Persecution is generally defined as severe harassment and punishment on some people based on their religion, race, or a different political party. In the early church, the devil attacked the early believers by two main strategies: outwardly, thru persecution and inwardly, thru infiltration of false brethren. In the history of Christianity, persecution tended to strengthen the church. The false brethren coming with false teachings are more dangerous. These tend to divide and scatter the church. These evil attacks started almost immediately. But nothing could stop the growth of the church. It is now part of church’ history that the early believers were terribly persecuted, first by the Jewish religious leaders and later by the Roman Empire.

Just the way God’s true prophets were rejected by the people of Israel in the Old Testament, so Jesus was rejected by the religious rulers in Israel. Jesus told His disciples that they too will suffer rejection from the world, especially from the religious world. This rejection is a form of persecution. The early Christians were prepared for persecution and even expected it. Jesus warned them that the world (the unbelievers) will hate and persecute them. He also said that the Holy Spirit will lead them into all truth and will comfort them when they are persecuted. Without the Holy Spirit’s encouragement, the persecution of the Christians was enough to destroy the church. This is a reminder to us of the mighty power released by the coming of the Holy Spirit in the church. Halleluiah!  Listen to our Lord’s warning: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake because they do not know Him who sent Me” (Jn 15:18-21).

Immediately after the killing of Stephen great persecution started against the Church. Like the seeds from the hand of the Sower, most of the disciples ran away from Jerusalem, spreading the Gospel. The Apostles remained in Jerusalem. They stayed there to continue to lead the church from the ‘headquarter’. Godly men buried Stephen. These men may be Jewish silent converts, the way Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were, who buried Jesus. They mourned deeply for him. This is a picture of godly repentance that leads to salvation. This burial is so different than the way Ananias and Saphira were buried when none mourned for them.

Saul of Tarsus, extremely zealous for his Jewish faith, and hating the Christians, became the leader of the persecution. “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison” (Ac 8:3).  The words ‘made havoc’ means to cause great and wide destruction like a tornado. It means to cause great confusion in the church. In Greek, the words ‘made havoc of the church’ mean to destroy, to maltreat, and to insult the believers. He ‘dragged them off’ by force from their houses and put them in prison. The women were strong believers too and were not afraid to stand for Jesus. The Christians were called ‘the followers of the Way’ because Jesus said He is the only Way to God (Jn 14:6).  According to Apostle Paul’s confession later, it seems that in prison the believers were tortured, and many killed. “I persecuted and pursued the followers of this Way to the death, binding them with chains and putting [followers of Jesus] both men and women into prisons” (Ac 22:4; AMP). The devil was behind this persecution, but he failed to destroy the church. Peter encouraged the believers: “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (1 Peter 4:16).

What are some of the effects of persecution?

*Persecution separated the true from the false believers. The unbelievers went back to the world. God allowed it to keep the church pure.

*Persecution increased the faith and the assurance of salvation of all true believers. The believers were sure that they have eternal life and nothing, not even death, can separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus! “Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, should not be made perfect apart from us” (Heb 11: 35-40). They learned how to be faithful and patiently endure trials. They lost the fear of death. Like Apostle Paul they were sure that ‘To live is Christ and to die is gain’ (Phil 1:21). This endurance developed spiritual maturity and strong moral character. The effect was great hope for the future. “We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom 5:3,4).   

*They understood and trusted Jesus in a new way, especially as their High Priest in heaven who is praying for them. They knew that Jesus feels their pain, and that they are not alone. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15). When Stephen was dying, he saw Jesus standing (not sitting on His throne). Stephen was greatly encouraged by this vision. As he lay down dying, he took it as a sign that Jesus is with him preparing to receive him in heaven. “But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:55, 56).   

*They were sure that Jesus will reward them for their faithfulness during persecution. “That is why they felt blessed, or happy. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Mat 5:10-12)

*Many of the unbelievers who witnessed the killings of the Christians, became saved. They saw that the Christians were faithful to Jesus unto death. They were not afraid to die. That attitude touched many of them. The most famous of these religious unbelievers is Saul who became the Apostle Paul. He approved and witnessed the killing of Stephen. He never forgot his great peace, and his face like an angel, as he was dying. He did not forget that before his death Stephen prayed for forgiveness for his killers, including himself. Later, apostle Paul was persecuted more than others. He saw God working in all his trials. When he was in the prison in Rome, the Roman soldiers who guarded him became saved. “I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (Phil 1:12-14). This is how the church grew! Worship the Lord!



I just received this letter from one of the young men in our church.

“Good morning, Ma’am,

Recently, I have been gripped with one kind fear , fear of armed robbers coming into our house, fear that something will happen to my family as they are coming home from the market, plenty different fears , fear that when I am driving police will stop me for what I don’t even know, then the most gripping one is fear that Effurun boys will break into our church, just plenty nonsense fears… I became lean spiritually, I sought the face of God , and waited with hope that on the next church service God will give me the solution to conquer this crazy fear.

I came to church with one heart’s desire: “Oh Lord I want to see You and know what is needed to know to conquer this fear”. In the midst of the service, it was like fire, water, oil, and the blood of Jesus, together poured on my clothes the stain stuck and the fear was swallowed … I got a deep understanding of the word of God: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:” I asked myself even if the worst happens, I will not turn back or relent in my chase after God… After this miracle, the blessings and assurance of God overshadowed my senses. I felt free… Ma, I didn’t have the power to not share it with you to the Glory of God and in Jesus’ name Amen.

