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Bible Basics

 

Bible Basics from Hebrews 6

 This page attempts to define what milk is and what meat is:

Hebrews defines ‘milk’ as the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God. Specifically it lists the doctrine of baptism, laying on of hands (spiritual gifts), resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. We will use this to outline what we believe is ‘Bible Basics’. Everything that is not Milk, is Meat.

Teaching is an essential part of discipleship and therefore home groups. Where Christian teaching flourishes, the church flourishes.

Christian teaching, TRUE Christian teaching, is designed to bring maturity by using Christian teachers to make disciples (literally, learners). Although we can’t put God into little boxes, the three basic categories whereby we measure maturity are Love, Morality, and Theology. Love and Morality have more to do with our relationships between each other the way that the last six commandments and the second of the Greatest Commandments as taught by Christ deal. Theology has to do with our relationship and understanding of God, as do the first four of the Ten Commandments and the greatest of all commandments as Christ delivered in Mt. 22.

So how do we discern our individual and corporate levels of maturity if that is our goal? By our service! As our relationships are separated into two categories in regard to commandments, so it is with our worship/ service. We are constantly struggling it seems for enough in the Body who are serving. Even as one new to ‘church’ we see this. It is always the same few people in the church that are doing all the service. It would seem that it is because of the lack of service in members, which is a sign of their maturity, which is brought about by teaching. The problem in our church from this perspective therefore would be teaching.

We have seen in church teaching that most teachers have resorted to fear, guilt and pressure as an unfortunate resort from motivation. In our church, a session to young women on abstinence was geared toward fear of disease and pregnancy, guilt of bringing shame on their family, and pressures from the church about avoiding pressures from peers. All of which seem dangerously different to me from the wonderful, blessings perspective on sex and marriage I have gotten from the Bible. And how many churches do we have teaching ‘fire and brimstone’ from the pulpits in America? This in no way reminds me of any of Christ’s examples, Christ taught hell to those that were going to hell, and heaven to those that were headed in the right direction. People generally learn what they set out to learn. Listening does not equal learning any more than walking an aisle or getting baptized equals salvation. Learning occurs internally, but is evidenced in external behaviors. Primarily, these behaviors can only be recognized in the event of change brought about by teachers motivating people to set out to learn for themselves as in seminary.

The fact that we have seminaries is the epitome of evidences that the church is in desperate need of teachers. Is not the seminary precisely what church is supposed to be? It is amazing to me that we must send people away from the church to teach them to come back and teach the church. How could one sit under a pastor who didn’t think himself able to teach his successor? How could a church consider itself successful if they didn’t have a host of men that could step up to the plate? And with that host of able men, would we not seek to send them out to other churches as the Apostles did?

As we set out toward this maturity categorized in Love, Morality and Theology, we always start out with the basics of existence which are creation, sin and salvation. These ideas were written in the Bible by adults, to adults and with the intention of adult education. This in no way diminishes the need for youth ministry which is intended to make the youth ready for when they become adults. The primary difference between teaching adults and youth is that adults learn by their own initiative or ‘readiness to learn’ which stems from our perspective of time I think. Our job in teaching youth is to plant and cultivate that readiness for when they become adults because that is when they think that all ‘that’ is necessary. They think, ‘when they grow up’ they will do this or that. But because the goal of maturity is the same for both, there is not much need for differences in content, only delivery. And more and more the ability to categorize disciples (or learners) by age-groups is diminishing while age-appropriate content becomes less obvious. I think a better atmosphere for learning would be ‘special needs’ groups. Single parents, newlyweds, seniors etc. have special needs and connection that may or may not be shared by all Christians. But all these need to be met by the Spiritual leaders/ teachers in the church.

Our church is not breaking down because there aren’t enough leaders in society-our society is breaking down because there aren’t enough leaders in the church. I read today that “the Christian teacher develops himself to the highest level possible, and then gives it all away…and while it is true that teachers serve, they serve best by leading.” My epiphany from that has been the release from my confusion from trying to balance service and leadership. Servant hood is negated when the Spirit-filled teacher becomes a doormat to keep from rustling feathers. We should teach disciples to question answers as well as answer questions and spend more time on the process of learning than the storing of ‘facts’. This is how we make future leaders and future teachers of leaders.

Another thing necessary of course is to lead by example. In other words, the best teacher must first and always be a good student. A Bible teacher must often be seen and portray evidence of studying his Bible. This is both for the church and the family or group leader. More than any other thing one can do, the way we raise our children effects the future of existence as both Humans and Christians, which means that again our priority lies in education (discipleship). And we must find fun and creative ways to bring our Youth into our existing processes, not create separate ones for them that conform to the world.

And our teachings need to be real and applicable. In everything we teach we need to make sure that we are focusing not just on including youth, but every level of the phases of development in life:

http://homegroups.org/vision/developmental-environments/

 We, as a Body of Messiah are not winning. In fact we are losing this information war. It is not our intention to point the finger of blame, but we at least MUST admit this fact if we are going to move forward and get back to winning. And we need a plan. Our ministry is proposing such a plan. And the foundation of it starts with home groups. But home groups need to make sure they have the basics covered so we can then move from Milk to Meat.

Baptism The basics. Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.”

Other washing rituals may be found in Lev 14:9; Num 19:18 which are not unlike types of Christian cleansing and purification at baptism. As we see that there are several examples of baptism in the Old Testament I think we should notice that although New-Testament baptism compared to circumcision, they happened and were taught right along side of each other in the Old Testament. It is a common misconception that baptism replaced circumcision. Quite obviously women could not be circumcised, so I wonder what the relationship is there in the idea of replacement.

