Archive for the 'Baptism with the Holy Spirit' Category

Tongues and the initial physical evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Image result for free clipart fire public domain

By Spencer D Gear PhD

It is an important doctrine of leading Pentecostal denominations that speaking in tongues is the initial physical evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. You will encounter it in the Assemblies of God (USA), which is now called the Australian Christian Churches in Australia, the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (5.6.3), the Apostolic Faith Mission in South Africa (Confession of Faith), Elim Pentecostal Church (UK), and other Pentecostal denominations.

The Australian Christian Churches statement is (4.13 The Baptism in the Holy Spirit):

We believe that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is the bestowing of the believer with power to be an effective witness for Christ. This experience is distinct from, and subsequent to, the new birth; is received by faith, and is accompanied by the manifestation of speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance, as the initial evidence (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4; 8:15-19; 11:14-17; 19:1-7).

A. Promotion of tongues and Holy Spirit baptism

A Pentecostal believer and advocate online wrote of ‘those who have actually received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues as depicted in Scriptures’ and he placed himself in that category.[1]

I have not reached that conclusion in my study of Scripture, so I responded as follows:[2]

I expect that there could be people on this forum (and I’m one of them) who would not believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence of speaking in tongues. Your view is thus encouraging at least two types of Christians: Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal, but the Pentecostals have the superior biblical experience of the Holy Spirit.

I have addressed some of these issues in my articles:

clip_image002 Tongues and the Baptism with the Holy Spirit

clip_image002[1] Baptism of the Holy Spirit: When does it happen?

His reply to this was:

There is no doubt that there are people here who do not believe that speaking in tongues and see initial evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. I for one used to be one of those, even though I experienced the contrary. It took me years and studying this to arrive at my current point of view. If you read Acts and all the events of the baptism of the Holy Spirit you will note that all but one of them mention that the receivers spoke in tongues. The one that doesn’t explicitly state that does state that, “when they saw they had received the Holy Spirit”, implies that there was and outward sign. As tongues of fire was only ever recounted in Acts 2:4, we must assume that the outward sign was the speaking in tongues. I’ll leave it up to you to do the reading.[3]

This is a fairly standard response from Pentecostals. My rejoinder was:[4]

I have presented my evidence to refute your view of tongues as the initial physical evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit in, Tongues and the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.

The evidence from Acts 2:4; Acts 10:44-46 and Acts 19:2-7 demonstrates the filling or baptism of the Holy Spirit in the early church (with tongues) was fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. The Pentecostal requirement of everyone since Acts 2:4 to speak in tongues as initial physical evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit is not consistent with what the Scriptures teach.

According to Acts 8:14-24 in Samaria, when the believers received the Holy Spirit, Simon the sorcerer ‘saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles hands, he offered them money’ (Acts 8:18). This states he ‘saw’ something that accompanied the receipt of the Spirit. One can infer that it may have been tongues that he heard, but there is no definitive statement that says such in this context.

B. Is tongues the initial physical evidence taught in 1 Corinthians?

Image result for free clipart fire public domainFor me, the definitive moment in my understanding of the interpretation of these sometimes difficult verses came when I studied the Greek language of I Cor. 12:29-30 which uses the Greek negative me, thus requiring that a negative answer be given to the question, ‘Do all speak in tongues?’ which is confirmed by the NASB translation: ‘All do not speak with tongues, do they?’

Since the baptism of the Holy Spirit is available to all believers, I Cor. 12:30 confirms that tongues cannot be the initial physical evidence for all believers, since tongues is not given to all. One may argue that in 1 Cor 12-14, the gifts were being discussed and that tongues required the accompanying gift of interpretation (see 1 Cor 14:5, 9-13). The issue still remains: ‘Do all speak in tongues?’ The Greek expects a ‘no’ answer (1 Cor 12:29-30).

Believers in the Christian assembly must strive to edify the other believers (1 Cor 14:3-5). If one speaks in tongues and there is no interpretation, people ‘will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me’ (1 Cor 14:11).

C. Tongues not a reasonable requirement

Therefore, it is not reasonable to expect that all people should speak in tongues as the initial physical evidence of a baptism in the Holy Spirit.

This has led charismatic church leader and pastor of a Vineyard church (USA), George Mallone, to state: ‘Beyond doubt, one of the greatest theological tragedies to befall the church is the suggestion that tongues is a visible sign of having been baptized or filled with the Spirit’ (Mallone 1983:90).

D Martyn Lloyd-Jones was no novice in seeking the baptism with the Holy Spirit or dealing with Pentecostal-charismatics. He wrote: ‘If the suggestion is made that all who have the baptism of the Spirit must speak in tongues and this is repeated and repeated, it is not surprising that people begin to speak in tongues. But the question then arises as to what they are doing…. But all I am concerned about at the moment is that we should never forget the power of suggestion’. In the same exposition, Prove All Things, he also wrote that ‘it is possible for a man to be baptized with the Holy Spirit without ever speaking in tongues, and, indeed, without having some of these other gifts’ (Lloyd-Jones 1985:101, 146).

