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EDITOR'S CORNER

I believe that running neck and neck with being slain in the spirit, speaking
in other tongues is at the top of the list of doctrinal controversy. Shortly after
I got saved in 1977, I knew about the baptisms of water and fire, but I had not
yet heard that tongues was believed to be the "initial evidence" of the baptism
of the Holy Ghost, as taught by Pentecostal, Charismatic and Word of Faith
Believers.
A few days after I was saved, I received supernaturally the name of a pentecostal
church that was on Ferry Street. I searched the yellow pages, and to my
amazement, there it was. At that time, I had never even heard the words
"pentecostal," "tongues" or even being "baptized" in the Holy Ghost. So
accompanied by my friend Vivian, we headed for Ferry Street to St. Johns Church of
God in Christ. When we entered the church, the service was already in progress.
The thing that I found so astounding was the music. It seemed like the sounds of
the musical instruments were actually coming through the walls. It was there that
I first got introduced to what I believed then was "the presence of the Holy
Ghost." It was absolutely awesome!
No words were ever spoken to either one of us. Yet right in the middle of the
service, a group of the members gathered together, walked to the back of the
church and encircled us. To my amazement, Vivian fell to the ground and began to
roll around on the floor. She began to froth at the mouth, jerk, twist, appearing
as though she was having a seizure. Apparently pleased with this manifestation,
those who encircled us also went into a kind of ecstatic experience which
ordinarily would have frightened me, but I was feeling so much peace from the
power than seemed to be both inside and upon me, that I was in no way disquieted.

