All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
November 4, 2008
HANDS FOR JESUS
P.O. BOX 18655
MILWAUKEE, WI 53218-0655
For Free Books by downloading,
Visit our Web sites at:
Updated, Fifth printing
by Merle E. Koepke
All Rights Reserved
TONGUES OF FIRE
by Merle E. Koepke
In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist said, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire."
What is meant by "...he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire?" This is a prophecy; being it was speaking of a future event agreeing with the previous prophecies of the Old Testament prophets. John the Baptist was a prophet spoken of in Malachi (Mal. 3:1, 4:5).
In Matthew 11:13,14, Jesus said, "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John...And if ye will receive it, this is Elias (Elijah), which was for to come. "
In Matthew 3:13-15 it says, "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him...But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?...And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him."
Then in Matthew 5:17, Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." Jesus confirmed what Malachi wrote by saying that this prophet is John the Baptist. Jesus fulfilled the Law, bringing an end to the Old Testament Law, that "the blessing of Abraham" might come upon the Jews also, which is the promise of the Spirit by faith (Gal. 3:13,14).
The Jews must come under the New Covenant along with the Gentiles, for there was a fault in the Covenant of the Law (Heb. 8:7-12).
(A) In 1st Corinthians 15:22 it says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." What the Law could not do, Jesus did for them!
(B) By the Law, no one was justified! Acts 13:39 says, "And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."
Jesus brought in the New Covenant. John 1:17 says, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Therefore, the New Covenant includes the Children of Israel and the Gentiles.
Justification comes by faith.
(A) Romans 3:21,22 says, "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe..."
(B) Romans 3:10 says, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one."
(C) Romans 3:24 says, "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
What the Law could not do, John the Baptist and Jesus did for them. John was the last Old Covenant prophet and Jesus was the first New Covenant prophet. Together they fulfilled the Old Covenant for the Jews and brought in the New Covenant to all who are in Christ (Jews and Gentiles).
John the Baptist was not Elijah himself, but the same Spirit that was upon Elijah was also upon John the Baptist. Luke 1:15 says, "For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb." Jesus said that John the Baptist was a prophet, therefore he was prophesying "the baptism of the Holy Spirit" while he "baptized with water, for repentance and the remission of sins."
There are two different baptisms mentioned in Matthew 3:11; the "water baptism" of repentance for the remission of sins, and the "Holy Spirit baptism" for power and witnessing of Jesus. In Mark 1:4,8, it says, "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins....I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost."
In Acts 1:5,8 Jesus said, "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence...But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
These two baptisms are separate of each other. The baptism with water is by man, the baptism with the Holy Spirit is by the LORD.
To understand the Scriptures, it is sometimes necessary to search for the first time something is mentioned and then follow it through the Bible to the last time. Therefore, in adding certain things that are mentioned together in the statements made by Jesus and John the Baptist we can get an understanding of what is said. Keeping in mind what we see in the Old Testament in the natural sometimes represents a spiritual truth in the New Testament.
There is nothing new in the New Testament that is not spoken of in the Old Testament. So we need to find in the Old Testament that which pertains to Elijah in connection with that which John the Baptist prophesied. The Prophecy of John the Baptist is, "He (Jesus) shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire!" What does the Holy Spirit and fire have to do with Elijah?
In 1st Kings 18:38, Elijah called down fire from heaven, which consumed the sacrifice, the altar, even the water. In 2nd Kings 1:10,12, two other times Elijah called down fire from heaven, and it destroyed a captain and his fifty men when they tried to take Elijah captive.
This fire from heaven is a type and shadow of spiritual fire in the New Covenant. It will destroy the works of the spiritual forces opposed to Christians. Just as Elijah called down fire from heaven, we can receive the Baptism with the Holy Spirit which comes down from heaven. Jesus said in Acts 1:8, "You shall receive power...." This power comes from the Holy Spirit....
In 1st Kings 18:38, and 2nd Kings 1:10,12, the fire and the power to destroy came down from heaven. Now, look at what happened in Acts 2:3,4, it says, "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them...And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
It says, "there appeared cloven tongues like as of fire..." This is still the beginning of the fulfillment of the prophecy of John the Baptist. The cloven tongues were not actual fire, but like fire. They were like tongues, and like fire." Just as water baptism is an outward sign of an inward change in a person's life, the tongues and fire were both outward signs of something that was happening inwardly in those who received the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 2:4 it says, "they began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance..." The tongues that appeared were symbolic of "speaking with a persons' tongue." The speaking came by way of the Holy Spirit. It was the Holy Spirit that gave them the utterance. The fire which came in the form of tongues and sat upon each one of them was symbolic of what happened inwardly in each of them. They each received power to destroy the works of the devil.
