Posted by: Santos Garcia | Monday, March 31, 2008

Thy Kingdom Come: Here and Now!- Chapter 8

Baptized into His Sufferings Also!

Baptized into His Sufferings Also!

(NOTE:  This is a ‘rough draft’ of a chapter of my finished book- available on Amazon via Title Link:  Thy Kingdom Come- Here and Now!)
Chapter 8- Doctrine of Baptisms
Ephesians 4:1-6… I beseech you therefore, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, bearing one another in love, Being diligent to keep the oneness [unity] of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace; One Body and one Spirit, even as also you were called, in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism; One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
We begin this chapter on the doctrine of baptisms with a bit of a conundrum. This portion of scripture has been used by many in the cessationist camp to imply more than it states. This group of believers and even denominations believe that the power gifts of the Spirit (in particular gifts of healings and working of miracles), as well as the revelatory gifts (word of knowledge, word of wisdom, and discerning of spirits), and in particular the utterance gifts (tongues, interpretation, and prophecy) have ‘ceased’ when the canon of scripture was sealed. They quote this verse among others out of context, in this case stressing the emphasis on one baptism. What is truly being declared is the baptism into Christ. Through faith in the Lord we are baptized into Him; water baptism being the physical ceremony of the spiritual reality. We are transferred out of Adam into Christ, and are joined to the Lord as His Body. This is the one baptism being alluded to.
Romans 6:3-5… Or are you ignorant that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life. For if we have grown together with Him in the likeness of His death, indeed we will also be in the likeness of His resurrection.
Our old man was crucified with Christ and buried with Him through baptism into His death. After baptism we are changed into a new person in resurrection. Resurrection is not just a future state, it is a present and continual process. We will look at this more closely in the study of the doctrine of resurrection in a future chapter.
This same misguided cessationist group erroneously misapply the verses in:
1 Corinthians 13:9,10…For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; But when that which is complete [perfect] comes, that which is in part will be rendered useless.
This line of reasoning has chosen the completion of the Holy Bible as that which is complete or perfect, when the text is dealing with the full recovery of planet earth, the full restoration of a fallen world and in particular the human race.
The Love chapter of which these two verses are quoted deals with the awesome truth that Love survives everything and will hold its place forever. It will never fail, it will never be phased out or have an end. It is clearly like the eternal life of God. The gifts of the Spirit whether prophecy, tongues, words of knowledge and wisdom, etc. are dispensational only in the fact that they are for the Church age… the entire Church age. In the millennium reign of Christ and in Eternity Future they will not be needed since we will have the Lord Jesus ever present.
All of the gifts of the Spirit are critical for the current age we are living in. That is why the greatest explosion of church growth has been in the so called Charismatic/Pentecostal camp for the past hundred years. The churches and denominations that have left the Holy Spirit outside the door are shriveling up and passing away. The ministries that have affirmed the present day ministry of the Holy Spirit, and give room for His full manifestation are growing in leaps and bounds.
I felt strongly compelled to deal with that before delving into the doctrine of baptisms. So then what does “doctrine or teaching of baptisms” in Hebrews 6 mean? I’ll take two perspectives with overlapping natural and spiritual layers of meaning. The word ‘baptisms’ in Greek is the same word translated washings in Hebrews 9:10 and dipping in Mark 7:4 which both refer to the washing of vessels used for God’s service in the temple. This included the washing of the priests described in Exodus 30 and Leviticus 16. Both in the Old and New Testaments the principle is the same: it represents the washing away and termination of negative things.
These aspects of baptisms would be understandable to the Hebrew believers to whom this letter was written. The washing away and terminating of negative things is beautifully understood in water baptism. Its greater type and prophetic layer in the act of submersion under water is death, burial, and resurrection which is our eternal identification with Christ: crucified with Him unto death, buried with Him in the tomb (submerged), and risen with in Him in resurrection, typified by coming out of the water.
