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Tongues and Total Surrender - Fred Smolchuck

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  • 1. Tongues and Total Surrender Fred Smolchuck GOSPEL PUBLISHING HOUSE Springfield, Missouri 02-0823
  • 2. Contents 1 The Baptism in the Spirit...................................5 2 Tongues Valid Today.......................................13 3 God’s Ways.......................................................19 4 Manifestations of Tongues..............................23 5 A Principle Demonstrated...............................29 6 Supernatural Results........................................35 TONGUES AND TOTAL SURRENDER © Copyright 1974 by the Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, MO 65802 All Rights Reserved Printed in U.S.A.
  • 3. 1 1 The Baptism in the Spirit I shall never forget my experience while traveling one day on Interstate Highway 75, about 100 miles from Detroit. Two weeks before my trip Dr. Luke Sheng, a Christian physician of Brighton, Michigan, told me to slow down in my work or I could become the victim of a stroke or a heart attack. After a tiring, all-day session in a business meeting I was on my way home alone in my car when I began to feel a numbness creep over the right side of my body. There was a ringing in my ears. My eyesight got blurry. I felt nauseous; my head was swimming. Instantly, the doctor’s warning flashed across my mind. This was it; the stroke was coming on. For some unknown reason I didn’t pull over to the side of the road but instead kept right on. I fought to keep the car on the highway and at the same time cried out to the Lord, “Jesus, help me!” There was no time to compose fancy prayers. I was desperate and panicky; I couldn’t 5
  • 4. Tongues and Total Surrender think straight. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit came to my assistance. I began to speak in tongues. Words just rolled out of me. I became aware the Spirit was praying for me and getting a message through to the Throne in my behalf. I was in no condition to pray for myself and there wasn’t anyone else with me—except the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26). Like a bolt of electricity I felt the power of the Holy Spirit surge through my body. I was instantly healed. The numbness left, my eyes cleared, I sat upright as though I were 10 feet tall behind the wheel. I’ll never forget “praying in the spirit” and the deliverance that followed. Jesus told His disciples, “These signs shall follow them that believe... they shall speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17). “I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on 6
  • 5. The Baptism in the Spirit high” (Luke 24:49). “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8). On the very day of the Feast of Pentecost the disciples were still waiting for the fulfillment of the Master’s promise when, “Suddenly there came a sound from heaven” (Acts 2:2). It was like a mighty wind that filled the house where they were. Flames seemed to envelope the seekers. In the midst of this happening they were being “filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues” as the Spirit gave them the words to say (Acts 2:4). They were actually speaking languages they never learned. This phenomenon amazed onlookers who were attracted to the Upper Room by the emotional outburst of the disciples whose behavior at this time was anything but conventional. Some even suggested they might be drunk, but since it was so early in the morning this evaluation was quickly discarded. Peter stood in the midst of the huge gathering of questioning people who asked, “What meaneth this?” and categorically answered, “This is that which was spoken by the 7
  • 6. Tongues and Total Surrender prophet Joel” (Acts 2:16). This is the fulfillment of God’s promise to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. After preaching his sermon and calling on his hearers to repent and believe in Jesus Christ, he advised them they too could “receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the 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 2:38,39). Three thousand were saved that day. The baptism in the Spirit became a normal experience in the lives of believers from that day on. It was evident that this was what God wanted for His children. Notice, the believers in Samaria were enjoying the grace of God immensely. But it was not till Peter and John came and prayed for them that these new converts “received the Holy Ghost” (Acts 8:17). There is no doubt they experienced speaking in tongues when they received the Spirit. When Simon Magus observed that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money so he, too, could impart the Spirit on whomever he 8
