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From Way of Life Literature, David Cloud has presented a three-part series of testimonies of men who set out shred Christianity but instead came out believers.

Here are some excerpts. I have selected one testimony from each part.

 

Above all other books, the Bible has been hated, vilified, ridiculed, criticized, restricted, banned, and destroyed, but it has been to no avail. As one rightly said, “We might as well put our shoulder to the burning wheel of the sun, and try to stop it on its flaming course, as attempt to stop the circulation of the Bible” (Sidney Collett, All about the Bible, p. 63).

In A.D. 303, the Roman Emperor Diocletian issued an edict to stop Christians from worshipping Jesus Christ and to destroy their Scriptures. Every official in the empire was ordered to raze the churches to the ground and burn every Bible found in their districts (Stanley Greenslade,
Cambridge History of the Bible). Twenty-five years later Diocletian’s successor, Constantine, issued another edict ordering fifty Bibles to be published at government expense (Eusebius).

In 1778 the French infidel Voltaire boasted that in 100 years Christianity would cease to exist, but within 50 years the Geneva Bible Society used his press and house to publish Bibles (Geisler and Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible, 1986, pp. 123, 124).

Robert Ingersoll once boasted, “Within 15 years I’ll have the Bible lodged in a morgue.” But Ingersoll is dead, and the Bible is alive and well.

In fact, many who set out to disprove the Bible have been converted, instead. The following are a few examples:

Simon Greenleaf (1783-1853)

Simon Greenleaf, Royall Professor of Law at Harvard University, was one of the most celebrated legal minds in American history. His
Treatise on the Law of Evidence “is still considered the greatest single authority on evidence in the entire literature of legal procedure.”

As a law professor, he determined to expose the “myth” of the resurrection of Christ once and for all, but his thorough examination forced him to conclude, instead, that Jesus did rise from the dead. In 1846 he published An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice.

Thus, one of the most celebrated minds in the legal profession of the past two centuries took the resurrection of Christ to trial, diligently examined the evidence, and judged it to be an established fact of history! And this was in spite of the fact that he began his investigation as a skeptic.

One of Greenleaf’s points is that nothing but the resurrection itself can explain the dramatic change in Christ’s disciples and their willingness to suffer and die for their testimony.

Consider an excerpt:

“Their master had recently perished as a malefactor, by the sentence of a public tribunal. His religion sought to overthrow the religions of the whole world. The laws of every country were against the teachings of His disciples. The interests and passions of all the rulers and great men in the world were against them. The fashion of the world was against them. Propagating this new faith, even in the most inoffensive and peaceful manner, they could expect nothing but contempt, opposition, revilings, bitter persecutions, stripes, imprisonments, torments, and cruel deaths.

Yet this faith they zealously did propagate; and all these miseries they endured undismayed, nay, rejoicing. As one after another was put to a miserable death, the survivors only prosecuted their work with increased vigor and resolution. The annals of military warfare afford scarcely an example of the like heroic constancy, patience, and unblenching courage. They had every possible motive to review carefully the grounds of their faith, and the evidences of the great facts and truths which they asserted; and these motives were pressed upon their attention with the most melancholy and terrific frequency. It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact. … If then their testimony was not true, there was no possible motive for its fabrication” (Greenleaf, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence).

Finish Part One at this link.

http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/men_who_were_converted_trying_to_disprove_1.html

*******

JOSH MCDOWELL

Josh McDowell, the author of
Evidence That Demands a Verdict, was a skeptic when he entered university to pursue a law degree. There he met some Christians who challenged him to examine the evidence for the Bible and Jesus Christ. Following is his testimony:

As a teenager, I wanted the answers to three basic questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? … So as a young student, I started looking for answers.

I thought that education might have the answer to my quest for happiness and meaning. So I enrolled in the university. What a disappointment! I have probably been on more university campuses in my lifetime than anyone else in history. You can find a lot of things in the university, but enrolling there to find truth and meaning in life is virtually a lost cause.

I used to buttonhole professors in their offices, seeking the answers to my questions. When they saw me coming they would turn out the lights, pull down the shades, and lock the door so they wouldn’t have to talk to me. I soon realized that the university didn’t have the answers I was seeking. Faculty members and my fellow students had just as many problems, frustrations, and unanswered questions about life as I had. A few years ago I saw a student walking around a campus with a sign on his back: ‘Don’t follow me, I’m lost.’ That’s how everyone in the university seemed to me. Education was not the answer!

Prestige must be the way to go, I decided. It just seemed right to find a noble cause, give yourself to it, and become well known. The people with the most prestige in the university, and who also controlled the purse strings, were the student leaders. So I ran for various student offices and got elected. It was great to know everyone on campus, make important decisions, and spend the university’s money doing what I wanted to do. But the thrill soon wore off, as with everything else I had tried.

Every Monday morning I would wake up with a headache because of the way I had spent the previous night. My attitude was, Here we go again, another five boring days. Happiness for me revolved around those three party-nights: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then the whole boring cycle would start over again.

Around this time I noticed a small group of people on campus–eight students and two faculty–and there was something different about them. They seemed to know where they were going in life. And they had a quality I deeply admire in people: conviction. But there was something more about this group that caught my attention. It was love. These students and professors not only loved each other, they loved and cared for people outside their group.

About two weeks later, I was sitting around a table in the student union talking with some members of this group. … I turned to one of the girls in the group and said, ‘Tell me, what changed your lives? Why are you so different from the other students and faculty?’

She looked me straight in the eye and said two words I had never expected to hear in an intelligent discussion on a university campus: ‘Jesus Christ.’

‘Jesus Christ?’ I snapped. ‘Don’t give me that kind of garbage. I’m fed up with religion, the Bible, and the church.’

She quickly shot back, ‘Mister, I didn’t say ‘religion’; I said ‘Jesus Christ.’

Then my new friends issued me a challenge I couldn’t believe. They challenged me, a pre-law student, to examine intellectually the claim that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. I thought this was a joke. These Christians were so dumb. How could something as flimsy as Christianity stand up to an intellectual examination? I scoffed at their challenge.

I finally accepted their challenge, not to prove anything but to refute them. I decided to write a book that would make an intellectual joke of Christianity. I left the university and traveled throughout the United States and Europe to gather evidence to prove that Christianity is a sham.

One day while I was sitting in a library in London, England, I sensed a voice within me saying, ‘Josh, you don’t have a leg to stand on.’ I immediately suppressed it. But just about every day after that I heard the same inner voice. The more I researched, the more I heard this voice. I returned to the United States and to the university, but I couldn’t sleep at night. I would go to bed at ten o’clock and lie awake until four in the morning, trying to refute the overwhelming evidence I was accumulating that Jesus Christ was God’s Son.

I began to realize that I was being intellectually dishonest. My mind told me that the claims of Christ were indeed true, but my will was being pulled another direction. I had placed so much emphasis on finding the truth, but I wasn’t willing to follow it once I saw it. I began to sense Christ’s personal challenge to me in Revelation 3:20: ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.’ But becoming a Christian seemed so ego-shattering to me. I couldn’t think of a faster way to ruin all my good times.

I knew I had to resolve this inner conflict because it was driving me crazy. I had always considered myself an open-minded person, so I decided to put Christ’s claims to the supreme test. One night at my home in Union City, Michigan, at the end of my second year at the university, I became a Christian.

I said, ‘Lord Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross for me.’ I realized that if I were the only person on earth, Christ would have still died for me.’ … I said, ‘I confess that I am a sinner.’ No one had to tell me that. I knew there were things in my life that were incompatible with a holy, just, righteous God. … I said, ‘Right now, in the best way I know how, I open the door of my life and place my trust in You as Saviour and Lord. Take over the control of my life. Change me from the inside out. Make me the type of person You created me to be’ (Josh McDowell, “He Changed My Life,” The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Thomas Nelson, 1999, pp. xxv).

McDowell concludes:

After trying to shatter the historicity and validity of the Scripture, I came to the conclusion that it is historically trustworthy. If one discards the Bible as being unreliable, then one must discard almost all literature of antiquity.

“One problem I constantly face is the desire on the part of many to apply one standard or test to secular literature and another to the Bible. One must apply the same test, whether the literature under investigation is secular or religious.

“Having done this, I believe we can hold the Scriptures in our hands and say, ‘The Bible is trustworthy and historically reliable” (The New Evidence, p. 68).

Finish Part Two at this link.

http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/men_who_were_converted_trying_to_disprove_2.html

*****

Gary Parker

Gary Parker has an Ed.D. in biology/geology from Ball State University. Following is his testimony:

“I wasn’t just teaching evolution, I was preaching it. ‘It was millions of years of struggle and death that brought mankind and all the other animals and plants into being,’ I told my college students. I praised Darwin for being the first to understand how evolution worked. … I let students freely express their religious beliefs, but would not let them use their personal faith to challenge what I considered the rock-hard science of evolution. I thought it was part of my duty as a science teacher to deliver my students from silly old superstitions, like taking the Bible literally and trying to refute evolution with ‘creation science.’

 

“The change began when Dr. Charles Signorino, a chemistry professor at the college where I was teaching biology, invited my wife and me to his home for Bible study. … I started studying the Bible, primarily to criticize it more effectively. …

 

“Make no mistake about it–creation/evolution is a salvation issue. I do not mean you have to have a detailed knowledge of creation science to be a Christian; I simply mean that belief in evolution can be for many, as it was for me, a powerful stumbling block to accepting (or even considering) the claims of Christ. Paul warned Timothy to avoid the oppositions of science falsely so-called, which some have erred concerning the faith (1 Tim. 6:20-21). Evolution is really ‘humanism dressed up in a lab coat,’ a man-centered worldview that uses scientific jargon to put man’s opinions far above God’s Word (as Eve did in the Garden).“My extensive knowledge of, and zeal for, evolution certainly prevented me from even considering that God might be real and the Bible true. So what happened? Well, Dr. Signorino, the colleague who invited me to the Bible study, was not only a superb Bible teacher, he was also a scientist respected internationally for his work in chemistry. He challenged me to look again at the science I thought I knew so well. Confident that science would support evolution and refute biblical literalism, I gladly accepted the challenge.“The battle began. For three years, we argued creation/evolution. For three years, I used all the evolutionary arguments I knew so well. For three years, I lost every scientific argument. In dismay, I watched the myth of evolution evaporate under the light of scientific scrutiny, while the scientific case for Creation-Corruption-Catastrophe-Christ just got better and better. It’s no wonder that the ACLU (actually the anti-Christian lawyers union) fights by any means to censor any scientific challenge to evolution! …“About that time, I got a copy in the mail of the first book I ever wrote, a programmed science instruction book calledDNA: The Key to Life.

 

Up until that time I thought people who wrote books, especially textbooks in science, knew what they were talking about. I had a nearly straight A average and earned numerous academic awards, and my book had been reviewed by experts on DNA, but I knew all the uncertainties that went into it. (Indeed, when I published the second edition five years later, I put the first edition aside and started fresh; so much additional knowledge about DNA had been gained.) It finally dawned on me: if experts in science can write books that have to be continually corrected, revised, and updated, perhaps God could write a Book in which He said what He meant and meant what He said: eternal and unchanging truth, an absolutely sure foundation for understanding life useful to all people at all times in all places!

“Looking now at the Bible as the truly true ‘History Book of the Universe,’ I was lifted out of the prison of time, space, and culture, and enabled to see past the shallow and ever-changing words of human experts to the deep and never-changing Word of the Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth! I experienced who Jesus is and what Jesus meant when He said, ‘You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free’ (John 8:32). …“I could now look at familiar facts in unfamiliar ways–ways that made more sense scientifically and helped me to solve some of the origins problems that had puzzled me as an evolutionist. As I looked at biology with the blinders of evolution finally removed, the biblical theme of Creation-Corruption-Catastrophe-Christ was reflected everywhere! …

“… some said that if I only knew more about fossils, I would give up this ‘creationist nonsense’ and accept the ‘fact of evolution.’ Then the Lord did something fabulous for me: a fellowship from the National Science Foundation for 15 months of full-time doctoral study. With fear and trembling, I added a doctoral minor in geology, emphasizing paleontology and origins, to check out the fossil evidence firsthand. I had excellent professors, including some Christians, but all assumed evolution without question. However, what they taught me about fossils made it hard to believe in evolution and easy to accept the biblical record of a perfect creation, ruined by man, destroyed by the Flood, restored to new life in Christ. …

“At the end of my geophysics unit on radiometric dating, the professor was going over the long list of assumptions that are required to convert any measurement of radioisotope amounts into some estimate of age. Midway through the list of unwarranted assumptions and inconsistent results, the professor paused to joke that if a Bible-believing Christian ever became aware of these problems, he would make havoc out of the radiometric dating system! Then he admonished us to ‘keep the faith.’


“Keep the faith. At bottom, that is all there is to radioactive decay dating: a faith the facts have failed. At bottom, that’s all there is to evolution: a faith the facts have failed. Evolution was only able to get a toe-hold on science because of 19th-century ignorance of molecular biology, cellular ultra structure, ecology, and systematics. Discoveries in these fields completely crushed evolution as a science, but it persists only too well as a secular religion protected from contrary evidence by the anti-American censorship lawyers united” (Persuaded by the Evidence, pp. 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 258, 260, 261).

Finish Part Three at this link.
http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/men_who_were_converted_trying_to_disprove_3.html
*****
David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org

Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc.’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service, an e-mail listing for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY IS NOT DEVOTIONAL BUT IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.Way of Life Literature –
http://www.wayoflife.org

copyright 2013 – Way of Life Literature
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If you truly believe a man, you believe all that he says. He who does not believe that God will punish sin, will not believe that God will pardon it through the atoning blood. He who does not believe that God will cast unbelievers into hell, will not be sure that he will take believers into heaven. If we doubt God’s Word about one thing, we shall have small confidence in it upon another thing. Sincere faith in God must treat all God’s Word alike; for the faith which accepts one word of God and rejects another is evidently not faith in God, but faith in our own judgment, faith in our own taste. Only that is true faith which believes everything that is revealed by the Holy Spirit, whether it be joyous or distressing…I charge you who profess to be the Lord’s not to be unbelieving with regard to the terrible threatenings of God to the ungodly. Believe the threat, even though it should chill your blood; believe, though nature shrinks from the overwhelming doom; for, if you do not believe, the act of disbelieving God about one point will drive you to disbelieve him upon the other parts of revealed truth, and you will never come to that true, child-like faith which God will accept and honour. . .

At times you and I are assailed as to our faith in the Bible, by people who say, “How do you make that out? It is in the Scriptures, certainly, but how do you reconcile it with science?” Let your reply be—We no longer live in the region of argument as to the Word of the Lord; but we dwell in the realm of faith. We are not squabblers, itching to prove our superiority in reasoning, but we are children of light, worshipping our God by bowing our whole minds to the obedience of faith. We would be humble, and learn to believe what we cannot altogether comprehend, and to expect what we should never have looked for, had not the Lord declared it. It is our ambition to be great believers, rather than great thinkers; to be child-like in faith, rather than subtle in intellect. We are sure that God is true!…We stagger not at the Word of God, because of evident improbability and apparent impossibility. What the Lord has spoken he is able to make good; and none of his words shall fall to the ground.

taken from: Noah’s Faith, Fear, Obedience, and Salvation, Sermon No. 2147, Delivered on Lord’s-day Morning, June 1st, 1890, by C. H. Spurgeon.

Matthew Henry

A plain teaching for children.

Q. 1. What must you do in the days of your youth?
A. I must remember my Creator.

Q. 2. Who is your Creator?
A. The great God who made the world.

Q. 3. Who is your preserver?
A. The same God, who made me, preserves and maintains me; and in him I live, and move, and have my being.

Q. 4. What are you made and maintained for?
A. To glorify God.

Q. 5. What do you believe concerning this God?
A. I believe that he is an infinite and eternal spirit, most wise, and powerful, holy, just, and good.
Q. 6. How many Gods are there?
A. There is but one God.

Q. 7. How many persons are there in the godhead?
A. Three: the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and these three are one.

Q. 8. What is your duty to this God as your Creator?
A. It is my duty to fear and honour him, to worship and obey him, and in all my ways to trust in him, and to please him.

Q. 9. What is the rule of your faith and obedience?
A. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, which we call the Bible.

Q. 10. What is the excellency of that book?
A. It is the word of God.

Q. 11. What use will it be of to you?
A. It is able to make me wise to salvation.
Part II. — Of our Misery by Sin, and our Redemption by Christ.

Q. 12. Who were your first parents?
A. Adam and Eve, from whom we are all descended.

Q. 13. What condition did God create them in?
A. Holy and happy.

Q. 14. How did they lose their holiness and happiness?
A. By their disobedience to the command of God, in eating the forbidden fruit.

Q. 15. What condition are we all born in?
A. Sinful and miserable.

Q. 16. How do you perceive your condition to be by nature sinful?
A. Because I find I am naturally prone to that which is evil, and backward to that which is good; and foolishness is bound up in my heart.

Q. 17. How do you perceive your condition to be by nature miserable?
A. Because I find myself liable to many troubles in this life; and the Scripture tells me, I am by nature a child of wrath.

Q. 18. What would become of you then without a Saviour?
A. I should be certainly lost and undone for ever.

Q. 19. Who is it that saves us out of this sad condition?
A. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Mediator between God and Man.

Q. 20. Who was Jesus Christ?
A. The eternal Son of God.

Q. 21. What did he do to redeem and save us?
A. He took our nature upon him, and became man.

Q. 22. What life did he live in that nature?
A. A life of perfect holiness, leaving us an example.

Q. 23. What doctrine did he preach?
A. A true and excellent doctrine concerning God and himself, and another world.

Q. 24. What miracles did he work to confirm his doctrine?
A. He healed the sick with a word; raised the dead, cast out devils, and many other the like.

Q. 25. What death did he die?
A. The cursed death of the cross, to satisfy for our sins, and to reconcile us to God.

Q. 26. What became of him after he was dead?
A. He arose again from the dead on the third day, and ascended up into heaven.

Q. 27. Where is he now?
A. He is at the right hand of God, where he ever lives, making intercession for us, and has all power both in heaven and earth.

Q. 28. When will he come again?
A. He will come again in glory, at the last day, to judge the world.
Part III. — Concerning Baptism and the Covenant of Grace.

Q. 29. What relation do you stand in to the Lord Jesus?
A. I am one of his disciples; for I am a baptized Christian.

Q. 30. Into whose name were you baptized?
A. Into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Q. 31. What was the meaning of your being so baptized?
A. I was thereby given up in a covenant-way, to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Q. 32. What was the covenant which was signified and sealed in your baptism?
A. The covenant of grace made with us in Jesus Christ.