Therefore, we have two things: We have the power of the Spirit coming down from heaven, and we have the utterance from the tongues of those who received the Holy Spirit. So we have people, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, releasing the power by speaking in other tongues.
What is the result? Jesus said in Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me...." Here are two things that we need to pay attention to, "power and witnesses." The word "power" in the Greek is "dunamis," meaning "inherent power, power residing in something by virtue of its nature; which a person or thing exerts and puts forth." "Dunamis," is the same Greek word that the English language calls "dynamite," an explosive force able to destroy almost anything in its vicinity. However, it is inherent within a container, such as "a stick of dynamite." It must first be ignited with fire before it releases its power. Therefore, the power we receive after the Holy Spirit comes into us is inherent power, which is released as we speak in other tongues.
To understand what Jesus is speaking of in Acts 1:8, look at Revelation 11:3. It says, "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." Here it tells us that Jesus' witnesses will have power. Also, they will prophesy. To prophesy, they need to speak out of their mouth words given to them by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy must always come from the Spirit of God by way of man's spirit (Job 32:8,17-20). Witnesses of Jesus will speak words by the power of the Holy Spirit within them.
Now look at Revelation 11:5 which says, "And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies..." What kind of fire is this speaking of? I believe it is words which come by the anointing of the Holy Spirit resident within those who are witnesses unto Jesus. These words come by utterances with their tongues....
The fire which proceeds out of our mouth devours our enemies. Who are our enemies? In the New Covenant, our enemies are not "flesh and blood; but principalities, and powers, and rulers of darkness in heavenly places" (2 Cor. 10:3,4, Eph. 6:12).
In Luke 9:54-56 it says, "And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?...But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of...For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village."
Jesus' disciples were in the flesh (John 3:6) when they spoke of Elijah calling down fire from heaven. Jesus explained the difference between the Old Covenant (pertaining to those who were in the flesh) and the New Covenant (pertaining to those who are in the Spirit), concerning the calling down of fire from heaven to destroy those who oppose the will of God. This shows us that in the New Covenant we are not out to destroy men's physical lives, but rather the works of the devil. For 1st John 3:8b says, "...For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."
We are to be witnesses unto Jesus. A witness unto Jesus is one who will do the same works that Jesus did the same way Jesus did. Jesus destroyed the works of the devil by the words He spoke out of His mouth. People were healed physically when Jesus spoke words out of His mouth. Demons were cast out of people when Jesus spoke words out of His mouth. Jesus' work was not to destroy men's lives, but save them while destroying the works of the devil.
It is also important to understand that in the New Covenant, man is not able to destroy the works of the devil by his own natural abilities. It must be done by the power of the Holy Spirit resident within him. In the same manner, it is not possible to worship God as He desires by the natural abilities of man, but this also must be done by the power of the Spirit within man. Jesus said, "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews...But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him...God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:22-24, NKJV).
Jesus also said in John 14:12, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." We are to do the same works Jesus did. Some of the works are done by tongues of fire; speaking against the spiritual powers of darkness of this world, by the anointing of the Spirit of God within us.
(1) "...speaking in unknown tongues..." (1 Cor. 14:2,4).
(2) "... speaking with diverse tongues..." (1 Cor. 12:10).
(3) "...praying in the spirit!" (Jude 1:20).
There are many types of tongues that the Spirit of God can use when we yield over to Him. We start with our prayer language, sometimes called unknown tongues (1 Cor. 14:2), then at anytime as the Holy Spirit wills, He can switch us over to diverse kinds of tongues (1 Cor. 12:10). When this happens, all hell breaks loose and the demons tremble and flee.
I would like to relay an experience of a friend of mine, a brother in the LORD from Ghana, West Africa. When he was still young in the LORD, he and a few other high school students would go out into the bush and pray in tongues until late in the evening, sometimes even beyond midnight. One night, on their way back from praying, they were approached by a number of bandits with guns.
