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Evangelist, Baptist, Husband, Father, Mid-30's.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ecstatic Utterances are Heresy

One has to wonder how exactly it happened that tongues have been defined as speech, often incomprehensible, typically uttered during moments of religious ecstasy. (Merriam-Webster) These are the opposite of what the Bible calls tongues, this definition fits under the definition of an unknown tongue (singular) and is exactly the opposite of biblical tongues.

This pagan practice is outright condemned by the Bible. If your church is speaking in these utterances, otherwise referred to as Glossolalia, there is something wrong. The Apostle Paul caught one of his churches doing this, and he sharply rebuked them for it. Notice in First Corinthians 14, there is a real difference between Paul’s lauding of tongues (languages) and his disgust with an unintelligible tongue (language).

The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. (v.4)

Paul is clearly saying that a person who speaks an incomprehensible language isn’t doing it for the good of the body, but for the look-at-me! factor. Are you out to please men or God? If you are trying to please men, you are not a servant of Christ.

Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophecy. (v.5)

Speaking other languages is good for the propagation of the Gospel, especially interpreters who do much to build up the church by translating Greek and Hebrew into various languages. But listen to what Paul says about speaking in a made up language,

If with your tongue you speak words that are unintelligible…you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none are without meaning. (v.9,10)

I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten-thousand words in a tongue. (v.19)

If you absolutely feel the necessity to speak in an unknown language, first find someone to translate, someone else who speaks your made-up language to test your message. If you can’t find someone else who speaks your language, Paul says sit down and shut up. (v.28) Your God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. I do not forbid the speaking of tongues, but I certainly forbid the speaking of gibberish, of an unknown tongue, of unintelligible, unordered, indecent language.

God esteems his word higher than we can possibly understand (John 1:1, 17:17, Hebrews 4:12, 11:3, 2 Peter 3:5), Koine Greek is one of the most precise languages ever created, and to say that this God, who uses such exacting language, would opt for gibberish is antithetical to the nature of the Bible. Daniel Webster felt called to compile his dictionary based on the idea that if God chooses to reveal himself to us through language, we should make every effort to rightly understand it. Since no useful ecstatic utterance has been recorded in history, this false doctrine of speaking in an unknown tongue shows its heinous origins.

A basic and foolproof test for biblical tongues is that if I can tell you're doing it, then you're not. Our brothers at Pentecost spoke in tongues, no doubt about that; notice though that they were perfectly understood and no one was needed to translate for them,

The multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. (Acts 2:6)

If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? Beloved, we are in a battle for souls, if you’re running around going lalalalalabladaddaboopy, you are not building up, but tearing down, and confusing your troops.

Don’t do it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Beautiful are the Fingers that Type the Good News

God asked Job, “Canst thou send forth lightnings, so that they go and say to you, Here We Are?"

It only took three thousand years, but we can momentarily take our hand from our mouth and say, “Yes, God, we can.” Don’t forget to firmly clamp your hand back over your mouth after saying as much.

Jesus Christ said that when he returns, some would be out working in the fields, and others would be home sleeping, but he said that everyone would see the Second Coming. Isaiah makes it clear that the world is round, Jesus knew this, after all, he created it. How then do we expect everyone to witness the return real time? If he manifests himself over Jerusalem, then California will be in the eclipse, if he begins his reign over England, then Australia will wonder what’s going on. How will everyone see this happening real time?

Television and the Internet, that’s how. You are currently reading this on a tool for the prophecy completion of the Second Coming.

I have a ministry to Muslims. If I stood in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem or on the Moon Rock in Mecca and preached my message, I would be sans head pretty quickly. But using the relative safety of the internet, I have been able to preach at hundreds of Muslims with a very offensive message, and in this respect the internet has been a wonderful tool. Click Here

All things are good if used lawfully. This is true even for the Bible. The Bible can be used maliciously and for bad just as easily as the internet, consider the ministries of Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, and Jim Jones. Each is deadly in its own rite, some only to spiritual death, others to the death of both body and soul, truly these men are murderers of souls.

Paul tells Timothy, “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent.”

Paul laid out six of the 10 Commandments explicitly, the other four are in there, although not quite so explicitly. I won’t judge you, but I do ask you to judge yourself. Have you ever told a lie? Does that make you a liar? Do you believe the Bible when it says that all liars will have their place in the Lake of Fire? Have you ever used God’s name in vain? This is called blasphemy, and God will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain. Have you ever killed anyone? Did you know that Jesus said that if you just hate someone, you will be judged as a murderer at heart?

The internet is lawful, if used for good. It is good for expanding your knowledge, for keeping in touch with long lost friends, for a lot of good things. But it can also be used very unlawfully. Children are propositioned for and exposed to all sorts of evilness every day, and you’ve heard it said of old, thou shalt not commit adultery, but Jesus said at the Sermon on the Mount, “Whosoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in their heart.” Have you ever done that? If so, you will be judged as an adulterer at heart. I won’t even ask if you’ve taken it farther, to rape or fornication at heart.

I can’t judge you, I don’t have that authority, but you have an appointment once to die, and then THE judgment, by Jesus Christ as your judge. How will you look? God knows the thoughts and intents of your heart, deeds done in darkness will be brought to the light, and you will give an account for every idle word.

We have all gone aside, turned to our own lusts, and all of us have transgressed an infinitely holy God, and thus will face the infinite punishment of Hell. But it is not God’s will that you should perish, but that you should turn from your sin and turn towards him. He has made a way for you to be forgiven; 2000 years before the Internet and invitro fertilization were invented, Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, God manifested himself in the flesh to be subjected to this world which we have broken, he was tempted just as we are tempted, but he didn’t succumb, and he gave himself up to be hung on the cross in your stead, charged and scourged on the claim of being God. What he did not steal, he came to repay, and he paid your fine in his own life’s blood. But because he is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living, on the third day he defeated death and rose from the grave to live forevermore.

Once you have repented (turned from iniquity to God) and placed your trust in Jesus Christ to save you, you will be forgiven, born into the family of God, where you will inherit eternal life, and though your body will pass away, your spirit will never perish.

Today is the day of salvation, the Bible says faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of Christ. Today you have heard him call, don’t put this off, be reconciled to God, and then thank God that we can send forth lightnings, so that they go and say to you, “Repent and believe, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”