Spirituality or Religious Fix?
                             Great Theologians  

About 450, AUGUSTINE - PRE-CATHOLIC:  "Suppose we advise all our brethren not to teach their children [to speak their native language
by example] because on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit the apostles immediately began to speak the languages of every race; and warn every
one who has not had a like experience [to learn their own language] that he need not consider himself a Christian, or may at least doubt whether
he has yet received the Holy Spirit?  No."  (
On Christian Doctrine, Preface, Point 5)   

About 1270, THOMAS AQUINAS - CATHOLIC:  "Both Paul and the other apostles were divinely instructed in the languages of all nations
sufficiently for the requirements of the teaching of the faith."  (
Summa Theologica, Secunda Secundae Partis)  

About 1536 and 1543, JOHN CALVIN - REFORMED CHURCHES:  "Those who, rejecting Scripture, imagine that they have some peculiar
way of penetrating to God, are to be deemed not so much under the influence of error as madness.  For certain giddy men have lately appeared
who, while they make a great display of the superiority of the spirit....The office of the Spirit promised to us is not to form new and unheard-of
revelations....What can be plainer than this prohibition - 'let not prayers or thanksgivings be offered up in public except in the vernacular
tongue'....We see, then, how Satan sports among them with impunity"  (
Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book I, 9:1; and Commentary
on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle
, I Corinthians 14:16).  

1674, JOHN BUNYAN - BAPTIST:  "But the devil, that he might...render the scriptures also odious and low, telling them of the 'scriptures'
within; which Christ never taught, nor yet his disciples:  But they...have given themselves over rather to follow the suggestions of the devil than
the holy scriptures....But this design the devil carries on by pretending to show them a more excellent way which they may attain to...from the
light within them."  (
The Works of John Bunyan, Vol. II, pg. 136, "Some Gospel Truths Opened According to Scriptures").  

1861 and 1866, CHARLES SPURGEON - BAPTIST:  "But do you know the effect of an experimental [experiential] minister?...This is their
style:  'Except thou art daily feeling the utter rottenness of thine heart....Except thou abidest on the dunghill...thou art no child of God.'  Who told
you that?....Those who pray unintelligible prayers, prayers in a foreign tongue, prayers which they do not understand: we know without a
moment's discussion...the prayer which is not even understood cannot be a prayer in the Spirit, for even the man's own spirit does not enter into
it, how then can the Spirit of God be there?"  (
Sermons in the Metropolitan Pulpit, pg. 173, and pg. 615.  

  I lift up the arms of my heart to you, oh God.  I reach for you with the hands of my spirit and I touch you.  You are so delightful,
grand as the glowing morning sun.  Even when it is red before a brewing storm, you say, "It's just me.  I'm still shining.  I'll be back
right after the storm."  You are my forever God.  

  My brother-in-law, a Maxwell, used to brag in his youth that he was descended from Sir Maxwellus, the noble Brit with Roman citizenship.  
The family has yet to find any evidence of a historic figure who even vaguely resembled such a person or even carried that name.  

  So it was that a few years ago when he went to Scotland determined to find the Maxwell castle, the family all replied, "Sure, Jim.  Yeah.
Right," in no uncertain derogatory terms.  Then the unbelievable happened.  He found it.  The Maxwell castle.  It was triangular in shape and
built of red stone.  It had no roof, and trees were growing inside it.  Nevertheless, it was the Maxwell castle.   

  My sister said that when he went "inside" of "his" castle, he wandered around kind of in a trance as though he was having "a religious
experience," as she termed it.     

  The reference that my sister made to the "religious experience" actually does express what people today seem to be searching for in their
religion:  An experience.  Being able to reach the unreachable.  Being able to experience the unbelievable.  Recently a term has been coined to
explain it:  "experiential religion."  

  Society in the industrial and information-age countries feel it has experienced about as much as it can accomplish for now.  But it wants more.  
Having triumphed over nature, electronics, and the mind, today's society now strains to triumph over the spirit.  This triumph, they call
"spiritualism" which is reached through the "religious experience."  

  Many people go from church to church searching, and feel they all lack spiritual dimension, an intimate relationship with the divine, and an
intimate relationship with the congregation.  Further, in our world of instant everything, they want it right now.  Some finally give up searching the
churches and just stay home to try finding spirituality in solitude.  

  In 1997, the
Vancouver Sun in an article regarding spirituality, quoted someone as saying, "One must 'die before you die' by replacing human
qualities with divine ones....emphasis on spiritual experiences....not afraid of spiritual ecstasy... visions...while whirling in mystical dance."  

  This is a description of Sufism where, among other things, worshippers "dance in exaltation while pointing one hand to heaven and one to
earth."  Followers also believe "music carries one's soul into the divine presence," and chanting the 99 names of God melodiously, "brings peace
to anybody who listens."  It was their effort to reach spirituality. [1]  

  The same year, the Associated Press carried an article about people who "jump up and down, stomp the dirt and throw themselves to the
ground.  Delirious with religious fervor, they shout, 'God!'....The chants become louder and faster....It is worship....the idea is to prepare oneself
for God."  It is a description of Muslim worship.  This was their effort to reach spirituality.  [2]           

  The Hindu religion that is permeating much of North American thinking, suggests meditating on the syllable OM.  
The Upanishads, the
chapter on "Prasna" says:   

  "The syllable OM...when it is fully understood and meditation is therefore rightly directed...whether he be awake, dreaming, or sleeping the
dreamless sleep, and attains to Brahman.  By virtue of a greater understanding he attains to the celestial sphere....The sage, with the help of
OM, reaches Brahman, the fearless, the undecaying, the immortal!"  This was the Hindu effort to reach spirituality.  [3]  

The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha, the chapter on becoming a monk says this:  

  "With the pure Heavenly Eye...he sees beings as they pass away from one form of existence and take shape in another....To him, thus
knowing, thus seeing, the heart is set free from the deadly taint of lusts, is set free from the deadly taint of becomings....Rebirth has been
destroyed.  The higher life has been fulfilled.";  This was the Buddhist effort to reach spirituality.  [4]  

Encyclopedia Britannica states, "references to ecstatic speech and oracular pronouncements can be found, for example, in the classical
writers; and in the [ancient] Greek language...the phrase
lalein heterais glossais referred to glossolalia.  The utterances of the Pythian
priestess of Apollo at Delphi may be considered examples of it.  Various observations of the phenomenon have also been made in peoples of
primitive cultures."  This was the Greek effort to reach spirituality. [5]  

  The early church historian, Eusebius, reported that late in the second century, a man named Montanus claimed to be so spiritualistic that some
even called him the Holy Spirit incarnate.  In Book V, chapter XVI, Eusebius reported that Montanus...  

