Millions of people all over the world have the experience of Acts 2:4. They speak in other tongues (other languages). History records that for one hundred years of the church’s early existence, the believers prayed in other languages together and sang worship in other languages together at their meetings. This continued for about fifty years after the apostles had all died or been martyred. A very significant change is made to our understanding of Acts 1:8 You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, when we consider the actual meaning of the word for “power” in Greek. The power is to enable us to experience a miracle. This miracle occurs as we pray in other languages. We are then enabled to participate in the witness to Jesus Christ in the world. This participation would cover every spiritual activity we could possibly engage in with regard to the church. An important feature of the church is for it to reach out to the world of sinners. The real function of the church is found in Ephesians 4:11-15, to equip the saints to the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth, in love we must grow up in every way unto him who is the head, into Christ, from whom together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love”. However, the actual purpose of the church is as the above scripture declares. It is not winning souls or growing in numbers. Paul shows what it is to be and we should follow that. This would result in winning souls and growing in numbers. It looks good and feels good if the local church grows and grows in numbers. This is often without a growth in quality of converts and the church. The Word of God tells us where the main growth should be. The above verses indicate where this growth is to be. If one considers the Greek meaning in Acts 1:8, the emphasis is on something other than our activity in the church. It is rather upon the action of prayer in the Spirit that comes from within us. This power of praying in other languages is to be fruitful in its effect upon others in the church or outside of it. There are several meanings found in the dictionary that will unlock the above thoughts in the freshness of the words in which Jesus spoke. The Greek meanings of “power” are, “miraculous power”, ability, abundance”, “work or power in reserve”, “power to do miracles”, “mighty deed”, “mighty wonderful work” and “a miracle itself”. A close consideration of this list give meanings that emphasize the importance of a miracle happening within the person and his experience “when the Holy Spirit comes upon you”, as Jesus said. The “power” occurs in the person and more particularly, it is part of his experience of receiving the Holy Spirit, after salvation. Jesus said in John 7:38,39 that by this He meant that those who believe in Him were later to receive. Paul also reiterated such a statement in Acts 19:1, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit after you believed?” He recognized they already were believers and were lacking the experience he had found in Acts 9:17, Ananias laid his hands on Paul, to “be filled with the Holy Spirit”. The power is received the moment we begin to speak in other tongues. Jesus said it would happen “when” the Holy Spirit would come upon those one hundred and twenty disciples in the Jerusalem temple itself. The Holy Spirit then entered a newer and better temple. It was the temple consisting of believers in the Spiritual Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. That power or dunamis is not to heal the sick. Those one hundred and twenty who were filled with the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 did not all go out and heal the sick. Maybe some never did. When filled with the Holy Ghost we do not receive power to heal the sick. We receive power so that the Holy Spirit fills us and we have the ability to pray in other tongues for the rest of our lives on earth. There is no verse in the Bible that states this gift of the Holy Spirit in the baptism, from the Lord Jesus, will ever cease while the Church is on earth. At the coming of the Lord, all true believers at that time will be taken into heaven. This will be the Church at that time perfected. “That which is perfect (or complete)” as in 1 Corinthians 13:10 will have arrived. The perfection will only be when the Church is in heaven forever. This power will operate particularly within the believer as he or she prays much in other tongues. It will include worship, praise, hymns, songs and thanksgiving – all in other tongues (Ephesians 5:18-20; 1 Corinthians 14: God says “He is able to do more abundantly than we can ask or think according to the power (dunamis) that works in us” , Ephesians 3:20. Each believer filled with the Spirit in this way is to act as a member of the body of Christ. There is a different place for each one in the power of the Holy Ghost. There are indeed four ministry gifts, not from the Holy Spirit but from Christ (Ephesians 4:11, not five as pastor-teacher is one in both Greek and in English translations). These four are to prepare the rest of the members to engage in their own particular and individual ministries. Those with these ministry gifts are supposed to be “full of the Holy Ghost” as is said of Stephen (Acts 6:5,8) and as the apostles themselves were. Dunamis within is to also have out-workings through these gifted men and women. The power of the Spirit is to operate also for the benefit of others, as we personally have such manifested. This is to be through the various gifts of the Holy Spirit. They are for all to receive and each gift is “as the Spirit wills”. Each of us is to long eagerly and chase after such gifts. The most important of Christ’s gift is that of apostle. All nine gifts of the Spirit are to be manifested at different times in his or her ministry. The chief gift from the Holy Spirit is prophecy. It is not to be used as if fortune-telling of the future – something that occurs often, sadly and deplorably, in many countries. It is unscriptural. Prophecy is for “exhortation, edification and comfort” generally. It is to build up the church and its believers. The Evangelist is to have manifestations of the gifts of faith, healings and miracles. In the preaching of the gospel (and this the true gospel) there is inherent power in the gospel itself to convert the unsaved. God desires to confirm that word with signs and wonders and gifts of the Holy Ghost (Hebrews 2:3&4; 6:4&5). These matters deserve a book on their own! We note that there was astonishment during Peter’s preaching of the gospel to the first Gentiles in Acts 10:45,46. Those with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in languages and extolling God. Peter said they had received the Holy Spirit just as “we have”. This gift of the Holy Spirit Peter referred to is what they all experienced in Acts 2:4. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages (tongues K.J.V.), as the Spirit gave them ability. It should be noted that the above experiences have never been rescinded after having been graciously given by God. There is no verse to support any idea that such are not for today. Those who say so should then cut out of their Bibles the many verses that demand speaking in tongues and gifts of the Spirit as well as the four ministry gifts of Christ. Our spiritual understanding of New Testament truths are not to come from Old Testament teachings or even Tabernacle typology. “God spoke to our (Jewish) ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets (Genesis to Malachi), but in these last days (of the gospel of Christ) he has spoken to us in Son (Jesus) (Hebrews 1:1,2). The Jews did not have knowledge of the gospel that we have. We now can find the glimpses of the gospel in the Old Testament and in its types. The truths do not stand on the Old Testament or typology, even though they can be discovered therein. Gospel truth is disclosed fully throughout the New Testament alone. The miracle that happened on the Day of Pentecost at the outpouring of the Spirit, was speaking in other languages. Jesus was stating unequivocally that this miracle was the power given through the Holy Spirit. Praying in other languages, is the secret of much power. It holds the key to a person’s own spiritual vitality, the spirituality (of the Spirit) in the church, the true fruits of the Spirit, spiritual understanding of the Word of God, the gifts of the Spirit and the effectual working of the church according to what we glean from the epistles in particular. Note 1 Corinthians 12-14. Yet this kind of praying and worship is rarely in evidence. I can testify to this “power” in forty or so years of ministry. It means personal growth in the Lord. It takes one on in maturity in living and as one’s ministry from the Lord is performed. The nine gifts of the Spirit can operate. Others have been blessed, even countless multitudes. They have been filled with the Holy Ghost, some were saved, churches revived and many healings and miracles such as raising of the dead. This is the Lord’s doing alone and it is marvellous in our eyes. This gift of the power of Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8 is given expression in praying or worshipping in other languages or languages and is very precious. We can experience the Hillsong of Zion’s mountain in that manner and this manner alone. We do not need the world’s ways. They are evil. Hebrews 12:22 says: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem”. Believers should love to pray. We ought to pray. We must pray. The scriptures in Romans 8:26 show us our inadequacy in this matter, telling us that the Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness. We do not even know how to pray as we should but the Spirit Himself intercedes on our behalf with sighs too deep for words. And God knows what the Spirit’s meaning is because His intercessions for the saints are in harmony with God’s will. In this intercession by the Spirit He does the praying but we are involved in it in some way. The meaning of “assists in our weaknesses” refers to the weaknesses associated with the present suffering of general life or persecution. These verses mean that often when we pray in this present time of suffering and tribulation, of the ever-present worldliness and sin of humanity, we do not “know what to pray”. Our “not knowing” is related to our present weaknesses. There is a connection with our future redemption, our final revelation as God’s children, clothed in resurrection bodies which have then replaced the present ones that are subject to the same decay as the groaning creation. The pride of man sometimes refuses to admit the lack of knowledge in the matter of prayer. Often we like to do our praying our way. Many want to pour out all their troubles and sorrows instead of having communion with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. There is a mention of “groaning”. It really means in other languages. It is not literal groans or that the person is silent. The kind of praying is one of knowledge that the Holy Spirit is within and that He helps us in our weakness. We “do not know how to pray as we should”. We surrender to the Spirit and pray in other languages. God knows the mind of His own Spirit. We can be confident that such praying is “according to God’s will” and “on behalf of the saints”. What a marvelous way of prayer God has given us. These verses are about a normal happening for the church then. Wuest, a non-Pentecostal Greek scholar, says it is “Speaking to God in the Spirit with languages” and states 1 Corinthians 14:2 may be included in this expression that covers longings and hopes welling up from the spiritual depths and not able to be said in ordinary everyday speech. This verse reads, For those who speak in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God; for nobody understands them since they are speaking mysteries in the Spirit. The question is. Should we follow the Word of God and the normal happening for the early church or should we follow the customs that we have inherited? These traditions are prevalent in the church world, in every branch of it. Do we follow Truth or do we follow what is not Truth? There is no suggestion anywhere in the Scriptures that this verse quoted and indeed 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14 have been removed from the church’s experience. It is strange that many do remove them and yet still include and love 1 Corinthians chapter 13! This chapter does come between those of twelve and fourteen. Where it says “groaning” it cannot be literal groaning. There have to be words. A prayer always must have words. It is the Spirit Who prays through us, even though we pray. This can only be other languages – not our own language, not words from our mind and neither a literal groan. Emotion is not mentioned in the Scriptures as being involved when we “pray in the Spirit”. Being emotional does not prove it is from the Spirit. The Spirit works in and through our spirits. We understand that the “praying in the Spirit” here described is certainly languages because “God knows what the Spirit” is “saying” even if we do not. Such words are unnecessary if Paul is only talking about a kind of personal prayer, in which the Spirit is merely “helping” our own praying in our own language when we know what we are praying. The Father knowing the mind of the Spirit is what gives one confidence, even though He intercedes with “Groanings that cannot be uttered”.
