Etikettarkiv | Holy Ghost

Were the 70 disciples of Jesus the last ones with the gift of healing?

greatest commandmentWho were the 70 disciples/apostles?

The 70 disciples are those referred to in Luke 10 – who were sent out to preach the gospel (and heal the sick), apart from the 12 disciples mentioned in the previous chapter, in Luke 9.

There are some Christians who are convinced of that the spiritual gifts (such as healing and speaking in tongues) were given only through the hands of the disciples (the 12 and the 70), and that these gifts therefore ceased after their deaths. The Bible, of course, claims no such thing. Paul even spends a large amount of text in his letters to the Corinthians to sort out rules and give advice when it comes to the spiritual gifts. Not once does he claim that they would soon cease to apply, but instead he encourages his readers to eagerly seek the spiritual gifts. Satan could not be any happier about the false teaching of cessationism, because this idea strips Christians from using excellent spiritual resources provided to us by the Holy Spirit.

Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed OTHER SEVENTY ALSO, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.12 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.—17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

During the time of Jesus, the disciples/apostles were sent out by him to spread the gospel two and two. This does not mean that it is better to stay at home if we cannot find a friend to preach the gospel with, nor is it a great sin to sometimes go out three and three or more, if there is a reason for it. In the above chapter we are just informed how Jesus chose to arrange things for his disciples, and going out two and two is a great recommendation since you will always find support in your Christian brother/sister. If you have 12 disciples as your resource, it would be less beneficial to go out three and three since this would make up 4 teams instead of 6 (and having 35 teams is better than having 23 teams, if you have 70 disciples at your hands) because this means that fewer people will get the benefit to hear the gospel.

Jesus also had other specific recommendations for his disciples, such asCarry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way”. This was his advice during his  time in history and during his circumstances. (Going out preaching the gospel barefoot on the snowy streets of Sweden is not what Jesus had in mind.) Jesus does not say that all those detailed instructions were required everywhere during all times in all circumstances with no deviation.

We can find information about the 70 disciples in Luke 10, but in Luke 9 we can find  information about his closest 12 disciples and they had similar instructions. Just like the 70 mentioned later, they had the authority to cure diseases and to cast out unclean spirits (demons). They were told to preach the kingdom of God (the gospel, including the importance of repentance) and healing the sick, and this is advice also for us. We can share the gospel in various ways, and today we also have the Internet as means.

Luke 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.4 And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.

Mark 6:7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two;and gave them power over unclean spirits;— 12 And they went out, and preached that men should REPENT.13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

Mark. 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Matt. 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. 

evangelium 3Jesus commanded his disciples to teach people to observe the things that they themselves have been commanded to do

The following section is important for our understanding because here we can see that Jesus commanded his disciples to teach people to OBSERVE ALL THINGS whichever he had commanded them (his disciples). According to the books of Luke, Mark and Matthew (and Acts) Jesus taught his disciples to preach the gospel to all people (including the importance of repentance) and to heal the sick. He also explained which signs would follow the believers (such as speaking in tongues). 

Judas Iscariot was one of the 12 and had the same authority as the other disciples, but he was later replaced with Matthew.

Matt. 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

This means that healing was not just a task meant for Jesus and his disciples. We can see this also in the book of James. He writes to ”the twelve tribes scattered abroad”, and not only does this signify individuals outside of the 12 and the 70 disciples, but the whole book of James applies for all of us – just like the rest of the books in the New Testament. James advice for all us and the church (the Christian fellowship):

Jam. 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the ELDERS OF THE CHURCH; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:15 And the prayer of FAITH shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be HEALED. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Paul’s advice for all of us concerning the spiritual gifts:

1 Cor. 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.28 And God hath set some in THE CHURCH, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Paul’s physical contact with handkerchiefs and aprons resulted in people getting healed when they touched these items. Even demons were cast out. This is nothing that Jesus ever taught in the gospels, but Jesus never spoke against such a procedure.

Acts 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

Healing and speaking in tongues are spiritual gifts which apply for everyone. The Bible nowhere claims that such useful gifts will cease before the return of Jesus (when such gifts are no longer needed). The spiritual gifts are useful tools for all Christians.

John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME, the works that I do he will do ALSO; and GREATER WORKS than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

Mark. 16:17 And these signs shall follow THEM THAT BELIEVE; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

But does it not say in Acts below that the holy Ghost was received when the disciples of Jesus, such as Philip Peter, and John, laid their hands on believers, and does this not in extension mean that the same applies when it comes to the ability to heal people? No, it does not say that the giving of the holy Ghost, or healing, are restricted to the disciples only. In Acts 8 the context is Simon (the former sorcerer) who erroneously believed that the giving of the holy Ghost could be bought for money – and the ones he happened to be in contact with were Philip, Peter and John. The book of Acts concerns the life of the disciples/apostles and the very first Christians, and naturally then we can read about their particular lives and comments.

Jesus again taught others toGo ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU”, and what he commanded them was toGo ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”. Jesus sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. This means that we should do the same since it was not a task restricted for the first generation of Christians. Why would future generations not be in need of the same teaching?

Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

When it comes to healing, FAITH plays a huge role, and naturally the power of the Lord.

Mark. 5:34 34 And he said unto her, Daughter, THY FAITH hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

Acts 15:9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that HE HAD FAITH TO BE HEALED

Matt. 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus SEEING THEIR FAITH said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. — 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.

Matt. 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; THY FAITH HATH MADE THEE WHOLE. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Matt. 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Mark 5:34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

Mark. 10:52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Matt. 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Luke 5:17 17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to HEAL THEM.

Annonser

The holy Spirit is given after faith and repentance – not before

acts-10Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38)

Some Calvinist friends are of the opinion that God is the one selecting whom to save and provides the holy Spirit to the chosen individuals – and in this fashion enables them to believe (while he shows no courtesy to the others who are chosen to be non-elect before they are even born). The Bible, however, teaches that God does not want anyone to perish and that the holy Spirit is given to a person after he/she has repented (after having come to Christ and confessed his/her sins). You can read my article about regeneration (being born again after having been cleansed from sins) here.

Based on the Bible we can deduce that the presence of the holy Spirit (the holy Ghost) operates in different ways between the old and the new testaments (this deserves an article of its own). Suffice is to say that one could of course be saved also during the time of the old testament, before the time of Jesus Christ who later died, was resurrected and provided the holy Ghost as our individual Helper. Before his time, there was a lot of focus on the prophets of God who could provide extra light on the Torah. Faith leading to righteousness has always been required for salvation ever since the time of Adam.

2 Pet. 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:.13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Cornelius – faith and righteousness before the indwelling of the holy Spirit

The apostle Peter describes the truth about salvation ”in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him”. The ability to do this was available both in the old and the new testament, even if the holy Spirit operates in a different way today compared to the old times. One difference is that people did not speak in tongues in the old times, and miracles and healing were primarily connected to the prophets and holy men of God.

The story about Cornelius (Acts 10) is enough for us to understand that a person can believe in God, do many good works – before having been baptized in the holy Spirit.

Acts 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.—22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.—33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.—44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Here is more evidence that faith precedes the indwelling of the holy Ghost:

Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, WHICH THEY THAT BELIEVE ON HIM SHOULD RECEIVE: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Heb. 11 he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently SEEK him.

Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us. —30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent

Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee

2 Tim 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.21 IF a man therefore purges himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

Romans 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded

Jeremiah 4:14 Wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved

Ezekiel 18:31 Make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die… 

Rev. 2:21 And I gave her SPACE TO REPENT of her fornication and she repented not. 22 Behold I will cast her into a bed and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation except they repent of their DEEDS

Notice below that the order of events is 1) enlightenment to every man who comes into John 1.jpgthe world, 2) reception and belief in Jesus Christ, 3) resulting in becoming the sons of God (thanks to being cleansed and pardoned):

John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name

Notice also that ”his own” did not receive him. If that would signify the chosen elect, it is strange why God did not enable them (predestine them) to believe in him. It rather seems like it is our own responsibility – to react on God’s calling. This is not the same as ”saving ourselves” without God. We do not have the authority to forgive ourselves for our own sins, and we cannot be born again without the grace of God and unless he provides the opportunity for us to have all of our sins erased.

There are apostles in the church today, and we are warned about false apostles

 

apostle 3”Apostle” comes from the greek word ”apostolos” (Strong’s 652) and means one that is sent forth (with orders or a mission), like a messenger.

The very first apostles were the same as Jesus first disciples.

Matt. 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

When Judas Iscariot fell away, Matthias was appointed in his stead.

Acts 2:23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Also Paul was called by God to be an apostle.

Corinthians 1:1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother (Rom. 1:1, 11:13, 1 Cor. 1:1, 9:1-2, 1 Cor. 15:9, 2 Cor. 1:1, Gal. 1:1, Eph. 1:1, Col. 1:1, 1 Tim. 1:1, 1 Tim. 2:7, 2 Tim. 1:1, 1:11, Titus 1:1)

Barnabas was called an apostle according to Luke, and it’s possible that also Timothy, Judas Barsabas and Silvanus (probably the same as Silas) were considered apostles as well. They were certainly called, and sent forth by Paul to spread the gospel and to perform miracles.

Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me BARNBABAS and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

Acts 14:13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.14 Which when the apostles, BARNABAS and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out

Act 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed BARSABAS and SILAS, chief men among the brethren

70 other individuals sent out to spread the gospel and to heal the sick

Apart from the first 12, and apart from Paul and Barnabas, we can read from Luke that 70 other individuals were sent forth to spread the gospel and to perform miracles.

Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.—9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.—13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.—16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

In the above verses it’s clear that these 70 individuals were given much divine power. Not only does Jesus separate people between those who listen to these 70 and those who despite them, but the 70 are also given power to do mighty work like healing the sick. They were more powerful than the enemy – including the spirits from the enemy. With other words, there were no one else who had greater power apart from God and the other 12 apostles, and Jesus told these 70 individuals to pray that the Lord would send forth laborers into his harvest. This seems to be exactly what Jesus had done to these 70 at one point, because he had sent them forth to do mighty work.

The commands for the initial 12 apostles were similar as for the 70:

Matt. 28:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.—7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

In order to not confuse the first 12 apostles with the above 70 individuals (all of them called to spread the gospel by Jesus Christ), it makes sense that ”the apostles” refers only to the original apostles, including either Judas Iscariot or later on Matthias. Also Jesus Christ could actually be called an apostle, because he was also sent forth by his Father to share the gospel with the people on earth. Neither Jesus would be included whenever the Bible uses the term ”the apostles”.

Hebr. 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

John 13:16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

Even if the 70 individuals mentioned in Luke 10 had similar tasks as the 12 apostles, it’s only the 12 apostles that will be given one foundation each in the new Jerusalem. The 12 are likely viewed in highest regard because they were the first disciples who remained with him (unlike other disciples as those mentioned in John 6:66), who were taught by him, dined with him, were his close friends, etc. It’s difficult to have 12 + 70 very close and intimate friends, but it’s possible to select 12 individuals and be both a close friend as well as being their master. They in turn could do the same – gather a few people and making them into disciples.

Rev. 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Eph. 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Acts 16:4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

2 Peter 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.—17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Luke 11:47 Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.48 Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation

Jesus is naturally the one with all the wisdom in the world, but since the first apostles were sent out from him they are also very trustworthy. Jude is therefore in Jude 1:3 exhorting christians ”to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. The saints were the first christians, and the very first christians were the apostles. If the apostles make sure to adhere to Jesus teaching, and if these apostles make sure to only appoint qualified men to be apostles and pastors, then all would be well in church. Unfortunately Paul (and Peter, John, Jude, etc) also knew that wolves in sheep’s clothing would be entering the church soon after their own departure. In 1 Tim. 5:22 we can read Paul’s warning to Timothy Do not lay hands on anyone hastily” (which is the way one officially appoints a presbytery/pastor), because he knew the order of events. 

Junia is a female name, but rather than being named an apostle it’s more likely that the below verse should be read as though the apostles viewed both Andronicus and Junia as godly individuals of highest regard.

Rom. 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

Apostles are supposed to be in the church, along with prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachersapostle 2

If teachers, evangelists and pastors are still active in church today, then so are apostles and prophets since they are all listed together in the below verses. Paul is explaining the church order for the Corinthians and the Ephesians (and for all of us), and it would be strange if he asked ”are all apostles, are all teachers, are all workers of miracles?”, if these functions would soon cease and lose their significance. If apostles would soon be irrelevant in church within one generation, it would be better for Paul to end all confusion by explaining that only the twelve could be considered apostles and that therefore false apostles could easily be detected.

1 Cor. 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

Eph. 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Based on the above, the order of authority seems to be: God almighty, Jesus Christ his son (Jesus is of course also God, but he is also the son who is sent out), the 12 apostles, other apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, gifts of healing, helps, governments and diversities of tongues.

We are warned about false apostles

If the case would be that only the initial 12 disciples could ever be considered true apostles, it would be a breeze to figure out which ones the false apostles are. Anyone claiming to be an apostle and not being among the first dozen or more, would by definition be a false prophet. Yet, the Bible doesn’t make this particular distinction between true apostles and false apostles, but it’s rather about being qualified and showing good fruit. We are warned about both false apostles and false prophets – and supposed to look out.

2 Cor. 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Rev. 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

2 Cor. 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

A true Biblical apostle would also be able to show signs, perform wonders and mighty deeds. Both Philip and Stephen did great miracles (Acts 8:6 and 6:8).

The holy Spirit and the ability to speak in tongues can be received by laying on of hands

Some christians suggest that the holy Spirit and miracles can only come from the hands of the apostles, but the Bible doesn’t narrow it down in that way. The first christians (normally the apostles) had this power, but the amount of christians increased and the holy Spirit could also be received in other ways (by listening to the gospel and having a repentant heart).

Acts 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money

Acts. 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

Acts 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.Then Peter answered, 47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”

The HOLY SPIRIT is also GOD and part of the TRINITY and the Godhead

helig andeThe holy Spirit in the New Testament is a translation of  hagios pneuma (Strong’s 40 and 4151, respectively), and He is sent to us by the Father and the son, to be our Helper and to reprove the world of sin. He dwells in the hearts of christians, and he is also big help for us to live holy lives and gives us wisdom and strength. He helps us to understand the scriptures and the deeper things of God, and also gives us spiritual gifts so that we can edify each other in the body of Christ. The holy Spirit is described as someone who has emotions, wisdom and who has a will of his own which he uses to do the will of God the Father. He is referred to as ”he” (and not ”it”), he can hear and speak and he has fellowship with us. The Bible came about when holy men of God wrote down their texts under the inspiration of the holy Spirit.

We receive the holy Spirit when we come to God and repent for our sins.

Acts. 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

It’s not necessary to declare that we believe in a Trinity in order to be saved because it’s not a Biblical word, but it seems to be of great importance to at least accept that Jesus is the IAM (the Creator God) based on John 8:24. According to the scriptures, we also learn that the spirit of God is divine, and I personally believe that we are risking our souls if we deny this fact – IF we have the chance to reach this kind of knowledge. This means that children or people who don’t have much access to a Bible, might not be able to understand all the details about the Godhead, and I believe that God will judge them accordingly. In a similar way it’s not necessary to understand how a car engine works in order to drive a car, but of course it’s of great help to know the basics so that we know how to maintain the engine the best way, and so that we learn the signs of malfunctions.