Yet, the ecstasy left me when the gathered group and the rest of those assembled
all turned to me, with the unspoken expectation that "it was my turn" to fall
out and roll on the floor. I didn't want to be disrespectful but once Vivian
"came to her senses," we quickly eased our way out the door,while the worship
service continued without missing a beat. Not one word was ever spoken between us
and them. For thirty years, I have marked that day as my"baptism in the Holy
Ghost", yet without tongues as the initial evidence. I have since experienced
that awesome presence countless times since that wonderful day in April, 1977.
Even though I myself have spoken in various tongues fluently since 1983, I have
had serious reservations about this practice for almost two decades. As I
continue to perservere to "try the spirits" in my own very supernatural spiritual
life, I have placed several dreams, signs,miracles and wonders to the test. Simply
put, I seek God continually to expose the truth, no matter the results or the
consequences.
It turns out that some of my most treasured spiritual experiences, when examined
or "tried," have proven to be sent by a religious demon. Am I hurt or
disappointed? Not at all. For as a result of "trying the spirits," I not only
have been liberated by truth, but I have been flooded with an abundance
ofknowledge and wisdom since 2004, particularly in the year 2007. If 2008 is
more revelatory than last year, I pray for continued peace and strength to
continue to adjust to the stark reality of unadulterated truth.
I believe that the reason why I have not been troubled by recent spiritual
exposures of error and deception is because truly, I have had nothing to lose.
Each day that yet another deception is exposed, I am reminded of the words of the
Lord about building your foundation upon the solid rock. My salvation experience
that occurred on March 29th, 1977 at 4pm on a Monday afternoon is MY SOLID ROCK.
When I came into the kingdom, I had nothing else built into my "religious"
foundation. No church background at all. No doctrine. No memorized scriptures.
No prayers. Nothing.
I was at ground zero. A hardened atheist. No religion to lose.
At ground zero, the Holy Ghost was able to reveal in the twinkling of an eye what
would last and become in me "a solid rock.. It was so simple yet so unforgettable.
I knewthat I knew that I knew that Jesus Christ paid for my sins in His death and
that He also defeated death by being raised from the dead. That was it!!!!
Therefore, my rebirth experience has been my anchor, my solid Rock.
Surely I experience a feeling that is difficult to describe. It is not
disappointment exactly. The closest word to describe what truth brings is a sense
of awesome humility. I suspect what I feel is "the fear of the Lord." Truly,
the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. For with every revelation I
receive about error and deception, my foundation remains unmoved. Therefore,
outside of any personal revelations received from the Spirit of God or from the
religious demon masquarading as God, all that I have lost are the traditions and
doctrines of men. NOT MUCH TO LOSE!!!! LOL
Once I sent out issue 4 wherein I expressed my reservations on tongues, I received
emails from well meaning "tongue talkers," who tried to convince me with scripture
that "a prayer language is for every Christian." There is no denying that
Christians on both sides of the tongues debate have been clearly devisive as the
speaking in tongues has become an extremely emotional issue. I myself prefer to
take a rational, objective approach which also includes an examination of tongues
throughout church history.
With the fluency that I myself have in tongues, I could obviously let this issue
rest by simply accepting both the doctrine and the practice with my own experience
as confirmation of its reality and acceptability. I could matter of factly
declare, "Oh, well, since I speak in tongues, it MUST be from God and not a
counterfeit."
No, I do not try the spirits by my own personal experience. For example, as a
woman in ministry, I was called by several dreams and visions. Yet I never argued
with anyone whether or not women should be preaching or not preaching. In all
honesty, I really didn't know. I was prepared to step down anytime in obedience to
God, if my stepping forward to preach was presumptuous. I read the same
scriptures from the letters of Paul that antagonists used to deny women as
ministers, yet I was not convinced by their interpretations that "a woman ought
not to teach."
I have simply followed the leading of the Holy Ghost, expecting that the Lord
would reveal the truth, "bye and bye." Today, 26 years later, I believe that I
know the truth about the "woman question." The answer to the debate is rather
simple. With few exceptions, women were not called to ministry during the age of
the organized church in the first 1965 years of its history. God had His reasons
for restraining women in Christian ministry. Only in the last 10-15 years has the
Holy Ghost been calling out women to preach and teach the gospel. Apparently it
must be "the time." Personally speaking, I believe that as a front line warrior,
I was drafted as a forerunner, just a little "out of season."
I approach the debate of tongues in a similar way. As with the "woman in
ministry question," I did some research on the speaking in tongues throughout the
church age. As with all controversial doctrines and practices, people who claim
to "know the word", defend tongues with a few key scriptures, with no
consideration of cultural or historic variables. Without a socio-cultural
perspective, mass confusion is the consequence.
In fact, those who speak in tongues use specific verses taken out of context from
predominately two books to support their position: I Corinthians 12 and 14 and
some key scriptures in Acts. In "Food for Thought," I will take the very same
scriptures and present a position that may surprise you, but will hopefully shed
some light on whether or not tongues is to be used "as a prayer language."
Pam
COMMENTARIES

In this issue, rather than a commentary, I submit a quote from October 1
newsletter, Issue 4, as this quotation provides my personal perspective on
speaking in tongues.
I received tongues at a meeting held in Albany New York through the ministry of
the late Kenneth Hagin. Hagin is really the founder of the word of faith movement
as it is operating today. I have no idea whether or not Hagin was a false prophet
or a deceived one. I simply look around as I view Charismania, and I know Hagin
by his fruits.

Anyway, I never truly embraced the way that I received tongues because it had no
resemblance to the way the early church received this gift as revealed in the book
of Acts. Yet, I grew to speak prolifically, at my own will, what charismatics
call in "a prayer language." The reason why I have not been convinced about
tongues is that in 24 years, I have not been able to find a bonafide interpreter,
nor have I been able to interpret myself. So I ask, "Where are the interpreters?"

The Holy Ghost does not expect me to throw away my commonsense. If I have prayed
off and on for decades to receive the gift of interpretation of tongues as Paul
suggests that we all do, 24 years have passed and I still have no one, including
myself to interpret my "prayer language", good sense ought to suggest to me that
the tongue that I have received is not from God. So if it is not from God, then
who did it come from? Well, its obvious. It didn't come from me. I suspect that
it came from one of the Ascended Masters, perhaps Sananda or Ashtar.

