Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit Power’



As a local church here at PlentyValleyChurch (www.pvcoc.org.au) we are part of an international church planting movement that began in Brisbane Australia, called Christian Outreach Centre. (www.coc.org.au)

At the beginning of our church movement in 1974, we were birthed in a world wide phenomenon that was called Charismatic Renewal. All around the world in the 1970’s there was a massive growth and revival of churches that emphasised the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts of the Holy Spirit included: (from 1 Cor 12:8-10) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic_Movement

  1. Word of wisdom
  2. Word of knowledge
  3. Gift of faith
  4. Gifts of healing
  5. Gift of miracles
  6. Gift of prophecy
  7. Gift of discerning of spirits
  8. Gift of tongues
  9. Gift of the interpretation of tongues

All of these gifts were readily practiced, however the gift that had always been the most well known and identifiable gift from an observers point of view was the gift of speaking in other tongues. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaking_in_tongues This gift attracts the curiosity of the world because it seems so strange and different. It doesn’t seem to have a purpose and it has this supernatural aspect that not everybody can do it. Only some people can do it, and it’s not like wiggling your ears where some people can do it, some can’t, and that will never change. With tongues, you can start off not being able to do it and then God does something to you and then you can do it – that’s supernatural. It’s not learned, you can’t study to be able to speak in tongues. I know people who have tried really hard to speak in tongues for decades and simply cannot.

Of course speaking in tongues was restored to the church world wide in a supernatural revival of Pentecostalism in two places; 1901 in TopekaKansas and 1906 in Azusa Street in Los Angeles. Since that time the Pentecostal church has spread out around the world and now numbers around 12% of world population and 36% of the world’s Christians and rapidly growing. See…



Today I want to address two important questions for our church and for maybe a lot of churches in Australia and in western cultures.

  1. Isn’t it true that only some people can speak in tongues? – It’s a gift.
  2. Why do I even need to speak in tongues?

I intend to show from the scriptures that anyone who is a Christian believer and who wants this gift can receive it and secondly that one must deeply hunger and thirst for it with passion in order to receive it.


My fear is that the practice of speaking in tongues is falling away in the Pentecostal/charismatic scene in Australia. People don’t see a value in it and the media bias is that it’s weird and only crazy people do it. It’s associated with Fundamentalist Christianity (a dirty word in the west); and further that it’s antithetical to the educated mind.

Just as the preaching of the cross was foolishness to the Greeks in Pauls day, I believe that tongues is foolishness to the educated minds of our day (1Co 1:23)

As if Christianity hasn’t got enough to contend with in our pluralistic and secular society, modern Christians today probably feel like, “I don’t want to have to defend tongues when it just seems so weird and unhelpful. You can get to heaven without it so why bother?” We confidently teach that a person will go to heaven if they have repented of their sins and received by faith the Lord Jesus Christ. After that, being baptised in water has powerful advantages and also baptism of the Holy Spirit is also a powerful advantage but neither is necessary for salvation. (Interestingly the Old Testament picture here is 1Co 10:1  FOR I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, that our forefathers were all under and protected by the cloud [in which God’s Presence went before them], and every one of them passed safely through the [Red] Sea, [Exod. 13:21; 14:22, 29.] 1Co 10:2  And each one of them [allowed himself also] to be baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea [they were thus brought under obligation to the Law, to Moses, and to the covenant, consecrated and set apart to the service of God]; In other words, this is a picture of two baptisms – one in the Red sea and One into the cloud – Water and Spirit)

The problem from my point of view is that tongues is very valuable and is a sign that one is baptised in the Holy Spirit to receive power. This power is essential for us as Christians to be successful in winning lost people to Christ.  As Christians become lukewarm, they back away from some of the basics that empower their faith like:

  1. Regular personal times of prayer
  2. Regular reading of God’s Word
  3. Regular attendance at church.
  4. Sharing their faith with non-churched people.

