In the Bible, God repeatedly describes the nature of the sin of the church. Much that is unbiblical goes on in congregations and denominations today. This isthe apostasy in sects and cults, which obviously are under the power of Satan in churches and denominations.

In the Bible, we can learn how God plans to eventually destroy the New Testament church as it becomes increasingly sinful. It will not be by political action. It will not be by an ideology like Communism. It will be by satanic activity working through false gospels that look so much like the true Gospel that even the elect would be deceived, if that were possible.

God Uses Satan to Destroy

The Bible discloses that right near the end of time, Satan will become the dominant ruler within the congregations. In II Thessalonians 2, God speaks of the man of sin taking his seat in the temple. It will be seen that the man of sin can be only Satan. Matthew 24:24: "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

In Revelation 13:7, God informs us: "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." Revelation 13 speaks of the beast that comes out of the earth. This can be only Satan and his dominion, as he rules through false gospels. By this means, he is able to destroy the churches that are under the judgment of God. Thus, he is able to overcome the saints, the true believers, within the congregations.

Destruction of the New Testament church is not through political action but through the action of the church itself as it becomes apostate. Clues and guidance as to how this will materialize can be learned from God's dealings with ancient Israel, because Israel is a type, figure, or representation of the New Testament church. What happened in the nation of Israel gives insight as to what will happen to the congregations of our day.

Do you recall that after the death of Solomon, God divided the twelve tribes of Israel into two nations? Ten of the tribes became a nation called Israel which had its capital in Samaria. Two of the tribes, Judah and Benjamin, became the nation of Judah which had its capital in Jerusalem. God had set up a testing program for both of these nations. The testing program involved contemporary nations. During the days of the demise of the ten tribes, the testing program involved the nation of Assyria. The nation of Israel looked with longing at the beautiful horses and the beautiful apparel of the Assyrians and decided that their gods must be victorious gods. They began to play spiritual harlotry with Assyria. They began to run after the gods of the Assyrians, a nation whose language they did not understand, and God used the Assyrians to destroy Israel.

Then the nation of Judah began to play spiritual harlotry with the gods of the Babylonians and the Assyrians. They looked at the success of these nations (the beautiful horses and the beautiful apparel), and all that went along with it, and Judah began to lust after their gods. Babylon, too, was a nation whose language they did not understand. It was this nation that destroyed Judah in 587 B.C. This is the scenario that God gives to guide us into truth concerning the destruction of the New Testament church.

God's Long-Term Testing Program for the Church

The principle of a testing program is found repeatedly in the Bible. Israel, for example, was tested by God when Moses left them for forty days to receive the tables of the law on Mt. Sinai. Israel failed the test by making and worshipping the golden calf. As a result, God's wrath came upon them and about 3,000 men were killed (Exodus 32).

The number 40 in the Bible, or a multiple of ten of the number 40 such as 400, may be a clue that a testing program is in progress. Israel was in the wilderness forty years after coming out of Egypt. They failed the test; few of them trusted in God. The Bible records in Joshua 5:6:

For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD swear that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that flowed with milk and honey.

Significantly, it can be shown that there were exactly 400 years from the time when Israel came out of Egypt (1447 B.C.), and Saul became king over Israel (1047 B.C.). The latter occurred in the days of Samuel, who was the last of God's prophets to judge Israel. When Samuel was old, Israel came to him and asked for a king to rule over them. I Samuel 8:4-7:

Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

Saul became king exactly 400 years after Israel, under the direct rule of God, came out of Egypt. They failed the test in that they did not want God to rule over them directly.

Another interesting testing program in relation to the number forty is in the Book of Jonah. Jonah was instructed to cry against Nineveh because of their wickedness (Jonah 1:2). Jonah 3:4: "And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown."

Wonderfully, the people of Nineveh were victorious in their test. Jonah 3:5 and 10 report: "So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. . . . And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not."

Perhaps the greatest testing program of all occurred in the New Testament, when the Lord Jesus Christ took on a human nature and was tested. Luke 4:1-2:

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

The first Adam was tested in the Garden of Eden, and the second Adam, Christ, was also tested. The first Adam failed the test by disobeying God and thus plunged the human race into sin, but our Lord was victorious in the test. He remained entirely obedient to God. His perfect obedience has made the incomprehensible Kingdom of God a reality for all who believe on Him. Obviously, the principle that God tests the human race is firmly established in the Bible.

The end-time church, too, is faced with a testing program. Unfortunately, the Bible reveals that the end-time church in large measure will fail its testing program, just as Adam and Eve failed in their day and as ancient Israel repeatedly did. The church will fail the test and will come under God's wrath, just as God's judgment came when Adam and Eve failed the test.

God's Final Testing Program

The testing program that identifies with the end-time church will be focused on a nation whose language the congregation does not understand. God gives at least two prominent clues in the Old Testament as to the nature of the final testing program. The first clue is in Deuteronomy 13:1-3:

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

God clearly says that He is proving, that is, testing the congregation through the activity of a false prophet within their midst. We should know about the character of this prophet and the nature of his teaching.

The introduction to Chapter 13 of Deuteronomy is the last verse of Deuteronomy 12, where God admonishes the congregation: "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it." God says that man shall not add to nor take away from the Word of God. To recognize the Word of God as His Word and have an intense desire to be obedient to it, is, in fact, worshiping God. On the other hand, to believe that there is an additional source of divine information (to believe that a dream, vision, or tongue is from God when, indeed, it is not), that effectively is worshiping a god other than the God of the Bible.

God gives the same warning in the New Testament, in Revelation 22:18-19:

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

"This book" can be only the Bible. The Bible alone and in its entirety is the Word of God. Any additional articulated, verbalized message supposedly from God which is delivered through a dream, vision, or by any other means, is an addition to the Bible. Because God is not adding anything to the divine revelation which is the Bible, if one listens to these messages and believes they are of God, he effectively is worshiping a god other than the God of the Bible. God warns in verse 18 that anyone who commits this sin is subject to the plagues written in the Bible; that is, he is subject to eternal damnation.

Deuteronomy 13 says the false prophet is a dreamer of dreams, that is, he is convinced that what he hears in his dreams is of God. The sign or the wonder, the prophetic statement of his dream or vision, comes to pass; therefore, he believes he has received a supernatural visitation, but because the message he received was not from God, it had to be from Satan. When he teaches that the message he received in a dream or vision was from God and, therefore, is the Word of God, he is encouraging people to go after a god other than the God of the Bible. This is a deadly serious sin within the congregation. Deuteronomy 13 says that this prophet is to be put to death even if he is a loved one of someone in the congregation.

The key phrases in these verses in Deuteronomy 13 are, "for the Lord your God proveth you" (or tests you) and "to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." These phrases teach something about God's final testing program for the church. God clearly says that He will test the congregation by allowing those who say they declare the Word of God but who are false prophets (because their source is other than the Bible), to be within the congregation.

I Corinthians 14 Gives a Clue Concerning the Final Testing Program

The second Old Testament clue to the final testing program that will come against the church is that which came against ancient Israel. The signpost to this clue is in the New Testament, I Corinthians 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."

To understand this clue, one must know the setting in which it is found. I Corinthians 14 discusses the phenomenon of tongues, which was present in the church at Corinth. Certain individuals there received from God, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, messages in a language (a tongue), which neither they nor anyone else in the congregation could understand. In I Corinthians 14:2 God speaks of these as "in the spirit he speaketh mysteries."

Additionally, within that congregation God gave certain individuals the gift of interpretation. By means of this God-given gift, the message received in the tongue was made understandable to the congregation. I Corinthians 14:5 informs us that when the tongues message was interpreted, it edified the congregation.

This was a valid spiritual event in the church at Corinth. They had only that part of the Bible which is now called the Old Testament. God was still breaking the silence between the supernatural and the natural when He gave messages to Paul, John, Peter, and Agabus (Acts 11:28). Because these messages were from God, they were an addition to the Word of God. The New Testament had not yet been completed; even with these additions, the churches of that day had an incomplete Word of God.

During the same time when it was possible for the apostles to receive direct messages from God, there were individuals in the church of Corinth who received messages from God in a tongue. The messages could have been in the form of a prayer, praise, or a revelation. Howbeit, it was a message from God, therefore, it was an addition to the written Word of that time.

In the center of the discourse on the phenomenon of tongues (I Corinthians 14:21), is a reference to the Old Testament law wherein God had written that through tongues He would speak to the people and they would not listen. God speaks about tongues in Deuteronomy 28. Moses addressed Israel when they were about to enter the promised land. He warned them that they would not be content with the Gospel he brought them, "Because thou served not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things" (Deuteronomy 28:47). The result of their rebellion against God was punishment. This is declared in the remaining verses of Deuteronomy 28. Verses 48 and 49 summarize the warning:

Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand.

This is the passage of law referred to in I Corinthians 14 in regards to the tongues phenomenon. The ten tribes of Israel were destroyed by their enemy the nation of Assyria after Israel had engaged in spiritual harlotry with the Assyrians. As a result of their spiritual rebellion, God caused the nation of Assyria, a nation whose language Israel did not understand, to destroy them. God gave a final warning of this a few years before it happened. The warning is found in Isaiah 28:11-12.

For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 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.

The sequel to God's judgment on Israel occurred 122 years later. The nation of Judah ran like a harlot after Babylon, a heathen nation whose language they did not understand, and Babylon is the nation that destroyed Judah in the year 587 B.C. A few years earlier they had been warned by the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah 5:15-17:

Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD; it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say. Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men. And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trusted, with the sword.

God is focusing on a nation "whose language thou knowest not." This passage, too, is referred to in the ominous language of I Corinthians 14:21.

Two Important Principles

Deuteronomy 13, Deuteronomy 28, I Corinthians 14, and God's judgment are obviously tied to the end-time church when two important principles are considered.

The first principle is that ancient Israel was a picture or type of the New Testament church. God's judgment on Israel for their spiritual adultery sheds light on the nature of God's judgment on the New Testament church for its spiritual rebellion.

The second principle is that God sets up testing programs for mankind. In Deuteronomy 13 it is seen that within the church a testing program will involve false prophets who receive supernatural messages. These false prophets will encourage the congregations to go after other gods by revealing their supernatural experiences, which come from a source other than God. These two Biblical principles give understanding as to how God judges the end-time church.

Tongues: End-Time Testing Program

The question might be raised: Why does God write extensively in I Corinthians 12, 13, and 14 about the phenomenon of tongues? One might be surprised to read in the Bible about this temporary phenomenon. A few decades after this phenomenon occurred in the church in Corinth, the visions of the Book of Revelation were received by the Apostle John on the Island of Patmos. The Book of Revelation closes with the warning that anyone who adds to its words will be subject to plagues; therefore, there can be no further revelation from God by visions, voices, tongues, or anything else. Thus, the phenomenon of tongues that occurred in the church at Corinth would also have come to an end. From that time to the present day, do not expect God to bring a message by these means or by any means other than what He has given us in the Bible.

It appears that the phenomenon of tongues from God was short-lived and confined only to the church at Corinth. It was an incidental matter even in that day; thus, the question persists: Why did God write extensively about it?

The answer lies in the realization that these three chapters of I Corinthians discuss the matter of tongues as God's testing arena for the end-time church. God planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, and it was the testing arena of our first parents. Satan saw his opportunity in that testing program to tempt and enslave man in sin. In the warning and testing program of Deuteronomy 13, God allows a false prophet to deceive some people within the congregation. God sets up the testing programs, but it is Satan who uses the tests as opportunities to lead people astray.

God has established the phenomenon of tongues, recorded in I Corinthians 12, 13, and 14, as a testing arena for the end-time church. God gave the true gift of tongues briefly in the church at Corinth so that the end-time churches' fidelity or infidelity to the Word of God could be discovered.

Adam and Eve were permitted to eat of every tree of the garden except one. God provided lavish blessings of fragrant and delicious fruits of the trees to satisfy the physical needs of man. Lucifer wanted man to serve Satan rather than God, and he tempted Adam and Eve into thinking they were missing something important if they did not taste the fruit of the one tree that had been placed off-limits.

Throughout the Bible, the church is reminded of the lavish blessings that attend salvation. The blessings are far more than anyone deserves; they are so wonderful that our hearts should continuously praise God. One minor, incidental blessing, briefly enjoyed by a few people in the church at Corinth (that is, being able to receive an additional message from God in an unknown language), was given before the magnificent blessings of the whole Word of God were available. God maximized His communicative blessings to mankind by giving us the entire record of His will (the New Testament and the Old Testament), and He placed off-limits the minor blessing enjoyed by the church at Corinth.

