This Is The End

Beautiful, friend.  This it the end.  My only friend, the end.  Of our elaborate plans, the end.

Ok.  So I ripped that off from The Doors song.  And yes, maybe I thought it would get some attention.  It was either that or “REPENT!  THE END IS NEAR!  TURN OR BURN!”  And, yes.  I used to listen to The Doors.  That’s probably why that song popped into my head when I was wanting to post about this topic.  Getting back on track now…

“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” – Revelation 1:7

It very easy to get caught up in making fun of “dooms-dayers”.  It’s probably easier to get caught up poking fun at Christians that put up billboards announcing the end of the world on a certain date.  I even made the comment on my Facebook page, after an extended absence, stating that, “I thought the Mayans had it right so I was held up in my Zombie-proof bunker and lost track of time.”  Yet as much flack as people get for proclaiming an end to the world, there is an end coming.

Paul wrote in the Bible about a time coming when Jesus will return to the earth one last time.  Peter wrote about and end time as well.  Jesus himself proclaimed that there was an end to this world, yet even said he wasn’t even aware of the time.  We may not no the time, but rest assured, there is an end coming.

The problem is that too many Christians are wrapped up in the whole “end time” things.  Will there be a rapture, then the tribulation?  Tribulation first?  Bowls and vials being poured out, plagues, waters turning to blood…  Who is the anti-Christ?  What about the mark of the beast?  Will nuclear war be Armageddon?  Don’t get me wrong, it’s all fascinating stuff.  I enjoy listening to preachers talk about it.  Many of them I’m sure have some good revelation concerning the end times.  The problem is we focus on when the end is coming rather than what we should be doing when it comes.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” – Mark 13:32-37

Watch.  That’s a pretty simple instruction.  Be aware of what’s going on.  Jesus didn’t say to run around and proclaim the end of the world is coming by strapping signs to ourselves and standing on the street corners.  In fact, one of the last orders of the head of the Church before he ascended into Heaven was in Mark 16:15 – “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”  He told the disciples in Acts that they would be witnesses unto Him.  Our orders are simple.  Proclaim the good news.  Water turning to blood is not good news.

The good news Jesus told us to preach was not about something to come.  It was about something that had already happened.  I can’t put it any better than Paul did in 2 Corinthians 5:21:

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus walked this earth as a sinless man, yet suffered the punishment for sin for the entire world so that we wouldn’t have to.  Jesus became everything we were so that we could be come everything He is.  If Jesus suffered for it, then we don’t have to.  There is no more sacrifice for sin.  The perfect sacrifice for sin has been made and it’s good for all eternity for everyone that believes.  You can be made right with God through what Jesus did.  You don’t have to work for it and you certainly can’t earn it.  Now THAT’S good news!  That’s the good news we were meant to proclaim to the uttermost parts of the earth.

So you know what?  Go preach an end.  An end to condemnation.  An end to sickness.  An end to poverty.  An end to shame.  An end to weakness and an end to chains.  An end to darkness.  An end to fears.  An end to bondage and an end to tears.

Surely I come quickly.” – Jesus, Revelation 22:20


Hearing From Heaven

Well, it’s been a while since my last post.  For all of you avid readers out there, I do apologize.  I was on vacation for a week in September and then there’s been some staffing changes at work, and my college classes have been taking up a little more time lately, so I haven’t had as much “free time” to post.  That’s more info than I usually post about myself, but I’d thought I’d explain my abrupt absence, but enough about me.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has decided to post something in light of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.  Let me start by saying that was not God.  God was not the author of that incident.  It wasn’t the LORD trying to get our attention, nor was it a way to bring us closer to Him.  Who would want to serve a God like that?  Not me and I don’t.  Now, go ahead.  Quote all the Old Testament scriptures you can find to try and convince me otherwise.  Go ahead and quote Job.  All your attempts will be futile and time would fail me to list all the ones I know you’d use.