There is a theory, with support from the apocrypha,that suggests that demons/evil spirits have their original source in the fallen angels that we can read about in Genesis (the sons of God), who came down to earth and had children – the gigantic nephilim – together with human females. These fallen angels finally died, but the evil spirits continued to cause mayhem when they entered willing human hearts. If this is true, and if the holy Spirit functions in a similar way  – but naturally having a source in God  – it might explain why Jesus had to be glorified and depart from earth before the holy Spirit could make an entrance in another form than Jesus. If demons/evil spirits can be called Satan because of their source in him, then maybe the holy Spirit can be called God because he is God and has his source in the Godhead. These are of course only speculations about the spiritual world, and it’s not a salvation matter – as long as we understand which God we are worshiping.

If Jesus and the holy Spirit would be one and the same person, it’s difficult to understand the need for Jesus’ departure before the holy Spirit could make an entrance. The holy Spirit is also said to come to glorify JESUS, and if Jesus isn’t God it would make more sense if the holy Spirit came to glorify GOD and no one else. Especially considering that God doesn’t share his glory with anyone (Is. 42:8). The holy Spirit speaks what he hears, which is an indication of that he has a free will and is separate from the one that he listens to:

John 16:5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Acts 1: 1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.—8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

GOD created the heavens and the earth, but the SPIRIT OF GOD moved upon the face of the waters. The spirit of God seems to be more than just a thought or a power, because he moved over the waters – and water is something physical. God and the spirit of God seem to be separate:

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

We are to have fellowship with the Father and the son, but also with the Spirit:

1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Phil. 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

If the holy Spirit is just some kind of a force or if he is the same as the Father or the son, then it doesn’t make sense that he can be offended more than them. Neither does it make sense that speaking against Jesus is a much less serious crime compared to blaspheming the holy Spirit – where the latter offence will lead to the inability of being forgiven:

Luk. 12:10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.

Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

Eph. 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

When Jesus got baptized, also the Father and the holy Spirit were present – all three of them together. The voicedove came from God the Father in heaven, and the holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove. Right after this moment, the holy Spirit drove Jesus off to the wilderness – showing they were separate :

Mark 1:9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.12 And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

The holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.  Just like Jesus, the Spirit chooses to do the will of God (God is often the same as God the Father). If the Spirit can choose to obey someone, it shows that he is separate from the one he obeys – since one is obeying the other. If the reality is that only God the Father, or Jesus are in action, why isn’t Paul simply saying so?:

Rom. 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Rom. 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Below we can see further evidence of that the holy Spirit is the same as the Spirit of God, but yet separate from God the Father since we can all get the holy Spirit inside us as our Helper. At the same time, God the Father can still remain in his heaven or in other places:

1 Cor. 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The Lord is that Spirit, says Paul, and both God the Father and the son are called the Lord of Lords:

2 Cor. 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The holy Spirit is the one who brings us spiritual gifts, and enables us to speak in tongues and to heal people.  If it’s rather God the Father or Jesus who are doing this, why is not Paul simply saying so? ”By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body” = there is only one Spirit of God, which is the holy Spirit:

Acts 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

1 Cor. 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.14 For the body is not one member, but many.

Ananias and his wife chose to let Satan fill their hearts, resulting in that they TEMPTED the holy Spirit, and lied to him – which is the same as lying to GOD. If there would only be one side of God with no other dimensions, perhaps it would be more clear to simply say that they lied to God with no further mention of the holy Spirit?:

Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto GOD.—9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

Peter says that it’s the holy Spirit who moved holy men to speak out divine prophesies, and  Paul says that all scripture is given by the inspiration of God. They seem to be talking about separate persons and yet the same:

spirit 3

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The holy Spirit can also speak and give instructions.  Again, if it’s God and/or Jesus who are the ones doing this, why doesn’t it say so?:

Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

Acts 11:11 And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.12 And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:

Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

We have a free will and we are not forced to obey the holy Spirit, but the better choice is to not resist him and to pay attention to where and how he wants to direct us. This is hard to do if we don’t spend time with prayers to God.

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Acts 16:6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia

Apparently, we are to baptize each other in three names (not one or two), and what would be the reason for this if there is only one person in the Godhead?

Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

1 John 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

The Godhead – Strong’s 2320 theotés

Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the GODHEAD bodily.

(Acts 17:29 and Rom. 1:20 make use of other Greek words – Strong’s 2304 and 2305)

Below we can see the same situation in three different versions from Mark, Matthew and Luke, and it will be the following person who will speak through us in times of distress and trouble in the future – depending on which version we are referring to: 1) the holy Spirit/Ghost, 2) the spirit of the Father, 3) JESUS. So which one is it? Since it concerns the same account, it seems like these persons can be used somewhat interchangeably because they each represent the Godhead.

Markus 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but THE HOLY GHOST.

Matt. 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.20 For it is not ye that speak, but THE SPIRIT OF YOUR FATHER which speaketh in you.

Lukas 21:14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:15 For I WILL give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

The holy Spirit, the Spirit of God or the Spirit of Christ? – How many divine Spirits are there?dove 2

Each person has a spirit and even Antichrist has a spirit, but when we are talking about the holy Spirit which is promised to us as the Comforter, surely there is only one? We can see from 1 Cor. 3:16 and 1 Tim. 1:14 that the Spirit of God and the holy Spirit/Ghost are the same person/entity, but it also seems like the Spirit of Christ is also this same person. 2 Cor. 3:17 says that Jesus Christ is that Spirit (the Spirit of the Lord). God is in three persons, and these three persons form one Godhead…

Since each person has a spirit and Jesus Christ lived as a man like us, it follows that he too had a spirit, but it doesn’t end there. The Bible tells us that the Spirit of Christ is what we should have inside us today, or else we are not one of his. Things can go well for us thanks to prayers and the supply of the Spirit of Christ. Jesus says ” I will not leave you comfortlessI will come to you”, to his disciples, when he promises them the Comforter.

It seems like the Comforter that dwells in us, can be stated as the holy Spirit, God or Jesus Christ.

According to John 14:23, we are to keep the word of Jesus and if we do, the Father and the son will come to us and make their abode with us. If we get filled with the holy Spirit, we are being filled with GOD.

Eph. 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

1 Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Rom. 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Phil. 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

2 Cor. 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

2 Cor. 3:15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.17 Now THE LORD IS THAT SPIRIT: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Hebr. 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

1 Pet. 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ (pneuma Christos) which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost (hagios pneuma) sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

1 Pet. 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Col. 3:16 Let the word of Christ DWELL in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

1 Cor.3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God DWELLETH in you?

2 Tim. 1:14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost (hagios pneuma) which DWELLETH in us.

John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he DWELLETH with you, and shall be in you.18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.— 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God DWELLETH in us, and his love is perfected in us.13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

Eph. 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,—16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;17 THAT CHRIST MAY DWELL in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

1 Cor. 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Is the HOLY SPIRIT also GOD?

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The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son to work in our hearts, and to reprove the world of sin. He fills the christian hearts with his presence, and he is a big aid for us to live holy lives and to enable us to be good disciples who spread the true word of God to others. The Holy Spirit helps us to understand the scriptures and the deep things of God, and he also gives us spiritual gifts so that we can build up ourselves and others in the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit is described as a person who has a will, who hears, speaks, has feelings, wisdom, and who has a relationship with us. The Bible came about thanks to holy men of God who wrote down the message of God through inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, REPENT, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the HOLY GHOST.

