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Public Manifestations of the Spirit
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Post bonnie knox
Tom, I don't think you said what you meant to say here.

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Next - What do you do with the fact that the primary evidence of scripture - both in terms of historical narrative (Acts 2) and practical instruction (1 Cor 14) - point to tongues /interpretation being a message FROM God and TO man.
[Insert Acts Pun Here]
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1/7/16 7:33 pm


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Post bonnie knox
I'm sorry I had to be the one to do it. We all have our burdens to bear, I guess. [Insert Acts Pun Here]
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1/7/16 7:41 pm


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Post manifestations, etc muricewatsonsfriend
we (classical pentecostals) tend to live more and more by the pseudo scripture, "when in doubt, cut it out." having said that, the same verse that tells us to do things "decently and in order" also says "let all things be done."
american pentecostals are generally in a hurry to get through the service, and we're generally uncomfortable with down time, and too much expression... because someone might get out of order.
here are some non-charismatic worship forms, (meaning they aren't gifts, but worship expressions) that are less and less common in our churches:
1. shouting
2. un rehearsed dancing
3. laying hands on the sick
4. sharing testimonies
and these aren't "old school" ideas, they are all biblical ideas. it seems that I Cor 14 has become a prison, rather than an arena, for the church to operate in.
manifestation gifts, for instance, are (by every indication in the NT, and the OT for that matter) to be employed in public. this includes: tongues, interpretation of tongues, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, miracles, healing - the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to show up, and show to believers and non believers who Christ is.
"let all things be done...decently and in order" tells us that in our church gatherings; no matter if there are 10,000 or 10 in attendance, that the HS must be given the opportunity to move among us.
- Darius
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1/7/16 7:50 pm


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Post Just Musing John V. Morgan
While reading this thread (and having already listened to Tom's excellent message several weeks ago) I found myself wondering...
What if some of what we have commonly identified as a "message in tongues" was in reality an inspired utterance of prayer to God and the subsequent response we have identified as an "interpretation" was in reality a prophetic word of God speaking to us as an answer to the prayer.

It's just a thought.
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1/7/16 7:58 pm


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Post Re: Just Musing Cojak
John V. Morgan wrote:
While reading this thread (and having already listened to Tom's excellent message several weeks ago) I found myself wondering...
What if some of what we have commonly identified as a "message in tongues" was in reality an inspired utterance of prayer to God and the subsequent response we have identified as an "interpretation" was in reality a prophetic word of God speaking to us as an answer to the prayer.

It's just a thought.

That definitely gets a thumbs up! Thumb Up
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1/7/16 8:31 pm


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Post Re: Just Musing bonnie knox
Is the prophetic word, then, the interpretation? Or do the tongues need a separate interpretation before the prophetic word?

John V. Morgan wrote:
While reading this thread (and having already listened to Tom's excellent message several weeks ago) I found myself wondering...
What if some of what we have commonly identified as a "message in tongues" was in reality an inspired utterance of prayer to God and the subsequent response we have identified as an "interpretation" was in reality a prophetic word of God speaking to us as an answer to the prayer.

It's just a thought.
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1/7/16 9:27 pm


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Post Re: Thanks Wayne wayne
brotherjames wrote:
also (and I know this can be a sensitive subject for some for some reason, so I am not asking for specific numbers) would all of you share the size of your churches if you are willing (under 250, under 500, under 1000, over 1000)? Thanks so much.


under 250
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1/8/16 8:26 am


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Post Quiet wayne
Tom Sterbens wrote:
Quiet Wyatt wrote:
I personally am used in the oral gifts at times, but I find that when I am the pastor and am responsible for the entire service, I rarely feel the Spirit move upon me to prophesy or give a message in tongues. I think I'm too distracted by all the details involved (such as making the announcements, leading the singing, doing the offering, and keeping the sermon/message I've prepared in the forefront of my mind) to be in the proper frame of mind to receive a message in tongues or prophecy during services where I am the pastor.

That has to be one of the most wonderfully humble and transparent statements I've ever read on this forum!


I agree with Tom and thank you for posting his. I have often wondered why I am not more open to the move of the Spirit. I am too distracted with the details.
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1/8/16 8:32 am


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Post John V and Tom wayne
Tom Sterbens wrote:
bonnie knox wrote:
Is the prophetic word, then, the interpretation? Or do the tongues need a separate interpretation before the prophetic word?