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.  For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.  How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?  And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.  Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” – Matthew 18:10-14

The problem with trying to attribute this tragedy to God is the fact that we are under a different covenant than those in the Old Testament.  The Law no longer applies to us.  God is not dealing with us based on our performance.  He is dealing with us based upon what Jesus did for us.  His blood was the perfect offering that washed sin away forever.  You see, Jesus fulfilled the OT law and through Him, God is at peace with man.  Unfortunately, we still live in a fallen world.  The Bible says in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”  Due to Adam’s transgression, sin entered into the world.  Death is a fruit of sin and as a result, it has corrupted everything from it’s original intent and purpose.  Sin is still in this world and it is still bringing forth death.

Things happen in this world that are not God’s will.  Many people claim that nothing happens but what is God’s will.  They say things like “thy will be done” and “the LORD gives and the LORD takes away”.  If God was in full control and nothing happens except what He wills, then why wouldn’t he just simply take sin away?  Why wouldn’t he just take us all to heaven now and be done with it?

People pray what Jesus prayed in Matthew 6:10, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  They do so when tragedy strikes.  Yet they know not what they are praying.  These same people will admit they don’t believe there is death, nor pain, nor sickness in heaven, that everything is perfect in heaven.  And it is.  But look again what Jesus prayed.  He prayed for God’s will to be done in the earth just like it is in Heaven.  If God’s will is perfect health, joy, peace and love in heaven, then that’s got to be His will for the earth, but we sure don’t experience those things 24/7.  The only logical answer is that things happen on earth that are not His will.  God left control of this earth to man in Genesis and He never revoked that decree.

God still speaks today.  I know God tried to warn people before this happened.  I know He tries to warn people before anything bad happens.  There’s not a father here on earth that wouldn’t warn their children if they were in danger.  How much more our Heavenly Father?  The problem is no one is listening.  Jesus said in Matthew 7:11, “ If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”  20 children getting killed is not God’s idea of a good gift.  And I’d like to punch anyone who says otherwise.

When I was on my way home from South Dakota this last September, I was filling up my tires at a gas station before getting on the interstate to go home.  As I was checking the tire pressure, the passenger side front tire was only about 1 psi short.  I initially ignored it since I knew it wouldn’t affect anything being that close to where it should be.  As soon as I passed by it, I heard God speak to me (not an audible voice, but in my heart).  He simply said, “Fill it up.”  I just about didn’t, but I decided to anyway.  It took all of 10 seconds to do.  I finished up and hopped on the interstate.  Within a half our, about a quarter mile or so ahead of me, I saw a deer cross the interstate and a semi hit it.  I got to that point in the road about 1o seconds later.  If I would’ve ignored that unction, it would’ve been me hitting that deer at 75 mph.  At that speed, the potential would’ve been there for it to come up over the hood and through the windshield killing both myself and my daughter.

I share that because God warned me.  Not because I’m so special, but I heard Him because I was listening and I believe He wants me to live a long full life.  Most people don’t hear Him simply because they don’t believe that He is still speaking.  Unfortunately, they’ve probably heard that from the a church pulpit.

James said, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

We have a very real enemy, satan.  It doesn’t matter if you believe he exists or not.  In fact, he’d prefer you didn’t believe he exists.  That way he can wreak havoc in your life and you’ll blame God for it out of your ignorance.  Satan, like any criminal, is an opportunist and a bully.  He preys on the weak.  If a criminal knows someone can and will probably defend themselves, chances are they won’t mess with that person.  If they are sure you can’t defend yourself, you are a prime target.  Why do you thing there’s so much fraud surrounding the elderly?  Easy targets.  The devil is no different.  He doesn’t play fair.  He doesn’t care if you are 8 or 80.

Let not our prayers be in vain surrounding this horrific event in the form of asking God why He let this happen or why He caused this.  We need to be seeking God to show us how we missed the warning signs.  We need to be asking God to show us how to prevent things like this from happening.  We need to turn down the volume of distractions in our lives, be still and know He is God.

He is speaking to you today.  Right now.  Can you hear His voice?