If the Holy Spirit is exactly synonymous with either God/the Father/Jesus Christ, then we must ask ourselves why those names are not used instead? The Holy Spirit seems to be different from the Father and Jesus Christ, but also the same as though share the same source. Only the trinity could solve something like this, because if 1) God the Father, 2) God the son and 3) God the Holy Spirit, are different persons in the same godhead (and there is only one God), then it all makes sense. We could also visualize that only the Father and Jesus Christ are in the godhead, with the Holy Spirit as another manifestation of them, which boils down to the almost the same thing. When the Holy Spirit is operating on earth, then it’s God operating.

It might feel like a burden to understand exactly how the persons in the godhead work in their divine state and in the trinity, but we don’t have to understand exactly how they interact with each other in order to be saved. We only have to accept that these persons/manifestations are in our only God and that they are each called God – 1 pile of sand can be divided into 3 piles of sand, and back again. God can be in several different locations at the same time, and the Holy Spirit can be in each of us christians at the same time. Neither do we have to understand exactly how a car engine works in order to drive, even if it’s for our benefit if we have some knowledge about it – like; where it’s placed, what the purpose is, how to make maintenance, what the indications are that something is wrong, etc. At least we know that the inventor/manufacturer knows how it works, and he knows it in great detail and has it all under control.

There is a theory put forth in some of the apocrypha/lost books which suggests that demons/evil spirits have a source in the fallen angels that we can read about in Genesis (the sons of God), och who came down to earth to produce gigantic babies (nephilim) together with certain females. When the fallen angels eventually died, they are said to have left evil spirits of themselves which could trouble human beings – which we have some examples of in the Bible. If this is true, and if the Holy Spirit works in a similar way (naturally with a source in God), then this could explain why Jesus had to be glorified and leave the earth before the Holy Spirit could make an entrance and fill our hearts. If demons/evil spirits can be called Satan (precisely for being manifestations of Satan), the Holy Spirit could be called God for the same reason – because he is a manifestation of God. This, however, is only speculation about the invisible and spiritual world, and it’s not something that is essential for our salvation to know about – as long as we worship the only true God. It’s for instance utterly important to accept that Jesus is the IAM, and the word that was with God and who was GOD and lived among us in flesh. Read more about the trinity here.

If Jesus and the Holy Spirit are synonymous, then it would not make sense to have different names for the very same person, and it would be difficult to understand why Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as another Comforter (helper) who can’t make his entrance into this world unless Jesus makes an exit. The Holy Spirit is not referred to as ”it” (as some kind of a neutral force) but the pronoun ”he” is used. The Holy Spirit will testify of Jesus and glorify him, and if Jesus is not God it would have been more logical to let the Holy Spirit glorify GOD. Especially since we can read in Isaiah 42:8 that God doesn’t share his glory with anyone. The Holy Spirit will speak what he hears, and this is another indication of that he is separate from the one who tells him what to speak. If the Holy Spirit is the same as the Father, it’s strange that we can read that he will proceed from the Father, because that makes them separate:

John 16:But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for IF I GO NOT AWAY; THE COMFORTER WILL NOT COME UNTO YOU; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:Of sin, because they believe not on me;10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me

Apg. 1: 1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

GOD created the heavens and the earth, but the SPIRIT of GOD moved upon the face of the waters. They seem separate:

Gen. 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Our fellowship is with the Father and the son, according to John, but Paul says our fellowship is with the Spirit. They are both right as usual:

1 John 1:That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Phil. 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind

If the Holy Spirit is only some kind of ”force” or ”power” and not God itself, then it’s odd that the Holy Spirit can be more offended if someone offends it, than Jesus Christ if someone offends him, considering that Jesus is a real person. So here, again, we can see that there is a difference between Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, because the punishment differs if someone blasphemes them. Moreover, we can grieve the Holy Spirit, which shows he has emotions.

Luke 12:10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.

Matt. 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Eph.  4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

When we read the story about Jesus baptism, we can see that a voice from heaven is heard saying ”Thou art my beloved Son”, and the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus like a dove. These things occur at the same time, and it was God the Father who spoke from heaven, to God Jesus Christ on earth, at the same time as God the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus as a dove. All three persons in the godhead are in action at the same time:

Mark 1:And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

The Holy Spirit can bear witness that we are the children of God, and he also helps our infirmities and makes intercessions for us. He that searches the heart knows what is the mind of the Spirit, and the Spirit chooses to adhere to the will of God – showing they are separate but still the same:

Rom. 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God

Rom. 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

We are to keep the word of JESUS and if we obey him, he and his Father will come to us and abode with us. How do they accomplish this – being in all of us christians – unless they do this through the Holy Spirit? Jesus Christ can be in us, but naturally not in fleshly form. We are encouraged to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and if the Holy Spirit is inside us and acts as a divine Helper,  it results in that our bodies are his temple:

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

2 Cor. 13:Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Eph. 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit

1 Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Here we can learn more about the Holy Spirit and that he is different from God but yet the same. The Spirit searches all things including the deep things of GOD – as though they were separate. Each christian can get the Holy Spirit at the same time as God remains in his heaven:

1 Cor. 2:Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

The Lord is Spirit, says Paul, and the Lord could be God the Father or Jesus. They are both called Lord of Lords. It appears there are three Lords in the godhead, and of course that’s quite possible.

2 Cor. 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The Holy Spirit is the one to give us gifts of the Spirit, and who make it possible for us to speak with different tongues and to prophesy. The gifts are given as ”he will”, showing again that he has a will. If the Holy Spirit is synonymous with God (and not one of three persons in God), then why didn’t Paul simply say that GOD gives us these gifts? Just to confuse us? ”The same Spirit...”, ”the same Lord…”and ”the same God”. Sounds like they are different again, but yet the same.

Acts 2:And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

1 Cor. 12:Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Ananias and his wife chose to let Satan fill their hearts, and this resulted in lying to the holy Spirit, which is the same as lying to GOD. By their actions they tempted the Spirit of God. If there is only one God with no dimensions or different persons, one wonders why Luke didn’t choose to write ”God” in all those places concerning him. Why alter between ”God” and ”the holy Spirit”? Probably because they are different and yet members of the same God:

Apg. 5:But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

Peter says that the Holy Spirit is the one who moved holy men of God to write the scriptures, och Paul says that the scripture is given by inspiration of GOD. They seem to be the same:

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2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

The Holy Spirit can speak and give instructions.

Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

Acts 11:11 And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.12 And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:

Acts 13:As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

We have a free will and we are not forced to obey the Holy Spirit, but if we are attentive for how the Holy Spirit wants to guide us, we can say that he encourages us and hinders us from doing certain things. Then the starting point is that we have made a decision to adhere to the Holy Spirit instead of our flesh. The Holy Spirit can ”forbid” us to do something, but we must decide whether to obey or disobey.

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Acts 16:Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia

Below we can see that 1) the holy Ghost 2) the spirit of the FATHER, 3) JESUS, who will be speaking through us in times of trouble and persecution. So which one is it? Or is it all three as in the trinity?

Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the HOLY GHOST.

Matt. 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.20 For it is not ye that speak, but THE SPIRIT OF YOUR FATHER which speaketh in you.

Luke 21:14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:15 For I WILL GIVE YOU A MOUTH and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

Jesus and the spirit…

2 Cor. 3:16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.17 Now THE LORD IS THAT SPIRIT and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Hebr. 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

We are apparently told to baptize in three names, and what is the reason for this if God is one and the same and with no distinct persons in the godhead?

Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

1 John 5:For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Godhead Strong’s 2320 theotés

Colossians 2:For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power

(Acts 17:29 and Rom. 1:20 do not use this Greek word, but 2304 and 2305 respectively)

The danger of misusing the misuse of tongues

Below I use the word ”cessationist” (a person who believes speaking in tongues is not for today but a gift that has ceased) but I could address anyone who is skeptic about tongues and especially those who have produced ”anti-tongue material” – like uploaded video clips on youtube. Sometimes I wonder if cessationists feel that if they can’t pray by the Spirit’s power, they assume that no one else can either and they therefore prefer to read the Bible accordingly.  I don’t wish to cause bad feelings with what I write, but would like to defend the gift of speaking in tongues, and to make some clarifications concerning some common misunderstandings.

Speaking in tongues does not mean that the language is always understood, but actually the exact opposite

It’s very common for cessationists to base their views about tongues on Acts 2 alone, with hardly no aid from 1 Cor. 11-14 where Paul quite extensively describes tongues and the way to use them. If the agenda is to show that speaking in tongues has either ceased or nothing to strive for,  people would likely try to ignore 1 Cor. 11-14 to avoid the clear information we can find there:

  • we should be eager to get this gift
  • tongues can edify YOU ALONE, which is something good
  • NO MAN understands the tongues (unless interpreted)
  • you’re not even addressing people with your tongues but you’re praying to GOD
  • you should pray in BOTH ways; 1) with the spirit and 2) with your understanding

Acts 2 of course doesn’t contradict 1 Cor. in any way, but it’s still not a good approach to avoid the larger passages about tongues and focus on the very first experience alone. What if the very first experience was totally unique and a bit different than the experiences which followed? The Greek word ”dialectos” is used only in the original Pentecost of Acts 2. The other occurences of tongues-speaking (Acts 19, Acts 10) was not in earthly dialects and ”dialectos” is not found in the text. All we know from Acts 2 is that ”every man heard them speak in his own language”. Notice:

  • It does NOT say that each man understood ALL the languages spoken
  • It does NOT say that each man understood every single disciple
  • It does NOT say that no ”gibberish” was uttered apart from the comprehensible languages

If tongues are always foreign languages, then there is no reason for anyone to ever do it alone (where no foreigners can hear) and yet we are told to pray privately:

1 Cor. 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and LET HIM SPEAK TO HIMSELF, AND TO GOD

Also, there would have been no reason for the Ephesians (of Acts 19) or for Cornelius’ family (Acts 10) to speak in tongues since there were no foreigners there to understand it. If tongues were always understood, why is ”interpreting tongues” a separate gift? And how come believers with the gift of speaking in tongues don’t automatically have the gift of interpreting? We are told to pray in two ways; 1) with the spirit (where we don’t understand what we are saying) and 2) with our own words (which we understand):

1 Cor. 14:19 I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding ALSO: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

1 Cor. 14:13 Wherefore let him who speaks in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret (so clearly not a gift always combined with speaking in tongues)

1 Cor. 14:17 For you verily give thanks well,[in tongues] but the other is not edified (because he can’t understand)

Since the Bible says that no one understands a person who speaks in tongues, it means that ”gibberish” fits this description rather well. That people sometimes understand the tongues is likely due to that they are interpreted.

Speaking in tongues is for praise, worship, edification and not for evangelism

Tongues are for praise and nowhere are we told they are meant for evangelism. The Ephesians in Acts 19 and the Romans in Acts 10 (Cornelius’ house) spoke in tongues but there were no foreigners around to hear in a foreign ”known language”. What purpose would a foreign dialect serve as they all already spoke the same language? Two portions from the book of Acts show that tongues are for praise rather than for evangelism:

1) Acts 10:44-46 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God

In Cornelius’ house there were no foreigners to hear what was spoken. ”And Cornelius waited for them, and he called together his kinsmen and near friends.”Acts 10:24

2) Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.

Paul met some faithful Jews who believed in John’s baptism and when Paul told them of Jesus and laid his hands on them they spoke in tongues. But not to evangelize foreigners but they where simply prophesying (and we have learned that prophesying is mainly for believers). No foreigners were present.

When a cessationist says that pentecostals over-emphasize tongues; he is basically saying that Pentecostals over-emphasize prayer and praise. A good church service shouldn’t contain all the important aspects of a church service; teaching, song, praise, edification, etc.

The tongues (interpreted) are not for the jews but for the CHURCH

1 Cor. 14: 3-4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church

Cessationists might say that tongues were only meant to judge the unbelieving Jews. This idea is proved false because there were no unbelieving Jews to hear the words of ”judgment” at Cornelius’ house (Acts 10) or at Ephesus (Acts 19) as mentioned above. The Scriptures that cessationists use to support their idea is below (notice the absence of the word ”judgment”):

1 Cor. 14:20-22 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. In the Law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

The OT quote within 1 Cor 14:20-22 (above) is from Isaiah 28, where God is telling Israel that they have been so wicked that He will allow them to be conquered by Assyria.

Isaiah 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

Therefore cessationists have come to the conclusion that hearing a foreign language is a judgment. However, the judgment against Israel in Isaiah’s day was not a strange tongue but that they would be taken captive. The strange language was not a judgment, but a consequence of the judgment. The consequence of tongues-speaking is that unbelievers (Jew and Gentile) do not understand what is being spoken and therefore to them it is just a ”sign.” The Greek word ”semeion” means a ”sign” as in a ”wonder” or a ”mystery” or ”perplexity.” This same word is used in a similar way in Rev. 12:1, Rev. 12:3 and Rev. 15:1. Paul, wrote 1 Cor 14 to show that tongues without interpretation does not benefit anyone except the speaker; therefore, do not speak tongues loudly in the church service (without interpretation) because for others it is just a mystery/sign. And just as the OT Jews were perplexed by the Assyrian dialect, so they are perplexed today by tongues, and it will not help them.

Paul wants to show that the church is made up of believers, and prophecy is for believers in the church-service for their instruction, and that prophecy can also convict a stray unbeliever that happens to be there. Therefore prophecy is better than tongues in the church unless there is an interpretation:

1 Cor. 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

Speaking in tongues is a sign that shall follow them that BELIEVE:

Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues

If speaking in tongues has ceased, then people who still speak in tongues would have to be faking them or being possessed by the devil. This would in turn lead to that a sure sign of an unsaved person would be if he spoke in tongues! That is the exact opposite of what Mark 16:17 is saying!

It is only during the portion of the church service that is set aside for prophetic speaking that the tongues-speakers should keep silence – if there is no interpreter. However, there are no verses which prohibit quiet tongues-speaking during the prayer/worship portion of the service. If you would normally pray quietly for yourselves in church, perhaps due to a common request from the pastor, then speaking in tongues would be one way to express yourself. There is a chance/risk that a person who sits beside you overhears your mumbling, but this is not against Paul’s teaching. Someone might also overhear another person praying in Spanish who sits beside him, and no one would be offended unless the prayers are inconveniently loud. It’s only when a person requests the attention of others that irritation can be the outcome. If a person stood up in an American church speaking in another language, then that would clearly violate Paul’s instructions, and it’s not hard to figure out why. A person who repeatedly shouts ”Praise the LORD, Halleluyaaaa, Amen”…” etc, and jumps up and down, would equally disturb the church service and contribute to chaos. This could not be filed under ”dangerous” but rather ”silly” and ”annoying”. Paul advised against speaking in tongues publically because no others would be edified, and outsiders would think you’re nuts. Not because it’s ”dangerous”.

