Does the work of the Holy Spirit today include speaking in tongues and prophecy?

Hello! Michelle,
It is pleasure to be with you and asked a question. I have often encounter with our pentecostal brother and having a conversation regarding a gift of tongue. I have some doubts on the gift of prophecy and speaking tongue. I believe God is powerful and can still do a miracles but, apart from bible can will still done Miracle like speaking tongue, prophecy in today world? How far the gift of Holy Spirit work in our church today.

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Hi Chuimatai,

Thank you so much for asking this important question. Many people wonder whether the gifts of the Spirit that we read about in the New Testament and specifically in Paul’s writings still occur today. I want to commend you for your friendship with members of the body of Christ that might be from a different tradition than you are from. In my experience, many of the divisions and misunderstandings within the body of Christ arise from the lack of relationship or experience with Christians outside of one’s own tradition. This was definitely true of my own experience!

I grew up in a pentecostal denomination, then when I went to study in Oxford I attended and later served as a lay minister at an Anglican Church. I met my husband while studying, and he was ordained in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. After we were married, we ministered together in a historic Anglican church in Oxford and then helped with a fresh expressions church plant, still within the Anglican movement but which met on a farm in a tent! When we moved back to the states 4 years ago my husband was invited to join the pastoral staff at an Assembly of God church to help them make some much-needed transitions and changes. After fulfilling his commitment at that church, he has accepted a pastoral position to help revitalize a historic Anglican church in Central Florida. I have included these personal details because I know that my understanding and practice of many aspects of my faith have been enhanced and stretched through exposure and collaboration with multiple different denominations of the body of Christ.

Regardless of the church tradition, we come from, scripture is the most important starting point when faced with practices or teaching that we are unfamiliar with. Scripture clearly teaches us that there is more to this life than the material world. The God of Christianity created the natural world that we live in, He cannot be contained within it, and yet he freely and willingly interacts within our natural universe to make himself known to us. 1 Corinthians chapter 12, 14 and Romans 12 are biblical passages that speak of gifts of the Spirit of God that are given to believers for the “common good” or strengthening of the body of Christ. Every sound denomination agrees on the inspiration of all scripture, including these passages, they simply differ on how they are practiced today.

You mentioned that you believe that God is powerful and can still do miracles today. So it seems that you already believe that we can witness God at work in powerful ways in our world today, that is a great starting point. Isn’t it reasonable then, to expect that if our all-powerful God is still at work today, then the ways in which he interacts with us might seem incredible to both to believers and unbelievers? Could it be that your questions about speaking in tongues, prophecy and other gifts of the Spirit come from the lack of solid biblical explanation of them and perhaps the lack of genuine experience thereof? There was a great article posted recently on RZIM connect by a member of the community that addresses this question specifically, you can find the article here: Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Is it possible people doubt them because people don’t operate in them perfectly?.

The bible tells us in Hebrews 13:8 that Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever. We should let this promise and the promise of his continued presence with us through the Holy Spirit help guide us as we grow in our relationship and knowledge of him. I would like to point you to some further reading on the topic. The book is called Holy Fire: A Balanced, Biblical Look at the Holy Spirit’s Work in Our Lives, it is by R. T. Kendall. I have found this book to be extremely helpful because the book does exactly what the title claims. In it, Kendall unpacks many questions about the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives and in the church, and each chapter and topic is explained in a sound Biblical manner.

Bless you brother,
Michelle

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