  • 7. The Baptism in the Spirit wished. This shrewd charlatan was not about to buy something he could not see or hear. Many Bible students agree that what he saw and heard was people speaking in tongues as the Holy Spirit came upon them. The Gentile household of Cornelius received the Holy Ghost in Pentecostal fashion (Acts 10:44-47). The glossolalia became the convincing evidence that satisfied the Jerusalem brethren that these outsiders received “the like gift” as they did previously (Acts 11:15-17). Following Paul’s dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus he was told by the Lord to go into the city and wait for further instruction (Acts 9:6). In the meantime God informed His disciple Ananias to meet Paul and tell him, “Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 9:17). There is no doubt that his being “filled with the Holy Ghost” was evidenced by glossolalia, for later Paul said, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” (1 Corinthians 14:18). 9
  • 8. Tongues and Total Surrender It is a matter of scriptural record that tongues were practiced by the Corinthian Church. First Corinthians 12-14 were written to instruct the congregation on matters pertaining to glossolalia. The baptism in the Spirit was considered a necessary and normal experience for all believers. Paul asked the Ephesians, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” (Acts 19:2). When it became evident they had not, Paul preached Christ to them and baptized them in water. He then laid hands upon them and “the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied” (v. 6). Reading the pages of church history one soon discovers that tongues did not cease. Philip Schaff, the well-known Church historian, supports this in his History of the Apostolic Church: The speaking with tongues... was not confined to the day of Pentecost. Together with other extraordinary spiritual gifts which distinguished this age above the succeeding periods of more quiet and 10
  • 9. The Baptism in the Spirit natural development, this gift also, though to be sure in a modified form, perpetuated itself in the apostolic church. We find traces of it still in the second and third centuries. Indeed, glossolalia was present with nearly every known revival of the Church for the past 2000 years.* Glossolalia continues to be one of the distinctive characteristics of the Pentecostal Movement of the 20th century; and many of the historic churches are presently experiencing this spiritual phenomenon. * For a documented treatment of this subject, the reader may wish to read Carl Brumback’s book, “What Meaneth This?” (Gospel Publishing House). 11
  • 10. 2 2 Tongues Valid Today Pentecostals believe “speaking in tongues” to be the initial physical evidence of a persons’s receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). Most evangelicals readily accept the fact of a baptism in the Spirit and agree that an enduement of power from on high is needed by all believers (Acts 1:8; Luke 24:49). But a great number refuse to accept glossolalia (speaking in tongues) as being the physical evidence of a person’s Spirit baptism. Many explanations have been offered in an attempt to prove that although tongues were valid for the Early Church they are no longer needed today. (1)It is said the gospel had to be preached to “all nations”—thus tongues. (2)The first church needed a sign for its encouragement, so tongues were given. (3)It is also claimed that since this was the 13
  • 11. Tongues and Total Surrender beginning of a new dispensation that would affect all people, God chose tongues as the supernatural sign to introduce the universality of the new church age. Other reasons have also been given by opponents to warrant their insistence that the church is now mature and advanced; therefore, the introductory “elements” are no longer necessary. Thus, it is claimed, tongues have ceased. On what authority can it be claimed that tongues have already “ceased”? It is true, the Scripture does say, “Tongues ... shall cease” (1 Corinthians 13:8), but the same verse also says, “prophecies ... shall fail;... knowledge ... shall vanish away.” There is no indication in this passage whether “prophecies ... tongues ... knowledge” shall cease simultaneously or in what order. Then why pick on tongues to cease first? There will come a time when all these phenomena will terminate (except love). Certainly, we are agreed that the gifts of knowledge and prophecy are still with us. If so, then tongues 14
  • 12. Tongues Valid Today are also in this category. Generally, people feel awkward in the presence of the unusual and ill at ease when faced with that which cannot be explained in common human terms. Miracles, tongues, or anything in the realm of the supernatural have always stirred controversy. People want to understand and hope to be able to analyze everything, or else they doubt. Perhaps this is why glossolalia was quickly labeled an appendage that is no longer necessary. It would be well to remind ourselves that Jesus said, “These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues ...” (Mark 16:17). When one chooses to believe, the signs will appear. And they do. On the other hand, if some insist these signs are no longer needed today, then be sure that for these same people the signs will be absent. This is faith in reverse. “According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29). What pity, what a tragedy! These divine manifestations have a purpose. They have been planned by God to 15