We also have New Testament references to Old Testament baptisms along with comparisons to circumcision which solidify the facts. The point is simply that this ‘sign’ did not come out of nowhere. No one was confused by John crying out for them to be cleansed. No one said, “what is the meaning of this ceremonial cleansing, this baptism?” Even the pagans practiced baptism. John was preaching a RENEWED baptism to go with a renewed Covenant between the houses if Israel and Judah that was prophesied by Both Ezekiel and Jeremiah as Paul explained.

Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

John the Baptist

John’s existence was no accident. He was part of the fulfilled prophecy of the coming Messiah:

(Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.)

Christ Himself said that John fulfilled prophecy

(Mt 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.) John was given his name before he was conceived (Lu 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John…Lu 1:57 Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.)

Although John’s role seems small, his calling was one of the greatest

(Lu 1:76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;

(Mt 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.)

But his preaching was short-lived because he soon was over-shadowed by the Creator of the world

(Mt 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, Mt 3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. Joh 1:15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.)

But of course his purpose had been served once he baptized Christ. Perhaps a good example that un-baptized believers might wait to go out to fulfil their purpose yet. This NEW baptism had been his purpose and message. So let us look at the characteristics of John the Baptist in order to further understand the characteristics of John the ‘Baptizer’:

Self Denial
Mt 3:4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

Courage
Mt 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mt 14:4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.

Obedience
Mt 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

 Powerful preaching
Mr 1:5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Humility
Mr 1:7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
Joh 1:19-23 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

Holiness
Mr 6:20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

Burning zeal
Joh 5:35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. John knew a Truth. as stated in other parts of this site, knowing Truth not only gives the beholder a sense of responsibility, but also a sense of urgency. You can tell just by looking and listening that ‘This person really believes what they are saying’. It is obvious that the information shared has value in the opinion of the person talking.

John was honoured by Christ just as our baptism is honoured by Christ.

Mt 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Lu 7:24-27 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

He also performed no miracles. Nor does baptism give us any power to perform signs or wonders or miracles of healing.

(Joh 10:41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true).

John the Baptist was no Apostle. We have no record that he ever did anything miraculous as the Apostles and Christ did. He did not speak in tongues, or heal anyone. He did not teach doctrines of men. He only taught repentance that leads to salvation through faith alone in Christ that leads us into good works. Our baptism as well should reflect this idea.

John came before Christ, we as well should come before Christ in witnessing to be heralds of Christ in humility; Making straight the path to people’s hearts so that Christ can be welcomed.

(Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Mt 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

Lu 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

John’s testimony concerning Christ is very pertinent here to the subject of baptism. After Christ left, he gave us the comforting Spirit who testifies not of Himself, but of Christ. Before He began, he gave us John the Baptist who testified not of Himself, but of Christ. John testifies of the power in believing what was to come; The Spirit, that HAS come. John prepared the way BEFORE Christ-the Spirit AFTER Him.

We have looked at baptism before the Old Testament, IN the Old Testament, as well as its introduction INTO the New Testament by Christ and John. Now let us venture further into the Gospels and Epistles before we tackle the early commentaries on baptism.

After John’s baptism Christ puts no more importance on baptism. Rather he travels teaching of invisible Truths and ideas that seemingly contradict the type of physical symbol, ritualistic water baptism. He scolds Pharisee after Pharisee for their lack of Spiritual understanding and their emphasis on the physical aspect of Religion

If water baptism seemingly contradicts the teachings of Christ, why then does He send the Apostles out into the world baptizing?

Mt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 

Christ says in Mark 16:16 ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned’, which perfectly explains and matches His command for the Apostles to teach and baptize. Baptism is only for believers who believe what is taught by the Apostles. People who don’t believe are not to be baptized.

There are other scriptures affirming this fact 

Ac 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Ac 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Ac 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Ac 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

So we see not only did Christ Himself institute and endorse baptism for believers, but we see why He commanded the Apostles to go out to all the world teaching and baptizing. The history and Doctrine of baptism is pretty simple. But there are a few scriptures that aren’t quite as cut and dry once we reach this point in our learning.

Chronologically, the first one we come to is John 3:5

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.)

There are at least four ways to interpret this scripture, perhaps more. In fact, there are at least 4 levels of interpretation for any scriptural interpretation in the Hebraic mindset. But if we study it in the original languages, the message is clear.

Baptism with Water versus Baptism with Spirit

As we look at John 3, the first thing we should know is that I think it is poorly-translated in the King James. Christ tells Nicodemus that everyone must be born ‘again’ in order to see the Kingdom of God. But if you will notice in your Bible’s footnotes the words ‘from above’ (in greek, Anothen from 473). That is because the word really has a different mean than to be born ‘again’. This is actually the verse that helped me realize that the Bible wasn’t written in English.

A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature lists three uses for anothen in this order: 1. from above; 2. a. from the beginning, b. for a long time; 3. again, anew.

When Jesus says to Nicodemus, “…unless one is born anothen,” he means “from above”. Nicodemus continues, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus replies without really answering the question: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” The answer makes sense in context of being born from above much more than it does if we translate it ‘again’.

Jesus is telling Nicodemus that one cannot enter into the Kingdom of God unless he or she is born from above – from God – baptized in the Holy Spirit in contrast to that of physical birth. Anothen occurs 13 times in the New Testament. For instance James 1:17, ‘Every good and perfect gift is “from above”. In the NASB, it is translated only twice as “again,” each time in these passages in John. Five times it is translated as “above.” In the book of John, anothen appears three other times and is translated “above” twice and is not translated the final time, but the inference is “from above.” There is further evidence that this should be translated ‘from above/ anew’ but we have stated here enough to move on to the other translational question in this verse.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”.