MANNER OF PRAYER
Paul speaks about a common, everyday, experience of prayer for himself and others. At the same time he also interprets that experience as “intercession by the Spirit” on our behalf. These verses are similar to what Paul elsewhere calls “praying with the Spirit”, see Romans 8:26,27 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought but that very Spirit intercedes with signs too deep for words (groanings)”. There is also 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unproductive. What should I do then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the mind also; I will sing praise with the spirit, but I will sing praise with the mind also”. Surely this should be our hillsong of worship, praise and prayer, where we are upon on the heights of Zion, acting in the “heavenly places”. Ephesians 6:18, “Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. The Greek translates “praying at every time in spirit”.. I have found a few English translations of Romans 8:26 that read something like this – “We do not know how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit knows, and with words (from His Mind) He expresses what is the will of God”. Origen, an early Church preacher, understood these sentences and this phrase in particular to refer to a kind of private “to oneself” praying in languages that Paul speaks about in the worship of the church in Corinth. In our devotions we are to often pray in other languages, aloud if possible. A non-tongues speaking scholar says it is the believer in Romans 8:25 and the worshipping church in verse 26. I believe this is the correct understanding and view. History records that for the first hundred years of its existence, the church had assemblies generally that prayed together aloud in other languages in every meeting. They also worshipped together aloud in other languages. They did not use musical instruments, hymn books and had no church buildings. There were many house assemblies of believers or churches. In my own personal experience of many years and in the lives of others, praying in languages has been the most blessed of experiences. Regarding the worshipping church, I have often seen people praying in languages together in a meeting and noted it to be very blessed, productive and “in order”. The point should be made that worship is not the epitome of the Christian believer’s life. “Man’s chief aim is to glorify God” as the Westminster confession states. This means that it is in daily and ordinary living at home and at work as well as in church life that one is to glorify God. The whole life is to be one of glorifying God. This can only be done by the supernatural help of the Holy Spirit and the Word of Christ. Worship is not summed up in the New Testament as “Praise and Worship” in church by music, as is the general idea. World-wide, the current form is to have musicians and singers/dancers on the platform and the whole congregation singing quietly to the roaring music. We are not under the Old Testament (Law) system of David’s Tabernacle or the Psalms. Our part in heavenly worship is not to be of the strains of earth. We are a heaven bound people, indeed a heavenly people and are “seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. He is in heaven and our worship is to be one of that scene, where the blood has opened the way into the presence of God. The torn veil of the flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ made it possible. It is to have our urgent attention. We are in heaven in Spirit and our worship is to be in Spirit and in Truth because God is Spirit, not like man. Worship in the Spirit, prayer in the Spirit and the brining of “a psalm, a word, a prophecy, other gifts of the Spirit” are important. They have their place along with the central ministry of the Word of Christ. It is all based on the all important preaching/teaching of the Truths of the Word of Christ in particular from the New Testament, backed up by the Old. We cannot add or take away from the truths presented in the Bible. Jesus said these words in relation to worship, John 4:23,24 “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. For the Father seeks such as these tow worship him. God is Spirit and those who worship him must worship$ in spirit.” The true meaning of these words can be missed if we do not look carefully at the preceding verses 21,22. The point of the discourse was not just the simple word ”worship”. The woman had been asking about the whole institution of the Jews regarding worship. This included all their sacrifices, the Tabernacle and all in it, the priesthood, the prayers, the praises, the Psalm singing along with the reciting of the Law of Moses. The Jews performed these in Jerusalem and the Samaritans had their Temple on a mountain in Samaria Jesus responded to her question by saying worship as such would be no more and it did not have any bearing on which particular geographical place. He was announcing not just a voicing, speaking or singing of worship words but a new institution completely. The Old Testament institutions, whether in Jerusalem or in Samaria, were virtually finished. In future, the Father would not regard any such place or institution. A new one was being inaugurated. It concerned the well of water that would gush up to eternal, John 4:14. In Verse 22 Jesus said that “salvation” was of the Jews and He was speaking about the coming of the promised Messiah. This new way of worship would never be of an external order or have anything to do with the Old Covenant. It would have its concerns totally with regard to the Coming One, who was Jesus