What would be the reason for the demons to desire to imitate tongues? Well, if
we don't know what we are saying when we speak in an "unknown" tongue, we could
very possibly be used by demonic beings to "decree and declare" that their will,
purposes and agenda be done on earth, rather than that of the will of the Father
of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the One, True and Only Creator--the one that Lucifer
rebelled against in the first place.

1/8/2007: Wow!!! I certainly drew a bunch of you out into the open with this
one!!! lol. Just emailed a few hours ago, I have received quite a few
commentaries from you already. I will post some of those commentaries in the next
issue. For some of you, it seems that tongues is really a "sacred cow,"
practically an "untouchable." I don't mind the comments. Keep them comin. I
don't presume to have ALL the answers about anything. So if you have a need to
"set me straight", I can take it.!!! lol

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: "Only For the Strong!"
TONGUES OR NO TONGUES?

There are some key statements that I believe are important to make from the
outset. The first statement is this. From the words and warnings of Jesus Christ,
I believe that the greatest danger ofour time is deception. The elect have been
deceived. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am among the elect of God, yet
I myself have been deceived many times. But thanks be to God, those who will be
obedient, those who will resist Satan by humbling themselves before God will be
undeceived in due season. For me, "this is due season."

The next statement that I believe is important is this: To rightly divide the
word, one must be careful of making assumptions. For example, as we study the
word, is it "right"---does it make sense---for us to assume that JUST BECAUSE God
did something in the past, that He is obligated to do the same thing in the
future? In other words,should we use biblical history to "box in" God into ALWAYS
doing what He once did, the way He once did it?

Conversely speaking, just because we do not find in the bible where God did this
or that, must we assume that if a sign or a manifestation is not an exact
duplication of something that we can find in the word of God, that it cannot be a
manifestation of God today? Taking this a step further, how does one "rightly
divide" the bible? For example, when I read Job, I am careful NOT to read the
lengthy discourses of Job's friends. Why? Because at the end of the book I find
God's words to one of Job's friends: "My wrath is aroused against you and your two
friends for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has."

When I first studied the advice of Job's friends, I myself didn't see anything
wrong with it. But once I got to Job 42:7, I usually skip over what Job's friends
have to say, to prevent myself from ingesting wrong spiritual precepts. Along
these lines, a general statement of warning isin order, relative to taking
scriptures out of context without connecting the selected verse to the the
"who,what, where, how and why" of the entire book.

With these general statements made and without throwing out of context scriptures
back and forth in a useless debate, I think we can all agree that God is a God of
order, and within his order, there is always a divine purpose. When we look at
tongues and the culture and history ofthe people in the early church, we find that
in one local community, there were people who had different native tongues or
languages: Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamians,Judeans,Cappadocians, Pontus
and Asia, Phyrgia,Pamphylia, Egyptians, those from Lybia, Cyrene, Romans, Jews,
Cretans, and Arabs. I count here 17 different languages.

People gathered on the day of Pentecost heard the disciples speak in their own
native tongues "the wonderful works of God." (Acts 2: 11) What are the wonderful
works of God? That God so loved the world that He sent His Son as a propitiation
or "peace offering" to appease His wrath toward sin and that His Son became sin at
the cross, died and was raised from the dead." In other words, through the
speaking in other tongues by unlearned Galileans, sinners could hear the gospel
preached in their own language and be converted. How was this done? Either
everyone heard their own language in their inner ear while one person was
speaking, or each of the disciples was speaking at least one of 17 different
languages.

Therefore, the major purpose of tongues was "to preach the gospel" to those who
did not understand the native dialect of the Galileans. Was tongues a
supernatural evidence that God was with them and in them? Most definitely. Yet
the purpose of tongues was NOT self edification and that is the correction that
Paul brought to the Corinthians in Ch.12, 13 and 14. In a nutshell, Pauls message
to the Corinthians was based upon their misuse of tongues. Their major misuse of
tongues is that they were using it "as a prayer language," trying to "edify
themselves", by speaking mysteries to God when Paul nicely corrected them.