So we see that the two cardinal principles of this spiritual reality relate to being baptized into Christ in the new birth and positioned into His Body, and the ceremony of water baptism which is an act of obedience that confirms and testifies of our participation in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
A more comprehensive understanding of the doctrine of baptisms necessitates that we look at other important historical instances of different types of baptisms and what insights they provide for our growth in Christ.
Baptism unto Moses
1 Corinthians 10:1-4… For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And all ate the same spiritual food, And all drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank of a spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ.
The cloud that covered the children of Israel typifies the Holy Spirit of God, which we New Testament believers are privileged to have continually with us and in us. What preceded this portion of scripture in 1 Corinthians 9 dealt with the race that each of us runs daily in our Christian lives. The children of Israel were baptized into Moses to begin the holy race from Egypt and its bondage to the world and death, to the Promised Land for the fulfilling of God’s purposes. This is for our example in being a parallel of the believers’ baptism into Christ that our Father God may have His Kingdom revealed and expressed in the church.
The Baptism of John
Matthew 3:1-6… Now in those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the wilderness of Judea And saying, Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven has drawn near. For this is he who was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, “A voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight His paths.” … At that time Jerusalem and all Judea and all the surrounding regions of the Jordan went out to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins.
The Old Testament dispensation of the law was ended by the coming of John the Baptist. After the baptism by John, the preaching of the gospel of peace and the dispensation of grace began.
Acts 10:36-38… The word which He sent to the sons of Israel in announcing the gospel of peace through Jesus Christ (this One is Lord of all) You yourselves know, the word which has been spoken throughout the whole of Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John proclaimed: Jesus, the One from Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all those who were being oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
The preaching of John the Baptist was a critical transition because it was the initiation of God’s New Testament economy. He was not in the temple declaring repentance and the drawing near of God’s Kingdom, but was instead out in the wilderness. He was a man of the wild, not worshiping God according to the old scriptural ordinances and not keeping any old regulations. This was a clear introduction of the new way of God’s New Testament economy contrary to religion, which involves turning to or focusing on His Kingdom. Nothing old would be left the same because something new was going to be built. This requires the initial act of repentance- change of mind and heart, change of direction, and turning toward God and His Kingdom… which is what this book is all about.
Isaiah’s prophecy indicates that John’s introducing of the New Testament economy was planned and foretold by God and was not accidental. It clearly implies an absolutely new beginning. To repent unto the Lord with all our being, with our whole heart allowing Him to come in is how we prepare the way of the Lord.
John was radical in every respect (Matthew 3:4). He was born a priest (Luke 1:5-17… to prepare for the Lord a people made ready.) According to the law he should have worn the linen priestly garments and should have eaten the priestly food of sacrifices offered to God (Leviticus 6:10, 15-18, 25-26; Ezekiel 44:17-18). He instead wore a coat of camel’s hair which was a serious offense to the religious order of the day, because the camel is considered unclean according to Levitical regulations (Lev.11:4). He lived out in the wilderness, ate locust and wild honey, and was uncivilized and uncultured according to their traditions. This signaled the abandonment of the religious order which had degenerated mixed with human culture, and pointed the way to faith focused whole-heartedly on Christ and the Spirit of life.
As we have seen- to baptize people is to immerse them completely in water, to bury them signifying death. To be raised from the water means to be resurrected from death. The old person has been terminated so that a new beginning can be realized in resurrection to be brought in by Christ as the Life-giver. John baptized in the Jordan River. The Jordan River was the waters in which twelves stones- representing the twelve tribes of Israel were buried and from which another twelve stones, again representing the twelve tribes, were brought up or resurrected (Joshua 4:1-18). Therefore John’s baptism in the Jordan River implied the burial of their old being and the resurrection of the new man. The children of Israel’s crossing of the Jordan River brought them into the Promised Land. Likewise baptism brings people into Christ, who is the reality of the Land of Promise. John’s preaching of repentance and the nearness of God’s Kingdom, ushered in when Jesus appeared- indicated that the Kingdom of Heaven that he preached is constituted not of the children of Abraham by birth but rather by faith (v9) … it is a heavenly Kingdom, not earthly… yet.
