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  1. ERRORS OF THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT

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  3. ERRORS OF THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT

    ERRORS OF THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT Introduction: Some practices of the Charismatic Movement are not according to Scripture. These are: 1. Speaking in Tongues 2. New Revelations 3. Ecumenical Movement towards Rome 4. Slaying in the Spirit 5. Healing Question: Why do people become interested in the Charismatic movement or Pentecostalism? Answer: Because of worldliness, lack of vital, inspired ministry and spiritual deadness. Don't become backslidden, cold or lazy for God, but be on-fire for God, souls and the Bible. The main Charismatic/Pentecostal doctrine is that: "speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit." They claim that one who has not spoken in tongues does not have the same power for service as one who has. If we show that tongues are not for today, we have disproved the Charismatic Movement. A fundamental law of life is that the Word of God must always govern our experiences. Tongues has divided the Christian world this century. The question is not "are tongues genuine?", but it is "are tongues Biblical?" When experience contradicts the Bible, then the Bible always takes precedence. Why? Because we can misinterpret our experience or have false experiences. Let us examine tongues as follows: 1. Reasons why Biblical tongues are real languages and not Charismatic gibberish. a) Tongues could be interpreted, gibberish cannot. b) The Greek word "glossa" in the New Testament used for tongues means real languages. c) In Acts 2:6,8 those Jews at Pentecost heard God's message spoken in their own language or dialect. “Every man heard them speak in his own language.” v.6,8,11. d) The same word "glossa" is used for tongues in Acts as in I Corinthians 12-14. e) "Glossa" is plural meaning many languages. Gibberish is singular as it is non-classifiable into more than one type of gibberish. f) 1 Cor.14:21 states that tongues were a foreign language given as a sign to unbelieving Israel. 2. Reasons for spiritual gifts. Why are spiritual gifts given? a) To glorify Christ, not to glorify the Holy Spirit. "He shall glorify me." John 16:14. b) To edify others, not to edify self. "Seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church." 1Cor.14:12. Paul rebukes them for their wrong use of tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:4 "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself." c) To equip the church (Ephesians 4:12) for the work of the ministry. 3. Reasons for Tongues (see chapter 99 for a discussion of this). Tongues were given to: a) Warn unbelieving Jews. (I Corinthians 14:21). b) Confirm the word with signs. Mark 16:17-20. c) Confirm the Apostles as God's true messengers. I. PASSAGES MISUNDERSTOOD BY CHARISMATICS. 1. ACTS 2. TONGUES AT PENTECOST. Pentecost means "fiftieth" because it was held 50 days after the feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:15-22). The Jewish calendar in Leviticus 23 is an outline of Christ's work. Passover pictures Christ's death as the Lamb of God (1 Cor. 5:7). Next ……… Firstfruits pictures Christ's resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20-23). Sunday (Day 1) Day 50 …….. Pentecost pictures the formation of the church. 50 DAYS INCLUSIVE ↓ PASSOVER ↓FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS (RESURRECTION SUNDAY) ↑ ↑ SABBATH PENTECOST SUNDAY AFTER PASSOVER = 7 SABBATHS AFTER FIRSTFRUITS (SATURDAY) = 50 DAYS AFTER FIRSTFRUITS Passover came, then the Sabbath, then followed the Feast of Firstfruits which was always on the first day of the week (Sunday). • Jesus rose from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits (Sunday) and "became the firstfruits of them that slept." (1 Corinthians 15:20). • Pentecost occurred 50 days after the Feasts of Firstfruits, which was the day that Christ rose from the dead (Leviticus 23:15,16). This was also a Sunday. • Christians meet on Sunday, the first day of the week, because: 1. On the Feast of Firstfruits (Sunday):→ 1. Christ rose from the dead, and 2. On the day of Pentecost (Sunday): → 2. the Holy Spirit indwelt believers, and 3. On the day of Pentecost (Sunday): → 3. the Church formed. • On the Feast of Firstfruits, the priest waved a sheaf of grain before the Lord. • On Pentecost, the priest presented two loaves of bread. Why? Because at Pentecost the church formed, which in this age is made up of Jewish and Gentile believers united in one body (I Cor. 10:17). Leaven (yeast) in the loaves (Lev. 23:17) indicates the presence of sin in the church on earth. • Pentecost, like Calvary, was a once-for-all event that will not be repeated. The Holy Spirit who came at Pentecost permanently indwells believers (John 14:16,17). • Wind, fire and tongues accompanied the coming of the Holy Spirit. • The filling of the Spirit gives believers power for witness and service (Acts 1:8). God never commands us to be baptised with the Spirit, because this happens at salvation when we receive Christ as Saviour. God does command us to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18) for power to serve Him. At Pentecost the Christians were baptised with the Spirit (Acts 2:18,38) and were filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:4). After that, they experienced many fillings with the Spirit (Acts 4:8,31; 9:17; 13:9,52; 6:3; 7:55; 11:24). Question 1: Did only the 12 apostles speak in tongues at Pentecost or did all 120 speak in tongues? Answer: The evidence supports only the 12 apostles speaking in tongues: 1. "They" in Acts 2:1 refers back to the "apostles" in 1:26. 2. The apostles only are addressed in Acts 1:1-13. Before Pentecost, only the apostles were promised that "ye shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." (Acts 1:5). "Ye" here only refers to the apostles. 3. "them" and "they" in Acts 2:3,4 on whom tongues fell refer to the apostles. 4. "every man heard them speak in his own language." (Acts 2:6). The crowd heard them (the apostles) speak in tongues. 5. "Are not all these which speak Galileans?" Acts 2:7. Those who spoke in tongues were Galileans, not men of Judah. Even an angel called them "men of Galilee." (1:11). 6. When the men of Judea accused "these men" (2:13) of drunkenness, the group that responded were, "Peter.....with the eleven." (2:14), that is, the apostles. 7. Tongues was one of the sign gifts given to the apostles. “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” 2 Corinthians12:12. Note: There is no record that the 3,000 people saved at Pentecost spoke in tongues, yet they all received the Holy Spirit when they were saved. (Acts 2:38). No woman in Acts 2 is said to have spoken in tongues. Historical background. Question 2: Who were the devout Jews from every nation under heaven in Acts 2:5-12? Answer: After Alexander the Great had conquered Tyre (332BC), he came to conquer Jerusalem. To his surprise, Jaddua, the High Priest, followed by the priests and people of Jerusalem came out to welcome him. Jaddua showed Alexander how he was prophesied in Daniel 8:1-8, 20-22 as the first king of Greece who would conquer the Persians whom Alexander despised. So impressed was Alexander with these Jews that he appointed them as administrators of his far flung empire, as far as India. These Jews became prominent leaders in their communities. It was descendants of these Jews who had flocked to Jerusalem for the feasts of Passover, Firstfruits and Pentecost that Peter spoke to in Acts 2:5, "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven." The Greek word "Katoikeo" (2730) used here for "dwelling" means to have a fixed and permanent habitation, in contrast to “paroikeo” meaning a temporary resident. This refers to many wealthy foreign Jews who had a permanent residence in Jerusalem for the convenience of being near the temple. They were pilgrims visiting Jerusalem. These men came from India, Africa, Asia Minor etc. Because they had been living in other countries for over 300 years, they no longer spoke Hebrew. They were devout men, religious Jews, observing Jewish rituals, but like Nicodemus, were not yet born again. These visitors on the day of Pentecost heard the wind and came to investigate it. They were amazed to hear simple, uneducated Galileans suddenly speaking perfectly at least 16 languages from where these pilgrims came. Few people outside Parthia spoke or understood Parthia's guttural language. The Medes came from high, wild, rugged plateaux beyond Assyria. To their utter surprise they heard their languages being clearly spoken at Jerusalem. Elamites came from east of Babylon. Pontus is now southern Russia. Arabians boasted many dialects. Each person on that day heard "the wonderful works of God" (the content of the Gospel) in his own language. (Acts 2:11). Question 3: "What meaneth this?" Acts 2:12. Answer: If the spectators had known Isaiah 28:11 they would have interpreted this to be a red alert danger signal of judgment soon to come. Peter presented the gospel, and concluded it with an invitation for them to be saved in Acts 2:39,40. "For the promise is unto you, and to your children (Jewish residents of Israel), and to all that are afar off (Jews of the dispersion), even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation." Jews were now being evangelised in Gentile languages. Note: First century Jews warned fellow Jews of judgment soon to come, and of the plan of salvation as the only escape. Tongues continued until Jerusalem fell in 70AD. Key: Wherever Jews lived throughout the first century world, the same means of evangelism was followed. Some believer who possessed the gift of tongues witnessed to them in the language of where they lived. Once God judged and scattered the Jews in 70AD, there was no further need for tongues. Consequently, the gift of tongues was withdrawn permanently. Hence "tongues were a sign not to believers, but to (Jewish) unbelievers!!" I Corinthians 14:22. Acts 2:14-21. Peter explains the Holy Spirit's coming. At Pentecost, no interpreter was needed since every man heard the message in his own native dialect. Peter denied the accusation of drunkenness by saying that it was only 9am and orthodox Jews did not eat or drink before 9am on a Sabbath or holy day (v.15). On the day of Pentecost, Peter quoted Joel 2:28-32 in conjunction with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. His introductory words, "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel" (Acts 2:16), may seem to indicate that he considered Joel's prophecy as being completely fulfilled then. However it is apparent that the events of the day, though extraordinary, did not completely fulfil Joel's prophecy. The day of Pentecost events were only a partial fulfilment of Joel's prophecy. Joel's prophecy will be ultimately fulfilled just after the Tribulation when Christ returns to rescue Israel. The wonders in heaven and in earth (Acts 2:19,20) clearly did not occur on the day of Pentecost or on any other day in church history. Notice the events of Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:17-21 as follows: v.28 1. Afterward (in the last days (Acts)), I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; 2. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, (gender); 3. Your old men shall dream dreams, (age); 4. Your young men shall see visions, (age); v.29 5. Upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy, (Social class); v.30 6. I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. v.31 7. The sun shall be turned into darkness, 8. The moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. v.32 9. It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered. 10. In Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance for the remnant as the Lord hath said. Explanation of Joel 2:28-32. The Lord announced that "the great and terrible day of the Lord" (v.31) would see God "pour out my Spirit upon all flesh." The context shows that the "all flesh" refers more specifically to all inhabitants of Judah. Why? Because: a) the fourfold use of "your"(v.28)‘your sons and your daughters…your old men…your young men’ b) Ezekiel 39:29 is a parallel passage: ".....I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God." c) Zechariah 12:10 is a parallel passage: "I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced." This pouring out of God's Spirit would be true regardless of gender, age or social class.Joel 2:30,31 The great and terrible day of the Lord will be preceded by wonders and signs of impending judgment (2:10 - “the sun and the moon shall be dark” and 3:15). • Blood, fire, and pillars of smoke suggest the effects of warfare, possibly nuclear warfare. • The sun turning to darkness occurs in Revelation 6:12 and 16:10. • The moon turning to blood occurs in Revelation 6:12 "there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell...." • Though these events will signal doom for God's enemies, God's people should interpret them as the precursors of their deliverance. a) Matthew 24:29. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man..." b) Mark 13:24-27. "After that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light...." c) Luke 21:25-28. “There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars;..” Joel 2:32. At this time of judgment, whosoever (of the Jews) shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered. "Whosoever" refers to repentant Jews, as seen in Zechariah 13:9, "they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people:" Note: In Acts 2:16-21, Peter does not say that this is the fulfilment of Joel's prophecy, because the signs and wonders predicted had not occurred at Pentecost. Joel's prophecy concerns Israel before Christ's glorious appearing. Peter saw in Joel's prophecy an application to the church. Peter was saying: "This is that same Holy Spirit that Joel wrote about. He is here!" "This is that", means the Holy Spirit's coming, not the events of Joel's prophecy as they will come later. Pentecost was a sample of what Joel predicted. Peter did not declare Pentecost as the complete fulfilment of Joel 2:28-32, but only as an illustration, a partial fulfilment, and a similar situation. Therefore, the supernatural signs that the multitude witnessed at Pentecost were the results of the Holy Spirit coming, yet only a glimmer of the future. Key: "Afterward" in Joel 2:28 pin-points the time of the Spirit's outpouring in this passage. It is after Jesus Christ has returned at His glorious appearing. The context of Joel 2 does not allow us to link this outpouring of the Spirit to events before Christ returns. This refutes the thought that today's tongues are a sign of Christ's second coming. Tongues at Pentecost prepared the way for Peter's message of salvation which brought 3,000 people to Christ that day. Charismatics often use Joel 2:28-32 to support the continuance of tongues today, as they quote Joel 2:23,24 of "the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat...." The former rain, they say, is supposed to be the initial outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2, and the latter rain is claimed to be today's Charismatic Movement. The context clearly speaks of literal rain giving abundant crops. Spiritualising it, the former rain would mean the riches of David's and Solomon's kingdom, and latter rain would refer to even greater blessing of Christ's kingdom after His second coming. Conclusion:: a) Tongues at Pentecost were real languages understood by visitors to Jerusalem. b) Baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at salvation. It is not to be sought, nor are tongues an evidence of this baptism. c) Tongues was a warning to unbelieving Jews to repent. d) Tongues was an evidence of the Holy Spirit coming to form the New Testament church, and to miraculously authenticate Peter's message of salvation. 2. THE CHARISMATIC DOCTRINE OF SUBSEQUENCE. Acts is a book of transition, changes and history. Changes happen in almost every chapter, such as: a) The Old Covenant fades out, and the New Covenant enters. Even Paul was caught in changes as seen by his Jewish vows (Acts 24:18 and 21:26) showing his tie to the Old Covenant. b) Acts passes from synagogue to church, c) Acts passes from law to grace, d) Acts passes from Old Testament saints to New Testament saints, e) Acts passes from Jewish believers, to the church made up of Jew and Gentile believers combined. The only teachings in Acts that are normal for the church age are those that are doctrinally confirmed elsewhere in the New Testament letters to the churches. Charismatics and Pentecostals take a different approach: They build their theology on the miracles of Acts 2,8,10,19 and on a misunderstanding of I Corinthians 12,13,14. (This is really a rebuke and criticism of tongues, not approval). Historical transition begins at Acts 2:4, the core point of all Charismatic teaching: "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Doctrine of subsequence defined: Charismatics teach that at conversion a Christian receives the Holy Spirit in a limited way. Later on, in a subsequent experience the Christian receives the "fullness" of the Spirit, by being baptised with, in or of the Spirit. This experience is accompanied by speaking in tongues, new spiritual motivation, and sometimes miracles. They teach that the Baptism of Holy Spirit: 1. Is usually distinct from and subsequent to (after) the new birth. 2. Is evidenced initially by the sign of speaking in tongues. 3. It must be earnestly sought. Question 1: Which passages do Charismatics use to teach subsequence? Answer: 1. I Corinthians 12:13 cannot be used because it says that the Holy Spirit baptises every believer into the body of Christ at salvation. No tongues are mentioned, nor are we commanded to seek the Baptism. The gospels and epistles don't show subsequence. 2. Acts 2 and 8. Believers received the Spirit after salvation, an element of subsequence. 3. Acts 10. At Cornelius' household, believers were baptised in the Spirit at salvation. No subsequence. 4. Acts 19. John's disciples at Ephesus were baptised in the Spirit at salvation. No subsequence. • Believers spoke in tongues in Acts 2,10,19, but not in Acts 8 at Samaria. • Believers did not seek earnestly for the baptism in any of Acts 2,8,10,19. • None of Acts 2,8,10,19 ever commands tongues for anybody else. Question 2: Charismatics claim that the disciples had the Holy Spirit long before Pentecost, because they were already saved and because of John 20:21-22, their proof passage. Answer: To this we say "yes" the disciples were saved before Pentecost as seen from: a) Luke 10:20 "rejoice because your names are written in heaven," to the 70 sent out by Christ. b) John 15:3 Jesus to his disciples"Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you." but "No" they did not yet have the indwelling Holy Spirit because they were still pre-Pentecost. Question 3: If tongues are necessary, why did none of the 5,000 who believed and received the Holy Spirit in Acts 2-4, also speak in tongues? Answer: Because tongues are not an evidence of Baptism of the Holy Spirit. For something to be normal for everybody, it must happen to everyone. And it did not happen to everybody. Consider that of all the 16 salvation events described in Acts, only 2 groups spoke in tongues: 1. Acts 2........................... 3,000 at Pentecost................................. no tongues 2. Acts 3, 4....................... 5,000 at the Beautiful gate.................... no tongues 3. Acts 5:14...................... Multitudes saved................................... no tongues 4. Acts 8:17...................... Samaritan believers............................... no tongues 5. Acts 8:37-39................. Ethiopian eunuch.................................. no tongues 6. Acts 9........................... Saul on Damascus road........................ no tongues 7. Acts 10:46.................... Cornelius' household......................... tongues 8. Acts 11:19-24……….... Greeks saved at Antioch………………. no tongues 9. Acts 16:14, 15.............. Lydia.................................................... no tongues 10. Acts 16:16-19............... Demonised damsel................................ no tongues 11. Acts 16:25-34............... Philippian jailer and his household....... no tongues 12. Acts 17:1-4................... Thessalonian believers.......................... no tongues 13. Acts 17:10-12............... Berean believers.................................... no tongues 14. Acts 17:15-34............... Athenian believers................................ no tongues 15. Acts 18:8...................... Crispus and Corinthians at salvation..... no tongues 16. Acts 19:1-12................. 12 disciples of John at Ephesus.... tongues 17. Acts 19:18-20............... Ephesian believers................................ no tongues 18. Acts 28:23,24............... Roman believers.................................... no tongues Question 4: John 20:21,22, "he breathed on them,and saith unto them, receive ye the Holy Ghost" Charismatics think that after the resurrection, the eleven disciples received the Holy Spirit in the upper room, but that they later on received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost which then gave them their real power. Answer: This view is wrong because: 1) John 20:22 was not a permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but just a temporary filling of the Holy Spirit to supply their spiritual needs up to Pentecost, just like many Old Testament saints had for a short time. e.g. Samson, John the Baptist (Luke 1:15), Elizabeth (Luke 1:41), Zacharias (Luke 1:61) and Simeon (Luke 2:25). These gospel passages were not intended to be the norm for today. This filling of the Holy Spirit must not be confused with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Caesarea and Ephesus (Acts 2:1-13; 11:15-18; 19:1-7). It may have been just a pledge or promise that would be fulfilled at Pentecost. Chrysostom (345-407 AD) and others held this view. John 20:26,27 shows the disciples still fearful behind shut doors, and faithless, eight days later. 2) John 7:39 "But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." This refutes the Charismatic idea that the disciples had the permanent indwelling Holy Spirit in John 20:22. They did not have the permanent indwelling Holy Spirit because Jesus had not yet ascended, nor was He yet glorified in heaven. The Holy Spirit would not come until after Jesus had ascended to heaven to receive the glory He had with the Father before the world began (John 17:1-5). 3) John 16:7 ".....if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." Jesus ascended to heaven, then 10 days later, the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. 4) Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me...." This teaches that in Acts 1:8 the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon the disciples. They were still waiting for the Holy Spirit to come on them. Here, receiving power to witness, came at the same time as they received the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit had come on them in John 20:22, they would not have been waiting, nor would they be powerless. 5) Acts 1:4 "they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, ye have heard of me." This promise was made in John 14:16, "I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." Here they were still waiting for the Holy Spirit. All these events occurred in a period of transition. The disciples believed in Christ and were Old Testament saints, but they never knew the full experience of the indwelling Holy Spirit until Pentecost. In the upper room there is no evidence that they were seeking or asking for the Holy Spirit, nor anywhere else in the New Testament. Christ had promised the Holy Spirit would come, they were just waiting for "not many days hence." Acts 1:5. No one asked for the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, 8, 10, 19 or anywhere in any letter to any New Testament church. Why? Because the Holy Spirit always indwelt a person at the point of salvation. Romans 8:9 "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." How can a believer have Christ, but not have the Holy Spirit? You can't separate the Godhead. "Ye are complete in Him." Colossians 2:10. If we have Christ as Saviour, we are complete; we do not need a second blessing, nor a baptism of the Holy Spirit because we already have it at salvation. In Acts 2:2,3 Christians were first baptised by the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:4 they were then filled with the Holy Spirit, and the apostles spoke in tongues. Tongues purpose was to: 1. Be a sign of judgment to warn unbelieving Jews to repent. 2. Authenticate the apostles as God's messengers and their message as being from God. Charismatics claim that Acts 2 should happen to everyone. If so, why do we never see a rushing mighty wind, and cloven tongues of fire on people? The Charismatic Movement has decided to use tongues, and then looks for verses to back up their practice. Reject this error as unbiblical. 3. ACTS 8:4-19. SAMARITAN SUBSEQUENCE “When they believed Philip, they were baptised.” v.12. The apostles at Jerusalem sent Peter and John, “who when they were come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost (for as yet he was fallen on none of them...) (v.16) Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” Acts 8:12-17. Charismatics use this passage to support two errors: a) Doctrine of Subsequence: The Samaritans received Christ and are baptised, followed by a time gap. Then they received the Holy Spirit. b) Slaying in the Spirit: They lay hands on a person’s head, for them to “receive the Holy Spirit”, the person falls over backwards, and they have supposedly received the Holy Spirit. Question 1: If the Holy Spirit can be given by laying on of hands, then why didn’t Philip lay hands on them, and save Peter and John the long journey? Answer: God wanted the Samaritans to link their receiving of the Holy Spirit with the apostles and the Jerusalem Church. Question 2: Why was there a delay in the Samaritans receiving the Holy Spirit after believing? Answer: 1) Background: Much hatred existed between Jews and Samaritans. If the Samaritans had received the Holy Spirit at the moment they believed, the terrible rift between Jews and Samaritans could have continued into the Christian church, as permanent disunity. Pentecost was made up of Jewish believers. If the Samaritans had started their own Christian group, the age-old rivalries could have continued. 2) God wanted the Samaritans to understand the authenticating power and authority of the apostles, as channels of divine truth. The time gap was there to show the Samaritans that they were under apostolic authority. 3) It showed the Jewish Christians that the Samaritans were in the same Church, had the same Christ, the same salvation, the same Holy Spirit, and the same acceptance by God. 4) Grammatical reason, in Acts 8:16: “For as yet he was fallen upon none of them.” The Greek word for ‘as yet’ is ‘OUDEPO’. Some lexicographers note that this word means that something that should have happened hasn’t happened yet. It was like saying that the Samaritans were saved, but for some strange reason, what should have happened (the Holy Spirit coming) had not occurred. ‘OUDEPO’ implies that the Holy Spirit should have come immediately. This was not a Samaritan Pentecost, but a step of growth for the Church. God wanted everyone to know that there were not two churches, but only one. God wanted to reverse the hatred barriers right at the start. God wanted to establish the apostles’ authority outside Jewish society. Question 3: Why is there no mention of tongues at Samaria? Answer: It is because there were no unbelieving Jews present. Jews would not live at Samaria, because they hated the Samaritans greatly. 