John V. Morgan wrote:
While reading this thread (and having already listened to Tom's excellent message several weeks ago) I found myself wondering...
What if some of what we have commonly identified as a "message in tongues" was in reality an inspired utterance of prayer to God and the subsequent response we have identified as an "interpretation" was in reality a prophetic word of God speaking to us as an answer to the prayer.

It's just a thought.

Bonnie, I can't speak for John, but what he said is what I've taught for about 20 years. That being said, the prophecy is not an "interpretation" (if tongues and interpretation are FROM man and TO God). The prophecy is a prophecy (if prophecy is FROM God and TO man). I don't know that the utterance in tongues "needs" to be interpreted, that is, I don't think we need to get hung up on that. I know that sounds counterintuitive to what Paul says but I don't think it is. I do think it is important that we "judge it" (1 Cor 14:29) for what it is and what it isn't.

Things of the Spirit are indeed "things of the Spirit" and I do not claim it to be an exact science nor am I attempting to reduce it to such. But I will stand by my contention that I think the things we do in these regards are more informed by our tradition than by scripture.


This conversation has peaked my interest. Even as a kid I often wondered about how these events were handled and I guess without really knowing it, was wondering if we in the church are mishandling these parts of our services.
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1/8/16 8:38 am


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Post Quiet Wyatt
I like the way you handled that, Tom. I'm not sure I would have been able to wait that long to deal with him. Acts-perienced Poster
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1/8/16 10:30 am


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Post Where to begin... brotherjames
First of all, my intent was not to spark this debate but merely to try to determine what role the Oral Gifts might be having in "classical Pentecostal churches like the COG, AG, PH et al and for those who responded thank you. I am still looking for that info.

That said, I will reply to Tom's posts here and in the other thread.
To begin, Corinthians is obviously written to correct some abuses in the church and I would concur that I would rather speak so that men could understand than in some tongue no one can gain from. However, the gift of tongues and the accompanying gift of interpretation are equal to the prophetic utterance and accomplish what prophecy does and more as it is a sign of the supernatural aspect of God. I must disagree also with Tom's assertion that tongues are from man to God. Your interpretation of scriptures is a bit off. In Acts 2 the supernatural God inhabited natural man and the result was a supernatural sign of that habitation. Those gathered began to speak in languages unknown to them. How did they speak? Out of their own minds or did the Holy Spirit speak through them glorifying God so that men heard them. THe tongues came from God (the Holy Spirit and was directed to men who heard them and were then motivated to hear Peter because of the supernatural sign they had just witnessed.

When you read Romans 8:26-7 you note that we don't know how to pray but the Spirit who knows the will of God prays FOR us and through us (most believe this is "praying in the SPirit). Who is praying? GOd (the Holy Spirit is praying thru/for us to God yes but this is private prayer and not corporate. It builds our faith because of 1Jn 5:14-15 KJV And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: (15) And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
we know God heard us because we weren't praying but the Spirit was according to His will for us.

However, with all of that, the Gifts of the Spirit are different. They are FROM GOD (inspired utterances by the Holy Spirit) TO MEN. 1 Cor. 14 tells us that NT prophecy does primarily 3 things 1) it edifies (builds up) 20 comforts 3) encourages. Can tongues/interpretation & prophecy be like OT prophecy and call down judgment - perhaps but not in most cases.

The design of 1 Cor. 14 is to correct and set in order how the public manifestations showed work not to cease them, hence the verse forbid not tongues at the end of the chapter. Having more than 2-3 tongues with accompanying interpretations in a church service can be disruptive and misunderstood so Paul admonishes the church to regulate the gifts. He says actually that EVERYONE (who has the gift) could prophesy but even then the words should be judged against scripture, the witness of the Spirit etc. In our church for example, if 2 or 3 tongue/interpretation, prophecies have come forth, we stop and I address what the words are and mean and we act accordingly if necessary. It is a teaching moment. THe God of all creation as deigned to speak to us thru men and we need to be careful we don't just gloss over it. THis is where many pastors fail and are afraid. THey think they will get men like Tom's experience prophesying out of their flesh and they are unsure how to handle it. In my more than 30 years of allowing the the Gifts to operate I have only twice had to correct from the pulpit a word given. Were all the words given always FROM GOD TO MEN, no, some came from the flesh to us but generally those did no harm and discerning people know the difference. You do run the risk of having a misbegotten word deflate a meeting but then that's the job of the leader to get it back on track. Unfortunately, rather than deal appropriately with that many churches now just squeeze out the supernatural so they don't have to deal with it. Hence my survey.