The words ‘water’ and ‘Spirit’ are pretty much cut and dry (the word ‘the’ isn’t really in the verse, only implied so we won’t include it). But the word AND is very important here. The word is kai and it is translated several ways throughout the New Testament:

KJV (1097) – also, 514; and, 1; both, 43; even, 108; likewise, 13; misc, 32; not tr., 348; so, 18; then, 20; NAS (936) – accompanied, 1; actually, 2; after, 2; again, 1; along, 4; also, 535; although, 1; besides, 1; both, 1; certainly, 1; continue, 1; either, 2; else, 1; even, 132; forty-six, 1; if, 1; including, 1; indeed, 2; just, 3; likewise, 1; more, 2; moving about freely, 1; nor, 4; now, 2; only, 1; or, 11; same, 1; so, 30; than, 4; then, 105; though, 6; together, 1; too, 34; until, 1; very, 3; well, 13; when, 7; whether, 1; while, 1; whose, 1; without, 4; yet, 9;

So with the same word being translated all of these different ways, how can we be positive that Christ did not say we must be born of water, EVEN the Spirit, water THAT IS the Spirit, water ACTUALLY the Spirit, water, INDEED the Spirit, water MORE SO the Spirit, water NOW the Spirit, water UNTIL the Spirit, etc. So let us not take ourselves too seriously on a word as ambiguous as kai.

In John’s own words: “I indeed baptize you in water to repentance. But He [Jesus] who is coming after me is mightier than I … He shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire” (Mat 3:11).

John baptized with water, but it was He who was coming after John who would baptize with the Spirit (John 1:26-33). And in Christ’s own words after He was resurrected from the dead:

“And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but said, Wait for the promise of the Father which you heard from Me. For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days after this” (Acts 1:4-5).

And while Christ’s followers were waiting in Jerusalem the Promise did come in the form of the Spirit (Acts 2). Now the Promise is the Holy Spirit: “the Promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father” (Acts 2:33). This Promise was not only to Christ but to “as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39). It is the baptism with the Spirit that counts it seems, not baptism with water. “Water” is merely a symbolic representation of Spirit from these Scriptures. When Christ spoke of water he meant the Spirit (see John 7:38-39).

We see here PLAINLY that when Christ said ‘water’, he meant the ‘Spirit’. Is this what he meant to Nicodemus as well in the third chapter of John? Was Christ saying that water WAS the Spirit or was He saying water baptism AND Spirit baptism are necessary? And are we baptized in water to show our repentance? It would seem baptizing in water today would be exactly the same as John’s water baptism. Otherwise there are two new baptisms since John’s baptism-the physical and the spiritual.

 

Early writing on Baptism

We can learn an awful lot from the earliest writings and commentary on Christianity before hundreds of years of man’s confusion on the matters. However, always keep in mind that early church fathers are not infallible. They don’t all agree. So at best we look at the majority opinion. But I believe earliest church writings are some of the best extra-biblical sources of info. I also realize that heretical, Gnostic ideas were here WITH even the apostles. So the amount of time that has past is really no benchmark for the amount of false doctrine being taught. And I would say that we now have THE Apostle’s Doctrine in the Bible, the ultimate Authority.

Justin Martyr for example believed that the Baptism actually washed away sins. But are we to believe everything we have from him? Certainly not, especially things of the Virgin Mary. So just because someone is as famous as Origin, doesn’t mean that he knows any more about the Bible than we do. Since they were so close the original teachings of apostles, they lack a certain depth.

If someone immediately tells you to believe and be baptized, you don’t soon start investigating the depths and reasoning thereof. You simply believe and are baptized and you have a basic understanding of the washing away of sins. In such a powerful time in history, evidenced by such a power of the Apostles, when they say ‘be baptized to wash away your sins’, then that is what we teach.

But throughout history man has become more questioning, needing to know why and how and at what point. In fact, it wasn’t until the third century that Christians began to question enough that lengthy discussions about baptism emerged. Until then most every believer was immediately baptized upon believing. Few early church leaders understood that, just as we nurture and lead our children to faith, we need to bring new converts to a point of understanding-of God consciousness. We have hundreds of men since then, like the earliest translators who have dug out the deepest meanings of Scripture. And over a period of almost 2000 years, a deeper understanding of God has emerged. Who He is and how He works, His character.

Although God’s message never changes, our understanding of Doctrine has evolved. Early writers had no more devotion than you and I do today. And we have much more resources for discerning the truth. 

 

Scripture References

Significance of Baptism

Ro 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Ga 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Examples of Baptism
Believers at Pentecost:
Acts chapter 2

Converts in Samaria:
Ac 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

The Ethiopian Eunuch:
Ac 8:38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Saul of Tarsus:
Ac 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

Lydia of Thyatira:
Ac 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Philippian Jailer and Household:
Ac 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

Believers in Corinth:
Ac 18:8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

Ephesian Disciples Of Christ:
Mt 3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

 Administered by John the Baptist

Mr 1:9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

Mt 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

Lu 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

Mt 21:25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?

Mr 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Lu 3:12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?

Lu 7:29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.

Joh 1:26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;

Joh 3:23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.

Ac 10:37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
Ac 13:24 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

Ac 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

Spiritual Gifts The key to allowing God to work through you.