Yes, speaking in tongues is a GIFT freely provided by God

1 Cor. 12:11But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

It’s nothing controversial about the fact that speaking in tongues is a GIFT freely offered by God and something that you can’t earn, because this is generally accepted both inside and outside of the Pentecostal church. Sadly people misunderstand this to mean that we should just forget about this subject altogether since it’s God’s business to intervene in our lives and give us any gift he wants us to have. How is this ”covet earnestly the best gifts” which we are told to do? Although it’s true that we certainly can’t give ourselves any gifts, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t approach God and ask for them, and be EAGER to get them. Sometimes we don’t get because we don’t ask (it’s still a free gift), and if we on top of this doubt that we might be the lucky recipients of spiritual gifts, then this might hinder us to get them. It doesn’t matter if God is standing there handing out gifts if we don’t even look for them or stretch out our hands to get them.

Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.—13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Speaking in tongues is not a ”less important gift”

1 Cor. 12:8For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;9To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.12For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

Paul never says that he is listing the gifts of the Spirit in a descending ranking order. If that was his aim, we would have to conclude that the interpretation of tongues is not as important as tongues-speaking, because it is listed below ”tongues”. Yet, the ”best gifts,” according to Paul in 1 Cor. are ”prophecy” and ”interpretation” because more people can be edified. Paul goes on to explain right after the verse above that all parts of the body are necessary and equally important. Also:

1 Cor. 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied:For greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying

With other words, we are told to earnestly covet the best gifts, meaning that we should be eager to get gifts where as many people as possible can be edified. This means that we shouldn’t be satisified with only being able to speak in tongues, but we should also earnestly seek the gift of interpretation since this would lead to prophesying. Are you honestly seeking the gifts on Paul’s list as he tells you to, or have you brushed all these gifts aside? (Or even worse; are you spending your valuable time giving warnings to fellow christians to be aware of spiritual gifts, and hindering them as well from being eager to get them?)

A believer can be ”filled” again by the Holy Ghost

Below we can see WHY the believing jews understood that certain gentiles had received the Holy Ghost. It was ”FOR they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God”. We can trust that this reason is correct, maybe in combination with noticing good fruit. These gentiles had not yet been baptised in WATER but they had received the baptism of the HOLY GHOST. Also Peter was certain of that these gentiles were ready to be baptised also in water since he understood that they had been baptised in the Holy Ghost. No one involved seemed terrified that these gentiles maybe faked their tongues or that they were demon possessed. They didn’t feel it was ”dangerous” at all, but they took what they heard as a sign for that the gentiles were true believers and ready to be water baptised since they had the Holy Ghost:

Acts 10:44While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them whichheard the word. 45And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 

It is a spiritual power seen as manifestations of the Spirit which are demonstrated by the working of spiritual gifts. Acts 1:5, Acts 1:8 and Joel’s prophecy point to a filling of the Holy Spirit that is more than just a salvation experience.They speak of a ”drenching, soaking” of the Spirit known as ”baptizo”. The ”baptizo” experience happening to someone who already has the Holy Spirit in him (because he is already saved) might be for him to attend a powerful prayer meeting, like the one in Acts 4:31, and this person would gain the power to prophesy through tongues, the word of wisdom etc. A power that the believers received when the Holy Spirit was poured out was the ability to praise God through the Holy Spirit. A true believer who has the Holy Spirit dwelling inside him can still be said to be ”filled with the Holy Ghost/spirit/power” at a later stage in his life and on several different occasions. This can happen through prayers:

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness 

Luke. 24:48-49 ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high

Acts 2:16-17 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy”

Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Eph 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;19Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

John 7: 37-39 If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified.)

The Apostle Peter was filled with the Spirit when Jesus breathed on him. He was filled again on the Acts 2 Pentecost. After that, he was at a powerful prayer meeting where the whole house was shaken. John was ”in the Spirit” (as opposed to just a normal day when he would not be considered as being ”in the Spirit”) when he wrote the book of Revelation. Stephen was ”filled” when he saw Jesus at the right hand of God. Even though the Ephesians were already saved, Paul still tells them to be ”filled” with the Spirit. At the moment that someone prophecies he is filled with an extra anointing of the Holy Spirit for that occasion.

”Baptism” has a primary meaning which is ”to drench”, but the proper definition of the word ”baptizo” (”drenching”) is something that not all Christians receive. For instance, there are many Christians who have never been baptized in water yet they may be said to be ”baptized” in a more general sense. When Bible writers use the word ”baptism” to describe the Holy Spirit falling on someone causing him to speak in tongues, they are not speaking of ”baptism” in a vague sense; rather they are speaking of a Holy Spirit drenching that is a spiritual equivalent of a water-baptism.

Why do people get so scared when it comes to speaking in tongues?

Maybe because they have come across some of the material from people who have an agenda to scare people away from the Pentecostal churches and from the spiritual gifts. This might even inspire them to produce their own material and continue spreading the rumour that pentecostal churches are dangerous and filled with unruly people who speak with fake tongues which we would do well to keep away from. Why is this not slander? What if we would start a campaign where we claimed that MOST baptist churches are like the Westboro Baptist Church?

A common denominator among those who fervently speak out against tongues (and others who have a negative attitude towards them) seems to be that they are not members of a charismatic church and possibly haven’t made many visits in one either (I know there are exceptions). There are some who spend their valuable time to produce video clips, audio clips and articles where they write warning upon warning about the misuse of tongues. Some of them are cessationists and some of them are ”just against the misuse” of tongues as they say. But in the latter category you will find some starting out saying ”I’m not a cessationist, BUT…” followed by several pages of warnings and examples of negative things about tongues. Why not doing the exact opposite? Why not start out saying ”I’m aware of that there is a misuse of tongues in some odd churches, BUT…” followed by page upon page with encouragement to speak in tongues, and with wonderful examples across the world where people have been much edified by them? If the idea isn’t to scare people away from speaking in tongues, and to run away from Pentecostal churches, then what do they think such scare-tactics material will do to people? Why not at least spend 50% of a video clip with encouragement to use the spiritual gifts?  The risk is that viewers might believe the material and flee from tongues. This means that SATAN is the winner.

People who produce this type of warning-material, and compare the practice of pentecostals with pagans, might feel they are doing a good deed among christians. Instead they are causing a DIVISION about something that is neither common nor dangerous. Why not give warnings about doctrines or traditions which could harm your soul? There are plenty to choose from. (But maybe the same people refrain from doing this to ”not cause a division”.) How ”dangerous” would it be if I stood up in an American church and spoke in Swedish? It would be irritating at worst, and I would be wasting people’s time, but dangerous? Hardly. You might say that people wouldn’t know if I spoke with ”demonic” tongues or not, but how many examples of ”demonic” tongues do we really know from the western world, and how many examples inside a CHURCH? (Do give me a source with valid examples because it would be interesting reading.) Anyone could stand up in a church and say a curse in another language (not necessarily in tongues) but this isn’t very likely, and of course everyone would notice a person who is disturbing the church service. Besides, a ”curse” wouldn’t make anyone lose his soul. Satan can’t touch a christian’s heart unless the christian person opens up for him. I’m saying this to show that it wouldn’t be ”dangerous” to stand up speaking in tongues with no interpreter, but just dumb.

The anti-tongues videos can cause christians to be robbed of spiritual power

By scaring christians away from the spiritual gifts, Satan robs them of the many benefits of speaking in tongues and the power of the holy spirit. So instead of helping christians, this anti-tongue material is causing much harm and is a GREAT aid for Satan to diminish our strength. Keep this in mind if you think you’re doing something good by producing and/or endorsing such material.

