Words are Tomorrow in Today

by Tom Brown

One of the greatest fears of mankind is the fear of the future. There is no reason to fear the future, because Jeremiah 31:17 says, “There is hope for your future.” Combine this verse with Jeremiah 29:11 and you have assurance for a great future: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Some people have the attitude that some are born to have a good destiny while others are born to have a bad destiny. They think God is up in heaven saying to one person, “I like you. I’m going to make you into a great person.” Then they think God turns to another and says, “I don’t like you. I’m going to give you a bad destiny.” Some people think that some are meant to have a great future but others are meant to have a bad future. But this is simply not true.

God means for everyone to have a great future. God has never placed upon any person a terrible destiny.

You say, “Why do some people have a terrible destiny?” Because they haven’t hooked themselves up with God’s plan for their lives.

This is why I have written this article. I want you to hook yourself up with God’s plan. His plan for you is great, however you have to believe in it in order for God’s plan to work for you.

Not only do you have to believe in God’s plan for you, but you have to know it! How can you believe in something that you don’t know? You can’t. Yet some people say, “I believe God has a plan for me.”

When asked what the plan is, these people will respond, “I don’t know, but I believe in it.” But you can’t believe in something that you don’t know. You have to find out God’s plan for your life.

GOING IN CIRCLES

Some people are always going in circles. They do a lot of work, but they never get anywhere. Why? Because they don’t know where they’re going.

Imagine sitting in an airplane and hearing the pilot’s voice, “Hello, this is Captain Lost. Our goal is to arrive somewhere. I don’t know where I’m going, but I hope to arrive there anyway.” That is your cue to get off the plane.

A pilot has a map that tells him where to go. You have a map that tells you where to go and where God wants you to be. It’s called the Bible. The Bible contains thousands of promises to us: from healing, to prosperity, to guidance, to victory, to happiness in every realm of life. It is in these promises that you will find your glorious future. Unfortunately many people do not avail themselves to these glorious promises; therefore, they don’t have a glorious future.

THE POWER OF WORDS

In the Bible God tells us how this great future can come to pass in our lives. It comes to pass through our words. God has ordain our words to be the rudder to our lives. What we say will determine our destiny. Solomon says:  “From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him” (Proverbs 12:14).

Working with your hands will produce certain results for you. Work will determine your future. If you don’t work, then you will have a bad future. It’s just that simple.

Yet God says that your tongue can produce the same kind of results as the work of your hands. Solomon is saying that a man is filled with good things by the fruit of his lips.

If you had a choice between having good things or bad things, wouldn’t you choose the good things? Of course you would. Well, how do you get the good things? By the fruit of your lips.

Let’s look at another scripture which echoes this truth. From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things… (Proverbs 13:2)

How does a man enjoy good things? By the fruit of his lips.

Now let’s look at the classic scripture on the power of the tongue.

 From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:20-21).

You do remember that God said, “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Therefore choose life.” You choose life by choosing the words you speak. What you say out of your mouth is going to determine whether you have life or death. Your words determine whether you are going to have blessings or curses.

When the Bible speaks of the tongue, it is not referring to the pink, wet, slimy organ in your mouth. It is referring to the words that the tongue speaks. Don’t be like the woman who said, “I’m always saying the wrong thing. I think it’s because my tongue is wet and it’s always slipping.” The tongue is an organ of speech. It is speech that is powerful, not the organ itself.

This scripture says that the tongue produces fruit. We could say it this way: Your words produce fruit, and fruit is the end result of seeds. If you hold in your hand an apple, then you hold the end result of a seed. So fruit is the end result of a seed.

This means that your words are initially seeds. And what you plant now, you get later. So, what you say now, you get later.

My friend Don Gossett wrote a best-selling book entitled, “What You Say Is What You Get.” This is true. What you say now, you will get later. You are going to reap the words of your mouth. So you better watch what you say, because if it is bad you will reap it. This is one of the most powerful truths that you can learn when it comes to successful living. Of course you can always repent for what you say, and God will forgive you so you can set your life right.

PROMISE OF TOMORROW

Every seed holds the promise of tomorrow. Tomorrow is the future. Every seed holds the promise of the future. Your words hold the promise of your future. The life you are living now is the result of the words you spoke in the past.

I’ve heard parents say, “We don’t understand why our kids didn’t turn out right. We did everything we could. We even warned them. We told them that they were never going to amount to anything. We told them that they were going to be failures, and they were.”

Do you see what they did? They constantly spoke negative things to their kids. They predicted their kids future by their words.

You say, “Wait a minute. Aren’t we supposed to warn our children when they do wrong?” Yes. You can warn them without predicting their future, though.

For example, after your son has done something wrong you can spank him and afterward say, “Son, what you did was wrong. Jesus lives in you, so you can do better. Next time, let the Lord live through you. I forgive you.” That’s better than saying in anger and fear, “You’re never going to amount to anything! I won’t be a bit surprised to find you in prison some day!”

I have noticed that nearly every Miss America winner will say something like, “I want to thank my parents for their support. They told me that I could do anything if I put my mind to it. They believed in me and said that I could be Miss America. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for believing in me.”

You hardly hear any winner say, “I thank only myself, because no one believed in me. My parents said that I was foolish in thinking that I could be Miss America.” No! You don’t hear those lovely ladies say that.

Unfortunately, you may be walking in the fruit of your parents’ negative words. Maybe they told you over and over again that you would never amount to anything. But don’t believe them. Believe God’s report instead.

* He says that you are a world overcomer.

* He says nothing is impossible for you who believe.

* He says that greater is the Holy Spirit who is in you than the   devil who is in the world.

* He says that the righteous may fall seven times, but he shall arise every time.

* He says all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His good purpose.

Start speaking God’s words, and don’t repeat the negative words of others, even if those people happen to be your parents. Love your parents, respect them, be kind to them, but don’t believe their negative report about you.

In Numbers chapter 14, the people were declaring that they and their children would die in the desert and not enter the Promise Land. God spoke to Moses and told him to give them this message: “As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say” (v. 28). God tells them that they are going to get everything they said. God said to them, “What you say, is what you get.” God did, however, exempt the children: “As for your children that YOU SAID would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected” (v.31). So you see that your parent’s words do not have to determine your destiny.

GOOD AND BAD

Proverbs 18:21 says that the tongue can produce both life and death. It can be an instrument of good and bad. The tongue is neutral. It’s neither good or bad; it’s only an instrument. You can use it to produce good or you can use it to produce bad. The choice is yours.

Your tongue even has the power of health. The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life…” (Proverbs 15:4). Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Proverbs 12:18).

Your tongue can make you well. Doctors have known this for some time. Some patients have told their doctors that they would live and not die, and they did. These patients should have died according to the doctor’s reports, but instead they lived. Such miracles have constantly baffled the medical profession. I’m convinced that in many of these miracle cases, the people got healed because of their words.

Mary Bustillos is one person who got healed because she maintained a positive confession of God’s Word. Mary is my secretary at church. In 1986, Mary began to experience excruciating pain in her breast. During this time she cried out to Jesus, “Have mercy on me!” At this time, Jesus appeared to her in a bright light and showed her his nail-scarred hands. Mary thought, Oh, my God! I’m going to die because I have seen the Lord. Because of this vision, Mary gave up hope of living, thinking that the Lord was coming to take her to heaven.

She shared this vision with a sister in the Lord from Albuquerque. This lady helped Mary understand this vision. She rebuked Mary by showing her that she was misinterpreting the vision: “Jesus is showing you, Mary, that He bore your sickness, not that He is going to take you home.” Most importantly, the lady told Mary, “Quit speaking about dying. Speak life and healing.” She did, but the symptoms worsened.

Finally, she went to see a doctor about this condition. The doctor gave her the news that every woman has feared hearing, “You have cancer. Unfortunately, it’s already in the last stage. We can’t do anything to help you.”

Despite the negative report from the doctor, Mary began to declare, “The cancer is dead. The tumor is shrinking. I shall live and not die, and declare the glory of the Lord.” This sounded silly to the doctors, but to their amazement the cancer eventually disappeared. They gave her a complete bill of health in 1988. She is still alive and well and working hard for the Lord.

Mary and others like her have talked themselves into health. Others, unfortunately, have talked themselves into dying. Sometimes there was nothing seriously wrong with them, but they died anyway. Their words killed them.

Your words have the power of life and death. Your words are the most powerful thing you have working for you, or against you. So make your words work for you!

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Speaking in Tongues

by Tom Brown

Speaking in tongues is the most talked about phenomena in Christianity. Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movement has brought speaking in tongues to the forefront, and these branches of Christianity are without doubt the fastest growing segments of Christianity. These movements are impacting the world even more than the reformation did.

Yet with all the talk about speaking in tongues, few understand what it’s all about. It is the least understood subject among believers. People will be surprise to find that the Bible mentions speaking in tongues thirty-five times. That is a lot, so this subject should not be cast lightly aside as unimportant to the Church. God does not fill His book with things of minor importance.