Christ. Whatever would be produced as a result would indicate the way of worship. Also, it would be internal and is now to be internal and not external. Jesus was relegating all outward forms, tabernacle, the furniture in it, the Ark, the Cherubim, the Sacrifices, the Feast Days and their music with reciting of Psalms – all things – into oblivion. They were the external forms. Now there had come just the internal. The internal concerned Spirit and Truth. How could God, who is Spirit, under the New Covenant of the Spirit with its heavenly sanctuary, be involved with worship that was of mere outward and carnal form? Hebrews 9:1, “Now even the first covenant had regulations, for worship and an earthly (worldly) sanctuary”. The Old Testament order constituted earthly or worldly things and the sanctuary itself was such. Now, says Jesus, there is a new way of worship. It has a different institution. There is nothing earthly. It is all heavenly. It has a heavenly sanctuary, with a heavenly High Priest who has offered a sacrifice in heaven and who will intercede for His people there. It will not be on any mountain or in any place on this earth. This institution is heavenly. Therefore the worship of it must be heavenly. For that to happen it must be from the internal and does not have anything to do with material things. Jesus did not make provision for the use of music in His church! Music as in the Old Testament and as in our churches is with the use of material and worldly things. We would feel lost without our music in church! I would be the last to suggest it. I would certainly agree to it if all the others suggested it! We are not in church to be entertained but to fellowship with, pray, worship and eat of Christ and His Word. Something better is now required under the New Covenant. Being internal in source means it must come from the spirit or heart, through the Holy Spirit. God is Spirit. He requires worship through the Spirit, the Holy Spirit It must be in spirit and in truth. He also requires worship, whether on special occasions as honour and praise to Him or whether as a way of spiritual life before Him, to be according to Truth. That Truth is the truth and Word of Christ of the Gospel. It must be according to that which is set out in this Word of Truth. This means a following of all that is written in the Gospels and in the Epistles as well as in the book of Acts, commencing with Acts 1 & 2. Bible worship is also explained in Romans 12:1, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, your spiritual service. – that is worship (divine service). And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God”. Both these verses set out the pith of worship for the believer. This book is about praying and worshipping in the Spirit. Were the subject to be “Worship”, I would have had to commence with what worship involves and the above verses would have featured prominently at the beginning of that book. Paul has also said that verses 18 and 23-25 of 1 Corinthians 14 deal with the individual believer and he states, on the basis of his understanding of verses 15,16, that these verses deal with speaking in languages in the assembly. Most people do not understand about the possibilities of private praying in languages and the whole assembly praying at the same time in other languages in a meeting because they misunderstand about languages in 1 Corinthians 14. However, in that chapter Paul often deals with the use of the gift of tongues (or languages) that should be interpreted. Paul sometimes refers to his and our own private praying in languages as in verses 1 to 3,4,14,15,18 but in verses 12,16,19,26,28, he deals with the Gift of Tongues in the assembly of the saints. It must be pointed out that the anointing differs in relation to the gift of tongues. Jesus Christ is the One who baptises us with the Holy Ghost. When that occurs we speak in other tongues. That comprises the gift of the baptism from the Lord Jesus Christ. We can exercise praying in other tongues at will, any time of a twenty-four day. The gift of tongues is not from the Lord Jesus but rather from the Holy Spirit. He is the One who manigfest that as one of His nine gifts. He is the Giver. The baptism with the Spirit does not include the gift of tongues. There is another anointing that comes with the gift of tongues. It does not happen at will or at any time of the day. It is the result of our faith and yieldedness to the Holy Spirit in a meeting of the saints, whether a couple of people to whether there are a few hundred. We are to have order in the exercise of the gift and make sure that it occurs at an appropriate time in the meeting that itself is not under our supervision. There is always a leader whom we respect. A specific anointing of tongues seems to fall on the person, rather than from within – this being a rather weak but effective way of putting it. The individual then speaks it out clearly. He (she) or someone else should receive the interpretation from the Spirit through the gift of interpretation. Praying or worshipping in tongues (languages) is a major outworking of the baptism in the Spirit. This is the gift of Jesus Christ. Every believer should have and can have this experience. The Gift of Tongues (or Languages) is different. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit and every believer does not receive it. I have listened to thousands of people as they spoke in other tongues or languages. I have stood beside them to ensure they were doing just that. The recorded and honest impression is that they all were, indeed, speaking some kind of a language. It could not have been made up. It was not gibberish but a language. As to myself, when praying in other tongues or languages, I recognize often the change from one language to another. In addition, I know for a fact that I could never do this out of my own mind or soul. It is an impossibility. It is from the Holy Spirit of God. Strangely, we have a human tendency to push away the idea that God would do this for us. It is unbelief. We are to walk by faith. Our faith must acknowledge that the Spirit of God is capable of doing this. Moreover, He will do this today as God never changes. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever. It is easier to run with unbelief when it comes to praying in other tongues (or languages). There is a natural and carnal antagonism to praying like this or listening to others praying and worshipping in this manner. This antagonism mainly comes from believers of long standing. The ego likes to rest on its own capacity for speech, even in prayer. It loves its own brain power. Our carnal minds are naturally rebellious, unbelieving and desiring our own ways instead of God’s. Praying in other languages (tongues) is a miracle whose source is the Holy Spirit. He gives the words as we begin in faith. He bypasses our natural minds in the area of thought provision of speech. We surrender to Him and He places the words on our tongues, in our mouths, if you like. It reminds one of the Psalm that says, “Open your mouth and I will fill it, says the Lord”. It takes faith to pray and worship in other tongues (languages). We are not using our mind to formulate words and sentences. The Holy Spirit is doing it for us. In Romans 8:26, we are to personally pray in Tongues, in the Spirit. By this kind of praying, the Spirit is able to intercede for us and through us according to the will of God. It will not necessarily be according to our own wishes, unless our wishes have been made subject to the Lord and the Word, the Spirit and God the Father. “The Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for (our own) words”. According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:14 “my spirit indeed prays”. We are praying and yet it is the Holy Spirit whose thoughts, desires, yearnings and language it is. In Romans 8:27, “He who searches the hearts (note the plural) knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He intercedes for the saints (plural)”. In this verse we are to understand the subject matter is about all the people in the meeting praying together in other languages, in the Spirit. In this kind of praying in the assembly, the Spirit thus is able to pray through and for all the saints at the one time. Paul said all prayer should be in the Spirit. ”Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication”, Ephesians 6:18. This is not necessarily in other tongues. It includes that but is to be in our native tongue from the Spirit. By the grace of God, let every one of us understand the necessity, the importance and the provision from the Father through the Son’s bestowal of the Holy Ghost as in Acts 2:4 and pray in other tongues as often as we can.
FOR PERSONAL AND CHURCH USE
Now let us look at 1 Corinthians 14:21,22a. “In the Law it is written: Through men of strange tongues (languages) and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me. Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers.” The quotation is from Isaiah 28:11,12. We can gain two principles from this. First of all, speaking in tongues is as it says in Isaiah, “This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose”. Praying that way gives us rest and repose when we need it. Secondly, this is what happens in the assembly of believers if they speak in other tongues, singly or together, “tongues are a sign for unbelievers”. Beck translates this as, “strange languages are not meant to warn believers but for unbelievers”. Tay says, “but to interest the unsaved”. Thus, praying in other languages or tongues in the meetings is the greatest sign there can be, for the unbelievers. The portion of 1 Corinthians 12 to 14 gives this meaning to tongues whereas it does not to miracles or healings. The Spirit intercedes from within us. We do not understand what He is saying through us to God, when we pray in other tongues. He knows the need and needs surrounding us more than we know ourselves. The Holy Ghost brings edification to us. In this manner, “we” pray to God. “We” address God. “We” “edify ourselves”, 1 Corinthians 14:2. This passage of scripture informs us that when we “speak a tongue (language)” we “do not speak to other people but to God”. What action can be more wonderful than this? As a personal act in prayer and being touched by God there is nothing that can eclipse it. A preacher does not do it for us. He or she does not cause “the power of God” (tongue in cheek) to be involved. The believer alone is the instigator. Praying in other tongues is the one act God has placed in our own, personal hands, to build ourselves up. Verse 4, “He or she who speak in a tongue (language) build up themselves” and this is generally in private and not in the church. It should on occasions be used in the church meetings. It is not forbidden in the Scriptures. Rather, Paul says at the end of this Chapter 14, “Do not forbid speaking in other tongues (or languages). I have noticed that praying in Tongues by all the people in a meeting at the one time when it is in order, without undue shouting, any shaking, clapping, or shaking of chairs etc., does not cause the unbelievers to stumble. I have experienced that many unbelievers become believers