5) This phenomena of believers not receiving the Holy Spirit until Peter came and laid hands on them, was never repeated anywhere in the New Testament. It was a transitional period. Hence it is wrong to conclude that receiving the Holy Spirit is a work subsequent to salvation, and that it requires the laying on of hands. Philip could not do it. Hence we cannot impart the Holy Spirit by laying on of hands. 4. ACTS 10. CORNELIUS’ HOUSEHOLD. NO SUBSEQUENCE. If there was a rift between Samaritans and Jews, there was an almost unbridgable gulf between Gentiles and Jews. A Jew would not enter a Gentile’s house. Peter and six Jewish brethren (v.11-12), went to Caesarea. Peter preached the gospel to Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, and to his household. “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” Acts 10:44-46. Many Charismatics falsely conclude from this that anyone who gets saved must speak in tongues, as proof of salvation. Question 1: Why did Cornelius’ household speak in tongues (languages)? Answer: Because there were Jewish Christians present who did not believe that the Spirit of God was for the Gentiles. Hence, this agrees well with 1 Corinthians 14:22 that tongues were a sign to Jews that believed not. Peter and his six Jewish friends were all astonished. Question 2: Why were they all astonished? Answer: Because the Holy Spirit fell upon a Gentile. Yet it happened here, and these Gentiles were speaking in tongues. Question 3: How did these seven Jews know that these Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit? Answer: “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” Acts 10:46. The fact that the Apostles understood the Gentiles’ tongues to be magnifying God indicated that the tongues were a known language to the Apostles. They knew the same gift of the Holy Spirit was given, because it was accompanied by the same sign, tongues, of Acts 10. The same tongues of Acts 10 were just like the tongues of Acts 2, as seen from these references. “On the Gentiles also.” Acts 10:45. “To have received the Holy Spirit as well as we.” Acts 10:45. “The Gentiles also.” Acts 11:1. “The Holy Spirit fell on them, as on us at the beginning.” Acts 11:15. “God gave the like gift, as he did unto us.” Acts 11:17. “God also, to the Gentiles, granted repentance.” Acts 11:18. The Jews could no longer claim spiritual superiority over the Gentiles, only equality. (Ephesians 3:6 and Colossians 3:11). Charismatics should note two things: a) There is no gap between belief in Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit. There is no subsequence here. b) Tongues are mainly a judgment sign to unbelieving Israel (I Corinthians 14:21-22). God also used tongues to convince unbelieving Christian Jews that the Gentiles could receive the Holy Spirit, and that they ought to be welcomed as equals into the Church. Without tongues, the apostles would not have been convinced that the Gentiles could be saved. Note: Acts 11:15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.” The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Cornelius’ house occurred eight years after Pentecost, yet Peter could not point to any continuous flow of tongues among the churches, when he explained to the Jerusalem church leaders what had happened to the Gentiles. After eight years, Peter still had to say “As on us at the beginning”, not “as on all the churches regularly”. Here is a case where the absence of tongues speaks volumes. If speaking in tongues was a normal experience in churches, Peter would not have had to reach back to Pentecost to cite a similar example. 5. ACTS 19:1-6. JOHN’S DISCIPLES AT EPHESUS. NO SUBSEQUENCE. Two Charismatic claims are made in this passage: A) That speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the Holy Spirit baptism. B) That laying on of hands imparts the Holy Spirit to someone. This is used to support “slaying in the Spirit.” Both of these claims can be shown to be false, in that tongues and laying on of the apostles’ hands were for the following reasons, which are found in this passage: A) Tongues were necessary to warn the many Jews in Ephesus that God’s program had changed, and that the Jews needed to receive Christ as Saviour. Many Jews lived at Ephesus, as seen by: i) Twelve disciples of John the Baptist were Jewish. (19:3). ii) Paul spoke boldly to the Jews in the synagogue for three months, who hardened themselves, believed not, and spoke evil of that way. (19:8-9). iii) Paul separated his disciples to the school of Tyrranus for two years, so that all Jews and Greeks in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus. (19:9-10). iv) Vagabond exorcist Jews in 19:13 try to imitate Paul’s casting out of demons in 19:12. v) Seven sons of Sceva, the Jewish Chief Priest, also tried to imitate Paul’s casting out of demons, in order to establish their own authority as equal to Paul’s, and hence to counter Paul’s message. The demonised man leapt on them, and overcame them, so they fled out naked and wounded. (19:14-16). vi) This was known to all the Jews and Greeks at Ephesus. (19:17). vii) Alexander (v.33) was a Jew (1 Timothy 1:20; 2 Tim. 4:14). Therefore, Paul’s authority, as a messenger of God to be believed, and Paul’s message of Christ, to be received, was proven to all the Jews by signs of tongues (v.6), miracles (v.11), and casting out of demons (v.12-20). viii) Apollos, an eloquent Jew came to Ephesus and mightily convinced the Jews publicly that Jesus was Christ. (Acts 18:1-28). Because of the many Jews at Ephesus, eight groups being mentioned, tongues spoken by John’s twelve disciples was very much in keeping with its stated purpose in I Corinthians 14:21,22 as being a warning sign to unbelieving Jews at Ephesus to repent. This was the main reason why God gave tongues to these twelve men. KEY: On every occasion that tongues were given, there were unbelieving Jews that needed tongues as a sign to convince them of something. Acts 2: Unbelieving devout Jews at Pentecost heard the Apostles speak in tongues warning them to repent. Acts 10: Cornelius' household at Caesarea spoke in tongues to warn unbelieving Christian Jews (Peter) that the Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit and should be welcomed into the church on an equal footing with Jews. Acts 19:1-33: John's twelve disciples spoke in tongues at Ephesus to warn fellow unbelieving Jews to repent and believe Christ's gospel preached by Paul. Acts 18:1-17 and I Corinthians 12,13,14: In Acts 18, Jews are mentioned 6 times at Corinth. Hence the tongues of I Corinthians 12,13,14 were within the correct context of warning the many Jews at Corinth to repent. None of these men were seeking the gift of tongues. Tongues at Ephesus were a sign to Jews at Ephesus (and elsewhere) that salvation was now only possible by faith in Christ. Note: a) Faith in Christ yet to come could no longer suffice, since Christ had arrived and purchased salvation on the cross. b) Knowledge only of John's baptism (Acts 19:2) could no longer suffice. c) Mosaic legalism, having performed its purpose, must be abandoned. B) Charismatic error that laying on of hands imparts the Holy Spirit This passage may seem to teach that salvation occurs and then the Holy Spirit is received after or subsequent to salvation, because of Acts 19:2,6. “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” 19:2. “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues and prophesied.” 19:6. If this error is not corrected by studying the context of Acts 18:24-19:7 of Apollos knowing only the baptism of John, another error is believed of making tongues a sign of receiving the Holy Spirit. Acts 2,8,10 shows that Acts 19 does not teach a second experience with tongues as evidence of such an experience. These 12 disciples of John and Apollos mentioned here were not New Testament believers (Christians), but only disciples of John the Baptist. Like their teacher Apollos, they only knew John's baptism, and knew nothing of Holy Spirit baptism. (18:25 and 19:3). Question 1: "Since ye believed" what? (19:2). Answer: These 12 disciples were Old Testament believers still living in the superseded Old Testament age, similar to Jesus' disciples before Pentecost and to Old Testament saints. They were baptised by John in water "unto (because of) remission of sins" (Matthew 3:11) yet to come in Christ. They believed in Christ to come, but this belief did not impart the baptism, indwelling, sealing, and filling of the Holy Spirit. They did not have the New Testament salvation provided by Christ's death. They were like many Jews living in the transition period between the Mosaic age and the Church age. They still performed and trusted Mosaic ceremonies for salvation, while looking forward to Christ (Acts 15:1,5). These 12 Ephesian disciples, (like modern Charismatics) did not lack faith, but they lacked correct doctrine for faith to take hold of. Paul's discussion with them was as follows: John's disciples: "We are believers." Paul: "Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?" v.2. (Paul knew that if they had've believed in Christ after Pentecost, they would have received the Holy Spirit). John's disciples: "We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." v.2. Paul: "Unto what then were ye baptized?" v.3. John's disciples: "unto John's baptism." v.3 (Note: Paul here realised that their missing link was information about Christ, not information about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. So Paul preached Christ Jesus to them, not the Holy Spirit). Paul: John baptised with the baptism of repentance, saying that they should believe on Jesus Christ who was to come after John. John's disciples: They believed. They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Paul laid his hands on them. The Holy Ghost came on them. They spoke with tongues and prophesied. Question 2: Why did Paul lay hands on them? Answer: To show them that as Jews, they were no longer to follow John the Baptist's teachings, but they were to follow Christ's teachings as taught by the Apostles. Paul laying hands on them imparted the Holy Spirit to them. This would have strongly established the Apostle's authority to them. Question 3: Why were they given tongues? Answer: To connect them with Pentecost. To show them that they were now part of the church with every other believer in Christ. To warn other Jews at Ephesus to receive Christ, and that the Apostle's message was of God. Note Acts 19:11,12, "God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul." Many Jews were convinced by the tongues and miracles that established Paul's authority as a messenger of God, and with the message of God. Sceva the Chief Priest's seven sons tried to duplicate Paul's miracles of casting out evil spirits. This was done in order to neutralize Paul's authority to stop Jews leaving the synagogue for Christ. The demonized man beat them up. This led to many more Jews and Greeks coming to Christ.(19:11-20). Note: The anointing of the Holy Spirit is the initial act of indwelling of the Holy Spirit as seen from Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; 10:38; 2 Corinthians 1:21; I John 2:20,27. “Anoint” means to apply. Question 4: Why was there a short time delay in them receiving the Holy Spirit after believing Paul's message? Answer: A similar time delay occurred with the Samaritan believers in Acts 8 for the same reason. Receiving the Holy Spirit by Paul laying his hands on them identified the Ephesian disciples with the Christian church established since Pentecost under the Apostle's authority. In Acts 8, no believers spoke in tongues because there were no unbelieving Jews in Samaria that needed the warning to repent. Jews hated Samaritans and would not live in Samaria Tongues at Ephesus connected this work with God's work at Jerusalem. God's program was no longer centred in Israel. The casting away of Israel in God's judgment was now underway. Acts is not a norm for the church age, but a narrative of the transition period: 1. From Synagogue to church, 2. From law to grace, 3. From Old Testament saints to New Testament Christians, 4. From mainly a Jewish body of believers to the body of Christ, with neither Jew nor Gentile. Once the transition between the old and new covenants had been accomplished, with the Holy Spirit poured out, the Holy Spirit was then available to all who believed in Christ at the time of belief. This is how God works today. Peter was present in Acts 2,8,10. There must be one church, as Jesus prayed in John 17:20-21, not a Jewish church, a Samaritan church, and a Gentile church. Jewish witnesses heard tongues spoken by Gentile converts in Acts 10, by John's disciples in Acts 19, and the Jewish witnesses Peter and John verified the Samaritans’ conversion in Acts 8. Paul wrote about the Holy Spirit many times, but he never stated that the normal Christian experience is the same as what people experienced in Acts 2,8,10,19. Paul was saved in Acts 9, and gave his salvation testimony in Acts 22,24,26, yet never does he say that he spoke in tongues at his salvation. The experience of the apostles is found in the transitional book of Acts, while the teaching of the apostles is in the epistles, which are our guide for today. In no New Testament epistle is there any teaching of a second blessing after salvation which is evidenced by speaking in tongues. Michael Green in “I believe in the Holy Spirit” says: "The Charismatics were always out for power. Paul's reply was to boast not of his power but of his weakness through which alone the power of Christ can shine". When I am weak, then am I strong. The power of a Christian comes from the patient enduring of suffering, reviling, hardship and of thorns in the flesh. 6. DOES LUKE 11:13 TEACH THAT WE MUST ASK GOD FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT? NO "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him." This was a valid request for the disciples up until the end of Christ’s earthly ministry just as with some Old Testament saints who received a temporary filling for a task. At the end of Christ's earthly ministry, he said: "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever." (John 14:16). The disciples were now not to receive the Holy Spirit in answer to their own petition, but in answer to Christ's petition. Hence today the Holy Spirit is given to all who believe, because of Christ's prayer, without the individual asking for it. When we receive Christ as our Saviour, we immediately receive the Holy Spirit also. (Romans 8:9,14,16). Believers today are not to pray for the Holy Spirit because this prayer of the disciples (for the Holy Spirit) was answered at Pentecost. Charismatic’s Careless Handling of Scripture. Charismatics use these verses to keep people from questioning the movement. 7. THE SIN AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT. Matthew 12:22-32. When you oppose a Charismatic, they often become very angry, and reply with scriptures that are misinterpreted and misapplied. They claim that if you criticize tongues or Charismatic doctrine, you are doing what the Pharisees did who opposed Jesus in attributing Jesus’ work to Satan. They accuse you of coming close to committing the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Question: What does Matthew 12:22-32 really teach? Answer: Jesus had just healed a man possessed with a devil causing blindness and dumbness. The obvious meaning of this miracle was that Jesus was the Messiah. The Pharisees, however, not wanting to believe in Jesus, attributed His miracles done by the Holy Spirit to Satan. This blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can only be committed when one observes Christ physically on earth doing miracles. Since Christ is not physically on earth today, it is impossible to commit this sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, that is, the sin of attributing the works of Christ to Satan. Note: a) This sin was an historical event. b) It can only be applied to one who rejects the work of the Holy Spirit in presenting Christ’s salvation. c) It can never be used in challenging a Charismatic viewpoint. 8. JESUS CHRIST THE SAME YESTERDAY, and TODAY, and FOREVER. Heb. 13:8. Charismatics use this verse to teach that: What happened “yesterday” during Christ’s earthly ministry and during the apostle’s lifetime, is happening now. They use this to claim that: tongues are for today, new revelations happen now, healings continue, & miracles of first century magnitude still happen now. Does the Charismatic interpretation of this verse stand up to hermeneutic principles? Literally, Hebrews 13:8 means: Jesus Christ is unchanging yesterday, today and forever. This is true of Christ’s nature or essence. But it is wrong historically, which disproves their claim. Why should “yesterday” only go as far back as Jesus’ earthly ministry? Note these problems with their position: a) Jesus never spoke in tongues during His earthly ministry. b) As far as “forever” is concerned, none of the gifts are forever. I Corinthians 13:8-13 clearly states that the gifts of prophecy, tongues and knowledge will not endure forever. c) Do we still offer lambs as blood sacrifices? No, because while Jesus Christ is the same forever, God’s methods of operation change throughout history. d) Do we still walk about naked as Adam and Eve did in Eden before the Fall? No, because God’s method of operation was different then. So with tongues. Charismatics force a meaning into Hebrews 13:8 that is not there in order to justify their belief that tongues, miracles, healing and prophecies are happening today just as they did in the first century. 9. THE PROMISES OF POWER IN MARK 16:17,18 “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they 1cast out devils; 2they shall speak with new tongues; 3they shall take up serpents; and 4if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; 5they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Charismatics claim that today, these signs follow the preaching of the gospel where it is preached in the Holy Spirit’s power and faith. These four “shalls” were deliberate proofs that the apostles performed to publically demonstrate their authority, yet nobody can do these at will today successfully. This is shown to be false because of our previous discussion on Mark 16:11-20 (p.499-500). 10. WILL BELIEVERS DO THE SAME and GREATER WORKS THAN CHRIST’S MIRACLES AS JOHN 14:12 SEEMS TO SAY? “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Jesus’ miracles were: a) Creation - turning water into wine. b) Healing the lame, lepers, blind and deaf. c) Casting out demons. d) Control of nature - stilling storms, walking on water, cursing the figtree, multiplying loaves. e) Raising the dead. Question: Are there any documented cases of ordinary believers since 96AD doing the above miracles to the same degree as Jesus? No, never. No one comes close to Jesus’ miracles. John 14:12 means that Jesus referred to the total ministry of believers preaching the gospel after Pentecost. The greater works applied initially to the apostles that Jesus was speaking to. They were given power to perform special miracles as credentials of their office (Romans 15:18,19; Hebrews 2:3,4). For example, Peter preached one sermon and 3000 people were saved in one day. This may have been more than were saved in Jesus’ entire three year ministry. While Jesus’ earthly ministry was confined to Palestine, the gospel in the church age would go to the ends of the earth. These are the greater works that believers would do. Believers works are greater in scope of influence and in number, but not greater in quality. 11. QUESTIONS ANSWERED Question 1: What is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit? Is it speaking in tongues? Answer: This evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is: a) Exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22,23 of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.” b) Walking worthy of the Lord as described in Ephesians 4,5,6. We are filled with the Spirit as we exhibit these 40 qualities. Tongues are not the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit because: a) All believers did not speak in tongues (I Corinthians 12:30). b) The Holy Spirit distributes gifts as He wills (I Corinthians 12:7-11). Question 2: What about miracles being done by Stephen (Acts 6:8), Philip (Acts 8:5-8), Barnabas (Acts 14:3), the seventy (Luke 10:1,9,17,19), or in Mark 9:38-41? Answer: Sign gifts authenticated the apostles and their appointed representatives. Stephen and Philip belonged to the seven appointed by the apostles in Acts 6:1-7 by the laying on of hands (v.6). Paul and Barnabas had hands laid on them as commanded by the Holy Spirit to go on Paul’s first missionary journey. (Acts 13:1-3). The seventy that Jesus sent out did not have the office of apostle, but were “sent ones” to proclaim Christ’s Kingdom as Christ personally directed His program on earth. Both the seventy and the man casting out demons were before the church age started, and does not establish a precedent to be done by all church age believers. Question 3: Does 1 Corinthians 1:7 include miracle workers in the Corinthian church other than the apostles? Answer: “so that ye come behind in no spiritual gift.” “In no gift” means “in no favour, or gracious endowment.” The word used here (Charisma) does not necessarily refer to miraculous endowments, but includes all the kindnesses of God towards them in producing peace of mind, humility, steadfastness, etc. Paul is saying that they possessed, in rich abundance, all those endowments which were bestowed on Christians. This does not teach that non apostles did miracles. Question 4: Why would God allow error in Charismatic meetings where the Holy Spirit was blessing? Answer: We must not assume that because God is blessing a church, then all aspects of that church please Him. Many Charismatics assume that because people are being saved in Charismatic churches, and large numbers attend, then all aspects of Charismatic doctrine and practice are God approved. In Revelation 2 and 3, the churches at Ephesus, Pergamos, Thyatira and Sardis each had good and bad aspects. Hence we must not think that because a church looks good in some areas, then all aspects of that church are good. Many people have been saved in churches with false doctrine. Note: Satan’s attacks are most pronounced in churches seeking to uphold sound Bible doctrine, who win souls to Christ, who seek to live holy lives, who expose Satan’s lies, and who attack Satan’s Kingdom. Satan would not attack but help to build churches that teach error and promote Satan’s Kingdom, such as JWs, Mormons, New Agers, etc. Question 5: Do people have the genuine gift and power to “slay people in the Spirit?” Answer: This has no Biblical basis whatsoever. Any appeals to Daniel (Daniel 8:16-27), Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-7), John on Patmos (Revelation 1:17), Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:1-3), or the multitude coming to arrest Jesus in Gethsemane (John 18:1-6), will not do, because in each case these people fell to the ground because of direct contact with God or an angel of God. People instead fall on their face, (not on their back) and worship God, not become unconscious. “and so falling down on his face he will worship God.” I Corinthians 14:25. This slaying in the spirit (falling backwards) is mentioned in Isaiah 28:11-13 where Israel was warned to repent after hearing other tongues (v.11), “yet they would not hear” (v.12) so God judged them by them “falling backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” (v.13). Hence, people falling backward is a sign of God’s judgment on those who refuse to hear God’s warnings. This is a strong warning against the evil of Charismatic slaying in the spirit. Question 6: How does the Holy Spirit lead us if not through revelations, visions, dreams & prophecies? Answer: 1) “Thy Word (Bible) is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. God may use a passage of Scripture personally applied to our situation. 2) Circumstances. 3) Open and closed doors. 4) Wisdom of pastors. Some believers are bad advisors. God speaks to us through the Bible as we apply it to each situation. Avoid the advice of fools, ignorant and wicked people. Leadings, impressions, hunches etc. are not always reliable because we may have overlooked some facts which lead us to a wrong impression. So, get all the facts, match them with Scriptures and make the choice based on whether a situation is in line with Bible truth, or against Bible truth. The Holy Spirit will then give you peace as you act according to the Bible. Question 7: Isn’t it a good thing for the Charismatic Movement to unite with Roman Catholics if they are winning Catholics to Christ? Answer: The end never justifies the means. God calls us to be separate from sin and false doctrine. The Charismatic Movement has the approval of the Roman Catholic church who established the “Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office” in 1972. The Charismatic Movement will bring about unprecedented ecumenical unity, which will lay the foundation of and usher in the worldwide harlot church of Revelation 17, Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth. This church will bear the name of Christ, but give loyalty to the Antichrist who will be able to perform signs and wonders (Revelation 13:3,13,14,15). Popularity has slain more prophets of God than persecution ever did. In Christianity today, whatever is popular, whatever is accepted, whatever brings good feelings, whatever brings unity, all become the accepted norm for the church. Luther said: “Unity without truth is treason.” Truth is being set aside in the name of unity. Darkness and light are mixing and embracing. In John 17:17-21, Jesus first prayed that we would be sanctified by the truth of God’s Word, (v.17), then He prayed for unity (v.21) based on truth. The basis for unity is always the truth of God’s Word. Question 8: Why should we question the source of prophecies and knowledge if they come true? Answer: The test of a true prophet is 100% accuracy. We should consider all a “prophet’s” predictions to see if every one always comes true. If he correctly predicts 99 times and one time he is wrong, then he is a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:22). Also his prophecy must agree with all of Scripture. Demons have access to much information and can make correct predictions to win people over. Question 9: Why do we have to go into such intricate and complicated studies to know the answers on these Charismatic issues? Why can’t we just accept the Scriptures at their first surface interpretation? Answer: The Bible has shallow parts and deep parts. Even Peter said that some of the Bible was hard to understand (2 Peter 3:14-16). Hence we need to study the Bible carefully and thoroughly (2 Timothy 2:15). The problem with the Corinthian church was that they were content with immaturity. Hence they could not understand other spiritual truths (I Corinthians 3:2,3). The Lord has given Bible teachers who must study the Bible to rightly divide it, so that Christians will not be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. Question 10: Are you saying that it is impossible to cast out demons today because of Mark 16:17-20? Answer: No. Nobody today has the gift of casting out demons (a type of healing). Demons are cast out today because of the prayers of Christians (James 5:14-16) and by the power of the Lord Jesus, not because someone has the gift of exorcism. Question 11: How do you explain that some people seem genuinely healed at Charismatic meetings? Answer: When John Wimber visited Sydney in March 1990. At his meetings he invited people to come for healing of disorders such as: a) Bad backs and necks. b) Problems with left big toe. c) Nervous disorders. d) Unequal leg lengths. e) Breathing problems. f) Barrenness. These conditions are not in the same league as Jesus’ and the Apostle’s healing the blind, lame, deaf, raising the dead, curing the insane, etc. When John Wimber was asked if he had success in healing Down’s Syndrome children, (a genetic disease which cannot be healed by psychosomatic factors), he replied that he had prayed over more than 200 such children, but he admitted that not one child had been healed. This shows the Charismatic healing Movement to be false. In the Indonesian revivals it was claimed that God raised people from the dead. The trouble was that the locals had different definitions for death. If a person was unconscious they deemed him as dead. Question 12: Doesn’t Joel 2:28-32 say that before Christ returns men and women will prophesy, etc.? Answer: No, it doesn’t. Read Joel 2:27 which tells us that after Christ has returned in glory, Israel gets saved; then read Joel 2:28 which says afterwards (i.e. after Christ’s return) your sons and daughters shall prophesy. This happens in the Millennium, not in the church age. 12. COUNTERFEIT ECUMENICAL UNITY OF TODAY’S TONGUES When tongues appears in fundamental and evangelical churches, strife and division result. Yet when tongues occur in liberal churches where doctrine is not important, then unity results. The Charismatic Movement produces a counterfeit unity. a) Instead of Christ being the centre, they give the Holy Spirit central attention. Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “He shall not speak of Himself. He shall glorify me.” John 16:13,14. b) Instead of the Bible being the basis, their experience becomes the way of knowing God’s will. “If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. Old liberalism and new Pentecostalism have joined and denominational barriers began to fall. 1) An Assembly of God Pastor refers to an Episcopalian priest who has recently received the Charismatic spirit baptism and ministry “power”, yet still does not believe in Christ’s virgin birth or resurrection. The Assembly of God Pastor well asks: “I can’t understand why God would give all that power to a fellow so far out on the liberal left.” 2) Pentecostal Christadelphians deny Christ’s deity, His pre-existence, and personality of the Holy Spirit, yet they speak in tongues. It does not matter what a person believes doctrinally, as long as he speaks in tongues as evidence of the “baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Question 13:How can this experience be available to anyone regardless of how heretical are his views? 3) Rome took in the Charismatic Movement, when in 1975 Pope Paul VI blessed a gathering of Catholic Charismatics. Both Rome and the Charismatic Movement hold to similar positions on the Bible in that they both allow new revelations from God beyond the Bible. Roman Catholic priest Edward O’Connor of Notre Dame writes in “The Pentecostal Movement in the Catholic Church”, p.23,28,32 that: “Although they derive from Protestant backgrounds, the Pentecostal churches are not typically Protestant in their beliefs, attitudes or practices. p. 23. Catholics who have accepted Pentecostal spirituality have found it to be fully in harmony with their traditional faith and life. p.28. It cannot be assumed that the Pentecostal Movement represents an incursion of Protestant influence.” p.32. O’Connor says that Catholic Charismatics have been brought back to Penance, devotion to Mary, and devotion to the Real Presence in the Eucharist, through their “baptism in the Holy Spirit.” The Charismatic Movement does nothing to unsettle Roman Catholic faith or traditions. The Catholic “spider” is about to welcome the Charismatic “fly” into its parlour. Charismatics may have been “slain”, but not “in the Spirit”. 13. TRIBULATION APPROACH TO TONGUES Tongues at best is a learned gibberish; at worst it is caused by demon possession as in occult tongues. The devil uses tongues to: a) distract from the real issue in salvation, which is faith in Christ as Saviour. b) distort spirituality, as people think that tongues produces spirituality. In Corinth, tongues had nothing to do with spirituality, but were associated with carnality. Satan counterfeits Christ as the Head of the church, with the Antichrist to be the head of ecumenism. In 2 Thessalonians 2:8,9 the Antichrist’s coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. The antichrist will have a false gift of miracles, healings and tongues. Some illnesses can be demon induced, and cures can be achieved by Satan removing the demons from people in order to deceive the world. Hence the Satanic counterfeit of tongues and healing will confuse the lost and hinder them from receiving the gospel. They will reject the truth, hence 2 Thess. 2:11 says, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie.” As a person consistently rejects truth, his heart is hardened, and he is incapable of discerning truth from error, and chooses error. eg. Pharaoh, JWs, Mormons, etc. “When they (religious leaders of the day) shall say unto you, seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and mutter: should not a people seek unto their God.” Isaiah 8:19. The Hebrew word for “familiar spirits” is “OB” and in the Greek Septuagint is “EGGASTRIMUTHOS”, both words meaning ventriloquist demons, fallen angels who control the vocal chords of their hosts. “Peep” means a high falsetto voice. o “mutter” means a deep hollow voice. The best documented modern case of this is Helene Smith in Switzerland who spoke in an ancient language of India. At first, many thought that she had the gift of tongues. However, her “gift” proved to be a clear case of demon possession, because when the demon left her (Luke 11:24,28), she had no recollection of what had happened. In 1 Kings 22:22, a wicked spirit appears in heaven, offering to fulfil a mission as a lying spirit in the mouth of false prophets on earth. Hence, a lying spirit can impersonate the Holy Spirit. Modern spirit-baptisms with tongues and healings are often due to demons impersonating the Holy Spirit. Question: How will Satan successfully deceive the world into worshipping him? Answer: By the Satanic healing of the Antichrist in Revelation 13:3,4,12-15, and by the miraculous gift of tongues that Satan gives to the Image (v.15). Hence, Satanic healing and tongues will become a worldwide delusion as the Antichrist draws near. In Matthew 24:4,5,23-26, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Question: How will they deceive? Answer: By signs and wonders. Question: What will they be trying to make people believe? Answer: That whenever they do these signs and wonders, it is the Holy Spirit manifesting His power. Refuse to go and see what is going on. Some Pentecostal preachers intentionally use hypnosis to temporarily heal people and to suggest to them to speak in tongues. eg. An American Pentecostal “evangelist” and “healer” named Valdez, offered Franquin the hypnotist $100,000 a year tax-free to be a Pentecostal evangelist and healer. Franquin refused. This was reported in the Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper, Jan. 26, 1956. 14. HYPNOTIC IMITATION OF TONGUES AND HEALING. Many Charismatic preachers are religious hypnotists. Any good hypnotist can make his subject speak in tongues, or feel that he is healed of some illness (only to relapse later), or by a touch putting the poor victim into a trance (Charismatics call this “slaying in the spirit.”) A Charismatic preacher can hypnotize people if the following conditions are met: a) The person must be convinced of the hypnotist’s ability, b) The person must be a willing subject, c) Repetitive, rhythmic music, as occurs in many Charismatic rock music bands. d) The person must be expecting something to happen (e.g.: to be healed, or to speak in tongues, or be slain in the spirit). Most people can apply hypnotic suggestions if they knew how. When a preacher has unknowingly produced the necessary mental condition in a susceptible person, things happen which may deceive the preacher into thinking that he has some special gift of the Holy Spirit. When others think that he has this gift, they are ready to be the next victims. Hypnotists admit that it is very simple to give a person a headache, toothache, shorten a limb, remove pain, pass a needle through a man’s hand painlessly, impart the “gift” of tongues, make a person feel and think that he is healed. (This is always a temporary healing just as Charismatic healings are). Religious hypnotists go on deceiving others, calling it the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Our body is like a prison to keep our spirit in, but it is also like a fortress to keep out the corruption of demon spirits. Normally our mind and body repels demonic attacks. But if we allow our mental fence to be broken down by surrendering control of our mind to another person or spirit or to group pressure (as in blanking your mind to speak in tongues, or allowing yourself to be slain in the spirit, or healed) then we are exposed to demonic attack. The victim is unable to restore the fence in his own power. He must re-submit to being only guided by the Bible, not by some religious hypnotist. The sad end of such a victim is that often, morality drops, Bible truth is rejected and error is embraced, spirituality wanes, tongues takes greater control, and mental breakdowns often occur. Enoch Coppin, who was a hypnotist in his unsaved days had practised many hypnotic healings, the giving and taking away of bodily afflictions and speaking in tongues, insists that their source is the demonic forces of Satan. 15. MENTAL SUSCEPTIBILITY and SURRENDER OF THE WILL. Once a person has been made mentally susceptible by: a) Wrongly applied, falsely interpreted scriptures (as in all cults), b) Listen to exciting testimonies of healings, tongues, and wonderful spiritual experiences, the door into his mind is open for Pentecostal seducing demons to enter, who impersonate the Holy Spirit. Many Charismatic healers imply that someone in the audience has a very sinful sex problem. Many people have a temptation to sexual sin. This is used to make the person feel inferior, as a second rate Christian in need of so-called “Holy Spirit Baptism”. This is a commonly used trick to make people’s minds susceptible to think that they need tongues, healing, slaying, etc. as a solution to their problem. This is a high pressure selling technique. Many Charismatic healers trick people to believing that they are healers by claiming to make a person’s legs equal in length, when they were equal in the first place. Example 1: Two old ladies on crutches came to the front of a Charismatic service to be healed. After the laying on of hands they were hypnotically convinced that God had healed them. On the way out they both fell down the steps breaking their hips. Friends then sent for the Charismatic healer to heal them, but he refused to come, nor did he visit them in hospital. Example 2: A young man claimed to be healed from sinus. When asked how he felt, he replied, “I am healed, but I still have the symptoms.” He was surely deceived. Question: What is the Charismatic spirit baptism? Answer: The human being has two nervous systems, the voluntary in the brain, and involuntary which controls involuntary actions such as heart muscle contraction, breathing, etc. Normally the voluntary system is in control, but in the so-called spirit-baptism when one speaks in tongues, he by-passes his brain, allowing the subconscious mind to become active. Hence tongues comes from the involuntary nervous system as gibberish which is disconnected from the conscious commands of the brain. Hence, control of one’s life is given to the subconscious involuntary nervous system, when real control should be given to the mind controlled by the Bible as it directs the voluntary conscious mind, and as it consciously weighs every decision in accordance with Scripture to be right or wrong. Question: Is healing in the Atonement? Charismatics claim that healing is in Christ’s atonement for sin, as a benefit available to all believers today. If this were true, then no believer should ever get sick or die. Physical healing has been secured by Christ’s atonement but we only get it at Christ’s return when we receive our resurrection bodies, not now in the Church age. “with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5; “by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 Peter tells believers that the healing we have is “past tense”, a spiritual healing received at salvation. We do not have complete physical healing today because: 1) Healing left Paul.“Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.” 2 Timothy 4:20. Paul couldn’t heal him. 2) “Epaphroditus ... was sick nigh unto death.” Philippians 2:25-27. Why did Paul let him get so bad?Why didn’t Paul heal him straight away?Why didn’t Epaphroditus heal himself, if every believer can do it? Did he not have enough faith? Paul never criticized him for lack of faith. His raising to health was an act of divine mercy, not an atonement right. 3) “Use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities (sicknesses)”. I Timothy 5:23. This would have been madness if Paul could heal Timothy. Why didn’t Timothy heal his own stomach and other often sicknesses by laying on of hands as Charismatics do? Why use wine? Did Timothy lack the faith to be healed? 4) “Luke the beloved physician.” Colossians 4:14. Luke would not have continued as a physician if he (along with all believers) could heal at will. 5) “Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him...” James 5:14-15. Why didn’t the sick man heal himself if healing is in the atonement? The “prayer of faith,” not the “gift of healing” shall save the sick. The sick believer was to call for the church elders, not the healer, or the person of great faith. 6) “I will glory in my infirmities (weaknesses, sicknesses)..” 2 Corinthians 12:9,10. 7) “The creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption.” Romans 8:21.
  4. GOOD WORKS or KEEPING THE LAW DOES NOT SAVE US There are basically only two religions in the world today. These represent two different ideas as to how we gain acceptance with God and how we get into heaven. One is right. The other is wrong. These are: I. GOOD WORKS. The idea that if I am good enough then God will accept me into heaven(wrong). The problems with this view are that: 1. How good do I have to be? Where is the cut off point that determines entry to heaven? 2. If I can get into heaven by my good works, then why did Christ die? 3. How do you judge how much salvation each good work buys you? 4. If we have to earn our salvation, there is always that feeling of guilt, because maybe we haven't done enough good works to earn salvation. 5. If we are hoping to be saved by our good works, then we could lose our salvation by not keeping up the good works. This leads to uncertainty. We can never be sure of going to heaven as long as we trust in our good works. 6. Trusting in our good works leads to fear of missing heaven. 7. It leads to a wrong comparison. People say "I am a good person." They are comparing themselves with sinful man. We should compare ourselves with God. Then we appear as big sinners. 8. If we could be saved by our good works then, we could boast. Do you think God would devise a system of salvation that allowed man to boast? 9. It causes some people to give up trying to be good, so they sin as much as they want. 10. Does "man save man" or does "God save man"? 11. It leads to a religion of self denial to earn salvation. God has given us richly in all things to enjoy. Religious man likes to think that his good works can save him because: 1. It keeps people under the control of religious leaders, because people fear that if they stop coming to church, they will go to hell. 2. People like to feel that they have worked for their salvation and that they deserve it. They think "I earn everything else in life by hard work, why not my salvation?" 3. Man likes to make the rules himself, and does not like God telling him what to do. Sinful man does not want God to get the glory for saving him. 99% of the world's religions are religions of good works to earn salvation. Examples include: Roman Catholicism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and Hinduism to name a few. II. FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AS MY SIN PAYMENT. (The right way). This begins with the idea that I am a sinner, that I have broken God's laws, and that compared to God I am not a good person, but a self centred sinner. God's law that I have broken condemns me to hell. The good news is that Jesus Christ on the cross had all my sins laid on him, so that Jesus Christ took the full punishment for all my past, present and future sins that I deserved in hell forever. He thus became the Saviour of all people. We are now responsible to receive or call on Christ to be our Saviour from sin. When we do this Christ saves us and gives us the free gift of eternal life. The benefits of Christ saving us instead of our works saving us are: 1. We can be 100% sure of going to heaven because Christ is 100% responsible for saving us and for keeping us saved. 2. We can concentrate on serving God in joy, rather than in fear of trying to earn our entrance ticket to heaven. 3. We know that we will meet our saved loved ones in heaven. 4. We rest in God's acceptance of us because of Christ. 5. It releases us from the bondage of fear of trusting a man made organization to get us into heaven. 6. It leads us to develop a loving relationship with Christ as our Saviour, Friend and God, rather than Mary. 7. It leads us to base our beliefs for living on the Bible, not on some man made organization. Let us study some Bible passages teaching that "good works don't save us". 1. Knowing that a man is: a) not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; b) even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; c) for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Galatians 2:16. 2. If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:21. 3. Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Galatians 3:2. 4. Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Galatians 3:6. 5. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Gal. 3:7. 6. The scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith. Galatians 3:8. 7. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Galatians 3:9. 8. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse. Galatians 3:10. 9. For it is written, Cursed is everyone that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Galatians 3:10. 10. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident. Galatians 3:11. 11. The just shall live by faith. Galatians 3:11. 12. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. Galatians 3:13. 13. That we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:14. 14. If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. This teaches that no law gave eternal life. Galatians 3:21. 15. The scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. Galatians 3:22. 16. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up into the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Galatians 3:23. This means that we were shut up in the prison of the law until salvation by faith in Christ came. 17. The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24. 18. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Galatians 3:25. We are not under the schoolmaster of the Mosaic law. 19. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26. 20. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? Galatians 4:21. 21. If ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. Galatians 5:2. This means that if you are trusting your circumcision to save you, or your good works, or your baptism, or your sacraments, or your church to save you, then Christ has not saved you. You are still lost and going to hell. 22. I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.Galatians 5:3 This means that if you trust your works to save you, then you can only be saved by always keeping all the whole law, which no one can do. Therefore, those trusting their works are heading to hell. 23. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law. Galatians 5:4. 24. the hope of righteousness by faith. Galatians 5:5. 25. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing nor uncircumcision: but faith which worketh by love. Galatians 6:15; 5:6. 26. In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.Ephesians 1:13 27. For by grace are ye saved through faith; i) and that not of yourselves; ii) it is the gift of God: iii) not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9. Four times we are told here that we are not saved by works, but by faith. Question: Where then do good works come in? Answer: Good works come after salvation to show our gratitude to God in love for saving us. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10. Facts of → Faith in Christ → Salvation → Good Works Gospel as Saviour after salvation 28. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. Ephesians 3:17. 29. And be found in Christ, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is of the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Philippians 3:9. 30. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Titus 3:5. 31. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20. 32. The righteousness of God without the law is manifested. Romans 3:21. (Romans 3:22. 33. The righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe. 34. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. ...a propitiation (forgiveness and favour) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins. Romans 3:24,25. 35. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? NO: but by the law of faith. Romans 3:27. 36. Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Romans 3:28 37. One God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith,and uncircumcision through faith. Rom. 3:30 Question: Does salvation by faith and not by works mean that we can go out and sin as we wish? A: Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. Rom. 3:31 The law is now written on the believer’s heart, so that we obey the law of the Spirit of life from an inward motivation. 38. If Abraham were justified by works he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. Romans 4:2. 39. Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Romans 4:3. 40. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:5. 41. David also describes the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputes righteousness without works. Romans 4:6. 42. Faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? When he was in uncircumcision. Romans 4:9,10. Note: Abraham was saved by faith before he was circumcised. This teaches us that we are saved by faith before baptism, good works, sacraments or any human work. 43. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 5:1 Note: Peace with God comes by faith in Christ, not by good works. 44. The Gentiles ..... have attained to righteousness ..... which is of faith. But Israel ..... has not attained to righteousness. Why? Because they sought it not by faith, but .....by the works of the law. Romans 9:30-32. 45. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace. Romans 11:6. Note: If you think you are saved by your own works, then you miss God's grace. 46. Who hath saved us ..... not according to our works. 11 Timothy 1:9. 47. Q: What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? A: Jesus ..... this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. John 6:28,29. 48. i) He said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. Luke 7:50. ii) When he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. Luke 5:20. iii) Purifying their hearts by faith. Acts 15:9. iv) That they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith that is in me. Acts 26:18. v) Jesus said unto him (Bartimaus), Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. Luke 18:42. vi) Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. Mark 5:34. vii)To a repentant leper: "thy faith hath made thee whole." Luke 17:19. 49. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. Acts 10:43. 50. By him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Acts 13:39. Note: If the law of Moses could not justify anybody, how can keeping the laws of the Catholic Church, Jehovah's Witness, Mormon, Baptism, sacraments, or good works justify you? OBJECTION: Question: "But doesn't James 2:14-26 teach that works save us?" Ans: No, because: 1. James in 2:10,11 says that even if we have kept the whole law always showing good works every day, except in one act of sin, we are guilty of breaking all the law. "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." 2. Wherever you have true believers, you have counterfeit believers. Eg:Neither the priest or the Levite who had religious training, helped the dying man. Matt.7:21, Luke 10:25-37 3. A poor believer, hungry and without proper clothing entered a church. A person with dead faith saw the visitor in need, yet did nothing to meet his needs. He just said a few pious words: "Depart in peace; be ye warmed and filled". James 2:1-5,16. Note: Each of these four people had dead faith. Each would defend the idea that he had faith, yet neither demonstrated that faith in loving works. To help a needy person is an expression of love, and faith works by love. Galatians 5:6. The question in James 2:14: "Can faith save him?" is alternatively translated: "Can that kind of faith save him?" What kind of faith? The faith that is never shown by practical works. The answer is "NO". Any declaration of faith that does not result in a changed life and good works is a false declaration. That kind of faith is dead faith. "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." James 2:17. True saving faith always produces works.God sees our faith in Christ as Saviour, then he saves us. Man cannot see faith. Man can only see our works as the fruit of salvation. Faith is the Godward condition of salvation. Works is the manward evidence of salvation. James illustrates his point with two Old Testament characters: 1. Abraham. "Was not Abraham our Father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?" James 2:21. a) Abraham was justified before God by age 85. "He believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness." Genesis 15:6; 16:16. b) Abraham was justified before man by age 137, when he offered up Isaac upon the altar. Genesis 22:1-14. 2. Rahab. "Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?" James 2:25. a) Rahab was justified before God (salvation) when she confessed with her mouth Jehovah to be God. "For the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above,and in earth beneath."Joshua 2:11,1-14 b) Rahab was justified before man (service) when she received and sent the messengers out another way. "Then she let them down by a cord through the window." Joshua 2:15,16. Conclusion: 1. Forsake trusting your works to save you, and receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour from sin today. 2. Leave any church that teaches a gospel of good works for salvation. God's curse is on such a church or religion. Galatians 1:6-9.