Far too many of our churches and pastors are ill instructed in the ways of the Spirit. Our Bible Colleges rarely address it sufficiently and the church growth people are for the most part Calvinists who are cessationists so they teach it out of our churches and we let them.

Finally, I have taught and written extensively on the subject of the Gifts of the Spirit. I do not pretend I even know half of it nor do I want to put God in a box but for points of clarification and information I have attempted to make some observations. I will list them in another post.
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Post The Gifts of Inspiration brotherjames
THE PURPOSE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS
1. God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise! Corinthians 1:27-29
a) Provide a spiritual capability greater than that of individual abilities
b) Provide the supernatural basis for God’s supernatural order of effective ministry

2. To bless both the believer and unbeliever
a) To exhort, edify & comfort the Body 1 Cor. 14:3
b) To bring wholeness of body, soul & spirit to mankind through the ministry of the Word, healing of the body & soul by supernatural grace from the supernatural God.

3. To convict the unbeliever of sin 1 Cor. 14:24-25 and show God real in the world
4. To bring mankind face to face with the reality of the Invisible God
5. To make the church realize the Holy Spirit is ever present
6. To make the church realize all ministry comes from God’s empowerment for service
7. To confirm God’s Word in power by supernatural signs and wonders

THE GIFTS OF INSPIRATION!! (THE VOCAL GIFTS)

The gifts of Inspiration are three. We call them inspirational or vocal gifts because they are manifested by direct inspiration through the vocal organs. They are: PROPHECY, TONGUES, and INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES. Their purpose is to inspire men, primarily in public gatherings, and to make known the presence of the supernatural through the voice and the ear. They are designed MAINLY for public worship to: instruct, edify, correct, direct, rebuke, exhort, and teach the direct will of God and make known HIS direct will to HIS people

