Archive for the ‘Speaking in Tongues’ Category

New Article Series on Speaking in Tongues

Friday, April 6th, 2007

The Spiritual gift of speaking in tongues is an important part of the believers arsenal in listening to and obeying the voice of God. However, a great deal of the available teaching is misleading, and sometimes deceptive. There is a strong focus on the dangers, prompting believers to live in fear rather than faith, with almost no teaching on the uses of this gift.

Prompted by a comment by a friend about my old article on speaking in tongues: Tongues – making it happen, on the Healing Prayer Ministries Network website, I’ve writen the first of a series on this topic on my Speaking-in-Tongues blog. The first of these new articles is called Tongues five years on.

Check out posts in my other blogs

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

If you are reading this post you would probably also be interested in posts in some of my blogs:

a reasonable mystic

Mal’s Meanderings

speak-in-tongues blog

Distortion of meaning by dictionary definitions

Monday, October 16th, 2006

The posts to the Listening 2 God Google group that accompanies this blog have led me to thinking about how the common definitions of words in dictionaries often lead to a distortion of meaning in their common use.

The dictionary is attempting to reflect the common use meaning of a word, but inevitably it helps to change how that word is used. The meaning presented will be biased by a number of factors, such as the understanding of the dictionary compiler, or its use by the sample of sources used by the compiler, which might, or might not, be representative of a large body of users of that word. Consequently, the future use of this word will be biased towards this direction, as people look up the word to find out what it means.

In this way, while the dictionary meanings attempt to follow common useage, at the same time they also establish that common useage.

For example, let’s take the word “prophecy”. Common useage, as indicated by what I read on the web and in books, and by what I hear in conversation, now emphasises predicting the future. This is understandable, given the sensational value placed on it in recent television programs.

If we look up the verb “prophesy” in the Macquarie Dictionary, we find six meanings relating to predicting the future, one for hearing God’s voice, and one for teaching or preaching (another common distortion used in evangelical circles).

But is it accurate? I believe that early Christian references to this word, and even earlier Hebrew useage was more in the line of hearing God’s voice, whether for now or the future.

Another example – “speaking in tongues”. Common useage, as given in dictionaries emphasises ecstacy, possibly because of the inaccuracy of early Pentecostal teaching, but also because of the common perception that it is something wierd. I am sure that the understanding of the early church was rather more prosaic, as is our own experience.

Then there is “demon”. Until recently it was clearly an evil spirit – an angelic being. But more commonly it has been demystified so far as to be only a synonym for human angst.

Most dictionaries will also have an entry for “demon possession”, which is not even in the Bible except as a very poor mistranslation introduced by the king James version and continued in many versions since. A better translation would be to retain the Greek word in its English form of “demonise”, which simply means something like “to have a demon”.

However, if we look up “demonise”, we find that its common useage is now to make a person, idea or institution “look like a demon” – in other words, give them the appearance of evil. Interestingly, if you are familiar with the concept of territorial spirits, you will realise that this idea is not so far off the mark, except that there are definitely evil spirits involved in the process! We see in the world news every day people “demonising” religion. What they don’t realise is that “religion” was demonised long ago. Check out Peter Wagner’s Freedom From The Religious Spirit.

One result of these changes in common useage is that over time they are read back into the original documents, and so influence future understanding and translations. It all becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

It is known that many marginal notes on ancient Bible manuscripts had this effect as they found their way into subsequent copies of the text. Well, the process hasn’t ceased!

Welcome to Listening 2 God blog

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

Hi and welcome to Listening 2 God blog.

This blog is intended to complement the listening2god.com website – a website for those who want together to learn more about hearing God’s voice, and how to recognise the voice of God among the many other voices claiming our attention.

Is it possible to hear God’s voice? Since God is a person, who desires intimacy with those who he calls his friends, then of course it is possible. In fact, I believe everybody hears God speaking.The real question is – is it possible to learn to reliably recognise God’s voice?

The answer is most definitely YES!

God is not human – God is Spirit. So we would expect that hearing God might be a bit different from hearing another person. But it is not that much different, because humans also are spiritual beings, made in the image of God, and created for communion, and therefore communication, with him. God has built numerous ways into the creation by which we hear him speak. Some of these are:

* Human conscience
* Awe of his created world
* Our spirit can respond to his Spirit
* He can ‘speak’ thoughts into our mind
* The witness of the Holy Spirit – e.g. inner peace
* He speaks through other people
* Spiritual gifts, such as prophecy, tongues, interpretation of

tongues, wisdom, knowledge, discernment of spirits
* Dreams and visions
* His written word, the Bible
* And the primary revelation of God – his Son Jesus Christ

In addition, God has provided ways for us to test and confirm whether what we are hearing is accurate and really from God. This is because His is not the only voice we might hear. We can, of course, hear our own thoughts, but it is also possible to hear the thoughts of others and of angels and evil spirits.

We have learned a number of effective ways for people to sharpen their spiritual hearing and discernment,

If you would like to learn more about how to hear God’s voice, and how to check what you hear, then visit the teaching section of the website, or contact us about a course in Hearing God’s Voice. We also run courses on Intercession and Spiritual Warefare, Prayer Ministry, Intimacy with God, and the Creative Spirit.