Being Spirit-filled, prophecy, and tongues

by Mike Ratliff

26 But two men had remained in the camp: the name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle; yet they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”
28 So Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, one of his choice men, answered and said, “Moses my lord, forbid them!”
29 Then Moses said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!” 30 And Moses returned to the camp, he and the elders of Israel. Numbers 11:26-30 (NKJV) 

8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (NKJV) 

Carefully read the two passages I placed at the top of this post, Numbers 11:26-30 and 1 Corinthians 13:8-13. Actually, the second passage leads right into the the passage which is the focus for this post, 1 Corinthians 14:1-25. I wanted you to read these other passages to keep things in context. I have a friend, a good friend, who claims to be “a Pentecostal.” However, he and I have talked quite a bit about this topic. He asked me a few years ago if I had ever spoken in tongues. I told him that I had not. I asked him if he had. He told me that he had not either, but that since the church or denomination he was part of placed such a premium on that that it bothered him some that he did not. He refused “to fake it.” He told me that if he was not overcome by some outside force to speak in tongues then he was not going to just start doing it. He then asked me if it bothered me that I had not spoken in tongues. I told him that it didn’t bother me at all. He asked me why. I almost quoted sections of 1 Corinthians 14 to him. I am a Bible teacher. I teach from God’s Word. I make things from God’s Word clear to those who also have the Spirit of God. Tongue speaking is not meant for that purpose, but is a sign gift used by God to influence unbelievers. On the other hand, in the Church, the verbal gifts that God uses are those of preaching and teaching, which would include prophecy. I then told my friend that if God wanted me to speak in tongues then it was entirely up to Him to make that happen and I am His bondservant or slave to do with as He wills. Continue reading