. (1) PROPHECY...This is a SUPERNATURAL utterance in the known tongue. The word prophecy means to flow forth or to forth tell and/or foretell. It is a miracle of divine utterance that has nothing to do with human thought and natural reasoning. Human will and faith ARE necessary for its use. The Old Testament prophets were primarily preachers of righteousness speaking under the direct unction (anointing) of the Spirit in divine rebuke, correction, exhortation, edification, curse and comfort. There was an element of foretelling in all the forth telling of these prophets. They made known God's immediate will to the people then as well as making known things to come. The New Testament prophets were mainly speakers of edification, exhortation and comfort (1 Cor.14: 3). Some of them were also foretellers of future events (Acts 2:16-21; 11:28; 21:11; Matt.24: 25; 2 Thess.2; Rev.1: 1-3 etc.). This gift is available to ALL in the Body who would seek it. (1 Cor.12: 7; 1 Cor.14: 1; Joel 2:28-29) It is used mainly to encourage and build up the Body of Christ. It is the revelation of the mystery of God. Tongues and their interpretation are equal to prophecy. (1 Cor.14: 5) There is variety in this gifts’ operation. Although this gift mainly occurs during times of public worship it can be given for an individual as well the corporate Body. (Acts 21:10-11) Prophecy reveals the secret, (1 Cor.14: 24-25) brings conviction and worship, as well as encouragement and stimulation to action. (1 Cor. 14:1-12) Having the Gift of Prophecy does not however necessarily make one a PROPHET! One may prophesy under the anointing of the Holy Spirit from time to time without standing in the Office of the Five-fold gifting of Prophet. The Office of Prophet requires a call and a separate anointing from the simpler gift of prophecy.
It is of course a SUPERNATURAL utterance direct from the Spirit of God. (1Cor.12:Cool This is different than the preacher preaching under the anointing, although at some times the preacher may move into prophecy while preaching. The gift of prophecy is a direct utterance of things not premeditated and which are not from the intellect of the speaker. It is very different from the meaning of the word preach. Preaching is a result of study and revelation of God's Word and while speaking under the anointing may bring about conviction and brokenness it is not normally prophecy.
Some examples of the Gift of Prophecy are found in: 1 Tim. 4:1-6; Acts 3:21; 2 Pet.1: 21, Acts 11:27, 13:1-2, 20:25, 21:9, 11. This gift is for men and women alike, (Joel 2:28; 1 Cor.11: 5; 14:31; Acts 2:16-21). It is NOT equal to the Word of God, for prophecy shall cease while God's Word will never cease. (1 Cor.13: 8; 1 Pet.1: 25) However, God is speaking to His church through the vessel being used. It is to be judged to see if it lines up with God's Word. (1 Cor.14: 29) In the Old Testament part of the judgment was did the prophetic word come to pass? The responsibility of what is uttered rests with the prophet.(1 Cor. 14:32; Deut.18:20-22) God will never force anyone to utter anything against their will. If an utterance is forced upon someone it is NOT the Spirit of God. The TRUE prophet and those who operate in this gift will always act in the fear (reverence) of God and in harmony with His Word. They will be open to teaching and to criticism and will be willing to adjust themselves when in error. It would seem that according to 1 Cor. 14:24 that when the Body comes together that ALL may prophesy. That may be the case if that is God's will for that meeting. Verses 29-31 give the manner in which this may occur: 2 or 3 prophesy, then judge, then continue. But vs.33 is key here; God is NOT the author of confusion, but of peace. In addition, it should be noted that Romans 12 speaks of “prophesying according to the proportion of our faith”. In other words, some people with this gift coupled with their great faith may prophecy often or nearly every time the Body comes together. These people would be more likely put into the category of the Office of a Prophet, especially if they are in the full-time ministry. Our desire should be to be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit at all times that we may truly minister life and peace and comfort to those that are in need. COVET TO PROPHESY, GROW IN THE GRACE OF THE LORD, WALK IN HIS SPIRIT AND BE LED BY HIS SPIRIT!!!

(2) THE GIFT OF TONGUES - This gift, as do the other 8 mentioned in 1 Cor. 12, glorifies Christ, is a sign to the unbeliever and when accompanied by the interpretation, builds up the Body. All of the vocal gifts are manifested by direct, divine SUPERNATURAL inspiration through the vocal organs. Tongues are a SUPERNATURAL utterance in a tongue that is unknown to the speaker. That doesn't preclude the fact that it may be a known tongue, but it is unknown to the speaker. The tongues may be of men or of angels. (1 Cor. 13:1-3) All of the vocal gifts are given to inspire men. They make known the presence of the SUPERNATURAL GOD through the mediums of voice and ear. They are designed primarily for public worship to instruct, edify, correct, direct, rebuke, exhort and make known the will of God to His people. The gift of tongues is the one gift that is very misunderstood, put down and rejected by much of the Church today. (Isaiah 28:11)
When done in public gatherings there should be an interpretation as it is for the Body's edification. (1 Cor.14: 5,13-15) There should be, according to 1 Cor. 14:27-28, only 2-3 tongues in a meeting and they should be interpreted.
They should NOT create confusion nor be given at a time when God is obviously moving the congregation in a different direction. The Spirit of the prophets are subject to the prophets. (1 Cor.14:32-33) It is certainly a sign to the unbeliever that God is in our midst and within us. (1 Cor.14:22) It is to be the desire of ALL to speak in tongues and like prophecy to be practiced by ALL. Even though Paul asks do ALL speak with tongues?, it is mainly a rhetorical question. All CAN speak with tongues if they will COVET earnestly the best gifts. (1 Cor. 12:31) Many do not receive this beautiful gift for a variety of reasons, however, ALL should desire this gift as well as all the others in the list. The measure by which we submit ourselves to God will determine the measure by which God will give of Himself to us!!! 1 Cor. 14:39 says to forbid NOT tongues, should we reject the BLESSINGS of God because of our fear or lack of understanding? The Gift of Tongues is given to profit man and men, let it profit us. Consider 1 Corinthians 14:15.

PRAYING IN THE HOLY SPIRIT:
Speaking in Tongues is the initial physical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Ghost. See Acts 2:1-20, Acts 8:14-25, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 11:11-18, Acts 19:1-7 Everyone will speak in tongues when they are Baptized in the Holy Spirit but this is distinct from and different from the Gift of Tongues! This tongue is given for communing with God individually whereas the Gift of Tongues is generally intended to be manifested (with interpretation) in a corporate church gathering. Luke 3:15-16 (Mark 16:16+; Acts 2:2-21, 10:44-48, 19:1-7; 1 Cor.14: 2-5). It has NOTHING to do with linguistic ability or your mind or intellect. It IS the Spirit of God employing man's vocal cords to speak. Man's will and spirit are in harmony with the Holy Spirit of God. It is God's way of speaking directly to men through WILLING vessels. Speaking in an unknown tongue will Supernaturally strengthen the inner man, when done privately, (Jude 20; 1Cor. 14:2-4) and when we don't know how to pray we will pray in the will of God when we pray in the Spirit. (Romans 8:26-27) This is called “a prayer language or Praying in the Holy Ghost”. All that are baptized in the Holy Spirit may pray in tongues, but not all may speak through the Gift of Tongues (1 Cor. 14:30). When 1 Cor. 12:30 asks the question, “do all speak with tongues?” the answer is a two-pronged one. What is being asked is really, “does everyone have the Gift of Tongues! The answer then is no, not every person has that gift.
However, every Spirit-baptized believer speaks in tongues as the Holy Spirit gives the utterance!
THE PURPOSE FOR A SPIRITUAL LANGUAGE:
Compare Isa. 28:11 & 1 Cor. 14:21-22. What do these verses tell us about tongues?
While Joel doesn’t mention tongues in his prophecy clearly Peter links what happened on the day of Pentecost to Joel’s prophecy of the outpouring that occurred. Compare Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:14-21. How do you think tongues was a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy? Read Mark 16:17. Who should speak in tongues?
In 1 Cor. 14 and in other places throughout the New Testament, Paul makes a distinction between the Gift of Tongues and what he calls Speaking, Praying and Singing in Tongues. Read 1 Cor. 13:1-3, 14:2-6, 7-11, 13-16, 18, 21-23, 26-28, 39.

(3) THE GIFT OF INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES -
This SUPERNATURAL gift goes hand in hand and is of course dependent upon the Gift of Tongues. This gift is manifested following a SUPERNATURAL utterance in other tongues, generally in a public gathering. It is a SUPERNATURAL interpretation of the divine words previously uttered. It should be noted that an interpretation is different than that of a translation.
A translation is an exact word for word rendition of another language. An interpretation is not a word for word rendition, but it is an explanation or representation of the previously uttered language. An interpretation will sound like the individual being used, that is the individual’s vernacular will often be fully intact throughout the interpretation. So, if an individual uses incorrect grammar (ain’t, etc.) it follows that the interpretation may have these errors or slang in it. It also is common for the gift of tongues to be of one length while the interpretation may be of a shorter or longer length. This is because the interpretation is not being translated word for word; it is being put forth as an impression or representation of what the divine has spoken in other tongues.
Without the interpretation of the tongues the gathered believers will derive no benefit. When tongues are interpreted it may be considered as the equivalent to prophecy. (1 Cor. 14:5) We are instructed to pray that we would interpret. Especially when on your own in prayer, else wise our understanding is unfruitful. (1 Cor.14: 13-16) In public gatherings, the Word says, “Thereby is the secret of men's heart laid bare before them” (1 Cor.14: 25) and they will fall on their faces and worship God. (See John 16:7-15) One clarification on the point of edification could be made. Webster defines the word edify as to improve, instruct, teach or to build up mentally or morally. I would add the word enlighten. We have been taught, even in Full Gospel circles, that the only way the H.S. speaks is by way of encouragement, a pat on the back, to comfort or buildup. These are truths, however, we stop too soon. He is the comforter but He also reproves, rebukes, chastens, directs and exhorts us. Not every message may be a comfortable one to hear, although it will generally be. Every gift, especially this one and prophecy MUST be done in LOVE!!! We, as individuals, are told to speak the truth in love (Eph.4: 15), in no other way would the H.S. speak.
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1/8/16 11:06 am