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on baptism with the Holy Spirit

clip_image004(photo of D Martyn Lloyd-Jones, courtesy Wikipedia)

One of the greatest biblical expositors of the 20th century who had a profound knowledge of the Word was the late D Martyn Lloyd-Jones.[5] In 2016, we celebrated the 35th anniversary of his home-call (he died on 1 March 1981). Lloyd-Jones had a very different view to you of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. See, ‘Lloyd-Jones on Baptism with the Holy Spirit‘.

It was Lloyd-Jones who stated,

The evidence of the history of the church, establishes the fact that the baptism with the Spirit is not always accompanied by particular gifts…. There are people today who say that the baptism with the Spirit is always accompanied by certain particular gifts. It seems to me that the answer of the Scripture is that that is not the case, that you may have a baptism with the Spirit, and a mighty baptism with the Spirit at that, with none of the gifts of tongues, miracles, or various other gifts. No one can dispute the baptism with the Spirit in the case of men like the brothers Wesley and Whitefield and many others, but none of these things happened in connection with them (Lloyd-Jones1985:53).

So am I to cast out Lloyd-Jones’ biblical teaching in favour of your Pentecostal view? Lloyd Jones provides considerable biblical evidence to support his view in Lloyd-Jones (1985).

The Pentecostal with whom I was discussing this theology online was resistant to Lloyd-Jones views, saying:

I don’t agree with Lloyd-Jones conclusions so you can do with him whatever you want. I gave you my perspective in the previous post. You see I tend to stay in the Here and Now and not use authors that are way out of date. This is not a new issue within Pentecostalism. There are indeed two sides to the fence but in Canada and in the U.S. the two major Pentecostal denominations accept and believe that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the baptism/infilling of the Holy Spirit. To me, that’s enough to know that it is a consensus opinion, and as it is what I see evidence in the scripture I can only concur.[6]

You wouldn’t expect me to let him get away with this misrepresentation, would you? He misrepresented the meaning of ‘consensus opinion’. So, here goes with a refutation, brief though it will be:

E. The Pentecostal consensus opinion

It is NOT a consensus opinion.[7] It is a Pentecostal opinion supported by the Pentecostal denominations such as, Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC), Assemblies of God (A/G), Apostolic Faith Mission South Africa, Elim churches, etc.

There are major Christian denominations around the world that do not accept that view. These include Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists, Reformed, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, Anabaptists (e.g. Mennonites), etc. When you can use ‘consensus opinion’ for 2 denominations, you have redefined consensus. There is NO consensus opinion among the major denominations around the world to make tongues the initial physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

F. Don’t use authors who are ‘way out of date’

Image result for tongues of fire public domainSo this fellow will ‘tend to stay in the Here and Now and not use authors that are way out of date’. So do you want to throw out the teachings of Martin Luther? If you are a Protestant, you are a product of the ministry of a man, Luther, whose ministry is ‘out of date’ from your perspective. His ministry is as up to date as Scripture.

For Luke to be able to write his Gospel, he depended on authors who were ‘way out of date’ – those who ‘from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us’ (Luke 1:2 ESV). If church history is a waste of space to you, then forget about the Azusa Street revival for your Pentecostal verification because it is ‘way out of date’.

Your ‘way out of date’ perspective makes you a sitting duck for heretical intrusion into any assembly/church. We know how to identify heresy because of the godly teachers God has given to the church (Eph 4:11-16) who have equipped the saints for the work of ministry and the building up of the body of Christ – today and down through church history. We are helped to identify heresy by those who have gone before. Athanasius was instrumental in doing this to confront Arius and his anti-trinitarianism at the Council of Nicea. But that’s not important to this man’s view!

Heb 11:4 (NIV) disagrees with this fellow’s ‘way out of date’ view, ‘By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead‘. Abel, though way out of date and dead many thousands of years, still speaks.

This fellow’s ‘way out of date’, short-sightedness will be gone in a few years, and God’s gifted teachers from history will still speak: Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Arminius, Calvin, Wesley, Whitefield, Edwards, Spurgeon, Seymour, Hodge, Olson, Sproul, Mohler, etc. This really is pathetic that he wants to have nothing to do with God’s great teachers from church history who led the way to where we are today. His own ministry will be impoverished when he denigrates or excludes these teachers.

Why did God give teachers (past and present) to the church? See Eph 4:11-16 (ESV). This poster excluded them and their influence!

I found his response to be incoherent and making many assumptions that need far more biblical justification than he gave.[8]

G. Conclusion

I found it nigh impossible to have a logical conversation with a Pentecostal, tongues-speaking individual online because of:

# His insistence on a Pentecostal interpretation. It seemed as though he had been indoctrinated into this view. Lloyd-Jones states that when a doctrine of baptism of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues is ‘repeated and repeated, it is not surprising that people begin to speak in tongues’ and he likened this to ‘the power of suggestion’ (Lloyd-Jones 1985:201).

# He refused to listen to the teaching of people from Christian history. He lives in the here and now and wants nothing to do with Christian authors who are ‘way out of date’. He has no concept of God’s gift of teachers to the church in the past and present.

# I could not have a rational conversation with this person who refused to deal with some of the issues I presented to him. He engaged in several red herring fallacies and then went into his own spin, ignoring my emphases. This is typical of a person who reverts to using a red herring.