“Isa 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;”

Spiritual Gifts: for the first century church or all believers?

The overall answer is that absolutely every believer has at least one Spiritual Gift. And one of the biggest problems with the churches of America today is that we are not using them! In fact, in my experience the majority of believers don’t even know what their gifts are, so how can we use them if we don’t even know about them?

Spiritual gifts can be a very touchy subject in many churches. Yet, the Bible is very clear about them and the power of these gifts. The first thing to understand is the completeness of the giving of spiritual gifts through all  involved:

1 Corinthians 12:4 the giver is the Spirit.  Romans 12:3 the giver is God.  Ephesians 4:7 the giver is Christ.

Of all the spiritual Gifts, none are more dividing than the gift of tongues. So by showing an example of a Bible study on that particular gift, it will help show how to do the same kind of Bible study on any of the other gifts.

I. OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCES

Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

                Point1. It was a “tongue” that brought light into the world

Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

                Point1. God used a “tongue” to introduce His plan of salvation

Gen 2:19-20 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called (qara) every living creature, that was the name thereof. Adam gave names(qara) to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

                Point1. Adam used a “tongue” to communicate with and name beasts of the earth.

Gen 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made (banah) he a woman, and brought her unto the man.Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

                Point1. Adam used a “tongue” to communicate with and name his wife.

Gen 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

                Point1. Until Babel (which mean confusion ) there was but one “tongue”

Gen 11:5-9 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded (banah). And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel (Babylon, confusion), because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth:

Isa 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. Isa 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

                Point1. The gift of tongues was a fulfillment of prophecy

NEW TESTAMENT REFERENCES

Before Pentecost (Shavuot, in Hebrew- the feast of weeks)- The Prediction by Jesus

Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

16:17 σημεῖα δὲ τοῖς πιστεύσασιν ταῦτα παρακολουθήσει· ἐν τῶ ὀνόματί μου δαιμόνια ἐκβαλοῦσιν, γλώσσαις λαλήσουσιν καιναῖς,

a similar example: 1Co 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

12:1 περὶ δὲ τῶν πνευματικῶν, ἀδελφοί, οὐ θέλω ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν.

 

At Pentecost/ Shavuot- The Spirit comes with tongues of fire as it was when the Tablets came on Mt Sinai

Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

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

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

                Point1. The sound filled the house

                Point2. Tongues of fire sat upon them individually, so there were twelve tongues of fire

                Point3. They spoke with other “tongues”, plural, they were not all speaking the same tongue

                Point4. The number of apostles almost exactly matches the number of dialects present

After Pentecost/ Shavuot-

Act 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? Act 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

                Point1. They understood them when they spoke in tongues.

                Point2.The Spirit fell on everyone who believed

                Point3. No one was baptized until after they spoke in tongues

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

                Point1. They prophesied, that means they knew what they said, they were preaching the Word, they understood

1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.1Co 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal (sumphero, bring us together).

1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

                Point1. There are different gifts but the same Holy Spirit gives all the gifts

                Point2. There are different offices given by the same Lord

                Point3. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to all…to benefit the church (to all Gal 5:22, John 14:17, 1John 3:24, 1John Chapter four)

                Point4. The gift of any “tongues” is NEVER mentioned in ANY Scripture as a manifestation or evidence of the Spirit

                Point5. There is no spiritual “gift” that the Spirit has given to everyone, They are divided to men as He wills

1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?1Co 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?1Co 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. 1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

                Point1. No gift or office is given to everyone.

                Point2. We are not to seek the gifts, we are to seek the love

1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.1Co 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.1Co 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

                Point1. Love is eternal

                Point2. Prophesies, tongues and knowledge will cease when “That which is perfect is come”

                Point3. “That which is perfect” can only be the Bible or Jesus Christ

                Point4. If it refers to Jesus then there will be no tongues in heaven.

                Point5. If it refers to the Bible then there are no tongues now.

Immediately after Pentecost, almost everyone that was saved spoke with tongues. This was important. But by the time Paul wrote to Corinth, they had around 10, 000 teachers (1Co 4:15). The gift of tongues was no longer important, which agrees with how Paul down-plays the gift.

1Co 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries (musterion, hidden).1Co 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.1Co 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth (oikodomeo to build or promote) himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.1Co 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

                Point1. The churches did not understand the gifts and were misusing the gifts

                Point2. Paul is speaking to them as if they are children

                Point3. Tongues were always meant for the building of the Kingdom, not the “building up” of ourselves

1Co 14:6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?1Co 14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?1Co 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?1Co 14:9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.1Co 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.1Co 14:11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.( Even so ye)

                Point1. If no one understands, no one profits

                Point2. Even things without life need to make sense and be understood

                Point3. People as well should “utter by the tongue words easy to be understood”

               

1Co 14:12 (Even so ye), forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.1Co 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.1Co 14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

                Point1. They should be trying as hard to build the churches as they are seeking spiritual gifts.

                Point2. Not being able to understand is unfruitful

1Co 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

1Co 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?1Co 14:17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

                Point1. Paul’s point is whether we pray, give thanks or sing we should understand, and so should anyone who hears

1Co 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:1Co 14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

                Point1. Paul spoke in more tongues (outside the church) than any of them

                Point2. But in the church he spoke to be understood

                Point3. The gift of tongues was not for the church (1Co 14:22)

1Co 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.1Co 14:21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the LORD.1Co 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

                Point1. They should have known the scripture in Isaiah 28:12

                Point2. Tongues were for a sign to the Jews (that judgement was upon them) and a sign to make people believe

                Point3. But prophecy was a gift for the churches

1Co 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?1Co 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:1Co 14:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

1Co 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

                Point1. If we are speaking in tongues at church, people will not believe, they will think we are crazy

                Point2. But if one comes in and understands Truth, he will be convicted of the truth and repent

                Point3. Everyone had a song to sing, something to teach, speaking in tongues, a revelation from God, an interpretation-but the church was not edified.