Baptism of Jesus Christ by John
Matthew 3:13-17… Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying It is I who have need of being baptized by You, and You come to me? But Jesus answered and said to him, Permit it for now, for it is fitting for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness. Then he permitted Him. And having been baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon Him. And behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I have found My delight.
I have wondered long why Jesus ‘needed’ to be baptized. The Son of man came to John as a man to be baptized according to God’s New Testament economy. This critical event is recorded in three of the four Gospels, with only John’s not giving record of the Lord’s baptism, because John testified that the Lord is God. Righteousness can be defined as to be in right standing with God by living, walking, and doing all things in the way that God has ordained. In the Old Testament economy, to be considered righteous was to try to keep the law fully- covered temporarily by the atoning sacrifices since no one could keep the law perfectly. To inaugurate the New Testament God sent John the Baptist to institute baptism. To be baptized is to fulfill righteousness before God, by fulfilling the requirement of God. Jesus came to John not as God but as typical man. In keeping this dispensational practice of God He as a man would be right with God and likewise had to be baptized.
Jesus was baptized not only to fulfill all righteousness, but as a type also to allow Himself to be put into death and resurrection that He might minister not in a way that was natural, but in the way of resurrection. By being baptized He was able to minister in resurrection power even before His actual death and resurrection three and a half years later. This obedient act brought Him three things: the open heavens, the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and the Father’s affirming expression of love and satisfaction. It is the same for each new believer who is baptized. We immediately have greater access in prayer to an open heaven, the Holy Spirit comes upon us in greater measure without (since He is already in residence within at the new birth), and we assured of our Heavenly Father’s pleasure in our obedience in fulfilling what He has ordained.
We know that the Lord Jesus had the Spirit within Him from His birth since He was born of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). Now for His ministry the Spirit of God descended upon Him. This was accomplished to anoint the new King, and present Him to the people.
John 1:29-34… Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, A man is coming after me who has become ahead of me, because He was before me. And I did not know Him, but in order that He might be manifested to Israel, for this reason I came baptizing in water. And John testified, saying, i beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He abode upon Him. And I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water, He said to me, He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and abiding upon Him, this is He who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.
Like the Spirit descending as a dove upon Him, Jesus ministered in gentleness and singleness in sight and purpose, focusing solely on the will of the Father- and not His own. The Son rose up from the waters of the Jordan, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Son as a dove, and the Father spoke His affirmation. This is the ultimate proof of the Trinity of God demonstrating that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit exist simultaneously. This is He who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the Baptism in Fire
Matthew 3:11… (John the Baptist speaking) I baptize you in water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is stronger than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He Himself will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire
Looking closely at the context of this particular verse and what preceded it, we must make a clear distinction between the two baptisms mentioned. The second which is fire is not the fire as in Acts 2:3, which is related to the Holy Spirit… but is the same fire as in the preceding and the following verses: v10… And already the axe is laid at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not produce good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. v12… Whose winnowing fan is in His hand. And He will thoroughly cleanse His threshing floor and will gather His wheat into the barns, but the chaff He will burn up with unquenchable fire.
These verses deal with unbelievers (like the Pharisees and the Sadducees) who if they do not genuinely repent and believe in the Lord will suffer eternal perdition. These verses therefore are contrasting parallels: Those who repent and believe will be baptized in the Holy Spirit that they might have eternal life. Otherwise they will be headed for perdition where the Lord will baptize them in fire, putting them into the lake of fire for eternal punishment. We will look at this much more closely in the chapter concerning the foundational principle of eternal judgment.
The baptism in the Holy Spirit by the Lord Jesus Christ initiated the kingdom of Heaven touching earth and individual believers on the day of Pentecost and will carry the Kingdom to its full manifestation and consummation at the end of this age. I want to now therefore deal with a most controversial subject in the greater Body of Christ, which is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I want to first of all reiterate that when any person is genuinely born again, he or she is baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit and receives the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit forever… never to be separated; an eternal reality which should gives us confidence in our relationship with God, as well as a sober responsibility of not grieving the Holy Spirit.