# He made ‘consensus opinion’ of tongues as the physical evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit sound like he was referring to all churches but he confirmed he was only dealing with Pentecostal denominations. As I pointed out, it is not a consensus theology that applies across most denominations.

H. Works consulted

Lloyd-Jones, D M 1985. Prove All Things: The Sovereign Work of the Holy Spirit. Eastbourne: Kingsway Publications.

Mallone, G. 1983. Those Controversial Gifts. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press.

I.  Notes


[1] Christianity Board, Testimonial Forum, ‘The Catholic Church gets put down a lot, but it was all that could help’, StanJ#111, 23 January 2016. Available at: http://www.christianityboard.com/topic/22554-the-catholic-church-gets-put-down-a-lot-but-it-was-all-that-could-help/page-4 (Accessed 24 April 2016).

[2] Ibid., OzSpen#113.

[3] Ibid., StanJ#122.

[4] Ibid., OzSpen#126.

[5] I included this information at ibid., OzSpen#114.

[6] Ibid., StanJ#123.

[7] Ibid., OzSpen#127.

[8] See his response at ibid., StanJ#129 & #130.

 

Copyright © 2016 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 27 January 2017.

Gift of tongues is gibberish?

Monday, February 24th, 2014

File:Baptist-Church.jpg

Baptist Church (courtesy Wikipedia)

By Spencer D Gear

How would you respond to somebody who called the New Testament spiritual gift of tongues ‘gibberish’ and ‘foolish’?

Baptists and speaking in tongues

A fellow asked in a Baptist directory online, ‘I know that there is considerable diversity within the Baptist movement, but I’m not sure whether this extends to multiple positions on glossolalia [speaking in tongues]’.[1]

I responded:[2]

Near where I live in the outer suburbs of Brisbane Qld, at Burpengary, there is a Baptist Church called ‘Access Church‘, that is as full-on Pentecostal-charismatic as many such churches I’ve visited.

This topic of Baptists and tongue speaking had been addressed previously (in 2012) in the Baptist directory on this forum, in the thread, ‘What do Baptists believe about speaking in tongues?

However, to pick up this theme (only briefly), here are some biblical basics:

a. First Corinthians 14:2, 4 refers to tongues for personal edification and not requiring interpretation — therefore it is not for use in the church. This seems to be what Paul is referring to when he says, “I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all” (I Cor. 14:18). In the church, he prefers intelligibility: “I desire to speak five words with my mind, that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue” (14:19).

b. First Corinthians 14:14-18 contrasts speaking and singing “with the spirit” (tongues on the basis of v. 14) and praying with the mind. Therefore, throughout I Cor. 12-14, there seems to be an interchange of tongues (spiritual language or ecstatic utterance) as a language spoken to God for personal edification and tongues requiring interpretation for the edification of the church.

Therefore, my conclusion is that I Cor. 12:28, 30 are referring to both kinds of tongues, which are not given to all believers. Why? It is because ‘one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills’ (I Cor. 12:11 NASB). First Corinthians 12:14 emphasises: ‘For the body is not one member, but many’. Therefore, I do not find it surprising that tongues is restricted to some believers by the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit.

This has led charismatic leader and pastor of a Vineyard church (USA), George Mallone, to state quite a few years ago: “Beyond doubt, one of the greatest theological tragedies to befall the church is the suggestion that tongues is a visible sign of having been baptized or filled with the Spirit” (Mallone 1983:90).[3]

How would you expect a sceptical Baptist about the gift of tongues to respond to the information provided above?

The gibberish encounter

One person replied:

Most of us believe it is a true gift from God. But we do not believe gibbering away is speaking in tongues we believe it is when you start speaking a real language go Earth in order to minister to others. So speaking gibberish here at a church in the middle of the United States is not speaking in tongues. So many of us believe it is a real gift from God just one that is very misused here in the US.[4]

How does one reply to such a negative assessment, even though there is some truth in what this female said? I replied:[5]

(a) Why the negative assessment?

Why are you speaking pejoratively – calling it ‘gibbering’ and ‘gibberish’ – when God speaks of the genuine gift of tongues that is for the purpose of

  • speaking to God (1 Cor 14:2);
  • for personal edification (1 Cor 14:4);
  • revelation, knowledge, prophecy and teaching when it is accompanied with interpretation when the church gathers (1 Cor 14:6, 12-13)?

So the Scriptures teach that there are two purposes for tongues for the believer when not in a church gathering: speaking to God and personal edification. Sadly much of this personal gift of tongues (without interpretation) makes its way into the public gathering of the church. My understanding is that this is in error, based on 1 Corinthians 14.

However, when in the midst of other people there must be the gift of interpretation of tongues for there to be a communication of revelation, knowledge, prophecy and teaching.

There are extremes and errors in many dimensions of theology. That does not nullify the genuine. What applies to theology such as soteriology (doctrine of salvation) also applies to glossolalia. Extremes and error do not negate the authentic.

Why tongues and not in English?

A fellow took me on with some provocative and legitimate questions:

OK. Why must you speak in tongues to speak to God? Is speaking in tongues more efficacious than speaking to God in English?

