War Story #11

I have from time to time heard individuals say that the gift of tongues in the least of the gifts.  I don’t know where they get that. I personally think it is to be one of the best gifts, in that we may exercise it at will.  It is one of the best gifts in that praying in tongues is the only gift by which one can build themselves up spiritually.

All of the gifts of the Spirit can be found in the Old Testament except tongues and interpretation of tongues. These two spiritual gifts are unique to the New Testament. Tongues and interpretation of tongues are for the benefit of the hearer, it is a ministry gift.

Kenneth Hagin makes the following statement in his book “The Holy Spirit and His Gifts” “I have found in my own life over a period of more than fifty-five years that the more I speak in tongues, the more I pray and worship God in tongues – the more manifestations of the other gifts of the Spirit I have in my own life too.  And the less I speak in tongues, the less manifestations of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirits I have in my life. Speaking in tongues is the doorway to all the other spiritual gifts.

The Apostle Paul in exhorting the Ephesians states, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning’s which cannot be uttered.  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:26-28 NKJV).

I believe this scripture means that when you don’t know how to pray about a situation, when we pray in the Spirit (in tongues) about that situation the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us according to the Spirit of God.

When we don’t know how to pray about a situation the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with words that cannot be uttered in articulate speech.

It is vitally important that every believer, particularly every Joshua Generation believer, understand that tongues is an integral part of receiving the infilling of the Holy Spirit.  In fact, tongues are the initial evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

I was first born again and spoke in other tongues while reading a book entitled Power in Praise.  The book was written by a Methodist man by the name of Merlin Carothers.  But my wife Barbara who was raised as a Methodist was resistant to the “speaking in tongues” part of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.  She wanted the power without the tongues.  But the Holy Spirit doesn’t operate the way we want Him to operate; He operates in line with the word of God.

Just months after we first started the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in Japan, I requested and obtained the publishing rights for a small pocket sized booklet entitled Why Tongues by Kenneth E. Hagin.  We had the booklet translated into the Japanese language and made it available to all our Japanese Chapters.  I suggest that every Joshua Generation man order a copy to this little booklet.  It may be obtained at http://www.rhema.org/store/authors/kenneth-e-hagin/why-tongues-book.html .

In this booklet Hagin sets forth ten reasons why every believer should speak in tongues.  The booklet itself also helps believers to understand the blessings which can be theirs through appropriating the power of the Holy Spirit daily.

  1. Tongues are the initial sign of receiving the Baptism of the Spirit (Acts 2:4).
  2. Tongues provide spiritual edification (builds himself up, gives himself a spiritual battery charge) (1 Corinthians 14:4)
  3. Tongues reminds us of the Spirit’s indwelling presence (John 14:16-17)
  4. Praying in tongues is praying in line with God’s will (Romans 8:26-27)
  5. Praying in tongues stimulates (builds you up in your faith) (Jude 20)
  6. Praying in tongues is a means of keeping free from worldly contamination (1 Corinthians 14:28)
  7. Praying in tongues enables us to pray for the unknown
  8. Praying in tongues gives spiritual refreshing (Isaiah 28:11-12)
  9. Tongues for giving thanks (1 Corinthians 14:15-17)
  10. Speaking in tongues brings the tongue under subjection (James 3:8)

In my January 2014 President’s Newsletter to the Fellowship I pointed out that when problems developed in the early church between the Jewish believers who followed Jewish laws, and the Gentile believers who didn’t, the Apostles gathered in Jerusalem and compared their testimonies concerning what they had seen God do, and they actually developed their theology based on what God was doing.

Ten years after the day of Pentecost, the day when Jewish believers seeking God in the upper room had received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Peter still did not believe that the Gentiles could be born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit of God had to give a Gentile soldier named Cornelius stationed in Caesarea, and the Apostle Peter who was ministering in Joppa, some 30 miles to the south, each a vision to bring them together and to straighten out Peter’s theology. In Acts chapter 10, verses 44-46 “while Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles”.

How did Peter and the Jewish men who were with him in Caesarea know that Cornelius and the Gentiles had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit?  ”They heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.

So Peter commanded them to be baptized in water in the name of the Lord.  Notice that on this occasion the gentile believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit before they were baptized in water (vv. 47-48).

Bob Bignold
National President
Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America