Simply put, in present day vernacular, Paul was saying, "I appreciate your zeal.
But you must remember, brethren that once "you were carried away by dumb idols."
In other words, once you were worshipping demons. (I Cor.12:2) In the doctrinal
footnotes associated with this scripture found in the King James Study Bible
published by Thomas Nelson, it is noted that prior to their conversion to
Christianity, the Corinthians had a pagan practice of speaking in tongues for the
purpose of making contact with the gods. "Pagan worship at Corinth involved a
chanting exercise of "tongues,"---- a practice of ecstatic utterances, common in
the cults and in the worship of various Greek gods and goddesses.

"Isn't it ironic that present day tongue talkers use this very scripture to
justify their explanation about "a prayer language", without rightly dividing
the context. First of all, Paul's letters to the Corinthians are different from
his letters to the Romans and the Ephesians because the Corinthian letters consist
of Paul's response to a letter that they had sent to him. Furthermore, Paul
points out that those in the household of Chloe had also informed him of various
divisive issues. So when you read both the first and the second books to the
believers in Corinth, you have to read it, keeping in mind, "who is saying what to
whom?" Are these the words of those from Chloe's household?, or is Paul repeating
the words sent to him in a letter from the Corinthians that we have no access to?
or are these Paul's own words?" It makes all of the difference in "rightly
dividing the word."

Here is an example that has held women in bondage for centuries. Clearly, the
"women keep silent in the church, learn at home from your husbands, etc. etc. etc.
were NOT PAUL'S WORDS. Paul was repeating back to them excerpts or quotations
from the letter that he had received from them. How do I know? LOOK AT 1
Corinthians 14: 36. In response to all of that, Paul writes, "WHAT! Did the word
ofGod come originally from YOU only?" This verse is very insulting to the men as
if Paul is saying, "boys, get a grip!!!" What's wrong with you? Are you ignorant
for writing such a thing to me????!!!. Look at the verse in the original King
James. Yet for centuries, the church has been misreading practically ALL of I
Corinthians Chapter 14.

In that same chapter, those who hold with the prayer language doctrine of tongues
for "personal" edification have misapplied and misunderstood Paul's intent.
Everyone focuses on the love theme of Chapter 13, but the main subject is really
tongues, ie. though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels. Tongues is the
main subject. Paul was being very kind to the Corinthians because "they were
fervent and zealous, yet they were babes in Christ. So Paul is gentle with them,
writing, if you will be zealous about spiritual gifts, seek not a self gratifying
prayer language but seek a gift like interpretation oftongues so that through
love, you can benefit the entire church.

In the study notes, I found yet another important statement to refute the prayer
language for "self edification":

"This is best understood as a general reference of divine power evidenced in the
exercise of the gift. Its purpose was to demonstrate divine power to the
unbeliever. However, if an unbeliever should visit a congregation where gifts are
being exercised without regard for order or understanding, the results will be
just the opposite. The key purpose of the gift is destroyed by the unbridled
exercise of it.

Considering Paul's entire point of view about tongues, when he wrote: "I speak in
tongues more than you all," I don't believe he was talking about a prayer
language. Paul was a travelling evangelist so the speaking in tongues other than
his own native language was most purposeful. Yet consider the evangelists of
today. Where can we go in the United States and find large populations of people
that do not speak English? The predominant "other tongue" of this country is
Spanish. I have had Spanish speaking people in my worship services. I speak in
tongues and I have never studied Spanish. Yet, did I preach to them in their
language? No, I did not. Did I interpret what I spoke in English to them in
Spanish? No. I had a bi-lingual member to translate for me. All over the world,
charismatic evangelists are preaching in English with translators, yet they "speak
in tongues." SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE.

COULD IT BE THAT TONGUES HAS CEASED, OR DOES GOD YET HAVE ANOTHER STRATEGY FOR
USING THE GIFT OF TONGUES?

In part two, Issue 19, I will address this issue from the standpoint of history.

In search of truth,
Pam