and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior when they see this orderly demonstration of the supernatural Lord of glory in the midst. I have known them to join in with the speaking in tongues, those from non-denominational churches, and also those from heathen backgrounds. This was because they instantly believed in Jesus Christ, and experienced what they did in the house of Cornelius, found in Acts 10:44-48. Paul prayed often, Paul prayed this way often, 1 Corinthians l4:l4-15. It is two kinds: praying – with his mind and praying with his spirit. Praying with his mind still was in the Spirit of God, Ephesians 6:18. It was often a supernatural flow of words as he prayed in a kind of prophecy, or it was as the Holy Ghost flowed out from him and he prayed with his spirit in other tongues. We should often pray in other languages. Paul was “praying in tongues”. These were languages. He had never acquired them naturally. They were various tongues or languages from the Holy Ghost. He was doing this “to himself and to God”. He said that he did this more than all of the praying in languages or tongues done by the other members in Corinth, 1 Corinthians 14:2,3-15,9,28. In verse 18, he tells them that they all should be praying in other tongues. Praying in tongues edifies the person. This is the only verse in the Bible that declares outright how we can edify ourselves. There is no other known phenomenon, either in Paul or the early church apart from the prayer in the Spirit described in 1 Corinthians 14, that resembles what he mentions as being a common experience for himself. Many scholars ignorantly reject the one thing Paul did constantly. As he stated in verse 18, “I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all”. Even Pentecostals and Charismatics would replace tongues with falling over, laughing, crying, shaking, ordinary praying, clapping etc. It is the believer’s own loss not to follow the example of Paul and pray much in other tongues. Paul prayed in tongues so often that to have included time for ministry, writing epistles etc. he must have existed on little sleep! “Praying in tongues” was a common experience in the early churches. Paul shows that it is “the Spirit” and “God”, which is what gives us confidence when we are engaged in such praying in tongues. Each book in the New Testament was written by those who prayed in other tongues. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:15 “I will pray with the spirit”. When he prays, it is his spirit praying. He says in verse 14 that if he prays in a tongue, “my spirit prays”. The prayer is from his spirit that is filled with the Holy spirit. He uses faith by exerting his will to so pray. That faith and will results in an immediate response from the Holy Spirit within. The Holy Ghost then pours His mind through Paul’s (and ours) spirit with this human co-operation and the languages given by the Spirit flow out in words known to God. We also, must use our faith and will to so do, often. Praying in other tongues does not have to be interpreted. If many in the church are praying in other tongues at the same time, there is no need for interpretation. It is in order. There should be a part of every service that is devoted to the congregation praying in other tongues together. They should sing in other tongues together, in worship as hymns, praise, thanksgiving in other tongues. Afterwards, if, however, the Gift of Tongues is in use and of necessity by one person at a time, there should be the Gift of Interpretation. Other gifts and manifestations of the Spirit should be the common experience. Generally this chapter 14 of first Corinthians is misunderstood to a large extent. There is a wide-spread failure to take note of the fact that Paul was speaking of different matters. In relation to tongues, or languages, he dealt with it from two aspects. The first, as in the beginning of that chapter, covers personal praying in other languages, to God. That is always with the use of the ability to speak in other languages that was given by Jesus, as on the Day of Pentecost. Paul also expounds on another use of other tongues or languages, that use being not in relation to prayer but with regard to the Gift of Tongues that is mentioned in 12:7-11. It is one of the nine gifts of the Spirit. They are said to be “manifestations” of the Spirit. The main manifestations of the Spirit and indeed, those that are meant to be general and frequent in the church, are these nine gifts. Their use would confine “manifestations” of the Spirit to them. There is no other “manifestation” of the Spirit mentioned in Scripture. By the grace of God, let every one of us understand the necessity, the importance and the provision from the Father through the Son’s bestowal of the Holy Ghost as in Acts 2:4 and pray in other tongues as often as we can. Paul also mentions singing praise with “the spirit” and of course it is effected in the same away as is prayer with “the spirit”. Paul has told us to be followers of him. To exclude the operation of this kind of prayer and praise would mean removing verses and chapters from the Bible. We cannot do that. There is no mention of musical instruments. Here is what leaders in the early church have said about music – “Neither Basil nor Ambrose nor Chrysostom, in their panegyrics upon music, mention instrumental music, and Basil expressly condemns it. Bingham dismisses the matter summarily, and sites Justin Martyr as saying expressly that instrumental music was not used in the Christian Church. The verb is used here in the general sense of singing praise.” Do you pray or sing with your spirit in the Holy Ghost?
