Friday, November 12, 2010

Filled With the Spirit, Speaking in Tongues

This is a post that is sure to stir things up because so many people have been taught such foolishness about these things. Contrary to what you may have been taught, being filled with the spirit has nothing to do with the gifts of the Spirit. Being filled with the Spirit means that you exhibit the FRUIT of the Spirit, not the GIFTS of the Spirit. Gal 5:22-23 - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Unless you exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, you are worthless. It doesn't matter if you have all the gifts of the Spirit,without the fruit of the Spirit you are nothing. If people cannot see the fruit of the Spirit in you, you are nothing but a noisy, clanging cymbal. The gifts of the Spirit are just that - gifts. The Holy Spirit gives them as He wills to give them, to whomever He wants to give them to for His purposes and His purposes alone. 1 Cor 12:7-11 - "Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines."

I would rather have the fruit of the Spirit within me than be given all the gifts of the Spirit. Back in 1984 I attended a little Pentecostal storefront church one Sunday and there was a young guy preaching. My thoughts were that he was preaching just to hear himself speak. He really had nothing of value to say the whole time. After he finished his spiel, he began to minister in the Spirit. He pointed at me and said that I would minister in gifts of prophecy and word of knowledge. I thought "So what, I already do that." As I walked out of the building I remember saying to the Lord "Lord, if they can't see Your love in me, then what good am I? It doesn't matter how many spiritual gifts I have, unless people can see Your love in me, I am worthless." If I am not filled with the fruit of the Spirit, I am a noisy, clanging cymbal.

Yes, the Lord has given me many of the gifts of the Spirit, but they are only to use as He directs me to use them, not as I will. People seeing His love in me is all I really care about.

"When you're filled with the Spirit you'll speak in tongues." How many times have you heard that? It is 100% wrong. "Well, Cliff, when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost they spoke in tongues!" Yes, they did. But it was in foreign languages that the people who were outside understood since those people were from many nations and languages. The disciples were preaching the gospel in many different languages that day, languages that they themselves had no knowledge of. Indeed they were speaking in tongues, foreign languages. Because they were preaching in foreign languages that they did not know, but the people outside who were from other nations and languages understood, then many were saved that day. They were not babbling away in a heavenly language that no one understood because that would have done no good.

"Ah, but the Bible says that tongues in the church is for unbelievers." Yes, it is. But the tongue that is spoken of here is a foreign language which unbelievers from another country and language who have just come into the church, will understand and therefore be convicted by it. Use your heads people, if a person comes into a church and hears a bunch of people speaking in a heavenly prayer language, why will they be convicted? They will just think it is a bunch of nuts babbling like fools. There is a proper time and place for everything.

Yes, there is tongues and interpretations, I myself have been the recipient of this.
Back in 1982, a few days after the woman I loved and wanted to marry told me that she didn't love me and couldn't marry me, I was at the church altar crying my eyes out, my heart breaking, when one of the elders and his wife came up to me. One began to speak in tongues, then the other interpreted. The things that I remember the Lord saying to me were "You will be a tower of strength for me, you will lead many men to me, and you will be victorious beyond your wildest dreams." That was not comforting to me at the time, but it was what the Lord wanted me to hear. I have witnessed tongues and interpretation at other times also. In its proper place, it is from the Lord.

Then there is the tongue that the Holy Spirit prays for us in groanings deeper than words. I honestly don't know what this is because I have never experienced it, nor has the Lord revealed to me its meaning.

Then there is the heavenly prayer language that the Lord gives us so that the Spirit can pray through us. This is what many people experience when they are anointed with the gift of tongues and begin to speak in a language that sounds rather strange to them - they mistakenly think this is "being filled with the Spirit", it is not. This is a prayer language that is to be used for that purpose - prayer. I can say, like Paul, that I pray in tongues more than any of you. But it is not something that makes me feel special, nor powerful, nor great. It is something that I do in obedience to the Lord. I can pray in tongues (almost all of my praying in tongues is done silently in my head) while watching a football game, while reading, while driving, while taking a shower. I have no idea what I am praying, nor do I care. But this I do know because the Lord has made it very, very clear to me, my prayers in tongues accomplish much, even though I have no idea what I am praying, and many time for whom I am praying. It is only later that I see a difference in the people whom the Lord has put upon my heart. Most of the time He never shows me the results of my prayers.