                Point4. All things in the church must edify the church

1Co 14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course(in turn); and let one interpret.1Co 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.1Co 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.1Co 14:30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.1Co 14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 1Co 14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

                Point1. Whether tongues or prophecy, no more than 1 was to speak or interpret

                Point2. If there was no interpreter, there was to be no tongues

                Point3. Whether tongues or prophecy, all others were to judge if it be from God

                Point4. If anyone else began to speak, all others were to be silent because only one was to speak at a time

                Point5. The gifts are all controlled by us so that there is no confusion in or out of the church gatherings

1Co 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.1Co 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.1Co 14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?1Co 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.1Co 14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.1Co 14:39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.1Co 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

                Point1. Women are not to speak in tongues or prophecy in the church

                Point2. If they have any questions about the Bible or church, let them learn it from their husbands

                Point3. A woman who asks questions in church shows that her husband is not teaching her and he is shamed

                Point4. A spiritual person must take these things as commandments from God

                Point5. Desire teaching first, and forbid not tongues (if it is according to these commands)

                Point6. Everything in the churches must be done decently, in order

 

Religious Tongues-

It is interesting that in the 1st-century Church, Paul mentions tongues only a couple times in his letters. He wrote at least 12 letters to the Church after his first letter to the Corinthians, including a second letter to the Corinthians and none of them mention tongues. Peter, John, James and Jude never mention tongues either. In the Book of Acts Ch. 2 Luke gives us one of the only examples of what tongues sound like, and it says they heard them in their own languages. Early church writers such as Polycarp, Papias, Cyprian, Chrysostom, Augustine, Origen etc. never really mention tongues except to say it is clearly ceased.  With very few exceptions, it was not until almost the 18th century that any mention of tongues is found and it was not until very recently (the 20th century) that the charismatic movement even began to be heard of in America. So we cannot say that this has been going on since the first century church. This is a new thing for the “church”.

The modern American charismatic movement is said to have begun January 1, 1901, in Bethel Bible College (Topeka, Kansas). Students began to seek tongues, and Agnes Ozman was the first student to experience speaking in tongues. She claimed she spoke in several languages immediately, which started numerous copy-cat Holy Spirit baptisms among other students and all of them were accompanied with this ability to speak in known foreign languages (not gibberish). The revival soon spread to many denominations until it became what it is today…Why did tongues disappear, why are they here now, and are they genuine today?  What does the Bible say about speaking in tongues?

In the New Testament two lists of gifts appear where the gift of tongues is included. In I Corinthians 12:8-11 “kinds of tongues” and “the interpretation of tongues” are said to be gifts of the Holy Spirit. In I Corinthians 12:28-30 “tongues” appears in the list of gifts. We call them “spiritual gifts” (from the Greek word charisma), suggesting that it’s a gift of God’s grace. It is not a natural ability that one might develop or can be taught, but rather a special gift.

Following the listing of the gifts, Paul adds, “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will” (I Corinthians 12:11). No one person has all the gifts, nor are we to seek the gifts. And no gift is given to all members of the church. We must be careful that we do not confuse the Spirit (as a gift to the believer) with the gifts that The Spirit gives to believers.

The Biblical Meanings of “Tongues”

The word “tongue” in the Bible is used to mean the physical tongue as in James 3:5; once in reference to the flames of fire shaped like tongues (Acts 2:3); at least once in a metaphorical sense when referring to speech as in the statement, “my tongue (speech) was glad (joyous)” (Acts 2:26). As far as I understand the remaining usages of the word, the Bible always means a language. When Jesus mentioned tongues (the only mention of tongues in the four Gospels) He said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17). The adjective “new” (Gr.
kainos) can only mean they were going to speak in languages new to them, that is, languages they had not learned or used until that time.

In Acts 2:4 Luke uses a different word when he says, “they began to speak with other tongues.” The word “other” (Gr. heteros) simply means that they spoke in languages different from the normal language they were used to. The Bible confirms this—“And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:7,8). Every man heard them speak in a known language (Acts 2:6).

Here the word “language” is the word dialektos from where our word “dialect” comes. . Which again is confirmed by what everyone said at Pentecost (Ac 2:8) In verses 9-11 the languages are identified- languages which they had never learned. Here in these passages we have tongues-speaking in its pure and un-perverted form as God gave it. It was the gift to break barriers of language separation for the spreading of the Gospel.

There are twenty-one references to tongues in First Corinthians chapters 12-14. Some say that the tongues in First Corinthians are ecstatic utterances not known in any country on earth because of the term “unknown” which appears in I Corinthians 14:2, 4, 13, 14, 19, and 27. But we must see that the word “unknown” in every place is in italicized letters, which means that it is not in the Bible, but was added by translators. The Holy Spirit did not direct Paul to write that the tongue is “unknown”.

The reason we speak is to communicate (either to God or to man). As we saw in the section called “Gods Plan”, God has sent us His Word for us to understand. The miracle that took place at Pentecost was a gift whereby many people, at Jerusalem, heard and understood God’s message in their own language despite their language barriers which is supported by Scripture.