On fire Christians, who are spreading their faith all over the world, are passionate people, not lukewarm people. They are people who are motivated by love and empowered by the Holy Spirit for witness. In the last three weeks we have taught that:

  1. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is necessary for the purpose of being a witness of our faith (Week 1 – April 7)
  2. Being baptised with the Holy Spirit is a subsequent experience to being born of the spirit. (Week 2 – April 14) (Also what regeneration means)
  3. Being filled with the Holy Spirit has enormous advantages to the believer for their walk in life. (Week 3 – April 21)

As I said, my fear is that less and less people are speaking in tongues for all the reasons I have spoken about here; and that is a diminution of the power and effectiveness of our local church. So my goal is to assure you that you can speak in tongues should you so wish; and that you should so wish, because we all need this power. If you haven’t received in the past then don’t give up – press in and passionately seek God so that you can have all the gifts and power that He has for you.


In my view there are two kinds of tongues that the bible speaks of.

  1. A prayer language available to all.
  2. A gift that is to be used in the church service and coupled with the gift of Interpretation is equal to prophecy.

Let’s look at two groups of scriptures – the first speaks of tongues as it refers to your own personal prayer language; the second as it refers to the gift of speaking in other tongues to be used in conjunction with interpretation in the church service.


Mar 16:17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

Rom 8:26  Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Rom 8:27  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (ESV)

1Co 14:2  For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.

1Co 14:4  The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. (ESV)


1Co 12:28  And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 1Co 12:29  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 1Co 12:30  Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues*? Do all interpret?

(*The answer to this rhetorical question is expected to be “No.”)

1Co 12:8  For to one is given….1Co 12:10  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

1Co 14:5  Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

1Co 14:13  Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret.

1Co 14:23  If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? (ESV)

It is my firm belief that God grants the ability to speak in tongues as a personal prayer language to help us be built up as spirit filled believers. This ability is available to anyone who is filled with the Holy Spirit. We confidently teach that one may be filled with the Holy Spirit and not yet be able to speak in other tongues. God also gives gifts to the body to help with the work of evangelisation and the building up of the church. Gifts such as Faith, Healing and Prophecy.  Speaking in tongues is the only incontrovertible evidence that a person is Baptised in the Spirit. If there was another evidence, it could only be that you are a witness for Him (Acts 1:8)

All other evidences such as love for God, patience, healing, prophecy, etc have been practiced by those in the Old Testament who were not filled with or baptised in the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Acts there are 5 occurrences** of people being baptised in the Holy Spirit. In four of these it states that the people spoke in tongues and in the remaining one, Simon the sorcerer wants to pay money for the gift. It was so different that he saw great value in it, however he had previously seen miracles sand healings so it wasn’t that. It may have been tongues.

**Acts 2:4; (Acts 9:17 + 1Cor 14:18); Acts 8:15-19; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:6.


1. One study on the subject of speaking in tongues made the amazing discovery that the human brain’s language centre is inactive when subjects were speaking in tongues. This is in agreement with the bible’s teaching that when speaking in tongues the mind is unfruitful because it’s from the spirit of man that the language arises. (1 Cor 14:14)

Youtube video about the study – http://youtu.be/NZbQBajYnEc

2. Indeed, an earlier study in Britain of glossolalia (TONGUES) among the clergy found that those who sometimes spoke in tongues showed more emotional stability and less depression than a control group.


3. DR. Carl R. Peterson, M.D

Through research and testing Carl found out that as we pray in the Spirit, or worship in the Spirit, (our heavenly language) there is activity that begins to take place in our brain. As we engage in our heavenly language the brain releases 2 chemical secretions that are directed into our immune systems giving a 35 to 40 percent boost to the immune system. –


4. Dr. Caroline Leaf a spirit filled Christian neuro-scientist who has studied the inner workings of the brain is teaching that when you pray in the Spirit (tongues) your brain goes into the highest intellectual state possible.

I know for myself that when I pray in tongues lots of ideas and creative thoughts come to my mind. I am in a place of receptivity that makes it easy to remember all kinds of things that are important to my vision, goals and strategies. So as I pray in tongues I am writing down lots of really great ideas and thoughts that help me plan out my future goals. Pastor Peter Pilt of Nowra COC is probably known best for his amazing creativity in preaching and presenting at church. He reports that easily half of all his creative ideas come from a time of speaking in tongues. (http://peterpilt.org/2012/08/04/56-ways-to-inspire-creativity-in-any-area-of-your-life/)

Many people I meet have been prayed for to receive tongues and have not received it.

I feel for these people because often they feel like a failure. They feel like God has favourites and He gives that gift to some but not to all, and that maybe they are inferior in some way. Of those who have shared with me their story of how they got filled with the Holy Spirit, almost every time there was nothing happening at first, but they pressed in and got HUNGRY and kept on seeking God for that infilling and the overflow that comes with it. You see tongues is the overflow – it comes out of the innermost being and flows out of the mouth…(John 7:37-39)  And one must be thirsty at first in order to receive. You may be only half filled? Or maybe three quarters, keep on seeking God and be filled to overflowing; then the overflow will come and you will speak in tongues.

In our modern world – let’s be honest – aren’t we used to “instant everything”? But when it comes to receiving form God; it’s not a push button A, receive the Holy Spirit next. Instead, God works in us to see how hungry and thirsty are we really? Do we really want it more than our next breath? If you haven’t received yet, even though you have been prayed for, read this verse…

Luk 11:13  If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him! (AMP)

God wants to give you the gift. But you need to be thirsty and hungry first then press in and seek Him for it. Some might say, “Done all that – still no tongues!” But I challenge you to get serious with God and call on Him according to that verse just mentioned. Come on – have you fasted and prayed? Have you sought God till it hurts?


This wonderful gift is such a blessing and Oh So Needed!!  Paul thought it was so important he says, 1Co 14:18  I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. When we pray in tongues our spirit prays and our mind is unfruitful (1 Cor 14:14)

That’s important because Rom 8:26  Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Rom 8:27  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (ESV) You see praying in tongues means we are praying the perfect prayer and God hears and understands. The Holy Spirit is helping us and praying through us. That’s powerful. This is true intercession, God praying through me. When you pray in tongues, 1Co 14:4  He who speaks in a [strange] tongue edifies and improves himself, It edifies you and builds you up when you pray like that. Don’t we all need that? Look at this verse in the amplified… Eph 3:16  May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. (AMP)

Living this spirit life is about us being in the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, being led by the Spirit, therefore we need to be filled over and over by the Spirit. This happens when we speak in tongues.

In the first sermon after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost Peter the apostle says, “This – what you see and hear, is the promise of the Father.” (Acts 2:33+39) What did they see and hear? They saw people reacting as if drunk and they heard speaking in other tongues. This promise Peter says is Act 2:39  For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, [even] to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself. [Isa. 57:19; Joel 2:32.] That’s go to be you!! This promise is for you!!

So again let me answer these two questions

  1. Isn’t it true that only some people can speak in tongues? – It’s a gift.
  2. Why do I even need to speak in tongues?

I believe we can show here that speaking in tongues as a prayer language is for all who are afar off even as many as the God shall call. In my name they shall speak with new tongues. Also we need to speak in tongues because God designed it as a prayer language, so that we can pray powerfully and effectively with the Holy Spirit praying through us.


1. Please share your story about being filled with the Holy Spirit, did you speak in tongues yet? (Only share if you’re comfortable with that)

2. How should we answer the objection that tongues sounds like gibberish?

3. Do you get put off speaking in tongues because you don’t see value in it? Why?

4. What are the benefits of praying in tongues?

5. Why do you think God made it so that we needed to press in to get it – to be hungry and wait on Him seriously before we could obtain the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues?

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Sunday 17 February 2013 AMhands

The Anointing service


Have you discovered your God given place in God’s incredible plan?

Eph 1:4 Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.

John spoke about God’s call to Moses to serve the people of Israel. Moses was so reluctant. I can’t speak he said, I’m not equipped; I feel like a failure, I’m only a shepherd, can’t someone else do it?