  • 13. Tongues and Total Surrender wield a powerful influence on individuals for the development of the kingdom of God. These signs are the heavy equipment needed to build the church of Jesus Christ. “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me ... unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). “These signs shall follow them that believe” (Mark 16:17). Without this divine equipment we are endeavoring to undertake a herculean task with hand tools rather than with “power” tools. Questions frequently asked about tongues are legitimate. For instance: “Why did God choose tongues as the initial physical sign of the baptism in the Spirit?” “Of what value is it to speak a language one does not understand?” “Is it really necessary to speak in tongues when one receives the Baptism?” “What is the real purpose of glossolalia?” No doubt even some Pentecostals who have spoken in tongues would like to know the answers to these and other questions about the Baptism. 16
  • 14. Tongues Valid Today There must be a very good reason why God chose glossolalia as part of the charismatic experience. He always has a good reason and purpose for everything He does. 17
  • 15. 3 3 God’s Ways Whatever God does, He does for a specific purpose. Referring to God’s creating the earth Isaiah said, “He ... established it and created it not a worthless waste” (Isaiah 45:18, Amplified Version). Yet when we read Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep,” we do get the impression that the picture is one of waste. But God had a plan and developed it. “He formed it to be inhabited.” Though this planet has since been sorely misused by its inhabitants, God still has a purpose for it and will see it through. There is both rhyme and reason to all that God does— including speaking in tongues. It is not for us to judge the worth of God’s design and plan, but to discover its meaning, its purpose, and how it may apply to us. Examples of God’s Ways It is interesting to note that God chose a 19
  • 16. Tongues and Total Surrender period of time for the Israelites to cross the Jordan when the river’s level was at its peak and its current swiftest (Joshua 3:15; 4:18). From the standpoint of human reasoning it was not the best time of the year to attempt a crossing. One would think God should have chosen a season of the year when the Jordan became a placid, shallow stream; but He did not. He commanded the nation to cross the river when it was at its wildest, and at that, with whole families with all their belongings. Why? He had a reason. This was to be no ordinary crossing but one that would make a great impact on the entire nation for generations to come. He said, “Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you ... that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever” (Joshua 3:10; 4:24). Human reason would figure out an altogether different way and insist that it was right. But human reason is never certain of life’s variables and therefore it often errs and is upset. God’s ways are best even though we may 20
  • 17. God’s Ways not understand them at the outset. “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8). Therefore, let us not be surprised that God chose “tongues.” The law of God given through Moses was never meant to be the salvation of Israel (Romans 3:19,20; 8:3; Galatians 2:19; Ephesians 2:15; Hebrews 7:19). Then why was it given? If people were bound to fail in their attempt to keep the law, why subject them to it? With out knowing God’s purposes, one could criticize the giving of the commandments. But God revealed His intentions through the apostle Paul who said, “The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24). These are just a few simple illustrations to show that God does have reasons for His designs and plans. Tongues may be questioned by those who do not understand their purpose, but there is a purpose—a good one. God did not bring glossolalia into existence at Pentecost just because it suited His fancy. He had a 21
  • 18. Tongues and Total Surrender reason. How can we find out what it was? Let us examine the experiences of those who spoke in tongues. 22
  • 19. 4 4 Manifestations of Tongues In the previous chapters we have examined evidence to support the teaching that speaking in tongues is the initial physical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. There are two other manifestations of tongues besides the initial evidence. They are devotional tongues and congregational tongues. These two manifestations are the same in essence as the speaking in tongues that occurs at the time one is baptized in the Spirit, but different in purpose and use. Paul says that he who speaks in tongues “edifieth himself” (1 Corinthians 14:4). There is a distinct benefit to the individual. Glossolalia builds him up spiritually. This dynamic, supernatural manifestation in his life helps the Christian know that the “living God” (Joshua 3:10) is with him. Tongues become a line of divine communication established by the Holy Spirit. It reaches from the throne of God to the believer’s heart. 23
  • 20. Tongues and Total Surrender Intercession for Us The Spirit may choose on occasion to intercede in our behalf with a prayer such as we could never deliver. He knows what we need. He is able to reach the throne of God much better than we ever could. At the time He prays through us our intellect may not benefit from the glossolalic manifestation, but our spirit definitely will. “If I pray in an unknown, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.... I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:14,15). “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh ... unto God ... in the spirit he speaketh mysteries ... he ... edifieth himself” (vv. 2-4). Intercession for Another There are times when the Spirit will intercede through us in behalf of our brethren. “He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:27). Numerous incidents can be related of times when a saint of 24
  • 21. Manifestations of Tongues God felt burdened for another. On one occasion, during prayer there was a period of speaking in tongues with the burden for the individual heavy on the heart of the intercessor. Weeks, months, or even years later it was finally revealed that the person who was prayed for was at the moment of intercession or shortly thereafter dramatically helped at a time of great need. Thus, the Spirit was able to pray for the needy one through a yielded human vessel. The intercessor became a partaker in the glorious results of victory. Spiritual Uplift To the individual who speaks in tongues its practice brings a spiritual uplift, a much needed encouragement. When the human spirit is low, the Holy Spirit will minister comfort and confidence through glossolalia. At such times He often chooses to bypass the intellect and serve man’s innermost being—his spirit. Assistance Not only does the Spirit offer a spiritual 25
  • 22. Tongues and Total Surrender uplift, but He also offers physical assistance when we are in need. No doubt you will recall my own testimony given at the beginning of this book. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26). An Analysis While thinking about the benefits and purposes of tongues I would like to analyze the speaking in tongues experienced by the disciples in Acts 2:4. How did they speak in tongues? Was it automatic with no part played by the individuals? Were they in a conscious or semiconscious state? Was it autosuggestion? Did the disciples have no power or control over themselves? In checking the Word, nowhere do we find God using men like automatons. He reveals His will, makes Himself available, and asks for cooperation. If the individual yields, the results are tremendous. 26
  • 23. Manifestations of Tongues The Scripture says, “They spake” as the “Spirit gave them utterance.” Young’s Literal Translation renders this verse, “They spoke according as the Spirit was giving them to declare.” From the Latin Vulgate Confraternity Translation we read, “They spake even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak.” Actually, the Spirit came upon the disciples and gave them the words to say. He offered them the language word by word, even though they did not understand. As they received these words by divine inspiration, they spoke them out; they yielded their vocal organs to make the utterance, the sound. Here was a case of where they received a revelation of an unknown language, and an inspiration to speak out words they never heard nor uttered previously. They yielded to this great urge of the Spirit within them and obediently took the initiative to utter the syllables the Holy Spirit prompted. The result: they spoke in tongues, in new, unlearned languages. It was a miracle. 27
  • 24. 5 5 A Principle Demonstrated Speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4) is a combination of God inspiring, prompting man (“the Spirit gave”), and man believing and obeying God (“they spake ...”). Man’s positive response to the divine contact produces a supernatural, highly beneficial result. In this simple contact and response experience is found a formula capable of supernatural results. This equation is: God’s directive, plus man’s faith and obedience, equals supernatural results. Simple? Yes, but tremendously powerful. Through tongues God illustrates His divine law. It is the principle by which He will work in the life of the believer. Since Adam, God has always included man in His plan. The Lord looks for his confidence and for his obedience. Over a period of some years I made it a practice to ask people who had just received the baptism in the Spirit whether they had at any time previous to their charismatic experience 29
  • 25. Tongues and Total Surrender inwardly felt that they wanted to speak in tongues. The answers were quite revealing when the majority responded affirmatively. I asked them, “When did you feel like speaking in tongues?” The responses were: “When I was in prayer at home.” “I felt an urge to speak in tongues while I was meditating on the baptism in the Spirit.” “I felt words inside of me when I was waiting on the Lord.” There were many other similar comments. “Then why didn’t you speak in tongues at that time?” I asked. “I was afraid it was myself rather than God.” “I was backward about taking the initiative to speak the words I felt inside. I thought a power would take hold of me over which I would have no control and that this power would speak through me without any help from me at all.” Another said, “While at the altar some time ago I felt that I desperately wanted to speak in tongues. It was inside, but I didn’t speak lest those about me would think it was not of God. I didn’t want to be 30
  • 26. A Principle Demonstrated embarrassed.” I asked them, “Could you have spoken in tongues at that time if your fear was resolved?” “Oh, yes indeed. Had I known then what I know now about cooperating with God and how easy it is to speak in tongues when God gives the words, I would have enjoyed the baptism in the Spirit a long time ago.” Tongues Illustrates Speaking in tongues illustrates the manner in which God wants to work with each believer. When this is understood, then indeed we shall be living “witnesses” of His miracle-working power. Let us again look at this experience of speaking in tongues. The seeker for the charismatic blessing must first believe this gift of God is for him. The Holy Spirit within (Romans 8:9) encourages him and gives witness that He is ready to baptize the seeker. As the person worships Jesus, expresses his love for the Lord, and waits expectantly for 31
  • 27. Tongues and Total Surrender divine direction, the Spirit will prompt the individual within his innermost being by giving him words of another language that he may utter. These suggestions or promptings are then accepted by the person. He realizes he does not understand what they mean, but he knows they are not the product of his own mind. He knows these unlearned, untried syllables and words are from God to help him continue glorifying the Lord in a heaven-given language. With faith in God’s promise uppermost, he casts pride and doubt aside. He refuses to be intimidated by embarrassment and egoism. He is willing to obey, to yield, and to take the bold step of using his tongue and his own lips to speak the words the Spirit gives. Led by the Spirit, he ventures forth and finds himself speaking in tongues. Willingness to believe, to obey, and to yield to God’s promptings are prime in glossolalia. Knowing full well he never did anything like this before, and that it is altogether out of the realm of his society’s normal pattern of behavior, the person nevertheless casts his 32
  • 28. A Principle Demonstrated confidence in God and plunges in. Once he takes the initiative to use his lips to repeat the new words he feels in his soul, he has fulfilled his part. This positive attitude and response of the individual is the basis on which tongues are spoken. This is also the basis on which God will continue to manifest Himself by His Spirit to the believer. Again let us repeat the formula: Divine inspiration, plus positive human response, equals supernatural results (DI + HR = SR). This is God’s method of dealing with His children. This is how He will operate in our lives. We need His power, His direction, instruction, etc. He promised that “signs shall follow them that believe” (Mark 16:17). But how? Simply, in the same manner as one speaks in tongues. The Lord expects the same positive response from us we gave Him when we spoke in tongues. In this manner the gifts will become evident. He must have our obedient cooperation. 33
  • 29. 6 6 Supernatural Results To understand that human positive response to God’s direction equals supernatural results is to understand an exciting principle. It is the key to the great blessings God has prepared for His people. A Key to Many Blessings Using this key will open the door to fantastic heavenly treasures. The results will be phenomenal. It will materialize what Jesus meant when He said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12). Utilizing this formula in our lives will transform us into the “witnesses” that Christ said we would become after receiving the charismatic experience (Acts 1:8). This is the true Spirit-filled, Spirit-led life of the believer. The Holy Spirit’s promptings (not only for tongues, but for other directives as well) are 35
  • 30. Tongues and Total Surrender constantly and readily available. This is why believers are admonished, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 2:7). Unfortunately, either we don’t listen or we fail to respond positively to the Spirit’s leadings and promptings. Consequently, the “signs” Jesus promised do not follow. It is not that God does not want to reveal His power. Rather, the problem is that we have not adjusted our living pattern, our attitudes to the divine formula that provides dynamic, supernatural action. A Key to Faith Man was born with a measure of human faith that is absolutely necessary to his physical and social existence and to his well-being. On the other hand, to those who come to Him for salvation God gives His faith. This divinely imparted faith becomes the lifeline between the soul and God. Remove it and the soul is dead. There is still an extra kind of faith that God provides for His children. It is a faith that lifts the individual above the natural into 36