As I mentioned earlier cessationist theology claims that the manifestation of gifts of the Spirit ceased with the death of the Apostles or the completion of Scripture. But the Apostle Paul did not believe nor teach that. Nor is that taught anywhere in the entire New Testament. On the contrary, in the introduction to the Corinthian letters Paul exhorted believers:
1 Corinthians 1:4-8… I thank my God always concerning you based upon the grace of God which was given to you in Christ Jesus, That in everything you were enriched in Him, in all utterance and all knowledge, Even at the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, So that you do not lack in any gift, eagerly awaiting the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will also confirm you until the end unreprovable in the day of Lord Jesus Christ.
In this brief statement, Paul equates the duration of spiritual gifts to be the same length of time as the Church’s waiting anticipation for the Lord’s return. There is probably no greater ignorance in the Church today than of spiritual gifts and the Lord Jesus’ offer of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. One may ask why do I need the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the impartation of spiritual gifts? Jesus revealed in:
Acts 1:4,5,8… And as He met together with them, He charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which He said, You heard from Me; For John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now…
There has been and continues to be great controversy in the body of Christ concerning the reality of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Although I have personally experienced this precious reality, I must say that I have sat on both sides of this issue. I know by personal experience the precious value of this greater work of the Holy Spirit, although I fought it for a time early in my Christian walk holding to a more fundamental dispensational (cessationist) view. It is so true that new believers as well as those who do not have committed personal study of the Scriptures will only grow to the level of the pastoral leadership over them. You cannot impart something that you do not have, which is why entire movements in the church of Jesus Christ are missing the fullness of the abundant life promised by the Lord- denying, rejecting, and resisting the manifestation and work of the Holy Spirit in the individual believer.
I want to now carefully look at what the Scriptures, the inspired Word of God says about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with particular scrutiny into the gift and manifestation of tongues. The Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit gave the most comprehensive dissertation of the gifts of the Spirit in the 84 verses of 1 Corinthians chapter 12-14. He begins with:
1 Corinthians 12:1,4-11… Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant… But there are distinctions of gifts, but the same Spirit; And there are distinctions of ministries, yet the same Lord; And there are distinctions of operations, but the same God, who operates all things in all. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for what is profitable. For to one through the Spirit a word of wisdom is given, and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; To a different one faith in the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing in the one Spirit, And to another operations of works of power, and to another prophecy, and to another discerning of spirits; to a different one various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But the one and the same Spirit operates all these things, distributing to each one respectively as He purposes.
All the different gifts are the manifestation of the Spirit, in that the Spirit is manifested in the believers who have received the gifts. Such manifestation of the Spirit in the congregational setting of a worship service or gathering is for the profit of the church, the Body of Christ. It is for the growth in life of the members of the Body of Christ and for the building up of His Body. v13 is operative: For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body… and were given to drink one Spirit. To be baptized in the Spirit is to get into the Spirit and to be lost in Him; to drink of the Spirit is to take the Spirit in and have our being saturated with Him, mingled with the Spirit. We each need to continually call upon the Lord and draw the water of the Holy Spirit with joy for He is the fountain of living water (John 4:10,14).
Part of the confusion in the body of Christ concerning the matter of tongues, I believe has to do with the distinction that Paul makes between what is apparently the two directions of tongues. The first is from God downward to the congregation or gathering. This is a public message which requires interpretation.
i Corinthians 14:26-28… What then, brothers? Whenever you come together, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two, or at the most three, and in turn, and one should interpret; But if there is no interpreter, he should be silent in the church, and speak to himself and to God.
The second direction of tongues is upward, from the people to God. This may be prayer, worship, or “singing in the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 14:15). Although of this message we are told to ask for the interpretation, we need to understand it may or may not be given (1 Corinthians 14:13). Every Spirit filled believer should expect this type of prayer to become an important part of his or her spiritual life, but you must seek it and receive it. The issue is that the Holy Spirit will not force Himself on anyone. Tongues is the only spiritual gift deliberately designed by the Lord to attack man’s pride and ego. It attacks our human intellect and literally insults our intelligence. There are many that seek the gifts of healing, words of wisdom, faith, prophecy, etc., but refuse to endure the reproach of what in reality is a strange gift.