THE GRACE OF GOD
In the meetings we are to be edified particularly by the gift of Prophecy and other ministries. All the gifts of 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 are meant to operate in meetings of the local assembly. These gifts are the grace of God to us as is the baptism with the Holy Spirit and prayer and worship in other languages or tongues. By the grace of God, let every one of us understand the necessity, the importance and the provision from the Father through the Son’s bestowal of the Holy Ghost as in Acts 2:4 and pray in other tongues as often as we can. Paul prayed in tongues so often that to have included time for ministry, writing epistles etc. he must have existed on little sleep! “Praying in tongues” was a common experience in the early churches. Paul shows that it is “the Spirit” and “God”, which is what gives us confidence when we are engaged in such praying in tongues. Each book in the New Testament was written by those who prayed in other tongues. Several features about the subject of “Tongues” are noteworthy for our present purposes, 1 Corinthians 14: (a) There is a difference between the uninterpreted tongue (or language) in private prayer and people praying or worshipping together in other tongues, and the use of the Gift of Tongues that needs interpretation 1 Corinthians 14:19. (b) 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 shows private “praying in tongues” requires no interpretation. The prayer is “by him/herself” and “to God” verses 2 and 28. What can be more wonderful than praying “to God” and where no one understands? In such praying the words do not come from the mind but from the Spirit. The Gift of Tongues to edify the church is what is mentioned in verse 13. (c) Such prayer is “by the Spirit”, verse 2, and in verses 14-15 he says “my S/spirit prays,” i.e., “the Spirit prays in tongues through me”. (d) In such prayer by the Spirit one speaks mysteries to God. (e) Such praying is with words in other languages and aloud. (f) Even though such prayer is not from the mind, Paul says that he will pray this way verses 14 and 15 and that those so praying are “edified”, verse 4. (g) Since this is the only form of prayer in Paul’s letters that is specifically said to be “by the Spirit” it is evident that all believers should pray in such a manner, 1 Corinthians 14:2. We should “pray by the Spirit” Ephesians 6:18. The same Greek word, 1 Corinthians 14:2,14,15, is used here as in all other places regarding “praying by the Spirit”. (h) The Spirit prays within the believer, and does so with “words” that are not understood by the person praying. There is a connection between “speaking mysteries by the Spirit” in 1 Corinthians 14:2 and “the Spirit interceding with inarticulate groanings” in Romans 8:26,27. We may not understand the words we pray in other tongues. We also speak mysteries. Our minds could never understand fully such mysteries. Paul himself in 2 Corinthians 14:1-9 reveals an experience he had. He “was caught up to paradise and heard sacred secrets which no human lips can repeat”, Moffat’s translation. Our spirits are being taught when we pray in other tongues. How wonderful!
THE NEW COVENANT IS IN PLACE
As stated before, we have missed the meaning of Acts 1:8, that says, ”You shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon you”. The meaning in Greek of the word for power is – miraculous power, ability, abundance, mighty deed, mighty work or power in reserve, worker of miracles and the miracle itself. On the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:4, the miracle was speaking in other tongues. Jesus referred to that particular miracle. Speaking in other tongues regularly is – miraculous power, it means abundance, itself is a mighty deed, it is a mighty work, it has power in reserve, the person speaking in other tongues is a worker of miracles and speaking in tongues is the miracle itself. We need to spend more time praying in other tongues. Chapter 2 in Acts also records in verse 3 that “Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.” My own understanding is that during the Old Testament days God appeared in a pillar of fire by night. This Day of Pentecost was the end of that era. The New Covenant began to operate. Because it was the finalization of the external worship of the Old Testament there was the appearance of tongues of that fire. They came as a vision and were not seen by the natural eye as Israel saw the fire and the cloud. There is no cloud of the the Lord, glory to descend on us today. The nation of Israel experienced it but it was a creation by God of His glory. The real glory of God is never seen as it is eternal. While on earth, we have this glory within. We have “For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels …”, 2 Corinthians 4:6&7. Glory, invisible but eternal, shines within these human bodies that are so earthly and cracked. Glory fills our spirits and the Spirit of Christ and of glory moves within. The Holy Ghost flows like a rushing stream within us and His gifts operate from within us. His power is within us. The glory floods our beings. The Scriptures record that after that instant, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues. Nowhere else in the New Testament was there external appearances. Never again did anyone see fire or tongues of fire. It would appear that the Old had closed and the internal experiences and worship of the New had begun on the Day of Pentecost. This continued after that Day only by internal experiences. We are not under the Old Covenant. We are now under the New Covenant. This all confirms the fact that external things seen today in many circles and churches are not of the Holy Spirit. We are to “test the spirits”. The falling over (slain supposedly in the Spirit), the unbiblical and uncontrollable laughter, the gold dust, oil on hands, the teeth being filled with silver or gold, the jerking, the maniacal goings on now in the supposed revival taking place at Lakeland as seen on YouTube, the angels, fire, glowing lights and every unscriptural action, inactivity, suspension in the air, roaring, states of almost unconsciousness and everything else accompanying these things are demonic and not of the Holy Spirit of God. How deceiving! We