Praying in the Spirit of the Lord
I Corinthians 12:4 says, 4Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 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.
(Let’s start by taking this much apart for study: The Trinity is seen in these verses to give us a foundation of truth from which to build. I have emboldened and/or underlined to easily see the points.)
Verse 7 is clear; the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. Every time we see one of the Apostles lay hands on another and pray for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit they invariably begin to speak in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. This is the manifestation that profits withal. With all means with all other gifts given…
Some fall into confusion with the next couple of verses figured in, but it is not confusing if we take the verses apart and clearly examine them.
8For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
These are among the other gifts that were given. There are others we can see as the verses about the gifts continues.
In verse 10, the divers kinds of tongues and the interpretation of tongues are stated as gifts and are not to be confused with the manifestation of the Spirit that is given to every man to profit withal. This divers tongues is used by God to show the power and unity of the Spirit of the LORD in the assembly. It usually occurs when there are unsaved in the assembly and it is a sign to them.
This is how that should work: First, everything should be done decently and in order. So, at an opportunistic time when there is a break in activity, then the LORD will move through someone to speak in tongues out loud for all to hear. Then another person gives the interpretation in the common language of the congregation. (Obviously, in America it is English.)
This Word that is brought forth should be something that glorifies God and edifies, exhorts and encourages salvation and faith in God. When an unsaved person witnesses such an act of God it promotes faith and a desire for salvation. It is a sign that THAT is how the Spirit of God is moving among His people at that moment…for salvation. (It could also be for someone to return to God who is in a backslidden condition. That is still salvation.)
Let’s look at the verses where the Holy Spirit is come into a person so we are not relying on my statements alone. (Baptism into the Spirit)
In Acts 8: 14-17 shows us that the Apostles held services to lay hands on believers in order for them to receive the Holy Spirit. Let’s read it: 14Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15Who, 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.) 17Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
How did they know that the people received the Holy Spirit? What was the evidence? There had to be an outward sign or they wouldn’t KNOW.
We have to believe that not All of God’s people are faking tongues and dishonoring God! I know I am not! There is an outward sign—and it is speaking in tongues. In the book The Holy Spirit and You, by Dennis and Rita Bennett they interview an Instructor of the Deaf, a teacher. On page 60 they give a testimony of a Mrs. Wendell Mason of La Verne, California and she states: “I have seen and prayed with at least twenty deaf persons to receive the Holy Spirit and speak fluently in a heavenly language to God, then return to their sign language when communicating with me. I have seen two deaf-mute persons receive the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues.” (How does that work? MUTE?)
Their account continues: “Similar testimony comes from many others who work with the deaf. It would be absolutely impossible for these handicapped people to imitate a language, or to be speaking words remembered from their “unconscious” mind (as some skeptics have said in trying to explain away speaking in tongues) since they have never heard a word in their lives!”
Now, a couple of chapters later, in Acts 10:44-48 we read: 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.
WHY TONGUES? Why is this the manifestation to profit a man withal? Why is this the evidence?
Anyone who has an understanding of the human brain must then know that the speech center of the brain is the dominant faction of it. It is connected to all facets and every other center of the brain.
Our ability to communicate with one another with rational speech is the fundamental part of being human. It differentiates us from the rest of the animals on this planet. (Just a moment to go on a short rabbit trail–If you really wonder about that consider this: Could it be that the animals once did speak? I mean, Eve did not run away in fear when the snake spoke to her. C.S.Lewis believes that the animals spoke before the fall. He proves it out in a dissertation within one of his teaching books. He shows that the entire planet suffered with man and woman in the curse of the Living God.)
Proverbs 18:20-21 says, 20A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
21Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
In Psalms 57:8 the tongue is considered the glory of the body. 8 Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
The word glory there is translated as glory but is the metaphor for the voice.
Of course! Since how else does a man glorify God except by the use of his voice and his ability to praise Him with instruments? (AND in the laying down of one’s life.)
Additionally, in Psalms 16:9 we see again the metaphor of glory for voice; 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
New Testament examples of the tongue and its importance…
In James 3:1-7 says, 1My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 3Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
James explains in chapter 3 verse 8; 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
So, if we allow God to take control of our tongue we are giving Him the rights to the center of our brain power-our very will–admitting that we in and of ourselves can not tame our tongues, as the Word of God so rightly says. Remember, we are trying to be holy as He is holy…
I believe these are all reasons why the evidence of having the baptism of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues.
The speech centers dominate the brain and I don’t see how God could do much about the physical brain unless He got hold of the speech centers. He gives us the mind of Christ when we get the baptism of the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is the essence of the Lord. It is why He needed to go to the Father so the Holy Spirit could be sent to the world! The Holy Spirit is the “living soul” of the Son of God. The living soul is the “fullness of the Godhead bodily” in Spirit as one with the soul of the sinless Messiah.
There is one more reason that I think is important to recognize. The day that the Holy Spirit was poured out in human history is the exact day that the Law of God was given to humanity through Moses, the servant of God, some 2 thousand years prior.
It was the Day of Pentecost. 3,000 men and women were ordered killed for their sin against the Living God. The merciful God then added 3,000 souls to the Kingdom on the same day when He poured out His Spirit on all flesh for the 1st time.
2,000 years before the Day the Law was given to Moses, the tower of Babel was being built and the Lord confused their language. So almost some 4,000 years later on the Day of Pentecost God gave us the language of His Spirit to unite us to Him and all others of His own. It is an amazing thing really if one sits down and considers all of this marvelous, merciful plan of God’s and how He allowed it to unfold!
Hebrews 11:32-40 says: 32And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
THE PROMISE of verse 39 is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within man’s heart! It is not the big house by the water and the 10 million dollar jet to travel the world in so as to preach the gospel of prosperity!
In Ephesians 1:13-14 we read more about the Promise: 13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
On page 23 of The School of the Holy Spirit by Pastor James Lee Beall he submits the following to be essential to eliminate fear: “This is very important, men have made the divine Holy Spirit into the strange and queer. It was not so in Jesus and will not be so in us. The character of the Holy Spirit was clearly revealed in Jesus and did not make Him strange or off-centered. The true Holy Spirit working in us will be exactly the same in character. When we learn this, we can give ourselves as a vessel to be used by the Holy Spirit without fear.” He then gives 7 basic truths regarding the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 19:6 we see how God set a divine appointment for some believers to receive His Spirit: 1And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2He 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. 3And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4Then 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. 5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7And all the men were about twelve.
The baptism of repentance is what baptizes us into the Body of Christ. When Jesus told His disciples about the Holy Spirit in John 14:18-31, we read: 18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23Jesus 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. 24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
28Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. 30Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. 31But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
In verse 21, I have underlined for effect that the Lord said He would manifest himself to us. They were already His…but they needed more. He was preparing their hearts to receive…
Acts1:2-5 says, 1The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2Until 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: 3To whom also he showed 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: 4And, 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. 5For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
If the disciples didn’t need something more than Jesus why did He tell them this?
Please realize that there are ditches on either side of the Lord’s Highway and both equally blaspheme the Holy Spirit for which sin there is no repentance. It is just as serious to reject the baptism of the Holy Spirit as to receive and then reject Him for other spirits; spirits that manifest in weird ways that are not within the parameters of the character of the Lord.