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Chapter 1, Section 3

Sanctification is a continuous process

Sanctification is a continuous process also known as growing in truth. This cannot be accomplished without conscientious Bible study, yet, once a glossolalist has received the "Spirit," all further development of truth in him is usually ended. He is convinced that through his experience he has received Heaven's approval and that additional spiritual development will be a spontaneous act of God—not the result of his growing toward perfection through following the "Spirit of truth."

It is not the spectacular that proves godliness. Even in His own life, Christ used His miracles mostly for the purpose of service to humanity. When King Herod wanted Him to perform a miracle, Christ refused even to speak a word to him, least of all to demonstrate His supernatural powers. They wanted Him to come down from the cross to prove His divinity, but again He refused; for Christ did not involve Himself in the spectacular for the sake of vanity.

The opposite, however, is often true of the charismatics today. In a recent discussion, Gary Patterson, pastor of the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists, enlarged on this:

"As things become less spectacular, they tend to become more significant. Being overawed with the spectacular is not exactly the way to build a personal relationship with someone," he pointed out. "God seeks a personal relationship with His people, and that is what salvation is all about; to restore us to a face-to-face relationship with God.

"It may sometimes be necessary for God to use the supernatural to reach us, but after He has done that, He desires to teach us with His own wisdom. Jesus came to us in a spectacular manner, but it would have been impossible for Him to do an effective work in that fashion. It became necessary for Him to go away and send the Holy Spirit, which admittedly is less spectacular, that He might teach us and lead us into all truth.

"The Christian who wishes to stay with the spectacular and never moves on to an understanding will never really know God. The spectacular can be counterfeited, and a mind that never moves on to a higher plane of thinking will be taken in."

Another point easy to ignore is that none of the great men of the Old Testament are reported to have spoken in tongues in their endeavor for God. Spiritual giants such as Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Elijah, Samuel, and David can certainly be ranked among God's own men. No exercise of glossolalia is recorded of any of them. Michael contended with the devil for the body of Moses, and Moses was subsequently taken to heaven; he was certainly filled with the Spirit, but again, no gift of tongues! Isaiah was one of the greatest of prophets; Samuel was a man who spoke for God in a most difficult time, but here, too, the gift of tongues was nowhere to be found. And even King David, a poet and songwriter, and a "man after God's own heart" lacked tongues but certainly not the Spirit.

The New Testament relates basically the same story about many of its great men of God. John the Baptist, the "voice crying in the wilderness," was sent by God to prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah without the use of glossolalia. John Mark, the author of the book of Mark, does not mention the phenomenon in his Gospel. Lazarus, the resurrected friend of Jesus did not have the ability. James, the author of the epistle of James has nothing to say about the gift-and he was the brother of Christ!

Can we honestly believe that all these men of God lacked the Holy Spirit in their lives? It is a conclusion I find hard to accept.

Read Chapter 2 - The Mysterious Tongue

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