God, in His wisdom, retained the record; indeed He prominently displays the record of the phenomenon of tongues in the Bible. Its placement there makes it a testing arena for the end-time church, just as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the testing arena for the beginning of the human race.

Satan Uses Tongues to Destroy

Satan uses this testing arena as his final opportunity to win a decisive victory over Christ by defeating the external church. He defeated Adam and Eve by encouraging them to eat of the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. Likewise, he encourages the end-time church to enjoy the forbidden gift of tongues.

When God set up the testing arena in the Garden of Eden, He used language that made it easy, or at least paved the way, for Lucifer to tempt Eve. God did not give the forbidden tree a foreboding name like "forbidden" tree. God gave this tree the intriguing name "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Certainly, such a title would cause Adam and Eve to wonder what mysterious power the fruit of this tree possessed. This is evidenced by Eve's reaction to Satan's enticements, in Genesis 3:6:

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Satan stimulated Eve's lustful thinking by making reference to the name God had given the tree. In Genesis 3:5 Satan declared to Eve: "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Surely in giving this tree the name "the knowledge of good and evil," God gave Satan a theme that he could use to tempt our first parents into sin.

God, of course, is not the author of sin, nor is He in any way guilty of sin. God did, however, design an insistent and valid testing program, in that the fruit appeared to be especially luscious ("the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes," verse 6), and in the name that the tree was given.

God also made the testing arena for ancient Israel quite intensive. The ten tribes of the northern kingdom, called Israel, were destroyed by the Assyrians, a nation whose language they did not understand. While Israel was failing the test, God blessed the nation of Assyria: they conquered Syria (II Kings 16:9), and appeared to be the nation with all the answers. Ezekiel 23:5-6:

And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours, Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses.

"Aholah" is another name for the capital of Israel, which was in Samaria. Assyria and its political successes and worldly achievements appeared to be the nation to emulate. Similarly, Judah, the southern kingdom with its capital in Jerusalem, was enamored by the beauty, power, and successes of both the Assyrians and the Babylonians.

The beauty, power, and political successes of Assyria and Babylon were the results of God's blessings. These wicked nations were in total rebellion against God, yet God brought them to power and made them attractive to serve as testing programs for Israel and Judah.

Israel Goes to Assyria for Help

The Bible gives a vivid illustration of how God allowed a wicked nation like Assyria to appear to Israel to be a success story. During the days of Isaiah, Jerusalem was threatened by Israel and Syria. The situation was grave. II Chronicles 28 discloses the wickedness of Judah's King Ahaz, and the resultant punishment God brought upon Judah by Israel and Syria. II Chronicles 28:5-6:

Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter. For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.

The king of Judah, a wicked man named Ahaz, and all of Judah should have cried to God for help. They should have repented in sackcloth like Nineveh did when Jonah preached to them. They should have cried out to God as King Jehoshaphat did when the Moabites and the Ammonites came to destroy Judah (II Chronicles 20). Instead the Bible records that Judah went to Assyria for help. II Kings 16:7:

So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me.

They could not have more dramatically displayed their complete lack of trust in God. God rescued sinful Judah by wicked Assyria, as II Kings 16:9 declares: "And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin."

Assyria conquered Syria. Until recent times, Syria had not been an independent nation. God used Assyria to destroy the ten tribes; they no longer existed as an independent kingdom. These two nations, Syria and the northern kingdom of Israel, therefore, were removed as a threat to Judah by the strength of the heathen nation Assyria.

The point of this information is that God brought successes to Assyria to intensify the testing program that was coming against Judah. The successes of Assyria in its flower, and Babylon in its flower, suggested that their gods were more powerful and more trustworthy than Jehovah God. God, for His divine purposes, gave Assyria the victory, but Judah was convinced that the superiority of the Assyrian gods made them victorious. This spiritual mentality is seen in the citation of II Chronicles 25:14 where another king of Judah, Amaziah, worshipped the gods of an enemy called Edom or Seir. This verse declares:

Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them.

II Chronicles 28:22-23 records similar action by the wicked King Ahaz:

And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz. For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.

