For many years, the subject of the gift of speaking in tongues has been a controversial one within the church. It's also been one that has been quite divisive.
But Robert Henderson, a member of the Eagles Vision Apostolic team and host of the Courts of Heaven podcast, says that's because speaking in tongues has so much spiritual power that the enemy doesn't want anything to do with it. He doesn't want God's people to experience it either, in fear of losing what little power he has over them.
"I think it's just a spiritual contention that surrounds it," Henderson, the author of The Gift of Tongues, told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of Greenelines on the Charisma Podcast Network. "From a practical standpoint, when you tell somebody they need prophecy, when you tell somebody they need to heal the sick or you tell somebody they need to discern something that's demonic versus angelic, that makes sense. But the idea that you need to speak in some kind of language that they don't know, many people would say that sounds like unintelligent things coming out of a person's mouth. That's kind of hard to wrap your head around and I do get that from a natural perspective."
"The apostle Paul spoke about this spiritual gift in 1 Corinthians 14:1-5 when he said: 'Follow after love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in an unknown tongue does not speak to men, but to God. For no one understands him, although in the spirit, he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks to men for their edification and exhortation and comfort. He who speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I desire that you all speak in tongues, but even more that you prophesy. For greater is he who prophesies than he who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edification.'
"Here's the deal. You don't get it until you've got it," Henderson says. "When somebody needs me to try to explain why somebody needs tongues, I can do that from what the apostle Paul said. It builds you up, it strengthens you and it encourages you. But the truth of the matter is when I begin to pray in tongues, the edification and strength and faith it creates in my heart makes me realize this is real. So I tell people I didn't really get it until I got it. When I began to function in it, I began to realize that this is what the apostle Paul spoke about.
"Paul said when he prayed in tongues, he was giving thanks and he was blessing the Lord. He was also revealing that praying in tongues is a form of worship, a form of thanksgiving. It's a form of blessing.
"There are many times I'm in a worship service or I'm by myself and I'm speaking in tongues because I know I'm actually blessing the Lord. I'm giving thanks to Him, even if I don't know what I'm saying. That's because I can feel it in my spirit and that's what I'm doing."
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