A Sanctuary for Saints and Sinners in Need of a Saviour. Luke 18:9-14
A Sanctuary for Saints and Sinners in Need of a Saviour. Luke 18:9-14
This is a weekly overview of Pastor Richard's Messages from our Sunday services.
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Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Visions of Heaven and Hell
March 5th, 2023
The devil wants to keep Christians ignorant to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, to the knowledge of speaking in tongues, to keep you unknowledgeable and uneducated in the Bible. How he goes out of his way to keep you ignorant, not as in rude, but as in not knowing. He goes out of his way to make you ignorant to God’s word and so long as he can keep you ignorant you’ll not receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit in your life. So long as he can keep you ignorant, you are not going to speak in tongues. So long as he can keep you illiterate as to what God wants you to say, you will not prophesy. So long as he can keep you ignorant to the gifts of the Holy Spirit as listed in 1 Corinthians 12, you won’t operate in them. He likes it when whole churches are ignorant to the truth of what God has to say and loves to see congregations illiterate to God’s word who have no knowledge about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But, that’s not God’s will for you today. God’s will is that you come out from being ignorant and become knowledgeable and educated as to what God’s word has to say, to study to show yourself approved a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Just like the prophecy that came forth today; study, study, study, get into God’s word. Don’t remain unknowledgeable to tongues and if you are, find out what it says in the Bible. With so much technology today, you are without excuse, you will not be able to stand before God and say, I didn’t know. Don’t stand before Him like that, get trained in the word.
Reason #6 as to why Christians should speak in tongues is that the Apostle Paul spoke in tongues and wrote 1 Corinthians 14 , an entire chapter on speaking in tongues.
Gordon Lindsay says the following;
“What significance has Paul’s experience to us? The apostle said he was to be a pattern for all Christians who should afterward believe in Christ. ‘Nevertheless, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them who should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting’ (1 Timothy 1:16).
That Paul, whose life was to be a pattern to all believers, spoke in tongues is one more reason why all Christians should speak in tongues.”
1 Corinthians 14:18 in the Amplified Bible says; “18 I thank God that I speak in [unknown] tongues more than all of you;”
The Apostle Paul is saying this, who also said he was a pattern for all Christians to follow. Therefore since he spoke in tongues more than all the Corinthian church whom he was writing to, there is no reason that you shouldn’t follow that pattern.
Paul was not in the upper room with the apostles and disciples when they all were all baptised in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues, however it’s obvious that Paul not only spoke in tongues more than anyone else, he also wrote about the operation of the Gift of tongues and interpretation in 1 Corinthians 14. So a part of Paul’s life that is to be a pattern for Christians to follow is speaking in tongues. Why is it that this pattern which is to be followed, has been removed in part or totally from most denominations, and replaced with a rational, natural understanding of Paul’s teachings on tongues and his claim to speak in tongues more than any one else?
Revelation 22:18-19 says the following in the Amplified Bible as a warning to anyone preaching about removing anything from the Bible or adding to it; “18 I testify and warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book [its predictions, consolations, and admonitions]: if anyone adds [anything] to them, God will add to him the plagues (afflictions, calamities) which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from or distorts the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away [from that one] his share from the tree of life and from the holy city (new Jerusalem), which are written in this book.”
That sounds harsh, but is it? When you add or take away from God’s word – any part of it – which applies to 1 Corinthians 12 & 14, the Holy Spirit can’t operate in your church. I would say you fall into what we just read in Revelation. You may say that it only applies to the book of Revelation, no, it is talking about the whole Bible. The book of Revelation in and of itself is not complete without the whole Bible.
As you can see, there is no room for natural, rational understanding of the Bible teachings on speaking in tongues, that would enable a Christian to add to or take away what is already written by God in the Bible thru His holy prophets, apostles and evangelists.
When Paul is talking about speaking in tongues more than anyone else, he is not talking about tongues and interpretation, but rather speaking in tongues for personal edification – that which you receive as a sign of being baptized in the Holy Spirit – praying to God and worshipping Him in the Holy Spirit’s language. It’s not saying that Paul didn’t operate in the gift of tongues with interpretation, because more that likely he did.
1 Corinthians 14:1-5 says; “14 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; [a]for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.”
There are tongues for personal edification, and there are tongues and interpretation of the tongues that are for the edification of the Church body of believers, and the gift of tongues is on par with prophecy when interpreted. This is why in Church services when everyone is praying and worshipping in tongues, that the Gift of tongues are spoken louder and are to be then interpreted so that the church is edified. It’s your duty to wait on the interpretation.
1 Corinthians 14:14-19 continues with this; “14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. 16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.”
Paul is not talking here about tongues for personal edification, which is often heard in corporate prayer and worship services, but he is talking about the Gift of tongues that require interpretation in order that the church body can receive edification.
That’s why Paul says clearly in verse 18“18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.”
Paul is saying that he speaks in tongues for personal edification more than all others, but would rather speak in tongues that are then interpreted and prophesied, in order that the Church can be edified and built up. This is not saying that he does not speak ten thousand words in tongues in Church, but that he would rather operate in the Gift of tongues and interpretation so others can be spoken to by God. Paul knew the importance of praying and worshipping in tongues, as well as he knew the importance of speaking in tongues and interpretation that are on the same level as prophecy and were not to be forbidden in Church. So if speaking in tongues are not such an important part of every Christians life, then why does Paul devote and entire Chapter of 1 Corinthians 14 to teach on the subject? If it’s not important for you to speak in tongues, Christian, why did he devout an entire chapter to teach on it?