Q. 33. What is the sum of that covenant?
A. That God will be in Christ to us a God, and we must be to him a people.

Q. 34. How then must you take the Lord for your God?
A. I must take God the Father for my chief good, and highest end; God the Son, for my Prince and Saviour; and God the Holy Ghost, for my sanctifier, teacher, guide, and comforter.

Q. 35. How must you give up yourself to him to be one of his people?
A. I must deny all ungodliness, and worldly, fleshly lusts, and must resolve to live soberly,
righteously and godly in this present world, looking for the blessed hope.

Q. 36. What are the three great blessings promised in this covenant?
A. The pardon of sin, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life.

Q. 37. What are the two conditions of this covenant?
A. Repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ.

Q. 38. What is it to repent of your sins?
A. It is to be sorry that I have offended God, in what I have done amiss, and to do so no more.

Q. 39. What is it to believe in Jesus Christ?
A. It is to receive him, and rely upon him as my Prophet, Priest, and King, and to give up myself to be ruled, and taught, and saved by him.

Part IV. — Concerning our Duty to God, Ourselves, and our Neighbour.

Q. 40. How must you evidence the sincerity of your faith and repentance?
A. By a diligent and conscientious obedience to all God’s commandments.

Q. 41. What is the first and great commandment?
A. To love God with all my heart.

Q. 42. What is the second, which is like unto it?
A. To love my neighbour as myself, and to shew it, by doing as I would be done by.

Q. 43. What is the honour you owe to God’s name?
A. I must never take his name in vain; but must always make mention of it with reverence and seriousness.

Q. 44. What is the honour you owe to God’s word?
A. I must read it, and hear it with diligence and attention: I must meditate upon it, believe, and frame my life according to it.

Q. 45. What is the honour you owe to God in his providence?
A. I must receive all his mercies with thankfulness, and I must bear all afflictions with patience, and submission to his holy will.

Q. 46. What is the honour you owe to the Lord’s Day?
A. I must keep the sabbath holy to God, by a diligent performance of the religious duties of the day, both public and private, not speaking my own words, nor doing my own works on that day.

Q. 47. How must you honour God in prayer?
A. I must every day, by solemn prayer, seek the favour of God, and give unto him the glory due unto his name.

Q. 48. In whose name must you pray?
A. In the name of Jesus Christ only.

Q. 49. What must you pray for?
A. For mercy to pardon, and grace to help in the time of need.

Q. 50. What else must you do in your prayers?
A. I must confess my sins, and give God praise for his goodness to me.

Q. 51. What must be your daily care concerning your own soul?
A. I must take care that my heart be not lifted up with pride, nor disturbed with anger, or any sinful passion.

Q. 52. What must be your care concerning your body?
A. I must take care that it be not defiled by intemperance, uncleanness, or any fleshly lusts.

Q. 53. What must be your care concerning your words?
A. I must never tell a lie, nor mock at any body, nor call nicknames, nor speak any filthy words.

Q. 54. What is your duty to your parents and governors?
A. I must reverence and obey them in the Lord: I must thankfully receive their instructions, and submit to their rebukes, and labour in every thing to be a comfort to them.

Q. 55. What is your duty to the poor?
A. I must pity, help and relieve them, according to my ability.

Q. 56. What is your duty to all men?
A. I must render to all their dues; I must be honest and just in all my dealings; I must be respectful to my friends, and forgive my enemies, and speak evil of no man.

Q. 57. How are you able to perform this duty?
A. Not in any strength of my own, but in the strength of the graces of Jesus Christ, which I must ask of God for his sake.

Q. 58. What must you do when you find you come short of this duty?
A. I must renew my repentance, and pray to God for pardon in the blood of Christ, and be careful to do my duty better for the time to come.

Q. 59. What encouragement have you thus to live in the fear of God?
A. If I do so, I shall certainly be happy both in this world, and in that to come.

Part V. — Concerning the future State.

Q. 60. What will become of you shortly?
A. I must shortly die, and leave this world.

Q. 61. What becomes of the body at death?
A. It returns to the earth, to be raised to life again at the day of judgment.

Q. 62. What becomes of the soul then?
A. It returns to God who gave it, to be determined to an unchangeable state, according to what was done in the body.

Q. 63. What shall be the portion of the wicked and ungodly in the other world?
A. They shall all go to hell.

Q. 64. What is hell?
A. It is a state of everlasting misery and torment, in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.

Q. 65. What shall be the portion of the godly in the other world?
A. They shall all go to heaven.

Q. 66. What is heaven?
A. It is a state of everlasting rest and joy with God and Jesus Christ.

Q. 67. What life then will you resolve to live in this world?
A. God’s grace enabling me, I will live a holy godly life, and make it my great car and business to serve God, and save my soul.

Except Ye Repent
By Dr. Harry Ironside

Pastor Harry A. Ironside

Chapter 10 – THEY REPENTED NOT

More than once in the Holy Scriptures we are distinctly told that God speaks to men in the wonders of creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard” (Psalm 19:1-3). Yet nature in itself, beautiful as it is in some things and unspeakably terrible in others, is not sufficient to bring guilty man to repentance. The marvels of the universe ought to convince any thoughtful mind that back of all this amazing machinery is a Creator and a controlling Master Hand to whom every intelligent being owes allegiance. But something more is needed to subdue the sinner’s proud spirit and bend his haughty will to submission, and it is here that the work of the Holy Spirit comes in, acting in power upon the conscience of the godless soul.

We have seen that, while the goodness of God was designed to lead man to repentance, yet, experiencing all the benefits of that goodness, men drifted farther and farther along the downward way that leads eventually to everlasting ruin. It is one of the facts hardest to explain that people who are grateful to their fellows for the smallest favors can yet be recipients of God’s goodness daily, and that in ten thousand different ways, and still ignore completely the Giver of all good forgetting that “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

We need not therefore be surprised that, on the other hand, the judgments of God expressed through what many regard simply as natural calamities also fail, in themselves, to produce repentance, even though they may fill men with fear, horror, and anxiety. Our Lord when predicting conditions that will prevail immediately before His return describes a world in chaotic upheaval, nation rising against nation, kingdom against kingdom, on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, earthquakes in many places, the sea and the waves roaring, men’s hearts failing them for fear for looking after those things which are coming on the earth — yet no intimation of repentance because of sin and a turning to God for deliverance.

It was so in olden days. The prophet Amos furnishes us with a striking picture of the dire circumstances that Israel passed through in the days of her apostasy; but the horrors of famine, the loathsomeness of the plague, and the destruction wrought by fire, storm, and earthquakes, all alike failed to produce repentance. In this connection we cannot do better than read carefully a part of his fourth chapter, verses 6-12:

“And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.”

These sore judgments are similar in character, though not nearly so severe, as those predicted to fall upon Christendom in the last days, when transgressions have come to the full. And in that day, just as when in God’s long-suffering toward Thyatira, He “gave her space to repent” and she repented not, so, three times over, we find the same thing declared concerning those who shall experience the sorrows of the tribulation era. In Revelation, after we pass the third chapter, we have a series of visions in which is set forth most graphically the climax of the age-long struggle between the forces of evil and those of righteousness. Often has it seemed to the doubting and half-hearted that the victory over sin was never to be won, but that the powers of darkness grew even stronger at times than they had been before. But faith could ever look forward to the triumph of the Lamb and His hosts over the dragon and his deluded followers. In these great visions the final outcome is clear — “A king shall reign in righteousness”; yea, righteousness shall cover the earth as the waters cover the great deep.

But ere that time there will come the last terrific struggle, when the wrath of God and of the Lamb shall be revealed from heaven, and the wrath of the devil will be manifested on the earth as never before. Ungodly men caught in the vortex of this dynamic crash of opposing forces will have to suffer indescribable anguish, if they persist in high-handed opposition to the Kingdom of God. But all that they shall be called upon to endure will fail to work repentance in their hearts.

However one may interpret the ninth chapter of the Apocalypse, there can be no question that it is a portent of a condition unspeakably evil which will prevail upon earth for a time, inflicting terrible physical and mental suffering upon men, and destroying millions of the race. Then note the solemn words of verses 20 and 21: “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” It is evident that suffering does not necessarily produce repentance. Twice it is so stated in these two verses.

Advocates of the larger hope and universalists generally insist that all punishment is remedial and that eventually God will perfect through suffering all who now reject His grace. This passage lends itself to no such delusive dream. Those who are to endure the horrors of the judgments here depicted are not thereby brought to confess their sins and seek divine forgiveness. Instead, they harden themselves against God and persist in their immoral and ungodly behavior.

Yet it cannot be denied that suffering has had a very salutary effect on many people; but this does not refute the position taken above. When the grace of God co-operates with the trying circumstances to bring one to a sense of his personal need, his unworthiness of the divine favor, and his dependence on God for that which alone can enable him to rise above the adverse conditions in which he finds himself, suffering will be used to produce repentance. But where this is not the case it results in greater hardness of heart just as the same sun that softens the wax hardens the clay.

A kindred passage to that we have already been considering is Revelation 16:10-11: “And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.”

Here we see that the most intense anguish, instead of producing repentance, only hardens men in their sins and in fact leads them to add to the enormity of their guilt by blasphemously blaming God Himself for the distress which their own unholy ways have involved them in.