The Ministry and purpose of Speaking in Tongues

Tongues were ALWAYS used communicate the Gospel message. Its purpose was NEVER stated as being proof or evidence of being filled with the Spirit. Jesus told His apostles that they were to go out to all nations and preach the Gospel. So why would he tell them not to leave Jerusalem if they were supposed to spread the Gospel (Acts1:4)? Because before they were to go out to all nations, they needed the gift of tongues- so that they could effectively go out to all nations and speak the Gospel without language barriers!

Paul says, “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not.” (I Corinthians 14:22). In other words tongues are not for the church, they are to bring people into the church. This is also the emphasis in John 20:30, 31 where we read, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.” The signs (miracles) were never performed without purpose, but so all would have faith in the message that was communicated, or the messenger (Christ or His Apostles).

 

The Misuse of Speaking in Tongues

We know speaking in tongues is no sign of spirituality, holiness or closeness to God because the Corinthian church was unspiritual, carnal (I Cor 3:1-3) and in gross sin (5:1). And because of the abuse of tongues in Corinth (like today) Paul states its purpose- “Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men” (I Corinthians 14:20). The Apostle reminded them that they were “babes in Christ” (3:1). Paul adds, “In the law it is written . . . ” (Vs. 21), pointing out why they were still babes- failure to study God’s Word.

Paul is here referring to a prophecy God had given through Isaiah. “For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people” (Isaiah 28: 12). Paul saw the gift of tongues as a sign to Israel. The abuse of tongues in Corinth came from the neglect of the Scriptures. You will always find confusion where the study of God’s Word is neglected. The Bible teaches us its proper use and purpose.

This purpose of tongues, to communicate God’s message to Israel, is shown in the three passages in Acts where tongues is mentioned. In Acts 2 tongues was used as a missionary or evangelistic tool in fulfillment of Isaiah 28:11. There was no need for the disciples to learn other languages before they spread the Gospel. God overcame the language barrier through the miracle of tongues. On the day of Pentecost there were “Jews out of every nation under heaven” (Acts 2: 5). And when the disciples “began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4), the hearers responded with the question, “And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:8). They were “Jews” who spoke many languages and dialects, and yet each heard the Gospel in his own tongue. Isaiah’s prophecy was being fulfilled.

In Acts 10:46 another mention of speaking in tongues occurs which again was to communicate the Gospel, this time for Cornelius and his house. This cannot be disassociated from Pentecost because Peter said, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning” (Acts 11: 15). At the house of Cornelius tongues was a sign to Jews at a time when the Gospel was being communicated (Acts 10:44-46).

Again in Acts 19:1-6 its purpose was missionary and evangelistic. When Paul came to Ephesus he met twelve disciples of John the Baptist. He asked, “Did you receive the Holy Ghost when you believed?” (Acts 19:2). They considered themselves to be Christians because they heard the message of John. But when Paul learned they were not saved, he told them they must trust Christ for their salvation. “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came upon them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied”. Again we see the purpose for speaking in tongues (as well as prophecy) is to communicate the Gospel message. Prophesying was the act of giving God’s message in your own language. Tongues was the act of Prophesying in another language.

In I Cor 13:8 we see that tongues and prophecy will cease “when that which is perfect has come”. So we know that tongues and prophecy are not eternal. There will one day be no use for them. “That which is perfect” can only refer to two things-The Bible or Jesus. If it refers to the Bible, then there is no such thing as “tongues” today. If it refers to Jesus’ return, then tongues cannot be a “language of heaven or angels” because we won’t be using tongues in heaven. They will be “done away”.

These are the only Scriptures that mention tongues in the entire Bible, so we must use these scriptures to know about tongues. None of the other letters or books in the Bible mention speaking in tongues and few subjects in the entire Bible are so little discussed. When the Apostles and disciples used the gift of tongues it was because they did not have what you and I have today, the completed Word of God, God’s full revelation to man. When they went out preaching the Gospel, their message and authority were confirmed by the gifts. – “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds” (II Cor 12:12).

If an Apostle lived today (an Apostle is one who saw the resurrected Lord Jesus per Ac 2:21-22 and many other verses so there are no Apostles living today), would he need tongues? He wouldn’t since he would have what we have, and what Peter, Paul and John did not have, (the completed written Word of God).

 

The 20 Spiritual Gifts Identified By Paul

Romans 12:4-8 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 1 Corinthians 12:27-30 Ephesians 4:7-12
Prophecy Prophecy Prophecy Prophecy
Serving      
Teaching   Teaching Teaching
Exhortation      
Giving      
Leadership      
Compassion      
  Healing Healing  
  Miracles Miracles  
  Tongues Tongues  
  Interpretation Interpretation  
  Wisdom    
  Knowledge    
  Faith    
  Discernment    
    Apostleship Apostleship
    Helps  
    Administration  
      Evangelism
      Pastoring

 

Descriptions

Administration  is a gift that provides insight into other people’s spiritual gifting as well as natural talent, which allows for placing people who want to minister in a particular way together with those who need just this ministry.  These are “well connected” advisors in the body.  (The Septuagint uses this same word in Prov 24:6 & 11:14.)

Apostleship  is the ability to communicate across cultural barriers and plant churches where there is no knowledge of the gospel.  It is usually accompanied with a distinct calling and a miraculous lifestyle.  In Greek (apostolos) “a sent one”, or “a messenger”, a Missionary.

Compassion  transcends both natural human sympathy and normal Christian concern, enabling one to sense in others a wide range of emotions and then provide a supportive ministry of caring and intercessory prayer.  Also called the gift of Mercy. 