I believe that tongues is our secret weapon and as the only gift which personally edifies the believer, it becomes the key that unlocks remarkable and flowing spiritual power. It does that by “building up” the one who is employing it in prayer. Tongues may well be the catalyst that activates (by the active agency of the Holy Spirit) the other gifts.
1 Corinthians 14:1-6;12;18-19… Pursue love, and desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one hears, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks building up and encouragement and consolation to men. He who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but he who prophesies builds up the church. I desire that you all speak in tongues, but especially that you would prophesy; and greater is he who prophesies than he who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets,that the church may receive building up. But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you, unless I speak to you in revelation or in knowledge or in prophecy or in teaching?…
So also you, since you are zealous [for spiritual gifts], seek that you may excel for the building up of the church. Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.
I thank God, I speak in tongues more than all of you, But in the church I would rather speak five words with my mind, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Scripture is our final and absolute authority. All conflicting opinions, no matter from what source or however long-standing, are only human speculation and must be rejected and thrown out. Paul’s admonitions of earnestly and zealously desiring and seeking the spiritual gifts, especially for the edification of the Body of Christ reveal no reluctance that is common in the modern church’s attitude against spiritual gifts. We need to humble ourselves before the Holy Spirit and give ourselves fully to Him, surrendering our pride. He will then impart to us His gifts, and give each of us a private prayer language that will build us up in our most holy faith.
By rejecting spiritual gifts, much of the Church today is trapped in sanitized religion and is missing the greater dimension of spirituality. The Bible is clear:
2 Timothy 3:16,17… All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, That the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.
How foolish and contradictory is it to say that when the canon of Scripture was sealed because now the perfect had come, that suddenly you can discard major portions of Scripture that instruct us on appropriating the power of the Holy Spirit and manifesting all of His spiritual gifts? That makes the “perfect” book not perfect at all. In fact, it was perfect until it was canonized and then it became imperfect.
Paul says in 1Corinthians 13:10,12… But when that which is complete [perfect] comes, that which is in part will be rendered useless… For now we see in a mirror obscurely, but at that time face to face; now I know in part, but at that time I will fully know even as also I was fully known.
We still see obscurely and know only in part, so apparently that which is perfect ‘ain’t here just yet’! The full manifestation of the King and His Kingdom and our transformation at His coming is that which is perfect. If Scripture is trustworthy and it is, then we need to obey God and preach every part of it with equal confidence and enthusiasm. We cannot pick and choose our theology, and we surely cannot reject vital parts to get some form of human approval. The Church needs to repent of its bondage to a religious spirit which replaces truth with tradition of men making void the Word of God. There are many good people caught up in bad influences who unknowingly buy into wrong positions and feel compelled to defend them. This ploy is a tool of Satan to prevent the saints from effective warfare against him.
Yes, let us all humble ourselves before our Mighty God, confess our shallowness and lack of in depth study of the truth revealed in the Holy Scriptures. We must accept all of His gifts as being valid and necessary today and tomorrow for the advancing of His Kingdom as we build up the Body of Christ. We need to guard our humility, fight pride, maintain integrity and truth at all costs, live in the reverential fear of the Lord, and allow the Holy Spirit’s gifts and fruit to flow continually and in increasing intensity from each of us. Pursue love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts…
Our Heavenly Father created us in His image and after His likeness. Mankind without
God in their lives through the new birth live by the force of the soul: the mind, will, emotions, imagination, intellect, and reason or logic… all apart from God. Christians are privileged to have all of these faculties of the soul, which should be under submission to their personal spirit- united with and obedient to the Holy Spirit. We therefore operate in the full benefit of faith-directed intelligence; faith and reason complementing and working together rather than being antagonistic polar opposites. The lost as we have discussed have faith in dead works, with the majority via secular humanism making man and so called ‘human potential’ their god.