  "...was carried away in spirit, and wrought up into a certain kind of frenzy and irregular ecstasy, raving, and speaking, and uttering strange
things....he excited two others, females, and filled them with the spirit of delusion, so that they also spake like the former, in a kind of extatic
frenzy, out of all season, and in a manner strange and novel....  

  "Theodotus, one of the first that was carried away by their prophecy, as it was called....as if he should at some time be taken up and received
into the heavens, and who falling into trances, gave himself up to the spirit of deception."  [6]  

  In chapter XVII, Eusebius also reported what the historian Miltiades, a contemporary of Montanus, wrote about this supposed spiritual

  "But the false prophet is carried away by a vehement ecstasy, accompanied by want of all shame and fear.  Beginning, indeed, with a
designed ignorance, and terminating, as beforesaid, in involuntary madness.   

  "They will never be able to show that any of the Old or any of the New Testament, were thus violently agitated and carried away in spirit.  
Neither will they be able to boast that Agabus, or Judas, or Silas, or the daughters of Philip, or Ammias in Philadelphia, or Quandratus, or
others that do not belong to them, ever acted in this way.  This was a "Christian" effort to reach spirituality. [7]  

  In addition to the Montanists mentioned above who were disfellowshipped from the church about 175 AD, speaking in tongues revived in
Christian advocates among mendicant friars in the 1200s, the little prophets of Cevennes, the Camisards, the Jansenists and the Irvingites.  It
was revived again in the 1600s among both Catholics and protestants, and again in the 1900s.  All are efforts to reach spirituality.  

  I once read a book written in praise of "tongues" in which the author struggled to touch God.  He finally prayed that he needed another
language in which to praise him and say he loved him.  In fact, he needed a thousand tongues with which to worship God.  Later in his book he
said that, as people grow in their worship of God, "sooner or later" they will speak in tongues.  [8]  

  At this point, we will look at spirituality as an act of public worship within a congregational assembly.  First, because it appeared in other
world religions, we will investigate the phenomenon of "tongues."  

  God, I had no idea that other religions spoke in tongues.  This is confusing.  I thought it was only a Christian thing.  And I certainly never
heard the early church didn't like it.  No one ever told me that.  I do want to please you, God.  Please be patient with me while I learn.  

             First Occurrences in the Early Church  

  In fairness, we will cover every verse in the New Testament on tongues.  The first is a reference by Jesus himself just before he returned to
heaven.  This is what was said in Mark 16:15-16 in Jesus' own words:  

  " 'Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  Whoever believers and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not
believe will be condemned.  And these signs will accompany those who believe:  In my name they will drive out demons, they will speak in new
tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on
sick people, and they will get well.' "  

  We know from 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 that not everyone who became a Christian performed all the signs listed above.  This phenomenon of
tongues was given equality with picking up poisonous snakes and drinking deadly poison without being killed.  Therefore, there was as much a
predominance of these latter two signs as speaking in tongues.   

   Further, Jesus did not say "unknown" tongues; he said "new" tongues.  In every instance of the word "tongues" occurring in the New
Testament, it is from a Greek word, "glossa," meaning "languages."  

  The first time this occurred is recorded in Acts 2.  Verse 4 says, "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other [not
unknown] tongues as the Spirit enabled them."       Who were the "them" who began to speak in other tongues?  Acts 1:15 says there were 120
present - both men and women - when a replacement was made for Judas' office as apostle (1:13-15).  Have you ever heard there were 120
people present and therefore 120 received the gift of tongues because it says "all" of them?  

  Yet, Acts 2:1 says, "When the day of Pentecost came...."  This was clearly another day.  Otherwise the day would have been placed at the
beginning of the account of the 120.  Further reading will give other evidence as to who was there.  

  In verse 3, the word "they" occurs, but still with no identification.  Verse 4 refers to "them," still with no identification.  Verse 7 gets more
specific, for it refers to "they" and "them" as "these MEN who are speaking" and as "Galileans."  Verse 14 narrows down "they" and "them" and
"these men" even more, referring to Peter with the Eleven.   

  Then Peter specifically tells what "these men" were doing.  

  What were the tongues they were speaking?  Verse 8 says "Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language."  There we
have it in plain black and white.   

  We must realize that Peter was not the only one who preached that day.  His sermon was recorded, but the others preached too.  Everyone
heard "all these men" speaking in their own language, not just Peter.  Peter stood up with the Eleven (verse 14), and in verse 37 the people "said
to Peter and the other apostles."  

  Since we know 3,000 were baptized that day, they surely preached to anywhere from 10,000 to perhaps even 100,000.  For one apostle's
voice to carry to even 1,000 without a sound system like we have today would be a great feat.  

    How many languages were represented in the audience that day?  The regions represented were 15 if you count them in verses 9-11.  This
gives one of three possibilities for the languages spoken that day.  

1.         The simplest is that each apostle spoke one of twelve languages, and three others repeated their sermon in the other languages.  

2.         Or, some of the regions mentioned had languages that were similar.  For instance, Parthia, Media, Elam and Mesopotamia were at
various times parts of the same empire:  The Babylonian Empire, then the Persian Empire, then the Grecian Empire, and finally the Roman
Empire.  Also, Phrygia and Pamphylia were very small provinces next to each other in one corner of southern Turkey.    

3.         Or, we know that the Apostle Peter wrote to the churches in Capadocia, Pontus and Asia (all in Turkey) in the Greek language.  The
Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome in the Greek language.  Paul also wrote to Titus on the isle of Crete in the Mediterranean in the
Greek language.  Both Paul and the Apostle John wrote several churches in the province of Asia in the Greek language.  

  This first instance of tongues occurred when the first Jews were baptized into Christ in Jerusalem.  The next time tongues is mentioned is in
Caesarea on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea when the first Gentiles were baptized into Christ in Acts 10.   

   What occurred first is that a Gentile named Cornelius who was morally good but still not saved was told by an angel in a vision that he should
send for a Jew named Peter.  The next day, Peter had a vision where God told him to break a specific Jewish law ~ to eat forbidden meat.  
Right after that Cornelius' messengers accompanied Peter to Cornelius' house.   

  But before Peter began preaching the gospel, he said, " 'I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from
every nation who fear him and do what is right.  You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace
through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all' " (10:34-36).  

  At the end of his sermon, "while Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.  The circumcised
believers [JEWS] who had come with Peter were ASTONISHED that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out EVEN ON THE
GENTILES" (10:44-45).  

  How did they know this?  Because the Jews "heard them [GENTILES] speaking in tongues and praising God" (10:46).  The word "heard" is
from the Greek "akouo" which means to harken with understanding.  This "akouo" is the same word used in John 8:26 and 40 referring to Jesus
harkening to Jehovah's words, and in 2 Timothy 2:2 referring to Timothy harkening to Paul's words.  

  So, the Jews not only heard a sound coming from the Gentiles' mouths, but they understood the sound - recognizable words.  They knew that
they were words of praise.  When the Twelve preached on the Day of Pentecost back in Acts 2, their words were condemnation for crucifying
Jesus, and exhortation to repent.  They were not words praising God other than honoring his will.  

  Furthermore, when Peter went to the other apostles to explain himself for baptizing people who the Jews considered "untouchables," he said,
"As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them, as he HAD ON US AT THE BEGINNING" (Acts 11:15).  When was the only other
time tongues occurred?  Acts 2 says it was at the beginning of the church.  And who had the gift of speaking in tongues?  The apostles.  
Therefore, these people had the same ability ~ to speak in the native languages of other people.  

  Interestingly, they were still lacking something important that they had to do.  The Apostle Peter announced to his Jewish friends, " 'Can
anyone keep these people [Gentiles] from being baptized with water?  They have received the Holy Spirit just as we [Jews] have.'  So he
ORDERED that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ."  

  Why would they need the gift of languages?  So the Gentiles could go to their own people and preach the gospel.  That was part of Jesus'
command.  "Go into ALL the world and preach the Gospel to ALL creation" (Mark 16:15).  

  The third time tongues is mentioned is in Acts 19 in Ephesus. Ephesus is a province in Turkey, across the Aegean Sea from Greece.  Acts
18:24-28 explains how a Jew named Apollos was preaching there only the baptism of John.  Priscilla and Aquilla taught him "the way of God
more adequately."  Then, instead of correcting what he had taught in Ephesus, he went to Achaia in southern Greece.  

  So Paul went to Ephesus.  When he arrived and found these believers, Paul asked them, " 'Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you
believed?'  They answered, 'No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit' " (19:2).  They went on to explain that they had only been
baptized into John's baptism.  Paul replied, "'John's baptism was a baptism of repentance' " (19:4).  Were they saved yet?  

  "On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus" (19:5).  Why didn't Paul baptize them into the name of the Father, the
Son and the Holy Spirit like Jesus commanded in Mark 16:15?  Because they had no idea who the Holy Spirit was.  So Paul gave them the
Holy Spirit separately.  Then they received the proof they had because "they spoke in tongues and prophesied" (19:6).  The word "spoke" here
is from the Greek word "laleo" meaning to tell something as in a conversation.  Now these Ephesians understood the Holy Spirit.  (More on the
relationship of tongues with prophesying later.)  

  Could just anyone receive the Holy Spirit separately?  No.  Apostles had to be present.  Back in Acts 8, a deacon named Philip went to
Samaria, a province in the middle of Palestine, to preach.  He even performed some miracles.  But, keep in mind, the church was probably only
a couple years old.  None of the New Testament has been written yet.  Preachers were having to hear the Apostles and then go on and teach
what they remembered.  Sometimes even the well meaning were not getting everything straight, just as Apollos above hadn't.  

  When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that even Samaritans had believed in Jesus, these apostles "sent Peter and John to them.  When they
[apostles Peter and John] arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon
any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they
received the Holy Spirit" (8:14-17).   

  Even Simon the sorcerer recognized that the apostles had to be present for this to occur.  Acts 8:18 says "Simon saw that the Spirit was given
at the laying on of the APOSTLES' hands."  

  Note, also, that Jesus told his "apostles he had chosen" (Acts 1:2), "John baptized with water, but in a few days you [the apostles] will be
baptized with the Holy Spirit."  Baptism of the Holy Spirit only occurred two times in the New Testament, to the first Jews ~  the Apostles on
the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and to the first Gentiles - the household of Cornelius (Acts 11:15-18).  

  God, I didn't know the gifts of the Holy Spirit were so intermingled with the work for the Apostles.  There's so much more for me to learn.  
I'm trying, God.  I'm trying.  

        General References in the New Testament  

  The word translated "tongues" is from the Greek word "glossa."  We are investigating every scripture in the New Testament which uses this
word "glossa."  We must keep in mind that "glossa" refers to words the tongue forms that are both good and bad.  

  Here are the scriptures which refer to "glossa" as being bad.  Romans 3:13-14 says, " 'Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice
deceit.  The poison of vipers is on their lips.  Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.' "  If tongues is unknown, how would anyone know
the words were deceitful, bitter, and cursing?  

  James, Jesus' brother, said in his letter that if anyone considers himself religious and doesn't control his tongue, he deceives himself and his
religion is worthless (James 1:26).  Elsewhere he said the tongue is evil full of boasting that, like a spark in a dry forest, can create a destructive
fire.  The tongue is restless and deadly poison and can corrupt a person (James 3:5-8).   If tongues is unknown, how could anyone know
someone was boasting, and how could it corrupt anyone?  

  The Apostle Peter said that the tongue was evil and deceitful, and if we expect to live very long, we must learn to control it and not insult even
our enemies.  If tongues is unknown, how could our enemies know they were being insulted?  

  The Apostle John warned that we are not to just tell people we love them with our tongue, but to prove it by our actions and telling the truth
(1 John 3:18).  If tongues is unknown, how could people know someone was a hypocrite if they didn't know their words were about love, and
how could they know they were lying?  John said we were not to just love "with words."  This term is from the Greek "logos" which means logic
and reason.  If tongues is unknown, how could they be spoken with logic and reason?  

  Some people have said that tongues is gibberish.  The Bible covers this under the word "babble."  In Acts 17:18 Paul tried to get the Greeks
in Athens to believe in the one true God.  The philosophers who heard him said he was babbling as he seemed to be advocating some foreign
god or gods.  If tongue is babbling, how could these philosophers draw any conclusion about what Paul was saying?  

  Paul wrote to his protege, "Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care.  Turn away from godless chatter, and the opposing ideas of
what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith" (1 Timothy 6:20).  He wrote him a
second time with this same warning:  "Avoid godless chatter, because they who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly" (2 Timothy
2:16).  The word "godless chatter" is translated "vain babblings" in the King James Version, and is from the Greek word "keno-phonia" which
means empty sounds.   

  Others will say that tongues refers to groanings, and cite Romans 8:26, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not
know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."  But the word translated
"groans" is from the Greek "stenagmos" which means to sigh.  Sighs are not words.  

  God, I never connected the gift of tongues with other uses of the tongue in the Bible.  There's really a connection.  I had no idea.  
Keep being patient, God.  I'm trying.  I really do want to please you.  

