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Showing posts from June, 2006

Cessation of the Spiritual Gifts

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When looking in the Scripture to learn about the gift of tongues, we will find only a few passages that refer to this gift: Mark 16:17 (one time) which is a prophetic account - Acts 2, Acts 10, Acts 19 which are the historical accounts, and 1 Corinthians 12, 13, 14 where we read of the doctrinal account. In the passages in 1 Corinthians Paul addresses all the gifts but he narrows down the list to specifically three problematic gifts – tongues, knowledge, and prophecy. These are the gifts that the Corinthians were having the most difficulty with. The gift of tongues was the gift that Paul spent the most time addressing. In fact an entire portion of these passages are devoted to this one gift in chapters thirteen and fourteen. 1 Corinthians 13 is where we get one of clearest revelations that the gifts of the Spirit have ceased.1 Corinthians 131 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And t…

Apostleship and the End of the Gifts

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The main reason spiritual gifts were given, especially the gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, knowledge and the gift of tongues, was to signify God's message. That is to say they were given as signs, validating God's message and giving His signature to the teachings that were coming from them. God was ushering in a new dispensation. At this time, we moved from being under the Law of Moses into the new dispensation of grace. Jesus came to fulfill the law and He accomplished this in several ways. After His death, a new era was beginning. We read about this in Acts chapter two where it records the birth of the Church. This transformation from law to grace, referred to as the dispensation of grace, needed to be confirmed. There had to be some sort of proof that the message of grace was from God. God chose the means and the method for which he would do just that. These sign gifts were not given to just anyone, they were given to certain people. Those people were t…

Angelic Tongues

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In 1 Corinthians 13:1 is Paul telling us to speak in the tongues of angels?1 Cor 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. NIVIt is important to look at what Paul is trying to say. What point is Paul trying to get across to the reader? Charismatic theology assumes that Paul is teaching that people can and DO speak in an angelic language. This certainly would be a language unknown to man. However, in every single biblical encounter that man had with an angel, he never had a problem understanding or communicating with them. So, if there were some angelic language, this would be the only scriptural reference to it. It is important to understand that in this passage Paul is not teaching that we can speak in an angelic language. Scripture never refers to tongues in this manner. The context reveals to us what Paul is actually trying to teach. Paul said IF I speak the tongues of angles, and do not h…

Peter - Was Peter the First Pope?

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The Catholic Church uses three passages in Scripture to support their claim to the supremecy of the papacy of Rome. However, the verses in question do not actually give Peter an office as the supreme bishop, nor do they attest to any infallibility or the succession to the unmentioned office of the pope. They interpret these verses so that they will be in union with church teaching instead of getting church teaching from Scripture alone (See our page Catholic View of Scripture for further explanation). The Bible does not mention an office of the papacy and we will show, through Scripture, that Peter was not the first pope. Let us begin by briefly examining the most popular texts among the Catholic Church for supporting their claims of the supremecy of Peter.John 21:15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."

What is an Unknown Tongue?

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The Greek word for Tongue is glossa. This word is defined by Thayer's Greek Lexicon as: a tongue, i.e. the language used by a particular people in distinction from that of other nations: Acts 2:11. Throughout the New Testament the word tongue is clearly a language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations. The concept that a tongue is a language unknown to mankind may come in part because of the way the King James Version translates certain passages. The King James Version added the word unknown before the word tongue in their translation. The word unknown is never found before the word tongue in any of the original manuscripts. Understand that the translators of King James Version never intended to show or imply that it was a part of the original writing of Paul. They KJV translators often inserted a word that they felt would help the reader understand what the original text was saying. Because of the great task of translating one l…

The Rapture

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We believe that the Bible teaches the rapture will happen before the tribulation. The word rapture is a word we use for the Greek Word harpazo which is translated as caught up in 1 Thess 4:17, here is the verse: After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. NIVThis word means to snatch away and can mean to snatch away right before something is about to happen but this is not always its meaning. Picture a little child walking out in the street in front of a bus. To snatch that child away from the bus would be a picture of a rapture. Sometimes this word is simply used to denote a snatching. This Greek word, harpazo appears throughout the New Testament, here are some examples of its uses:Matt 13:19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the se…

God Loves Me

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Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so… But does the Bible actually tell us that Jesus loves us? The answer is yes, in two ways. First it tells us that God loves us, and then God illustrates that love. Sometimes we picture a God that is always mad at us. We live in a time when there are many false teachers who use legalistic fear to make the child of God always think they are not in favor with God. But this is so untrue. Think of the way we love others. The love that is in our hearts certainly doesn’t make us walk around disappointed, mad or constantly angry with those we love. Yet God’s love is much deeper and stronger than our love! Jesus does not want us to walk around in constant fear of Him; this is not the freedom or peace He gave to us. He wants us to know that we are loved, consider the following passages: Rev 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who lov…

The Purpose of the Gift of Tongues

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We must be very cautious to not get so caught up in an experience that we forget why we are experiencing it to begin with. People who are professing to be speaking in tongues focus on the experience and seldom talk about the purpose for which they are doing so. It is not until we understand the purpose of the gift of tongues that we can understand why this gift is not still relevant today.The gift of tongues is unique. It is unlike any other spiritual gift. While the gifts of knowledge, wisdom, prophecy, discerning of spirits and even faith helped to edify the body of believers, the gifts of healing and working of miracles helped to bring people into the body of Christ, primarily Jews. The gifts of healing and the workings of miracles are what we refer to as sign gifts. The very first gift that we see given was performed by the Holy Spirit Himself on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two. This was the gift of tongues. Tongues were also a “sign” gift, but it was not a s…

Purpose of the Spiritual Gifts

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What are the gifts of the Spirit for? For what purpose were they given? These questions are of great importance and will help us determine if these gifts are still valid today. The answer must come from the Word of God. It cannot be made based upon something we have experienced or witnessed firsthand. We must examine the Word of God to determine why God gave the Spiritual gifts. If someone professes to have a gift and does something that appears to be miraculous, that alone is not enough to proclaim that they have indeed been given a Spiritual gift. The Word of God must judge our experiences; it is not the other way around. In order to determine if a gift is or is not from God, we must first determine for what purpose the gifts were given. Why were people given the gift of tongues, prophecy, knowledge, healing, etc.?Pretend for a moment that you have just accepted Christ as your personal Savior. As a new believer, where will you go to grow in your knowledge of God? As a …

Edification Defined - Addressing Self Edification & Tongues

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People who believe that the gifts are still valid for today often say that speaking in tongues enriches their spiritual life. They say to speak in tongues in private will be self edifying and one should desire to do so. This belief, however, is not scriptural. Edification, as stated in the Bible, has nothing to do with any of these things.Edification is about increasing in knowledge. Webster Dictionary defines it as “to instruct and improve especially in moral and religious knowledge.” The actual word means to “build up.” In scripture, this type of edification (building up) is about strengthening the church in knowledge, or instruction. Today, however, people seem to think that edification has to do with how a person “feels.” Edification is not about making anyone “feel good” nor does it come from an “experience” or supernatural event. There is no scriptural basis for this type of definition. Paul was clear, that gifts hold no purpose unless they bring some sort of inst…