all are seeing such things occurring and many times we blindly accept all as being Truth and the Spirit when they are not so. The Word of Truth, the Epistles in particular, indicate how the Holy Spirit moves. We desire true moves from God and not the false as has been the case and still is in many places. We need the mercy and grace of God as we repent of these ways and turn to Him in Truth and in Spirit. The Spirit is mentioned very often in the epistles, Acts and John chapters 14-16. He, the blessed Comforter, the most Holy Spirit of God works in us more particularly when we are baptized in the Spirit, speaking in other tongues. His office is to bring to pass in our daily experience, every verse of scripture that we lay hold of in faith. Whether this be for holiness of life, for His fruits and gifts or for any part of salvation necessary in our daily and ministerial lives, the basis of His powerfully acting in and through us is the baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4) and always prayer in other tongues. He can and does work in a certain way without believers being baptised with the Spirit. However, the purpose and will of God is for the Holy Spirit to operate in our lives in a major way through the baptism with the Holy Spirit. This implies that it is our praying in other tongues continually that brings His will to pass in our lives. Being filled with the Spirit continually, is to have the Word of God in our hearts, to be obeyed in its most effective way as above. It also means that we pray often in other tongues. See Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:18. We are to be filled with the Spirit, speaking in other tongues constantly. This must follow and be in conjunction with an ongoing knowledge, understanding and obedience of the Word of Christ in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit is given to each one on being born again. He is our Helper, our Advocate, our Comforter on earth. He is this for every believer. Paul shows it clearly in Titus 3:4,5, “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. “ There is only one Holy Spirit but his actions and graces in and through us are many. The gift the Holy Spirit as rivers of living water, given by Jesus after salvation is provided to us by the grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will pray for us and intercede for us to God the Father as we pray in particular from our spirits in the Spirit of God. Often this is as we pray in other tongues or languages. Sometimes it can be in our native language or tongue, with words inspired by the Holy Ghost. How can we cast aside this wonderful grace that has been bestowed upon us? We are commanded to pray in other tongues (languages) in Jude 20, “But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Ghost”. As proved by Scriptures and in this book, praying in the Holy Ghost is praying in other tongues or languages. I heard a sermon by a lovely Baptist/Presbyterian Minister. He preached on the first part of this verse but ignored the second portion. We really cannot cut that portion or any other verse or chapters out of the Bible by saying, “It is not for today”. We all are commanded to be filled with the Spirit. Are you going to love the Lord Jesus, meaning obedience to Him? As was often asked of believers in the book of Acts, “Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?” When born again, we receive the Spirit of Christ, as Christ comes into our heart. He is the source also of the Holy Spirit Who is intertwined with the Eternal Spirit of Christ. As the apostle Paul said: “He who is united with the Lord Jesus becomes one spirit with him”, 1 Corinthians 6:17. The promise of being baptised with the Holy Ghost as given by Jesus is for you today. Peter declared that this promise was for those who heard him preach, for their children (the generation after they died), to all of those (us) who are far away and even, yes even, to ‘as many as the Lord our God shall call’. He was speaking about their experience in Acts 2:4 when they began to speak in other languages. This is not gabbling or made-up sounds. It is earthly languages from the Holy Ghost’s power. They sound strange to the ear as indeed Asian languages also are to my ears that have been used from childhood to English only. Do what Jesus said in John 7:38,39, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink; and out from his innermost spirit will flow rivers of living water”. He said this about the Holy Ghost. We receive Christ at the new birth and the Holy Ghost when the Lord Jesus Christ baptises us with the Holy Spirit. Come to Jesus, Drink from Him in silent obeisance to Him. Immediately there starts to flow from within your recreated spirit of the new birth, rivers of the Holy Spirit. Yes, not just a small flow but rivers, even as rivers that drench the dry earth. By faith you acknowledge all this and then you open your mouth beginning to speak in new languages. At that second, the Holy Spirit who is flowing, rushing within you (without your feeling anything maybe) will do a miracle. He will put the words there as you move your tongue, lips and throat to speak. You speak as they did on the Day of Pentecost. This is the gift of God, without money and without price. It is without religious effort. There is no requirement to fast, pray, say “Praise the Lord” and certainly not “‘Praise the Lord’ ” that is not a word in other tongues but one of your own language. It has been made so by usage as indeed it is of English. You speak only in other tongues or languages. Keep speaking. Do not stop. Then again daily, pray and worship the Lord in other tongues. You then have this gift, being the Holy Spirit. You yourself, stir up that gift, as Paul said to do. I have used the translation of the Greek word “gloce-sah” sometimes as being “languages” and not “tongues”. Some Bible translations do use “language” rather than “tongues”. There are sometimes folk who tend to think of “tongues” as being made up or gibberish. It should be realised that both words indicate the same thing for us. The English dictionary sates, “tongue” – “language of a nation”. The Greek-English dictionary shows the mean of “tongue” to be “language” and then adds “especially one naturally unacquired”.