The child of God with divine intention must live by faith, fully utilizing all human potential with spiritual discernment. One of the ways that God facilitates our appropriate use and balance of faith and reason is achieved by the gift of tongues. He has provided this method as a bridge that brings these two into perfect oneness. The gift of tongues brings the natural use of the human tongue and the supernatural activity of the Holy Spirit together into a single experience. That union transcends the dimensions of faith and logic. “Faith without works is dead” , but when this union occurs the ‘mysteries of God’ are released into the natural realm and thereby there is an exponential increase in spiritual wisdom. This is precisely why the enemy fights against it: tongues truly strengthens the believer in every aspect of spiritual life, and is a strong catalyst to the release and increasing manifestation of all Holy Spirit gifts. It empowers us to “walk by faith and not by sight” accomplishing exploits directed by the Lord.
This is an argument from silence and is found no where in the Scriptures, but I believe that when the Lord Jesus (as fully man) went alone daily to pray and commune with the Father, He may well have employed the gift of tongues in all night prayer. We will need to ask Him on the other side as to whether or not that was the case, but it makes ‘sense’ to me.
Faith is a spiritual force which come from God and pierces through into our cosmos from the realm of Heaven. It is not a human attitude requiring mental effort on our part, not is it a dry religious concept of ideology. It is truly ‘out of this world’, and comes to us individually by our spiritually hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17) with God imparting to us a measure of faith (Romans 12:3).
Logic on the other hand is a function of intellect, the ability of the human mind to rationalize, invent, mentally conceive, and foresee possible conclusions. As much of a blessing of God as logic is, it very often works in direct opposition and antagonism to faith. Its inherent tendency is to substitute a natural explanation for a supernatural claim or create an excuse for something it does not comprehend. A clear example is the so-called Jesus Seminars where apostate men- ‘Christian’ in name only- have voted out large portions of Scriptures rejecting the miracles of Holy Writ, and applying allegory to much of God’s Holy Word. They will stand before God at the White Throne Judgment and give an account, to their shame and eternal loss.
Logic is therefore very fallible not recognizing its own limitations. It explains away everything miraculous according to human rationale, denying the reality of faith. It has its origins in the philosophy of Aristotle, which is firmly entrenched in the western world. On the other side of the coin, ‘blind’ faith which is not originating in God is very dangerous as well. It leads to embarrassing presumption and often ridicule.
The Bible says that Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and Jesus said Out of your own mouth I will judge you. The gift of tongues requires a certain humility and is an act of faith in its daily use. Without question, people who pray in tongues experience more visions, have stronger prophetic insights, function in revelation knowledge, and have more supernatural encounters which may include angelic visitations, than do others who do not employ tongues to build themselves up. Paul said:
1 Corinthians 14:14,15… For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the mind [understanding], I will sing with the Spirit, and I will sing also with the mind [understanding].
He fully understood the value of faith and reason working together, moving each other along in deeper spiritual experience, power, and the tangible results of answered prayer.
Speaking in tongues is considered by many even in the church as aberrant or abnormal, uncouth, undignified, bizarre, offensive, and a host of other pejoratives. In reality it can only begin to edify us as an exercise of the Spirit when it has attacked and slain our ego and pride.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29… God has chosen the foolish things… weak things… base things… despised things… and the things which are not… that no flesh should glory in His presence.
What happens to a believer who is privileged to receive this prayer language? Confusion, doubt, and religious conflict disappear. Faith is no longer just a doctrinal statement, but rather a potent life force in that believer. A flood of revelation is released and the tangible presence and voice of God is more easily discerned. Tongues opens our minds to dimensions far beyond human reason and human reach. This is no departure from historic New Testament Christianity because embracing all the gifts of the Spirit including the gift of tongues, will strengthen and effectively build up the Body of Christ in preparation of the Bride. We must allow the Holy Spirit to bridge the gap between faith and logic, fully manifesting Himself as we allow Him to have His way in all aspects of our Christian walk.
Mark 16:17… And these signs shall follow those who believe: In My Name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues.
Luke Dowler- ‘Compared to You’
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: