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Do you believe you can speak in tongues at will?
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Do you believe you can speak in tongues at will?
Yes.
53%
 53%  [ 41 ]
No.
43%
 43%  [ 33 ]
Other. (Please specify below.)
2%
 2%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 76

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Post Joy L Martinez
Peter Zefo wrote:
I agree with Raf...I think that our particular church culture has conditioned us in such a way as to be able to "turn it on and off" at will. This should be concerning. I also find it curious as to why the "message in tongues" from the same person each week sounds phonetically familiar? Amazing how the "interpretation" changes. Also, I agree with another poster who said something to the effect of, "I wonder why the Lord had to stop the service for such a generic message?"


Before Raf and I joined SC, we attended another Church of God, and there was a man there who delivered a message in tongues almost every week. I couldn't help but notice that the message was almost the same every time. I couldn't help but have it memorized. The interpretations were different, though.

I have always wondered about that. But of course, even the interpreter receives the interpretation from the Holy Spirit, not from some bank of unknown language acquired at the Seminary. Subjectively speaking.
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6/11/06 3:33 pm


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Post Question Nature Boy Florida
1) Has the Spirit taken control of your tongue and made the motor function of the jaw and tongue move without your "knowing" it?

2) Or did the words process through your mind (by the Spirit) and you spoke them?

My experience more closely resembles the latter. Is that speaking in tongues as the "Spirit gives utterance"?
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6/12/06 6:40 am


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Post Nightsky4
What seems clear from this discussion is that those who speak in tongues do not agree on whether one can do it at will or not.

I did not realize that there was such confusion on the matter.

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6/12/06 7:20 am


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Post God as "Front Desk" JPlainM
TheoloJohn wrote:
philunderwood wrote:
what i don't get, and alluded to in another thread, is why God would interrupt a worship service with a message in tongues and the person giving the interpratation just gives a warmed over rephrasing of a verse of scripture or some generic "i am with you...you will overcome" type message.
it seems if this were all so real and emphatic then the message of interpratation would carry the same weight, gravity, impact that you would expect if God showed up and talked.
now, i believe in tongues and interpratation, but what we get is so milque-toast, it makes me wonder.


While I do admit that oftentimes interpretations and prophecies could use more depth, I must say that your reasoning concerning this is not evident from the Scriptures. Sometimes all that is needed is an anointed reminder of basic, simple truth. Sometimes the most powerful truth someone may need is one of these utterances you pompously refer to as "milquetoast."

I pray we never reject a message just because it seems too simple to us.


I have often heard this same statement when I questioned the validity of a message in tongues and must disagree to an extent with you on it.

The notion that God uses tongues and interpretation to offer a reminder of a Scripture that He has already given in His Word seems to me to be overkill for something that equates to a "wake-up call" from a hotel's front desk.

The reason I view it as overkill is because the divine intervention of the Lord into a service is an occasion of such magnitude that I would think He would choose to convey something of a great degree of significance, mainly because of Paul's 1 Cor 14 admonition that tongues acts as a sign to unbelievers. If a message in tongues is somewhat commonplace and even repetitive in its interpretation, then the sign to the unbeliever would be one of doubt (as is the sign to some believers, as well). Whereas, if the message reveals some profound truth, then the message is one of faith and hope.

On the day of Pentecost, the message given in tongues was that of the gospel story which many visitors to Jerusalem heard in their own tongue. What a sign! How much less of a sign would it have been if those visitors had heard Scripture which they already knew being recited to them in their own tongue. I feel the sign would have been less significant and the resulting conversion experience might have been in the tens as opposed to the thousands.

Tongues is a sacred gift of the Holy Spirit...and we have made it common and ordinary.
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6/12/06 11:17 am


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Post Re: God as "Front Desk" Link
JPlainM wrote,

Quote:

The reason I view it as overkill is because the divine intervention of the Lord into a service is an occasion of such magnitude that I would think He would choose to convey something of a great degree of significance, mainly because of Paul's 1 Cor 14 admonition that tongues acts as a sign to unbelievers. If a message in tongues is somewhat commonplace and even repetitive in its interpretation, then the sign to the unbeliever would be one of doubt (as is the sign to some believers, as well). Whereas, if the message reveals some profound truth, then the message is one of faith and hope.


I don't see Paul making this point in I Corinthians 14. The point he seems to be making is that unbelievers (and the uninstructed) who witness tongues will think you are crazy if 'all speak in tongues.' But if all prophesy, he falls down on his face and says God is in/among you of a truth.

In Acts 2, many of the people responded with scoffing. Some knew the languages and were amazed. But people got saved after hearing preaching, not just tongues, of course.

God can say whatever He wants to. Sometimes He wants to remind us of something He said before.

