always said that what people receive is according to their faith. If you don’t believe, you don’t receive. It’s as simple as that.
Paul’s strident warning to shun those who don’t accept the power of God (2 Tim 3:5) contrasts sharply with the Churches of God today and many other dead groups who shut out the Spirit through human domin- ation. They have reverted to an intellectual gospel only. The testimony of the apostles in Acts is much different:
...many wonders and signs were done through the apostles (Acts 2:43).
...through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people (Acts 5:12).
...the miracles which he [Philip] did... unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed (Acts 8:6,7).
God was fulfilling His promise through Jesus:
You shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me... (Acts 1:8).
The believers who truly believe in the power of God, and accept it, are doing that today. Those who don’t have that strength of faith, don’t!
They have replaced a spiritual union with Jesus with a substitute – giving allegiance to church leaders. That has killed true faith. They are deceived that they have faith in God, when all they have is mental acquiescence to some of what He says.
These guys in Acts did what they did because they had union with Jesus through the Spirit. Hence they believed! Today’s leaders in dead churches, which shut out the Spirit through human control, have no evident supernatural power to their credit.
Their ethos contrasts sharply with the apostles’:
...by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus (Acts 4:30). And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people (Acts 6:8).
"Full of faith and power" is what Jesus wants for you. He promised:
Most assuredly I say to you [Jesus was emphatic, because He foreknew the unbelief that prevents most truly believing His words!] he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these... (Jn 14:12).
So, we are now in the end time, near the close of this age, when greater works are being done, true to Jesus’ words! The dead are raised, supernatural power is shaking the Church, and power is flowing down. But only believers see it.
Speaking in tongues is a widespread, although minor spiritual gift in comparison with the greater gifts.
It fulfils Jesus’ words:
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues (Mk 16:17). ...but he who does not believe will be condemned (Mk 16:16b).
There are many today whom Jesus condemns because they don’t believe in tongues. They traduce it.
In 2004, Mila Thompson received the following dream depicting God’s outpouring of His Spirit and how people react to it:
The Church Fights Against The Fires Of Revival!
Sept 17, 2004 (the night of the Feast of Trumpets). House on Fire.
I was a student at school. My class was in the upper room. [A class of advanced learning, closer to the pure truth with God. Part of MM’s work.] There were many of us.
Then a fire alarm sounded. We didn’t see any fire, but most students hastily left the room. Only a few students remained in the classroom, including myself. I don’t know what kept the others, but I was looking for my books.
I was going from desk to desk looking for my books and could not find them. [Mila was put in the place of Christians who are engrossed in their own studies, unaware of what God is doing.]
Suddenly a fire began coming through the ceiling. One of the male students started putting it out. I noticed another place where the fire began coming through the wall in front of me and ran to fight that fire. I began beating the tongues of fire with something I had in my hands. Then I noticed that the tongues of flame I had been fighting were only forerunners of a very powerful ball of fire that was cutting through the wall.
The same thing was happening at other places in the room. It was a very bright white flame resembling that of the welding rod. It could not be extinguished. So I stopped trying.
There was no fear, no feeling of danger. However, I cannot say that I or anyone else who remained in the room had any idea of what was going on.
Meaning: The school building represents the Church, and we are all students of the Word of God. The upper room and the fire coming through have such a strong parallel with the account in the Book of Acts, that I believe it symbolizes the work of Elijah – the fire of God’s Spirit.
It signifies that the outpouring of the Spirit has already been happening. Sadly, the majority of the Church got scared and ran away, leaving without a chance to receive it.
To my shame and reproach I must say that not one of us who did not run away were understanding what was going on. I was depicted being too busy with looking for "my books" (intellectual knowledge?) Others were also minding their own business. And later, when the fire began coming through, we were trying to put it out!
I believe that this dream is a wake-up call and a warning to all Christians to stop being busy with what we think we need, and listen to God, paying attention to His Spirit. Mila Thompson
The dream illustrates a widespread problem.
Most believers don’t recognise it when God begins His ‘new thing’ on earth. He promised to send Elijah the prophet before the end of the age. Here we are now at that time, and His Spirit is at work. He is restoring truth, pouring out His power in signs and wonders to confirm it, and the Church is opposing it or ignoring it.
However, for the small minority at the moment who are receptive to the ‘new thing’ of the Spirit, God gives a greater infilling, an ‘anointing’ to accomplish His task. All the gifts of the Spirit are distributed to fulfil what He promised (Acts 1:8).
Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you... [to be] endued with POWER from on high (Luke 24:49).
Either you believe that is still true today, or you don’t. And if you don’t, you are out of touch with reality and contradict what He promised (see Jn 14:12; Heb 13:8; Mk 16:17,18).
Scripture Encourages ‘Glossolalia’
Speaking or praying in tongues is usually unintelligible speech. It’s not always a recognisable language. It has been called glossolalia and has many benefits. Here are some which Scripture mentions:
However, tongues is NOT the most important spiritual gift. It’s actually the bottom rung of the ladder. There are more important spiritual gifts, in God’s overall scheme, but that doesn’t mean tongues should be neglected, rather the opposite! For many Christians tongues is the start of a wonderful adventure in the Spirit, opening a door for an intimate relationship with God.
One caution: don’t use it mechanically, otherwise demons can influence it. Yield to the HOLY Spirit, and it will remain pure. It is to help birth holiness in you.
Besides the four purposes of tongues which we mentioned in Part 1, here is another:
5. Tongues can achieve the unexpected.
This incident happened in Coussouka, Upper Volta, Africa in the late 1960’s. It was reported by Missionary John Hall:
It was market day in Titao, and many people had swarmed in for the occasion, among them two Fulani herdsmen. They decided to rest for a while in the shade of the church where Somfida is pastor.
Meanwhile, a young Christian Mossi girl went into the church to pray. To the dismay of the two men outside, they heard her suddenly begin to speak in their language. Worse, she was rebuking them for sin of a vulgar nature.
Hurrying to the market, the men found Pastor Somfida and began to ask, "Who is the Fulani Christian girl?"
"I don’t know of one," he replied.
"Oh, but there is one," they insisted. "We heard her speaking our language clearly, rebuking us, and telling us we should accept Christ as our Saviour." (From Spoken By The Spirit, pp 15-16.)
Also reported by John Hall was this incident:
Irissa Ouedraogo worked for the agriculture department of the government in Ouahigouya. Although he was a godly Christian, a fellow worker, of the Gourenga tribe often ridiculed him for his Pentecostal experience of speaking in other tongues. One day as he approached Irissa’s house, he noticed him go into his prayer room, and decided to sneak up behind the house and listen.
As Irissa began to pray in his native Mossi tongue, suddenly the Holy Spirit came upon him, and he prayed for a while in the Gourende language (used by the Gourenga tribe). Irissa’s fellow worker was astonished, for he had worked with him for a long time and knew he was unfamiliar with the Gourende language. Furthermore, pouring out of the lips of Irissa was a rebuke from the Lord! That was the last of his ridicule! (Ibid., p 16.)
God will bring down all the proud and lofty who don’t believe in tongues! Malcolm B Heap
Bible quotations are from the New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise stated
Further Reading: Holy Fire! and An Introduction To The Spiritual Gifts (ISG).
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