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Post This is a good example of what I am saying brotherjames
I posted this elsewhere but

In my church a number of years ago my assoc. pastor gave a message in tongues, another man interpreted it. Later a woman came up to my assoc. and asked where he had learned to speak such classical Greek. Of course he did not know how to speak Greek in any form. She also indicated that the man who interpreted gave a very good rendering of what was spoken. So, did my assoc. speak FROM MAN TO GOD? NO, he spoke, inspired BY GOD TO MEN (a Greek woman). This allowed us to minister to a Greek Orthodox woman as she witnessed a supernatural sign that God was with us. She left the Orthodox church and began to worship with us.
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1/8/16 11:32 am


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Post Tom wayne
Quote: Tom "When the gentlemen offered the railing, condemning, mean spirited, declaration over the church, I encouraged the people to just take a moment and worship. As they did, I motioned quietly to the elders to come to the front. To a man - not one of them approved, and some, like me, were angry over the abuse of God's sheep.

I had everyone sit...gave a brief reference to the counsel of 1 Cor 14 and then stated soundly and with great force that the word we had just heard was in no wise from God - and that the elders were in agreement. I listed what had been happening in our church in the recent weeks which I thought was a definitive manifestation of renewal, revival, of hearts being torn and open to God.

The man never returned to our church again. "

I am very impressed in how you handled this tough situation. This method rebukes the individual, gives a scriptural basis for doing so, directs the congregation at how to determine what is right/wrong and prevents the enemy from working in the minds of the congregation later. Very nice!

I also agree with your last comment about not being too quick to judge the vessel used in times like this. I personally have been checked in my spirit by the things that children have said. They truly did not know what they were saying but God did and so did I.

I like this thread. This is what I am searching for when coming onto this site.
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1/8/16 11:36 am


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Post To further explain brotherjames
Yes, as 1 Cor 14 says tongues are directed to God, However, as you rightly pointed out that chapter indeed the whole letter was written to deal with errors. So Paul is saying if you ALL are speaking/praying to God in tongues at the same time you are speaking to God and not edifying man. However the Gift of Tongues is different. It is an utterance given by God thru a man to be heard by men. The problem is the same when I go to speak in a foreign country. I am speaking to the people but they don't understand me, I need an interpreter. That is the role of the gift of Interpretation, is is interpreting the utterance of tongues. This gift then speaks to men what God was saying to them in that unknown (to them) tongue. The tongue was to them a supernatural sign, the interpretation is similar in function and result to the Gift of Prophecy in that it edifies, exhorts or comforts.

As to Acts 2, consider the Holy Spirit was speaking known tongues but unkown to the speakers. To whom were these tongues directed? To God? Hardly, they were directed to the hearers of those tongues, men from all the nation's of the known world. They may have been glorifying God but they were not directed to God per sr but to men as a supernatural sign which then allowed Peter to speak and them to be converted.

So, in 1 Cor 14:5 where Paul indicates tongues are given by God, thru men directed as prayer to God, he is making a distinction between praying in tongues vs the Gift of tongues. That is one problem some COG people have with tongues in general.

I am aware of Gordon Fee but myight I direct you to anothet, brilliant man of God. Howard Carter with whom I concur completely and to Donald Gee with whom I have some minor differences mostly in regards to the Gift of a Word of knowledge.
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1/8/16 1:17 pm


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Post Not sure brotherjames
What is in print still but anything you can find from Howard Carter would be excellent. I will check. Lester Sumrall (lesea.org) was trained by carter and his works on the gifts are also good. Blessings Acts-celerater
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1/8/16 1:32 pm


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Post Re: manifestations, etc Link
muricewatsonsfriend wrote:
we (classical pentecostals) tend to live more and more by the pseudo scripture, "when in doubt, cut it out." having said that, the same verse that tells us to do things "decently and in order" also says "let all things be done."
american pentecostals are generally in a hurry to get through the service, and we're generally uncomfortable with down time, and too much expression... because someone might get out of order.
here are some non-charismatic worship forms, (meaning they aren't gifts, but worship expressions) that are less and less common in our churches:
1. shouting
2. un rehearsed dancing
3. laying hands on the sick
4. sharing testimonies


I've got a theory that southeastern Holiness Pentecostalism emphasis 1 and 2 more than west-coast 'finished work' Pentecostalism. I might need to modify that to include black Pentecostalism in with the southeast, but COGIC is from a Holiness background, so I may not need to do that.