  5. Greek Scholars & The Watchtower: Julius Mantey Julius Mantey was arguably the greatest Greek scholar of the 20th century. He was co-author of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, a Greek grammar that was in use for half a century to teach Greek in prominent schools. Along with other Greek grammar book authors A. T. Robertson and Daniel Wallace, Mantey disagreed with the Watchtower’s (Jehovah’s Witnesses’) book, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT). For several years, Mantey was quoted in a footnote to the NWT, with the Watchtower trying to use Mantey’s grammar book to support their view of the bible. Mantey took offense, and wrote the letter below. The significance of this letter is that it is from a respected author of a Greek grammar. We live in a free country, and Wathtower supporters have, and likely will continue, to disagree with any point they desire. I am not in a position to defend Mantey; a scholar of his caliber does not need a defense from me. I am not a language scholar, do not pretend to be one, nor will I hide my ignorance of the languages. Concerning grammar and translation, too many arguments are made from those who should have remained silent, and I do not wish to contribute to the problem by adding my words to the conversation. But I know enough to use the tools and quote the scholars. Of the three Greek grammars I mentioned, all specifically disagree with the NWT. The Watchtower can protest all they want, but their disagreement is with the unified opinion of all the language scholars. If the Watchtower ever publishes a Greek text that is used in accredited schools to teach Greek, or can find one that is in agreement with them, they will be taken seriously. Until then, they will not. Below is a top-tier scholar’s view of the Watchtower and their book. Anyone can write a book claiming to know what they are talking about, but this does not make them true. The only objective reference we have for language is the recognized grammars. If the Watchtower claims all of the grammars are wrong, they have made a self-refuting statement. Julius R. Mantey 414 Palmette Road New Port Richey, FL 33552 July 11, 1974 Watchtower Bible & Tract Society 117 Adams St. Brooklyn New York 11201 Dear Sirs: I have a copy of your letter addressed to Caris in Santa Ana, California, and I am writing to express my disagreement with statements made in that letter, as well as in quotations you have made from the Dana-Mantey Greek Grammar. (1) Your statement: “their work allows for the rendering found in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures at John 1:1.” There is no statement in our grammar that was ever meant to imply at “a god” was a permissible translation in John 1:1. A. We had no “rule” to argue in support of the trinity. B. Neither did we state that we did have such intention. We were simply delineating the facts inherent in Biblical language. C. Your quotation from p.148 (3) was in a paragraph under the heading: “With the Subject in a Copulative sentence.” Two examples occur there to illustrate that “the article points out the subject in these examples.” But we made no statement in the paragraph about the predicate except that , “as it stands the other persons of the trinity may be implied in theos.” And isn’t that the opposite of what your translation “a god” infers? You quoted me out of context. On pages 139 and 140 (VI) in our grammar we stated: “without the article theos signifies divine essence . . . theos en ho logos emphasizes Christ’s participation in the essence of the divine nature.” Our intepretation is in agreement with that in NEB and the TEV: “What God was, the Word was”; and with that of Barclay: “The nature of the Word was the same as the nature of God”, which you quoted in your letter to Caris. (2) Since Colwell’s and Harner’s articles in JBL, especially that of Harner, it is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1 “The Word was a god”. Word-order has made obsolete and incorrect such a rendering. (3) Your quotation of Colwell’s rule is inadequate because it quotes only a part of the his findings. You did not quote this strong assertion: “A predicate nominative which precedes the verb cannot be translated as an indefinite or a ‘qualitative’ noun solely because of the absence of the article.” (4) Prof Harner, vol. 92:1 (1973) in JBL, has gone beyond Colwell’s research and has discovered that anarthrous predicate nouns preceding the verb function primarily to express the nature or character of the subject. He found this true in 53 passages in the Gospel of John and 8 in the Gospel of Mark. Both scholars wrote that when indefiniteness was intended the gospel writers regularly placed the predicate noun after the verb, and both Colwell and Harner have stated that theos in John 1:1 is not indefinite and should not be translated “a god”. Watchtower writers appear to be the only ones advocating such a translation now. The evidence appears to be 99% against them. (5) your statement in your letter that the sacred text itself should guide one and “not just someone’s rule book”. We agree with you. But our study proves that Jehovah’s Witnesses do the opposite of that whenever the “sacred text” differs with their heretical beliefs. For example the translation of kolasis as cutting off when punishment is the only meaning cited in the lexicons for it. The mistrnalstion of ego eimi as “I have been” in John 8:58. The addition of “for all time” in Heb. 9:27 when nothing in the Greek New Testament supports it. The attempt to belittle Christ by mistranslating arche tes ktiseos “beginning of the creation” when he is magnified as “the creator of all things” (John 1:2 and as “equal with God” (Phil. 2:6) before he humbled himself and lived in a human body here on earth. Your quotation of “The father is greater than I am” (John 14:28) to prove that Jesus was not equal to God overlooks the fact stated in Phil. 2:6-8. When Jesus said that, he was still in his voluntary state of humiliation. That state ended when he ascended to heaven. Why the attempt to deliberately deceive people by mispunctuation by placing a comma after “today” in Luke 23:43 when in the Greek, Latin, German and all English translations except yours, even in the Greek in your KIT, the comma occurs after lego (I say) — “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” 2 Cor. 5:8, “to be out of the body and at home with the Lord.” These passages teach that the redeemed go immediately to heaven after death, which does not agree with your teachings that death ends all life until the resurrection. Cf. Ps. 23:6 and Heb. 1:10. The aforementioned are only a few examples of Watchtower mistranslations and perversions of God’s Word. In view of the preceding facts, especially because you have been quoting me out of context, I herewith request you not to quote from the Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament again, which you have been doing for 24 years. Also that you not quote it or me in any of your publications from this time on. Also that you publicly and immediately apologize in the Watchtower magazine, since my words had no relevance in the absence of the article before theos in John 1:1. And please write to Caris and state that you misused and misquoted my “rule”. On the page before the Preface in the grammar are these words: “All rights reserved — no part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher.” If you have such permission, please send me a photo-copy of it. If you do not heed these requests you will suffer the consequences. Respectfully yours, Julius R. Mantey
  6. 50 Questions to Ask Mormons

    50 Questions to Ask Mormons Questions are a great way to witness to Mormons. Most cultists will turn you off if you begin to preach to them, however, asking questions gives them hope that you are genuinely interested in learning more about their religion. It also is a great way to get them thinking about things they may have never thought about and researching into the false teachings of their church. Questions are great seed-planters that the Holy Spirit can make grow in their hearts and minds and, ultimately, lead them to Christ. They are also great conversation starters. The questions below are grouped into 4 different categories. Mormon Prophets 1. Why does the Mormon Church still teach that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God after he made a false prophecy about a temple being built in Missouri in his generation (Doctrine and Covenants 84:1-5)? 2. Since the time when Brigham Young taught that both the moon and the sun were inhabited by people, has the Mormon Church ever found scientific evidence of that to be true (Journal of Discourses, 1870, v.13, p.271)? 3. Why did Brigham Young teach that Adam is “our Father and our God” when both the Bible and the Book of Mormon (Mormon 9:12) say that Adam is a creation of God (Journal of Discourses, Apr. 9, 1852, vol.1, p.50)? 4. If Brigham Young was a true prophet, how come one of your later prophets overturned his declaration which stated that the black man could never hold the priesthood in the LDS Church until after the resurrection of all other races (Journal of Discourses, Dec. 12, 1854, 2:142-143)? 5. Since the Bible’s test to determine whether someone is a true prophet of God is 100% accuracy in all his prophecies (Deuteronomy 18:20-22), has the LDS Church ever reconsidered its teaching that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were true prophets? 6. Since the current LDS prophets sometimes contradict the former ones, how do you decide which one is correct? 7. Since there are several different contradictory accounts of Joseph Smith’s first vision, how did the LDS Church choose the correct one? 8. Can you show me in the Bible the LDS teaching that we must all stand before Joseph Smith on the Day of Judgment? Mormon Scripture 9. Can you show me archeological and historical proof from non-Mormon sources that prove that the peoples and places named in the Book of Mormon are true? 10. If the words “familiar spirit” in Isaiah 29:4 refer to the Book of Mormon, why do familiar spirits always refer to occult practices such as channeling and necromancy everywhere else in the Old Testament? 11. Why did Joseph Smith condone polygamy as an ordinance from God (Doctrine and Covenants 132) when the Book of Mormon had already condemned the practice (Jacob 1:15, 2:24)? 12. Why were the words “white and delightsome” in 2 Nephi 30:6 changed to “pure and delightsome” right on the heels of the Civil Rights campaign for blacks? 13. If God is an exalted man with a body of flesh and bones, why does Alma 18:26-28 and John 4:24 say that God is a spirit? 14. Why did God encourage Abraham & Sarah to lie in Abraham 2:24? Isn’t lying a sin according to the 10 commandments? Why did God tell Abraham and Sarah to lie when 2 Nephi 9:34 condemns liars to hell? 15. Why does the Book of Mormon state that Jesus was born in Jerusalem (Alma 7:10) when history and the Bible state that he was born outside of Jerusalem, in Bethlehem? 16. If the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth, as Joseph Smith said, why does it contain over 4000 changes from the original 1830 edition? 17. If the Book of Mormon contains the “fulness of the everlasting gospel”, why does the LDS Church need additional works? 18. If the Book of Mormon contains the “fulness of the everlasting gospel”, why doesn’t it say anything about so many important teachings such as eternal progression, celestial marriage, the Word of Wisdom, the plurality of Gods, the pre-existence of man, our mother in heaven, baptism for the dead, etc? 19. Why do you baptize for the dead when both Mosiah 3:25 and the Bible state that there is no chance of salvation after death? 20. Since the word grace means a free gift that can’t be earned, why does the Book of Mormon state “for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23)? 21. Does the LDS Church still regard the Pearl of Great Price as Holy Scripture even after several prominent Egyptologists proved it was an ancient funeral scroll? 22. Why does the Book of Abraham, chapters 4 & 5, contradict Alma 11 in stating that there is more than one God? 23. Why does Doctrine and Covenants 42:18 say there is no forgiveness for a murderer when 3 Nephi 30:2 says there is forgiveness for him? 24. If the Adam-God doctrine isn’t true, how come Doctrine and Covenants 27:11 calls Adam the Ancient of Days which is clearly a title for God in Daniel chapter 7? 25. Why does the Book of Mormon contain extensive, word-for-word quotes from the Bible if the LDS Church is correct in teaching that the Bible has been corrupted? 26. Why do the Bible verses quoted in the Book of Mormon contain the italicized words from the King James Version that were added into the KJV text by the translators in the 16th and 17th centuries? 27. If the Book of Mormon was engraved on gold plates thousands of years ago, why does it read in perfect 1611 King James Version English? Bible Questions 28. If marriage is essential to achieve exaltation, why did Paul say that it is good for a man not to marry (1 Corinthians 7:1)? 29. Since the Word of Wisdom teaches us to abstain from alcohol, why did Paul encourage Timothy to drink wine for his stomach (1 Timothy 5:23)? 30. If obeying the Word of Wisdom - which tells us to abstain from caffeine, alcohol and tobacco - is important for our exaltation, why did Jesus say that there is nothing that can enter a man to make him defiled (Mark 7:15)? 31. If Jesus is the Jehovah of the Old Testament and Elohim is referred to as God in the Old Testament, can you explain Deuteronomy 6:4 to me: “Hear, O Israel: the LORD (Jehovah) our God (Elohim) is one LORD (Jehovah)? 32. Why does the Mormon Church teach that we can be married in heaven when Jesus said in Matthew 22:30 that in the resurrection men neither marry, nor are they given in marriage? 33. How can worthy Mormon males become Gods in the afterlife when God already said that before him no God was formed, nor will there be any Gods formed after him (Isaiah 43:10)? 34. If God had a father who was a God, how come Isaiah 44:8 says that he doesn’t know him? 35. If God was once just a man who progressed to becoming a God, how do you explain Psalm 90:2: “…even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God”? 36. How can God be an exalted man when Numbers 23:19 says that God is not a man? 37. Why does the Mormon Church teach that Elohim had sexual relations with Mary to produce Jesus when both Matthew and Luke teach she was a virgin (The Seer, January, 1853, p.158)? 38. Why does the LDS Church teach that Jesus paid for our sins in the garden of Gethsemane when 1 Peter 2:24 says it was on the cross? 39. Why did Bruce McConkie write that a man may commit a sin so grievous that it will place him beyond the atoning blood of Christ (Mormon Doctrine, 1979, p.93) when the Bible says that the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7)? 40. Why does the LDS Church teach that man first existed as spirits in heaven when 1 Corinthians 15:46 says that the physical body comes before the spiritual? 41. Since Jesus statement, “Be ye therefore perfect” (Matthew 5:48) is in the present tense, are you perfect right now? Do you expect to be perfect soon? According to Hebrews 10:14, how are we made perfect? 42. Why do Mormons say the sticks in Ezekiel 37 represent the Bible and the Book of Mormon when Ezekiel 37:20-22 tells us that the sticks represent two nations, not two books? 43. Why does the LDS Church teach that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers when both the first chapter of John and Colossians teach that Jesus is the Creator of all things, including Lucifer? 44. Why do worthy Mormon males hold the Aaronic priesthood since Hebrews 7:11-12 clearly teaches that it was changed and superceded by something better? 45. If your leaders are correct about the complete falling away of the true church on earth, was Jesus in error when he said that the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18)? General 46. If having a physical body is necessary to become a god, how did Jesus become a god before he had a body? 47. Do you think the LDS Church will reconsider its teachings that the American Indians are descendants of the Jewish race now that DNA evidence has proven that they are actually descendants of the Asian race? 48. If polygamy was officially re-instituted by the Mormon Church, how would your wife feel about you taking another woman? 49. Since the LDS Church teaches that there was a complete apostasy of the true church on earth, does that mean that the 3 living Nephites and the Apostle John went into apostasy also? 50. Why are Mormon Temple ceremonies secret to the public when the Old Testament temple ceremonies were open to public knowledge?
  7. Please pray for my beloved cat

    UPDATE: Simba is recovering. He is due back for another injection in a couple of days. Still limping around, but other than that, dos not seem to be in pain as he IS walking around, getting up on the bed, etc. Thank you for your prayers. I love you all.
  8. I was asked a question. Why wasnt Paul healed.

    simple. It is not always in Gods' will to heal us.
  9. GOD HAS NOT CAST AWAY HIS PEOPLE ISRAEL

    GOD HAS NOT CAST AWAY HIS PEOPLE ISRAEL Romans 11:1,2 Many groups in Christendom think that God has permanently cast away Israel, and that Israel has no part in any of God’s plans for the future. Whenever they see a passage on Israel, they read it as applying to the church. They think that the church has inherited all the Old Testament promises to Israel. When Israel became a nation in May 1948, they see no relevance for modern day Israel in the events surrounding the second coming of Christ. However, even a casual study of eschatology (second coming of Christ) will reveal that Israel is closely connected to the events of Christ’s return. Groups denying any future for Israel include Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Roman Catholics, Muslims and Amillennarians (including many Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptists, Uniting and Congregational churches) as well as Calvinists. These groups regard themselves as the God favoured remnant (Revelation 12:17) taking the place of Israel, as “prophesied” by their false prophets. The Thomson Chain Reference Bible mistakenly applies references concerning Israel to the Church. It overlooks the Ethnic Division principle of interpreting Scripture where God gives three ethnic divisions of mankind as Jew, Gentile and Church. “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.” 1 Cor. 10:32. This means that to correctly understand any Scripture, we must first ask “To whom is this passage referring? Is it spoken to or about Jews, or Gentiles or the Church? Let a passage referring to Jews, teach what it says about Jews, without putting a foreign meaning on it. There are more than 130 clear Bible passages which teach that Jesus Christ will return in person to rescue and convert the nation of Israel, and to rule on the earth from Jerusalem as King of the Jews, with Israel being the chief nation on earth. Ask if the following 211 verses teach that Israel has a future in God’s plans, in these 107 passages. 1. PAUL TEACHES ISRAEL’S FUTURE CONVERSION. Romans 11 i) Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. v.1 ii) God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. v.2 iii) Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid. v.11 iv) If their fall be the riches of the world, how much more their fullness? v.12 v) If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? (a resurrection of believers). v.15 vi) How much more shall these (Jews), which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? v.24 vii) Blindness IN PART is happened to Israel, UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. (Rapture). v.25 viii) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. v.26 ix) For this is my covenant with them (Israel) when I shall take away their sins. v.27 x) As concerning the gospel, they (Jews) are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election (of Israel), they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes (patriarchs). v.28 2. JESUS CHRIST TAUGHT ISRAEL’S FUTURE CONVERSION. i) Ye (Israel) shall not see me henceforth, TILL ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Matthew 23:37-39. ii) Now learn a parable of the fig tree (national Israel as in Joel 1:6-7); When his branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves, (Israel becoming a nation in 1948) ye know that summer (Christ’s return) is near. Matthew 24:32. iii) Christ shall rule my people Israel (in the Millennium). Matthew 2:6. iv) Christ promised judgment on this wicked generation, not on Israel’s future generations forever. -The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it. 41 -The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it. 42 -Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. Matthew 12:41,42,45. -All these things shall come upon this generation. Matthew 23:36. v) Jesus prophesied that future Israel will receive the Antichrist as their Messiah. “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not (as Messiah): if another shall come in his own name (Antichrist), him ye will receive.” John 5:43. vi) Jesus prophesied that His disciples, in the regeneration (millennium) will judge the 12 tribes of Israel. “Ye which have followed me (the disciples), in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28. 3. MOSES said that GOD WILL NOT FORSAKE or DESTROY ISRAEL, or FORGET THE COVENANT OF THY FATHERS. When thou (Israel) art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice: (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he swore unto them. Deuteronomy 4:30-31. 4. The PALESTINIAN COVENANT PROMISES 7 THINGS FOR ISRAEL in Deut. 30:1-10. i) Dispersion for disobedience. v.1 “Thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, where the Lord thy God hath driven thee.” ii) Future repentance of Israel while in dispersion. v.2 iii) The return of the Lord. v.3 “The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion on thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations . . .” iv) Restoration to the land. v.5 “The Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy Father’s possessed, and thou shalt possess it: and he will do thee good . . .” v) National conversion. v.6 “The Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart and soul. . .” vi) Judgment of Israel’s oppressors. v.7 “The Lord thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies. . .” vii) National prosperity. v.9 “The Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand.” 5. MOSES PROPHESIED a FUTURE TROUBLE for ISRAEL and a GOOD LATTER END. 1) Evil will befall you in the latter days (Tribulation). Deuteronomy 31:29. 2) O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! How should one chase a thousand. . . Deuteronomy 32:29,30. 6. The DAVIDIC COVENANT is UNBREAKABLE.“My Covenant Will I Not Break”.Ps89:34 I will not lie unto David. v.35 His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me. v.36 It shall be established forever. v.37 The seed of David is the nation Israel who will endure forever. Some say that God has broken His covenant with David (Israel) because of Israel’s disobedience. However, Psalm 89:34 clearly states that God will not break His covenant with David, nor with His seed Israel. 7. ISAIAH TAUGHT ISRAEL’S REGATHERING TO THE LAND, THEIR CONVERSION and that GOD WOULD NOT FORGET THEM. 1. Isaiah 2:1-4 states-in the last days Judah, Jerusalem and the Lord’s house will be exalted: i) All nations shall flow unto it. ii) Many people will say, Let us go to the house of the God of Jacob. iii) He will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths. iv) Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. v) He shall judge among the nations. vi) Christ shall rebuke many people. vii) They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks. viii) Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. ix) Neither shall they learn war anymore. O house of Jacob, come let us walk in the light of the Lord. 2. In that day, the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob….shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. Isaiah 10:20. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. v.21. 3. Israel’s remnant will be regathered a second time. The Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, and from the islands of the sea. Isaiah 11:11-12. He (Christ) shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 4. God will choose Jacob and Israel, and set them in their own land. Isaiah 14:1. 5. The land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt. This prophecy is fulfilled today because Israel’s military has defeated Egypt in every war since 1948. Isaiah 19:17. 6. Egypt, Assyria and Israel will become God’s people. The Lord of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. Isaiah 19:25. 7. The Lord shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously. Isaiah 24:23. 8. Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. Isaiah 27:6. 9. Ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel . . . and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem. Isaiah 27:12-13. 10. The light of the sun shall be sevenfold . . . in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound. Isaiah 30:26. 11. As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over He will preserve it. Isaiah 31:5. Jews dwelling at Jerusalem will be defended, delivered and preserved by Jesus Christ at His return to earth. 12. O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. Isaiah 44:21. 13. God promises that: “I will not forget Israel.” “But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet I will not forget thee.” Isaiah 49:14-15. 14. God will comfort and redeem Jerusalem. “Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.” Isaiah 52:9. This will happen when Christ returns to rescue Jews at Jerusalem from the Antichrist. They will be comforted and redeemed. 15. God has only temporarily forsaken Israel. Isaiah 54:7,8,10. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. v.7. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. v.8. My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed. v.10. 16. God’s covenant with Zion and Jacob is forever. The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. This is my covenant with them, . . saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever. Isaiah 59:20-21. 17. Wealthy Jews from overseas will return by air and sea to Israel at the start of the Millennium. Who are these that fly as a cloud? v.8. Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. v.9. The sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.” v.10. The nation and Kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted (by drought). Isaiah 60:8,9,10,12. At the start of the millennium, Jews will return to Israel by aeroplane (v.8) and by ship (v.9) from the isles, maybe from England, the United States and South Africa where there are many wealthy Jews, bringing their silver and gold with them. The Lord will glorify Israel after His return. Gentiles will help rebuild Jerusalem (v.10). God’s favour will rest on Israel (v.10). Zechariah 14:16-19 describe how Israel’s enemies will be destroyed in the millennium, under Christ’s rule. (v.12). 18. Jerusalem shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken. Isaiah 62:12. 19. Israel’s return to the land in 1948 will be so quick, that it will be like a woman giving birth before labour pains. Isaiah 66:8-20. (v.8 Shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her. Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river. . . v.10,12. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. v.13. They (Gentiles) shall bring all your brethren (Jews) for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations . . . to Jerusalem. v.20. 20. The Jewish nation (seed) and their name shall remain forever. For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. Isaiah 66:22. 8. JEREMIAH TAUGHT THAT ISRAEL AS A NATION WOULD BE SAVED, REGATHERED and BLESSED WITH AN EVERLASTING COVENANT WITH GOD. 1. God will regather Judah and Israel from the land of the north (Russia) to the land of Israel. Jeremiah 3:17-18. At the time (millennium) shall they call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they (Jews) walk anymore after the imagination of their evil heart. v.17. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. v.18. 2. God will regather, save, feed, protect and provide for Israel. I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; they shall be fruitful and increase. v.3. I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord. v.4. In his days (Christ’s 1000 year rule) Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely. v.6. The Lord liveth, which brought Israel out of the north country, and from all countries where I had driven them, they shall dwell in their own land. v.8. Jeremiah 23:3-8. 3. Israel will be saved out of the Tribulation to serve God. It is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. v.7. I will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him. v.8. They shall serve the Lord their God, and David their King, whom I will raise up unto them. v.9. O Israel, I will save thee from afar . . . and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. v.10. For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee . . . yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure. v.11. I will punish all that oppress them. v.20. Ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. v.22. Jeremiah 30:7-22. 4. God will regather, build, plant and make a new covenant with Israel and Judah. Jeremiah 31:10,28,31,36,37. He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him. v.10. I will watch over them (Israel), to build, and to plant. v.28. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. v.31. If those ordinances (sun and moon) depart from before me saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. v.36. If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord. v.37. 5. God will regather Israel as His people, save them, bless them, and make an everlasting covenant with them. Jeremiah 32:37-42. I will gather them out of all countries . . . I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. v.37. They shall be my people, and I will be their God. v.38. I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever. v.39. I will make an everlasting covenant with them . . . they shall not depart from me. v.40. I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly. v.41. As I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good that I have promised them. v.42. Ten promises here show that God has a great future for Israel, in Jeremiah 32:37-42. 6. God will save Israel and Judah, they will dwell safely, and the Davidic covenant is as permanent as day and night. Jeremiah 33:14-22. I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. v.14. In those days, and at that time, I will cause the Branch of righteousness (Christ) to grow up unto David; he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. v.15. In those days shall Judah be saved and Jerusalem shall dwell safely. v.16. If ye can break my covenant of the day and my covenant of the night.... v.20. Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne. v.21. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of tbe sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant . . . v.22. 7. I will not make a full end of thee (Israel), but correct thee in measure; Jeremiah 46:28. 8. Jacob and Israel (the rod of his inheritance). Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy Kingdoms. Jeremiah 51:19,20. This will only be fulfilled at Christ’s return. 9. EZEKIEL PREDICTED A REMNANT OF ISRAEL WOULD BE SAVED IN THE LATTER DAYS. 1. Yet will I leave a remnant that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries. Ezekiel 6:8 2. Israel to be regathered and be saved. Ezekiel 11:17,19,20. I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. v.17. I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh. v.19. They shall be my people, and I will be their God. v.20. 3. That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people and I may be their God. Ezekiel 14:11. 