God Intensifies the Final Testing Program

When God sets up a testing program, He strengthens the test by His choice of words or by allowing the enemies of God to appear to be successful. The same principles apply to God's final testing program for the end-time church in relation to God's Word, the Bible, and in relation to the successes that God allows the enemies of the Gospel to enjoy.

Three examples of words that God uses to indicate the severity of the test for the end-time church are offered. First, God says that those who spoke in tongues in the Corinthian church were edified as they spoke these mysteries in the Spirit (I Corinthians 14:2-4). Surely anything that serves to edify or build up the faith of the individual believer is to be sought after but the context in which these words are found warns the reader to be careful.

Second, God declares in I Corinthians 14:39, "forbid not to speak with tongues." Does this teach that speaking in tongues is sinful?

The third example requires more explanation. In three of the four gospel accounts, Matthew, Mark, and John, the sin called blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is mentioned. It is also referred to in I John 5 as a "sin unto death." This sin is unusual in that those who commit it can never have forgiveness; that is, they can never become saved. Moreover, this sin is unusual in that God protects mankind from it to the point that it is virtually impossible to find anyone who has ever committed this sin.

However, the scribes of Jesus' day committed this sin. Mark 3:22 says of them: "And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils." In response to this grievous sin Jesus declares in Mark 3:28-29,

Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

In verse 30 He explains that the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to believe that Christ was under the power of Satan rather than under the power of the Holy Spirit. The scribes who hated Jesus and desired His death had committed this dreadful sin; they were convinced that He was of Satan. They had no desire to look upon Him as their Messiah.

The Bible mentions only that the scribes in Mark 3 and Matthew 12 have committed this sin. The most hardened sinner today ordinarily would not become convicted that Jesus received His power from Satan. There may be those in the world who have committed this sin, but if they have, they will never worry about Christ being their Savior. Anyone who has the slightest interest in Jesus as Savior could not have committed this dreadful sin.

Why did God put an extensive record of this sin in the Bible? Its presence in the Bible has produced much sorrow for true believers who have been incorrectly taught that the sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is to reject Christ. Many true believers when young repeatedly rejected Christ. They have become saved in their later years, but are haunted by the question: Can I be saved? One reason for recording this sin in the Bible is to increase the severity of the testing program of the end-time church.

A simple extension of the incorrect idea of what blasphemy of the Holy Spirit means could be the wrong conclusion that anyone who believes that a church is under the power of Satan has committed this terrible sin. In other words, it might be said that if someone examines a particular gospel or church and decides that it is of Satan, by that judgment he is in danger of having committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This conclusion is erroneous but widely taught by those who believe in tongues. Few dare to make the judgment that a "tongues gospel" is of Satan. Almost no one dares to conclude that a gospel can be a product of Satan when it claims that Christ is the Savior. As a result, the "tongues gospel" is protected from criticism even by those who want to remain true to the Bible. In fear of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, they are forced to acknowledge that even though they disagree with many doctrines of the "tongues gospel," it must be considered an aspect of the true Gospel. This, in turn, encourages many people to follow the "tongues gospel." Thus, God has built characteristics into the tongues testing program that make it appear safe in its identification with the true Gospel.

