TITLE: A Symphony of Miracles Book 2 Chapter 31 (Part 1) 11/27/14
By Richard McCaw
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Preparing the Heart
If a farmer says to himself, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs too much work to clear every stone and weed. I‚Äôll just sow seeds. Rain, sunshine, and fresh air are surely sufficient to reap an harvest!‚ÄĚ However, the ground is stony with tangled weeds. At harvest the fruit is tasteless and vegetables are sickly looking. Preparing soil is a farmer‚Äôs first responsibility; preparing hearts to receive God‚Äôs Word is the responsibility of His servants. Every servant is a minister.
Today, many preachers boast of a great harvest of souls only because of the counting of numbers. Excitement reaches a fever pitch as they stir audiences emotionally. Yet many lives remain the same, because the work is generated by human effort, not by the Spirit.
Like stones and weeds, much prejudice and lack of knowledge still exist among God‚Äôs people. Through Hosea, the prophet, God once declared to Israel, ‚ÄúMy people are destroyed for lack of knowledge!‚ÄĚ So, Hosea advised, ‚ÄúBreak up your fallow ground!‚ÄĚ Fallow ground is soil that has not been ploughed up, from which obstacles have not been removed.
This next incident reveals that each one of us as diligent students of God‚Äôs Word have a responsibility to study and research the scriptures, so that we can know the truth on any subject. Without that kind of discipline we may become prey to false doctrines, emotional responses, mere tradition and remain ignorant of God‚Äôs will for us as His people.
One Sunday afternoon I was standing with a Christian brother on a paved sidewalk at the intersection of Old Hope Road and Lady Musgrave Road. Babbins Methodist Church looked at us from behind the tombstones in its small churchyard.
‚ÄúI believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit,‚ÄĚ I said. ‚ÄúGreat preachers like R.A. Torrey and Charles Finney wrote of it. But speaking in tongues is a gift, and must be followed by interpretation.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúOh, praise Him!‚ÄĚ he exclaimed, and his whole body shook from right to left. ‚ÄúThe Holy Ghost, man!‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs what you need!‚ÄĚ
It was obvious that intense emotionalism was being interpreted as the presence of the Spirit of God.
‚ÄúYes,‚ÄĚ I agreed. ‚ÄúThe Bible does say ‚Äėwe will receive power AFTER the Holy Ghost comes upon us!‚Äô‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIt comes with tongues, you know, my dear brother!‚ÄĚ he asserted.
I stepped back. ‚ÄúI believe in tongues!‚ÄĚ I assured him. ‚ÄúBut the power of the Holy Ghost is a different thing!‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúNo, it‚Äôs one and the same!‚ÄĚ he insisted. ‚ÄúYou get the Holy Ghost power, you get tongues at the same time!‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWell, I don‚Äôt see that in the Bible!‚ÄĚ I said.
He stopped right there and began thumbing through the pages of his Bible to prove the point.
Unable to find supporting scriptures, he turned to me. ‚ÄúI will have to call you!‚ÄĚ he said, and so we parted. Great ignorance is definitely widespread among God‚Äôs people.
Since 1901, after the outpouring of the Spirit at Azusa Street in Los Angeles, the church has been strongly divided on the issue of tongues. Some insist that to become a child of God, you must speak in tongues. Others brand the exercise of tongues as heresy. Still others make it the sign of a second experience called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
So far, I could not find any scripture suggesting another experience subsequent to conversion. I was not like many who glibly accepted whatever was preached from a pulpit. I believed my faith needed to be thoroughly thought through. There was too much shallow thinking all around in the church. I believed, like great preachers of the Christian Church, that the filling of the Spirit was vital for anyone hoping to be successful in God‚Äôs service, and that the gift of tongues could be exercised, only if followed by an interpretation. This brother firmly believed that whenever God filled anyone with His Spirit, that person would speak in tongues.
1. Hos 10:12; 2. Hos 4:6;
Be sure to read Part 2 of this chapter to find out what the scriptures actually teach on this controversial subject.
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