         Paul's Letter to the Corinthian Church  

                                                                 INTRODUCTORY MESSAGE  

  The reason this letter was written is pivotal to understanding.  This was not a nice letter.  It was not fun for the Christians in this congregation
to read.  Why?  

  Some people from Corinth reported to Paul both by letter and in person that the church there was quarrelling (1:10-11).  Paul said they were
acting like babies (3:1), were still worldly, (3:3), and one man was taking pride over another (4:6).   

  Paul said he had to write to them to "shame them as children because some had become arrogant" (4:14, 18).  People in the congregation
were being boastful (5:6) which was, of course, hurting others.  Although they were now Christians, their lives were still full of malice and
wickedness (5:8).  They were even being enslaved by otherwise permissible things (6:12).  

  This congregation was "in the middle of a crisis" (7:26).  Why?  Because people were seeking their own good instead of the good of others.  
They were acting like the word of God had originated with them (14:36).  As a result, their meetings were doing more harm than good (11:17)!  

  Paul wrote this letter to avoid making a painful visit to them (2 Corinthians 2:1).  He was greatly distressed and anguished in heart, and had
shed many tears over them (2 Corinthians 2:4).  

  His letter is divided up by subject.  He wrote about church harmony first.  Then in 7:1 he said, "Now for the matters you wrote about."  They
realized things were terribly wrong, and some of them wrote to Paul out of desperation.  

  Paul's reply to their letter is divided into two major parts.  Chapters 7 - 11:16 covers their private Christian lives.  In 7:1 he talks about
marriage, beginning 8:1 he talks about eating meat offered to idols, beginning 9:1 he talks about supporting himself so he didn't have to take
payment from them, beginning 10:1 he talks about purchasing meat at the market that had been offered to idols.  

  Finally, beginning 11:1 Paul talks about women praying and prophesying "because of the [example of] the angels" (11:10).  Since angels
delivered their prophecies to individuals and not to groups, Paul is talking about the woman's relationship to her husband and others in the

  (Keep in mind that Paul did not number his sentences or write his letters with chapter divisions.  This was done over a millennium later by an
uninspired man.)  So finally, in verse 11:17 Paul begins talking about their public meetings.  He introduces the subject thusly:  "In the
FOLLOWING directives I have no praise for you, for your MEETINGS do more harm than good.  In the first place...."  

  In fact, all the following verses refer to their meetings.  Besides the one above, 11:33 says, "when you come together...." 12:28 says, "in the
church, God has appointed...." 14:6 says, "If I come to you and speak.... 14:23 says, "So if the whole church comes together...." 4:26 says,
"When you come together...." 14:33 says, "As in all the congregations...." 15:12 says "but if it is preached.... and 16:1 says "Now about the

  So beginning here to the end of the letter, Paul talks about what Christians should do in their meetings, not in private.  Beginning 11:17 he
talks about keeping the Lord's Supper in the assembly, beginning 12:1 he talks about spiritual gifts used in the assembly ("message of
wisdom...message of knowledge...healing...prophecy...tongues...interpretation" (12:8-10).  

   Beginning 13:1 he talks about love being superior to tongues, beginning 14:1 he talks about tongues in the assembly, beginning 14:26 he talks
about orderliness in the assembly, beginning 15:1 he talks about what they must preach regarding the resurrection of the dead "But if it is
preached...." 15:12).  He closes his letter talking about collections in the assembly (16:1).  

  God, I adore you.  You are my life and light.  You are my reason for living.  I long to see you some day face to face.  I just wish I
could express what I feel.  

                                                 ALL MENTIONS OF TONGUES  

  Tongues is mentioned several times in both chapters 12 and 13.  First, where did they get their spiritual gifts?  We learned earlier the apostles
had to be present to give them.  In 1:6 Paul says "our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.  Therefore you do not lack any spiritual

  Paul's testimony had to be confirmed or proven to be true.  He could have come from anywhere claiming to have been inspired by God.  
How did he confirm his words?  The same way Jesus did.  He did many miraculous signs "that you may believe."  In fact, in Paul's second letter
to the Corinthians he referred to "the things that mark an apostle - signs, wonders and miracles" done among them.  Therefore, when Paul was
with them to start the congregation in Corinth he gave them spiritual gifts.  

  In chapter 12, verse 10 Paul said some had received miraculous powers, some prophecy, some distinguishing between spirits, some speaking
in "different kinds of tongues."  The word translated "kinds of" is the Greek word "genos" which means race, nationality.   

  One other gift was the interpretation of tongues.  This word translated "interpretation" is from the Greek word "hermeneia" which means an
explanation, a commentary.  It is the same word used in Luke 24:27 where, after Jesus' resurrection from the dead he appeared to some men
and, "beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself."  

  It is also the same word used in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament centuries earlier, where the Law of Moses was
read to the Jews, with the Levites "making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read" (Nehemiah
8:8).  More on this later.  

  In 12:28, Paul listed various gifts.  As he began his list he said, "first of all...."  The last gift he listed was tongues.  The term "first of all" is from
the Greek "proton" which refers to order in rank or order of importance.  The least important gift was "different kinds of tongues."  This term is
from the Greek "genos" indicating race or nationality, not babbling or gibberish.  

  In 12:30, Paul asked, "Do all speak in tongues?"  The word translated "speak" is from the Greek "laleo" which means to tell something.  How
could they tell something to people if they were speaking in an unknown language?  

  Chapter 13 only mentions tongues twice.  Verse one is critical and almost always misapplied.  "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels,
but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."  

  What are the tongues of angels?  Many people say it is gibberish, babbling.  But what does the Bible say the tongues of angels is?  Just what
language do angels speak in?  Below are all the times in the Bible an angel spoke on earth.  

Genesis 16:7-12 an angel spoke to Hagar and was understood by her.  Genesis 16:3 says Hagar was

Genesis 19:10-21 an angel spoke to Lot's family and was understood.  Genesis 11:31 says they were
Chaldean (Babylonian).  

Genesis 21:14-18 an angel spoke to Hagar again and was understood.  Genesis 16:3 says Hagar was

Genesis 22:1-12 an angel spoke to Abraham and was understood.  Genesis 11:31 says Abraham was Chaldean (Babylonian).  

Exodus 3:1-3 an angel spoke to Moses and was understood.  Exodus 1:15, 2:9-10 says Moses was raised as an

Judges 13:2-17 an angel spoke to Samson's parents & was understood.  Judges 13:1 says they were Israelites (who spoke

2 Kings 1:3-4 an angel spoke to Elijah and was understood.  1 Kings 17:1 says Elijah was an Israelite (who spoke

Daniel 8:16-25; 9:21-27 an angel spoke to Daniel & was understood.  Daniel 1:1-4 says Daniel learned the
Babylonian language.  