How does tongues personally edify you?
Also, when you speak in tongues for “personal edification”, who interprets that for you?…

The way it is practiced today is gibbering and gibberish. I would go further and say that it’s foolish.[6]

This does raise some important points about an unknown language and edification; there are times when tongues’ speaking sounds like human ‘gibberish’ and foolishness. But does disorder negate the orderly?
Some out-of-order practices

Here is some of my reply:[7]

Let me make it very clear. I never said and I do not support how you put it by asking why I ‘MUST … speak in tongues’. Nobody MUST speak in tongues. Of all of the gifts, the Scriptures state, ‘earnestly desire’ spiritual gifts. I desire God’s best for me – and I’ll thank him for the gifts He gives me.

How does tongues personally edify you?

God has stated that the gift of tongues does edify personally and that has been my experience. I take him at his word and that is how it happens. It enhances my relationship with the Lord for which I’m grateful.
If you read the Scriptures I gave carefully, esp. 1 Cor 14:2, 4, you would not ask this second question about the need to interpret for personal edification. The Scriptures do not state that interpretation is necessary for personal edification. I agree with what the Scriptures state.

It might sound like ‘gibbering and gibberish’ and ‘foolish’ to you, but by the kinds of comments you have made in this response to me, you seem to want to denigrate the gift of tongues. I have never experienced the gift of tongues as gibberish for personal edification but as one of God’s special gifts for my relationship with God. If God gives the gift of tongues in the church gathering, tongues must be accompanied by the gift of interpretation. That’s Bible.

I encourage you not to disparage the spiritual gifts that God has taught us about: ‘Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy’ (I Cor 14:1 ESV).
May God encourage all of us to ‘earnestly desire’ the spiritual gifts. These are gifts of the Spirit of the Trinitarian Lord God almighty.

Further penetrating questions

Question by pranav - Question Join facebook page Art & Photography By Pranav Waghmare http://www.facebook.com/pages/Art-Photography-By-Pranav-Waghmare/139068996153870 Question by pranav - Question Join facebook page Art & Photography By Pranav Waghmare http://www.facebook.com/pages/Art-Photography-By-Pranav-Waghmare/139068996153870 Question by pranav - Question Join facebook page Art & Photography By Pranav Waghmare http://www.facebook.com/pages/Art-Photography-By-Pranav-Waghmare/139068996153870

This person who has been challenging me said, ‘I disparage the unbiblical use of those gifts’ and he said that I left unanswered three questions:

1. Are tongues more efficacious than English?

2. How does tongues edify you?

3. How are you edified by a language you don’t understand?

I join with you in offering a biblical correction for the unbiblical use of the gifts (incl. tongues) that can be evident in some churches.[8]

Answers to those questions

Let’s turn to the Scripture so answer this fellow’s legitimate questions:

1. Are tongues more efficacious than English?

A ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer is not helpful without an explanation of the nature of the gift of tongues and the issue that Paul was attempting to correct:

(a)  Ch 14:11-13 tells us some of the problem Paul was trying to correct. There were tongues without interpretation at Corinth in the church gathering and this was not on. One would be a ‘foreigner’ in such an atmosphere without interpretation. So Paul’s message to the 21st century Pentecostal, charismatic, and other churches allowing expression of these gifts, would be the same as for Corinth: ‘One who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret’ (14:13 ESV).

(b) ‘If I pray in a tongue my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful’ (14:14). So tongues are more efficacious when I’m praying with my spirit to God. God gives a place to the spirit of the human being in communication with God.

2. How does tongues edify you?

Paul tells us things that are critical when speaking about tongues:

(a) The tongues’ speaker ‘speaks not to men but to God’ (14:2). So tongues is a means of communing with God by the Holy Spirit. We know from 14:13-14, 28 that those who speak in tongues are ‘communing with God by the Spirit…. Paul understands the phenomenon basically to be prayer and praise’ (Gordon Fee’s language 1987:656).

(b) My experience in God’s prayer and praise language in the spirit/Spirit is just that. It’s a special way of communing with God that I’ve never experienced while praying in my Aussie English.

(c) So tongues edifies me in by my spirit communing with the Spirit of God in a language He has given me. I would never want to crush that understanding through Enlightenment thinking.

3. How are you edified by a language you don’t understand?

That is partly answered by #2, but there is additional communication in 1 Cor 12-14. It is important not to minimise and underestimate what Paul states in 14:5, ‘Now I want you all to speak in tongues’, but even more to prophecy’. The first half of that sentence is often diminished, ignored, minimised or excised by some Christians.
The one who speaks in tongues ‘utters mysteries in the Spirit’ (14:2 ESV). That is not possible in English. These ‘mysteries’ spoken by the Holy Spirit could mean what is stated in 1 Cor 13:2, but my experience is that the gift of tongues for personal edification (thus not needing interpretation) involves an encounter with the Spirit of God that is outside my rational understanding as a speaker. It would be the same for the hearer, so there is no place for the gift of tongues in a public gathering without a God-given gift of interpretation.

How is it possible for language given by the Holy Spirit (tongues) and not understood in English to be edifying for the speaker, to be self-edifying? This is not egotistic, self-centred spiritual elitism. My experience is that this is through prayer and praise with the gift of glossolalia (tongues) as I Cor 14:14-15 indicates.
However, 1 Cor 14:14-15 tells us how we can be edified by a language we cannot understand through the gift of tongues:

For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also (ESV).

The Spirit of God, through the Scriptures, here tells us that there is a way to be spiritually edified without using the cortex of the brain – through the gift of tongues where the spirit prays and the mind is not playing a pivotal part – thus being ‘unfruitful’.

So the Scripture exhorts us to use both – pray and sing with the spirit/Spirit through the gift of tongues and pray and sing with the mind. Paul taught us that there are favourable things that can happen in private devotions through the gift of tongues without interpretation, but his concern in the Corinthian church (and by application to the contemporary church) is that there should be no gift of tongues in a public, group church gathering without the gift of interpretation (see 14:5, 13, 27).

First Corinthians and the contemporary church

By application, Paul’s message to the contemporary church is, ‘I want you all to speak in tongues’ (14:5) but in the public gathering, ‘one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret’ (14:13).

But what do I find when I visit many services of Pentecostal-charismatic churches or charismatic churches in other denominations? I hear group tongues allegedly associated with ‘singing in the Spirit’, ‘speaking in tongues’ and no interpretation. This is totally out of order and is contrary to Paul’s instruction ‘all things should be done decently and in order’ (1 Cor 1 4:40). Many Pentecostal-charismatics are violating the teaching of 1 Corinthians 12-14. My experience is that this is often because there is too little biblical teaching on the gifts of the Spirit in these churches.

Many people absorb the atmosphere by osmosis and are not exposed to biblical correction concerning the gifts of the Spirit.

See these samples of Pentecostal-charismatic issues:

Congreso Nacional Juvenil3.jpg

Pentecostalism (Wikipedia)

Works consulted

Fee, G D 1987. The first epistle to the Corinthians (The New International Commentary on the New Testament), F F Bruce (gen ed). Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Mallone, G. 1983, Those controversial gifts. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press.

Notes:


[1] Christian Forums, Baptists, ‘What is the Baptist view on Speaking/Praying in Tongues?’ ’Colfax #1, available at: http://www.christianforums.com/t7800642/ (Accessed 24 February 2014).

[2] Ibid., OzSpen #24, http://www.christianforums.com/t7800642-3/.

[3] I have provided more details at OzSpen #151 at: http://www.christianforums.com/t1133006-16/ (accessed 24 February 2014).

[4] Vella Vista #18, ibid., available at: http://www.christianforums.com/t7800642-2/ (Accessed 24 February 2014).

[5] Ibid., OzSpen #26, http://www.christianforums.com/t7800642-3/ (Accessed 24 February 2014).

[6] Ibid., South Bound #28, http://www.christianforums.com/t7800642-3/.

[7] Ibid., OzSpen#29.

[8] Ibid., South Bound #30.

 

Copyright © 2014 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 18 November 2015.

Famed heart doctor tells the dramatic story of how a patient of his was ‘raised from the dead’ after prayer

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Ribbon Healing Button

Award winning journalist, Dan Wooding, has granted permission for the republication of his article that tells the amazing, true story of a person being raised from the dead by God through prayer of a cardiovascular specialist. The article follows:

 

ASSIST News Service (ANS) – PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA
Visit our web site at:
www.assistnews.net — E-mail: assistnews@aol.com

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Famed heart doctor tells the dramatic story of how a patient of his was ‘raised from the dead’ after prayer

(On 22 November 2015 this article was no longer available at this link, but it was available at Breaking Christian News at:  http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=4216).

Dr. Chauncey W. Crandall IV produces evidence at the 4th Annual World Christian Doctors Network conference in Miami, Florida

 

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries


MIAMI, FL (ANS) — The audience of 120 doctors from 50 countries sat in stunned silence as a renowned heart doctor produced evidence of how, after he had prayed for a patient who had died and was being prepared for the morgue, was brought back to life after prayer.

Chauncey_Crandall_CardiologyDr. Crandall
(courtesy https://chaunceycrandall.com/)

Dr. Chauncey W. Crandall IV, who serves at the Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, made his dramatic presentation on Friday, July 13th at the 4th Annual World Christian Doctors Network Conference in Miami, Florida.

He produced dramatic evidence that was shown on the screen and then, afterwards, agreed to tell the story to ANS in an interview.

Dr. Crandall began by saying that the dramatic incident took place almost a year ago in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“We had a fifty-three year old man who came to the emergency room with a massive heart attack and actually his heart had stopped,” he said. “The medical people had worked on him for over forty minutes in the emergency room and then declared him dead.

“They called me in to evaluate the patient towards the end of his treatment where they had unsuccessfully tried to revive him. The nurse was preparing his body to be taken down to the morgue when the Holy Spirit told me to ‘turn around and pray for that man.’ When the Holy Spirit talks to you, you have to respond. It’s sometimes a quiet voice and this was a quiet voice and to honor the Lord I did turn around and I went to the side of that stretcher where his body was being prepared.

Black with death

2

Dr. Crandall making his presentation at the World Christian Doctors Network conference in Miami

 

“There was no life in the man. His face and feet and arms were completely black with death and I sat next to his body and I prayed, ‘Lord, Father; how am I going to pray for this man? He’s dead. What can I do?’ All of a sudden, these words came out of my mouth, ‘Father, God, I cry out for the soul of this man if he does not know You as his Lord and Savior, please raise him from the dead right now in Jesus name.

“It was amazing as a couple minutes later, we were looking at the monitor and all of a sudden a heart beat showed up. It was a perfect beat; a normal beat; and then after a couple more minutes, he started moving and then his fingers were moving and then his toes began moving and then he started mumbling words.

“There was a nurse in the room — she wasn’t a believer — and she screamed out and said ‘Doctor Crandall, what have you done to this patient?’ And I said, ‘All I’ve done is cry out for his soul in Jesus name.’

“We quickly rushed the gentleman down to the intensive care unit, and the hospital was by now buzzing about the fact that a dead man had been brought back to life. After a couple of days he woke up. He had an amazing story to tell after I had asked him, ‘Where have you been and where were you on that day that you had that massive heart attack? You were gone and we prayed you back to life in Jesus name.’

Thrown in the trash

“He said, ‘Doctor Crandall, it’s the most amazing thing. I was in a dark room and there was no light. It was complete darkness and I felt I was in a casket and I kept repeating that I was so disappointed.’ He said the disappointment came from the fact that none of his family, friends or colleagues, had come to visit him. Then he told me, ‘All of a sudden, these men came in and they wrapped me up and they threw me in the trash.’

“Dan, he was in hell that day and as he told me that story, I cried out, ‘Lord, this gentleman needs to accept You as Lord and Savior.’ I then explained the salvation message to this man as he sat in that bed and I held his hand and I cried out, ‘Father God, in the name of Jesus, I pray that this man accepts you as his Lord and Savior right here in the intensive care unit.’ He held out his hand and accepted Christ as his Savior with tears rolling down from his eyes and now he’s a child of God.

“I told him, ‘You never have to be thrown in the trash into total darkness now. The life of Christ is in you and the light of the kingdom of Heaven is on you now.”

I asked Dr. Crandall if there had been any brain damage to the patient.

“No there was no brain damage at all; his brain was completely normal,” he said. “I was most concerned about his hands because his fingers were completely black and he had some numbness in his fingers and his feet, but now that is totally resolved.”

I asked Dr. Crandall if he could give the name of the man and he said he couldn’t as the patient had requested that it would not be revealed.

“All I can say is that he was fifty-three years old and he was a car mechanic,” he said. “He had a family that were believers, but he left them twenty years ago because he didn’t believe in the Lord. His family continued to pray for twenty years for his salvation, and his ex-wife was on her hands and knees praying for the salvation of her ex-husband, who came to know the Lord that day.”

I then asked the doctor if he had seen other similar miracles in his practice.

“I’ve been witness to three cases of people being raised from the dead,” he said. “One other case was when another patient came to the hospital with a massive heart attack. It was on the very day that I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and I’d been praying for weeks that I would receive this mighty baptism that the Lord can give us. We were working on this patient that came in again with a massive heart attack and who didn’t survive in the operating room.

“All of a sudden, that Baptism of the Holy Spirit hit me and I started speaking in a spiritual language and crying over this patient in the operating room theater who had passed away. And then, within five or ten minutes, the heartbeat came back and life came back to this patient. Once again, the nurses who are not believers looked at me as if to say, ‘There goes Doctor Crandall on another case.”

I concluded the interview by asking Dr. Crandall what he would like to say to doctor’s who do not believe in supernatural healing.

“I would just like to say to my colleagues and physicians out there, that the Lord is real. We’ve seen many miracles and we pray for our patients daily. There is not one week that goes by that we don’t see a mighty miracle in our office. The people need this; they need the power of Christ in their life and they need the power of Christ for healing.

“I would just encourage my fellow doctors to get involved in a church, meet with a minister, and attend a healing service run by people that believe in the power of Jesus Christ. We love our colleagues in medicine we pray for them.”

Background on Dr. Crandall:

Dr. Crandall serves at the Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in anthropology from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. and was awarded a M.D. degree from Universidad Centro de Estudios Tecnicos Escuela de Medicina Republica Dominicana. In addition, he has done post-doctoral work as an intern and as a resident in medicine at Yale University School of Medicine; as a fellow in cardiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine; and as an intervention cardiology fellow at the Medical College of Virginia. He has served as an instructor in the Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division at Beth Israel Hospital, Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. He also has served as an associate faculty member at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. and as a visiting professor at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Granada, West Indies.

Dr. Crandall has been in private medical practice since 1995 and holds medical staff privileges at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center and Jupiter Medical Center. A noted lecturer both nationally and internationally, Dr. Crandall has spoken on topics including heart transplant, interventional cardiology, preventive cardiology and cardiology health care of the elderly. He is married to Deborah Newell Crandall. They are parents to two sons, Christian Pierce and Chadwick Baxter.

For more information on the World Christian Doctors Network, go to www.wcdn.org.