Your son in Christ…”

My answer to him:

Dear son, Thank God for everything! You can see that all our problems are basically spiritual. If we do not deal with them with spiritual means provided for us in the Bible, we may fall into the natural trials and temptations. The Effurun boys shall come to church, not to steal and rob, but to give their lives to Christ. “There is no fear in Love for perfect love drives away all fears” (1Jn 4:18). You are a child of God! Love God and man! Believe God’s Word which is Truth! Be filled with the Holy Spirit! Then you shall be free indeed! God bless you!

Love in Christ alone,




“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3Jn 1:4)

I often receive encouraging letters from people I pastor, those who I call ‘my lambs in Christ’. Words cannot express the joy and the holy pride I feel when they testify to their spiritual growth. Today, a dear sister sent me this note. She has joined our church not too long ago. She is married with children. She is a successful businesswoman. She is very faithful in serving God in the house of God. I bless God for her life. The Holy Spirit has humbled her and favored her. Read her words and be blessed:

“Dear Malia, I thank God for the day I came to Father’s House! I realize I have it all!!! Inferiority complexity, poverty mentality and victim mentality. Afraid and shy!!!! Full of mistakes!!!! But yet He calls me His beloved!!!! There are times I wonder if it was a mistake to make me a leader in the Body of Christ???? Do I have what it takes to lead? I have always second guess myself, even at my work, in my marriage. Hmmmmm I am a big work in progress!!!! “Holy Spirit pls help me to be what my Maker created me to be. A vessel of honor, a Spirit control woman, a submissive wife and a Daughter of a Proud Father (God)!!!!!!”

Ma, ur words always give me comfort Ma!!!! The best thing that has ever happened to me is being in my Father’s house. Revealing to me my weaknesses, humbling and breaking me down and pointing to the cross daily!!!! Oh how He loves me!!!! Oh how he loves me!!! Thank u my mother!!! I have wept many tears but now, I am ready!!!! So I desire for Him to cleans me, weed me, burn me, mold me, swallow me, just to be perfect for Him!!!! “This is my desire, to honor You…”

You said that my destiny is to be a woman of God. Yes Ma!!! I am changing… Slow it may seam but definitely not going back to my vomit!!! My path can only continue to shine daily unto the perfect day, Ma. From one glory to another!!! I always say thank you bc if u had not held steadfast, I won’t be in this path!!! Hence I am always saying ‘thank u Ma’ bc ur salvation was not for u alone but for us!!! U needed to pave the way for us and make it lot easier. Be our shoulder, be our Rod we look up to, like Moses Rod. I am so far away!!!! So so far away from my goal but cautiously pressing on, my Mother. And when I look at my tiny growth, I laugh. I give thanks to God! How I am now anxious for nothing. No longer very hot tempered and easily provoked but always smiling knowing someone got my back. Knowing He is working everything together for my good. It gives me great joy, Ma. I love u! I love u the way u will never understand ma. And vow to make u proud. To say one day she is my daughter as I breed her. To be called by my husband “a woman of God”! One day… “

My answer to her:

“Dear daughter, this is the truth: Your future is by far better, more glorious and happier than your past and present! That is why, you should never fear going on in life and getting ‘old’! God is changing you to make you a woman of God! As you change in your heart, your marriage, your husband and children, people around you will also change! You ignite the miracle of passionate life un-ending around you! It will happen! You are already a woman of God. Believe this word! This truth will become clearer with time. One day! Not too far from now! In Jesus’ name!”


THE EARLY CHURCH (7)/ THE MARKS OF THE EARLY CHURCH (1) (Preaching, Baptism, Doctrine, Fellowship, and Holy Communion)

During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled The Early Church (7)/ The Church grows (1). Her main text was taken from the Book of Acts. “Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:36-47).

We continue to study the early church, to discover the perfect pattern God has in mind about the Body of Christ. The Church is One set of branches connected to one Vine, One flock following on Shepperd, One Kingdom having One King, One building having One foundation, One Bride having One Bridegroom, One Body having One Head, Jesus Christ, the Lord!    

The most important verse in the whole Book of Acts, that gives it its general tone, is this: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). These are the last words of the resurrected Christ before ascending to heaven. The book of Acts is a Book of power manifested in the early church. The Book of Acts is one of the happiest books in the world. It is a book of revival.  We see that the first Christians had a great spiritual power and boldness to preach the Gospel and to pray. They loved the Word of God and their fellowship with one another. They were generous with their resources, helping the needy. They loved the name of Jesus and used it with authority. Signs and wonders accompanied their ministry. They were persecuted for their faith, but they were always victorious in all circumstances. They exercised holy discipline so that the church remains pure. They did evangelistic outreaches to spread the Gospel. Their faith and boldness were beautiful. We want to imitate these good ways, for the glory of God! In this passage we see some basic elements of a living church, growing by the power of the Holy Spirit. According to the Book of Acts, these are at least fifteen ways the early church was defined: Preaching the Gospel, Baptism in water, The Apostles’ Doctrine, Fellowship of the brethren, partaking in the Holy Communion, Prayers, Experiencing miracles, Helping the needy among them, Gladness and simplicity of heart, Praising God, Favor with people, Church Discipline, Spiritual warfare, and Missionary evangelistic work. These words describe the early church and any other living church that is experiencing revival. May this be our portion, in Jesus’ name!