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Right/Wrong..everybody want to be right which makes another wrong...it doesn't matter. When Jesus comes back He will call His elect...which is who???? You, Me, Them, That. I am so sick of us trying to explain God when He really is UNEXPLAINABLE. Bro. Preacher you say stick to what the Bible say and not what we feel, think, see or hear???? What is faith? How do we come to the Lord, except He draws us? What do creation all around us mean? What is that on the inside of us that lets us know right from wrong? ALL these questions fall under the statement you made. I can never say that speaking in tonges have or will cease, because how God deals with one man, He does not deal with another. We are ALL His, it rains on the just as well as the unjust. When a person say they feel God, Think about the things of God, See God, or even Hear God, we cannot say whether its true or not, I have had experiences that I don't discuss because people who have not seen, heard or think would believe, but I know it to be true, because I've seen it for myself. I pray that the spirit of division amongst Gods people cease. I have not spoken in tonges since my experience, and I see other do it, but I cannot and will not say that they are not communicating with God. God forbid, I be wrong. If we can believe God to do ALL that is in the Bible and His Words are eternal, then why can't the same miracles and things happen today? If we truly believe God is the AWESOMENESS that we claim why do we put limits on Him today? Yes, the Word cast out demons when a person excepts the Lord and Savior, but what about those demons that God talks about in His Word that will come with seven more when that man is clean. Yes, those demons exists, nicotine, adulterous, theiving, hatred, homosexuality, alcoholic, just plain evil demons..they all exists. And if there wasn't strong, prayed up, fasting individuals who would and could stand in the gap to pray over the people who have been burded down with these demons the world would be worse off than what it is. We sit every day stating how this world is becoming, and that is because the people of God have gotten away from what God say we have. THE SAME POWER THAT JESUS HAD...we just can't fanthom having that kind of power, but if we had true faith and believed, WHATSOEVER WE ASK IN HIS NAME WOULD BE GIVEN...and the Word of God is not talking about material things..it is talking about SPIRITUAL gifts,,,POWER TO DO WHAT GOD HIMSELF DO...but we are so limited at that very point of faith. We tend to go backwards and not stand on the very foundation of the Word of God that we proclaim to have, I pray that we can see Gods Word for the instructional piece it is for our lives and that we would be able to take the steps in receiving and believing on the POWER that God say that we have and get our husbands, wives and children back in line with the Word. The Word of God has become a debatable factor instead of a living factor. I look at each and everyone on BPN as believers of God and that God will draw each and everyone of BPN believers unto Him. I have yet to know ANYONE that really has understood the Bible, because it is not for us to understand, but to LIVE IT..it entirety. There is NOTHING new under the sun. If people are laying hands, speaking in tonges and delivering people because of their faith....then job well done, but unto the person that don't believe, well they just don't have the opportunity to know Gods POWER....lets just pray that we all love God and one another and that we will allow Gods spirit that dwells on the inside of those who believe and received will become on one accord and spread the Gospel...that JESUS LIVES, that His Spirit will live on the inside of a person living holy and that He promised that greater things they can do if they believe and receive. Amen. I never read in the bible that Jesus spoke in tonge, but I still believe the disciples did. I do believe that God changed the language of those who tried to build a temple to reach heaven and God changed their language because of their disobedience and I do believe that right now today God has given man up to his own reprobate thoughts because of disobedience and trying to to be god to someone when there is only ONE GOD. I believe like God changed those people languages and allowed them to be confused, is that He has done the same to man and this is why we have so many religions and division. But true believers will believe that God IS and put no limits on what He will do or can do for His true worshippers..

In Love, Sis. Denise
Reply by Denise Sledd 51 minutes ago...SAID
QUOTE
" I can never say that speaking in tonges have or will cease,"

The bible says,
QUOTE
whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish." 1 Corinthians 13:8.

who should we believe?
shall means at a certain time or space... what makes YOU think that time is now? Shall speaks of FUTURE tense... please know that God rules over time... not man... we are subject to it...
These truths are exactly what the apostle declares in 1 Corinthians 13:8. "Love never faileth; but whether there are prophecies, they shall fail [shall be superseded, be rendered useless, unnecessary, and meaningless, because no longer practical or needful, shall be canceled, done away with or put away]; whether there be tongues, they shall cease [be caused to cease, stop altogether]; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away [shall be superseded; the same word used of prophecy is used here also]."

Accordingly, in the original Greek, 1 Corinthians 13:8 is a strong assertion of the truth of the temporary nature of three apostolic gifts, at least: prophecy, tongues, and knowledge.

"For we know in part, and we prophesy in part." 1 Corinthians 13:9.

"In part [Greek-piecemeal, partially, bit by bit] we know and in part [same word] we prophecy." The apostolic gift of knowledge by direct inspiration because it received truth only partially and piecemeal- here in this church assembly a little, there in that church assembly a little, the gift was incomplete and gave only a part of God's truth. The same was true of declaring the truth of the partial and piecemeal revelation. Therefore the gift was lacking and temporary until the complete revelation was given which is the complete New Testament.

"But when that which is perfect is come [Greek-'to teleion', the completed and final thing, which means 'the New Testament Scriptures'], then that which is in part [partial or piecemeal revelation through the gift of directly inspired prophecy and knowledge before the New Testament was given] shall be done away with [shall be superseded, rendered unnecessary and meaningless, because no longer needed and so shall be canceled and done away with]." This is the same Greek word used of "prophecies" and "knowledge" in verses 8 and 11, "I put away childish things."