Again and again we have seen this principle exemplified in actual life. The student of history will recall how in past centuries, when wars, famines, and pestilences have decimated whole nations, the survivors in most cases have become worse rather than better. One thinks of the days of the plague in Paris in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when terror seized the populace, yet there was a turning from, instead of to, God, and the frenzied citizens plunged into all kinds of vile excesses and orgies of infamy in order to help them to forget the ever present danger.

If a small minority sought after God and recognized that the plague was His voice calling them to repentance, it was only because of His grace working in their hearts. And now that science has demonstrated the possibility of conquering such dire visitations as yellow fever, cholera, and bubonic plague by proper sanitation and extermination of vermin, the majority in place of gratefully owning the Creator’s goodness in making known such things to His creatures, that they may protect themselves against disease and physical suffering, actually deride religion and scorn the Word of the Lord, supposing that increased scientific knowledge has made the concept of an intelligent Creator and an overruling Deity unnecessary, if not altogether absurd.

In view of the well attested saying, that “character tends to permanence,” we may readily see what place these considerations should have as we contemplate what the Holy Scriptures reveal concerning the eternal destiny of those who leave this world impenitent and unreconciled to God. We would all like to believe that there is something cleansing in the great change called death, so that eventually all men will attain the beatific vision and become pure and holy, purged from all earth stains and fitted for fellowship with the infinitely righteous One. But the Scriptures positively declare the very opposite. There we learn of two ways to die and two destinies afterwards, according to the state of those who pass from time into eternity. The Lord Jesus Himself has said, “If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). And in verse 21 He declares, “Whither I go, ye cannot come.” In Revelation 14:13 we read: “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.”

Observe the vivid contrasts here. Some die in their sins; others die in the Lord. Those who die in their sins never go where Christ is; those who die in the Lord enter into rest and are rewarded for their devotion to their Redeemer. There is no hint that some post-mortem method of purification will be found whereby the first class will be brought to repentance and so to turn to Christ for the salvation they spurned on earth. And those who are in the Lord will never be in danger of apostatizing from the faith and losing at last the knowledge of the divine approval.

The solemn words of the Revelation 22:11, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still,” make this position doubly sure. Instead of death leading to a continued probation, we find that it rather settles forever the state of the saved and also of the lost. Character remains unchanged thereafter. The righteous continue righteous. The unrighteous continue in their unrighteousness. The holy remain holy for eternity. The unclean are defiled forever. And the reason is that the saved will then be fully conformed to the image of God’s Son, our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, while the unsaved will, by their own refusal to heed the message of grace, have become hardened in their sin so that they will be beyond all possibility of repenting.

“Sow an act, you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, you reap a character;
Sow a character, you reap a destiny.”

Our Lord’s story of the rich man and Lazarus has been treated by some as a parable solely, and by others as all intensely literal; while many see in it a true story in which figurative language is employed in part when describing the unseen world. But however one may take it, the solemn figure of “a great gulf fixed” and forever impassible either by those who would go from hell to paradise, or from paradise to hell, remains suggestive. It was surely intended to teach the impossibility that anything the wicked might suffer in another world would lead them to repent of their sins and seek to get right with God. The great lesson the Lord meant to impress upon every listener was the importance of repenting here and now, and not indulging the vain hope of some after-death purgatorial cleansing that would accomplish for the one who died impenitent what the believer may know on earth when he takes God at His word. “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” And if men now spurn the grace of God, trample on the blood of Christ, and do despite to the Holy Spirit, God Himself apparently has no other resources upon which to draw, no other means of bringing hardened sinners to repentance than are now in operation.

This accounts for the few among aged Christ-rejecters who repent ere called to give account to God. No one who has worked much in government hospitals, prisons, and other public institutions, where he has had to contact large numbers of hoary-headed sinners, can fail to realize how exceedingly difficult it is to deal with them about eternal things. Often has my very blood seemed to freeze in my veins as some aged blasphemer has cursed me for my temerity in seeking to tell him of Christ. Never have I heard such torrents of vile words poured forth from human lips as when such a one has openly expressed his hatred for God and his contempt for all things holy. One could not but realize that years of persistency in sin had hardened the heart and seared the conscience as with a hot iron, so that all desire for anything better had seemingly passed away, reminding one of the awful description of lost souls given in Revelation 18:14, where a literal translation would read, “the fruit season of thy soul’s desire has gone from thee.”

In the light of these considerations, how earnestly ought we who know Christ ourselves to seek after the lost and endeavor now, while the day of grace lingers, to bring men to repentance that they might come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and in turn be His messengers to others. But if we would do this we must be wise evangelists, not soothing unrepentant sinners to sleep with a “simple gospel” that has no place in it for showing them their great need, ere attempting to present the Remedy.

To Jeremiah God said, as we noticed in an earlier chapter, “Break up your fallow ground, sow not among thorns.” The ploughshare of God’s truth must needs break up hard hearts if we would hear men crying in anxiety, “What must I do to be saved?” When they see their lost condition they will be ready to appreciate the salvation provided in grace.

This is what our forefathers in the Gospel ministry called “law-preaching.” It was the application of the righteous commands of God to the souls of their hearers, in order that “sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” We may possibly have a better understanding of “the dispensation of the grace of God” than some of them, but do we get as good results from our so-called “clear Gospel sermons” as they did from their sterner preaching? We are apt to be so occupied with the doctrinal presentation of the Biblical truth of justification by faith alone that we forget the indifference of the masses to this or any other supernatural message, and so we really fail where we hoped to help. Never be afraid to insist on man’s responsibility to glorify God, and to drive home to his conscience the fact of his stupendous failure. Where there is no sense of sin, there will be no appreciation of grace. Do not daub with untempered mortar. Do not be in such a hurry to get to Romans 3:21 that you pass lightly and hastily over the great indictment of the entire human race in the preceding chapters. There is a world of meaning in Mary’s words: “He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.” It is the “poor in spirit” who appreciate the “riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.”

Our Lord Himself has told us, “They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” And we may be certain that only a sense of their sinfulness will lead any to avail themselves of the skill of the Great Physician. I have already said that this does not mean that men must pass through a certain amount of soul trouble or feel just so much compunction for sin ere they can be saved. But it does mean that men who have sinned with impunity, who have forgotten God, who have scoffed at His grace, or have trusted in a fancied righteousness of their own, should be brought through the Word and Spirit of God to a changed attitude that will make them eager for the salvation so freely offered.

An evangelist had noticed a careless young woman who throughout his preaching had giggled and chattered to an equally thoughtless youth. At the close an overzealous and most unwise “personal worker” stopped the girl at the door and asked, “Won’t you trust in Jesus tonight?” Startled, she replied, “Yes I will.” He directed her to the well known verse, John 3:16, and read it to her: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” “Do you believe that?” he inquired. “Sure, I believe it all,” was the ready reply. “Then, don’t you see, God says you have eternal life?” “O sure, I guess I must have,” she answered with nonchalance and passed out the door. Elated the young worker hurried to the evangelist with the information that “Miss — found peace tonight.” “Peace!” exclaimed the preacher. “Did she ever find trouble?” It was a good question. Far too many are talked into a false peace by ill-instructed persons who would not know what David meant when he exclaimed, “The pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow” (Psalm 116:3). It is the troubled soul who comes to Christ for rest.

How important that such should be urged to immediate decision lest, resisting the Spirit of God as He strives with them, they at last reach the place where they are given up to hardness of heart and “find no place of repentance,” though seeking it with tears. It is not that God will refuse to give repentance, but that there comes a time when it is too late to seek to change conditions that have become settled.

[Dr. Harry Ironside (1876-1951), a godly Fundamentalist author and teacher for many years, served as pastor of Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church from 1930-1948]

By Rich Monson

We need to address one of the most abused and misused sections of Scripture today in our generation. And keep addressing it, until the wrongly divided and mishandled use of it, is predominantly put to rest. Please take a walk with me on this and then share with others, and lets get back to being about our Fathers business.
Half of that business is feeding them solid food, the other is protection from error, false teaching, heresy, wolves and hirelings. Both in love and because of love.

The section we are going to briefly consider is in Matthew 7
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite!
First remove the plank from your own eye,
and then you will see clearly
to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
(Matthew 7:1-5)

The Lord’s admonition not to judge is one of the most abused and misunderstood verses today. As the Lord immediately goes into the rest of that same chapter instructing the need to make judgement of false teachers/prophets, false profession, false foundations.

It cannot be said often enough, so I must.
That there are many who confuse Biblical aspects of correction with judgement

8 of 10 people totally miss the context of Matt 7 and dealing with judging.

Not considering who He was talking to, when, in what setting.
Not considering what the people had falsely been taught by the unsaved, blind Pharisees. Remembering He had told them that their righteousness must go beyond theirs, which until the Sermon on the Mt. They would not have grasped. Because it went to the depth of the heart, not just the outside of the cup.

Jesus was warning the people and disciples in the sermon on the mt against the same exterior self righteousness of the Pharisees, though they had never been made righteous before God.

That is why those who have had the beam removed (those that once were blind,) now being able to see may help their brother remove the speck out of their own eye afterwards.

An unsaved person has no ability to help others, when they themselves are blinded and to attempt to do so is hypocritical, when oneself has not even first been made right with God themselves, thus the hypocritical judgement of Matthew 7. This is the erred judgement of Matthew 7 Jesus addresses. The blind attempting to lead the blind.

As stated earlier, Jesus also goes on in Matthew 7 to command us to make judgement concerning false teachers, false professions, false foundations.
In other places we are told judgement starts at the house of God and that we are to make righteous judgement, and we are told the Word judges people already, on and on we can go. (1 Peter 4:17, John 7:24, John 12:48)
God surely does not want His children walking around making rash judgments, meaning just being critical, “wagging their finger” as a brother used to say.

But there is a grave difference between the hardhearted person doing this simply to point fingers, versus those being obedient to love on, warn and call others to obedient walks, in accordance with the Word of God and what He has called His children to do and walk in.

Sadly because of rebellion and sin, because of Biblical illiteracy these truths get so twisted and repeated, being regurgitated from one pulpit and generation to the next, with many not obeying 2 Tim 2:15, and despite what many think, are those who have become workman ashamed for they are not dividing the Word of God properly. Especially with this section in our generation.

Many times when someone says, “Don’t judge me man!” Or “Who are you to judge?!” Or “The bible says you are not suppose to judge so get off me!” or “We cannot judge them, Jesus said judge not. . .”

Yet many times is not even judgement going on at all.

But many times it is actually one of the many things God has clearly said that we as Christians and Churches are to be found doing. Including rightly dividing the Word and naming names as did Paul, and warning the Church of false teachers and those in error, as did Paul, even confronting Peter face to face at one point regarding error.
But many times it is not judgement going on at all, but it is also such things as: Encouraging others to be obedient, exhorting one another daily, instruction, correction, word of warning, rebuke and even sharp rebuke at times, discipline and admonishment, all things that those who know the Word should in love and a spirit of gentleness considering them own-selves should be found doing, as the Word of God has called us to.
But none of these things are “judging” in the hypocritical manner in which Jesus speaks of. And most are deceived, in error, or unfaithful stewards in their handling of the truth of the Word of God when saying so.

That’s the truth of it. Whether it is comfortable or not, convenient or not, costly or not, we need to get back to walking according to His Word, being God pleasers instead of men pleasers; Instead of being like the Pharisees who loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

So that when others love us enough or others, enough to do what is hard and bring these needed truths to the forefront.
That we would not flesh out, making excuses. That we would not reject them under false pretense of being “Judging” but be those receiving loving correction from those who want to see our walks and lives be blessed and glorify God, by submitting to one another in the fear of the Lord.

Lord help us to be molded by Your truth, to be set aside by it
(John 17:17) And forgive us for bending it to our comfort zones in our rebellion and self seeking ways.

Except Ye Repent
By Dr. Harry Ironside

Pastor Harry A. Ironside

Chapter 9 – REPENTANCE IN THE APOCALYPSE

The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ fittingly closes the volume of Holy Scripture. It deals with both the present age and the coming era, climaxing all God’s ways with man, and bringing before us the eternal issues of the long conflict between good and evil. It is the Lord’s last word to mankind until the voice of the returning Saviour is heard from the heavens, calling His redeemed to meet Him in the air, preparatory to taking His great power in order that the kingdoms of the world may become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ. And, significantly enough, it contains a most urgent summons to repentance. In fact, the call to repent is found seven times in the letters to the seven churches, and four times we are told of men whom God had visited in grace and in judgment who repented not, and thus refused to give Him glory.

Time was when comparatively very few Christians paid much attention to the book of Revelation. As a result of the great revival of Bible study in our day, however, this is no longer so evident. Ministers and people are now studying the Apocalypse, eagerly seeking to find in it some explanation of the present difficult times and some clear light on the impending future.

Many believe that in the letters to the seven churches God has not only given a message that had a direct, literal application to the assemblies named in John’s day, but that there is a hidden, prophetic meaning in them, outlining in a very striking way the state of the church from apostolic days to the end of its testimony on earth. All, however, are not agreed as to this.

But one thing is very evident, and that is, that in these letters the Lord has given us a diagnosis of every state or condition in which His churches may be found at any time throughout the Christian epoch.

Looked at in this way, we see in Ephesus a thoroughly orthodox church that has failed because it has left the freshness of its first love. Smyrna is a suffering church, true to Christ despite persecution and poverty. Pergamos is a worldly church, yet reasonably sound in doctrine, though tolerating much that is very unsound in practice. In Thyatira superstition and gross immorality prevail, save among a very small minority who grieve over conditions, but do not seem able to remedy them. Sardis is cold and formal, with very little evidence of divine life, though even in it a few are found whose garments are undefiled. Philadelphia is a true Bible church, where the authority of the Lord is owned and His name revered. Consequently there is an open door for testimony and faithfulness is manifested in maintaining the truth of God. Laodicea is lukewarm and latitudinarian. Its members play fast and loose with eternal verities and, while professing to have Christ in their midst, He is actually seen outside the door.

Now to all of these churches there comes the voice of the Lord, declaring, “I know thy works.” Everything is open to His searching gaze. It is noticeable that in each letter the order is the same: First, the Lord presents Himself in some special way suited to the spiritual condition of the church addressed. Second, He gives His own diagnosis of the state of that particular assembly. Third, there is a special exhortation or warning, as needed in each case. Fourth, we have the promise to the overcomer and the summons to harken. In the first three letters, however, the call to hear precedes the promise. It is the opposite in the last four. That there is a divine reason for this is evident, but it need not detain us at the present time.

In five out of the seven letters we find the exhortation to repent. Smyrna and Philadelphia are both without rebuke, so there is no such command given to them. Let us note carefully, however, what is said to the other five.

Ephesus is rebuked because of having left her first love. Orthodox to the core, this church seemed to pride itself on its jealousy for fundamentals. But there may be great zeal for doctrinal standards where there is very little manifestation of the love of the Spirit. It is a grievous mistake to suppose that the Lord delights in correct dogma and ignores the lack of love. A cold, hard, censorious devotion to a creed, however correct, will never make up for lack of brotherly kindness and a tender Christlike spirit. So we get the exhortation, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (2:5). How affecting and solemn is this! It is not a question of one who has been a Christian losing his soul, but of a church that once witnessed boldly for Christ now in danger of losing its testimony.

Mere doctrinal correctness is not enough to keep the Gospel light brightly burning. It is as the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit that our words count with others. Emerson said once, “What you are speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you say.” And an inconsistent, un-Christlike church will cause the world to turn in scorn from its message. So the Lord calls for repentance. That this is more than a mere change of opinion is evident, for He adds, “and do the first works.” He would have them turn from their supercilious self-satisfaction to the love and earnestness of their early days, when He Himself was precious to their souls and for love of Him they could toil and suffer that others might know Him too. Surely to many of us today the same call comes, coupled with the warning that unless there be a new attitude, a turning back to the Lord in contrition and confession, He will take away the candlestick, and we shall be useless so far as witnessing for Him in a dark world is concerned.

The condition of the Pergamos church is even worse. For there positively evil things were tolerated and unholy alliances formed, which were an affront to the One they professed to serve. Again comes the call to repent. Note the words, “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth” (v. 16). What a solemn alternative! Repent, or I will fight against thee! He cannot tolerate unjudged iniquity in His professed people. He will be sanctified in them that come nigh Him. To boast of salvation by grace while living in sin is detestable to Him. The sword of His mouth is His Word. That Word is positively against all who make a pretence of godliness while walking in unholy ways.

Could anything be more needed today than such a message as this? Is not the church in many places dwelling comfortably on Satan’s throne, settled down in the world, with no thought of separation to Christ? Balaam of old taught Balak that, if he could break down the wall of separation between his own wicked Moabites and Israel, their own God would have to punish them for their backslidings. The iniquity of Baal-Peor accomplished what Balaam’s attempt to curse could not do. It is indeed a serious matter when the Lord has to take sides, as it were, against His people. But He refuses to condone sin in His saints. Surely we all need to heed the call to repent.

When we turn to consider the Thyatira church we are confronted with conditions so grave and wickedness so shocking that we might naturally hesitate to recognize it as a church of God at all. Yet the Lord addresses it as such. It bore His name. It professed to represent Him in the world. Yet it condoned iniquitous practices that were below the level of ordinary decency. On the other hand, this church had once been characterized by love and devotion of an unusually high order, and there were in it still a faithful remnant who mourned over its fallen condition and who were as the salt preserving it from utter corruption.

Are there not many such churches at the present time? Is it not true that in scores of instances known evil of the vilest kind is tolerated in Christian communities, and no attempt made to cleanse the leprous house? How often have wealth and prominence protected wrongdoers and seemingly made it impossible to deal with them, lest whole families be disgraced or the church be actually disrupted. But desperate diseases require drastic treatment. The voice of God is still calling to repentance. Until there be a changed attitude toward unholy practices there can be no blessing.

In Thyatira there was open immorality, and that of the most revolting type. Like the licentious orgies of the heathen Nature worshippers, it was often practiced under the guise of pretended piety. That wicked princess Jezebel, who brought her hateful Phoenician idolatry over to Israel and grafted it into the perverted worship of Jehovah, is used as the symbol of what had crept into this church. Degrading and revolting behavior was thus linked with the holy Name of Christ.