Discernment  is the heightened ability to read or hear a teaching, to encounter a problem, or to consider a proposed course of action, and then determine whether the source behind the teaching, problem, or action is divine, merely human, or satanic.  This will be a much needed gift near the End of the Age.

Evangelism  is a special ability to lead unconverted persons to a saving knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The person with this gift has the wisdom to know when, who, and how to call the rebellious into the Kingdom of God.  Evangelists are the spiritual “obstetricians” in the church.

Exhortation  is the gift of being able to encourage others by well timed and wise counsel.  This gift builds the Body of Christ by helping new, young and adolescent disciples to turn from sin and believe in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Also called the gift of Counseling, or the gift of Encouragement.

Faith  as a gift is an extraordinary confidence in God that is unshakable by situations, pain, apparent failure, or ridicule.  This gift strengthens the individual and other believers (by example) to endure persecution and wait upon the Lord.

Giving  empowers one in a sensitive way to detect material or financial needs and meet those needs with Spirit inspired generosity.  Recipients of help from Christians with this gift have a clear sense that God has provided, not man.

Healing  is a “sign gift” which enables one to function as an instrument of God’s healing grace in the lives of hurting people.  The gifts of healings (double plural in the Greek text) include miraculous healing of the body, the mind, the emotions, and relationships.

Helps  enables one to assist people in skilled ways that are supernaturally enhanced by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  The helped person has the impression that they have been touched by God.  Those with this gift should be highly esteemed in the Body.

Knowledge  is an ability to remember Scripture or have it supernatural quickened, or to know a fact or truth about a person or situation revealed directly by the Holy Spirit.

Leadership  in the Greek is actually “he who provides leadership in giving aid”.  These go first  and lead by example, so that others are motivated to follow.  (1Cor 11:1)  Those with the gift of leadership are quick to identify problems and show by doing how to minister to those in need.

Miracles  is another “sign gift” where the gifted person is able to cast out demons, show a supernatural sign to unbelievers, or perform a public healing–even in a hostile and unsupportive situation–all to the glory of God.  Those with this gift will be humble, broken people, full of the fear of God.

Pastoring  is the collective (plural in Greek) ministry of the Elders to “shepherd” an individual or community of Christian believers.  This gift is a special passion and empowering to lead people into green pastures, steer others away from danger,  fight off predators, and bind up wounds.

Prophecy  is speaking what God wants said with clarity, creativity, and power.  It is also called the gift of Preaching.  The primary ministry in this gift is not prediction, but in confronting people with the truth about God and man–with conviction and repentance as the result.

Serving  is a gift which expresses the love of Christ by taking care of lowly or time-consuming tasks to allow others to be more effective ministers.  Similar to the gift of Helps, but here the work performed is menial rather than skilled.  Those with this gift are the truest and highest leaders in the church, and ought to be recognized as such.

Teaching  is the ability to understand and communicate the Christian faith so as to make the truth clear to others.  The result of this gift is the equipping and maturing of others in the body of Christ so that they will grow in grace and be more effective disciples. 

Tongues  enable some Christians (1 Cor 12:30) to praise God either in another language not learned (Acts 2) or in ecstatic utterance which is not an earthly language (1 Cor 14).  In either case, one’s prayer is directed to God, not to other people (1 Cor 14:2). 

Interpretation of Tongues  is required if speaking in tongues is exercised publicly in a loud voice.  This gift allows one to declare to others the intent or meaning of the public ecstatic utterance, so that the entire Body is built up.

Wisdom  is special illumination that enables one in a specific instance to grasp divine insight regarding a fact, situation, or context.  This gift is useful in directing the Body in what to do next; in making God’s will known.

 Resurrection of the Dead There is life after death.

Mt 22:31-32 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,  I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

 

Eternal Judgment The choices we make have eternal consequences as well as temporal.

Mt 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

Salvation: Our judgment is eternal as is our security

Specifically, the gospel is explained by Paul in 1 Cor. 15:1-4: “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

“According to the scriptures” doesn’t mean “because the New Testament says so”. Paul did not have the New Testament. What Paul meant was “Just like the old testament said, according to all prophecies concerning His Birth and Purpose.”

The gospel comes from God (Gal. 1:10-12), is the power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16), is a mystery (Eph. 6:19), and is a source of hope (Col. 1:23), faith (Acts 15:7), life (1 Cor. 4:15), peace (Eph. 6:15) and is a gift from God through faith by grace. Eph 2:8-9 says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Grace is undeserved favor. It is different than Justice and Mercy. Justice is getting what we deserve. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we do not deserve. In grace we get eternal life, something that, quite obviously, we do not deserve. But because of God’s love and kindness manifested in Jesus on the Cross, we receive the great blessing of Salvation. Grace rules out all human works. It is the product of God that is given by God, because of who He is not because of who we are or what we do. It is the means of our salvation (Eph. 2:8-9). We are no longer under the Law, but under grace (Rom. 6:14). (See 1 Cor. 15:11; Rom. 5:2, 15-20; 2 Cor. 12:9; and 2 Cor. 9:8).

Let me also say, that if we are living a Godly life- even if we are TRYING to live a Godly life, this should not really be an issue. It certainly should not be something that divides a church. The only time this topic of conversation has any weight to it is if we aren’t living our life right. And if we aren’t living our life right then the last thing we need to be doing is worrying about what someone else believes.

The bottom line is that judgment is eternal. We will continue to exist after our soul leaves our body. And the rewards and punishment for what we do in this life are eternal as well. So let us start off with a list of scriptures that warn us against eternal judgment:

If we DEFILE THE TEMPLE, THE BODY, HE WILL DESTROY US. (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19-20; Heb. 12:15)

If we OBEY SIN we will DIE spiritually. (Romans 6:16-23).

