:: FAQs Continued
4) What does your church think of prophecy?
We believe that Biblical prophecy is a God-given revelation or
promise about the future, given in order to prepare people and
encourage them for what lies ahead, and to show that He is the
one true God, all-knowing and all-powerful. Prophecy is not to
be confused with predictions of the future, and is not the Christian’s
version of fortune-telling.
There are many examples of prophetic utterances in both the Old
Testament and the New Testament, as well as accounts of New Testament
believers exercising the gift of prophecy in the church at the
unction of the Holy Spirit. The promised outpouring of the Holy
Spirit upon the believers (Joel 2, Acts 2) includes the gift of
prophecy, and Paul the Apostle encourages believers to ‘be
eager to prophesy.’ (1 Co. 14:39)
Prophetic insight also includes another gift of the Holy Spirit,
namely the ‘Word of Knowledge.’ This gift differs
from prophecy in that it identifies things in the past or present
that are hidden or obscure. Again, the purpose is to bring people
to repentance, healing, and a deeper faith and trust in the all-knowing
5) What does your church think of speaking in tongues?
In order to answer this question, it is important to understand
what the Bible says about the experience of being 'baptized in
the Holy Spirit.'
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a vital experience of the Christian
life. It is a special work of the Spirit beyond salvation. On
the Day of Pentecost, disciples who had already made a decision
to follow Jesus "were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to
speak in other tongues" (Acts 2:4). Paul asked the Ephesians disciples
if they had received the Holy Spirit, after which "the Holy Spirit
came on them, and they spoke in tongues" (Acts 19:2). New Testament
believers were constantly challenged to be filled with the Spirit
(Acts 1:4, 5; Ephesians 5:18). Living Hope Family Church is committed
to the baptism in the Holy Spirit because the experience is such
an important focus of New Testament Christianity.
Speaking in tongues is the only phenomenon mentioned every time
Scripture supplies details concerning the Baptism experience.
Of the five instances in Acts which recount the experience of
believers being baptized in the Spirit, three supply details.
Speaking in tongues is the only one that occurs each time (Acts
2, 10, 19). In the Acts 10 account, tongues is specifically mentioned
as proof that "the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out
even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues"
(Acts 10:45, 46). The relationship between the phenomenon and
the experience cannot be ignored.
In the two cases where details are not supplied, circumstances
strongly imply that speaking with other tongues accompanied the
experience. In Acts 8 Simon saw something (most likely tongues)
that prompted him to offer money for the power to impart such
a gift. In Acts 9 Saul (who became Paul) is filled with the Spirit
without the mention of any details. However, Paul later testified,
"I speak in tongues more than all of you" (1 Corinthians 14:18).
It is logical to conclude that he began speaking in tongues when
he was baptized in the Holy Spirit.
We believe the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the initial
physical evidence of speaking in other tongues is the promise
of the Father to every Christian who desires the experience.
We do have a concern that some Christians look on the Baptism
and tongues as ends in themselves rather than as means to a much
greater end. The Baptism is the entry experience introducing the
believer to the beauty and power of the Spirit-filled life.
At Living Hope Family Church we believe the Holy Spirit is at
work in all Christians, whether they have been baptized in the
Spirit or not. God can also use, and does use, Christians who
for one reason or another have not received the Baptism experience.
We must never depreciate their ministry. Yet we recognize that
baptism in the Holy Spirit will make one's life and ministry even
So for every believer the command is sounded, "Be filled [Keep
on being filled] with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18).
All Scripture quotations are from the New International Version
(NIV) unless otherwise specified.
6) When and why do you perform water baptism?
Following coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the new convert
is commanded by the Word of God to be baptized in water in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (see
Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38). Symbolizing the death, burial and resurrection
of our Lord Jesus Christ, baptism is strongly encouraged. We periodically
prepare believers of all ages for baptism by water immersion through
discussion of its scriptural basis and meaning. We generally perform
the joyous service of baptism several times annually in locations
ranging from fresh water lakes to the salt water of Cape Cod Bay
or the ocean.