Some pastors might feel that the subject of speaking in tongues is so controversial that  they won’t raise up this topic at all in church, to avoid being charged for influencing the members in either direction. But do they reason the same way when it comes to the subject of Creation or Evolution, or other touchy subjects? There are even pastors who WARN members against speaking in tongues. Why not making videos and warn people against churches which are negative towards tongues? By speaking in tongues, Christians would be edified and get much power,joy and confidence, and yet these pastors try to prevent them from getting these benefits! If you are in a church where the pastor is speaking about the spiritual gifts in negative terms, then I hope you will consider leaving this church. It’s rather serious (and dangerous) if a leader of a church warns people against something that Paul encourages. Paul gave instructions about tongues and seemed to take this gift for granted in churches, so he would likely be appalled if he lived today and realized that this gift is totally ABSENT in many churches! I believe he would like to have word with the church leaders if he realized they have tried to put a lid on the holy spirit:

1 Thess. 5:19Quench not the Spirit. 20Despise not prophesyings. 21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

You might hear cessationists say ”MOST pentecostal churches misuse the tongues” and ”the misuse of tongues is INCREASING” and ”it’s dangerous” but they of course have no sources or statistics to back up their claims. By doing false generalizations like this, and painting with a broad brush, they just want to build up a scenario where they try to show that their warning-material is much-needed. Instead the misuse of tongues might not be common at all, and only tied to a small group of infamous preachers and their supporters.

I read on a thread on Facebook the other day: ”Having been originally taught as a Baptist, tongues were not talked about hardly at all” and someone else said ”As a Presbyterian growing up the Holy Spirit was never mentioned except in the doxology” and another person said ”I would ask him why would we not believe the Bible on the issue of spiritual gifts, and his excuse was because some had abused the gifts”. No wonder that the gifts of the holy spirit is absent in so many churches!

People feel ”pressured” to speak in tongues in Pentecostal churches?

One argument against the Pentecostal church that I’ve heard on several occasions, is that people might feel ”pressured” and even ”forced” to speak in tongues when they are in a Pentecostal church. I find this to be very strange considering that not all people inside the pentecostal church have this gift, which pentecostals are well aware of, and pentecostals are also aware of that you’re not supposed to speak in tongues with no interpreter. Do people feel bothered and pressured to speak in tongues because they overhear people who speak them? If my praise and worship to the Lord bothers someone else, then so be it. I shouldn’t have to feel pressured to reduce my time of praise in order to accommodate someone else. Naturally I shouldn’t be too loud, and I shouldn’t be disturbing the rest of the service by praising and praying in the wrong time. Not even misuse of tongues should have to cause a person to feel ”pressured” to speak in tongues, unless he enters a church where pretty much everyone babbled in unknown tongues. Still, he shouldn’t be judging all Pentecostal churches based on one where they misuse tongues. What if a person enters a church and finds the members there sing beautifully, unlike him? Should the church members try to sing less beautifully, or reduce their singing, in order to not make the visiting person feel bad?

1 Cor 1: 4-7 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ 

Speaking in tongues can edify both you and others and we are encouraged to use them

The Bible says that when we speak in tongues then NO MAN UNDERSTANDS and that we in the spirit speak MYSTERIES not unto men but unto GOD. This should settle the whole argument about tongues always being understood, because the Bible says they are not understood (unless they are interpreted).

1 Cor. 14:2For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue SPEAKETH NOT UNTO MEN; BUT UNTO GOD: for NO MAN UNDERSTANDETH HIM; howbeit in the spirit HE SPEAK MYSTERIES.

1 Cor. 14: 16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

Nowhere in the Bible does it say speaking in tongues was ever used for spreading the gospel. Here is what Acts says about the very first encounter of the tongues:

Acts 2:1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.–-6Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?13Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17And it shall come to pass IN THE LAST DAYS, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit UPON ALL FLESH: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come

Notice that is says THE LAST DAYS, and surely we are living in that last days even more today than 2,000 years ago?

We can read above that every man heard them speak in his own language” but does it say that every man understood ALL languages spoken by ALL disciples? No, it doesn’t say that. If a Cretan man heard his own language spoken by a disciple, is it certain that he also understood Arabic and other foreign languages spoken by OTHER disciples? It doesn’t sound likely that ALL those men who were present had knowledge enough to understand 10-20 languages. One can easily assume that for a Cretan person most other languages must have sounded like total gibberish to him – but we know that at least ONE disciple spoke in such a way that this Cretan person understood since ”every man heard them speak in his own language”. It doesn’t say each person understood ALL languages spoken. The case could also be that the tongues that were spoken were already ”interpreted” into worldly languages. (I’ve heard myself speaking in French and Finnish, and actually also in Swedish but when I did not use my own words.)

Acts 10:44While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Above we can read that these particular jews understood that the Gentiles in question had received the Holy Ghost for the reason that they spoke in tongues and magnified God. This was a SIGN to these people. Below we can read again that speaking in tongues, among other things, is one of the signs for a believer:

Mark 16:17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Since Paul gives instruction about tongues within the christian church, it’s evident that tongues should be used among christians – and of course only if someone can interpret them. Speaking in tongues is naturally controllable just like any other language. You decide when to speak and when not to.

It’s in the book of Corinthians where we can read the most details about tongues (see further below)

The book of Corinthians tells us that the reason for speaking in tongues is that IT CAN EDIFY BOTH YOU AND (if you have the gift of interpreting) ALSO OTHERS. It is a BETTER deal if you can edify the church, but if you don’t have the gift if interpreting SPEAK TO YOURSELF AT HOME SO YOU CAN BE EDIFIED.

1 Cor. 14:4He that speaketh in an unknown tongue EDIFIETH HIMSELF; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 

1 Cor. 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and LET HIM SPEAK TO HIMSELF, AND TO GOD

So speaking in tongues is not only for other ears, particularly not when we can read:

he that speaketh in an unknown tongue SPEAKETH NOT UNTO MEN; BUT UNTO GOD”

If, according to Paul, you don’t even speak to men but to GOD, then of course speaking in tongues is not only for others to hear. IF they are interpreted, then they could be for others to hear, if done in proper order. It’s not certain that a person who can speak in tongues also has the gift of interpretation, but he should be EAGER to get also this gift so even MORE people can be edified.

1 Cor 11:30Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31But COVET EARNESTLY the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1 Cor 14:1 Follow after charity, and DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS, but rather that ye may prophesy. 2For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue SPEAKETH NOT UNTO MEN; BUT UNTO GOD: for NO MAN UNDERSTANDETH HIM; howbeit in the spirit HE SPEAK MYSTERIES.

We are to speak in both ways; 1) spirit (tongues) and 2) mind (our own understanding):

1 Cor. 14:19 I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding ALSO: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

If you’re honest; are you really eager to speak in both ways as Paul says you should? Take notice of that not ONCE does Paul discourage people to speak in tongues in any way but he ENCOURAGES them, and that is what I feel all pastors and evangelists should do. It’s just the disorder that Paul warns about. If tongues were supposed to cease shortly after the generation he was addressing, why are we not able to read information about this anywhere? It would have been so easy to add a little note about this to warn people about upcoming ”fake” tongues or similar IF that were true. The question that needs to be answered by those who believe speaking tongues has ceased is this: Why haven’t they ceased? I can only see two reasons to why christians in MANY MILLIONS continue to speak in tongues (if they have indeed ceased)

1) The tongues spoken today are not real tongues but from Satan, so the people who speak in tongues are demon possessed.

2) Those who speak in tongues today make them up, i.e. those who use them are LYING since the speaking in tongues is fake.