In this old-world generations have come and gone. Kings and kingdoms have come and passed away. But one thing is clear: the only good that has ever happened in this world is the hope given to man, salvation thru the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is the only good news. Any other idea or philosophy is old, faded, useless news. The Greeks had great poets and philosophers. The Romans had great lawyers, administrators, builders, and soldiers. Other empires brought their own traditions and cultures. There is some beauty in the achievements of men. For example, the idea of hospitals started with the Christians. That is good. But what is the greatest weakness of man’s achievements? It is the failure of man to know God and to save himself from sin and death. Man cannot change the human heart. Man is born a sinner. Since Adam, no tradition, no religion, no civilization, no medical or scientific invention, could give hope and assurance of eternal life. God’s life is found in Christ alone, by faith in His Word. This is the only good news on earth. This is the Gospel. Jesus Christ died and rose again for me! The story of Jesus is a story of Love and Grace. It is found only in the Bible. Please read it for yourself!

The Christians in the early church loved to study the Word of God, in particular, the apostles’ doctrines. People said about the early Christians: “These have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). In every revival, the same pattern we see in the Book of Acts is repeated. That is why we study the early church trying to find the secret of their power, godliness, and joy. The first thing we see in the early church is that their gathering was mostly spiritual. They helped one another materially, but the purpose of their fellowship was spiritual first. They ‘continues steadfastly’ in spiritual exercises. The words ‘continued steadfastly’ can also be translated ‘they persevered, they waited and persisted’. The word ‘steadfast’ means to stay firmly in one place, strong in faith, immovable, and unshakable. A steadfast man is sure of his belief, that he is doing the right thing, refusing to change or give up. This was the attitude of the early Christians concerning their faith in Christ and God’s Word. There is no other way how to make spiritual progress in life and how a church should grow organically.      


Peter preaches Christ centered sermons on the day of Pentecost and before the Sanhedrin. People were amazed at his faith and boldness, knowing that just few days ago, he betrayed his Lord. The very courage of Peter is a testimony that the resurrected Christ is alive, that He has forgiven him and restored him to his office as an apostle. ‘With many words Peter testified and exhorted’ the listeners to repent from sin. The word ‘testify’ means to solemnly warn them about the reality, power, and consequences of a life of sin. The word ‘exhort’ means to urge, to plead and beg them to give their lives to Christ. There is passion and power in Peter’s preaching. He knows how deceptive sin is. He also knows how great God’s Grace is. His words go straight to the conscience of his listeners, urging them to apply their minds to think about their lives. This preaching is doctrinal and not just an emotional appeal. It is a Spirit filled sermon that ‘cut their hearts’ (Acts 2:37). The words ‘cut the hearts’ means to be suddenly pierced (by an arrow of truth), to be grieved, to become anxious because of guilt. This is the effect of hearing the Word of God, preached with authority and faith. It describes godly sorrow that leads to repentance and to salvation (2Cor 7:10).   

Peter accuses the Jews that they are sinners, guilty of killing Jesus! Peter does not entertain. He challenges the sinners to ‘be saved from this perverse generation’. The word ‘perverse’ means something unjust, crooked, corrupt, wicked, and evil. To be perverse describes a stubborn person, who has left the good path of wisdom and godliness and has identified with the darkness of this world. A perverse man is not an innocent or ignorant man. He stubbornly refuses to repent and opposes what is right, good, and acceptable to godly people. A perverse man is proud, wayward, rebellious, unrepentant, stubbornly opposing all authority. He is a dangerous man. Peter commands his listeners to separate themselves from people who may be religious but are ‘perverse’ in heart and behavior. Our Lord Himself rebuked that generation of Jews for their doubt and unbelief. “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?” (Mt 17:17). Our Lord’s question does not reveal frustration but pain seeing that His Word and the miracles He performed did not change the hearts of these religious people. The word ‘bear with you’ means to endure, to carry, or to tolerate someone who is extremely antagonistic to you.

Later, Apostle Paul preaches the Gospel of Christ before authorities and all men during His missionary journeys. He repeats the same command. Christians should separate from the world. This is not a superficial separation but a deep spiritual one. A child of God should live a godly life among the unbelievers, like a light shining in the darkness. He should not complain or quarrel. He should be a man of peace and faith. He should accept the providence of God and in all things, he should give thanks to Him. The Word of God received and believed is His light shining in the darkness. Defeating the crooked and perverse generation can only be done by faith in the power of God’s Word and thru His Spirit. “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain” (Philippians 2:14-16). It is your responsibility to shine as light in the darkness. That shine comes from ‘holding fast the word of life’. Holding fast the word means to understand and retain the Word of God so that you can preach it to others. The peaching of God’s Word exposes and defeats and destroys the strongholds of ignorance, unbelief, and crookedness of the world.  

The word ‘church’ in Greek is Ekklesia. It means ‘the assembly of the called ones’. God has called us from the darkness of this world to His marvelous light, from sin to righteousness, from death to life.  Peter said: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Out of a perverse generation of sinners, God’s effective call thru the Gospel of Christ has produced a new nation, a chosen generation, called the church. From the beginning of the church God’s call for separation from the world has been clearly heard. Humanity is divided into two groups: sinners (who belong to the world) and saints (who belong to the Kingdom of God). There is no middle ground. The world is defined as the totality of human beings who live like there is no God. The Bible calls the sinners ‘fools’. God is not in their minds or hearts. Their king is the prince or the ruler of this world, also called the devil. All sinners are under his power. Jesus came and died to save all who believe in Him.

At the Cross, the ruler of the world proved to be the killer of the Son of God. At the Cross you see the sinfulness of sin judged by God thru death. You see the power of evil. You also see that God has judged and punished the devil, the Killer of His Son. There is no forgiveness or redemption for the devil. The Holy Spirit has come to reveal this reality to those who are saved. Without the Holy Spirit man cannot believe that the devil is totally defeated. Jesus said: “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This He said, signifying by what death He would die” (Jn 12:31-33) “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (Jn 14:30). “And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (Jn 16:8-11).

After Stephen was martyred the persecution against the Christians increased. They were scattered like seeds of life. Wherever they went the preached the Word. “Those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). This is a true saying: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”. Preaching God’s Word is successful warfare.

Apostle Paul commands his son, Timothy, and all of us to preach the Word of God, the Gospel, the sound doctrines of salvation. Preaching (and teaching) is a holy work done ‘before God and the Lord Jesus Christ’. God judges the preacher and the congregation concerning the word preached and received. We are all responsible before God. Preaching must be done faithfully and patiently. The preacher must be prepared and ready.  Preaching must be done ‘in season and out of season’. In other words, preaching must be done always, when people respond or when they reject your words, by following the worldly religious crowd. “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:1-5).

Timothy must be an example to others in word, conduct, love, spirit, faith, and moral purity. He must study the Word by himself. He should read and meditate upon the scriptures. He should be careful with his behavior and the doctrine he believes and preaches. His spiritual progress will be seen by all, and it will influence others for good. His life becomes an open Bible for all, to read and to become saved. This is a spiritual law: doctrine determines behavior. If you believe the right doctrines, you will repent of sin and grow in godliness. If you believe wrong doctrines, you will continue in sin. Your life and the doctrines you believe in, are the most powerful tool of evangelism that you have. “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:12-16).


The Water Baptism and the Holy Communion are the only two ordinances given by the Lord Jesus to the Church. Both apply only to the believers in Christ. The Water Baptism is done once in a lifetime, but the Holy Communion is done ‘as often’ as possible. No one of these ordinances saves a soul. Salvation is by Grace and thru Faith in Jesus Christ. But both impart strength, increase faith, and give Grace upon Grace to the believers. The Water Baptism is a spiritual ceremony for the believers in Christ. It is the command of Jesus. We must obey His command. The resurrected Christ commanded His disciples: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen” (Matt 28:18-20). “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15, 16).

The early believers got baptized in water as a public declaration that they are now one with Christ. The Baptism in water is a baptism of repentance, forgiveness of sins and a new life in Christ. It symbolizes unity with Christ, in His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:5-11). As with the partaking of the Holy Communion, the water baptism is only for believers, for the born-again Christians. The unbeliever has no testimony of salvation; therefore, he should not be baptized. The believer declares publicly thru water baptism that he is a sinner saved by grace. He has totally surrendered his life to Christ, his Savior. From now on, he will faithfully obey God’s Word. Thru baptism in water the believer declares that he becomes a member of the Body of Christ, the Church, and He will love the brethren with the Love of Christ. Water baptism is generally done by immersion. It is done in public and not in secret. It is done in the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit! The baptism in water does not save a sinner but it confirms his testimony of salvation, to his conscience and to other people as witnesses. The proof that water baptism is not a prerequisite for salvation as seen in the story of the thief on the cross who believed in Christ in his last moments on earth (Luke 23:39-43).


The early church believers gave great importance to the study of God’s Word. They studied the Apostles’ doctrine. The word ‘doctrine’ means Biblical teaching. The apostles’ doctrine refers to the basic doctrines of salvation in Christ, by Grace and thru Faith. These doctrines are the very Words of Jesus as interpreted by His Apostles. The hunger for the Word of God, the passionate desire to read and study the doctrines of the Bible, is foundational to spiritual life and growth. During times of revival, the believers love the Word of God more than in the past. It is so sad that many pastors have stopped preaching the Word of God, the true Gospel of Christ crucified and resurrected. They preach inspirational stories, social events, and political topics. That is why many congregations are spiritually malnourished and weak. The unity of the Spirit is based on the unity of faith in the Word of God. Preaching the correct doctrine leads to godly behavior, spiritual growth in the believers and unity of the Spirit in the congregation. Preaching wrong doctrines leads to wayward worldly behavior, spiritual weakness, and division in the congregation. These are spiritual laws. The pulpit gives the tone and the atmosphere in any church. This is reminder of the great responsibility each pastor has before God and man!

Why were the early Christians so interested in the Biblical doctrines? They were baby Christians. They had just believed the Gospel of Christ and got saved. For the first time they discovered that all their lives they were fools and ignorant of God. They had religion but they were spiritually dead. Now, they became children of God. Truth has set them free. Their minds have been illuminated by the Holy Spirit. So, they wanted to know more of the truth, to understand who God is, and how they got saved. They were not tired to listen to God’s Word. They wanted more revelation so that they can grow spiritually and so that they can help others. They were tired of empty religion, entertainment stories, and philosophies. They were hungry for reality. By the way, this is a good question: are you hungry and thirsty for the Word of God? If the answer is yes, then you are saved! If the answer is no, you may only be religious but still dead in your sins. Examine yourselves! Selah!   

As you can see, the teaching and preaching of God’s Word is in the first place among the things the believers did when they gathered. This should be the pattern to all churches. The pulpit is the Throne of the Bible. The Word of God must be thought and preached with all authority, power, and joy. The Word of God gives life to men and makes the churches grow. In the absence of preaching the true doctrines sinners cannot be saved and the church will remain weak and divided. Every other activity in the church should submit to the preaching of God’s Word! Faith comes by hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17). Salvation is the deepest experience and greatest change that can happen to any man. But Christianity is not just an experience. It is a new life that needs to be fed thru the Word of God. Teaching the Bible is food and water for the soul. The believer needs to learn and understand the basic doctrines of the Bible. Other religions may offer some spiritual experiences. But it is only the true Christian, who after the experience of salvation, desires to be thought the Word of God.

The early believers studied the Apostles’ doctrine. At that time the New Testament was not completely written. The believers listen to what the apostles were teaching them. The Apostles were the only men that had a truly intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. They sat at His feet for three and a half years. There were many disciples following Jesus. Out of them, He chose men whom He named apostles. “He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons” (Mark 3:13-15). His choice of whom should be an apostle is according to God’s sovereign call of grace. Their first duty was to sit at the feet of Jesus, to listen to His teaching and to be His friends. Their second duty was to go and preach the Word, heal, and deliver the oppressed. Here you see that your intimate relationship with Jesus is vital before you can do ministry to men in His name.  

To others, Jesus preached mostly in parables. But He thought His disciples directly, in a special way, so that they understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. These revelations will later become the apostles’ doctrines. As you can see, Jesus did not entrust His teaching to all men. He chose His apostles, and He revealed the truth to them in a particular way, preparing them to be the foundational stones of His Church.

“And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand… But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it” (Matthew 13:10-17).

Just before His ascension, Jesus gave the Apostles perfect understanding of the Scriptures. The risen Christ told His apostles: “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures” (Luke 24:44, 45). They now had a deeper understanding of how the Old Testament was fulfilled in Christ. He opened their understanding by Himself. The apostles alone understood the mystery of the Gospel and the plan of salvation. The church is founded on their revelation with Jesus Christ as the Cornerstone. By preaching the Apostles’ doctrines, the church grows spiritually. “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22).

There is a serious warning about truth and error concerning doctrines. If anyone preaches a different gospel, by a different spirit that preacher is ‘accursed’. The word means ‘eternally condemned’. Paul said: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9).

The Apostles’ doctrine is a something objective. It is something you can understand. It is not something vague or inspirational. You can separate truth from error. You can differentiate true doctrines from the false ones. Apostle John repeats the warning: “We (the apostles) are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6). Apostle John says that anyone who listens to the Apostle’s doctrine hears from God. That is the Spirit of Truth. Anyone who is not of God, a religious unbeliever, that one will not listen and obey the Apostles’ doctrine. He is deceived by an evil spirit of error. These words come with the authority of heaven. The devil has been fighting the Truth, the Bible, the true Gospel, and the true doctrines. He plants seeds of doubt in the mind of people. It is our responsibility to learn the truth and reject deceit.  

To study, preach, and teach God’s Word and the Biblical Doctrines is a difficult spiritual labor. But it has great reward! The congregation is to appreciate the pastor (elder) who pays the price to preach God’s Word. “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine” (1 Timothy 5:17). Worship the Lord!


The brethren loved to gather to study the Word of God and to pray. They loved God and one another. The visible church is the place for the fellowship of the brethren. This fellowship is not a social or political gathering. The fellowship is a deep spiritual connection of love, a unity of souls, thru the Holy Spirit. That is the church, the mystical body of Christ. The apostles’ doctrine controls the fellowship and the breaking of bread. It is never the other way around. Brethren must believe the same doctrines to have fellowship with one another. Meditate about this!

The fellowship is not a show, with a guest preacher or a famous singer coming to entertain people. It is more like ‘an ordinary’ family, growing together in wisdom and love. What made the fellowship special was the feeling that the God was with them, helping and protecting them. It was a spiritual gathering of believers. Because in the church we have a platform for loving and helping one another, we are commanded not to forsake it. “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb 10;24, 25).  

The easiest way to explain fellowship is the marriage between a man and a woman. Many say that they are Christians. They study the Bible, give offerings to some churches, but do not have fellowship with any other believer. That type of lonely ‘Christianity’ is fake. True Christians connect with one another in the local churches. They feel concern, they help and pray for one another. The local church is a true spiritual family. What makes the connection? It is the same faith, the same Holy Spirit in each of us, connecting us into one Body. When you meet another Christian brother (or sister), even if naturally he is different than you, you will immediately feel a connection with him. There is a magnetic attraction between two souls who are washed by the same Blood of Jesus. This love, this connection, cannot happen between a believer and an unbeliever. That is why we are commanded not to ‘yoke’ with unbelievers.

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor 6:14-18).   

We remind ourselves that the believers are not perfect people. But they have fellowship of love, trust, and freedom more than any natural gathering. They keep the unity of the Spirit because they believe the same doctrines. A lonely Christian is a weak Christian. You must belong to a fellowship. Leave the world and become a member of a good living church. The fellowship among brethren is a sample of heaven on earth.      


We have seen that the believers loved to gather to study the Word, pray and partake in the Holy Communion. At that time there were not buildings called ‘churches.’ The believers met in one another’s houses to have fellowship. It is more like what today we call ‘home-fellowships’ or ‘lighthouses.’ They come to listen to God’s Word and prayer. They would bring food (something similar with what we call ‘a love feast’). They eat the meal together. At the end, they take a loaf of bread and remembering the last supper with Jesus, they divide the loaf among themselves. After that, they take a big cup of wine or grape juice, and each drank from it. They remember the life and death of their Lord. They encourage themselves by the Holy Spirit. This ceremony became known as the Last Supper or the Holy Communion. Since then, this blessed remembrance of the Lord Jesus has been obeyed without interruptions. It will continue to be so until Jesus comes again.

This is what the Apostle Paul said: “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). It is good to remember that the Holy Communion is a command of Jesus. It is not an emotional remembrance. As Christians, we do it in obedience to His Word, to remember Him. The Holy Communion is a visible silent sermon. As we see and partake of the bread and the wine, our faith increases. Grace is added to our souls. The sermon preached is the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected. We remember that Jesus died for our sins, therefore we are healed and saved. We are also reminded that He will come again to punish all evil and to reward His people. On that day, we shall resurrect with new bodies, just like His body. Also, the Lord commanded that we should partake from the Holy Communion so that we remember to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. It forces us to examine our lives and repent from sins. Worship the Lord!   



During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled The Early Church (6)/ The gift of tongues. Her main text was taken from the Book of Acts and the Book of 1 Corinthians 12, 13, and 14.   

We continue to study the early church, to discover the perfect pattern God has in mind about the Body of Christ. We see that the first Christians had a spiritual power and boldness to preach the Gospel and to pray. They loved the Word of God and their fellowship with one another. They were generous with their resources, helping the needy. They loved the name of Jesus and used it with authority. Signs and wonders accompanied their ministry. They were persecuted for their faith, but they were always victorious in all circumstances. Their faith and boldness were beautiful. When the Holy Spirit was poured on the believers on the day of Pentecost, there were visible and audible signs that accompanied it. He came as a Wind and as a Fire. The brethren started speaking in new languages, praising God. This was God’s gift to them that attracted the attention of many people from different countries. Peter preached to the people with authority and power. Three thousand of men got converted that day. We shall study the gift of tongues.

The word ‘tongues’ means languages. The gift of tongues (or Glossolalia, in Greek) is defined as a gift of the Holy Spirit given to believers in Christ and manifested as speaking in a language not previously known to the speaker. The gift also manifests as praying, or singing, usually in an unintelligible ecstatic speech. As with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the gift of tongues is given for the good of the Body of Christ and to encourage the believers. It is received by faith, thru prayer in the name of Jesus!

The Christian life is based on the study of the Word of God and prayer. These are the basics. Gifts are given by God to help the believer become stronger. No gift should replace the study of the Bible and prayer. The truth is that most of the saints of old did not speak in tongues, or at least they did not say that they did. There is much argument among Christians about the value of the gift of tongues. Some denominations, like the Pentecostals and the Charismatics, believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is always manifested thru the gift of tongues. Other evangelicals do not insist on having this gift. There is also argument between the Christians about the continuation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially the gift of tongues. They believe that ‘tongues’ were only necessary for the early church and have ceased since then. Others say that the gift of tongues is still manifesting today. Many Christian forbid praying in tongues saying it is a gift from the devil. We shall not join the arguments. We shall simply keep to the Word of God and declare only what we are sure about. May the Holy Spirit lead us on.

This gift did not manifest in the Old Testament or during the time of Jesus. The only place this gift is mentioned in the Gospels is at the end of the Book of Mark and it is a prophecy. Just before His ascension, the resurrected Christ told His disciples: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:15-18). Living faith will manifest as successful deliverance and healing ministry, speaking in new tongues, and supernatural protection from deadly attacks. The gift of tongues is described in the Book of Acts 2, 10 and 19 and in the Book of 1 Corinthians, chapters 12, 13 and 14.

As believers, we declare that Jesus Christ is the Savior, Lord, Healer, and Baptizer with the Holy Spirit. When you become saved, the Holy Spirit comes into you, like a sample of greater things. At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit baptizes you into the Body of Christ. That Baptism is not always ‘felt’ as an experience, but it is real, nevertheless. After that experience of salvation, you need to pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Many call the first filling ‘the baptism with the Holy Spirit’. It is a clear experience, a spiritual reality. It is not an imagination to be taken ‘by faith’. As water is poured into a bottle, making a gurgling noise, so the Holy Spirit fills you. You feel it! You can describe it! Often, but not always, it manifests as speaking in tongues. The believer cannot but praise God in the new heavenly language of angels (1 Cor 13:1). The effect of this first filling with the Spirit is power and joy. The believer becomes bold to declare his salvation. He is not afraid of men’s opinions of their persecution. He loves the Bible, prayer and going to church. He desires to publicly declare his stand for Jesus thru water baptism.  

The gift of ‘Tongues’ has two manifestations: ‘speaking in tongues’, and ‘praying in tongues.’

*TONGUES as prophetic speech! The Gift of the Holy Spirit called ‘tongues’ is not given to everybody. It is a prophetic speech, an utterance in another language, spoken in the assembly, as people listen. In the church, that gift needs a secondary gift called ‘the interpretation of tongues,’. It is for the benefit of all the members of the Body. God speaks to His people. Therefore, it is a prophetic gift.  

*TONGUES as prayer! This is a personal gift of prayer in an unknown tongue. Each born again Christian can receive this prayer language, by faith and thru prayer. How does it manifest? The believer prays to God in a new language. His understanding is not active. He prays mysteries. He does not understand what he is praying for, but he believes that he is praying, that God listens, and God understands. He also believed that the devil does not understand his prayer. At the end of the prayer, he feels good, with a peace and a satisfaction that God will answer him. When praying in tongues, the Holy Spirit prays thru him according to the will of God. As he prays in tongues, God may give him some glimpse of His will, a vision for the future, or a word to obey. This personal gift of praying in the Spirit is mostly for the personal encouragement of the believer, so that later, he will encourage the church.     


During the pouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, there were some visible and audible manifestations that were unique for that day. For example, the Holy Spirit filled the house and the disciples, like a ‘rushing mighty wind’. There were visible flames of fire like tongues on the head of each of the disciples. They started speaking in new tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. The strangers in Jerusalem heard them speaking in their own languages ‘the wonderful works of God’. They were all amazed and perplexed at what they saw and heard. Some mockers said: ‘They are full of new wine’. The people saw that the disciples were ‘filled’ with something. But like Peter said, these were not drunk with wine. They were ‘filled’ with the Holy Spirit. The sound, sights and tongues attracted all people. These were signs and miracles God used to Baptize the disciples into a new Body called the Church. Peter describes these visible and audible signs as miracles from heaven, sent from the resurrected and exalted Christ, to fill the disciples on earth. He said: “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear” (Ac 2:32. 33).

Concerning the speaking in tongues on the day of Pentecost, we can say this: all the disciples spoke in different human languages of different nations. These tongues were supernatural. The disciples did not learn these new languages. They did not need an interpreter because they spoke in the known human languages. They felt a pressure to manifest this gift. They could not stop speaking these languages as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. The languages were ‘a sign for the unbelievers’ (1 Cor 14:22). It attracted them to hear the sermon of Peter, who preached with unusual power and anointing. Three thousand men believed and were added to the church that day.  

The second time the gift of speaking in tongues was manifested is when Peter preached the Gospel to Cornelius and his household. The Holy Spirit fell on these Gentile believers even before Peter finished his sermon. They started speaking in new tongues. This was a supernatural sign, not to the unbelievers, but to the believers, to Peter and to some Jewish brethren from Joppa who followed him. “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God” (Acts 10:44-46).

The third incident of speaking in tongues was in Ephesus. Paul met some disciples who repented and were baptized in water. But they have not heard about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Paul explains to them that Jesus died, rose from the dead, and is now exalted in heaven. He sent the Holy Spirit to baptize all the believers. “Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19:4-6). This is the first case when the Baptism with the Holy Spirit came thru the laying of Pauls’ hands.   


These are the revelations concerning speaking in tongues by believers in the church:

*The Holy Spirit is one! The Body is One! The Holy Spirit is sovereign in giving gifts to each believer. There are many members, many gifts, and many ministries. But the Holy Spirit keeps the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:3).

*The Holy Spirit gives different gifts for the benefit of the Body and for the profit of all. Gifts are not to be used selfishly for man’s glory!

*The gift of tongues at Pentecost was manifested by all the believers but in the Church, the gift of prophetic tongues is not given to all.

*The gift of tongues appears to be the least of the gifts, considering its value to the Body, and comparing it to the other gifts. The gift of tongues appears at the end of the list of gifts. The gift of the Apostle is always first, and the gift of the Prophet is second. The gift of tongues does not appear in the other lists of spiritual gifts (Ephesians 4:11-16 and 1 Peter 4:10, 11).   

*We are commanded to pursue Love as the most excellent way and to eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. The word ‘prophesy’ means to speak, preach, or sing totally led by the Holy Spirit. It means to bring a fresh revelation of the Word of God that will strengthen the Church. It means to shine the light of the Word of God in the darkness of unbelief. It is a preaching that is totally Christ honoring. Having gifts and lacking love is useless as a testimony. The gifts of prophesy and tongues shall cease when ‘the perfection’ comes. When we shall see Christ face to face, at His second coming, we do not need intermediary gifts like prophesy or tongues.

*The gift of prophesy (preaching under the anointing of the Holy Spirit) has more value than speaking in tongues, at least in the church. The tongues need the secondary gift of interpretation, so that the people understand what was spoken in tongues. The gift of interpretation is not translation of tongues. The believer ‘interprets’ what the other speaks in tongues. Both these gifts are from the Holy Spirit, and they work together. Without an interpreter, the believer who desire to speak in tongues in the church, should keep silent. Prophetic utterance is faster than tongues because it is spoken in the language of all and does not need interpreter.  

*As believers we should desire gifts that will strengthen the Church, for the benefit of all. Spiritual power for ministry is the greatest gain!  

*The gift of praying in tongues is to strengthen the believer himself. As a believer I pray, or sing, with both my understanding and in my spirit, when my understanding is suspended. The two forms of singing or praying have their own functions. We should balance them to help the church and each one individually. The gift of praying in tongues releases spiritual strength and joy to the believer!!!

*There are false tongues too. The devil can give counterfeit gifts of tongues. What is the test? If the Holy Spirit has given you the tongue, you will encourage and strengthen yourself when you pray in tongues. If you pray in tongues and you are still weak spiritually, it is possible that you are manifesting a fake gift of tongues.  

*There are great dangers connected with speaking in tongues. Many are faking the gift, becoming religious hypocrites. Others have become proud and manipulative, seeing them as proof of God’s blessing and trying to control the assembly. But many Christians see them as genuine gifts and something to be thankful for.

*Passionately desire to prophesy (preach the Word of God under the anointing of the Holy Spirit)! Do not forbid to speak with tongues!

*All things in the church should be done in order, submitting to the Holy Spirit, the authority of the Word, and to the human delegated authority! The gifts of the Spirit do not put you in a trance. Be yourself! Be humble! All gifts should be under the control of the believer’s spirit!


The first time you get filled with the Holy Spirit, it is a special experience. It is not an imagination. You ‘feel’ the Holy Spirit being poured into your very soul and body. That first filling it is usually called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. After that, you are to obey the command to be refiled always with the same Spirit. “Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God” (Eph 5:18-21).

The filling with the Holy Spirit is similar like being drunk with wine. The effect of the alcohol is that it affects your brain and other organs. Alcohol does not digest. It passes directly into the blood stream. Its effect is fast. Alcohol is a depressant that manifests as a stimulant. It depresses the higher centers in the brain, the part of you that makes you a human being, that gives you self-control and discipline. The effect of the alcohol is that you now behave ‘like an animal’. You feel good, you lose your anxiety and start talking too much. Your speech is slurred, sounding as tongues. You now feel bold and courageous. Embolden, you make wrong decisions that you will regret later. All these symptoms of feeling good are temporary. They soon disappear and you feel worse than before. You become addicted to alcohol because you want to keep feeling high. Alcoholism is ‘dissipation’. In Greek, the word ‘dissipation’ means reckless behavior, rioting, or wastefulness. The man addicted to alcohol is like the prodigal son, unable to save his life, his money or anything good. Alcoholism leads to poverty, loss of reputation and death.

We are commanded to ‘be filled with the Spirit’. In Greek, the word ‘filled’ is at present tense. It shows a continuous present action. You are being filled now! The word means to fill a container, to finish what you have started. These are the effects of being filled with the Holy Spirit:

*Speech! The speech changes. You are now bold to speak to others from the Word of God!

*Sing! You are joyful in all circumstances. This joy manifest as freedom and passion to sing praise and worship songs. You hate secular songs.

*Submit! You become humble and you submit to other brethren in the fear of God!

*Thanksgiving! You become a humble and a deeply grateful person, to the God who saved your soul! Your relationship with your spouse, your children and other people is much better, giving glory to God!

As you can see, the gift of speaking in tongues is not mentioned here as a sign or a proof of being filled with the Spirit. Boldness in preaching, anointing in singing, humility to submit to others, a grateful heart, and a clear testimony of a godly behavior pattern, at home and with others, these are the sure signs of a believer filled and led by the Holy Spirit!  


First, this a necessary reminder: only a true child of God can be filled with the holy Spirit! How can you be filled with the Holy Spirit?

1-Desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Not every believer desire to be filled with the Spirit. This is because once the Holy Spirit takes control over your life, you will not be able to do what you want anymore. You need to die to self and live for the glory of God alone! The baby Christians still struggle with these things. They are still selfish. You need to search your heart if you are ready for a total surrender to God!

 2-Present your body as a living sacrifice and a spiritual temple, to be filled with the Holy Spirit! God wants you to be at a particular place, doing His will. Your body should be where God wants you to be. Rebellion about your location and sexual sin hinder the filling with the Holy Spirit!

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom 12:1). God has been good to you. He has shown you mercy. Your body belongs to Him. “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor 6:15-20). “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories” (Ac 17:26; AMP).

3-Pray in faith! Ask God to fill you with His Spirit. Patiently, continue to pray until God fills you! Then give thanks and serve God. “So, I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:9-13). Often, but not always, the filling with the Holy Spirit manifests as praying in tongues and great joy!


*Praying in tongues gives a greater spiritual power to speak to God alone. It increases the spiritual intimacy with God. It brings supernatural joy in the believer! It makes you feel comfortable to speak ‘mysteries’, to worship God in Spirit and in Truth! “He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries” (1 Corinthians 14:2).

*Praying in tongues feeds and build your inner man, your spirit! At the end of the prayer, you feel spiritually stronger. Fear and confusion are removed. “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself” (1 Corinthians 14:4). You feel happy and strong, trusting God for the victory!

*Praying in tongues balances the praying in your human language. Both your mind and your spirit need exercise. Praying only in English can make you proud. Praying in togues humbles you! “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:14, 15).

*Praying in tongues is a way for the Spirit to supply ‘utterance’ to you, that can be used later as a word of Wisdom.  “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4)

*Praying in tongues inspires you to worship God better, to magnify Him, by declaring His wonderful works of God! “We hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11). “For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God” (Acts 10:46)

*Praying in tongues connects you with the prayer of the Holy Spirit inside your spirit. Even when you do not know what to pray about, or how to pray, the Holy Spirit will help you pray the right prayer. In this way, you never pray amiss. You always pray acceptable prayers. God will always answer you because you pray according to God’s will and purpose. The effect of these spiritual prayers is that suddenly, you see that ‘all things work together for good’ for you and God takes all the glory! “Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:26-28)

*Praying in tongues relaxes your spirit and gives you rest in your mind, your emotions, and your body. It brings healing. “For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, to whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” and, “This is the refreshing” (Isaiah 28:11, 12). In Hebrew, the word ‘rest’ means to settle down in a permanent peaceful comfortable home. It is the same word with: He leads me beside the still (or quiet) waters (Psalm 23:2).  


I got saved thru a crisis conversion on the 12th of April 1986. I got filled with the Holy Spirit at the same time. Immediately my life changed. I got a new spirit. I became hungry and thirsty for the Word of God. I started reading the Bible like I have never read a book in my life. This passion for the Word of God and prayer has never left me since then. I lost my fear of death. I had a strong desire to attend a local church and meet other brethren, so that we discuss the things of God. All these are clear signs that I got born again, baptized, and filled with the Holy Spirit. About ten years later, as I studied the Bible and saw that there is a gift of speaking, singing, or praying in other tongues, with faith 100%, I asked God for it. He gave it to me. Since then, I love praying in tongues. When I pray in the Spirit, I do not feel fake or funny. I feel good, happy, and comfortable with my prayer language. When I feel the ‘push’ to pray, but I do not have a particular thing in my mind, I pray in tongues. At the end, I feel that God understood me, but the devil did not understand me. I feel like I bypassed the strategy of the devil and that I gained the victory, even when I cannot describe the war that I was involved in. When I pray in English, I feel some limitation. Often, I do not feel satisfied with my English prayer. But when I pray in tongues, I feel like an eagle, flying strong and high, with no fear and no limitations. It is the same with worshipping God in song. I sing in English. It is good. But when I sing without words, like an instrumental music in my spirit, I feel different. I enter the presence of God faster. Praying and singing in the Spirit has given me boldness as a preacher, as a worshipper. In Conclusion, we need to balance praying in English and praying in tongues. Each has its own power and purpose. To God be all the glory! Worship the Lord!