Luke 1:8-20 an angel spoke to Zechariah and was understood.  Luke 1:4 says Zechariah was an Israelite (who now spoke

Luke 1:28-38 an angel spoke to Mary and was understood.  Luke 3:24f and other places say Mary was an Israelite (who now spoke

Luke 2:8-12 angels spoke to shepherds and were understood.  Luke 2:4 says the shepherds were Israelites (who now spoke

Matthew 28:1-7 an angel spoke to Mary Magdalene and others and was understood.  A map reveals that Magdala was in the province of
Galilee in Palestine where the Jews lived (who now spoke

Acts 10:1-8 an angel spoke to Cornelius and was understood.  Acts 10:1 says Cornelius was

Acts 12:5-10 an angel spoke to Peter and was understood.  John 1:44 says Peter was from Capernaum in the province of Galilee in Palestine
where the Jews lived (who now spoke

Revelation 5:2, etc. an angel spoke to John and was understood.  Matthew 4:18-21 says John was from the province of Galilee in Palestine
where the Jews lived (who now spoke Aramaic).  However, he wrote about the vision in

  So, what language do angels speak in?  Our examples give us Egyptian, Chaldean, Hebrew, Babylonian, Aramaic, Italian, and Greek.  
Therefore, angels speak in the language of whoever they are speaking to.  They do not speak in unintelligible gibberish.  

   Finally, 13:8 says love will go on forever, but prophecies will cease and tongues will be stilled.  The word translated "stilled" is from the
Greek word "pauomai" which means to stop, to make an end.  In Luke 8:24, for instance, it was used to Jesus causing the storm to cease.  

  God, I always wanted to talk angelically.  It never occurred to me angels speak the languages already spoken on earth.  Isn't there some
special language I can speak to you in?

                                             CHAPTER 14  

  Now for chapter 14.  We will cover every verse in order to get a proper perspective.  Paul had listed the gifts most important as those
involving messages.  Here and in 12:28-30 he listed spiritual gifts and gave tongues as the least in importance.  He had already told them in 13:1
that love was superior to tongues, and in
14:1 that prophecy was superior to tongues.   

  Remember, Paul was not explaining the wonderful experience of tongues.  He was bawling them out for its misuse.  This is not so much a
chapter on what to do as it is what not to do.  Over and over, beginning with verse 1, Paul told them prophecy was much superior.  It seems
they weren't getting it through their stubborn heads.  

  There is something very revealing in verse two.  Readers with the King James Version will readily see it.  The word "unknown" is not in the

  The King James Version italicizes all words that are not in the original language.  Another example of this is in Ecclesiastes 12:13 (KJV):  "Let
us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole [duty] of man."  

  As to the meaning of this verse, keep in mind Paul is not talking about private behavior but public worship.  Therefore, anyone who speaks in
the public assembly in a language foreign to the others is not speaking to men.  God understands him, but no one else does.  It's a mystery to the
others because they do not understand him.  This is apparently what Paul was referring to back in chapters 4 and 5, saying some people were
taking pride over others, they were arrogant, and they were boasting.  

  I have personally heard people who speak in unintelligible sounds tell those who did not that it was because Satan was in them and interfering
with them.  It was as though those who spoke in what they considered tongues were boasting that they were more holy than people who did
not.  Does this do anything to encourage those who do not?  Does it build them up?  No, they are led to feel inferior and to question their own

  In contrast, Paul says in
verses 3 and 4 that everyone who prophecies in the public assembly encourages and comforts the others because
they can understand what is being said.  People insisting on speaking in a foreign language in the assemblies were making themselves look good,
but it did nothing to encourage the church.  Paul basically said, "Stop doing that!"  

  Paul wished in
verse 5 that everyone in their congregation could speak in foreign languages if that was their desire.  But he said that they were
selling themselves and others and God short.  He said he wished they'd rather long to be able to prophesy.   

  Just what is prophecy?  The word in Hebrew means to pour out.  Thus, a prophet pours out the mind of God.  In Greek it means to publicly
expound.  Expound comes from the Latin "exponere" which means to expose, to express point by point in detail.  

  For example, Amos explained prophecy in 3:7-12 and on through the book.  "Hear this word the Lord has spoken....Surely the Sovereign
Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets....Proclaim....Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says....This is
what the Lord says...."  

  Amos explained it further in 7:15-17:  "But the Lord took me...and said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'  Now then, hear the word
of the Lord....Therefore this is what the Lord says."  

  Ezekiel was told in 4:7 to prophecy, and also what to wear and so on while he did.  Then in 5:5,7,8,17 he prophesied:  "This is what the
Sovereign Lord says....Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says....Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says....I the Lord have

  Later Ezekiel was told by God to prophecy to bones scattered throughout a battlefield.  "Then he [God] said to me, 'Prophesy to these bones
and say to them, "Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!"  This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones:   

  'I will make breath enter you and you will come to life.  I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I
will put breath in you, and you will come to life.  Then you will know that I am the Lord.'  So I prophesied as I was commanded.  And as I was
prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone" (Ezekiel 37:4-7).  

  From these examples, we see, then, that prophecy is the exact words of God.  But, especially in the example from Ezekiel, we may not feel
like we understand completely the implications of this prophecy.  We may feel we need someone to explain its meaning as it applies to our own
lives.  This is where interpreters are needed.   

  Paul said they who prophesied in the assembly were greater than those who spoke in foreign languages among them.  The only exception
would be someone who would interpret what was said, both into the prevailing language and into a sense that could be applied to their lives.  

  Interpretation as it is commonly used regarding unintelligible words is strictly translating.  Even if this were all the word meant, first of all, in
most congregations where gibberish is said in the name of tongues, people do it from their seats, and no one stands up and interprets for them.   

  A sure way to see if someone really knows how to interpret in the sense of translating into English, is to ask someone to speak in tongues and
record it.  Then play the recording to someone who claims the gift of interpretation and have them either write down or record their
interpretation.  Then play the tongues to someone else claiming the gift of interpretation and have them write it down or record their
interpretation.  Do it at least twice; but if possible more.   

  One of the problems with this experiment is that interpretation of tongues today is not considered very spiritual.  Therefore it is difficult to find
anyone claiming this gift.  But if you can do it, do you think the interpretations will be the same?  If they are truly inspired by God they will be.  
The few who have consented to do this have failed.  