4. I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. Ezekiel 16:60. Then thou shalt remember thy ways and be ashamed. v.61. 5. I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: Ezekiel 20:37,38,42,43. I will purge out from among you the rebels. v.38. Ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel. v.42. There shall ye remember your ways…and loathe yourselves. v.43. Israel will be disciplined, purged, saved, regathered and repent. 6. God will regather and save Israel to dwell safely. Ezekiel 28:25,26. When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to Jacob. v.25. They shall dwell safely . . . they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the Lord their God. v.26. These events have never happened before. They can only refer to a future regathering and blessing of Israel. 7. I will gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land. Ezekiel 34:13,24,25,28. I the Lord will be their God and my servant David a prince among them. v.24. I will make with them a covenant of peace. v.25. They shall dwell safely and none shall make them afraid. v.28. 8. I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. v.24. Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean. v.25. A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. 26. I will put my spirit within you. v.27. Ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers: Ye shall be my people and I will be your God. v.28. I will save you from all your uncleanness. v.29. I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them. v.37. Ezekiel 36:24,25,26,27,28,29,37. 9. The valley of dry bones. Ezekiel 37:11,12,14,21-27. These bones are the whole house of Israel. v.11. Behold, O my people, I will open your graves and bring you into the land of Israel. v.12. I shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it. v.14. I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen…and bring them into their own land. v.21. I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel. v.22. I will save them out of all their dwelling places, where they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so they shall be my people, and I will be their God. v.23. David my servant shall be king over them. v.24. They shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob. v.25. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them. I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore. v.26. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. v.27. 10. Russia will invade regathered Israel in the latter days. Ezekiel 38:8-16. In the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, . . . it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. v.8. In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely. v.14. Thou shalt come up against my people of Israel… it shall be in the latter days. v.16. 11. Israel in the land will be saved after Russia’s defeat. Ezekiel 39:7-29. I will make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel. I will not let them pollute my holy name any more. The heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. v.7. They that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire, and burn the weapons . . . seven years. v.9. The house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward.v.22. The heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity. v.23. I will have mercy upon the whole house of Israel. v.25. I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel. v.29. 12. The Shekinah glory cloud will fill the Millennial Temple. The glory of the God of Israel came into the house by the way of the east. Ezekiel 43:2,4,5. 13. Levites shall serve in the Millennial Temple. Ezekiel 44:10,11. The Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray . . yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house they shall slay the burnt offering. 14. The rest of the land shall they give to the house of Israel according to their tribes. Ezekiel 45:8. 15. The gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel. Ezekiel 48:31. Naphtali Asher Gad Simeon 4500 Reuben Issachar 4500 4500 Judah Zebulun 4500 Levi Dan Benjamin Joseph 10. DANIEL STATES that the ARCHANGEL MICHAEL STILL REPRESENTS ISRAEL IN the TRIBULATION, and that ISRAEL WILL BE DELIVERED. At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy (Daniel’s) people (Israel): and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was...at that time thy people (Israel) shall be delivered. Daniel 12:1. 11. HOSEA TEACHES ISRAEL’S CONVERSION IN THE LATTER DAYS. Hosea 2:18-20,23. 1. Israel, the adulterous wife will be restored. 2:14-23. In that day I will make a covenant for them. v.18. I will make them to lie down safely. v.18. I will betroth thee unto me forever . . . in righteousness, in judgment, in loving kindness, in mercies, in faithfulness. v.19,20. Thou shalt know the Lord. v.20. I will say to them which were not my people, “Thou art my people” and they shall say, “Thou art my God”. v.23. 2. The children of Israel shall abide many days (the church age) without a king, without a prince, without a sacrifice, without an image (idols), without an ephod (priesthood), and without teraphim (Divination device). v.4. Afterward shall the children of Israel return (to the land) and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days. v.5. Hosea 3:4,5. For about 2500 years Israel has not had a king. After the Church age, Israel will return, seek God and be saved. This has partly happened since 1948. 3. Christ returns to heaven until the Jews seek Him. I (Jesus Christ) will go and return to my place (heaven at His ascension), till they (Jews) acknowledge their offence (of crucifying Christ), and seek my face: in their affliction (the 7 year Tribulation) they (the Jews) will seek me (Jesus Christ) early. Hosea 5:15. Jews talking: Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn (God’s discipline of Israel), and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. Hosea 6:1. After two days (maybe about 2000 years) will he revive us (Israel gets converted at Christ’s return): in the third day (maybe from 2000 AD to 3000 AD) he will raise us up (Israel converted nationally), and we shall live in his sight” (for 1000 years). Hosea 6:2. This agrees well with Israel now returning to the land after 2000 years. If Christ returns soon, Israel will be saved and live under Christ’s rule for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-9). 4. Israel will be converted. Hosea 14:4,5,6. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them (Israel) freely: for mine anger is turned away from him (in the Millennium). v.4. I will be as the dew unto Israel. v.5. His branches shall spread. v.6. 12. JOEL TEACHES THE CONVERSION OF ISRAEL. 1. Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Joel 2:18. I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen. v.19. I will remove far off from you the northern army (Russia). v.20. I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten. v.25. Ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: my people shall never be ashamed. v.27. Joel 2:18,19,20,25,27. 2. I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. Joel 3:2. Today the nations are parting “my land Israel” amongst the Arabs in exchange for peace. God will judge and punish those nations who pressure Israel to give up parts of her land. 3. The Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.Joel 3:16. Judah shall dwell forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: ..the Lord dwelleth in Zion. Joel 3:20,21. 13. AMOS TEACHES the REGATHERING and BLESSING OF ISRAEL. 1. In that day I will raise up the Tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old. v.11. • That they (Israel) may possess the remnant of Edom (man), and of all the heathen, which are called by my name. v.12. • I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them. v.14. • I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God. v.15. Amos 9:11,12,14,15. 14. MICAH TEACHES THAT ISRAEL WILL BE THE MIGHTIEST NATION IN THE MILLENNIUM. 1. The remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Micah 5:8. 2. The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth. Micah 7:16. 3. He will turn again, he will have compassion on us. Micah 7:19. 4. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old. Micah 7:20. 15. ZEPHANIAH TEACHES THAT ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED 1. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth . . . none shall make them afraid. 3:13. 2. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. 3:15. 3. I will get them (Israel) praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. 3:19. 4. At that time I will bring you again, even in the time that I gather you. 3:20. 16. ZECHARIAH TEACHES THAT ISRAEL WILL BE RESTORED 1. He that toucheth you (Israel) touches the apple of God’s eye. 2:8. 2. The Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. 2:12. 3. The man whose name is THE BRANCH; . . . He shall build the temple of the Lord; he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne. 6:12,13. 4. I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth. 8:3. 5. I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness. 8:7,8. 6. As ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing. 8:13. 7. In those days, ten men shall take hold of the skirt of a Jew, saying we will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you. 8:23. 8. The Lord of hosts shall defend them. 9:15. The Lord their God shall save them in that day. 9:16. 9. I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph . . . they shall be as though I had not cast them off. 10:6. 10. Israel will be converted when Christ returns. I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all people. 12:2. I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people. All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces. 12:3. In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem. v.8. I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. v.9. I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications: they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him v.10. Zechariah 12:2,3,8,9,10. 11. When Antichrist invades Jerusalem, two-thirds of Israel will die. In all the land, two parts shall be cut off and die, but the third part will be left. v.8. I will bring the third part through the fire . . . . they shall call on my name and I will hear them: I will say, it is my people: they shall say, the Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:8,9. Question for Amillennialists: Will two-thirds of the church be killed? (No). 12. Events of Armageddon. Zechariah 14. I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle. v.2. The Lord shall go forth, and fight against those nations. v.3. His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives. v.4. The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. v.5. The Lord shall be King over all the earth. v.9. Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. v.11. This shall be the plague that the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. v.12. Judah shall fight at Jerusalem. v.14. Zechariah 14:2-5,9,11,12,14. Conclusion: From the 211 verses above, it is clearly seen that in the context of Christ returning to earth, God still cares for Israel. The Bible teaches unmistakably that Israel will return to the land in a state of unbelief, and while facing destruction from the Antichrist, Christ will return in person to rescue and convert Israel. Hence in Christ’s earthly kingdom, Israel will be the chief nation on earth. So we conclude this study in full agreement with the Apostle Paul who said in Romans 11:2, “God hath not cast away His people which He forenew.” To think that God has cast away His people Israel is to disagree with 15 writers of Scripture. Summary: Romans 11:1, “God hath not cast away his people” (2),11, “their fullness” (12), “receiving of them” (15), “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until” (24,25), “they are beloved” (28). Deut.4:31, “he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant.” Isaiah 11:11 “Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people.” Isaiah 14:1 “Lord will have mercy on Jacob, & will yet choose Israel, & set them in their own land” Isaiah 19:17 “land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt.” “Blessed be Egypt,..Assyria,..Israel”(25) Isaiah 54:7,8,10 “for a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.” Jeremiah 3:17,18 “In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel,…” Jeremiah 30:7,11,22 “time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.(7) I will be your God”. Jeremiah 31:37 “If heaven above can be measured, & the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 32:42 “As I have brought all this great evil upon this people,so will I bring upon them all the good” Jeremiah 46:28 “I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure;” Daniel 12:1 “shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people” Hosea 3:4,5 “The children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, sacrifice,.Afterward shall the children of Israel return, & seek the Lord…in the latter days.” “In the third day he will raise us up.” (6:2). Amos 9: 11-15 “I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen; I will build it as in the days of old;” Zechariah 10:6 “I will strengthen the house of Judah,& Joseph..they shall be as though I had not cast them off. Ezekiel 28:25,26; 36:24-29,37; 37:11-14,21-27; 39:7,9,22-29. poured out my Spirit on the house of Is.
  10. 27 REASONS WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD NEITHER SEEK NOR DESIRE TONGUES. The Charismatic Movement contends that: i) The New Testament gift of tongues should be sought and spoken by ALL Christians today. They seek to revive all gifts, but none are given so great importance as tongues. ii) The tongues gift is the true Biblical sign of the "Baptism in the Spirit." iii) Those receiving tongues receive a second blessing after salvation, enabling them to live more sanctified, powerful and joyful witnessing lives. iv) The tongues movement is claimed to be the "latter rain" revival foretold in Joel 2:23. We must test all religious movements on the basis of: a) Their doctrines. 2 Timothy 4:2,3 b) Their fruits. Matthew 7:15,16 c) Their spirits or powers behind a movement. “Test the spirits.” 1 John 4:1-4.. Note the following reasons why tongues are not needed for Christians today: 1. Tongues were classed as one of the lowest gifts. In 1 Corinthians 12:28 tongues are mentioned last in a list of 8 gifts. These are ranked in order of importance because we have "first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." 2. God gives the gifts "according to his own will," not according to our seeking. "Gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will." Hebrews 2:4. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 lists 9 gifts, the last being tongues and interpretation of tongues: "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gift of healing by the same spirit,…. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." Note: Tongues were spoken on 3 occasions in Acts (2:4; 10:46; 19:6), but on none of these occasions are the recipients seeking, waiting or expecting to speak in tongues. At Pentecost, only the Apostles (12) spoke in tongues, but all who were saved (3000) received the Holy Spirit (2:38,39). a) "Covet earnestly the best gifts”(12:31); tongues are not the best gifts, but one of the least gifts.14:1 b) Spiritual gifts could be desired (14:1) but not claimed in faith as a birthright. There is no command to seek them. 3. Most modern tongues are a learned behaviour. People are told to blank out their mind and say whatever comes out; then go home and practice it. This is foreign to the New Testament. 4. Tongues speakers may be deceived. Because a person speaks unintelligible sounds, it is not proof that he has the N.T. gift of tongues. Few Charismatics are prepared to examine tongues. We must “prove all things” (1 Thess. 5:21). How do you prove that tongues are genuine languages? In 1 Corinthians 14:27-29, Paul discusses wrong tongues which are not interpreted in the church, and wrong prophecy, thus teaching that others need to judge a prophecy. Tongues have been spoken by heathen religions, Mormons, etc.. 5. Tongues were a sign of God's wrath, displeasure and judgment on unbelieving Israel, never a sign of His blessing and approval on Christians. "Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe,but to them that believe not"1 Cor.14:22 a) Acts 10:44-47; 11:16-18. Tongues used by Cornelius' household was a sign to unbelieving Peter and unbelieving Jewish Christians, that Gentiles were to be received into the family of God. In Acts 11:15 the phrase "as on us at the beginning" means that tongues had not been spoken since Pentecost which was 10 years earlier. b) "Forbid not to speak in tongues" (1 Corinthians 14:39) was always on the understanding that tongues was a valid sign to warn Jewish unbelievers, until judgment came in 70AD. You don’t warn people after judgment has come. c) In meetings where there were no unbelieving Jews, all teaching, praying etc. was to be in the language of those present (1 Corinthians 14:23-28). 1 Corinthians 14:19 states that in the church, 5 words understood are better than 10,000 words in tongues that are not understood. d) Israel wanted signs, but the church must live by faith. “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign.” (Matthew 12:39). e) The Corinthians were using tongues as a mark of spirituality, for personal gratification, and to gain attention. Paul rebukes this childish, selfish practice. 6. Tongues is one of several temporary gifts. i) Apostles. "are built upon the foundation of the apostles ii) Prophets, …and prophets." Ephesians 2:20. Neither they nor the Lord appointed any successors to their office. "12 apostles of the Lamb." (Revelation 21:14). There are no Apostles or prophets alive today. iii) Knowledge. This was intuitive, revealed knowledge of doctrine before the Bible was completed. A completed, perfect Bible ended this gift along with prophecy in 96AD.1 Corinthians 13:8-13. Today we must study to gain Bible knowledge. 2 Timothy 2:15. (1 Corinthians 14:21,22. iv) Tongues. With the setting aside of Israel in 70 AD, tongues and other sign gifts ceased. v) Interpretation of tongues - ceased in 70 AD when tongues ceased. iv) Gifts of healing. Paul lost this gift, as he could not heal Epaphroditus in 64AD (Phil. 2:26,27), Timothy's stomach in 65AD (1 Timothy 5:23) nor Trophimus in 66AD (2 Timothy 4:20). In Acts 5:12-16, Peter healed every one in 33 AD. vii) Gift of miracles -no one can work miracles today at their will as could the first century apostles. viii) Discerning of spirits - no one today has this gift because discernment comes through Bible knowledge of strong meat, full age Christians who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). No one today would claim infallible judgment always in every issue of life, which is what this gift demands (1 Corinthians 12:10). 7. Historically, tongues ceased after 63-70 AD. Tongues were withdrawn when Israel deliberately rejected the apostles testimony of Christ, as seen in Acts 28:22-28 where Paul pronounces God's judgment on Israel (63AD). Judgment fell in 70AD. In all New Testament epistles written after this pronouncement in 63AD (Romans; Ephesians; Philippians; Colossians; 1 & 2 Timothy; Titus; Philemon; Hebrews; 1&2 Peter; John; 1,2 & 3 John; Jude and Revelation) there is no mention of tongues. Why? Because with the setting aside of Israel, and the confirming of the word of God, sign gifts were no longer necessary. These facts of the gospel and the apostles message of the Bible having been established, confirmed, and authenticated for all time, it is now an act of unbelief to seek for signs today. Early church writers such as Polycarp, Papias, Cyprian, Chrysostom, Augustine, Origen, Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr etc. never mentioned tongues. Why? Because they had been withdrawn. Chrysostom says: "tongues....used to occur, but now no longer take place." 8. Modern tongues and Charismatic Movement is not another Pentecost or "latter rain" of Joel 2:23. Joel's prophecy discusses Israel's restoration to their land in the Millennium. When this happens, and not before, the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all flesh. What happened at Pentecost was only an illustration, a small sample of what will happen in the Millennium. At Pentecost, there were no signs in the sun, moon etc, thus indicating that Joel's prophecy is to be fulfilled in the future Millennium. Joel said nothing about tongues being a sign of renewal. This age will end in apostasy and departure from the Faith, not in Joel's revival. KEY: “Afterward” in Joel 2:28 means that the Spirit will be poured on all flesh after Christ’s second coming, and not before. 9. Tongues is not a sign of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. "For by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body." 1 Corinthians 12:13. i) All believers have the Holy Spirit Baptism. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8:9. ii) All believers have the Holy Spirit, but few believers spoke in tongues. If we have received Jesus Christ as Saviour, we also have the Holy Spirit in us, because we cannot separate members of the Godhead. 10. Tongues were never intended to edify the speaker himself or the church. 1) "He that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort," 1 Corinthians 14:3. "For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted." 1 Corinthians 14:31. The edification, exhortation, learning and comfort of the local church was always the responsibility of the one who prophesied (gave instruction in an understandable language). ii) "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself," (1 Corinthians 14:4) does not teach that personal holiness is found in tongues speaking. On the contrary it describes the Corinthians selfishness who used tongues for personal pleasure and public display. Tongues speaking in a church does not instruct, edify, warn or strengthen believers. Holiness through tongues will always be shallow because it is based on feelings, not on Biblical edification. iii) Of all the tongues spoken today, new prophesies, new revelations and visions, not one iota of truth have been added to the inspired scriptures. 11. Tongues were never intended for prayer, praise or worship of God. "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the Spirit he speaketh mysteries." 1 Corinthians 14:2. God does not need to be spoken to in a foreign language. This verse teaches that the Corinthians were using the gift of tongues out of place. Tongues were meant to be spoken to men, that is to JEWS. A person praying or singing in tongues simply spoke "mysteries" in his own spirit. He received no real benefit, the hearers were not helped, and God was not glorified. Prayer and praise must be with understanding in the common language. "What is it then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also.....Else.....how shall.....the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks?" 1 Corinthians 14:15,16. This is not two different kinds of prayer, but two conditions of all prayer, praying in the leading of the Holy Spirit and with an understanding mind. If understanding is not present, hearers cannot say "Amen" to your prayer. 12. Tongues is not a sign of salvation. Assurance of salvation comes from faith in God’s Bible promises, not from any feelings of tongues. 13. Tongues is not a condition of keeping us saved. Pentecostalism, as a movement, does not believe in the eternal security of the believer who trusts in Christ alone for salvation. Many Charismatics think that their future preservation depends on continuing in the Charismatic experience. Many fear of grieving the Spirit and losing the power, and hence losing salvation. Some Charismatics do believe in the security of a believer in Christ. 14. Tongues are not a means of attaining holiness. The nine fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22,23 have no relation to tongues. The Corinthians came behind in no gift (I Corinthians 1:7), yet Paul called them carnal and babes (1 Corinthians 3:1). True spirituality is not determined by one's experience, gift or feelings, but by inner godly character (e.g. 1 Peter 3:4, "a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price", for ladies.) It is right to be happy, joyful and to praise the Lord, but valuable character is better seen in times of testing, persecution, misunderstanding and suffering. 15. All spiritual gifts should exalt Christ, not the Holy Spirit. Many Charismatics exalt the Holy Spirit above Christ. The Holy Spirit seeks to exalt Christ (John 15:26; 16:14). Hence the mark of a Spirit filled believer is that in life and speech, he glorifies Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:3). “Christ shall be magnified in my body." Philippians 1:20; 3:8. All gifts are given so that we may grow to the "fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4:13. Charismatics use the earthly, human title "Jesus", as did demons. No disciple ever addressed the Lord as "Jesus", but as Lord, Christ or Master, or Lord Jesus Christ. Let us give Christ His full honour as the Lord Jesus Christ. 16. All gifts were given to produce church unity and harmony. All gifts were given that there be no schism in the body (1 Corinthians 12:25). Truth unites, error divides. The continual search for tongues, healing, prophecy, gifts etc., has split many churches, broken friendships and divided homes. The Charismatic Movement claims a new kind of unity not based on Bible doctrine, but on having the tongues experience. One can be a "spirit-filled" tongues speaker and believe almost anything. Many Christians who a few years ago opposed the heretical World Council of Churches, now cheerfully unite with Catholic Charismatic renewal, hence compromising essential Bible truths. 17. Tongues and all spiritual gifts were to promote order and peace. "God is not the author of confusion but of peace." 1 Corinthians 14:33. "Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 Corinthians 14:40. Church services should have one person speaking or praying at a time. In today's Charismatic meetings, there is much unrestrained noise, singing, clapping, shouting, tongues and dancing. 18. No Christian should surrender control of his mind and will. Paul insisted that tongues and prophecy speakers should retain control of their mind and understanding: "If there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church." 1 Corinthians 14:28. "The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." 1 Corinthians 14:32. Famous Charismatic leader, Oral Roberts, instructs tongues speakers as follows: "We have to by-pass our mind and make it inactive for the moment. The mind slips into the background when we are praying in tongues and remains in a state of neutrality." [“Baptism With The Holy Spirit,” 1966, p. 42.] New Age occult seminars similarly tell people to blank out their minds to yield control to some higher force, which in reality is to demons. The New Testament never asks us to lay aside our sound mind, our self-control, our judgment or our reason, but to exercise these faculties in accordance with God's Word. Charismatics are told to overcome their inhibitions by by-passing their minds. People are brainwashed in cults like Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and the Charismatic Movement by surrendering their minds and wills to the group or leader. The danger for a believer who submits his mind without resistance to outside influences to receive tongues, is: a) He opens himself up to psychic and demonic deception and control. b) He can place himself beyond the protection of the Holy Spirit, by asking for things contrary to God's will. 19. The last days will be characterised by deception, signs, lying wonders and more demon activity Satan has always opposed believers and God's work. Satan opposes us as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). The Corinthian believers were open to Satanic deception of another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel (11:4) as Satan’s ministers come as ministers of righteousness (11:15). "There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matthew 24:24). In Old Testament times God permitted false prophets to work miracles in order to test His people. Two tests of false prophets are: a) If he performs signs to turn you away from the Lord. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5). b) If he speaks in the name of the Lord, but the prophecy does not come to pass. (Deut.18:20-22). Isaiah 8:19 describes familiar spirits that "peep and mutter", like tongues. Israel rejected the Word of God for more sensational dealings with the spirit world. Many see the Charismatic Movement as a Satanic deception permitted by God to test Christendom, and to pave the way for the Antichrist and the one world united Babylon religion of the last days. "Even him (Antichrist) whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness....." 2 Thessalonians 2: 9,10. "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:22,23). 20. Charismatics confuse Baptism in the Spirit (a once only experience at salvation -1 Cor. 12:13) with the filling of the Spirit (a continual daily experience for service obtained by confessing sin, prayer, and yielding to Christ. (Ephesians 5:18). 21. Doctrinal compromise. Ministers who deny fundamental Bible truths such as the virgin birth, verbal inspiration, creation, etc. are often warmly welcomed and accepted if they claim a Charismatic experience. Charismatics warmly accept Roman Catholic priests and people who continue to seek salvation through the sacraments, who still pray to Mary, and still celebrate the mass. Doctrinal errors are ignored to keep Charismatic unity. 22. Most Charismatics are not diligent students of Scripture. One can remain comfortable in his false beliefs as long as he refuses to face Biblical evidence to the contrary. One Australian Charismatic pastor could not find the book of Daniel in his Bible. He had to look up the table of contents. He thought Daniel was near Exodus. 23. Emphasis on Experience. Personal experience is a great enemy of truth. When confronted with a mass of Biblical evidence, most Charismatics typically reply: "I know I am right. I have experienced tongues or healing myself. I have seen a prophet make correct predictions. I have seen people healed. The Bible teachings must have another explanation." Tongues is mostly a learned behaviour. If you blank out your mind, anyone can say gibberish. Most healings are temporary and are achieved by hypnotherapy. What about the false predictions? These make him a false prophet. Studies show that most Charismatic healings revert back to the illness. Hypnotise a person, tell them they feel better, and they will feel better, for a time, but later they revert back to the illness. 24. New Revelations. Charismatics continually claim to receive extra-Biblical revelations from God by tongues, prophecy, visions and dreams. Cults and Catholicism also claim revelations outside the Bible. 25. Damage to the local church. Many Charismatics use a local church as a base for propaganda purposes to invite people to a home Bible study and prayer group governed by self-appointed spiritual leaders who instruct in tongues and try to heal people. A local church seems too confined, compared with many people from many churches coming together for a Charismatic rally. 26. Laxity and moral danger. Some Charismatics think that they have "arrived" spiritually. They often lack motivation to press on further. The goal has been attained. Time for relaxation has come. Such carelessness explains much worldliness, sin and a rock music party atmosphere among Charismatics. Some receive "revelations" to divorce their spouse and remarry another person. Truth and reason then take a back seat. 27. Move back to Rome. The Charismatic Movement reversed the decline of the Ecumenical Movement from 1960. It is not a threat to Rome. Both emphasise emotionalism, miracles, healing, and the lack of final Bible authority. Charismaticism is not true Protestantism because it is not solely based on the Bible.