Maybe the A/G changes so much before I was born, but I just got the impression that there is more of a heritage of people getting excited and shouting on their own in the COG than the A/G. There is preaching for it in the COG, more emphasis on 'shouting' in old time country preaching, maybe. It's the idea that when the Spirit comes on someone, they might get excited and do something like dance or shout by themselves in the service as a result.

We see in the Psalms commands to shout and commands to dance. But could the shouting have all been in unison? I've seen that in Pentecostal churches. Okay, we shout now. People shout praises or whatever, or even shout what they are told the shout.

And the dancing. Do we have reason to think that the dancing in the Old Testament was unrehearsed spontaneous dancing? I've even heard of some people being against choreographed or 'wilful' dancing and only in favor of 'dancing in the Spirit', which presumably is either the result of following a strong urge from the Spirit or nearly uncontrollable.

Does the Bible really indicate that 'dancing in the Spirit' ever took place in scripture? David apparently chose to dance. The Psalms say to dance, so doesn't that imply that the people who heard that in the song were to wilfully choose to do that to praise the Lord?

I'm not saying their can't be some kind of spirit-led dancing. But if the Bible doesn't teach something as a doctrine, should we make that idea one of our doctrines and church practices?

I Corinthians 14 says, 'let all things be done unto edifying.' Someone could shout at a time and in a way that detracts from what is going on. Interrupting a prophecy by long extended shouting, for example, could detract from people being edified.

If we've got the philosophy that a 'move of the Spirit' involves being doing loud 'holly roller' type stuff that doesn't edify anyone else, what if some of these things are learned, cultural, or emotional responses of the people? If you grow up thinking it's holy to be emotional and shout and grunt loudly for a few minutes, when you get excited in church, you might just get excited and grunt loudly for a few minutes when someone hits the high note on the music and you get worked up, or when the preaching gets exciting. Other people get goose bumps. You shout. And you think it's holy, and that idea gets reinforced in the preaching and in the church culture, even though you are keeping people from hearing or participating in some edifying activity to do something that doesn't edify them at all.

It's kind of like speaking in tongues. It doesn't edify anyone else unless it is interpreted. If someone is going to take up the church's time by grunting or grunting, shouldn't that be interpreted if it's to edify others?

I had a conversation on another forum with a COG guy who seemed to think a lot of emotional displays, and emphasized it a lot more than people do here. But I just don't see in the Bible where these types of displays-- the kind I described-- are emphasized or even taught. I don't think that's what the Psalms are saying. I think a lot of it is a kind of church culture that developed in the Appalachian mountains and on the plantations. There is a little of this in the west coast 'finished work' Pentecostalism, too. But not to the same extent.

I don't think it's good to have too narrow of a view of what the Spirit might do. But we also have to be careful that we don't preach people into just acting weird. That was one of my concerns with the 'Toronto Blessing' movement. I saw preachers from the US and Canada in Indonesia preaching about how if the Spirit comes on you, they said, you might do all this weird stuff. One of them was doing this kind of leg bend thing that almost looked like a pelvic thrust every so often. The Indonesians didn't go for it. I corresponded with a concerned Eastern European who said certain Charismatics took the movement over there and church was full of people acting weird all the time. A Bible college dean from New Zealand said the old Pentecostal denomination had division over there between the ones who'd accepted the movement and many of them went to church and acted like they were in kindergarten.

Also, in some Pentecostal preaching, you get the idea that if a church meeting doesn't look like a football game, that the meeting must be dead. Enthusiasm and loudness seems to be equated with spirituality. But which situation is better? A church that is a bit more mellow, where people do intensely praise the Lord, but there isn't a lot of spontaneous shouting, but people regularly interpret tongues and prophesy, and it's the real thing...or a church where the preacher preaches loud, people get excited and sing and shout, and folks dance around the altars, but you don't really see any of the gifts in operation besides the teaching, exhortation, helps, serving, etc. that you'd see in any evangelical church?