Both these options result in that those who speak in tongues are not saved unless you believe that people who are demon possessed or unrepentant liars will be saved. So this means that the cessationists believe speaking in tongues is a sign for that they are UNBELIEVERS – contrary to what Mark 16:17 says.

Paul encouraged tongues and spent a considerable amount of time and words in the book of Corinthians to give instructions about them. It certainly doesn’t seem he believed they would shortly cease and that all those instructions were in vain. IF they would shortly cease, he should have spent some time to WARN about upcoming fake tongues, but he doesn’t say one word about it. Paul gives two cases where PUBLIC speaking of tongues is inappropriate:

1) Unbelievers would think you’re crazy if they ONLY hear gibberish from you

2) No one would understand you and thus it wouldn’t really benefit others. The case could be that you actually prayed for others BUT the thing is that they would still not UNDERSTAND that, so it would be totally useless if you stood up in church and spoke in tongues. Praying for others or yourself using other tongues is fine, but just not out loud in a church for obvious reasons.

Maybe the corinthians believed ”the more tongues the better” since they really believed that tongues are from the Holy Spirit, but it still doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to babble them in any way you want. There must be a proper order. So Paul’s friendly instructions should not be viewed as rebuke, but just a help to sort out misunderstandings and to enable a better order in church. Public speaking in tongues would be a total waste of time if there is no interpreter.

1) The term ”oudies” in 1 Cor. 14 rules out tongues being a known language.

2) The phrase ”face to face” is a Judaic idiom expressing personal interaction with the presence of God and is the same Greek as the LXX in Moses ”face to face” with God. This means that tongues will cease when we meet God face to face so clearly not NOW.

3) ”The perfect” cannot be the Bible because the canon wasn’t even finished.

4) Tongues as a sign to unbelievers is only ONE of the uses of the gift. Acts 10 and 19 say that the sign is to believers, just as Mark 16:17.

5) Why is there a gift called ”interpretor” if all tongues are languages that can be understood? Why are we asked to pray for the gift of interpretation of tongues? 

Rom. 8:26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

It’s true that speaking in tongues is a free GIFT, but this doesn’t mean it’s wise to do nothing and wait for this gift to be handed to you. It’s called ”free” because you can’t work for it, and it’s not given to those who have reached a higher level on the ”holiness scale”. However, we are told to DESIRE this free gift and be EAGER to get it. If you’re not even seeking this gift or consider it valuable in your life, then there is a risk you’re quenching the power of the holy spirit. You’re risking to miss out on a wonderful and powerful gift.

1 Thess. 5:19Quench not the Spirit20Despise not prophesyings. 21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Examples from real life

Do you obey the below instructions to the fullest?:

Matthew 6:6″But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

Do we always obey this exactly as it says? Of course we don’t. We check the context and try to understand the reasoning behind the words. Surely we sometimes get together with other christians and pray together with them and NOT in our closets? Paul wants order in church and gave this as a reason for his instructions about tongues. Let’s not add to his words.

Let’s take a private setting as in a Thursday night prayer meeting in church OR in someone’s home. Suppose 10 christians are present and the leader asks them to start off with prayers and thanksgiving to God. Everyone begins to pray quietly, and there is usually a person who is leading the prayers and speaks out loud (naturally so that all can understand) whereas the others might say ”amen” or just continue in their own private prayers. Well, what if a few of these christians prefer to speak in tongues in his/her prayers? Only believers are present, and no one is standing up demanding other people’s attention. If you wouldn’t be upset if you heard Spanish beside you in a prayer meeting, why would you be upset about tongues that you happen to overhear? You weren’t supposed to listen anyway, and Paul’s instructions concerned PUBLIC speech. If you still feel this violates Paul’s instructions, then aren’t you also violating the instructions in Matt 6:6? You are supposed to pray SECRETLY inside your closet and you should shut the door, and not to be in a public prayer meeting praying together with others.

What if Charlie asked the others to pray for him? The others wouldn’t say that they preferred not to because it would violate Matt 6:6, but they would pray for Charlie who asked for it. Maybe one person would take the lead and pray so that Charlie can hear and understand, and maybe the rest would pray quietly at the same time – some in their own language and some in tongues. Charlie has no reason to be upset about other people praying for him in whatever way they like. The same people might later on return home and continue to pray for this person, and he won’t be able to hear, understand or say Amen to those prayers either. Again, the prayers are NOT for anyone to listen to but they are prayers from one person to GOD. When someone wants another person to understand, then naturally a foreign tongue is NOT a good idea since other people cannot say Amen.

Tongues in churches today

Ja. 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.16 Confess your faults one to another, and PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, THAT YE MAY BE HEALED. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

People seem to be so freaked out about tongues that they decide to turn their backs on tongues altogether. Doesn’t this mean that Satan is the winner with this type of reasoning? Speaking in tongues is a very useful weapon against the darkness, so it’s a shame that we let Satan fool us by making us flee from this wonderful gift which could edify us. He would then have disarmed us of a weapon which could be used against him.

WHERE in the Bible can we read that pastors should discourage church members to speak in tongues and/or neglect to inform them about the benefit of them? Paul is definitely encouraging tongues. He said ”I would like every one of you to speak in tongues”. Since Paul is highlighting the benefit of tongues I wouldn’t be comfortable in a church where the pastor doesn’t do his job to encourage them. The best way to avoid the misuse of tongues is not to avoid tongues all together, but to obey Paul’s instruction about them.   Speaking in tongues is supposed to be a sign that will accompany those who believe, so it’s rather essential. I therefore feel it’s a duty of a pastor to encourage the spiritual gifts such as driving out demons, healing people, speaking in tongues, etc.

Maybe there are people who get mightily upset if they are in a church where the pastor might be overheard speaking a few words in tongues quietly to himself when he walks from the pulpit (where he just had a sermon) back to his seat. They might jump up and say:

– ”See?!! I heard him speak in tongues! That’s clearly unbiblical because tongues are supposed to be interpreted if made in public, and this was not the case here so this church must be really BAD!” etc

But what about other churches where the gifts of the spirit are not even in use? Why would THIS not be a cause for concern? Why don’t the same people jump up and say:

– ”See?!! I have been to this church for weeks now and not ONCE have I heard a single whisper in tongues from anyone, nor seen anyone speaking in tongues in public (interpreted of course), nor seen any signs for ANY of the gifts of the holy spirit. This is clearly against the Bible so this means this church must be BAD!”, etc.

”Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” Some people interpret this as in ”Forget about tongues, and rather desire to prophesy ONLY” but it doesn’t say that. It says ”desire spiritual gifts”. That would include tongues. Of course it’s better to be able to prophesy since MORE people can be edified, but if you don’t have this gift then don’t neglect the desire to at least speak in tongues! Of course one gift is better than no gift at all!

Finally, here is what the book of Corinthians says about tongues

1 Cor. 1:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: — 28And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31But COVET EARNESTLY the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1 Cor. 13 8Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 

1 Cor 14:1 Follow after charity, and DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS, but rather that ye may prophesy. 2For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue SPEAKETH NOT UNTO MEN; BUT UNTO GOD: for NO MAN UNDERSTANDETH HIM; howbeit in the spirit HE SPEAK MYSTERIES. 3But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 4He that speaketh in an unknown tongue EDIFIETH himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 5I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. 6Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?— 9So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. 10There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. 11Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. 12Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, SEEK that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. 13Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue PRAY THAT HE MAY INTERPRET14For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding ALSO: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 16Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? 17For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. 18I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all19Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. —22Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 23If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? 24But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 25And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. 26How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 27If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and LET HIM SPEAK TO HIMSELF, AND TO GOD. —39Wherefore, brethren, COVET to prophesy, and FORBID NOT to speak with tongues.