Sound familiar? We all feel like that at times. We may be reluctant, but God has an important task for us to accomplish for His plan.  This month we are helping as many as possible to find their place in His plan.

Last week we spoke about servanthood. Jesus gave us the most magnificent example of servanthood one could imagine. His Spirit and love now reside within us and we have this same passion to love others and serve them for the Kingdom of God producing fruit that will last for all eternity.

The most important way we serve God.

Essentially the call of God on your life is a call to be with Him. It’s the call to daily take up the cross and live this life of walking day by day with Jesus. It’s a call to love people. It’s a call to lay down our life for others. It’s a call to prayer and it’s a call to share the gospel with as many people as possible. What ever role or task you fulfil in the local church is secondary to your primary role of walking with Jesus and winning lost people.

The story of Acts 6.

In the first few weeks of the early church there was rapid growth and a need to gain the help of new members to assist in the smooth running of important tasks.

Act 6:1  NOW ABOUT this time, when the number of the disciples was greatly increasing, complaint was made by the Hellenists (the Greek-speaking Jews) against the [native] Hebrews because their widows were being overlooked and neglected in the daily ministration (distribution of relief).

Act 6:2  So the Twelve [apostles] convened the multitude of the disciples and said, It is not seemly or desirable or right that we should have to give up or neglect [preaching] the Word of God in order to attend to serving at tables and superintending the distribution of food.

Act 6:3  Therefore select out from among yourselves, brethren, seven men of good and attested character and repute, full of the [Holy] Spirit and wisdom, whom we may assign to look after this business and duty.

Act 6:4  But we will continue to devote ourselves steadfastly to prayer and the ministry of the Word.

Act 6:5  And the suggestion pleased the whole assembly, and they selected Stephen, a man full of faith (a strong and welcome belief that Jesus is the Messiah) and full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte (convert) from Antioch.

Act 6:6  These they presented to the apostles, who after prayer laid their hands on them.

Act 6:7  And the message of God kept on spreading, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem; and [besides] a large number of the priests were obedient to the faith [in Jesus as the Messiah, through Whom is obtained eternal salvation in the kingdom of God].

This story is exciting for many reasons

  1. The new converts found a place of serving and significance
  2. The Church was empowered to grow more than ever
  3. The apostles were enabled to remain focussed on the task God had called them to which was the prayer and the ministry of the word.

This morning we want to recognise and set apart for the work of the ministry those people in this local church who are volunteering for roles of service in this church.

What happens when we lay hands on you?

1. By the laying on of hands you receive the gift of God.

1Ti_4:14  Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination].

2Ti_1:6  That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination].

2. By the laying on of hands you are committed to the Lord.

Act_14:23  And when they had appointed and ordained elders for them in each church with prayer and fasting, they committed them to the Lord in Whom they had come to believe [being full of joyful trust that He is the Christ, the Messiah].

3. By the laying on of hands you are commissioned and released.

Act_15:22  Then the apostles and the elders, together with the whole church, resolved to select men from among their number and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, [both] leading men among the brethren, and sent them.

The anointing with oil which represents the Holy Spirit was an important part of Gods selection, setting apart and equipping of leadership in the Old Testament times and now in the early church, oil was again used as a vehicle of prayer and power from the Holy Spirit.

Heb 13:20  Now may the God of peace [Who is the Author and the Giver of peace], Who brought again from among the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood [that sealed, ratified] the everlasting agreement (covenant, testament), [Isa. 55:3; 63:11; Ezek. 37:26; Zech. 9:11.]

Heb 13:21  Strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah); to Whom be the glory forever and ever (to the ages of the ages). Amen (so be it).


1. How do you picture the Holy Spirit?

2. How do you talk to the Holy Spirit in Prayer?

3. What are some of the things the Holy Spirit wants to do to help us live for Jesus?

4. Do you wait on the Holy Spirit to fill you and give you power?

5.  How can He help you in your current role of serving God?

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