Note to the broadcast media. An MP3 audio file of the interview with Dr. Crandall is available for broadcast from Dan Wooding at assistnews@aol.com. If you would like to interview Dr. Crandall, just send me a message at the same e-mail and I will forward your request to him directly.

* I would like to thank Robin Frost for transcribing this interview.

 


Dan Wooding is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. Wooding is the author of some 42 books, the latest of which is his autobiography, “From Tabloid to Truth”, which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, go to www.fromtabloidtotruth.com. danjuma1@aol.com.

 


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Tongues and the Baptism with the Holy Spirit

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

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By Spencer D Gear

Some Pentecostal Christian denominations and para-church agencies of a similar theological persuasion have Statements of Beliefs that state that they believe the baptism with the Holy Spirit, according to Acts 2:4, is given to believers who ask for it. [1]  The meaning is that speaking in tongues is the initial physical evidence of the baptism/filling with the Holy Spirit.  Those who are Spirit-filled will speak in unknown or other tongues, according to this theology.

Although I accepted this view for about 13 years, an examination of the Scriptures and Christian experience have  pressed me to question this understanding.  Since I am committed to the inerrant Word of God, I have sought answers from a careful study of the grammar and context of Acts 2:4 and other Scriptures.

I consider this an important issue since the Scriptures speak about the baptism/filling of the Holy Spirit.  I deeply desire the Holy Spirit’s ministry in my life, therefore, the following study is directed towards discovering the theology of the baptism with the Holy Spirit with a view to experience in the Christian’s life.

The Day of Pentecost

What happened on the day of Pentecost was a unique historical occurrence (tongues were not sought) where the tongues were actual known dialects (Acts 2:6, 8 uses the Greek word, dialekto — dative case, which v. 8 affirms was their own native language).  These dialects were understood by the listeners and did not need to be interpreted.

To make Acts 2:4 support the “initial evidence” doctrine, one, to be consistent, must require that those baptised in the Holy Spirit today must speak in known dialects.

Other References in the Book of Acts

The “tongues” of Acts 10:46 seem to be interpreted by Acts 11:15, which means that it is the Gentiles’ Pentecost with the languages being known dialects (cf, “just as He did upon us at the beginning”, 11:15).  Therefore, because of this context of the Book of Acts, Acts 19:6 would be most consistently interpreted as the dialects of the day of Pentecost.  What is significant is that as the gospel spread and as each new group of people was encountered, tongues is mentioned (the Jews, Acts 2:4; the Gentiles, Acts 10:46; those who accepted John’s baptism, Acts 19:6).  From these verses it is evident that for some people who are filled with the Spirit, they will speak in tongues.

It is just as significant in the Book of Acts that tongues is not mentioned with the filling of the Spirit in all examples.  Acts 8:18 does not state what Simon the sorcerer saw.  Acts 9:17 does not associate Paul’s filling with the Holy Spirit with “tongues”.  It is arguing from silence (a dangerous exegetical practice) to say that Paul’s baptism with the Spirit was accompanied by tongues.  We know he spoke in tongues (I Cor. 14:18-19), but do not know when it began.

In Acts 4:8, “filled”, an aorist participle, could be translated “having just been filled”, does not mention tongues.  This is repeated in 13:9, 52.  Acts 4:31 does not mention tongues.  In fact the evidence was that they “began to speak the word of God with boldness” (NASB).  Why are not boldness (Acts 4:31), power (Acts 1:8) and prophecy (Acts 19:6) the evidences of the filling of the Spirit?

Tongues in I Corinthians

What happened on the day of Pentecost cannot be identified with the “tongues” of I Cor. 12:11, 30; 14:2, 4, 13, 19, 27 where the “tongue” either had to be interpreted (12:11, 30; 14:13, 27) or was unknown language, spoken to God for personal edification (14:2, 4).  However, I Cor. 13:1 identifies tongues with the languages of men (understandable human languages) and the languages of angels (presumably the communication language of the angels in heaven).

For me, the definitive moment in my interpretation of these sometimes difficult verses came when I studied the Greek language of I Cor. 12:29-30 which uses the Greek negative me, thus requiring that a negative answer be given to the question, “Do all speak in tongues?” which is confirmed by the NASB translation: “All do not speak with tongues, do they?”

Since the baptism of the Holy Spirit is available to all believers, I Cor. 12:30 confirms that tongues cannot be the initial physical evidence for all believers, since tongues is not given to all.

Perhaps the reply could be: I Corinthians 12-14 must be taken as a whole and refers to the use of tongues in the corporate gathering of the church and so refers to the gift of tongues requiring the accompanying gift of interpretation.  Therefore, it is correct to say that not all believers are given the gift of tongues requiring interpretation for exercise in the gathering of the body.

This is a valid objection that I accepted for many years.  However, a closer examination of the context reveals the following:

a.    I Cor. 14:2, 4 refers to tongues for personal edification and not requiring interpretation — therefore it is not for use in the church.  This seems to be what Paul is referring to when he says, “I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all” (I Cor. 14:18).  In the church, he prefers intelligibility: “I desire to speak five words with my mind, that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue” (14:19)

b.    I Cor. 14:14-18 contrasts speaking and singing “with the spirit” (tongues on the basis of v. 14) and praying with the mind.  Therefore, throughout I Cor. 12-14, there seems to be an interchange of tongues (spiritual language or ecstatic utterance) as a language spoken to God for personal edification and tongues requiring interpretation for the edification of the church.