That being said, someone could rattle off verses of scripture, acting like they are prophesying, without doing so. For example someone could say 'And Judas went and hanged himself.' 'Go thou and do likewise.' That is quoting two scriptures, but if the Holy Spirit did not tell someone to say them together, it's not a true prophecy from the Spirit.
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6/12/06 7:18 pm


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Post Nice Reference... JPlainM
to the Judas scripture. I've actually seen that used in a great video clip at Oneighty.

But, the portion of 1 Cor 14 I was referring to is where Paul specifically claims that tongues is given as a sign to unbelievers. Obviously, there was confusion in the Corinthian church, so Paul took the time to clarify what the purpose of tongues was.

I do agree that God can reveal Himself in tongues by some reminder of His previous Word, but I would limit my view on that to something of a more profound nature than the typical, "Did I not say in My Word that I would never leave you or forsake you?" message. Such words reflect more the reflection of the individual giving the interpretation and could probably be perceived as a word of encouragement, if not for the speaker's need to be recognized under the authority of tongues.

Please don't misunderstand. I do not reject the validity of tongues and even interpretation. I simply believe that their practice as "common" greatly reduces the effectiveness that God had intended for them. When a message in tongues is given each week in a church, it becomes simply another part of the liturgy (akin to offering time or Sister Gertrude's special song) instead of the Great Interruption of God's Spirit into the mix.
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6/13/06 8:17 am


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Post Let us live in the Spirit otium sanctum
The old timers believed that one should pray until they had spoken in tongue every day. I believe that one can live in the Spirit, and that at any moment, the Spirit wills and I yield, I can speak in other tongues. I believe we should live so close to the Spirit that He is always available and all we have do is to yield and He will speak for Himself. And that is what I believe the charismatics are meaning when they say, "Pray in in your prayer language." I believe this is in line with "Pray without ceasing." and "I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the understanding." I can pray at will. I can pray in the Spirit. So, can I not pray at will if I am full of the Spirit? Friendly Face
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6/14/06 5:23 am


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Post Tim Finlayson
Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water. My understanding is that you can not turn a river on and off any time you want too. A river is always "on." If the river stops, it is not the rivers fault but something has been put in place to block the flow of the river. If the Holy Spirit is not assessable to you at all times, what have you allowed to block the flow of the river. Acts Enthusiast
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6/14/06 10:13 am


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Post The question should be... Anakrino
"If one is Spirit-filled can they speak in tongues at will?

Paul thought so...

1 Cor 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.


One cannot speak unless the Spirit gives the utterance, however, Paul seemed to believe that the utterance would be available to all Spirit-filled believers and so do I. It is available to use in order and out of order.

1 Cor 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: 19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
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6/14/06 3:20 pm


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JPlainM

What I mean is that there is nothing in the I Corinthians 14 passage to indicate that an interpretation of tongues would be spectacular. Nothing in the passage obligates God to 'wow' unbelievers with tongues and interpretations. Acts 2 was not a case of interpretation of tongues. I Corinthians 14 tells us regarding tongues 'and yet for all that, they will not hear me.' Unbelievers tend to respond to tongues with unbelief, as predicted in scripture (a sign against them.) Paul uses this as an argument for the value of all prophesying in contrast to all speaking in tongues. He does not argue that interpretations of tongues should be spectacular.

To an unbeliever who does not appreciate the word, many Old Testament prophecies must seem repetitive and not too impressive. God can say whatever He wants, and what He says is not always spectacular to us. Sometimes it can be pretty general.

I can see how someone could read the passage and come away with the idea that all tongues are prayers. Verse 2 says he speaks not unto men, but unto God. Verse 28 says let him speak to himself and to God. Paul talks about praying in the S/spirit and gives an example of tongues being used to give thanks.

I have one reservation about the idea that tongues must always be prayer, though they certainly can be. On the other hand, there is that one verse where he asks if he comes speaking in tongues, what will it profit unless he speak to them by prophecy, or by revelation, or by doctrine? Could this mean that the interpretation could be one of these three things?
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6/15/06 8:26 am


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Post Link
Paul obviously didn't think every believer who had the Holy Ghost could speak in tongues because he asks,


Are all apostles?
...
Do all speak with tongues?

Clearly the implied answer is 'no.' And based on the context it makes no sense to think Paul was saying those who did not speak in tongues were not any less, because he just got done talking about how all parts and their functions are needed.
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6/15/06 8:36 am


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Post Clearly, Paul thought all believers should speak in tongues Anakrino
1Co 14:5 - I would that ye all spake with tongues...


In the passage cited earlier:

1Co 12:30 - Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

The context is not the use of tongues for private edification but a public message in tongues. Not all believers will operate in the gift of tongues for public edification but all should operate in the gift of tongues for private edification.

1 Cor 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
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6/15/06 10:16 am


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Post Leigh Teabing
I operate in the gift of evangelism at will. Does that mean it is fleshly & not the work of the Holy Spirit?

I also operate in the gifts of administration & teaching at will.
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6/15/06 11:27 am


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Post Re: Clearly, Paul thought all believers should speak in tong Link
Anakrino wrote:
1Co 14:5 - I would that ye all spake with tongues...


In the passage cited earlier:

1Co 12:30 - Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

The context is not the use of tongues for private edification but a public message in tongues. Not all believers will operate in the gift of tongues for public edification but all should operate in the gift of tongues for private edification.

1 Cor 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

***************************


I Corinthians does not teach two types of tongues, one for prayer, and one for speaking out in the group. These are both manifestations of the same type of tongue. Tongues used in prayer are the same thing that are spoken in the congregation, except without an interpretation, as we see in the following verses in I Corinthians 14.

28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.


Remember, these are the verses that tongues being used as a 'private prayer language' come from in the first place. So it stands to reason that Paul's "Do all speak with tongues?" refers to private prayer tongues as well.

Also, you left off part of Paul's thought in this verse:

"5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied:"

If you use this verse to say that all believers who are filled with the Spirit will speak in tongues, you should believe even more that all believers who are filled with the Spirit will prophesy. Do you believe that?
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6/15/06 7:02 pm


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Post Certainly, Paul thought all should Prophesy Anakrino
That's what he said....

"I would that ye all..." "All" means all and he even repeated it:

1 Cor 14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

Paul thought that all Christians should be Spirit-filled and that all should operate in the gift of tongues and that all should prophesy.

And Paul does make a distinction between the use of tongues in the congregation and tongues for personal use. He states that there are "diversities of tongues."


1Co 12:28 - And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.


Paul also makes it clear that while all Christians should speak in tongues, it is not in order for all to speak in tongues in the congregation.

1Co 14:23 - If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
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6/16/06 7:30 am


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Post TheoloJohn
Fascinating discussion, brother's and sisters! I believe my own thinking has undergone a bit of a transformation on this subject as a result of this excellent discussion.

Instead of and either/or dichtomy on this, I now am more leaning towards a synergistic view of this, not unlike salvation from an early-church and Arminian way of looking at things. We may think we can in fact speak in tongues at will, and experience does seem to bear this out, but the fact is, if our speaking in tongues is truly "as the Spirit gives the ability/utterance" then it cannot be true at any time that it is "just us" who is doing it.

Whenever we truly speak in divinely inspired tongues, yes, it is we who choose to speak in tongues, but not apart from the Holy Spirit's leading of us to do so.

Of course, this leaves out altogether the question of simply speaking gibberish of our own making, which some Pentecostals even do as a kind of joke, as in, "You-tie-my-bowtie-who-stole-my-Honda?" I don't think anyone would try to argue that that sort of thing as truly of the Holy Spirit.
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6/16/06 12:52 pm


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TheoloJohn wrote:
Whenever we truly speak in divinely inspired tongues, yes, it is we who choose to speak in tongues, but not apart from the Holy Spirit's leading of us to do so.


If someone speaks in genuine tongues, is it always because the Spirit leads him to do so? I think the issue is one of the Spirit enabling rather than leading to use the gift.

What about the fact that I Corinthians 14 shows that it is possible to speak in tongues when it is out of order? Why would Paul tell the speaker in tongues to refrain from speaking in tongues in the church if there were no interpreter if this were not possible?

Paul also tells the speaking prophet to 'hold his peace' if another sitting by receives a revelation, and says the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. Apparently prophets can at times continue prophesying when the orderly thing for them to do would be to be quiet and let someone else prophesy.

So if a real gift _can_ operate, that does not mean that it is always in order for it to operate. And these facts from scripture really argue against the stance that all the saints can only speak in tongues when the Spirit specifically leads you to do so.
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6/16/06 10:09 pm


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Post TheoloJohn
Interesting point, Link! My first thought is that I really don't know if we can sharply delineate between the Holy Spirit leading a person to do something and the Holy Spirit enabling them to do that same thing. Would the Spirit of God lead someone to do something without supply the necessary power to do so? Would He enable someone to do something (in the sense of Acts 2 "as the Spirit gave them the ability" ) and not at the same time lead the person to do it?
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6/17/06 2:53 pm


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Post Question Bullseye77
Is there a difference between the Holy Spirit giving the utterance, and the Holy Spirit giving the ability?
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6/17/06 3:45 pm


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Post Re: Question TheoloJohn
Bullseye77 wrote:
Is there a difference between the Holy Spirit giving the utterance, and the Holy Spirit giving the ability?


I guess it depends on which translation a person uses. The more modern ones all seem to have "as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak" or something similar to that, while the older translations like the KJV and ASV have "gave them utterance." Not being a Greek scholar, I really don't know if the distinctions make a real difference.

Still I have to wonder, why would any Christian want to speak in tongues apart from the Spirit's empowerment?
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