ALPHA EXPOSED: PART 1
"It's Sunday evening in London's fashionable Knightsbridge neighborhood. Though pathetically tiny flocks of Londoners attend many Anglican services, Holy Trinity Brompton has a standing-room-only turnout of 1500. After the usual Scripture readings, prayers and singing, the chairs are cleared away. Curate Nicky Gumbel prays that the Holy Spirit will come upon the congregation. Soon a woman begins laughing. Others gradually join her with hearty belly laughs. A young worshipper falls to the floor, hands twitching. Another falls, then another and another. Within half an hour there are bodies everywhere as supplicants sob, shake, roar like lions, and strangest of all laugh uncontrollably. This frenzied display has become known as the 'laughing revival' or 'Toronto Blessing'. After first appearing at Holy Trinity only last May, laughing revivals have been reported in Anglican parishes from Manchester to York to Brighton. At London's Holy Trinity, schoolteacher Denise Williams says she 'came here a little skeptical' but soon was caught up in the fervor. 'There was a lovely feeling of warmth and peace.' Lines outside Holy Trinity now start forming an hour and a half before services."
1 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. 5Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.
There's an interesting little footnote here that's just kind of snuck in there. Notice in verse 2 and in verse 4 where it says 'tongues,' that the King James translators put the word 'unknown' in there. But in verse 5 where it says 'tongues, the word isn't there. Do you know why? It seems that the translators put the word 'unknown' in with the singular and left it out with the plural. Some Bible scholars believe that's because when Paul was using the singular, he was referring to their ecstatic gibberish (which was all one kind, a tongue, a gibberish) but when he refers to the true gift, it's languages. Like in Acts, where every man heard him in his own language. So in verses 1-4 he's saying, "Your false gift is all wrong." But in verse 5 he's saying, "The right thing is all right when it's interpreted in its place."
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 1 Timothy 4:1
ALPHA EXPOSED: PART 2
ALPHA EXPOSED: PART 3