Therefore, my conclusion is that I Cor. 12:28, 30 is referring to both kinds of tongues, which are not given to all believers.  Why?  Because “one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills” (I Cor. 12:11 NASB).  I Cor. 12:14 emphasises: “For the body is not one member, but many.”  Therefore, I do not find it surprising that tongues is restricted to some believers by the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit.

This has led charismatic leader and pastor of a Vineyard church (USA), George Mallone, to state: “Beyond doubt, one of the greatest theological tragedies to befall the church is the suggestion that tongues is a visible sign of having been baptized or filled with the Spirit” (1983:90).

Based on Experience

Experience is never the way to judge whether or not a doctrine is correct.  That must come from a solid historical-grammatical interpretation of the Bible.  However, my experience and that of others is that, even though one speaks in tongues, this does not mean one is always controlled by the Spirit (and surely that is one meaning of the filling/baptism of the Holy Spirit).  I have spoken in tongues in my prayer time with the Lord, but later in the day have been angry with my children, told a lie, or slandered a brother.  So, speaking in tongues is no guarantee for me that I am always dominated by the Spirit of God.

On the other hand, I know people who do not speak in tongues (my wife is one example) whose lives are a constant testimony to submission to Jesus Christ and control by the Holy Spirit.

Conclusion

A consistent interpretation of the relevant Scriptures reveals that tongues cannot be available to every Christian as the initial physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit because:

1.    Not all will speak in tongues (I Cor. 12:30), and
2.    Such a doctrine usurps the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit, based on the following Scriptures:

  •  “We have different gifts according to the grace given us” (Rom. 12:6a).
  •  “All these [gifts] are the work of the one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines” (I Cor. 12:11).
  • ·Hebrews 2:4 speaks of “gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”
    I believe it grieves the Holy Spirit and is a promotion of doctrinal error when denominations and Christian leaders go contrary to the Bible’s teaching.

However, if I am in error in the above contextual-grammatical interpretation of “tongues” I need your correction.  Please be a Berean (Acts 17:11) and direct me to the Word of God. Use this web page’s response form to show me my error.

References

Mallone, G. 1983. Those Controversial Gifts, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois.

Endnotes:

1.    These Denominations explain the baptism with the Holy Spirit as follows:

(a)  Statement 8 of the Assemblies of God (a Pentecostal denomination) “Fundamental Truths” is:

The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit”: ‘The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance. Acts 2:4 [KJV/NIV]

The speaking in tongues in this instance is the same in essence as the gift of tongues, but is different in purpose and use.1 Corinthians 12:4-10 [KJV/NIV]; 1 Corinthians 12:28 [KJV/NIV]’.

(b)  The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (a Pentecostal denomination) in its ‘Declaration of Faith’ states:

We believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the incoming of the promised Comforter in mighty and glorious fullness to endue the believer with power from on high; to glorify and exalt the Lord Jesus; to give inspired utterance in witnessing of Him; to foster the spirit of prayer, holiness, sobriety; to equip the individual and the Church for practical, efficient, joyous, Spirit-filled soul-winning in the fields of life; and that this being still the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, the believer may have every reason to expect His incoming to be after the same manner as that in which He came upon Jew and Gentile alike in Bible days, and as recorded in the Word, that it may be truly said of us as of the house of Cornelius: the Holy Ghost fell on them as on us at the beginning [biblical references to support this statement are: John 14:16-17; Acts 1:5, 8; 2:4; 8:17; 10:44-46; 1 Cor. 3:16].

(c)  The Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee (a Pentecostal denomination), in its “Declaration of Faith” states that ‘we believe … in speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance and that it is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost’.

(d) The Vineyard Churches USA take a different slant in their statement of Core Values, ‘The Ministry of the Holy Spirit’:

We believe that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church at Pentecost in power, baptizing believers into the Body of Christ and releasing the gifts of the Spirit to them. The Spirit brings the permanent indwelling presence of God to us for spiritual worship, personal sanctification, building up the Church, gifting us for ministry, and driving back the kingdom of Satan by the evangelization of the world through proclaiming the word of Jesus and doing the works of Jesus.

We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is our abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide. We believe in the filling or the empowering of the Holy Spirit, often a conscious experience, for ministry today. We believe in the present ministry of the Spirit and in the exercise of all of the biblical gifts of the Spirit. We practice the laying on of hands for the empowering of the Spirit, for healing, and for recognition and empowering of those whom God has ordained to lead and serve the Church.

(e) The Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa (a Pentecostal denomination) in the “Confession of Faith” states that,

WE BELIEVE in the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues as promised to all believers. We believe in the manifestation of the gifts and fruit of the Spirit in the life of a Christian. We believe that a Christian should be a disciple of Jesus Christ living a consecrated and holy life.

Copyright © 2012 Spencer D. Gear.This document last updated at: 11 October 2015.

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