L. A. Marzulli
Be still and know that I AM God.
I was recently in a church where the “pastor” stood in front of the congregation and told everyone to begin to speak in tongues. The entire place exploded in a cacophony of voices. I turned to the Wifey, shook my head, and stated this was unbiblical.
There are those, especially in the Hyper-Pentecostal church, who will disagree with this. However, when we look at the scripture in 1 Corinthians 14: 23 If therefore the whole church be assembled together and all speak with tongues, and there come in men unlearned or unbelieving, will they not say that ye are mad?
So there we have what the Bible says about everyone speaking in tongues together. We can tap dance around this and tell each other that this scripture didn’t apply to the corporate church, but I believe it’s very clear. The gift of tongues, when manifest, must have an interpreter, period, and the congregation is not to speak in tongues all at once.
27 If any man speaketh in a tongue, let it be by two, or at the most three, and that in turn; and let one interpret:
28 but if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
Then there are those who insist that these gifts passed away in the first century, and won’t move in the gifts at all. However, there is nothing that states the gifts have ever left the church…. For the most part they have either been dormant, or abused.
Back to the church service: What was interesting to me was nothing happened after the outburst. There was no move of God. However, just before the outburst the congregation was sitting still, in silence, and was waiting on Him. We weren’t trying to manipulate anything, or storm the gates of heaven. We were still before Him. I spoke first, as the Spirit of the Living God gave me a short word: Praise God the giver of Life.
Then, someone else added to it. All in all, about 30 people participated and everyone’s words were an insight about our Father. In other words what we experienced was a Bible study about the attributes of God. It was wonderful, and the people moved in the gifts of the spirit.
The churches, for the most part, have forgotten what it is like to sit before the Lord, to be still and know that He is God.
Most churches never practice this, so the folks never actually hear from the Lord in a service. They are never trained corporately to be still. When and if it happens, most are uncomfortable with it. We’re so used to being entertained, to have something going on, a program, the morning announcements, the special offering song, the worship team playing the latest “hits.” While all that is part of our services, we neglect the basics. Most churches have less than 30 seconds of prayer each week. Most churches never are still before the Lord, and certainly won’t allow any “outburst” from the congregants.
With all of this said, I would state that we live in a time where we have a form of religion but deny it’s power, Just like Jeshua/Jesus warned us would be the case in the last days. The power comes from when the spirit of the living God, shows up. You and I have nothing of ourselves. We can’t manufacture the presence of God. There’s no magic formula. There’s no set way to bring it in except to be still. In other words by emptying ourselves of our agenda and being still before the living God, we are then allowing His Spirit to move, to teach, to admonish, to warn, to utter prophecy, to have a word of healing.
This is what happened in the first century church and we read about it all through the Book oF Acts! The people waited on the Living God and lives were changed and transformed. Oh that our churches would abandon their seeker-friendly programs and their rigid structures, and Be still and know that He is God.