  Now Paul gets into the
PURPOSE of speaking in foreign languages.  He said that the foreign language must be used to bring a revelation, a
word of knowledge, prophecy or a word of instruction direct from God.  They should not be talking just to be talking.  They are instructing.  
Paul did not say to use tongues to just pray and praise God.  He told them to use it to

  Remember, the New Testament was not yet written.  People had to rely on the apostles to know just what God wanted them to do.  The
apostles proved they were giving God's truth by performing some miracles.  But sometimes the apostles were not around.  So, in that case,
people were given special knowledge of the truth through the gifts of prophesy, etc.  Otherwise, they would have had to guess what God
wanted them to do.  

  In verses
7-9 Paul compared speaking a foreign language that no one in the congregation understood was like playing an instrument in such a
jumbled manner there is not really any tune.  Also it was like a trumpet being sounded for an army, but in such a jumbled way that no one knew
whether it was advance or retreat, taps or reverie.   

  He said there were all kinds of languages in the world, but none of them were without meaning.  None of them was gibberish.  But, if
someone speaks a foreign language in the assembly no one knows or can grasp, they may as well be speaking into the air.  

  Did Paul say here that if we do not grasp the meaning of the person speaking the tongue we are not as spiritual as the speaker?  No.  Did
Paul say that if we do not grasp the meaning, we're unsaved sinners?  No.  Did Paul say if we do not grasp the meaning, we simply do not
know that language?  Yes.  

  Once more Paul says it again in verse
12.  Since they were so eager to have spiritual gifts, they should be asking for those which build up the
assembly.  Remember, Paul is talking to the Corinthians church about their assembly.  

  Therefore, Paul says that if they insist on wanting to speak in foreign languages while praying, they should at least include the interpretation in
their prayer (
verse 13).  Why?  Because if they pray in the assembly in a foreign language, their mind is unfruitful.  

  Let's look at the use of the word "mind" here.  First, it means understanding (Luke 24:45).  Second, it means knowledge (Romans 1:28).  
Third it means conviction (Romans 14:5).  Fourth it means insight (Revelation 13:18).  

  Now let's look at the use of the word "unfruitful."  This same word appears in Matthew 13:22 where the Word of God was "choked" out of
hearts, in Ephesians 5:3-4 where evil put us in darkness away from God, in Titus 3:14 where people do not devote themselves to good, in 2
Peter 1:5-8 where people are ineffective and unproductive with their knowledge of God, and in Jude 10 and 12 where church leaders speak
about things they don't understand and are spiritually dead.  

  Therefore, in a nutshell, the unfruitful mind does not understand the Word of God enough to apply it to their lives.  Speaking or praying in a
language in a church assembly that no one knows causes this.  

  Therefore, Paul said in
verses 15-17, they were to pray in the assembly with both their spirit and understanding mind, and sing that way too.  
They were not to talk or pray or sing in a foreign language no one understood.  

  If they're praising God in prayer or song in a foreign language, "how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say
'Amen' "?  After all, they don't understand what they're saying.  Paul didn't say the rest of the congregation was freed from saying "amen" to a
song or prayer, but that they could do it correctly only if they understood what was being said.  What does "amen" mean?  It means "so be it" or
"I agree."   Giving thanks in a foreign language does not edify the others.  It's that simple.  

  Was Paul against speaking in foreign languages?  No.  Paul did it all the time.  He traveled all over preaching and needed this gift.  So did the
other apostles.  After all, Jesus told them in Mark 16:15-16 that they were supposed to preach the gospel to the whole world.  How effective
would they have been if they'd had to stop and learn the language of each area they went to?   

  Acts 17:6 says "These men who have caused trouble
ALL OVER THE WORLD have now come here."  Romans 1:8 says, "...your faith is
being reported
ALL OVER THE WORLD."  Romans 10:18 says, "Their voice has gone out into ALL THE EARTH, their words to the ENDS
."  Colossians 1:23 says, "This is the gospel that you heard and that HAS BEEN PROCLAIMED TO EVERY
and of which I, Paul, have become a servant."  

  According to secular history, Andrew went to Greece, Peter stayed in the Middle East and southern Europe, Thaddeus went to Russia,
Thomas went to India, Philip went to Turkey, Nathaniel went to Russia, Matthew went to Ethiopia and Egypt, and Simon went to Great
  But, Paul said in
verse 19 that he did not abuse this gift and speak the language of one foreign land to people of another foreign land.  He
said he would rather speak five intelligible words that instructed the church than ten thousand in a foreign language the people didn't understand.  

  Now Paul really lets them have it.  "STOP THINKING LIKE CHILDREN!" he said in
verse 20.  They had become childish in the way they
had insisted on speaking a foreign language to their congregation that their congregation didn't understand.  They just wanted to show off.  

  Then he spells out the whole issue to them in
verse 22:  "Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however,
is for believers, not for unbelievers."  What is the difference in tongues and prophecy?  

  Obviously, the gift of tongues was supposed to be used to give the INITIAL GOSPEL MESSAGE to people in a new territory that did not
know about it as they went "into all the world to preach the gospel."  It was used by missionaries to explain to unbelievers Jesus and how to
become Christians.   

  On the other hand, after they became Christians, the gift of prophecy was used by Christians among believers before the New Testament was
written to explain God's will for the rest of their lives.  

  Still in the nitty gritty, Paul goes on to say in
verses 23-25 that unbelievers visiting their worship service will think they're all crazy, or as he
expresses it, "OUT OF YOUR MIND!" if people are speaking in a language no one else knows.  But, if in the assembly people are
prophesying, that is explaining God's will for their lives - the visiting unbeliever will understand his sinful condition and be convicted.  The visiting
unbeliever will then say, "God is really among you!  How do I become one of you?"  

  How do unbelieving visitors feel when they come into your worship?  

  The worship services of the church at Corinth seemed to be bordering on mass egotism.  Many were jockeying for position and demanding to
be noticed.  Paul told them to at least take turns (
verses 26).  If the assembly doesn't encourage the entire congregation, something is terribly

  And with one last encouragement, he brought up tongues again.  If they insist on being childish and speaking a language no one else knows,
someone MUST interpret both into the known language and into words where they can apply it to their lives.  Otherwise, they're just talking to
themselves and to God (
verse 27 and 28).  

  Actually, if they wanted to speak in tongues so badly, perhaps they should have gotten back on the circuit and spread the gospel with their

  Oh God, I never connected tongues with converting the world before.  Is that what it is?  I'm trying to understand so I can please
you more.  I want to be truly spiritual in your sight.  

               God's Definition of Spirituality  

  The Bible never uses the actual word spirituality.  The closest it comes is "spiritually" and "spiritual."  The word spirit is a translation of the
Greek word "pneuma" which means breathing or blowing.  We know that people breathe by its results, but we cannot see breath.  We know
that the wind blows by its results, but we cannot see the wind.   