It had gone so far, and the proponents of this corruption had been so persistent and so determined, that the Lord says, “I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds” (Rev. 2:21-22). The last words indicate that there was hope still. He had not utterly rejected them. But blessing and restoration were conditioned upon repentance. How marvellous is the long-suffering of the grieved and offended Spirit of God. And if today the churches would heed the call, and repent, honestly facing every wicked thing in the light of the Word of God, there would come, we may be sure, revival and renewal that would make the once powerless assemblies a living witness for Christ in the world.

In the church in Sardis we see a very different condition prevailing. There all is outwardly correct. There is no intimation that vile practices of any kind were being tolerated. But all is cold and formal. It is the respectability of spiritual death. Yet it is evident there was a time when this church was aflame with passionate devotion to Christ. Hence the admonition, “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee” (Rev. 3:3).

One thinks of many churches founded in revival days or reformation times where the light of truth shone brightly and the members were marked by intense zeal and energy. Evangelizing the lost and building up believers were characteristic under a Spirit-filled ministry that made such churches centers of blessing for miles around. But little by little all this has been changed. Formality has taken the place of living power. Coldness has succeeded the old time spiritual fervor. Academic pulpiteering has displaced the Bible preaching of the olden days. And smug self-complacency now holds sway where once deep concern for the souls of others was manifest.

O that in such former strongholds of evangelicalism and active evangelism there might be a great turning to God, a repentance that would again fill nearly vacant prayer rooms and bring the churches to their knees in brokenness of spirit until God should open the windows of heaven and pour out life-giving showers to revive the barren wastes and give the world to see again a mighty movement of His Holy Spirit.

“Revive Thy work, O God,
Disturb this sleep of death.
Quicken the smoldering embers, Lord,
By Thine Almighty breath.”

Such a revival is sorely needed, but it can only come in the wake of sincere repentance.

With the church in Philadelphia the Lord finds no fault. He commends it for its faithfulness and promises rich reward, so we find here, as in the letter to Smyrna, no call to repent.

But it is otherwise with lukewarm Laodicea. Another has remarked that “a lukewarm state is not a passing from cold to hot, but from hot to cold” (Russell Elliot, in A Last Message). And this is what has so often taken place. Moreover, it is a state easy to fall into. Most of us realize that true, spiritual fervor is maintained only where there is a constant sense of our weakness and the need of much prayer and of nourishing the soul upon the Word of God. If private devotion be neglected we will soon become lukewarm, and the church itself is just what its members make it. These Laodiceans did not seem to know that their condition called for any rebuke. Like Israel in Hosea’s day it could be said, “Gray hairs are here and there upon him, but he knoweth not.” Like Samson, their strength had departed and they wist it not. Backsliding begins so insidiously that one may get far from God in heart and mind before some terrible failure reproves and arouses him. Hence the need of constant watchfulness.

The believer out of fellowship with God may be quite satisfied for a time, boasting of being rich and increased with goods and needing nothing. Yet all the while the Lord detects the sad lack of practically everything that makes for vital godliness. In His grace He sends trial and affliction to draw the wayward heart back to Himself. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (3:19). No halfway measures will do. There must be positive, earnest endeavor to trace the evil to its source and to take the right attitude toward it and to the One who has been so grievously wronged. For He stands outside the door — and mark, it is the door of the church, not merely of the individual — knocking and seeking restoration of fellowship. The door is unlatched only by repentance; it can be opened in no other way. So long as there is pride and arrogancy He remains outside, for He has said, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word” (Isa. 66:2). He delights to dwell with those who fear Him and cleave to His truth, but he knoweth the proud afar off.

How touchingly He speaks to His disciples, as recorded in John 14:23: “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” It has often been pointed out that the word translated “abode” here is the same as that translated “mansions” in verse 2. He has gone back to the glory to prepare an abiding place for us. Meantime the Father and the Son delight to find an abiding place in the hearts of the redeemed while still in this wilderness-world.

Oh, the shame of keeping Him outside the door! Like the bridegroom in the Song He cries, “Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night” (Cant. 5:2). But we coldly slumber on, or if barely awakened find some flimsy excuse for not giving Him admittance.

“Be zealous therefore, and repent.” Conditions are worse than we know. Lethargy and drowsiness have blunted our sensibilities. The hour is late. The end of the age draws on. And we are indifferent and lukewarm still. Repentance, if it be worth while, must come soon. Otherwise it will be too late, and He will say of us as of Thyatira, “I gave her space to repent … and she repented not.”

Oh, what God might yet do with a truly repentant church, aflame with loving devotion to her adorable Lord!

Mr. Sunday, the eccentric evangelist so recently gone to his reward, used to relate a graphic story of a well known village atheist who was seen running vigorously to a burning church building intent on joining with others in subduing the flames. A neighbor observing him, exclaimed facetiously, “This is something new for you! I never saw you going to church before.” The atheist replied, “Well, this is the first time I have ever seen a church on fire.” Who can tell how many might be drawn to the people of God if they were only on fire for Christ and burning with zeal to win the lost?

“O kindle within us a holy desire
Like that which was found in Thy people of old,
Who valued Thy love and whose hearts were on fire,
While they waited in patience Thy face to behold.”

A lukewarm church is a powerless church. There is nothing about it to make unsaved men believe its testimony is worth while. But a church characterized by fervent love for Christ, and energetically reaching out after the lost makes an impression even upon the most ungodly that it is hard to ignore. When the churches themselves heed the command to repent and get right with God, we may expect to see repentant sinners flocking to their altars.

[Dr. Harry Ironside (1876-1951), a godly Fundamentalist author and teacher for many years, served as pastor of Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church from 1930-1948]

Speaking In Tongues Study

August 6, 2013 at 12:26pm

By Mark Jungwirth.

Speaking in Tongues is only mentioned in 3 books in the Bible: Mark, Acts, and Corinthians. In Mark, it is spoken of, but not in detail. In Acts, it is referring to someone speaking an understandable human language that they couldn’t possibly know how to speak. And in Corinthians, tongues are mentioned by Paul only to give a rebuke to the Corinthians for perverting and misusing the gift. The next point that must be understood is that when the Bible talks about speaking in tongues, the word “tongues” is glóssa, which simply means “tongue (the body part)” or “languages”. It’s obvious from the context that the meaning in the case of “speaking in tongues” is languages. In other words, the gift of tongues is more properly translated “the gift of languages”.

 

Mark 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. [ languages]

 

Acts 2:3  Tongues [ the body part] like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them. 

 

(When it says “tongues as of fire”, it is describing when God supernaturally manifested literal tongues (the body part) that looked as if they were made of fire, which represented the language that each individual was speaking. This was the 2nd physically noticeable sign from God, the first being the “noise like a violent rushing wind”, in the previous verse Acts 2:2)

 

Acts 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues,  [ languages] as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

Acts 2:11  Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues [ languages] the wonderful works of God. 

 

(For absolute proof that regular human languages were being spoken, look at verses 5-11, “And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language to which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”  First, the listing of the different countries, and the fact that it says specifically in verse 8, “And how is it that we hear, each in our own language to which we were born,”  proves undoubtedly that “speaking in tongues” means speaking in a human language that the speaker has not learned. Second, the fact that Gallileans were speaking in Jewish languages is a big deal. Gallileans were uneducated and couldn’t speak those languages. Also, it was unimagginable to the Jews that God would communicate in a Gentile language. This was part of the miraculous sign to them that God had brought salvation to both Jews and Gentiles through Christ. The fact that Jews were hearing works of God declared in their own dialects by people who didn’t speak such languages was fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 28:11, which Paul addresses specifically in 1 Corinthians 14:21.)

 

Acts 10:46  For they heard them speak with tongues [ languages], and magnify God. Then answered Peter.

 

Acts 19:6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues [ languages], and prophesied.

 

*Note: The KJV sometimes says “unknown tongues” in Corinthians, rather than just “tongues”. The word “unknown” does NOT appear in the original Greek. As well, it could be logically concluded that when it says “unknown tongues” that it is not saying the language is some sort of mystery language that nobody knows, but that it means the language is simply a language that the speaker does not know, which is exactly how the gift of tongues is described every place in scripture.  

 

1 Corinthians 12:10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another diverse kinds of tongues [ languages]; to another the interpretation of tongues [ languages].