When my friend and his companions first saw the bandits with guns, standing on the path in front of them. They were startled, knowing that the intention of these bandits could be to kill them. They said one to another, "what shall we do?" Immediately, the Spirit of God said within them, "pray in the Spirit." As soon as they began speaking in tongues, the bandits took off running into the woods. One man fell to his face on the path. When my friend and the other students came to him, they asked him. "Why did all the others run? And why did he fall on the ground?" He replied, "When you started speaking, fire was coming out of your mouth! When we saw the fire coming out of your mouth, we were afraid!"
Now let me relay another experience I had with speaking in tongues. A good Christian friend of mine picked up another friend of his and myself to go to a meeting. At the meeting the power of God was working mightily. Many people were going out in the Spirit as a woman laid her hands upon them. Doubtless, many things were happening in their lives because of the anointing.
When we left the meeting to go home, I was riding in the back seat and his friend was in front of me. His friend said, "I should have had that woman lay hands upon me." My friend said to him, "Merle could pray for you." I said to his friend, "What's the problem that you need prayer for?" He said, "I have a pain in the back of my neck," and he went on naming many other parts of his body where he was experiencing pain or discomfort.
As we rode back to my house, I just continued to pray in the Spirit. While I was praying in the Spirit, in my mind (without speaking a word in English out loud), I started saying to the LORD; "LORD, heal his neck, take the pain away, LORD, heal his side, LORD heal his back, LORD, heal this and LORD heal that..." I just spoke to the LORD in my mind, never saying a word out loud in English. Yet, I never stopped praying in the Spirit all the time I was talking to the LORD in my mind.
I had learned something a while back. Since God knows every thought, then I should be able to talk to God in my mind (1 Cor. 3:20). So, all I did was talk to the LORD in my mind while I was praying in tongues.
My friend told me later that when I got out of his car by my house, his friend said to him something like this, "I see you brought your armor bearer along with you tonight!" After my friend answered him, he said, "that man can ride behind me anytime he wants to. All the time he was praying in the Spirit back there, I could feel the LORD healing my body."
Speaking in tongues (diverse kinds of tongues) breaks down the spiritual powers over us, so that the request we make of the LORD can be answered. The more we speak in tongues, the more the spiritual forces are broken down, so that the will of God can be done on earth.
We must remember, Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Being that the Holy Spirit is in you and His purpose is to do the will of God; He is also concerned about your personal life. While you are praying in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit looks at you the same as He looks at others in the body of Christ. If you have need of anything, the Holy Spirit will work all things together for your good (Rom. 8:28).
Let me relate one instance in my life. There was a time when for about two or three weeks I had noticed a small growth on my right index finger. It kept getting larger and it would hurt when I touched it. So I put a band-aid on it to protect it. Every few days I would put on a new band-aid. One day while driving from one city to another "I was praying in the Spirit (unknown tongues)," when the thought came to me; "why don't you curse the roots on that growth and command it to die in Jesus' Name."
I held my finger up in front of me and said, "In Jesus' Name, I command the root of this growth to die, and leave my body!" From that day on I didn't pay any attention to the growth, except that I still changed the band-aid every few days. I did notice that it did not get any larger after the day I commanded it to die.
About a month after the day I commanded it to die, I was changing the band-aid. As I took the old band-aid off, the growth came off with the band-aid. There was not even a mark on my finger where it had been. It was as though it was never there...
If it had not been for "praying in the Spirit" I may have never thought to curse it and command it to die. It is while we are praying in the Spirit (unknown tongues), that the Holy Spirit can minister to us, doing what is necessary to bring deliverance or healing to us personally.
We can start by praying in our own prayer language (unknown tongues), and at any time the Holy Spirit can switch us over to the ministry gift (diverse kinds of tongues), whereby the works of the enemy can be destroyed just as the captains and their fifty men were destroyed by fire from heaven when they came to capture Elijah (2 Kings 1:10,12). Christians cannot be taken captive by the spiritual forces of Satan if they continue to pray in tongues!
Why was John the Baptist called the greatest of all Old Testament prophets by Jesus? One reason could be it was John the Baptist that prophesied the greatest weapon the body of Christ has today....praying in tongues....speaking in tongues....tongues of fire!
Jude explained the reason the early saints of the New Covenant had such great faith. Starting in Jude 1:3, he said, "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Then after explaining why there was so little faith within the body of Christ already at his time, he wrote in Jude 1:20, "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost." It's the praying in the Spirit that builds up our most holy faith...the faith it takes to do the things that Jesus said we should do in John 14:12.
I do not believe that anyone today can walk in the faith that Jesus walked in without praying in tongues. As I look at the great men and women of God in the past century, practically all of them were Spirit-filled Christians who had prayed for hours a day in the Spirit (in tongues).
It is the will of God for every Christian to be healed, and healthy. That is why we see so much emphasis upon Jesus healing every manner of sickness and disease throughout the Gospels. Speaking in tongues is a weapon of the New Covenant, which the Old Testament saints did not have. If speaking in tongues is used as we are told to in the New Testament, the will of God will be done in earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10). In Ephesians 6:18 it says, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit..."
Even for healing, praying in the Spirit is very useful. Let me relate one instance from my own experience. A sister in the LORD got into an automobile accident and the left side of her face was all cut up by flying glass. I met her in the hospital just after she came down from the emergency room. When the doctor came in with the x-rays he examined her face very closely. He then said to her, "There are no broken bones, but there is a lot of damage. Part of your eye-lash is missing, and part of your eye-brow is missing. There is no place on your body where I can get eye-brows or eye-lashes from at this time. All I can do is sew you up and after it is healed somewhat we can send you to another hospital about 100 miles away and they will be able to graft in some eye-lashes and eye-brows."
After the doctor left the room she said to me, "We are not going to accept that are we?" I said "no, let's pray!" I began to pray in the Spirit (unknown tongues). I must have prayed (in an unknown tongue) at least five minutes or more when she said to me, "is that all you are going to do is pray in the Spirit?" I said to her, "Let the Holy Spirit do what He wants to do," and I continued to pray in the Spirit (unknown tongues).
After praying in the Spirit for quite some time, words began to come out of my mouth in English. I began to say, "In the name of Jesus I command the eye-lashes to be there. In the name of Jesus I command the eye-brows to be there. In the name of Jesus I command the tear glands to be whole and working. In the name of Jesus I command the eye muscles to be working properly. In the name of Jesus I command 20 - 20 vision in her eyes." Then, un-expectantly these words came out of my mouth "And she will be in church on Sunday." When I heard myself say that my mind stopped my spirit from praying. I could not believe in my mind that she would be in Church on Sunday. It was about 6:00PM on Friday at that time.
Following the prayer, they took her up to surgery. About 11:00PM the doctor came to me and said, "Praise the LORD! The eye-brows and eye-lashes were all there. The tear glands were fine. Everything was there, all I had to do was sew her up."
When we pray "all supplications and prayer in the Spirit" we authorize the Holy Spirit to do the will of God in each situation we pray for. The Holy Spirit knows what to do and how to do it. All He needs is our cooperation. When we begin to pray in (unknown) tongues our spirit does the praying, and the Holy Spirit helps us (Rom. 8:26,27). Sometimes, while praying in (unknown) tongues the Holy Spirit can switch us over to a ministry gift of (diverse kinds of) tongues, such as intercession, spiritual warfare, etc., while speaking in tongues. He will give us the words to speak in tongues, or in English.
Let me relate one more example from my friend in Ghana, West Africa. He said for five years, he and a number of his friends would spend all night on Fridays praying in the Spirit. Then on Saturday mornings they would go to a certain hospital and pray for the sick in that hospital.
He told me that for five years, not one person died in that hospital. Every person in that hospital went home healed, not always the same day, but by the next Saturday there were all new patients in that hospital. Can you imagine, not one person dying in a hospital for five years! That's what praying in the Spirit can do for those who will follow the prophecy of John the Baptist, and the instructions of Jesus. Their faith is built up, so that when they pray for others or lay hands upon them for healing, the signs will follow.
Jesus said in Mark 16:17,18, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues...They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
Notice that Jesus said, "they shall speak with new tongues." Christians do not speak with new tongues without first being baptized with "...the Holy Spirit and fire..." Some teach that the Church began in Acts 2:4, when the saints first received the baptism with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.
I believe that every Christian who is sincere about doing the works that Jesus did (John 14:12), needs to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking with tongues of fire. Then they ought to pray in the Spirit for hours and hours a day.
I know that anyone who is baptized in the Holy Spirit can pray in the Spirit while doing other things. I can pray in the Spirit while reading my Bible. It is my spirit that prays while my mind (a part of my soul) is reading the Bible (1 Cor. 14:14,15). My soul and my spirit are two different parts of my triune being (spirit, soul, and body). In 1st Corinthians 14:14,15 it says, "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful...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."
Spirit-filled Christians can do either; pray in the Spirit or pray in the understanding. Praying or singing from our spirit is a spiritual operation of the new human spirit. Praying or singing from our understanding is an operation from our natural mind (soul). These two are different parts of our new triune nature. Therefore, we have a choice as to which we will do and when we will do either one:
(1) pray in the Spirit or pray in the understanding.
(2) sing in the Spirit or sing in the understanding.
These are separate operations, therefore, when we pray in the Spirit our understanding is unfruitful (our natural mind does not understand what we are saying). This is not important, for if we truly trust in the LORD with all our heart, we must also trust the Holy Spirit to do the will of God in our lives. Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." We must learn to trust in the LORD in our praying. Let God do His will in our lives. Let Him have control of all that we say and do. We don't need to understanding what God is doing. We need to trust in the LORD, and do what it tells us in the Word, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Eph. 6:18).
"Praying in the Spirit" and "speaking in tongues" are some of the most powerful weapons the body of Christ has today. They not only destroy the powers of the enemy, but also build up our faith, and at the same time open our mind to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God. In 1st Corinthians 14:2 it says, "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." Not only does the Holy Spirit reveal the mysteries of God to us while speaking in an unknown tongue, but 1st Corinthians 14:4a says, "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself..." Therefore, we are also edifying ourselves while we are speaking in tongues. In Romans 8:26,27, it says, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered...And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."
We know we should pray! Yet we do not know just how to pray the perfect will of God. While we pray in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us according to the will of God. What more could anyone ask than to have the mysteries of God revealed to them while edifying themselves and building up their most holy faith? In addition, destroying the enemy with "tongues of fire" whenever the Holy Spirit takes over. What greater weapon of warfare could God give to Christians today?
Being that speaking in tongues (unknown tongues or diverse kinds of tongues) is one of the greatest weapons the body of Christ has today, you will notice it is also the one weapon that is spoken against the most. Satan, uses people in churches all over the world to speak against tongues. He attacks tongues from every angle he can. If Satan can stop Christians from speaking in tongues, he can stop the Holy Spirit from working within the body of Christ.
You will notice that those speaking against "tongues" are those who do not speak in tongues themselves. Why is it? Tongues is a spiritual operation, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Unless a person has a new spirit, which results in a new birth (John 3:6,7), and are baptized in with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4,5), they cannot speak with new tongues. After a person is born again they must also be baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit just as the disciples were in Acts 2:4. Ezekiel 36:26,27 states, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you...And (in addition) I will put my spirit within you..." First we receive a new spirit when we are born again of the Spirit (John 3:6). After we are born again, the LORD baptizes us with the Holy Spirit, putting the Holy Spirit within us. Once we are baptized with the Holy Spirit the power of God is within us. Without the power of the Holy Spirit within us we cannot speak with new tongues. Some who are born again believe they have the power without the evidence of speaking in tongues. The evidence is the "speaking in other tongues" (Mark 16:17, Acts 2:4, 10:44-46, 11:15, etc.) Those who are not born again are still operating from their natural mind. The natural mind cannot discern spiritual things. In 1st Corinthians 2:14 it tells us, "...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." To those who do not speak with tongues, it is foolishness to them. As a result, they speak against others who do speak in tongues. After all, they do not and cannot understand tongues, therefore to them it is foolishness. Unknowingly, they open themselves up to the spirits of this world and speak against that which is of God.
The Holy Spirit works from the Spirit realm, within our new created spirit. He is Spirit, and spirits operate like spirits. Therefore, from our spirit the Holy Spirit helps, guides, teaches, comforts, and leads us. The Holy Spirit dwells in us, and out of our belly He brings forth rivers of living water (John 7:38,39). If Satan can stop us from praying in the Spirit, he can stop the flow of living water from within us. When this river of living water flows out of our belly by the power of the Holy Spirit, it can become like a mighty rushing river that will wash away anything that is not solid and firm in the Word of God.
In Ephesians 6:17, it mentions "the Word of God" as a weapon. It also says "the sword of the Spirit." The Word of God is not effective without the Holy Spirit. The cutting edge of the Word of God (that which does damage to the enemy), is empowered by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God without the Holy Spirit is only a weapon. Similarly, a rifle is a weapon used in the military today. But that rifle is useless until someone who knows how to use it takes it up and fires it. That's the way it is with speaking in tongues. There are many Christians today who are filled with the Spirit, just waiting around to be used. When all the time, the Holy Spirit is wanting to use them, "and would" if only they would take time to pray in their (unknown) tongue. The gift of tongues is of no value to the church if the devil can stop Christians from praying in the Spirit.
It is not the Holy Spirit's job to get us to pray in our (unknown) tongue. It is up to us to start praying in the (unknown) tongue. Jesus said in Matthew 11:12, "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." "If you want to enter into the reign of God you must force yourself to pray in the Spirit and study the Word of God." Your natural mind does not want to take the time to pray, or study the Word of God. You must take control of your natural mind and force it to spend time in the Word and in prayer. If you want God to work in your life, you will have to force yourself to be separated from the things of this world in order to enter into the reign of God. In one of the parables Jesus said, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field" (Matt. 13:44).
There is a price to pay for the privilege of entering into the kingdom of God. That price is your life--everything you own. It starts with taking the kingdom of God by force, "praying in the Spirit."
In the spirit realm, when we speak in tongues, spiritual fire can come out of our mouth to destroy the works of the enemy. These works of the enemy are caused by "the spiritual forces of darkness, the spiritual powers of Satan in heavenly places." The battle we are in is not fought with weapons of flesh and blood, it is fought in the realm of the spirit. We fight this battle by using the weapons of God. The Word of God proceeds out of our mouth by the anointing of the Holy Spirit which resides within us. The power is released as we speak in tongues... Our speaking is what ignites the power within us... The power is in the anointing... When it is released, the powers of darkness are broken and the captives are set free.
The more we pray in tongues, the greater the victory we will have in our lives. The more we speak in tongues, the more damage we do to the powers of darkness ruling over the lives of others. When we speak in tongues, spiritual fire can come out of our mouth and destroy the powers of darkness. Demonic spirits tremble and flee as the words we speak go forth out of our mouths.
Therefore, let us continue "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit...." (Eph. 6:18a). At the same time, we need to be "...building up ourselves on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost" (Jude 1:20).
The apostle Paul said in 1st Corinthians 14:18, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all." If it was necessary for the Apostle Paul to speak in tongues more than the Corinthians, how much more necessary is it for us today!
Let us tear down the strongholds, praying always in the Spirit day and night...! The more we pray in tongues, the more the power of God will be released in our lives. As we speak in tongues, the demonic forces can be broken by the fire which comes out of our mouth as the Spirit of God gives us utterance. Fire is an enemy of the demonic forces, for it is fire that will torment them day and night in hell after the great white throne judgement (Rev. 20:11-15).
Remember that there are two types of tongues for Christians. We have,
(1) our personal (unknown) tongues for edification, revelation, and building up our faith (1 Cor. 14:2,4, Jude 20).
(2) (diverse kinds) of tongues for doing the work of the ministry (1 Cor. 12:10, 28).
In 2nd Timothy 1:6 the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands." It is up to each individual Spirit-filled Christian to stir up the gift that is in them. If God tells us to do something, that means He is not going to do it for us. We must do it ourselves.
How do we stir up the gift of the Holy Spirit that is in us? We do it by praying in (unknown) tongues, which is our personal prayer language. Then, the Holy Spirit can switch us over to speaking in tongues, which is a ministry gift of divers kinds of tongues.
If you have been waiting for God to move you into the work of the ministry, you will not get there by waiting. You will get there by stirring up the gift of the Holy Spirit within you, by praying in tongues. You do your part, which is "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2nd Tim. 2:15), and "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit..." and the Holy Spirit will do His part which is supply the anointing to do the works of the ministry.
God is love. Just as we must receive Jesus into our lives to become born again (John 1:12), we must also receive the Holy Spirit to be "baptized with the Holy Ghost." The Apostle Paul asked believing Christians in Acts 19:2, "...Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?"
If you are truly born again, and do not speak with tongues, the LORD wants you to be baptized with the Holy Spirit "with the evidence of speaking in tongues."
Say a prayer like this, believing in your heart what God has promised you in His Word.
"Jesus, You said in Mark 16:17, that in Your name I can cast out devils.
Satan, in the name of Jesus, I cast you out of my mind. You have no authority over my mind. My mind is clear of all demonic oppression in Jesus' name.
Father, according to Your Word in Luke 11:13, You promised me the Holy Spirit if I ask. Father, I am now asking You to give me the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I receive the Holy Spirit from You now, in Jesus' name."
For more information on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Speaking in tongues, go to our Web sites and download as many free books as you wish. There are many books that include information on the Holy Spirit and praying in tongues. All books are free by downloading from www.handsforjesus.cc & www.handsforjesus.org