As far as messages regarding what the Lord is going to do in the future to the USA, I can only post those when He gives me something to say. If He doesn't give me anything to say about it, I stay silent regarding those things.


  1. Ah yes Cliff, I hear you. I have been in churches where an individual spoke in tongues and then interpreted it.

    I see the same dissension among the brethren regarding individuals dreams. Are they true or not? Then the fighting begins. Absolutely pitiful.

    Our enemy is prowling constantly seeking to steal, kill, destroy and we are striving we each other.

    Peace and blessings to you I have missed your posts.

  2. I seen these things in the churches up until 1995 when I left the system...

    Name it and claim it, prosperity preachers and teachers fleecing the flock, pastors building themselves their own small kingdoms, making merchandise of that which was freely given and teaching perverse and false teachings and doctrines...

    So many people get sucked into these things that tickle their ears...

    I seen this several times in these churches I attended... someone comes off the street and desire to know and learn about God... These false teachers get a hold of them and bring them in... The person is honestly seeking and convicted of their sin... most cases their state with their sin is not even brought up or brought attention to... instead, focused on what God can do for them and how they, if they can follow a certain ritual or pattern, be 'blessed' and be 'rich' and acquire material wealth and goods while here... while their state dealing with sin in their lives is not properly addressed... no thought of the Lamb of God removing one's sins, yet emphasis is about doing something based on works and getting 'blessed' with material things in the here and now...

  3. This is an e-mail from a dear sister-in-Christ who gave me permission to re-print it here.

    "On the few occasions I've experienced the groaning in the spirit was when I was the recipient of a hurtful situation. Because of the depth of hurt, the heaviness of the heart, crying didn't seem nearly enough. I wanted to express words but couldn't. Even if I could, I was at a loss for what to say and how to say it. If at anytime I said anything, it was repeating the words 'Father' or 'Jesus'. That wasn't the time to speak in tongues either. The Holy Spirit interceded for me, manifested in deep groanings until I received comfort.

    The word 'groaning' is mentioned twice in the Bible. The word groaned', once.

    1) When Stephen was witnessing before the Jewish council, of God plan of deliverence, from their forefathers unto the Gentiles.

    Acts 7:34
    34 I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt.

    The Israelites were in Egypt for 400 years. That's 400 years of groaning under the hands of their oppressors! Most likely in the flesh but I wouldn't rule out the possibility of the spirit either.

    2) At Lazarus' tomb

    John 11: 33
    33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,

    John 11:38
    38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

    The death of a beloved one, the weeping, sorrowing and grieving atmosphere around Him stir Jesus deeply. He groaned in the spirit and what words came forth from Him?

    Where have ye laid him?
    Where is the body now?

    Jesus wept.

    In the garden of Gethsemane, possible groaning in the spirit may have taken place.

    Matt 26:36-38
    36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

    37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

    38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

    I can only say that this type of groaning manifests itself in very distressing times. Now I know from your post everyone doesn't experience it.

    1) Because of the different levels in the spirit realm and whereas we are still earthly beings living in a natural realm, there are times the Holy Spirit has to take over because of our infirmities.

    2) Anything manifesting in this realm first has its beginnings in the spirit realm. Whether good or bad. The heavenly language of tongues seems to bring about a quicker result(s) than an earthly language.

  4. There have times where I have experienced "groanings that cannot be uttered". These were when I was in deep prayer either for myself or someone else. It isn't something that a person can do themselves. These groanings were intense & usually came with weeping. As the scripture says, I couldn't "utter" the words myself...they came up out of my spirit. Breakthroughs come when a person experiences intercession on this level:

    Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
    Rom 8:27 And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
    Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

  5. What I continue to find so interesting is the breadth of knowledge and experience that others have that adds to and deepens my own knowledge of the things of the Lord.

  6. I have experienced the groaning with sounds too deep to be uttered... it feels like my soul is cracking, but when it is done, there is such a relief. What glory to share in the Spirit's burden.