  11. WHY PROPHECY, TONGUES and KNOWLEDGE GIFTS CEASED IN THE FIRST CENTURY AD. By. Keith Piper Bible Reading: I Corinthians 13:8-13. Aim: To show that tongues ceased in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem. To show that prophecy and knowledge gifts ceased in 96 AD with the completion of the New Testament. Introduction: If these three gifts ceased in the first century, then the modern tongues movement is not of God and should be rejected as unbiblical. The following exegesis of I Corinthians 13:8-13, is intended as a springboard to understand how the entire Bible teaching on this subject fits together to show that the purpose of tongues was a warning to Israel, and hence, ceased by 70 AD. It will be shown that prophecy and knowledge gifts were God’s temporary means of revelation to the early Church until the completed New Testament had been given. Today, God speaks through His Word, not through some person claiming to give a prophecy from God. I. TEMPORARY GIFTS of PROPHECY, TONGUES and KNOWLEDGE contrasted with PERMANENT FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY for the CHURCH AGE. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13. 13:8. “Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail (Greek: Katargethesontai); whether there be tongues, they shall cease3973 (Greek: pausontai), whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away” (Greek: Katargethesetai). Question 1: When does CHARITY (Agape love) stop? Answer: “Charity never faileth” (v.8). This means that love will continue on forever. It is the only one of the 6 phenomena discussed here that continues forever. This means that faith, hope, prophecy, tongues and knowledge all stop, but when? a) I Corinthians 13:13 tells us “And now abideth faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” We learn here that faith, hope and charity continue all through the church age. b) This means that prophecy, tongues and knowledge are not said to continue all through the Church age, but cease sometime before the second coming (rapture) of Christ. Question 2: When does FAITH stop? Answer: When Christ returns at the rapture to catch the church up to heaven. • II Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” When we get to heaven we will see what we had faith in, so that faith will give way to sight. • I Peter 1:9 “Receiving the end5056 (Greek: telos) of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” This tells us that faith will end when we get to heaven, thus enjoying salvation or deliverance from the presence of sin. “Telos” means “end, result, termination, ultimate fate, completion in respect to time, or fulfilment.” • Hebrews 12:2: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher5047(teleiotes) of our faith.” Jesus Christ finishes our faith when He returns for us at His second coming, and we “reach our goal” (“teleiotes” in Greek) of heaven with our resurrected, glorified bodies. Hence faith ends for all church age believers at the second coming of Christ. Question 3: When does HOPE stop? Answer: When we get what we are hoping for in heaven. For example, if you are married, you are not hoping to get married because you then possess what you hoped for. Believers are hoping for Christ’s second coming (Titus 2:13), and the resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:6). When we have what we hope for, then hope finishes. “Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:13. “....of the hope and resurrection of the dead am I called in question.” Acts 23:6 and Acts 26:6. “....hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” Romans 8:24. Hope will only remain until we see Christ and receive our resurrection bodies at His second coming. Hence hope is valid only until the second coming. Knowing that love continues forever (“charity never faileth”) we can draw the following graph: FAITH, HOPE, LOVE LOVE LEVEL OF FAITH EXISTENCE HOPE TIME PENTECOST CHRIST’S SECOND COMING Key: Hence faith will be lost in sight; hope will be lost in reality; and love continues for all eternity. “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” I Corinth. 13:13. Because only faith, hope and charity are abiding throughout the church age, these three alone, then prophecy, tongues and knowledge must cease sometime INSIDE the church age. The time these (and the other temporary gifts) ceased had to have been before the completion of the New Testament. Question 4: When do PROPHECY and KNOWLEDGE gifts cease? Answer: “Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail (Greek (2673): Katargethesontai);...... whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away (Greek (2673): Katargethesetai).” Meaning: “Katargeo” means to render inoperative, to make inactive, to be done away, to supercede, put an end to. With Paul it always denotes a complete cessation, not a temporary or partial ceasing. Every occurrence of “Katargeo” in I Cor. 13:8,10 is in the passive voice, indicating that something shall make prophecy and knowledge inactive. Question 5: What are prophecy and knowledge? 1. The gift of prophecy in the apostolic church was speaking new revelation from God, to instruct and edify. Prophecy has a secondary meaning of forthtelling God’s Word to teach and comfort the Church. This is Bible teaching of today. Teaching replaced first century prophecy. A person knew, then prophesied. They were twin gifts. 2. The gift of knowledge in the apostolic Church was the ability to understand and know the mind and will of God. It was revealed truth, not learned. It is seeing as the Holy spirit sees. It was used to teach believers certain doctrines which had not as yet been written as part of the New Testament.eg: Peter knew who Jesus really was. Matthew 16:17. Agabus knew and then prophesied about Paul being bound at Jerusalem. Acts 21:10-12. Paul knew the demonised damsel’s message to be false. Acts 16:18. Such knowledge, like prophecy, was as authoritative as the scriptures in the early church. Each of these gifts can refer to either: a) an action - the exercising of the gifts in the church where he prophesies or gives a word of knowledge. b) content - in Matthew 13:14,15 Christ quotes what Isaiah said 750 years earlier, which was now part of Scripture. When prophecy or knowledge became codified as scripture, they stood alone, no longer as the “act” of prophecy and knowledge, but as the “content” of prophecy and knowledge, now become written scripture. 3. The gift of tongues (or unlearned languages), was similar yet inferior to prophecy and knowledge in that the tongues speaker needed to be translated. Paul said in I Corinthians 14:18,19 “Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.” Speaking in a tongue and having it translated only allows the speaker to say half as much in a given time, as could a prophecy or word of knowledge in the common tongue. Tongues were cumbersome verbage. Prophecy, tongues and knowledge form the subject of 1 Corinthian 13:8-13. Something is going to happen to each of them. None of them are to abide during the Church age, as will faith, hope and love. They are transient gifts. 13:8 “Whether there be tongues, they shall cease 3973” (Greek (3973): pausontai). Here “pausontai is used in an absolute sense, to cease, to come to an end.” [“The Complete N.T. Word Study Dictionary”, S. Zhodiates, p.1132.] “Pausontai” is in the middle voice, indicative mood, meaning that the action of ceasing will come from within, rather than from outside. “Cease” means that tongues would fulfil their function (of warning Jews of coming Judgment), and render themselves obsolete, unneeded, ended. Literally it means “tongues shall make themselves to cease, or automatically cease of themselves.” [A.T. Robertson Vol.IV, p.179.] 13:9 “For we know in part , and we prophecy in part.” Since v.9 omits tongues, it would appear that tongues would cease before the removal of prophecy and knowledge. “In part” defines quantity, and the word “perfect” meaning “complete” is the opposite to “in part.” Knowledge of doctrine in the pre-canon period of the Church Age was fragmentary. The 14 mystery doctrines of this dispensation had not yet been completely given in New Testament Scripture. They could only teach from the Old Testament and by direct revelation from God via prophecy and knowledge. They knew in part, and consequently, they prophesied in part. 13:10 “But when that which is perfect (Greek: “teleion” meaning complete) is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” (Greek: “Katargetheseta” meaning to render inoperative). Prophecy and knowledge, both being “in part”, will be done away with when the perfect shall come. Question 6: When does the PERFECT come? a) If it is the second coming of Christ, then prophecy, tongues and knowledge are allowable today. b) If it is the completed New Testament Scriptures of 96 AD then prophecy, tongues and knowledge have all ceased in the first entury and are not for today. Question 7: To answer Question 6, we must ask another question: What is ‘that which is perfect?’ Answer: Several opinions are: 1. Jesus Christ at His second coming. 2. The perfected state of the believer at Christ'’s return. 3. After the millennium in the new heaven and new earth. 4. The completed New Testament Scriptures. II. 12 REASONS WHY THE “PERFECT” IN V.10 REFERS TO THE COMPLETED NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES: 1. “When that (Greek: To Teleion) which is perfect is come.” The pronoun “THAT” in Greek, describing the perfect, is neuter. Christ however is masculine, not neuter, so “that which is perfect” cannot refer to Christ or His return. The Bible is neuter. This fits the context perfectly. 2. “Perfect” in Greek means “complete, finished”. The N.T. by 96 AD was completed and finished as God’s revelation for this Church age. The completed N.T. canon of Scripture would serve the same purpose that prophecy, tongues, knowledge, apostleship, healing, miracles and other temporary spiritual gifts had once performed. Christ is never called the complete or finished one. 3. “Perfect” cannot mean Christ’s return, becaue Christ’s second coming is foreign to the context of I Corinthians 12,13,14 being mentioned nowhere in these 3 chapters. The subject of I Corinthians 12,13,14 is spiritual gifts to the church in the church age. To extend prophecy, tongues and knowledge into the millenium or after the millenium is to miss the focus and context of the passage. 4. James 1:25 describes the perfect as the Bible, the perfect law of liberty. The meaning of “perfect” in scripture can be determined by it’s use in other passages of scripture. “Teleion”, the “perfect” or “completed” was already in the New Testament when Paul wrote. James had already referred to the Word of God as the “perfect law of liberty” in James 1:25. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your ownselves.” “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:22,25. “Perfect” in James 1:25 in Greek is “teleion” the same as “perfect” in 1 Corinthians 13:10. In James 1:25 “perfect” clearly refers to the soon to be completed Bible, and this must be the same meaning in I Corinthians 13:10. In James 1:22-25 the perfect law of liberty is the Bible. Therefore, in I Corinthians 13:10 the perfect is the Bible. Summary question: If James 1:22-25 says, Perfect (v.25) = Mirror (v.23,24) = Bible (v.22,23,25) then what is ‘perfect’ in I Corinthians 13:8-13, Perfect (v.10) =Mirror (v.12) = ? 5. James 1:23 and 1 Corinthians 13:12 both describe the Bible as a mirror/glass that we see our reflection in. “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass.” James 1:23. “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then (when the perfect, completed Bible has come) face to face.” 1 Corinthians 13:12. As we look into a mirror to see the true physical condition of our face, so we look into the Bible as a mirror to see the true spiritual condition of our heart and life. Some people look into a mirror and forget their physical appearance. Some people look into the Bible mirror and forget their spiritual appearance. Therefore, GLASS MIRROR = PERFECT = the WORD OF GOD. Therefore, 1 Corinthians 13:12 describes the “perfect” as a glass mirror, just as James 1:23 does. 6. II Corinthians 3:18 also shows the glass, and hence the perfect to be the Word of God, which transforms us. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” The mirror/glass is a symbol of the Word of God. (James 1:22,25). As we look into God’s Word and we see Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit transforms us into the very image of Jesus Christ. “We all” means all believers, seeing in the Bible/glass, the glory of the Lord. “Open face” means that we can hide nothing from God; We must be open and honest with Him. We can be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (“He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son....”. Romans 8:29) and go from glory to glory, by the Holy Spirit changing us as we saturate ourselves in the Word of God. “are changed (Greek: metamorphoumetha) into the same image from glory to glory.” The Greek word “changed” gives us the word “metamorphosis” which describes the process of an insect changing from an ugly worm into a mature beautiful butterfly. The changes come from within. So it is when we meditate on God’s Word and in it see Jesus Christ, then the Holy Spirit transforms us into the image of Jesus Christ. In the Bible we see the glory of Christ and are changed into His image. 13:12. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part;….” In I Corinthians 13:12, only a few New Testament books were completed. The glory of the Lord revealed in the word was not complete. First century believers could neither see Christ, nor themselves, in the full light of God’s revelation. They could only see darkly or dimly. However with the completion of Scripture, not only would the glory of Christ be revealed in greater fullness, but so would the believer’s own reflection become clearer. Why? Because the believer after 96 AD has more Scripture to transform him into Christ’s image. The “perfect” is the opposite of that which is “in part.” Paul viewed his own writings as Scripture (1 Thessalonians 2:13). He knew that new revelation was being given and that one day it would cease. In the same way that God had completed the Old Testament, God would also complete the New Testament. Paul’s use of the phrases “we know in part and we prophesy in part” (13:9) show that he is dealing with a partially completed Bible that was being added to by the Apostle’s revelations from God. 7. The Second Coming is never called “perfect” in the New Testament, but the Bible is called the perfect law of liberty in James 1:25.‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.’ Psalm 19:7 8. The completed New Testament fulfilled the same job as did the temporary gifts of prophecy and knowledge. Once prophecy and knowledge were codified (written down) as the New Testament, then prophecy and knowledge ceased. ie. New revelation of prophecy and knowledge ceased when the full N.T. revelation for this age was completed. 9. Christ’s second coming is neither complete nor morally perfect. In the millennium, the sinner will die 100 years old (Isaiah 65:20). The millennium ends with satan’s release from the pit and some nations rebelling to attack Christ at Jerusalem.This is not a perfect or complete situation at all. 10. Faith and Hope finish at the second coming (13:13). Therefore, prophecy, knowledge and tongues, each not abiding during the church age, must end well before faith and hope ends (compare 1 Corinthians 13:8 with 1 Corinithians13:13). Prophecy, knowledge and tongues end well before the second coming. Prophecy and knowledge end by the coming of the perfect, completed Word of God in 96 AD. Tongues ended by 70 AD, with Titus destroying Jerusalem and the judgment predicted coming on the Jews for rejecting Christ’s gospel. You don’t warn people after the punishment has fallen. 11. The completed Bible is able to make believers complete by giving us all things that pertain to life and godliness. (II Peter 1:3,4). We don’t need new revelation. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory (in heaven) and virtue (now on earth). Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises (in the perfect Bible) that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature (changed from glory to glory).” II Peter 1:3,4. This is obtained through: 1) the knowledge of Christ found in the Bible, and 2) by claiming the exceeding great and precious promises in the Bible. Everything that we need today for life and Godliness to make us mature, completely equipped Christians is found in the Bible. Hence, the Bible is appropriately called the “complete Completer” for us today, the exact meaning of “teleion” in I Corinthians 13:10. 12. The completed Bible (all Scripture) can make the man of God “perfect” (Greek: “artios739” meaning “complete, sufficient, completely qualified; a synonym of “teleion”), throughly furnished unto all good works.” II Timothy 3:16,17. Here again, “all Scripture” making the man of God perfect, supports “perfect” in I Corinthians 13:10 as meaning the Bible, and not the second coming of Christ. Therefore, when the perfected, completed Bible comes, then the “in part” prophecy and knowledge shall be done away. This happened in 96AD when John finished writing Revelation 22:21. Question 8: Why is tongues not mentioned in I Corinthians 13:9,10 as being done away with by the perfect? Answer: It is because tongues had already ceased in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem, being the judgment on the Jews that tongues pointed to (I Corinthians 14:21,22). After 70 AD, there was no more purpose for tongues, so the tongues gift ceased forever by 70 AD. Tongues were not in existence to be done away with by “the perfect.” Tongues had ceased 26 years earlier. Those who think that the “perfect” is Christ’s return and reject it as meaning the completed New Testament Scripture, do so because: 1. They have not studied every word, phrase, or verse of I Corinthians 13 in its context, or 2. They are mentally influenced by someone with leaning towards Pentecostalism, or 3. They are influenced by some interdenominational teacher whose decision about this scripture is non-committal so as to retain his popularity with both charismatic and non charismatic groups. 4. No scripture is ever produced in proof that the Holy Spirit did not mean the complete N. Testament. If knowledge ended at Christ’s return, and if knowledge meant normal knowledge, then all Christians would be imbeciles in heaven. Note: It is not good to say that God spoke to you and told you to do something, because if you are wrong, you lose your credibility. Instead, say “I felt led or burdened by the Lord to.....”. 13:11‘When I was a child, I spake as a child (tongues), I understood as a child (knowledge), I thought as a child (prophecy is verbalised thoughts): but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Question 9: What have childish things got to do with temporary gifts of prophecy, tongues and knowledge? Answer: Paul is comparing a human advancing from childhood to adulthood, with the church passing from infancy in the first century marked by prophecy, tongues and knowledge gifts, to maturity marked by believers depending on the Bible, faith, hope and charity from 96 AD to the rapture. By 96 AD the childish gifts of prophecy, tongues and knowledge had ceased, and church manhood had been reached. So Paul used 2 illustrations to show the passing of prophecy, tongues and knowledge, and the permanence of the completed Bible, along with faith, hope and charity for the church age: a) A person growing from childhood to adulthood and putting away the childish temporary things of prophecy, tongues and knowlege in I Corinthians 13:11. Paul is here saying to the Corinthian believers “put away the childish things of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge, because manhood will soon be reached.” In the first century, a boy was recognised as a mature man when he got married, left his parents home and established his own home. In the first century, Judaism was regarded as the parent religion, where Christianity (the child) resided. The early Christians enjoyed the protection of Judaism as an officially recognised religion. Christianity seemed like another Jewish sect. Sulpicius Severus in discussing Titus’ destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, states that: “Titus formed the deliberate purpose to destroy Christianity and Judaism in one blow, believing that if the Jewish root were torn up the Christian branch would soon perish”. [F. Farrar “The Early Days of Christianity” p.326.] Judaism was the parent/home religion and Christianity was the child religion. But with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the church moved out of its childhood home. It became a separate, independent, distinct religion, able to grow without the Jewish temple and without the protective umbrella of the Jewish religious sytem. Christianity had left the Jewish parents home and had reached manhood. It had left childhood behind. This was another reason for putting away the childish things of tongues. JUDAISM (PARENT) 70 AD CHRISTIANITY CHRISTIANITY (CHILD) (INDEPENDENT MANHOOD) TONGUES OF CHILDHOOD NO TONGUES IN ADULTHOOD In Revelation 22:18,19 God finished prophecy and knowledge revelations by giving us the completed Bible with a warning against new prophecies.There would be no more partial revelations given by prophecies or knowledge. They had forever been superceded by a completed Bible. Tongues ceased in 70 AD, prophecy and knowledge ceased in 96 AD. This graph summarizes it: FAITH, HOPE, LOVE LOVE LEVEL OF TONGUES PROPHECY FAITH EXISTENCE KNOWLEDGE HOPE TIME 70 AD 96 AD CHRIST’S JERUSALEM BIBLE SECOND DESTROYED COMPLETED COMING When Paul wrote I Corinthians 12,13,14 around 55AD, the infant church was still a child in its childhood home. Tongues still had a purpose. No one then was to forbid speaking in tongues. However, after Jerusalem’s destruction in 70AD genuine tongues ceased, never to be heard again from the lips of the matured church (13:11). With manhood reached by 96AD, heralded by complete/perfect knowledge in the Bible (“understanding” in 13:11) and complete/perfect prophecy codified in the Bible (“thought” in 13:11), childish things of prophecy, tongues and knowledge were forever put away. To revert to these would be a tragedy, a breakdown in manhood, and a pathetic regression to infancy. Tongues are not for the church today, because they ceased in 70 AD. Church history agrees with this. C.L. Rogers analyses the writings of Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Chrysostom, Justin Martyr from 100-400 AD from every area of the Roman Empire and states that: “the miraculous gifts of the first century died out and were no longer needed to establish Christianity.” (p.143). Language is the verbalising of one’s thoughts and denotes one’s level of understanding. Tongues in the early church, were thus like infancy childish language to a man. When we hear a baby speaking childish language, we think it is cute and normal. However, when a full grown man reverts to baby talk because of some mental breakdown, we think it is a pathetic disability, horrible and to be pitied. This is because men are expected to have “put away childish things.” What is normal in infancy is abnormal in adulthood. So, also for the Church to revert to tongues, is to revert to babyhood. Paul at that early date (55AD) is telling the Corinthians to recognise tongues as a passing phenomena. The time was fast approaching when they would have to grow up, put away their tongues babytalk and become full grown men, living by faith, hope and love as taught in the perfect/completed Bible. b) Looking into a mirror of the Bible to see one’s true spiritual conditon. “For now (55AD) we see through a glass (mirror) darkly; but then (96AD) face to face: now (55AD) I know in part; but then (96AD) shall I know even as also I am known.” I Corinthians 13:12. An expanded explanation of this would be: “For now (55AD) we see (prophecy as a temporary gift) through a mirror (a partly given New Testament) darkly (a blurred image, partial revelation by prophecy and an incomplete New Testament); but then (96AD when the full New Testament is given) face to face (we see ourselves clearly in the completed New Testament, as we see our true physical condition in a perfectly reflecting mirror): now (55AD at the time of writing) I know (I have the temporary gift of knowledge) in part (only part of the New Testament was given, along with the gift of knowledge only gave a partial view of God’s full New Testament revelation due to be completed by 96AD); but then (96AD when the full New Testament would be given) shall I know (I will have the full New Testament revelation intended by God to equip me for the ministry, for a holy life, and for godliness (II Peter 1:3,4)) even as also I am known.” With the completion of Scripture, there was a completion of the portrait of Christ that reflected His glory. What was “dim or dark” at the writing of I Corinthians 13:12 (at 55AD) became clear at the completion of scripture in 96AD, so that believers could see the Lord and their own changing likeness to Him “face to face.” In 13:12 Paul compares the New Testament Church without a complete New Testament to a person looking into a polished metal mirror giving a blurred reflection. All they had was the partial revelation of prophecy, tongues and knowledge to tide the church over until they received the full New Testament in 96 AD. This only gave them an imperfect understanding of divine truths, like a blurred mirror reflection. “But then face to face” refers to the time when the full New Testament would be available to allow accurate and full understanding of spiritual truths for this age. • “Then shall I know even as also I am known.” • When the full, complete finished New Testament is available for personal study (96 AD) then shall I know the necessary spiritual truths for living a godly life in the church age now as well as God knows and reveals my true spiritual condition through His Word, the completed Bible. This is not talking about knowing Christ face to face in heaven or knowing as much as God knows, because this would require us to have the infinite knowledge of God in heaven. We will never be as all knowing (omniscient) as God. Literally: “Then shall I know (God’s mind about every situation of life), even also as I am known (by God about every situation and problem that I may encounter in life).” That is, the Bible has the answer to every situation of life. How true. 13:13. “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three, but the greatest of these is charity.” At the time of writing (55 AD), only faith, hope and charity were continuing during the church age to the rapture. “These three” emphasises that it is only faith, hope and charity that will abide. Prophecy, tongues and knowledge are excluded as not abiding, and hence ceased in the church age by 96 AD. Today, we have the apostles and prophets with us only in the sense that we have their New Testament writings which are still their prophecies. They laid and finished the New Testament foundation. Ephesians 4:11 lists three of the gifts that will be with us until Christ’s return: evangelists, pastors and teachers. For these three types of men, there are 3 qualities to be displayed: faith, hope and love, as shown in I Thessalonians 1:3 “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope.....” Faith, Hope and Charity as Triplets elsewhere: Another key proof that prophecy, tongues and knowledge are finished by 96 AD, and are not for today is that we often see faith, hope and charity mentioned as triplets being all that we need for a God-pleasing Christian life. Note the absence of prophecy, tongues and knowledge in these passages, showing that they are not needed today. 