 

1 Corinthians 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues [ languages].

 

1 Corinthians 12:30  Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues [ languages]? Do all interpret?

 

1 Corinthians 13:1  If I speak with the tongues [ languages] of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

 

(Just to note: 1 Cor. 13:1 in the KJV says “Though I speak”, not “if I speak”, but in the original Greek it is properly translated “If I speak”.  Paul is using hyperbole here, saying “I don’t care if you speak like a man or an angel, if you do it without love, its meaningless.” This is well supported by the very next 2 verses, and by the ending of the previous chapter. Some Pentecostals and Charismatics have taken the words “tongues of men and of angels” out of context here and claim that it means speaking in an angelic language for private prayer. They combine this verse with Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities for we know not what we should pray for as we ought but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”  Nowhere does it say anything about a private prayer language there. It says that the spirit makes intercession for us with groanings that CAN’T be uttered, not language that CAN be uttered (meaning cant be spoken with words). And it’s not us doing it, it’s the Holy Spirit. The word “groanings” is stenagmós – groaning (sighing), especially brought on by circumstances creating great pressure. See 4727 (stenazo). Stenázo (from 4728 /stenós, “compressed, constricted”) – properly, to groan because of pressure of being exerted forward (like the forward pressure of childbirth); (figuratively) to feel pressure from what is coming on – which can be intensely pleasant or anguishing (depending on the context). The words “can not be uttered” is alalétos in the Greek, which means “unutterable” or “inexpressible”. When it says “groanings too deep for words” or “groanings that cant be uttered” it means literal groaning or sighing, not speaking gibberish. Therefor, this scripture is clearly NOT referring to speaking in tongues or an “angelic language”. It is simply saying that when you are under great stress and pressure that you may actually groan or sigh (being too stressed to speak properly) and the Holy Spirit, knowing what you are groaning for, makes intercession for you to God.   It’s important to realize that nowhere in scripture is it ever recorded that angels have their own language or speak in non-human language. Every instance where an angel speaks in scripture it is in a regular human language. A very interesting point that must be made here is found in the Greek in Matthew 6:7.  “But when you pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”  The word for “vain repetitions” is battologéo, which means “to blubber nonsensical repetitions.” And the word comes from “batta” and “logos”. Logos means “word”. Batta is an onomatopoeia, which means it is a word whose sound suggests the sense. Example: The letter B makes the “buh” sound, the letter K makes the “kah” sound, and the letter G makes the “guh” sound. Buh, kah, and guh are onomatopoeias, as are words like “hiss” and “whoosh”. In other words, what Christ is saying in Matthew 6:7 could be taken to mean “Do not say ‘Kah buh lo tay ma’ like the heathen do.”  But regardless of whether or not this rendering of battologéo is what was intended, there is still no scriptural justification for speaking in such a manner.  

 

1 Corinthians 13:8  Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall pass away; whether there be tongues [ languages], they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall pass away.

 

(Here the words for “Cease” and for “Pass Away” are 2 different words, which may mean 2 different things. “Pass away” is katargethesontai, which is a future indicative passive verb. Passive meaning nothing is going to act upon it. It will “pass away” on its own. While “Cease” is pausontai, which is a future indicative middle verb (not passive) which could mean something will act upon it, making it cease, or putting it to an end. I say “which could mean something will act upon it” because it can’t be proven if the author meant for a different meaning by using the terms “cease” VS “pass away”. It is very possible that Paul simply meant that all of these things will stop when “the perfect comes” (mentioned in the following verses). 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 says, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”  The “perfect” can’t be the 2nd coming of Christ because knowledge and prophecy will still have their place, as we will still be in our human bodies here on Earth. The “perfect”, according to many Bible scholars, is the eternal state, the New Heaven and New Earth. This can be verified by looking at the Greek word for “perfect”. The word is teleion, which means “absolutely complete, or fully developed in all parts”; then by looking at the Greek word for “be done away” at the end of verse 10. The word is katargethesetai, which means “to be rendered ineffectual.”  In other words, “we know in part and prophesy in part, but when that which is complete has come, the partial knowledge and partial prophecy will be rendered ineffectual.”  God is saying that knowledge and prophecy will be complete and fully developed, that we will have all knowledge. This is further proven by Luke 12:2 “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”  This explains why partial knowledge and partial prophecy will be ineffectual. And if prophecy and knowledge won’t be rendered ineffectual until we’re in our spiritual forms in the eternal New Heaven and New Earth, and tongues will cease by something making them cease, then this means that tongues must cease sometime in regular Earthly human history. Based upon historical evidence and study of scripture, the most logical time for this to happen would be with the completion of Biblical scripture. In all known church history and writings after the New Testament, the “gibberish version of “tongues” had never been regarded as orthodox (accepted by most Christians) until the rise of Pentecostalism. References to speaking in tongues by the Church fathers are rare. Other than Irenaeus’ 2nd-century reference to many in the church speaking all kinds of languages “through the Spirit”, and Tertullian’s reference in 207 AD to the spiritual gift of interpretation of tongues being encountered in his day, there are no other known first-hand accounts of speaking in tongues, and very few second-hand accounts among their writings. And in their writings we see again, “speaking in tongues” is talking about actual human languages. I do not take the cessationist position that tongues have ceased with the completion of scripture, based upon testimonies from various legitimate Christians (all of whom speak of “tongues” as being a human language that they didnt know how to speak), and based upon the fact that cessationists also say that all of the “sign gifts” such as healing are no longer in operation but regardless, it is abundantly clear that it is not gibberish talk. It is being able to speak in a language that the speaker has not learned.)

 

1 Corinthians 14:2  For he who speaks in a tongue [ language] is not talking to men but to God; because no one knows what he is saying; but in the Spirit he speaks mysteries. (Paul is not affirming the idea that “tongues” are also a privatre prayer language to God, he is saying “If you speak in a tongue [ language] only God knows what you are saying. You may speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit, but its useless because nobody understands you.” This is proven by the context and content of the very next verses and the rest of the chapter.)

 

1 Corinthians 14:4  He who speaks in a tongue [ language] edifies himself; but he who gives the prophet’s word edifies the church. 

 

(It is clear by the previous verses that the gift is for edification of the church, not for edification of yourself. Self-edification puffs you up and makes you prideful. Here, Paul is warning against the selfish and show-off-ish use of the gift.)

 

1 Corinthians 14:5  I would that ye all spake with tongues [ languages] but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, unless he interprets, that the church may receive edifying.  

 

1 Corinthians 14:6  Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues [ languages], what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

 

1 Corinthians 14:11-19 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me. Even so, you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel. Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue [ language], my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the mind. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the mind. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified. I thank my God I speak with tongues [ languages] more than you all, yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue [ language].

 

(Paul makes it abundantly clear that speaking in tongues is pointless if the hearer can’t understand you.)

 

1 Corinthians 14:21-23  In the law it is written, With men of other tongues [ languages] and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues               [ languages] are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that do not believe: but prophesying is not for them that do not believe, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues [ languages], and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that you are mad? 

 

(When Paul says, “In the Law it is written,” he is referencing Isaiah 28:11 because when the Gallileans spoke in Jewish dialects at Pentecost, it was the fulfillment of that prophecy.) 

 

1 Corinthians 14:27-28  If anyone speaks in a tongue [ language], let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.

 

(This is very clear and tight restriction on use of tongues in the church. All Paul is saying here is, “If you’re going to speak in a language, make sure it gets translated so that everyone knows what is being said. Otherwise, be silent, because without translation your gift is being abused by showing it off with no purpose.” These two verses should be shown to almost every modern tongue-speaker. Regardless of whether or not someone chooses to believe in the modern gibberish version of tongues, they should at least recognize and live by the guidelines laid out in God’s Word.) 

 

1 Corinthians 14:34-38  Let women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church. Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. But if anyone does not recognize this, let him not be recognized.

 

(Many women will not want to acknowledge these scriptures, and many pastors will not teach the truth of what they say, however, God’s Word is God’s Word. And here Paul is stressing this teaching so much that he actually says “If anyone does not recognize these teachings as being commanded by God Himself, let that person not be recognized as a true believer.” It doesn’t get much clearer than that. Women are not to speak in tongues, or at all during church service. They are to be submissive, in general, toward men, and should look to their husbands for spiritual headship and instruction.) 

 

1 Corinthians 14:39  Wherefore, brethren, desire to prophesy, and don’t forbid to speak with tongues [languages]. 

 

(Finally, after giving such a rebuke, Paul closes by clarifying that there is indeed a proper manner in which to exercise the gift of tongues.)

 

* If what modern tongue-speakers do is actually speaking an “angelic language” why are there no discernible words in that language? Why is it that you can compare 2 modern tongue-speakers and often they sound so similar (even saying the exact same “words” in order), but when the supposed translation is given you often find they said vastly different things? (Example: Person 1 says “Ka lo boba tah see tah tay no mo.”, and person 2 says “Ka lo boba tay tah see tah no mo”  These 2 “sentences” should be translated to say similar things if this is an actual language with actual words, however, we often find that “tongues” will be this similar, but with vastly different translations. And often times the length of the supposed translation won’t seem to match the length of what is being said “in tongues”.  If this is a language, why is it that we can’t analyze words and conjugations and figure out what is being said, at least to some degree? The answer is: because it isn’t actually a language. Its gibberish. And if it isn’t an actual language then it isn’t the gift of languages. 

 

 

* In 1972, William J. Samarin, a linguist from the University of Toronto, published a thorough assessment of Pentecostal glossolalia which became a classic work on its linguistic characteristics.[6] His assessment was based on a large sample of glossolalia recorded in public and private Christian meetings in Italy, The Netherlands, Jamaica, Canada and the USA over the course of five years; his wide range included the Puerto Ricans of the Bronx, the Snake Handlers of the Appalachians and the Russian Molokan in Los Angeles.