By NOT ABIDING IN THE FAITH we shall be cut off. (Romans 11:11-32).

By being REMOVED FROM Christ. (Gal. 1:6-7).

By becoming ENTANGLED AGAIN with the yoke of bondage. (Gal. 5:1).

By FALLING FROM GRACE! (Gal. 5:4). CHRIST BECOMES OF NO EFFECT FOR US.

By WALKING AFTER THE FLESH and not the Spirit. (Romans 8:1; 8:4; 8:12-13; Gal. 5:10, 20).

By not keeping your body under and becoming a CASTAWAY. (1 Cor. 9:27).

By ERRING FROM THE FAITH. (1 Tim. 6:9-10, 21).

By DEPARTING FROM THE FAITH. (1 Tim. 4:1).

By having your faith OVERTHROWN. (2 Tim. 2:17-18).

By CASTING OFF your faith. (1 Tim. 5:11-15; 6:19-21; 2 Tim. 2:17;, 18; 4:10).

If we DENY HIM, HE WILL DENY US. (2 Tim. 2:12).

These are scriptures referencing what one may or may not think is “loss of salvation” or “loss of rewards”. So in this writing we will start off by assuming that in order to discuss losing salvation, we must agree that one has actually been saved because that is often an argument we hear from people- “well they probably weren’t really saved to begin with, that’s why they never got baptized and continued in sin”. So let us look at all the things that the Bible says we receive when we are ‘saved’.  We cannot take ANY credit for this work which was compiled by R.B. Theime, but it is so powerful that it must be shared if you have not seen it before.  

These gifts that we receive are the basis for the glorification of God in the Church Age, Execution of the pre-designed plan of God, grace orientation, and experiential sanctification. So when we look at it this way, it is no small thing to lose your salvation- A LOT of things have to go away and come back if people believe that you have to be “Resaved”.

But although most people would use Hebrews chapter six as more evidence that you lose salvation, we tend to have a different take on those verses. I believe that what ‘the writer’ was trying to say was exactly the opposite. He is saying that there is no way to be resaved. Christ is not coming down to be crucified for our sin every time we fall away. But since there were no chapters and verses when the Bible was written, we need a little bit of chapter 5 to get the big picture of is being conveyed. Chapter 5 brings up Melchisedec, but in verse 11 the writer speaks of difficulty to explain the Truth to the Jews because they have been trained up that repetitive sacrifice is necessary to keep coming back into that positional sanctification with God/ now Christ. And we move in to chapter six on the basis that we are moving from ‘milk’ to meat- in other words, advancing beyond just the simple Gospel. In fact the first verse precisely says so…

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, {principles…: or, word of the beginning of Christ} (KJV)

So this is a good verse to start on because, this is precisely where we stated we wanted to start. Verse 2 goes on to reiterate that we are moving past issues of salvation, which is technically the same statement.

Heb 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (KJV)

So as we move on assuming one is saved, the very next thing the writer says is that it is impossible to be resaved, and the key is verse 4…

Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

Heb 6:5-8 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: {by: or, for} But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

Verse 4: ‘once enlightened’ is in the Aorist Participle Passive, which basically tells us that this verbiage is referring to a simple action as opposed to a continuous action, more like “once and for all” as opposed to “once upon a time” which is how most of us read this statement. Now a Greek word in the Passive voice means that the subject receives the action of a verb- i.e., It was nothing we did to become once-for-all enlightened, God did everything. In other words there is nothing we can do to gain salvation, and in turn nothing we can do to lose it, right?

But let’s look at “if they shall away”, and let us look also at the expression, “it is impossible” which is linked to the verb anakainizw which is translated “to renew” in verse 6. In other words it is safe to say that the intention here is to proclaim that “it is impossible to renew if they shall fall away”. So we must conclude here that either (1)there is NO HOPE for coming back into salvation, or that (2)the writer here is stating an understood impossibility from the onset, he is essentially saying ‘from false assumption we deduce absurd conclusions’. And the writer is about to expound on that false assumption through the end of verse 8. Then in verse 9, he states …

But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. (KJV)

A better translation of the word peiyw (inward certainty) would be that they are convinced or certain of something better than that false assumption he described previously and of the things that come with salvation. He then goes on to say that God is not unjust or forgetful of all the good things we did in the past and says they (the apostles?) desire that we continue through faith and patience to do those good things in the future according to (or because of) THE FULL ASSURANCE OF HOPE (plhrojorian thV elpidoV) and immediately I question what full assurance there is if we have to worry about losing our salvation. Where is the full assurance in that if it depends on what we do? None- in fact, you can have full assurance we will screw it up if it depends on us. The Greek word for full assurance is made of two other Greek words. I digress but do want to throw in some information on those two words:

plhroforia, from plhrhv ( replete, or covered over; by analogy, complete:–full) and forew (to have a burden, i.e. (by analogy) to wear as clothing or a constant accompaniment:

If we lose our salvation at any point then that’s not full assurance, that’s ZERO assurance. It is nothing more than work your butt off so you don’t lose it. At best it is assurance that depends our thought and actions that none of us can always control. And then the writer goes on to talk about the unchangeability of God, the power and the promises, seemingly as argument that God cannot save you and then decide you are not saved- the things He does are immutable, never-changing. But here is the most important thing about eternal judgment or eternal security: you can be wrong about it and still go to heaven.

 

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