Many people who have never spoken in tongues speak as though they’re experts in this field, when in reality they teach only from theory.

Who should know more about tongues: those who speak in tongues or those who don’t? Well, shouldn’t we learn from those who do speak in tongues!? Since I do speak in tongues, I feel that I can bring scriptural wisdom with experience in this article. This column will clarify common misunderstandings and show the importance and benefits of speaking in tongues.

WHAT GOOD IS IT?

The Apostle Paul writes, “He who speaks in tongues edifies himself…I would like every one of you to speak in tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:4,5). With these positive statement about tongues, why do so few Christians speak in tongues? I believe the answer is because there is very little sound, logical and scriptural teaching as to the scope and value of speaking in tongues.

Recently I spoke to a group of Mormons at the University Ward on North Oregon Street. I shared my testimony on how God saved and filled me with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. After the talk, the number one question the students asked was on speaking in tongues. One inquisitive student asked, “What does speaking in tongues do for you?”

I answered, “It does exactly what the Bible says it does: He who speaks in tongues edifies himself.” The word “edify” means to “build up” or “charge up”–much like charging up a battery. We all need a spiritual charge. All of us at times feel spiritually drained. One of God’s ways to charge your spirit is through speaking in tongues.

A HEAVENLY LANGUAGE

Many people inaccurately define speaking in tongues as “speaking gibberish” or “talking nonsense.” The truth is, speaking in tongues is the most intelligent, perfect language in the universe. It is God’s language.

What language do you suppose people speak in heaven? Languages are given their name based on the countries they come from. For example, English comes from England. Spanish comes from Spain. Italian comes from Italy.

Well, where does tongues come from? It comes from Heaven! Tongues is the heavenly language. It is what is spoken in heaven; the only difference is that the people in heaven understand what they are saying. Here on earth Paul says, “For anyone who speaks in tongues does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understand him; he utters mysteries with his spirit” (v. 2).

Jesus says that those who believe in Him will “speak in new tongues” (Mark 16:17). The word “new” means appearing for the first time. No one had spoken these languages before. Contrary to bad theology tongues is not an ability given to preach the gospel in the language of foreigners. This would make tongues “old” languages. It is only appropriate that “new tongues” should be spoken by those of the “new birth.” It is natural and normal to speak in the language of your birth. We are born again from above, therefore we should speak the language from above–that language is called “new tongues.”

SHOULDN’T TONGUES BE UNDERSTOOD?

The first to speak in tongues were the disciples. This occurred on the day of Pentecost. People often think that on this day the disciples were speaking human languages, because the people could understand what they were saying.

I don’t believe this is true because there was a two-fold miracle taking place on this day: the miracle of speaking and hearing: The first miracle was the speaking in tongues. The second miracle was the enabling of some to understand the tongues. Not everyone understood the tongues, because some onlookers made fun of the disciples and accused them of being drunk (Acts 2:13); this clearly shows that they did not understand the tongues.

And the ones who did understand the tongues were perplex because each one heard only their own native language not the languages of the other people (v. 6). The Bible tells us that there were over fourteen foreigners representing many nations, speaking different languages. Yet each person heard the disciples praising God in their own language. They exclaimed, “How is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?” (v. 8) They could not figure out how this was possible.

It is clear that the disciples were not “preaching” the gospel in tongues, they were instead “declaring the wonders of God” (v. 11). They were not speaking “to men but to God” (1 Cor 14:2). The people were simply listening in on their praises to God. It wasn’t until Peter stood up to speak to the crowd in one common language that the gospel was preached. So tongues are not supernatural human languages given to the apostles so they could preach in languages they did not naturally learn.

The disciples were not speaking human languages; they were speaking in unknown tongues. But God enabled those whose hearts were opened to understand what the disciples were saying. Sometimes this happens today. You see, the miracle was in the hearing of the people.

THE BAPTISM IN THE SPIRIT

Let us look carefully at the first scriptural account of speaking in tongues:

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4).

This experience is what John the baptist and Jesus called the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This was the fulfillment of Jesus promise, “In a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5). Every Christian believes in baptizing in water. But few accept the better baptism–the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Since you were willing to be baptized in water, shouldn’t you also be willing to be baptized in the Holy Spirit?

Theologians often confuse the baptism in the Holy Spirit with salvation. They often regard these two experiences as being the same. This confuses believers. They incorrectly assume that salvation is the same as the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Bible does not teach this. The Bible clearly teaches that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from salvation and comes after a person is saved, although it can occur at the time of salvation.

The story of the Samaritan converts plainly proves this (see Acts 8:5-25). Philip preached to them about Christ. The people joyfully accepted the gospel and was born again. They confirmed their faith by being baptized as well. Yet, despite the fact that these folks were truly saved, Philip called for the apostles to come and pray for them that they would receive the Holy Spirit. It is clear from this story that being saved is not the same as receiving the Holy Spirit. (Although the Holy Spirit is definitely involved in salvation.)

Another biblical story illustrates this fact (see Acts 19:1-7). Paul met some disciples of John the Baptist. He thought they were believers in the Lord Jesus, because they talked so much about repentance. Paul, unaware that they were only disciples of John, yet knowing something was missing in these men, asked them an obvious question, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

The question itself proves that Paul, including the early church, believed that it was possible to be a believer in Jesus without having received the Holy Spirit. If receiving the Holy Spirit was automatic at conversion, then why did Paul asked the question, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

THE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE

I was baptized in the Holy Spirit at the First Assembly of God church on Montana. The preacher asked for those wishing to dedicate themselves to the ministry to come forward for prayer. The first to come forward was a tall, slender fellow name Timmy. I thought, “If Timmy can go forward, I can too.” So I followed him down to the front of the podium.

Without notice, something invisible hit Timmy, and down he went on the floor. Almost immediately, something hit me too. Down I went, prostrate on the ground. I began to weep uncontrollably. God’s presence was all over me. This went on for several minutes.

The thought occurred to me, “This must be what my church has been talking about all these years. What is happening to me must be the baptism in the Holy Spirit.” No sooner did I think that when I heard this scripture in my mind, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues.”

If I’m filled with the Holy Spirit, then I’ll speak in other tongues, I reasoned in my mind. Right then, I began speaking in other tongues–and I haven’t stopped yet! Glory to God!

You see, the physical proof of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is the same evidence that the disciples had: speaking in tongues. You may have other evidences as well, but the one evidence you should have is speaking in tongues.

There are five examples in the Bible of people receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:4; 8:17; 9:17; 10:44; 19:6). In three out of the five examples we are told that specific signs took place. In the other two examples, the manifestation of physical signs taking place are implied, but not mentioned. Based on these two cases we cannot build any solid evidence as to what should happen when someone is baptized in the Holy Spirit. However, based on the other three examples we can build a good, solid case as to what should happen when someone is baptized in the Spirit.

We are told in these three examples that certain physical manifestations took place. In each case, more than one physical sign took place, which teaches us that there are usually more than one sign taking place when people are baptized in the Holy Spirit. Yet, there is one sign–and only one sign–that is common to all three examples. The identical sign was speaking in tongues. Based on this observation we can conclude that the standard sign of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues.

Speaking in tongues is the physical, biblical evidence that one is baptized in the Holy Spirit. We should not settle for anything less than the scriptural evidence.

If you haven’t been baptized in the Holy Spirit, seek God about it and pray for it in faith. God never lets a thirsty soul go dry.

DO ALL SPEAK IN TONGUES?

Someone may say, “How can you say that all Christians should speak in tongues considering the apostle Paul’s words, ‘Do all speak in tongues?’? (1 Corinthians 12:30).

In this passage, Paul is talking about public ministry gifts that are manifested in the church. He is not talking about tongues as the initial sign of the baptism in the Spirit, nor is he talking about tongues as a private, devotional, prayer language.

You can recognize this by simply looking at the language Paul uses concerning speaking in tongues. In this chapter he calls speaking in tongues “different kinds of tongues” (see 12:10,28). “Different kinds” means “not the usual.” The usual kind of speaking in tongues is a language no man understands or interprets. However, speaking in “different kinds” of tongues enables the speaker or someone else to recognize the meaning of the tongue and thereby interpreting it.

So when Paul ask the question, “Do all speak in tongues?”, he is referring to the public manifestation of tongues which enables a person gifted in interpretation to speak out the meaning of the tongue. Not all have been given this gift of “different kinds” of tongues.

In the fourteenth chapter of this epistle, Paul corrects the misuse of tongues in the church. He told them to stop the practice gathering “the whole church [so] everyone [can] speak in tongues” (v. 23). Notice carefully that the “whole church” was gathered and that “everyone” was speaking in tongues. This clearly shows us that everyone in the Corinthian church was speaking in tongues. Most of them should have allowed those gifted in the “different kinds” of tongues to exercise their gift, and the rest should simply “keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God” (v. 28).

Friend, I encourage you to seek the scriptural evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and to settle for nothing but the best.