I've been to 'tame' churches by excited Appalachian Pentecostal standards that had more moving in some of these gifts than some of those churches.

If you preach that acting weird is holy, some people are going to act weird. That doesn't mean it's a move of the Spirit.
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1/8/16 1:56 pm


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Post Weird stuff brotherjames
In every tradition, some things occur that become ingrained. Many of these started out as a physical, emotional response to the overwhelming presence of God on a person. Then others began to imitate them. Remember the Spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet. I can control myself if I want to. Now, I can identify what church (denomination) I am in by looking at the physical displays of The "Spirit". If I see jerking, dancing pentecostal two step, shouting I am in an old tI'm COG or PH church. Deep bowing, I am in a prophetic, charismatic church. The problem has become however, that the weird makes pastors who are trying to build churches aghast and we wind up in trying to eliminate wild fire with no fire. We just need to teach a bit better and not be afraid of the Spirit and allow for some physical responses from time to time.

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1/8/16 2:21 pm


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I go to a mostly Chinese church of about 50 people. It's mostly Chinese. Everything is interpreted through a microphone into Cantonese. They translate into Mandarin through earphones if anyone comes who speaks Mandarin but not English, which happens quite often.

There are a few pastors there. The leader is very enthusiastic about the need for everyone in the body to operate in their gifts, for the body to work together as a team, and about five-fold ministry. They host an inter-church open mic night and he heard me speak there, and he's scheduled me to teach the word a couple of times on Sunday in the past few months.

I was talking to one white couple who went there. The husband had been an assistant pastor and his kids had gotten into sin, and he felt discouraged. One prophecy he'd received held once a month at a couple's home who networks with my church and speak there said that he'd felt like he had messed up so much God couldn't use him in ministry, but corrected him on that and encouraged him. He had gone to a Charismatic church and asked if he could prophesy if he got a word. But then other people wanted to prophesy, and the pastoral team shut down prophesying. He started going to the Chinese church because there was no ministry for him and his wife at that big Charismatic church. His wife said that there at that little church, instead of trying to restrict your spiritual gifts, the pastor gets behind you and pushes you forward into it. Smile

I really appreciate the Chinese pastor here and his wife. I've sensed a lot of love. It also helps me realize that getting people to operate in their gifts is part of the pastoral ministry. I saw this in Ephesians 4, equipping the saints for the work of the ministry. But it is good to see it modeled. Some pastors see other people operating in gifts as a threat if it's one of those speaking ministry gifts, if not to their position, to their pulpit time.

The asked 9 or 10 people to pray for that white couple I mentioned when they moved back to the mainland, and I could see that at least 9 or 10 people could move in prophecy or the word of knowledge. But other than the interchurch English language prophetic meeting, I haven't seen people in the congregation giving prophetic words in the months I've been going there. I don't see people in the congregation standing up and prophesying, but I do think the leadership would be very enthusiastic and positive toward it. Maybe a worship leader who had the mic has done that. I can't recall right off the top of my head.

One of the good things about a traditional Pentecostal church, an old time one, is that the people 'know the drill.' It's okay to give a prophecy in church. In a lot of other churches, even Charismatic churches these days, especially 'third wave' churches that believe in the gifts, someone who gives a prophecy in church might face some reprocussions from the church leadership or they just don't feel like they are allowed.

One thing that I think can help is specifically encouraging the congregation that they are allowed to give prophecies. Our pastors has asked if anyone had a word from the Lord. Someone might have taken him up on that a time or two. But I haven't seen the spontaneous Pentecostal thing where someone stands up and prophesies or tongues and interpretation given the same way. I think I've only seen that once during my time in Asia, and that was at a large meeting of a national prayer network.
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1/8/16 2:22 pm


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Post Tom, brotherjames
Howard Carter's books are out of print but Donald Gee's Pentecostal Experience and also The Ministry Gifts of Christ and others are on Amazon and I like them as are some other ones.

Also, this is a link to a British website that has digitized a lot of old pentecostal out of print books from people like the Jeffries brothers, Wigglesworth and many many others. There is a lot of free material you can read there and buy if you are interested in reading from people like Evan Roberts and others on revival in general.

http://revival-library.org/shop/
here us the main page. Much to read here

http://revival-library.org/
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1/8/16 3:10 pm


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