1. I Corinthians 13:13 “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three.” 2. Galatians 5:5,6 “…the hope of righteousness by faith. …faith which worketh by love.” 3. Ephesians 1:15,18 “I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and of the love unto all the saints,...that . ye may know the hope of his calling....” 4. Colossians 1:4,5 “Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth (perfect Bible) of the gospel.” 5. I Thessalonians 1:3 “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 6. I Thessalonians 5:8 “But let us who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” 7. I Timothy 1:1,2,5 “Lord Jesus Christ which is our hope; unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Now the end of the commandments is charity out of a pure heart....” 8. I Peter 1:21,22 “that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth (perfect Bible) through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love..” Conclusion: All we need is FAITH, HOPE and LOVE to live pleasing to God. Eight times it is repeated. You don’t need a prophecy, tongue or word of knowledge. They are not mentioned. So drop prophecy, tongues and knowledge, and build up ourselves in faith, hope and love. II. FURTHER QUESTIONS. Question 10: Why would God allow Dedicated Christians to experience the sign and revelatory gifts if they are not from Him? Many evangelical churches have lapsed into cold, lifeless formalism. They may be doctrinally right, but they have lost their fervent love and zeal for God. If a charismatic church has a high regard for the Bible, prayer, soul winning zeal and a willingness to attempt great things for God, then this fills a void left by dead Churches. Among these good things there resides a deceiving cancer that undermines the good that is being done. This cancer is the matter of new revelations from God of tongues, prophecy, words of knowledge, visions or dreams. Neil Babcox, a former charismatic pastor left the charismatic church because of this issue. He says, “When a prophet said “Thus saith the Lord”, he meant that the very Word of God was being proclaimed with infallibility, purity and divine authority. The prophecies that I had spoken and heard others speak paled and diminished to the point of nothingness compare with the Bible. Ezekiel protested, “Thus saith the Lord God, “Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!”” Ezekiel 13:3. Isn’t that what we were - “prophets who had seen nothing?” When the genuine prophets of God spoke, they spoke with certainty regarding every word. This finds no parallel today. The Bible’s prophets knew with 100% certainty that they were speaking the very words of God. “The spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.” Ezekiel 2:2. Many who prophesy and claim to speak new revelations from God today know in their own hearts that they don’t have the certainty of the Bible prophets, yet they continue to speak “new” revelations. “Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.” Jeremiah 14:14. “I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name....they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart….I will even punish that man and his house.” Jeremiah 23:25,26,34. “they …have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them.” Jeremiah 29:23. “Because Shemaiah hath prophesied unto you,and I sent him not,.I will punish Shemaiah.” Jer.29:31,32 “The prophets prophesy falsely,…and my people love to have it so:..” Jeremiah 5:31. It is serious error to claim to speak new revelation from God,given the deception of Mormon prophecy. This emphasis on new revelation undermines the authority of Scripture. Dave Hunt rebukes the positive and possibility thinking of Paul Yonggi Cho and Robert Schuller with their occultish visualisation techniques, temptation to power and deification of man which is invading the church. Charismatics teach that a proper understanding of Scripture does not come through correct interpretation, but through revelation (only to certain leaders), and that these new revelations supplement the Bible, and that these must be accepted as a “great move of God.” • Charismatics often say: “...we have revelation knowledge as God continues to speak to His people.” This sounds really spiritual, but it is adding to Scripture. Because the Scriptures are perfect, we cannot add to them. • John Wimber states: “rational control (of the mind) must be forfeited for tongues speaking to occur, for ecstatic worship, for messages from God to be received directly into the mind, and for miraculous healings to happen.” • Charismatics Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin’s heresies were exposed in “The Agony of Deceit.” Kenneth Copeland claimed that Jesus spoke new revelation to him, saying: “Jesus did not come to earth as God, but only as a man; Jesus never claimed to be God during his earthly ministry.” • John White, a famous author, claims that Jesus Christ personally appeared to him on three occasions to give new revelation that would become part of Scripture. Question 11: Why would God allow dedicated Christians to experience and give in to influences that are not from Him? Answer: Every moment of his life, the Christian must battle spiritually with the world, the flesh and the devil. This is part of the maturing process. All believers are tempted with pride, worry, fear, sin and disobedience. Does God allow believers to sin? Yes, of course. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation, for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12. The Lord allows us to test every experience by Scripture, or to go by our feelings. God will allow us to be tempted in all forms. This includes the temptation to depart from Scripture by believing false revelations. Signs and wonders can have sources other than God (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; II Thessalonians 2:9,10; Revelation 13:13,14; Matthew 24:24). Jesus warns four times of deception at the end of the Church age in Matthew 24. If a Christian swaps the sword of the Spirit, and takes up feelings or human reasoning, he opens himself up to satan’s deception. Many Christians in dead churches know very little scripture. In daily struggles with sin and temptation, believers are most vulnerable to the attraction of false instant spirituality. Rather than live by the Word of God for victory, one may seek the apparent short cut of tongues, prophecy, power evangelism, healing, etc as the answer to his problems. Charismatic leaders who criticise Bible teachers who urge careful study of the Bible, are hence criticising the legitimate spiritual gift of teaching. They urge charismatics to follow them without questioning their interpretation. They oppose non-charismatics by asking: “Who did God use, the educated Pharisees or the simple apostles?” They thus forget II Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God...rightly dividing the word of truth.” Along the way we all have difficult times, as seen by Elijah under the Juniper tree (I Kings 19:4,5), David fleeing from Saul, Paul’s beatings, etc. Don’t seek a quick fix to gain instant spirituality. The devil offered Jesus a short cut to earth’s kingdoms by avoiding the cross. The devil will offer us many short cuts seeming to easily solve our problems. We must stick to the basics: study the Word, pray, confess sin, yield to Christ, abide in Christ, and take up the cross daily. These require work, watching and warfare. Don’t swap the Word of God for an experience. The main damaging side effect of charismaticism is the welcoming and accepting of heretics, apostates, nominal Christians and Roman Catholics into the Church. A person can pray to Mary, then speak in tongues, thus being accepted into many charismatic fellowships. Charismatics emphasise unity at the expense of doctrine. Question 12: Why would God allow dedicated Christians to continue in error and deception to their hurt or spiritual detriment? Answer: I Kings 13 reveals that even a dedicated and fearless prophet of God must suffer the consequences when he chooses deception over the clear revelation of God. An unnamed man of God (v.1) was sent to Bethel “by the Word of the Lord” to prophesy against King Jeroboam and his idolatry (v.1-3). When the King tried to arrest the prophet, the King’s hand withered (v.4,5). He begged the man of God to intercede to God to restore his hand. (v.6). The man of God showed mercy, prayed to God and Jeroboam’s hand was restored. Then King Jeroboam offered him a reward (v.7) but the man of God refused (v.3-10). Why? He refused to stop for food because the clear revelation of God forbad him from receiving food or drink or retracing his steps (v.9). So far he had walked in complete obedience to the Word of God. He had passed the tests of: 1. Fear because he had boldly carried out his job of proclaiming God’s Word to the King. 2. Compassion/Mercy. He had not allowed the King’s threats to dry up his mercy. He willingly, lovingly prayed for Jeroboam’s hand to be restored without revenge. 3. The test of faithfulness to God over human favour had been overcome, because he turned down the King’s offer of hospitality and reward . 4. The test of deception, was the final test which he sadly failed. Why? God had clearly told him not to receive hospitality, but he rejected the clear revelation of the Word of God for a new revelation, and it cost him his life. There was an old prophet living nearby who heard about his faithful stand. The old prophet had lived in compromise at Bethel and invited the man of God home to dine with him (v.11-15). The man of God refused saying that he was under strict orders from God not to eat, drink or retrace his steps (v.16.17). The old prophet replied in v.18, “I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.” Why did he lie? We are not told. a) Maybe he was envious at seeing a true prophet faithfully discharge his duties, when he had lived in compromise. b) Maybe he resented the man of God and had a convicted conscience. The old prophet claimed a new revelation from God. The man of God had to decide: a) Would he accept at face value the new revelation, or b) Would he continue to cling to God’s previous revelation? Sadly, the once fearless and faithful prophet succumbed to deception. God allowed this to happen to a dedicated man of God. Why? Because in our pilgrimage on earth, there will always be the choice to follow the clear teaching of God’s Word, or to replace it with the shallow promises, prophecies and deceptions of man. The man of God retraced his steps back to the home of the old prophet and ate with him (v.19). Over the meal, the old prophet revealed that because the man of God had disobeyed the Word of God, he would die (v.20-22). And that is exactly what happened (v.23-26) because a lion slew him in the way. From this we see that if God allowed a dedicated prophet of God to choose between the clear teaching of the Lord and deception, surely the Lord will let us have this choice today. Many Christians suffer poor spiritual lives because they give up the Word of God, and embrace teachers who prophesy or give new revelations of their own spirit. Question 13: But why doesn’t God step in and chasten His children to woo them back to obedience? (Hebrews 12). Answer: The Holy Spirit and the Word of God continually call the believer to faithfulness and obedience (Phil. 2:12,13). Deception and impoverishment are the bitter fruits of turning away from the Word of God. Sometimes God will allow His children to remain deceived as a chastisement until they turn again in submission to the Word of God. Their salvation in Christ is secure through Christ’s blood sacrifice. They may serve the Lord faithfully in other areas and even be used successfully by God, but they will miss God’s best blessings on earth and they will lose rewards in heaven. God will allow believers to choose whether to glorify Christ through submission and obeying scripture or to rebel. For dedicated servants of God who put aside the clear revelation of God and embrace new revelations, in this life they will be deceived and impoverished, and in the next life they will suffer loss of rewards at the judgment seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5:10). Examples of charismatic deception are tongues, false healings, new revelations, words of knowledge spoken about other people, slaying in the “spirit”, “Toronto” experience, etc. Consider two examples: Slaying People in the Spirit is a Charismatic invention whereby hands are laid on a person’s head and they lose consciousness, causing them to fall backwards onto the floor. THIS IS NOT IN THE BIBLE, so forget it. Laying hands on people is well known in the occult as a means of transferring demons. It is more likely demonically influenced and all the more reason why we should avoid this movement. Surrender of Mind and Emotions to Group Pressure. On entering a Charismatic meeting, we meet many people dancing, throwing arms in the air, speaking in tongues, on an emotional high and appearing very happy. The average Christian realises that he is not always like this, nor is the church from which he has come (which is made to appear dead and lifeless in comparison). He and his church are made to feel inferior and below what God expects. He has always had thoughts that his Christian life hasn’t always been as good as it ought to have been. He immediately concludes that these people have a one-shot-sure-fire-answer to spirituality when they ask him if he has been baptised in the Holy Spirit or spoken in tongues. If he is not careful, he will assume that these people are right, without studying the Bible or without praying the issue through. He may then agree to speak in tongues (gibberish), which makes the Charismatics very happy. He feels much love, acceptance and unity as a result, all because of an experience that he has had. He then begins his Christian life by making his experience the authority on which he determines spiritual truth, and not the Bible. He then defends his decision logically by saying what wonderful love and unity these people have and “power” (false albeit). He asks, “how can they be wrong when they show such qualities?” Why do charismatics succeed so much? i) Because most churches are DEAD and show no spiritual life, no one ever gets saved and nothing miraculous ever happens. ii) The Bible teaching on this issue is not taught. iii) People equate emotional show and bubbliness with spirituality. iv) Everyone would like an instant formula for spiritual success in the Christian life. Tongues is easy. v) People are lazy. They find it easier to believe what they are told, especially by “happy, persuasive people”, than to study and search the Bible for themselves. vi) It looks as if all churches are uniting by tongues speaking and this is, on the surface seen to be a good thing, yet it ignores Bible doctrine. People are told to hold hands, form a circle, and this show of “love” causes many well-meaning Christians to sacrifice dearly held essential Bible truths for which our ancestors died, and to unite with error. This is just what Rome wants to bring us all back to the “Mother of Harlots” and form the Super-church of Revelation 17, which will be destroyed by the antichrist that she brings to power. Question 14: If sign and revelatory gifts are not for today, and are not from God, why do they produce apparently good effects in believers lives? Step 1. Many Charismatics claim to be enriched by speaking in tongues, making prophecies, words of knowledge, casting out demons and sign gifts, etc. They may have a greater interest in the Bible, prayer and witnessing. How could such positive results not be from God? Step 2. Any military strategist knows that an enemy will often give up ground in order to gain a greater victory (Israel defeated Ai with this tactic.Joshua 8:15-21). Satan is not afraid of prayer, Bible study or bold witness that is contrary to the Word of God, especially when it promotes error and advances his own kingdom. Satan does strongly oppose genuine prayer, Bible study and gospel preaching when it is done Biblically and in the filling of the Holy Spirit. Satan is happy to pull back opposition to Bible study, prayer and witness, if he can woo the believer away from Bible decision-making and into experiential decision-making (which is Satan’s greater sought-after victory). Step 3. If a believer moves into experiental decision making, Satan can withdraw his opposition to Bible study, prayer and witness. The believer then attributes his advancement in prayer, Bible study and witness to his new tongues experience. This serves to lure the believer deeper into his experiential decision making, and hence further away from 100% Bible authority only. Hence, by giving some ground, Satan leads believers into greater deception. The believer thus more strongly clings to non Biblical experiences. Step 4. The believer who accepts sign and revelatory gifts is replacing Biblical authority with experiential authorities. Interpretation of verses becomes heavily weighted towards vindicating his experiences. Step 5. People are genuinely saved, they in turn accept the signs and wonders message, and the deception grows. The basis for Christian fellowship is no longer the Bible, but a common experience such as tongues. That is why Roman Catholics, liberal protestants, some evangelicals and heretics unite in ecumenical charismatic fellowship. Tongues causes divisions in churches, just as it did at the Tower of Babel. Many Charismatics are not completely sure that their prophecies are from the Lord. Many are troubled at healings that relapse. Many Charismatics say that they are Spirit-filled yet live inconsistent lives. Satan’s contest in Eden was to steal Adam’s loyalty away from the Word of God (“Yea, hath God said?”) and for him to live independent of God and His Word. Question 15: Do Christians know when they are being mislead? Answer: No, not always. In Matthew 16:21-23, Peter in expressing his love for Christ, was deceived by Satan in trying to stop Christ from going to the cross. Jesus looked past Peter’s love and saw Satan leading Peter away from the revealed will of God. Note: 1) With the heart one receives or trusts Christ for salvation. 2) With the will one obeys Christ. 3) With the mind one abides in Christ. Heart means: Intellect, will, affections, loyalties. Will means: Action, commitment. • Many Christians spend hours in Christian bookshops looking for a book to give them the secret of victorious living. If they can’t find the power of God in a book, they will seek it in an experience. • The goal of the Christian life is to remain Spirit filled, to find the will of God and do it. Question 16: Are there any Biblical examples of Satan giving up spiritual ground in order to gain spiritual advantages? Answer: 1) Satan offered Christ the world’s kingdoms in exchange for Christ’s worship. Matthew 4:8-10. 2) The demonized damsel proclaimed that Paul’s team were servants of the Most High God who showed the way of salvation. Acts 16:16-18.Why? So the gospel would be associated with the occult. Many churches have changed from being a lighthouse to a weather vane. Instead of lighting the way in the darkness, many churches merely turn with whatever fashion or worldly wind blows at the time. Our Lord Jesus Christ is to take pre-eminence in all things. The Holy Spirit’s job is to reveal and exalt Jesus Christ. The problem of powerless Christians is due to believers failing to surrender totally to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Living the Christian life is described by: “Warfare”, “fight”, “run the race”, “yield not”, “work out”, and “press towards.” The Christian life is a disciplined life of constant vigilance and taking up the cross daily. There are no short cuts to instant spirituality. Roman Catholic charismatics have greater zeal for Mary, Mass, the Papacy, and praying to saints etc. If Satan can achieve this, he will stop opposing Charismatic churches so that apparent growth occurs. Question 17: If the sign and revelatory gifts today are not from God, why are Charismatic churches the fastest growing churches in the world? Answer: 1. Much Charismatic growth is by attracting Christians from other churches. Because many Charismatic churches place little emphasis on sound doctrine, this breeds an atmosphere of acceptance, which assists numerical growth. If you never rebuke sin, have worldly attractions, and give people everything they want, you’ll see growth, but you won’t please God. Charismaticism weakens churches that are committed to the fundamentals of the faith, while it energises ecumenical liberal, worldly churches. 2. Numerical growth does not equal God’s stamp of approval. Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and cults can boast amazing growth statistics, yet their beliefs are very unbiblical. What about growth of Charismatic churches that hold to the fundamentals of the faith? Jesus’ parables of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43), mustard seed (13:31,32), and the leaven (13:33) all predict outward growth in Christendom, but this growth would be accompanied by growth in evil influences (leaven, birds) from within. Numerical growth does not mean that God approves all a church’s doctrines. Numerical growth, even by true conversions can occur amidst false doctrine. eg. The Corinthian church grew rapidly, even though it had many false doctrines and sins. Many churches claim to be evangelical, but challenge them on: 1) The 100% inerrancy of Scripture. 2) The historical, literal accuracy of Genesis 1-11. 3) The factual nature of Jonah being swallowed by a whale. 4) The scientific accuracy of a literal 6 day creation week, and they prove to disbelieve the Bible. Christ prayed that the Father would sanctify believers through His Word (John 17:17), before he prayed that believers would be one (John 17:21). If we loudly profess to believe every Bible truth, except where the world and devil are at the moment attacking, we are denying Christ and proving disloyal. Today’s battle against the Bible takes the form of an invasion of new revelations. This is why Rome can happily endorse the Charismatic movement because Rome also has her new revelations that are contrary to the Bible. We must be sound in belief, sound in a Godly life, and sound in serving Christ. III. 20 REASONS THAT TONGUES CEASED IN THE FIRST CENTURY. 1. Tongues were a sign of judgment against Jewish unbelief as a nation. With the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, God’s judgment on Israel had been executed, and the tongues gift as a sign of coming judgment on Israel was no longer needed. I Corinthians 14:22 says, “Wherefore, tongues are for a sign NOT to them that believe, but to them that believe not.” “In the law it is written, with men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people (Jews); and yet for all that (all the tongues) will they (Jews) not hear me (warning ignored), saith the Lord.” I Corinthians 14:21. Tongues here were clearly a warning to the Jews that they ignored. Paul quotes I Corinthians 14:21 from: i) Deuteronomy 28:49 where God warns of judgment coming from “a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand.” ii) Jeremiah 5:15 “Lo I will bring a nation upon you from afar...a nation whose language thou knowest not....” (612 BC). Hence, Babylonian tongues warned Jews of coming judgment. iii) Isaiah 28:11,12 “With another tongue will he speak to this people.” (712 BC). Here, Assyrian tongues warned the Jews of coming judgment. iv) Isaiah 33:19 “Thou shall not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive: of a stammering tongue that thou canst not understand.” Here the absence of foreign tongues will be a sign that Israel is under God’s blessing. Paul applies the Jewish unbelief of Isaiah 28:11,12 from 712 BC to the first century Jewish unbelief. “This people”, “they”, and “them that believe not” all refers to Jews. There were many Jews at Corinth who did not believe (Acts 18). Hence, tongues were a sign of future judgment to the Jews. 2. There are 3 major outbreaks of miracles in Scripture: i) Moses and Joshua (1441-1370 BC) of about 71 years duration. ii) Elijah and Elisha (870-785 BC) of about 85 years duration. iii) Christ and the Apostles (28-70 AD) of about 42 years duration. Continuous miracles in the Bible are the exception, and do not occur always, but in three periods. The miraculous gift of tongues occured from 30 to 70 AD. 3. Tongues belonged to the infant days of the church. “But when I became a man, I put away childish things.” I Corinthians 13:11. Tongues (along with prophecy and knowledge) would cease when the church became mature. The childhood days of the church ended, when Israel as a nation was judged. Then there was no longer any need for a sign to authenticate the apostles’ message (Mark 16:17-20) which started the church. Nor was there need for a sign against the extinct Jewish nation. The gifts of tongues, miracles, healing, etc had stopped by 70 AD, but of course God still performs miracles and heals as He chooses today in answer to prayer. Since some foundational gifts were temporary. Tongues, a lesser miraculous gift, was temporary also. 4. Tongues authenticated the apostles’ message as from God. “And they (apostles) went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs (tongues, healing, exorcism etc.) following. Amen.” Mark 16:20. Today the need for tongues has ceased. God has authenticated the apostles and the New Testament that they penned. This proves the temporary nature of tongues. 5. Hebrews 6:5 shows that the only other age of miracles will be the Millennium described as “the powers of the age to come.” Q. What are the powers? A. The word rendered “powers” is “dunamis” (1411) in Greek, which is the usual New Testament word for miracles. These people had tasted, experienced or witnessed the apostles’ miracles. Q. What is the “age to come”? A. A common Hebrew expression for the millennium where the Messiah will rule as King on earth. Q. Why therefore are miracles referred to as “powers of the age to come”? A. Because they would not characterise the church age (which Hebrews 6:5 was quoted in), but the millennial Kingdom age to come. 6. Hebrews 2:3,4 shows miracles (such as tongues) to be in the past tense, and not continuously being experienced by the Hebrew Christians of 64 AD. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation which: 1) At the first began to be spoken by the Lord (in Jesus’ 3 year ministry) and 2) was (past tense) confirmed (same as Mark 16:20) unto us (second generation Christians) by them (apostles and first generation Christians) that heard him (Jesus Christ), 3) God also bearing them (the apostles, not us or every generation of Christians) witness, both with signs (eg: tongues, miracles, healings, etc) and wonders, and with divers miracles (miracles belonged to the apostles, not to every Christian. II Corinthians 12:12), and gifts of the Holy Ghost (eg. the temporary miraculous gifts), according to His own will.” a) Notice the phrase “at the first”. This gives the time element which governs all these signs, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost. b) All Greek verbs in Hebrews 2:3,4 are in the aorist tense indicating a past completed act which can never be repeated. 7. This is also seen in Acts 11:15, where Peter describes tongues at Cornelius household, not as a regular occurrence weekly in every church, but only something that happened last time at Pentecost (Acts 2) “as on us at the beginning.” 8. The Process of Elimination shows tongues to be not for believers of today. Tongues primary purpose was to warn unbelieving Jews to repent, or God would judge them. They refused to repent, so God judged them in 70 AD, thus making tongues as a warning to the Jews no longer necessary. I Corinthians 14:22 is a key verse which says: “Tongues are a sign, NOT to THEM that BELIEVE, but to them that BELIEVE NOT...” Tongues are a sign for one of three types of people. Which one? a) NOT FOR BELIEVERS. 14:22. This means that tongues have no purpose for believers. For Christians to speak in tongues is not valid. b) NOT FOR GENTILE UNBELIVERS. 14:23. Those unlearned in the Old Testament meaning of tongues, or unbelievers, “will they not say that ye are mad?” This describes unsaved Gentiles. Tongues are not for this group because the history of Assyrian and Babylonian tongues as a warning of a judgment to Israel meant nothing to them. c) JEWISH UNBELIEVERS. 14:21. “In the law (Isaiah 28:11; Jeremiah 5:15 and Deuteronomy 28:49) it is written, with men of other tongues (Assyrian, Babylonian, Roman) and other lips will I speak unto this people (Jews); and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.” 9. Tongues had ceased by 70 AD because their use is only mentioned in the earlier New Testament books, such as Mark 16 (57 AD), Acts (54 AD), I Corinthians (55 AD). In all the latter books, tongues are never mentioned. Why? Because they never happened after 70 AD and were of no relevance to any churches thereafter. Tongues are never commanded in any New Testament book for believers to practice. I Corinthians 12,13,14 rebukes the Corinthians wrong use of tongues. It is not endorsing tongues to be practised. Charismatics think that the key to spirituality is tongues, a phenomena that is not mentioned in 24 out of 27 New Testament books. Why are tongues ABSENT from II Corinthians to Revelation? If tongues were so necessary, you would definitely see them in the rest of the New Testament. The book of Romans, which is well known as the most complete summary of Christian doctrine and practice in the Bible, does not once mention tongues. Why not? Because tongues, by the time Romans was written (60 AD) was almost finished as a gift and would be of no relevance in the Church age after 70 AD when God judged Jerusalem. Think about it, if tongues were important, God would have mentioned them at least once in Romans, or II Corinthians, or Galatians, or at least in one letter to a church in a positive context. 10. The gift of tongues was never endorsed or practised by early church leaders. Clement of Rome in 95 AD wrote a letter to the Corinthian church rebuking every problem that Paul rebuked except tongues. Why did he not mention tongues or miracles? Justin Martyr (160 AD) visited many churches but never once mentions tongues, not even in his lists of spiritual gifts. Origen (250 AD) in his voluminous writings never mentions tongues, but argues against Celsus that the sign gifts of the apostles’ age were temporary and were not exercised by Christians in the 3rd Century. Chrysostom (347-407 AD) commented on the I Corinthians passage: “This whole place is very obscure: but the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the facts referred to and by their cessation, being such as then used to occur, but now no longer take place.” [Homilies, XXIX, 1]. Augustine (354-430 AD) said in speaking of Acts 2:4, “In the earliest times, the Holy Ghost fell upon them that believed: and they spake with tongues....these were signs adapted to the time. For there behooved to be that betokening of the Holy Spirit...that thing was done for a betokening and it passed away.” 11. “Now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three...” I Corinthians 13:13. Now (55AD) abides (continues) faith, hope, charity, these three” (not “these six prophecy, tongues, knowledge”). Since faith and hope finish at Christ’s return, then prophecy, tongues and knowledge had to have finished by 96 AD because they were not abiding, but declining in 55AD. 12. Tape Recorder Test (Independent interpreters) Disproves Interpretation of Tongues. If no one passes the Interpretation test, then neither does anyone possess the genuine gift of tongues. This scientific test will disprove anyone’s claim to have the gift of “Interpretation of tongues.” Assemble one person who claims to have the gift of tongues, and another two people who claim to have the gift of interpreting tongues, keeping both groups separate. Let the first person speak in tongues, while you tape record him speaking. Then bring the first interpreter into the room to hear the taped tongue replayed. Tape record his interpretation of the tongue. Then bring the second interpreter into the room to hear the same tongue replayed. Tape record his interpretation of the same tongue. You will find that the second interpretation will disagree with the first person’s interpretation. Why is this? It is because no one today has the first century supernatural gift of interpretation of tongues, this gift having passed away by 70 AD. It follows therefore, that if the interpretation gift is found to be NON-GENUINE, then the tongues gift is also NON-GENUINE. Notice that when someone speaks gibberish, claiming that he is speaking in an unknown tongue, he is, by deception, taking advantage of the fact that his hearers do not know every language in the universe. The hearer, who is caught off guard, finds it hard to state that this gibberish is not a language. So let us turn the tables and ask if his two interpreter friends can interpret any tongue in agreement. Note: A variation on this test is to get up in a Charismatic meeting, speak something in a foreign language that you know the meaning of, and then ask for it to be correctly interpreted, e.g. quote the Lord’s prayer in Latvian. You will find that the interpretation given, will be nothing like the true meaning of what you said. You may then expose them publicly as deceivers and as being deceived. 13. Ephesians 4,5,6 describe thoroughly the Walk and Service of a Spirit-filled believer. Nowhere in this key passage is speaking in tongues mentioned. Conclusion: “Walking worthy” does not include tongues. 14. Phonetics Test. Every language must have hundreds of different syllables to express the wide range of ideas in a society. Charismatic tongues only have less than 12 syllables repeated constantly. This is typical of gibberish that comes from a mind that is not expressing thoughts, but from a tongue out of control from the mind. Note: 4 syllables are, for example, seen in “Cha/ris/ma/tic”. This shows that tongues are not real languages, but are just sounds made up on the spot at random. 15. Majoring on tongues REVERSES the order of importance of spiritual gifts. In I Corinthians 12:28, God lists tongues as the least important of 8 gifts. In I Corinthians 12:31, God tells the church to seek the “best” gifts.(ie: give more emphasis to teaching) God gives gifts to believers “as HE will” (12:11), not as we insist. Charismatics tell people to pray long and hard for the gift of tongues. We are not to deliberately choose and insist on having the least gift and exalt it above the others. Why not place greater emphasis on the gifts of pastor-teacher, evangelists, helps, government, giving etc.? It is because these gifts involve hard work, but tongues (gibberish) is easy. 16. The context of I Corinthians is rebuking 13 errors, such as tongues. It is not recommending tongues. The Corinthian church was filled with problems that Paul corrects in this book, such as: 1. They were following their favourite human leaders causing divisions. 1:11-14. 2. “ “ favouring human wisdom. 1:18-2:13. 3. “ “ carnal, living for self, not being controlled by the Spirit. 2:14-3:7. 4. “ “ forgetting the future Judgment Seat of Christ. 3:8-23. 5. “ “ proud, thinking of themselves more highly than they ought. 4:1-21. 6. “ “ failing to discipline, by tolerating a fornicator. 5:1-13. 7. “ “ taking fellow believers to court. 6:1-20. 8. “ “ confused about marriage. 7:1-40. 9. “ “confused about liberty thinking it meant licence to do anything,even stumbling others.8,9,10 10. “ “ confused about clothing, long hair on men and the Lord’s Supper. 11. 11. “ “ confused about spiritual gifts, especially tongues. 12-14. 12. “ “ confused about the resurrection. 15. 13. “ “ confused about the collection. 16. As we can see the Corinthian church was deep in error and false doctrine. It was the only church that emphasized tongues as today’s Charismatics do. Charismatics therefore place themselves in very bad company. Charismatics fail to understand that Paul is not endorsing tongues, but is rebuking the wrong use of tongues and is strongly regulating tongues contrary to today’s Charismatics. The Corinthian church was the worst church for Charismatics to follow as an example. 17. They fail the “Easy to be entreated” test. It is amazing how tongues speakers often become very angry, intolerant, irritable, impatient, nervous, very dogmatic, and extremely touchy when anything is said which disapproves of or corrects their idea of speaking in tongues. “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated...” James 3:17. “The works of the flesh...are wrath, strife...” Galatians 5:19,20. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God.” Hebrews 12:15. 18. The First Mention Principle of Tongues is in the Context of Judgment. This is a well-established principle for correctly interpreting Scripture. It states that: When any subject, word, expression or idea is first mentioned in the Bible, this shows God thinking on that subject, and is a guide to how we should understand this subject in the rest of the Bible. Example: The first mention of Babylon, Babel, and languages is in Genesis 11:1-9 where God confused man’s languages so that they did not understand one another’s speech. “The Lord scattered mankind abroad upon the face of all the earth.” Man has remained divided by different languages ever since. Hence tongues are associated with division and confusion (the meaning of Babel), ever since the Tower of Babel; not with the blessing of God, but with the judgment of God. “Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.” Psalm 31:20. 19. PRAYING IN TONGUES is WRONG because UNDERSTANDING is ABSENT. “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the UNDERSTANDING also.” I Cor. 14:14,15. Paul is saying here that if you pray in tongues, your spirit might be trying to express something, but your MIND (or understanding) has no idea what is being said. This is wrong behaviour, Paul says. For prayer to be genuine, we must pray with our spirit and with our understanding. Praying in tongues fails the test of understanding. The mind and voice are disconnected. Many Charismatics will try to justify praying in tongues by quoting Romans 8:26. “...the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which CANNOT BE UTTERED”. This verse is not talking about praying in tongues because tongues are uttered vocal sounds. The Holy Spirit speaks our thoughts to the Father with groanings which cannot be uttered by us, yet prayer tongues are uttered by people. 20. Mark 16:11-20 (especially v.17) shows that the signs that were to follow them that believe related to a brief period, not longer than that covered by the book of Acts,and described in v.19,20 “And these signs shall follow (3877) them (apostles because the context of v.11-14 shows unbelieving apostles four times) that believe; ......they shall speak with new tongues.” v.17. This refutes the Charismatic idea that everybody who believes all through the Church age should speak in tongues, lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, etc., because this belief only refers to the unbelieving apostles in v.11-14 who refused to believe in Christ’s resurrection (v.11,12,14). This continues as part of Christ’s rebuke to the apostles for “their unbelief and hardness of heart.” v.14. IV. 7 REASONS WHY “THEM THAT BELIEVE” REFERS ONLY TO THE APOSTLES. If we fail to read the entire context of Mark 16:9-20 we may get the impression that the v.17,18 sign gifts apply to all believers during all the church age. There is good evidence that “them that believe” refers to only the apostles. Why? Reason 1: Context is the Apostles’ Unbelief in Christ’s Resurrection. In Mark 16:14, Jesus rebukes the apostles for their unbelief in His resurrection. In v.11-14, four times the apostles’ unbelief is mentioned as Jesus addressed the apostles: v.11 “They (apostles), when they had heard that he was alive .......believed not.” v.13 “......neither believed they them.” v.14 “He.....upbraided them (apostles) with their unbelief and hardness of heart.” v.14 “because they (apostles) believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” After this rebuke Jesus gives the apostles the Great Commission in v.15,16. Once the commission is given, Jesus returns to his immediate audience of the eleven apostles when He says in v.17,18 “These signs shall follow them that believe” (ie. those of you eleven apostles who believe in my resurrection). In my name : 1. they shall they cast out devils. 2. they shall speak with new tongues. 3. they shall take up serpents. 4. if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. 5. they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. Reason 2: Practical experience shows that promises 3,4,5 are not true for every believer today. In spite of continued failures to heal, Charismatics still think that these 5 promises are for all believers today. The obvious problem with this interpretation is that it does not deal with everything mentioned in the text. a) No Charismatic can always fulfil the 5th promise. It says that they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. This means 100% recovery all the time. No one can heal every sick person today, as the apostles could in Acts 5:12-16. “By the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people.....they (believers) brought forth the sick into the streets.....and they were healed every one.” v.16. John Wimber, a famous Charismatic laid hands on 250 Down’s Syndrome children with no cures. Reinhard Boncke tried to heal over 200 Kenyans at Kisumu in Kenya without any success. b) “If they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.” “If” means accidentally. The problem here is that many good Christians have become sick or died by poisoning. Have you as a believer ever vomited? c) “They shall take up serpents.” We ask a Charismatic to take up a deadly snake. He replies by saying: “No, that would be tempting God.” Yet in the first century this was a sign that the apostles did (shall do) to prove the Word of God and their authority. Some believers today have died in trying this. This shows that this is not for today. Reason 3: AORIST tense of “believe” in Mark 16:17 refers to those who did believe in the past, not who will believe in the future. “These signs shall follow them that believe.” The Greek word for believe here is “pisteusasin” which is an aorist participle referring to those who did believe in the past.” [S. Zodhiates, “Complete New Testament Word Study Dictionary,” p.1107], “not those who would believe in the future.” [S. Zodhiates, “Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible,” p.1223]. The aorist tense refers to a past action at a point in time, not an event that recurs again into the future, as it would be if it was true of all believers. Reason 4: Belief (Gk: pisteusasin in Mark 16:17) does not refer to saving belief. In John 3:16 and 5:24 saving belief is “pisteuwn”, a different word ending. Hence, “belief” in Mark 16:17 refers not to all future believers, but to the apostles believing in Christ’s resurrection at a point in time, once for all time. Reason 5: “Do All speak With tongues?” 1 Corinthians 12:30 requires the answer “No, not all believers have the gift of speaking with tongues.” Reason 6: The Purpose of these signs was to confirm the Word of God spoken and written by the apostles, as Mark 16:20 says. “And they (apostles) went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them (apostles), and confirming the Word with signs (eg. tongues) following.” Once the Word of God (the New Testment) had been confirmed by the apostle’s signs, then further signs were not needed. The signs had done their job of proving the New Testament as being from God. When the Word of God was completed, then miraculous apostolic confirmatory signs were no longer needed. Reason 7: Mark 16:20 continues the context to mean apostles. This tells what happened to the apostles after they changed from unbelief in Christ’s resurrection, to believing it and preaching it everywhere with signs following. Hence, in v.20, the context is still only the apostles doing signs, not every believer doing signs. Conclusion: Either all five signs are valid for today or none are valid today. They only refer to first century apostles.
  12. Please pray for my beloved cat

    look who is home. If anyone can spare a few $$$'s for his special diet for the next couple of months, you can paypal through globalfoodsdirect@gmail.com i would not ask if if wasnt going to be hard thank you for your prayers.
  13. Please pray for my beloved cat

    Thanks, guys. Simba is getting better. There were a number of things wrong including stones in the bladder. He is coming home today and needs a repeat injection next week.
  14. Please pray for my beloved cat

    Please pray for my cat Simba and i. He is an old fella of i guess 16-18 years of age and i think he has been in a fight. without canine teeth ( encounter with what you would call an SUV i think ), he came out worse. Limping quite a bit and does not want me anywhere near him. My birthday is coming up soon and to lose him now wold be devastating. I know we cannot alter Gods' plans. but i hope it is in His will that Simba will be around a lot longer. I am very down and nervous.
  15. Can We Really Live As We Please?

    Sure you can. But, there ARE consequences. Try to live how JESUS pleases.
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