It continues in 1 Corinthians 14:20-25 saying that tongues are a sign to unbelievers; “20 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature. 21 In the law it is written: “With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,” says the Lord. 22 Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe. 23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are [a]out of your mind? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 [b]And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.”
How many people today are not hearing what the Spirit of the Lord is saying? They’ve chosen not to. They’ve chosen to remain ignorant, to turn off teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and tongues, they’ve chosen not to study, they’ve turned a deaf ear.
Many think that what Paul is saying in verses 22 and 24 are contradictory, if he’s talking about the same thing. What Paul is saying here are two different forms of prophesying; the one in verse 22 is prophecy without tongues, and the one in verses 24-25 is about prophecy as a result of interpretation of tongues, that’s why it’s a sign to unbelievers. Saying otherwise is saying that Paul is contradicting himself about the same subject of prophecy, because in one, prophecy is not for unbelievers and in the other prophecy is for unbelievers, so it’s pretty easy to conclude that one is straight up prophesying and the other is tongues and interpretations that are prophetic words that are a sign to unbelievers.
The devil would like to keep you ignorant and uninformed where you’re not even operating in the gifts.
Again, verses 24-25 says; “24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 [b]And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.”
This is why the gift of tongues and interpretation (prophecy), are such an important part of church, because they minister to both believers and unbelievers.
1 Corinthians 14:26-33continues; “26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for [a]edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.”
This is not talking about corporate pray and worship in tongues, this is talking about the gift of tongues that require an interpretation after they are spoken in a service, and they are delivered louder than the prayer and worship in tongues, when given, those who are corporately praying and worshiping in tongues will become quite while respectfully waiting on the interpretation to be given.
Verses 29-33. “29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of [b]confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”
These scriptures are not talking about prophetic interpretation of tongues, but rather is addressing those who are prophets in the Church. They prophesy in the language that is being spoke in that church and culture. This is why it is of utmost importance to have knowledge of God’s word. That’s why pastors have closed their churches to these gifts because they simply don’t have true knowledge of it and the blessing and importance that it is to their church. Pastors and Christians alike can’t afford to be ignorant of what the Bible says about the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 14:37-40says; “37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. 38 But [a]if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.”
It’s noteworthy that Paul doesn’t say, if anyone is rude, no, he says, if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant. If you choose to be ignorant, it’s your choice, but Paul plainly laid out the role of tongues (for edification), tongues and interpretation (which is prophecy) and prophecy itself. Paul made the knowledge available. You may think that sounds harsh, because in the prior chapter 13, he talks about love, and although this verse sounds brash or brazen, it’s because of his love for the church, he’s being straight up with the Corinthians, as well as the rest of the churches, right up to us today. Don’t turn a deaf ear today and be ignorant. Regardless of who the preacher is in your church pulpit and what he’s teaching, you don’t have to stay in that ignorance. No matter what your family has said, or anyone else for that matter, you can come out from among them; you can get the knowledge, study, get filled with the Holy Spirit, speak in tongues and find a church which does allow tongues and all of the Gifts of the Spirit to be in operation…it’s your choice. Don’t remain ignorant because that isn’t God’s will for you.
In verse 37 Paul refers to what he has written to be the commandments of the Lord Jesus, and he follows up by saying; “38 But [a]if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.,” which if you were to be real, the majority of Churches today have rejected or misinterpreted these commandments of the Lord and have remained ignorant regarding speaking in tongues, and as a result the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are not in operation as spoken of by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11where it says;
“12 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that[a] you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb[b] idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus [c]accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are [d]diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works [e]all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by [f]the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
Again, this is talking about the gifts of the Spirit, the gift of tongues and the gift of interpretation of tongues.
Paul not only knew that what he was writing were the commandments of the Lord, but Paul spoke in tongues, and this was the indicator that he at some point received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. We know that he was filled with Holy Spirit and healed when Ananias prayed for him, but there’s no record of him speaking in tongues then. He had three days to get right with God and Jesus! Paul got born again during that three day period of fasting, sanctification, separation unto God, he was a changed man, but he wasn’t filled with the Holy Spirit nor was he baptized in water. However, we can maybe conclude that Ananias must have heard him speak in tongues, for there was enough evidence to convince Ananias to proceed and baptize Paul in water, who just three days earlier was on a campaign to destroy Christianity. As in our last message, what the apostles, disciples and early church members looked for from converts to Christianity, was speaking in tongues, that was the convincing proof of their salvation. That’s why Ananias was seeking proof that when he laid his hands on him as Jesus had commanded him, that Paul would speak in tongues. He knew that Paul was a Christian killer…he needed to see proof of his conversion, and tongues was the proof.
Either way, Paul made it clear that at some point he spoke in tongues and obviously on a regular basis for him to say that he spoke in tongues more that any one else in the Corinthian Church. Speaking in tongues was just the norm for Paul and the early Church members, and we now have another reason why all Christians should speak in tongues, and just as normal as it was then, it is the norm today for a Christian to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire and speak in tongues. Nothing has changed. The same one that filled Paul is the same Holy Spirit that will fill you. The same evidence of speaking in tongues with Paul will fill you with tongues. The same gifts of tongues spoken in 1 Corinthians 14 that was in operation in the Corinthian church will be evidenced in you too. All the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 12 can be in operation in you. Chose not to be ignorant, deaf, and dumb of these gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
To read the prophecy from Sunday’s service, click here.
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