  • 31. Supernatural Results supernatural realms. It is faith that believes God implicitly, doubting nothing. It cannot be concocted nor conjured by human effort. It is from God; it is the product of the Holy Spirit. This faith becomes the driving force, the foundation of a believer’s confidence in the ability of the Lord to fulfill everything He promised—even that which others may call “impossible.” “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you” (Luke 17:6). The key to this kind of dynamic faith is found in the same formula that produces glossolalia. It is the Spirit who prompts. It is the Spirit who inspires, who awakens us to a certain kind of action. When He does, we do not argue, we do not debate. We react positively, in full agreement with His directives even though we may not fully understand. It is well to remember that in directing us the Spirit will never go contrary to Christ’s words. He will always “testify” of Christ (John 15:26). His ministry will complement and 37
  • 32. Tongues and Total Surrender glorify Jesus Christ, not the human individual. Many years ago an old Christian was traveling across the Siberian wastes to a distant village. It proved to be farther away than he had estimated. While he was still a distance from his destination the sun set and darkness covered the countryside. Plodding on, he could hear the howling of wolves in the distance. With each step he took he was sure the howling was getting louder. Suddenly he realized a terrifying fact: he was surrounded by wolves that intended him as their victim. He quickly breathed a prayer to the Lord. All at once it came to him. The presence of the Lord seemed to envelope him in an unusual way. He stopped, lay his knapsack on the ground, and with a loud voice he cried out to the beasts, “How dare you! How dare you come against your lord and master in such fashion? Did you forget that the Lord God gave man authority over you? Shame on you; begone. In Jesus’ name—go!” The howling and snarling stopped. The moving dark shadows seemed to hesitate and 38
  • 33. Supernatural Results then one by one disappeared into the blackness of the night. The old man picked up his pack and trudged on to the village ahead. Unusual? Yes, indeed, but entirely normal and proper when the Holy Spirit and a willing heart unite to manifest the faith of God—the kind that can move mountains or repel snarling wolves. A Key to Encouragement There are times when ordinary methods fail to lift the spirit of a man. The burden seems insurmountable, the problem greater than the human mind can cope with successfully. Human rationale does not suffice. But for the Spirit-filled person there is a Source of comfort and encouragement available at all times. If one would but listen, he would hear the uplifting words of Jesus saying, “I am with you alway” (Matthew 28:20). “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). The Holy Spirit will testify of Christ’s presence. Nothing encourages a person so much as hearing from the Lord himself. This is exactly the ministry 39
  • 34. Tongues and Total Surrender the Spirit offers to believers. An old minister broken down in health and no longer able to have the normal use of his mental faculties owing to the hardening of arteries in the brain was one day found weeping by his son. “What’s wrong, Dad, why are you crying?” “I don’t know, but I feel very depressed and full of sorrow.” Nothing the son could say would comfort the old preacher. Finally, he urged, “Dad, let’s pray.” Both bowed their heads and began to worship the Lord. It wasn’t long before the old man’s tears stopped. He began to praise the Lord. Out of his lips poured a stream of worship to God in unknown tongues. His face broke into a delightful, ecstatic smile. Though the man’s physical brain could no longer handle complex or even simple thoughts, the Spirit was able to bypass the damaged organ and minister comfort to the inner spirit of this aged saint of God. Praying in tongues is to “pray with the spirit” 40
  • 35. Supernatural Results (1 Corinthians 14:15). It is a therapy of comfort for the distraught soul. It ministers to man’s spirit at a time when the mind is unable to devise a remedy. “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself” (1 Corinthians 14:4). A Key to Maturity “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit will stimulate and encourage the believer to consider and to fully accept the words of Jesus. He will remind him of Christ’s teachings and commandments. In this way the man of God will understand what the Lord expects. The Spirit will give divine directives with respect to the gifts. Whenever it will be necessary, He will prompt and encourage the believer to step out confidently and react positively to His leadings (in the same manner as he did when he spoke in tongues). The result will be a definite growth in God, a maturity that will contribute to the spiritual stature of the individual and to the benefit of God’s 41