 

 

Samarin found that glossolalic speech does resemble human language in some respects. The speaker uses accent, rhythm, intonation and pauses to break up the speech into distinct units. Each unit is itself made up of syllables, the syllables being formed from consonants and vowels taken from a language known to the speaker:

 

 

It is verbal behaviour that consists of using a certain number of consonants and vowels[…]in a limited number of syllables that in turn are organized into larger units that are taken apart and rearranged pseudogrammatically[…]with variations in pitch, volume, speed and intensity.[7]

 

 

[Glossolalia] consists of strings of syllables, made up of sounds taken from all those that the speaker knows, put together more or less haphazardly but emerging nevertheless as word-like and sentence-like units because of realistic, language-like rhythm and melody.[8]

 

 

That the sounds are taken from the set of sounds already known to the speaker is confirmed by others. Felicitas Goodman, a psychological anthropologist and linguist, also found that the speech of glossolalists reflected the patterns of speech of the speaker’s native language.[9]

 

 

Samarin found that the resemblance to human language was merely on the surface and so concluded that glossolalia is “only a facade of language”.[10] He reached this conclusion because the syllable string did not form words, the stream of speech was not internally organized, and – most importantly of all – there was no systematic relationship between units of speech and concepts. Humans use language to communicate but glossolalia does not. Therefore he concluded that glossolalia is not “a specimen of human language because it is neither internally organized nor systematically related to the world man perceives”.[10] On the basis of his linguistic analysis, Samarin defined Pentecostal glossolalia as “meaningless but phonologically structured human utterance, believed by the speaker to be a real language but bearing no systematic resemblance to any natural language, living or dead”.[11]

 

Felicitas Goodman studied a number of Pentecostal communities in the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico; these included English, Spanish and Mayan speaking groups. She compared what she found with recordings of non-Christian rituals from Africa, Borneo, Indonesia and Japan. She took into account both the segmental structure (such as sounds, syllables, phrases) and the supra-segmental elements (rhythm, accent, intonation) and concluded that there was no distinction between what was practiced by the Pentecostal Protestants and the followers of other religions.[12]

 

Conclusion:

 There is no biblical support for the idea that speaking in tongues means speaking in “angelic” gibberish. Every instance in scripture where tongues are mentioned it is clear that it is talking about an actual understandable human language. There is also no scientific evidence that the gibberish modern tongue-speakers use is a language. Tongues may or may not be in operation in modern times. Although it appears from church history, and from scripture study, that the gift is no longer in operation, even if it is, the gift is being able to speak in a language you haven’t learned, not speaking gibberish. Hence the gift being called the “gift of languages”, not the “gift of gibberish”.   

By Mark Jungwirth.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-jungwirth/speaking-in-tongues-study/606796462693394

Over ten years ago, I remember being bombarded with disasters that were predicted to happen. Some came from sources like The Elijah List, some from radio talk shows, some from well-meaning friends. But they didn’t happen. Some warnings even had built-in escape clauses if the prediction did not happen. Most unrealized  disasters were shrugged off and it was on to the next-case scenario.

What frightened me most… many of the  prophecies echoed messages coming from sites like TopSecret and GodProductions where people openly admitted to listening to their spirit guides. The connection and implication is startling.

I was once deceived myself and was listening to the enemy who gave me a prophecy about an impending disaster with a time frame. It did not happen and I knew something was terribly wrong. What I thought was from God was from an evil spirit. God then led me to Deuteronomy 18:22. “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is message the Lord has not spoken…” Then 1 Samuel 15:23 hit me like a ton of bricks…”For rebellion is like the sin of divination…” I was not hearing from the Lord and was guilty of divination. I repented of my sin and the counterfeit “gift” left me. Instead of focusing on the Written Word of the canon, I opened myself up by heeding instead of testing the spirits. I had prayed for truth and the Lord was gracious to clearly reveal it to me.

This article is very important to me and I agree with the writers fully. We should and be can spiritually prepared  and ready for what is to come, but all the false predictions causes scoffing and makes Christianity look foolish. The epistles throughout warn us of deception in the church and there is a war on the saints.

Take a look at the end notes which are also very interesting.

Profiting from the Promulgation 
of End-Time CRI$I$ Scenarios 

Thus saith the LORD, 
Learn not the way of the heathen, 
and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven;
for the heathen are dismayed at them. 
(Jeremiah 10:2)

The evangelical world has been feasting on a constant diet of crisis for several decades now. Despite the relative peace and prosperity that Americans currently enjoy, fear is being marketed in every outlet. Fear of the future. It is big money for evangelical professional marketeers, many of whom act like false prophets continually prophesying doom and destruction. In fact, so much so, that many Christians now seem addicted to the adrenalin rush that comes via these dire predictions of disaster. It is a Pavlovian thing – spout the CRISIS, and fear-laden followers will respond by pushing the button to buy pre-packaged SOLUTIONS! This phenomena can best be described as prophecy-mongering, a term that has connotations of profiteering from promoting endtime crises.

Crisis-mongering is not a new thing. Chicken Little in the children’s folk tale went around crying, “The sky is falling!” This message has now become “a common idiom indicating a hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent.”[1] Despite the moral of the Chicken Little story, dire predictions are becoming a way of life for many evangelicals. The more exotic, the more titillating, the more dramatic – the more people will get all worked up. It isn’t just fear. Many of these catastrophic endtime scenarios are also extremely evocative, even licentious. It is tough to remain sober-minded when constantly assaulted by horrifying and/or Hollywoodized images[2] of the future. But being sober is exactly what a believer is supposed to do in these last days – “the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Peter 4:7).[3]

Finish HERE 

Excerpt

The Real Crisis and the Real Solution 

  • QUESTION: what is the WORST CRISIS facing humanity?
  • ANSWER: The lost, the unsaved who will go to Hell if they don’t hear the SOLUTION of the Gospel message of Salvation and accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

Christian – If this CRISIS with its truthful SOLUTION is not your primary FOCUS in life, then you need to search plain Scripture and re-discover the simplicity of the Gospel.

GOD DOES NOT GIVE A FRESH REVELATION, BUT HE RIVETS THE OLD ONE

A

Now there are some persons who make a great mistake about the influence of the Holy Spirit. A foolish man, who had fancy to preach in a certain pulpit, though in truth he was quite incapable of the duty, called upon the minister, and assured him solemnly that it had been revealed to him by the Holy Ghost, that he was to preach in his pulpit.

“Very well,” said the minister, “I suppose I must not doubt your assertion, but as it has not been revealed to me that I am to let you preach, you must go your way until it is.” I have heard many fanatical persons say the Holy Spirit revealed this and that to them. Now that is very generally revealed nonsense.

The Holy Ghost does not reveal anything fresh now. He brings old things to our remembrance. “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have told you.” The canon of revelation is closed; there is no more to be added.

God does not give a fresh revelation, but he rivets the old one. When it has been forgotten, and laid in the dusty chamber of our memory, he fetches it out and cleans the picture, but does not paint a new one.

There are no new doctrines, but the old ones are often revived. It is not, I say, by any new revelation that the Spirit comforts. He does so by telling us old things over again; he brings a fresh lamp to manifest the treasures hidden in Scripture; he unlocks the strong chests in which the truth had long lain, and he points to secret chambers filled with untold riches; but he comes no more, for enough is done.

Believer! there is enough in the Bible for thee to live upon for ever. If thou shouldst outnumber the years of Methusaleh, there would be no need for a fresh revelation; if thou shouldst live till Christ should come upon the earth, there would be no necessity for the addition of a single word.

If thou shouldst go down as deep as Jonah, or even descend as David said he did, into the belly of hell, still there would be enough in the Bible to comfort thee without a supplementary sentence.

But Christ says, “He shall take of mine and shall show it unto you.”

Charles Spurgeon

Micah’s Rule and the First Amendment

In 1998, gospel star Kirk Franklin said that

“homosexuality … is a problem today in gospel music–a

major concern–and everybody knows it” (Church Boy,

pp. 49, 50). The truth of this has been demonstrated more

clearly with each passing year. The most recent example

is a trio named Micah’s Rule which recorded their first

album in 2012. The band is composed of Greg McCaw, a

homosexual; Chasity Scott, a lesbian; and Mary Anne

Hewett, a “transgender.” Their first CD is “a mix of

Southern gospel, classic country, blues and a medley of

1960s peace songs–all with a Christian message” (“Gay,

Transgender Band Breaks Barriers in Christian Music,”

Religion News Service, Feb. 15, 2013). McCaw was a

Church of God pastor for 25 years and sang bass for more

than two decades for popular Southern Gospel and CCM

musicians such as Sandi Patty, Bill Gaither, and the Gatlin

Brothers. Currently, the members of Micah’s Rule attend

St. Jude Metropolitan Community Church in Wilmington,

North Carolina. Micah’s Rule wants their music to speak

the message that “in life, it’s how you walk your road, not

listening to people who say you’re not worthy of God’s

love.” McCaw adds, “We’ve all had that experience.”

 

This is a deceptive smokescreen. The issue is not whether

homosexuals are loved of God, or whether Christ died for

them, or whether they can be saved. It is not whether their

sin is greater than someone else’s. The issue is repentance.

The Bible plainly teaches that Christ shed His blood and

died because God loved the whole world of sinners (John

3:16). Christ came to seek and to save every lost soul. But

the Bible just as plainly teaches that men must repent of

their sin in order to be saved (Luke 13:3-5; Acts 17:30),

and homosexuality is most definitely a sin before God. In

Romans 1:26-27 it is called “vile,” “against nature,”

“lust,” “unseemly,” and “error.” Homosexuals today must

do what homosexuals did in ancient Corinth. They must

repent of their sin before God and receive the lifechanging,

sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit in

regeneration. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not

inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither

FORNICATORS, nor idolaters, nor ADULTERERS, nor

EFFEMINATE, nor ABUSERS OF THEMSELVES

WITH MANKIND, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor

drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the

kingdom of God. And SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU:

but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are

justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit

of our God’ (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

Source Way of  Life Literature

Newsletter March 2013

Additional Source 

June 2021
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