  Jesus explained it this way:  " '...no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water AND the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh,
but the Spirit gives birth to spirit....The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it
is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit' " (John 3:5-8).  

  Spirituality is the same.  We cannot see spirituality.  We know someone has it by the results.  Romans 8:6 says we should "be spiritually
minded" (KJV).  So from this we know that spirituality has to do with the mind.  What else does it have to do with?  

The written law of God (Romans 7:6, 14)  

The gift of salvation (Romans 15:27 & Acts 10:36, 18)  

Truth, mind of Christ, the Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:2:13-16,  John 17:17)  

Food of God, the Word of God (1 Corinthians 3:1 & Hebrews 5:12-14)  

Seed, the Word of God (1 Corinthians 9:11 & Matthew 13:19)  

Drink of Christ, water of eternal life (1 Corinthians 10:3-4 &  John 7:38)  

Miraculous powers that confirmed the Word was really from God (1 Corinthians 12:1, 12; 14:37; John 20:30-31)  

Our heavenly body (1 Corinthians 15:44-46)  

Sinlessness (Galatians 5:19-6:1)  

Salvation, the blessings of heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:3; 2:6-  7)  

Worship (Ephesians 5:19 & Colossians 3:16)  

Satan's forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12)  

Knowledge of God's will (Colossians 1:9)  

People in the church (1 Pet. 2:5 & 1 Timothy 3:15)  

 In a nutshell, we see that spirituality is linked to the Word of God which is called the law of God, the mind of God, truth, knowledge of God's
will.  It was also the miracles that confirmed the Word of God.  Therefore, we cannot have spirituality out of our imaginations.  Spirituality
comes from the Bible.  

  Spirituality is also linked to sinlessness, salvation, worship, the church.  Of course, we do not know what things are sin unless we check with
the Bible.  We do not know how to be saved unless we check with the Bible.  We do not know if we are in the church unless we check with
the Bible.  

  There is no scripture listed above regarding spirituality that is an emotion.  It all deals with the Word of God, the Logos.  "In the beginning was
the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God....The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us" (John 1:1, 14).  
The term "word" is from the Greek "logos" from which we get another word, logic.  

  What many people today define as "spirituality" is an emotionalism akin to someone on a drug "high."  Interestingly, the sin of sorcery
condemned by God comes from the Greek word "pharmakeia" from whence our word for pharmacy or drugs.  It is a sin to act like we are on a
drug high in the name of Jehovah God.  It is frightful, it is confusing, it is non-productive, and it is wrong (Revelation 21:8; 22:15).  

  Spirituality, then, is not emotionalism.  Spirituality also is not what comes out of our imaginations.  Spirituality is knowing and following the
word of God.  

  There is a parallel to understanding spirituality with understanding fasting.  Jesus said in Matthew 6:16-18, "When you fast, do not look
somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in
full.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your
Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."  

  In an era when fasting was practiced frequently (we modern Christians miss a blessing by not fasting), Jesus said people were going out of
their way to look the part of holy people so others would admire them.  Today, in our worship services, especially where it comes to
emotionalism, we are trying to look the part of holy people.  

  An unknown poet said,  

Let us keep our fast within,
Till heaven and we are quite alone;
Then let the grief, the shame, the sin
Before the mercy-seat be thrown.

 Fasting is an act of self-restraint.  It belongs to the sphere of self-discipline.  It is strictly a personal and private matter.  What is public is the
results of fasting, the results of self-discipline.  But we cannot show the actual process of self-discipline.  In fact, we would spoil the process by
attempting to show it, like wearing a "humble" button.  

  Just as a plant must begin its growth in the darkness of the soil, we begin our spiritual growth in the darkness of our own inner thoughts and
prayer to God.  And just as we can never safely expose the roots of a plant, we can never show the exact process by which we develop and
protect our own spiritual roots.  All moral and bodily restraint, all humbleness of body and spirit are represented by fasting, and it is a complete
failure of self-restraint to want to show others our self-restraint.  

  It is the same with spirituality.  Spirituality (salvation) comes from reading the Mind of God, the Word of God (Romans 10:1-3, 17).  No one
else can absorb the Mind of God, the Word of God into our minds for us.  We have to do it for ourselves.  It is a personal thing.  A private
thing.  Developing faith from it all is something that cannot really be expressed in words.  It happens within our own minds.  And faith that
comes from the Word of God and following it leads to salvation (Romans 10:3, 17).  

  We should be grateful that salvation does not rely on emotions.  If it did, we'd be very confused about our salvation.  David understood the
tug-of-war that occurs between emotions and logic.  Look at Psalm 42 where he struggled with his faith.  

  Here David begins a debate between his emotions (his soul) and his logic.  Let's look in on the drama as David has a talk with himself:  

SCENE:           His soul is panting for God, thirsting for God, trying to meet with God.  He's been crying day and night asking where God is.   

EMOTIONS:   Where is your God?  Remember how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God with shouts of
joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng?  

LOGIC:           Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior
and my God.  

EMOTIONS:   My soul is downcast within me.  

LOGIC:           Therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan....  

EMOTIONS:   Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.  

LOGIC:           By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me - a prayer to the God of my life.  

EMOTIONS:   I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me?  Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"  My bones
suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, "Where is your God?"  

LOGIC:           Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior
and my God.  

  Isn't it wonderful that our salvation doesn't depend on how spiritual we feel?  If it did, we'd be in and out of salvation, depending on how we
felt.  I have known people who did gauge their salvation by their emotions.   

  They'd say something like, "I cried and cried all one day because of my sins and asked God to forgive me.  Then I felt such release, and knew
I was now saved."  Then they'd say a few years later, "I thought I was saved, but I wasn't really.  This time I cried and cried for several days
because of my sins and asked God to forgive me.  Then I felt so good that this time I knew he'd saved me."  

  Then a few years later the rise in emotions would happen again, only this time more intensely.  On and on the cycle went for them.  Thinking
they knew for sure they were saved, then wondering, then doubting, then in hopelessness once again.   

  Salvation does not depend on our emotions.  Salvation depends on what we logically believe about what Jesus did for us.  Is remorse, love
and gratitude involved in our salvation?  Of course.  Many emotions are involved.  But they are the result of our logically reading God's word,
and then logically accepting it and following it.  

  Why are we given the spiritual gift of salvation?  There is more than one reason.  The obvious one is so we can go to heaven.  But there is
another reason.  Ephesians 2:8-10 explains, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of
God - not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God's workmanship, CREATED in Christ Jesus TO DO GOOD WORKS, which
God prepared in advance for us to do."  