  • 36. Tongues and Total Surrender kingdom. The gifts of the Spirit are manifested the same way as the glossolalia. They are demonstrated when the Spirit moves upon a Spirit-filled believer who then reacts positively to this divine inspiration. He will take initiative to use his faculties in the manner directed by the Holy Spirit. A Key to the Fruit The fruit of the Spirit—the character of Christ—(Galatians 5:22,23) will become a part of the personality and character of the believer when he responds positively to the cultivating directives of the Spirit. A distinct process of sanctification, of being “made holy,” will take place daily when the man of God yields himself to the Spirit’s promptings and directives—in the same manner as he did when he received the baptism in the Spirit. The Holy Ghost encourages the development of “Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, 42
  • 37. Supernatural Results gentleness, goodness faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22,23). In developing these traits the Spirit will rebuke, warn, convict, admonish, and otherwise direct the believer to avoid all detrimental powers and influences that would attempt to take hold of his life. This “fruit” of the Spirit becomes a reality when the Christian inwardly and tangibly responds to the Spirit’s voice. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith” (Revelation 2:7). A Key to Success A successful Christian grows, develops, and matures “in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Such a life produces results that please the Father (John 15:8). Paul relates the dilemma he experienced when he said, “The good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do” (Romans 7:19). He confessed that as much as he tried to be successful in spiritual things he repeatedly ended in failure. He lacked the stamina, the 43
  • 38. Tongues and Total Surrender ability, and the will to overcome the weakness of his flesh. He found that though his spirit indeed is willing, “the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). In himself, the human individual just doesn’t “have it” when it comes to living for God successfully. He lacks what it takes. He may fit in well with his peers. His personality, education, and natural talents may bring him acceptance with his fellowmen. But he knows he lacks something; he consistently comes short of producing the kind of results God expects. God seems far away. The individual’s knowledge of God is more academic than intimate. He is painfully aware of many “gray” areas in respect to the grace of God in his life. His inabilities, his failures, his inner panic, and his lack of true confidence are all too well known to himself, though well hidden from his brethren. Paul found an answer to his pathetic cry, “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24). He boldly declares, “I thank God through Jesus Christ... the law of the Spirit of life in 44
  • 39. Supernatural Results Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 7:25; 8:2). We all want to be successful in God. And He wants us to be successful, so He has provided the means for our success. He has given us the key; He has shown us how to rise above weakness. In the same manner as one learns to yield himself to the Spirit in order to speak in tongues, so now he must also yield to the promptings of the Spirit when He directs us in other areas as well. We must take the initiative and respond obediently. It is well to remember that the Spirit’s promptings, leadings, and instruction will always “testify” of Christ. Our knowledge of Jesus Christ and our spiritual maturity will phenomenally increase when we boldly and obediently respond to the inner voice of the Spirit. It is this “knowing Christ” that builds confidence in a Christian and gives him the courage to successfully take steps that otherwise would never be ventured. 45
  • 40. Tongues and Total Surrender In Conclusion Speaking in tongues is a demonstration of the divine principle by which we as God’s children can grow, mature, and advance. It shows us how to take advantage of God’s grace and power that He made available for us. This principle is the key that opens the door to a new, divine dimension, to a more powerful, more effective way of living and working with God. It is the divine equation, the formula that when applied produces the miraculous and develops the “witness” that will captivate the unsaved for Christ. If by believing, yielding, and obeying the Holy Spirit you can find yourself speaking a language you never spoke before, then in the same manner and on the same basis when you believe and yield to the Spirit you can find yourself living, growing, producing supernaturally. The glory of God will fill your life. You will be a fruitful, happy Christian. “This is that” life in the Spirit. How is it lived? By constantly applying the formula God 46
  • 41. Supernatural Results demonstrates in the “tongues” experience: The Holy Spirit’s inspiration upon man, plus man’s obedient response to the Spirit’s prompting, produces extraordinary results. Expect to see the fruit of the Spirit revealed and the gifts of the Spirit manifested. “These signs shall follow them that believe.” “The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32). 47