Will The Real Jesus Please Stand Up? – Pt. 1

Yes, once again, it’s time for a series.  I think it’s nearly impossible to coverany particular topic in one post, yet at the same time too much can be a bad thing as well.  What I mean is overload.  Take general college classes for example, of which I am taking a few.  I can only read in one text-book on one subject for so long before I have to change my focus.  I think the same thing is true when it comes to blog posts.  Yes, I did six posts on speaking in tongues, but that didn’t nearly cover everything there is to say on that topic, nor am I completely finished.  It was enough to chew on for now and now it’s time to chew on something different.

There is a big misconception amongst Christians and non-Christians alike as to who Jesus was, along with what he actually did and taught.   There is a very skewed perception on Jesus that needs to be straightened out.  Let’s not look at my opinion or anyone else’s.  I think it’s time to actually look at the definitive source for all things Jesus…THE BIBLE!

There are a lot of things that people claim Jesus did that’s not in the Bible.  There’s a lot of misquotation surrounding what He said.  Much of what people get right when they quote Him is taken out of context.  Call me picky, but if I’m going to affirm or rebuke someone or myself, I want to make sure I have the correct scriptures taken in the right context to back me up.  Although there is a TON of scriptures that are misused and abused, I’m going to focus specifically on Jesus for now.

You see, the world (and many Christians) want to make Jesus out to be someone He wasn’t.  They want to make Him out to be someone who fits their lifestyles and choices.  They tailor Him to meet whatever they need Him to be so they can tell Christians that we need to be more like Him.  They are right about one thing.  We need to be more like Jesus.  We just need to be more like the REAL Jesus.

Christians are doing the same.  They are changing who He was to fit their agendas.  We so easily neglect that many of the people Jesus rebuked were the most religious people of His time.  We can’t pick and choose who we make Jesus out to be.  He is who He was and the Bible is very clear on that.  We can’t make Jesus to be someone He wasn’t.  Well, I guess we can if we so choose, but to do so would be an affront to the LORD.

Just so I’m clear, I will be pointing the finger at “sinner” and “saint” alike.  In fact for that reason, I’ll be pointing the finger at us first.  After all, He did say to take the beam out of our own eye before trying to remove the spec from our brother’s eye.  Yes, that was taken in context.

Well, this turned out to be more of an introduction than anything.  At least for those of you who read, you’ll know what’s coming up.  I do invite comments if there’s anything in particular that you feel has been an area where Jesus has been misrepresented.  It’s time for the real Jesus to be known.


Judging Others

I read something someone wrote the other day on a blog.  (I’m not going to link to the blog nor mention their name because neither of which are of any intrinsic value to what I’m writing about today.)  In it, was a quote that I’ve seen going around lately.  Here it is:

“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” – Harlan Ellison

I’m figuring they got the quote off of Facebook, because that’s where I’ve seen it plastered the most.  The person that posted it had something to say concerning the quote.  They said, “No one is entitled to tell someone else what they are entitled to or to determine the level of someone else’s ignorance. Humans are not created to be judges. Not even of themselves.”  The last two sentences really got my theological juices flowing.  Is that true?  Are we not supposed to judge others or ourselves?

It’s real easy to jump on the bandwagon of “who are you to judge” or “how dare you judge me” or “you’re not my judge” or “what gives you the right to judge me“…  Do I need to continue?  As Christians, generally we will concede that God is the true Judge and that we have no business judging others.  But is that really what the Bible tells us?

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.  For you will be treated as you treat others.  The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” – Matthew 7:1-2 NLT

That was a quote from Jesus.  So that should clear things up, right?  Well, I’m not quite convinced yet.  Let’s look at some other scriptures and see.

  • Romans 14:3 – Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
  • Romans 14:13 – Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
  • 1 Corinthians 4:5 – Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

So there is a few more that tell us not to judge.  However, what are the context of those scriptures?  Romans 14:3 is Paul is talking about those who think that eating certain foods is wrong, not about moral or social behavior.  He is still referencing the incident in verse 13.  apparently there was some debate surrounding what was ok to eat and what wasn’t.  That’s not surprising considering the strict dietary laws the Jews followed then and many still do today.

The reference in 1 Corinthians Paul is talking about whether or not he’s or anyone else has been a good steward over the things the LORD has entrusted him with.  He’s basically saying that we have no idea the motives behind what people do, so it’s difficult for us to decide whether or not things are being done with good intentions.

There are some other scriptures that mention judging but in a slightly different way.  Let’s look at those.  The first is in 1 Corinthians 5 verse 3:

For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed

Whoa!  Hold up.  Did Paul just say he judged someone for something they did?!?  Oh no he didn’t!  Oh, yes he did!  What the heck Paul, don’t you remember what Jesus said?  So what gives?

First off, this is a pretty strong statement.  But what prompted it?  A man, who was supposed to be a Christian, was having an illicit affair with his father’s wife!  Paul even says this is not even heard of among the unbelievers in the area.  It was nothing to be proud of for sure, so Paul instructs them to not only  kick the man out of the church, but to ostracize him.  Look for yourself.  This is out of the New Living Translation because I think it really captures the heart of what Paul is saying.

When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin.  But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.  I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believeryet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. – 1 Corinthians 5:9-11

Now that’s harsh!  It also spits in the face of many Christians and “churches”.  Paul flat-out says DO NOT associate with Christians that indulge in those things.  Boot ’em out and lock the door!  (Not permanently of course.)  Listen to what he says in verse 12:

It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.  God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”

Would you look at that!  Paul instructs Christians to JUDGE other Christians inside the church.  Listen to what else the Paul says to Christians about judging.  1 Corinthians 6:2-3 NLT:

Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves?  Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life.

Paul’s instructions were for them to bring their disputes before the church NOT in a “secular” court.  What’s even more surprising is that he likens that to judging the world AND angels!  I admit that I don’t know exactly what “judging angels” means, but it would seem to me that if we are unfit to judge disputes here on earth between believers, we are going to be unfit to judge the angels.

It would seem that those statements contradicts what Jesus said in Matthew 7, but it doesn’t.  Jesus isn’t saying not to judge.  He is saying that we need to be very aware of how we judge since how lenient we are with others is how lenient they will be with us.  It is not a command not to judge.  It can’t be or else Paul was contradicting Jesus.

Even in the OT testament, Moses was a judge over the people.  In fact, the Hebrew word for God, ‘elohiym, means rulers or judges.  Were we not created in the image of God and in that were we not given the power of dominion (to rule) over the earth?  Is that not what rulers do, is to judge?  If we were created in the image of God, then we were created to judge.  That takes us back to the comments I mentioned in the first paragraph of this post.  The comment, “Humans are not created to be judges. Not even of themselves,” is itself contradictory to the word of God.  We were created gto

Paul even tells us to judge ourselves.  When he was instructing the Corinthians on the proper way to partake of communion, he told them:

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. – 1 Corinthians 11:27-32

If we are to judge ourselves in such an important thing as communion, then surely we are not to leave the lesser things un-judged.  In closing, let me remind us all of something Peter said:

For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? – 1 Peter 4:17 – NLT

Once again, we Christians have missed it.  We’ve been guilty of what Paul said in Romans 2:1 NLT:

You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.

We, Christians, are called to a higher standard of living.  Yet we act like we’re still lost.  If we would hold each other to the standards that Paul, through the Spirit of God, gave us, perhaps the world would have less evidence to judge us as hypocrites.  No wonder the world doesn’t want to be like us.  We act worse than them.

Our directives on judgement doesn’t absolve us of our requirements to show compassion, mercy and forgiveness.  It’s just the opposite.  The more we step up and begin to correctly judge things, it will also increase the amount of mercy, compassion and forgiveness we’ll need to administer as well.


The Truth About Speaking In Tongues – Pt. 6 – You Do The Speaking

Ok, so I know I said I wasn’t going to do a post about busting some of the myths surrounding praying in tongues, but there is one in particular that needs to be addressed.  I won’t touch on the myth about tongues being “of the devil” or “passed away” since I think the last five posts cleared those up.  However, there remains one that seems to plague those who do believe that speaking in tongues is for us today.

There is a wide-spread belief that the Holy Spirit “makes” you speak in tongues.  I heard one person say that they don’t want to be the one doing it; that when they finally speak in tongues, it will be the Holy Spirit and not them.  Well, I have news for you if you think that way.  You will never speak in tongues.  Speaking in tongues is an act of your will.

To start things off, you need the Holy Spirit in order to have the ability to speak in tongues.  This is not the experience when you receive Jesus.  That’s being born of the spirit, or being “born again” as many refer to.  You do receive the Holy Spirit at that time, but not in the way you need to in order to receive the ability to speak in tongues.  On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were already born again.  They received that experience after Jesus resurrection, but before his ascension up to heaven.  If there is not another experience with the Holy Spirit, as many would claim, than Jesus would not have told his disciples in Luke 24:49 (NLT):

And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.

It is that experience that enable us with the ability to speak in tongues.  A re-read of Acts 2:1-4 (NLT) reminds us.

On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place.  Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.  Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.  And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages,as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

That was the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  No where has God taken it back, nor does He need to pour it out again.  It’s already been done and it was done right the first time.  Jesus isn’t going to come back and die for our sins again and breath on us to receive the Holy Spirit for the purpose of being born again.  It’s been done and we simply believe that He did and receive that by faith.  It is no different with being filled with the Holy Spirit.  You receive it by faith as well.

So now what?  Say you’ve received the in-filling of the Holy Spirit.  How do you go about speaking in tongues?  Glad you asked.

Open your mouth.  Start talking.

What’s that?  It can’t be that simple, you say?  Well, it is.  Make no mistake: the Holy Spirit will give you the words to speak, but you have to do the talking.  It’s really that simple.  The Holy Spirit is not going to force you to say anything.  The disciples, on the day of Pentecost, chose to speak.  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.”  They began to speak, but the unction came from the Holy Spirit.  Listen to what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:15:

What 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.

This is in the middle of Paul speaking to the Christians at Corinth about speaking in tongues.  Paul says he will sing and pray with the spirit.  It’s his choice to do so.  He even goes on to claim in verse 18 that he speaks with tongues more than all of them!  He also tells them, in verse 28 that if there is no interpreter to keep quiet.  It has to be your choice to speak or not to speak.  God is not into confusion and disorder.  It would be quite chaotic of Christians were walking around spontaneously speaking in tongues.

Have you ever been angry at someone and had things you wanted to say, but didn’t?  Of course.  We all have.  Maybe we did say those things.  Either way, we chose to speak or we chose to keep our mouths shut.  Sometimes we miss the supernatural because we are looking for the spectacular.

2 Kings 5:1-14 chronicles an event in the life of Elisha the prophet.  You can click on the link for the full story, but here’s what happened.  Naaman, a captain of the Syrian army, was suffering from leprosy.  His wife was telling a servant girl, an Israelite, that she wishes her husband was with the prophet in Samaria so he could be healed.  Word gets back to the King of Israel that Naaman is coming to him to be healed.  The King has a slight hissy fit and word gets to Elisha about the incident.  So Elisha tells the King to send Naaman to him instead.  When Naaman arrives, Elisha sends a messenger to tell him that he should go wash in the Jordan seven times and that will get rid of his leprosy.

Well, that angered Naaman.  He was expecting Elisha to show up, call on the name of the LORD, wave his hands around and BOOM!  HEALING!  In his rage, Naaman goes to leave the area, when a servant appeals to him by saying, “Sir,if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it?  So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured! (NLT)”  Naaman concedes, does as directed and get the desired results.  Naaman almost missed the supernatural because he wanted the spectacular.

Not to say that the spectacular can’t happen, but since there’s no reason for the Holy Spirit to be poured out again, it’s unlikely cloven tongues of fire will fall on those receiving it.  Of course it’s possible, but unlikely.

When I received the in-filling of the Holy Spirit, I didn’t initially speak in tongues.  I admit that it was definitely an experience I’ll never forget, but I walked away feeling robbed, because I didn’t understand that I had a part to play.

Going back to my two-step instructions, I did leave something out on purpose.  You see, when you begin to speak, it can’t be in your native tongue.  This is where faith comes into play.  You have to bypass your understanding.  Your mind will try to tell you it’s impossible to speak in another language.  Fortunately, this isn’t about your mind or your understanding.  If it were, it wouldn’t work.

People often say that they didn’t get the gift of speaking in tongues when they were filled with the Holy Spirit.  That’s simply not true.  Being filled with the Holy Spirit and buying shoes are the same thing: they both come with tongues!  I totally stole that from Andrew Wommack, but it’s true none-the-less.  You get the ability to speak in tongues when you get filled with the Holy Spirit.  Tongues are not a’ la carte.

Notice I keep using the word ability.  According to dictionary.com it means, “power or capacity to do or act physically, mentally, legally, morally, financially, etc.”  When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you have the capacity to speak in another language other than your own.  It doesn’t mean you automatically will.

I have the ability to pay my bills.  I have the mental capacity to sit down, fill out the check and mail it to the proper creditor.  I also have the capacity to ensure the funds are available for the check to clear.  However, unless I physically do those things as an act of my will, it won’t happen.  It doesn’t matter that I have the money to pay the bills, if I don’t do something with that money, the bill goes unpaid.  The ability lies dormant.

Our ability to speak in tongues lies dormant if we don’t do something.  Even if all you can do is utter a few syllables before you allow your mind to take over and convince you otherwise, at least you will have, for a brief moment, spoken in tongues.

Don’t miss out on what God has for you because you’re waiting for a mighty rushing wind from heaven.  Open your window next time it’s breezy outside.  You’ll have all the wind you need.


The Truth About Speaking In Tongues – Pt. 5 – Personal Tongues

After a brief pause, I’ve decided to continue on in my tongues series.  So far we’ve looked at what tongues are and we’ve looked at two of the three different types of speaking in tongues.  If you haven’t read the previous posts on this topic, I encourage you to go back and do so.  It will be to your benefit since I am jumping right in.

The last post centered on the proper use and benefits of speaking in tongues in a church setting.  Today, I want to look at the personal benefits of speaking in tongues.

There are different names that Christians will call speaking in tongues when they are by themselves or in prayer.  Some will call it praying in the Spirit, praying in the Holy Ghost or some call it their prayer language.  All three are referring to the same thing, but I personally like “prayer language” since this particular type of speaking in tongues is meant for just that.  Prayer.

The first time outside of the book of Acts that the personal tongues are mentioned is in Romans 8:26.  This is from the New Living Translation.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

Paul is referring to speaking in tongues here.  When we know we need to pray about something, but either we don’t know what or how, we can begin to speak in tongues and the Holy Spirit will give us the words to speak.  Wow!  What a huge advantage.  I know that I’ve needed to pray about something but I wasn’t sure exactly what words to use and it’s comforting to know the Holy Spirit will make sure you use the right ones.  That’s revealed to us in the next verse.

And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believersin harmony with God’s own will.

So not only will the words be the right ones, they will be the EXACT words needed!  How awesome is that!  When we pray in tongues, we pray out the perfect will of God concerning that situation.  I can’t think of a better way to pray about something than right in line with God’s will.

I touched on this before, but this type of speaking in tongues is not necessarily intended to be spoken around others.  1 Corinthians 14:2 says, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him…”  Remember, the only time that speaking in tongues requires interpretation is during a church setting.  It doesn’t mean you or someone else won’t interpret, but it’s unlikely.  Why would you need to?  If you are praying the will of God, to God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, then you can have faith that it’s all good.

Verse 4 of 1 Corinthians 14 says, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself…”  Jude also reiterates this benefit in verse 20 of his letter.

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost… – KJV

Edification is another benefit when you use your prayer language.  I mentioned in the last post about the word edification.  The following are the definitions according to Strong’s Concordance.

  • to build a house, erect a building
  • to build (up from the foundation)
  • to restore by building, to rebuild, repair
  • to found, establish
  • to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, blessedness
  • to grow in wisdom and piety

Jude uses a different word that is translated “building up” and it also means to build up.  Either way, those are some tremendous benefits to speaking in tongues.  Who doesn’t need to make their faith stronger?  Who doesn’t need to grow in wisdom, grace and virtue?  I know I do.  I’ll take all the help I can get.

That’s just it.  It’s help.  The Holy Spirit was given to us to help us in every area of our lives.  Here’s how Jesus described the Holy Spirit in John 14:16 out of the Amplified Bible.

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever…

That’s just the tip of the iceberg as to what the Holy Spirit is for.  Here’s the definition of the Greek word paraklētos which is what is translated comforter.  These are some of the definitions directly from Strong’s concordance:

  • summoned, called to one’s side, esp. called to one’s aid
  • one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant, an advocate
  • one who pleads another’s cause with one, an intercessor
  • in the widest sense, a helper, succourer, aider, assistant
  • of the Holy Spirit destined to take the place of Christ with the apostles (after his ascension to the Father), to lead them to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth, and give them divine strength needed to enable them to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the divine kingdom

What more can I say that’s not already been said?  The benefits to speaking in tongues for your own personal use is immeasurable.

I was going to do a post busting some of the myths about speaking in tongues.  I’m not sure it’s necessary at this point.  Personally, I was already convinced before I wrote about this topic, but now I’ve got to say I’m even more confident that speaking in tongues is from God and it is for us believers today.

However, if after (prayerfully and carefully) reading everything I’ve posted about speaking in tongues, if you still think they are “of the devil” or “passed away“, then I will pray for you…in tongues.


Call Me A Bigot

I’d be in good company if you did.  It’s not that I’m aiming to be marked as one, but due to my unwavering beliefs, I’d be classified as one.  A bigot, according to www.dictionary.com is a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.  According to the world, since I’m pro-traditional marriage, pro-life or simply pro-Bible, I must be a bigot.  Do you know who else was?  Paul.  That’s right Paul from the BIBLE!  Paul was a bigot.

I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ.  You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.  Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.  I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed. – Gal. 1:6-9

Paul had previously entered the area of Galatia and preached Christ to them.  Some time afterward, he found out that they had begun to stray from what he preached.  He is shocked to find this out and says that anyone who preaches any other gospel should be cursed!  Can you believe it?  He actually said it twice!  It would seem to me that Paul had a “zero tolerance policy” when it came to any other gospel.  By today’s standards, he would be accused of hatred, bigotry, discrimination and intolerance.  Yet people want us to follow the Bible?  I think the people who want us Christians to do so, haven’t read their Bible.

Paul also says in 3:1 –

Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. – NLT

Here he pretty much calls them stupid for believing something else other than what he taught them.  In fact, the entire letter to the Galatians is a rebuke of sorts!  Paul also realizes that he runs the risk of them turning on him for saying these things.  Look what he says in verse 16, “Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?”  He realizes that his statements may not be met with open arms, but that didn’t stop him.  He knew what he was called to do and say despite the consequences.

Paul had no respect for anyone who preached another gospel.  If there are things that are going on in this world that is contrary to what we believe to be right, then we don’t have to tolerate those things.  We don’t have to have respect to what we believe to be sin.  Want to know something else about Paul?  Did you know that he was not pro-choice?

Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.  Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. – 1 Cor. 6:18-20 NLT

This definitely spits in the face of many Christians.  You see, the world (and many well-meaning Christians) don’t understand something: if you call yourself a Christian, you don’t get to pick and choose what you believe.  I know that’s a strong statement, so I’ll say it again.  If Jesus is your Lord, which is what makes you a Christian, then you don’t get to pick what you belive and what you don’t.  What Paul instructed Christians to do then is applicable to us now.  We don’t get to say that his instructions, or the other writers of the Bible for that matter, are outdated.  Or I should say, we don’t get to pick what is outdated and what is not, which is what the world and many Christians are doing.

The world wants to pick through the Bible and throw scriptures at us that they think we need to follow, all the mean while ignoring the ones that contradict and rebuke the very way they live their lives.  Then Christians, in a misguided attempt to love others, begin to become complacent and cave in on what they are supposed to stand up for.  We weren’t called to become friends with the world.  We were called to show them the way.  In fact, it should be no surprise that the world doesn’t like us.

  • Matthew 24:9 – Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. – KJV
  • Luke 6:22 – Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. – KJV
  • John 15:18-19 – If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. – KJV

Those statements were all made by Jesus.  The very person the world wants us to emulate.  Unfortunately the world has a skewed view as to who Jesus was.  They have made him into someone who accepts their ways.  Does he love them?  He sure does, but he doesn’t love their ways.  They mistake love for acceptance and tolerance.  Here are a few other things Jesus said:

  • John 3:35-36 – The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands.  And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment. – NLT
  • John 12:44-45 – Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.  And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. – KJV
  • John 14:6 – Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Those sound like statements that contain no wiggle room.  No ifs, ands or buts.  Sounds to me like Jesus was pretty closed-minded on the topic of eternal life.  Sounds to me like Jesus had no tolerance for another opinion, belief or creed.  Uh, oh.  Sounds like Jesus fit the description of a bigot.

But here’s the flip side:

Does that give us a license to treat people with disdain, hatred,mockery and discrimination?  God forbid!  It’s just the opposite.  We should show love and compassion on those we disagree with.  However, people think that love and tolerance go hand in hand.  They are wrong.  You can love someone without tolerating their lifestyle or beliefs.  It’s the concept of “love the sinner, hate the sin” which is not in scripture, but still a noble concept.

Where we (as Christians) have utterly gone wrong, is that we’ve stood for what we believe without doing it in love.  We’ve gone after the outward actions all the mean while neglecting the heart.  See, if we want to change how people live, we must change the heart.  Outward actions are a fruit of an inward belief.  No amount of protesting and changing of laws are going to change how people act.  Change the heart and you change the outward actions.

What sucks is that many Christians today would get rebuked from the very one they call Lord.  That’s right, Jesus would rebuke many of us just like he did then.  I call to your remembrance Matthew 23:25-27 KJV:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

This is what Jesus said to the very people who claimed to love God and his commands.  The people who claimed to be the most religious.  Yet this is exactly what we demand of the world today.  We want them to clean up their act, but we leave their heart untouched.

The same God we claim is intolerant to sin, the same God we claim is not pleased with our society’s ways, the same God we claim will bring judgement upon this nation (I for one don’t believe that He will), is the same God who sent His only Son to die for them.  Jesus became sin for us.  Jesus became sin for them too…maybe they just don’t know it yet.  And if we continue to present Him like we are, they never will.

It doesn’t mean that we ignore the scriptures I listed above.  But maybe there’s one thing you didn’t notice.  The letters in the New Testament were written to CHRISTIANS!  Those letters, in which the scriptures were taken from, were written AFTER those people in Galatia, Corinth, Ephesus, etc., received Jesus.  They were written AFTER they both heard and believed the gospel.

We are trying to shove scripture down the throat of those who have not believed on Jesus.  We are trying to shove scriptures down the throats of those who don’t have a heart towards God.  It’s like I said before, we are trying change symptoms instead of treating the cause.  Maybe it’s time we start working the soil before we attempt to plant seeds.  Of course that may mean we get our hands dirty.  We sure don’t like that sometimes.

 Don’t get me wrong.  Just because they aren’t Christians doesn’t mean those scriptures aren’t applicable to them.  They are.  God’s word is true regardless of one’s personal beliefs.  However, it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.  It’s frustrating and eventually you’ll give up.

Jesus said in Matthew 23:26 – First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.  Change the heart first and the actions will follow.  Jesus never preached “turn or burn”.  Let’s not either.  They are already hurting inside.  Let’s not make it worse.

We may need to tweak our approach, but it doesn’t mean we give up.  I still plan on standing up for what I believe is right despite the consequences.  I know others will as well…on both sides.

There is a quote that I’ve found to be true, especially during my time in youth ministry: “People don’t care how much you know if they don’t know how much you care.”  In this case, the world doesn’t care what we know, because it doesn’t yet know how much we care.  More importantly, it doesn’t yet know how much He cares.


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