  Well, God, I think this is good news and bad news.  I thought there was a higher emotional plain I could reach with you.  But since it
is so hard - actually impossible - to reach the emotional plain I wish to reach with you, it relieves me of the burden of trying to reach
it.  I have sometimes felt so spiritually inadequate.  

               Spirituality and Touching Jesus  

  The Spirit cannot be seen any more than breath or wind can be seen.  But the results of breath and wind can be seen.  So too, spirituality
cannot be seen.  Only the results of spirituality can be seen.  The results are in our attitudes and deeds.   

  For instance, Galatians 5:22-25 explains clearly, "But the fruit [result] of the Spirit [spirituality] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the
sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."  

  Furthermore, James, the brother of Jesus said, "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith
save him?  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, 'God, I wish you well; keep warm and well
fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead"
(James 2:14-17).  

  Do we want to touch Jesus?  Jesus told us how.  " 'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me
something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, "I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in
prison and you came to visit me....whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me' " (Matthew 25:35-36, 40).  

  Therefore, everything In this book about applying God's Word in worship and in service is spirituality.   

  Do we want to touch Jesus?  Every time the announcements are made and someone responds, "I'll take some food over to them on
Monday," that is spirituality.   

  Do we want to touch Jesus?  Every time we enter into prayer together after getting into each other's hearts and lives and asking them, "What
do you need prayer for?" that is spirituality.       Do we want to touch Jesus?  Every time we partake of the Lord's Supper and compare our
imperfection and being deserving of death and hell with Jesus' perfection and taking our punishment for us, as explained in God's Word, that is

  Do we want to touch Jesus?  Every time we give money to help support evangelism, purchase Bibles, send food to the needy, that is

  Do we want to touch Jesus?  Every time we sing praises to God in faltering voices but from deep within our soul, playing on the strings of our
heart, that is spirituality.  

  Do we want to touch Jesus?  Every time we read the Bible in order to know the Mind of God, so we can live the way he wants us to rather
than what our imaginations think he wants, that is spirituality.  

  All we need to feel spiritual and special is to know God loves us.  No matter how many times we sin, he loves us.  No matter how many times
we fall, God loves us.   

  We are not special to God because of how good we are, but because how good God is.  Not because of anything we are, but because of
who God is.  We're not special because we are so loving, but because God is love.  Not because we are so full of life, but because God is life.  
Not because we're so intelligent and spiritual, but because God is.  

  If we want to speak in a special language, let us speak in the language of love.  

  Spirituality is sitting with a friend and telling them God loves them when they're good and bad, and will help them overcome the bad.  

  Spirituality is going with a friend who wants to join a self-help group like Alcoholics Anonymous.  It's telling them how much God will help
them.  Then proving it with scriptures.  

  Spirituality is going to an enemy gossiping against you and saying God loves you both, and there's nothing they can say or do to get you to
stop loving them!  

  That's spirituality!  That's high!  

  Thank you, God, for allowing me to be close to you through your word, through prayer, and through other people who are seeking
to be close to you too - the church.  I could never do it alone.  Now I understand spirituality.  It was a hidden treasure I hardly knew I
had - and so precious.  I fall at your feet and whisper once more Thank You.  

              The Second-Century Church  

  Clement of Rome, a friend of both Peter and Paul, wrote in AD 96, in his First Epistle 1:2-2:7 and his Genuine Epistle to the Corinthians
45:  "What visitor among you is there who has not proved your most excellent and firm faith, who has not marvelled at your prudent and gentle
piety in Christ, who has not proclaimed your magnificent practice of hospitality, and who has not blessed your perfect and sure
knowledge?...There was an insatiable desire to do good, and a full outpouring of the Holy Spirit came upon all.  You were full of holy

   "Ye have searched the scriptures, which are true, which were given through the Holy Ghost; and you know that nothing unrighteous or
counterfeit is written in them." [8]  

  In the
Epistle to Diognetus 5, about AD 140:  "For Christians are not distinguished from the rest of men neither by country, language, nor
customs.  They do not dwell in cities of their own, nor do they use some strange language, nor practice a peculiar kind of life.  Their teaching
indeed has not been discovered by any speculation or consideration of men full of curiosity, nor do they busy themselves with human doctrine as
some do."  [9]  

  Irenaeus, about 180, wrote in
Against Heresies I.x.1; and Refutation and Overthrow of False Doctrine, Bk. 2:  "For the church, although
dispersed throughout the whole world as far as the ends of the earth, received from the apostles and their disciples the faith...in the Holy Spirit,
who has proclaimed through the prophets the plans of God and the comings of Christ....So far are they from raising the dead, as the Lord
raised, and as the apostles by means of prayer, for even among the brethren frequently in a case of necessity when a whole church united in
much fasting and prayer, the spirit has returned to the ex-animated body, and the man was granted to the prayers of the saints....  

  "Wherefore, also, those that were truly his disciples, receiving grace from him, in his name performed these things for the benefit of men, as
every one received the free gift from him.  Some, indeed, most certainly and truly cast our demons, so that frequently these persons themselves
that were cleansed from wicked spirits believed and were received into the church.  Others have the knowledge of things to come, as also
visions and prophetic communications; other heal the sick by the imposition of hands, and restore them to health.  And, moreover, as we said
above, even the dead have been raised and continued with us many years.  

  "As we hear many of the brethren in the church who have prophetic gifts, and who speak in all tongues through the spirit, and who also, bring
to light the secret things of men for their benefit, and who expound the mysteries of God." [10]


[1].  Vancouver Sun reprinted in The Windsor Star, Todd, Douglas, "The Rapture of Islam's Sufis," August 23, 1997.  

[2].  Shadid, Anthony,
The Windsor Star, "Islam's Changing Face," The Associated Press, January 25, 1997.  

[3].  Prabhavananda, Swami and Frederick Manchester, editors,
The Upanishads:  Breath of the Eternal, The New American Library, The
Mentor Religious Classics, New York, 1960, pg. 40  

[4].  Burtt, E. A., Editor,
The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha, The New American Library, Mentor Religious Classics, New York,
1958, pg. 106  

Encyclopedia Britannica, "Tongues, Gift of," Vol. 22, William Benton Publisher, Chicago, pg. 288.  

[6].  Cruse, Christian Frederick,
The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1971, pg. 196-197  

Ibid, pg. 199  

[8]. Ironside, H. A., Holiness:  
The False and the Truth, Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, New Jersey, 1964

[8].  Ferguson, Everett,
Early Christians Speak, Sweet Publishing Co., Austin, pg. 193  

Ibid, p. 194  

Ibid, p. 24