Out of all of the spiritual gifts listed, I think these and miracles/healing are the most controversial and abused. Some people, including some godly people, think that spiritual gifts like these are not used anymore.
The way I look at it, dreams were used by God in both the Old and New Testament, and I believe, as I have shared, that God continues to use dreams. There were periods of silence and then we see God use dreams to speak to people again.
Post | Why God Uses Dreams
Needless to say…
We cannot make conclusions about scripture based on our own understanding or assumptions.
We must do what we can to have Jesus minister to us before we listen to anyone else and their understanding of scripture. Just because someone is well learned or godly does not mean we take their word for it. We must always take it to God first, regardless, even if it is a trustworthy source. I’m convicted as I write this, praise Jesus!
God is not bound to man’s laws or assumptions. He can do whatever He pleases and whenever He pleases. I think spiritual gifts should be looked at in this manner. Take away the bias of whether or not someone thinks spiritual gifts exist or not. We are NEVER to read scripture with a particular view ALREADY ingrained in us. That can be a problem for our own growth and understanding. When it comes to spiritual gifts, and all other things, we are to discern.
We are not discerning with an idea or a bias. We NEED to discern with the Holy Spirit and therefore we need to look for the Holy Spirit. We need to look for Jesus.
Scripture says we will know them by their fruits. So we are not only looking at the gift, in this regard but everything. What is being said, whether gift related or not? If it is a person we know, what is their walk with Jesus? If it is a church body what is the fruit of the congregation? What is the pastor preaching?
All of these things and prayer to God will help us discern what it is actually going on because if the spiritual gift is not of God we will be seeing fruit that is also not of God. Jesus promises us this.
(NLT) Matthew 7:20, “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”
There are a lot of churches and false believers who speak in tongues, interpret or heal and it is NOT of God. Again, the way to discern this is not to only look at one thing being said or done but EVERYTHING!
As with the other spiritual gifts, I want to go over what scripture says so that you can see what the Bible says on these topics. I’m trying my best not to add anything. This study on the gifts of the Holy Spirit is to encourage you to examine yourselves in Jesus. To see Him, to know Him, and to ask Him for direction in where He is leading you.
Tongues– Speaking in a language
Interpret– To convey the meaning of, to explain
Speaking in tongues is first shown in the Bible in the book of Acts, right after the disciples received the Holy Spirit. These tongues were not the same language they were many languages.
(NIV) Acts 2:04, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
Then we get a crowd of people, from all different nations, who hear their language being spoken from the disciples. The Jews were confused because they knew these men of Galilee would not be able to speak their language.
(NIV) Acts 2:06, “When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.”
Later on in 1 Corinthians Paul shares that there is a tongue of men and a tongue of angels. He also discusses having many spiritual gifts and how if we do not have love those gifts do not matter.
(NIV) 1 Corinthians 13:01, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
When we see Paul speaking of the spiritual gift of tongues it needs an interpretation. In fact, he gives very clear instructions on tongues and how they are to be used.
Speaking In Tongues:
- Speaking in tongues is directly for God. We speak to God in tongues, not to men.
(NIV) 1 Corinthians 14:02, “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.”
- Speaking in tongues edifies self.
(NIV) 1 Corinthians 14:04, “Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.”
- Speaking in tongues needs to be interpreted if others are involved.
(NIV) 1 Corinthians 14:06 & 09, “Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?”… “So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.”
- We can pray in tongues by ourselves, but we should also pray for understanding of our tongues. We should not only pray by means of tongues but pray using words we also understand.
(NLT) 1 Corinthians 14:14-15, “For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don’t understand what I am saying. Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand.”
Tongues In A Church Body Setting: 1 Corinthians 14:20-28
- Speaking in tongues is a sign to unbelievers.
- Two to three people can speak in tongues, and each has a turn speaking.
- One person is to interpret.
- If there is no interpreter the person who speaks in tongues is to keep silent. But he can speak to himself and to God in tongues.
The Holy Spirit Can Speak Through You Without Tongues
It’s important to note you do not have to have the gift of tongues in order for the Holy Spirit to speak through you and to you. I know on my blog God has helped me in formating the right sentences, giving the right understanding, and inspiring new connections within seconds. That’s all Him. It’s not in a language that is not known but it is still the Lord speaking. God is all but silent in today’s world.
(NIV) 2 Samuel 23:02, “The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; His word was on my tongue.” Referring to David and how God used him.
(NIV) 2 Peter 1:21, “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
(NIV) Proverbs 16:01, “To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.”
Just like when we talked about wisdom it is only through the Holy Spirit true understanding comes.
A Misconception About The Holy Spirit Interceding
DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND! I had been misinformed in the past that the Holy Spirit interceding for us is speaking in tongues. Now, tongues does come from the Holy Spirit, but this scripture is NOT the same. Please do not misunderstand.
(NIV) Romans 8:26, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Please notice “wordless groans.” To speak in tongues is… to speak. You do not have to have the gift of tongues for the Holy Spirit to intercede on your behalf.
Paul says these things about spiritual gifts.
- The manifestation of the Spirit is given for the profit of all. (1 Corinthians 12:07)
- Paul also says that God distributes these gifts to each person individually and as God wills it. (1 Corinthians 12:11)
Spiritual gifts, including tongues and interpretation, must come from God and they are only given when He wills it. Just because someone leads you to pray for the gift of tongues and encourages you to start speaking in tongues does not mean God has willed you the gift. But from what I see if the Lord God willed someone to truly receive the gift of tongues, then I believe that to be true as God is the same as He was, is, and will be. God will manifest Himself.
Again discern with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and seek Him throughout each day. If you are unsure about a church or even a person, seek the Lord in prayer, discern the fruit of the person, Jesus will guide!
If you are unsure about your own experiences, seek the Lord Jesus and dive into the word of God!
Monthly Scripture – (NLT) Psalm 90:02, “Before the mountains were born, before You gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, You are God.”
Community Prayer Requests | November ’19– Join us in requesting prayer, praying for each other and lifting each other up.
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath