The Modern Church Rejects the Holy Spirit
As a counter to the uncertainty of this age and unreality of modern formal religion, there is available to those who will believe a mighty infilling of the Holy Spirit with signs following. Throughout the world today people are receiving this satisfying enduement of God's power; God confirming their experience with the miraculous sign of speaking in other tongues, just as in Bible days, as promised to every Christian believer.
Just as in Jesus' day and in the days of the early Church, the scribes and the Pharisees rejected the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit; it is not surprising that today there are those who reject speaking in other tongues, together with the other miraculous manifestations of the Spirit of God. But let us see what the Bible says!
Speaking with other tongues - that is, the ability to speak by the power of the Holy Spirit in a language unknown to the speaker - is referred to on a number of occasions in the New Testament. The first New Testament reference is made by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself when He said:
"And these signs shall follow them that believe: in My name... they shall speak with new tongues" (MARK 16:16-17).
Is It Necessary?
Some have said that speaking with other tongues is unnecessary. This is a strange attitude, for Jesus did not come down to tell us about unnecessary things. The Bible clearly teaches us of this wonderful experience of receiving the Holy Spirit, with the accompanying sign of speaking with tongues. Jesus said:
"My sheep hear My voice" (JOHN 10:27). Apart from the various reasons given in the Bible for speaking with other tongues, one important reason is given in 1 CORINTHIANS 14:22, which reads:
"Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not." Speaking in other tongues is a powerful sign to unbelievers of the reality of the Holy Spirit's power among God's people.
Also we are told in 1 CORINTHIANS 14 that speaking with tongues edifies the person speaking, and is a wonderful means in private prayer of having spiritual communion with God (see verses 2 and 4). However, a person must receive the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues to understand this fully. Although in 1 CORINTHIANS 14 Paul carefully and patiently instructs Christians in the orderly and most edifying use of this gift, he certainly did not think it was unnecessary, for he declared:
"I thank my God I speak with tongues more than ye all…" (1 CORINTHIANS 14:18).
The promise of the Holy Spirit with the associated sign of speaking with other tongues has been with us ever since the day of Pentecost. The Bible says:
"...ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (JUDE 3). It is folly and sin to say that the Christian Gospel has changed one iota since Jesus delivered it to the early Church. We are commanded to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, and that faith included, among other things, speaking with other tongues.
What Does This Mean? - "The Promise of the Father"
The meaning of this term is self-evident. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was promised by the Father.
Jesus used this expression during the forty days that He was with His disciples after His resurrection. The apostle Peter, in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, said:
"This Jesus... being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear" (ACTS 2:33).
We are encouraged when we thus see how the Lord not only promises, but also performs. Peter further declared that this,
"...promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (ACTS 2:39). What great encouragement this is for all who are awaiting in expectation of receiving the "promise of the Father." It is sure, for Jesus said:
"Ask, and it shall be given you... your heavenly Father (will) give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him" (LUKE 11:9-13).
Spiritual Gifts (Gr. 'Charismata')
There are nine specifically identified Spiritual Gifts, as listed in 1 CORINTHIANS 12:8-10. They may be identified as supporting the believer in three areas of his spiritual life:
- Gifts for Guidance: Word of Wisdom; Word of Knowledge; Discerning of Spirits.
- Gifts for Evangelism: Faith; Healing; Miracles.
- Gifts for Edification and Exhortation: Tongues; Interpretation; Prophecy.
Note that these are not personal achievements, they are gifts distributed by the Holy Spirit, to be exercised with love, for the edification of the Church of God, the body of Believers.
Source: 'Voice of Revival'