Speaking in tongues in the worship service

During the revival, speaking in tongues was a common phenomena during the meetings, whether for prayer or worship services. There would be loud speaking in tongues with tears and crying. People were convicted and overwhelmed by the Spirit and speaking loudly in tongues, sometimes with interpretation, but most times without.

My understanding about tongues and its use in church gradually shifted with exposure to different churches: Anglican charismatic, Methodist charismatic, Baptist charismatic, Love Singapore meetings and even mega church Pentecostal services. This coupled with theological training on the interpretation of scriptures formed and shaped a nuanced understanding of the usage of tongues in the church. However I found it difficult to put it in words or to explain them simply. Until I came across this video in Adrian Warnock’s blog by Terry Virgo the founder of a network of 600 churches in 50 nations called Newfrontiers. They are Reformed Charismatic and Evangelical small churches. He spoke about the use of speaking in tongues in the church service, and it resonated with me.

5e. Free to worship from Terry Virgo on Vimeo.

Chuang Kwang Liang: “Don’t go down….”

Margaret and Chuang Kwang LiangHe went down and up

The nurse injected penicillin, and he felt like something lifted and he stood up. A bright light beamed from his forehead to a door that opened up to a path. As he walked through a hall he saw hundreds of people screaming and crying in the shadows. It was eerie and distressing to hear voices crying in agony and suffering. It was like death filled the whole atmosphere. Next he saw bright sand and stones and entered a beautiful place. He felt extraordinarily happy and good. He said, “I want to stay here forever, I don’t want to leave.”

“Go back to where you came from”

A bright figure stood before him and said, “Go back to where you came from.” Immediately, Chuang Kwang Liang woke up in a hospital bed in Singapore and heard the nurse saying, “Good thing he didn’t die or some mother will be mourning.” It was 1967, when Liang, experienced these visits to what he called  “down” and “up”. His girlfriend Margaret kept hearing him say in dialect, “Don’t go down there. It is terrible. I want to go up there.” She was as puzzled as he was about the whole experience and even wondered if he was sound. They were not Christians; they venerated their ancestors.

Trying to figure out the bright figure

He migrated to Australia and worked as an electrician with a mining company in Western Australia. For many years after his strange experience, he had been trying to figure out who was that bright figure and how to go up there. But without success. Jehovah Witnesses had knocked on his doors. A Mormon had talked to him. But they could not answer satisfactorily the questions he asked.

The Lord had pursued him

One day he accepted a brother in law’s invitation to an evangelistic rally. The moment the people worshipped, his eyes rained tears that he could not stop. He lifted his hand like he saw the rest did, and knew that this was it. The speaker was Vernon Falls and he had been invited by Full Gospel Assembly. That night he was saved and filled with the Spirit and knew he had finally met the bright figure who told him to go back to where he came from. The Lord Jesus had pursued him for over two decades. Finally in 1991, Liang gave his life to the Lord.

Meaning and purpose

Asking the FGA pastor, Mrs Ang Swee Khim, what she thought of his experience, she replied, “God loves you and showed you hell and heaven to give you a chance to choose.” Liang was so grateful and became a fiery witness for the Lord. With a fresh infilling of the Spirit, and armed with an understanding of what he had experienced, he went forth boldly to share with everyone who would listen, what he had experienced. In season and out of season, he would share and warn people, colleagues, friends, and family members not to end up down there but be sure they went up there. He now knows why Jesus sent him back to earth. Besides him, many others came to the Lord as a result of his earnest testimony.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end.