The Apostle Paul employs two graphic illustrations to make his point. The first is that of a person growing up from up from childhood into adulthood. The second is that of looking into a mirror to see oneself. Concerning the first illustration the apostle says: "When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, I used to think as a child, I used to reason as a child. But when I became an adult I put away childish things."

He is contrasting "that which is perfect" [the completed, final, and fully authoritative Scriptures of the New Testament], which he likens to an adult male, with "that which is in part" [the piecemeal incomplete revelation directly from the Holy Spirit through the exercise of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge], which he likens to a child.

Having to depend upon prophecy, tongues, and knowledge for instruction and edification until the completed New Testament became available was similar to childhood in the experience of the church. Speaking in tongues, for instance, had a purpose in the apostolic church like the chatter of the child has a similar purpose in childhood and like the child's thinking and reasoning processes have a similar purpose in his growing up into manhood. The same was true of knowledge and prophecy. But now that the church has grown up into adulthood, so to speak, with a complete revelation given it, it has 'put away childhood things'; that is, it has set aside as superseded [same word as in verse 8] tongues, prophecies and knowledge, as having no needful place in its adult life, and belonging only to its childhood requirements.

"And now abides [remains permanently throughout the church age in contrast to prophecy, tongues, and knowledge, which are to be superseded and cease] faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love" 1 Corinthians 13:13.


GB
You know what the problem here is? You have committed a classic error. You have created an entire doctrine off of only one portion of Scripture. The doctrine of the Trinity can be proven all throughout scripture; salvation can be proven all throughout scripture; healing can be proven all throughout scripture; the office of the Prophet is shown all throughout scripture. If the doctrine you teach is true, then not only will can you find it within the few verses you used, but all throughout scripture.

The doctrine of the gifts of the Spirit can be found throughout the history of the Church. If your doctrine is true, then my statement and the testimony of others wouldn't be true.
YES it can be found throughout the entire bible so can raising the dead...have any PHYSICALLY dead been raised lately? the problem is people try and interpret the bible with their natural minds...thats not possible lets take supernatural healing for example,have you seen dead being raised blind receiving their sight physically and deaf hearing,what Glory God would receive to heal someone well known and blind..like stevie wonder to show Gods power physically...instead God heals spiritually we receive spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear what the bible says and understand God's word...

The spiritually crippled are made to walk in new life in Christ,the spiritually dead are raised to new life in Christ..praise God...this is salvation... here God speaks of this very thing that he would do when Christ sent the holy spirit after he accended to the father..
Matthew 11:15
He who has ears, let him hear.

Ezekiel 36
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

new heart new life,new spirit made alive from a dead spirit here God heals the lame and causes us to WALK in his ways, he raises the dead,by giving us a new living spirit...when we preach the true gospel faith ( christ ) comes by hearing...
GB
I agree with Bro. Green as to how you took one verse and trying to make it doctrine. But if you read 1 Cor. 12 through 14 you can clearly see that Paul is teaching them how to respect others in LOVE. You show the part were he talks about tonges ceasing, but he is instructing them on decency and order. How there will be unbelievers and you don't want to confuse them with speaking in tonges or prophesying when an unlearned, child or unbeliever is present. He was instructing them on the love of not being over spiritual as some people do...lol not putting you in that category, but some people can be overbearing religious and lose souls. Remember grandma use to say you can get more bees with honey than with vinegar...something like that. You can't win souls by walking up to them speaking in tonges or prophesying to some people. Love will draw a multitude...when you show someone love - unconditionally you are more apt to reach their heart. This is what Paul is teaching....not that the gifts would cease all together. Also, why you haven't seen the dead raised is because you probably don't really believe....but you are dialoging with someone who MAN said was dead and was on life support and they where planning to take me off because MAN said I was dead, brain dead and my family was gathering to make the arrangements for my funeral over 30-yrs ago. Seven days of my life on this earth I know NOTHING about, and I woke up on the 7th day in my right mind and able body and didn't have to relearn anything...to God be the glory. But through prayer and laying on the hands of a true believer God would restore me I am here. This is why I am so passionate about forgiving, loving and knowing that God IS. God is REAL and there is none like Him. Only God will reveal to man what He want to when He want to and how He want to. There is NO LIMITS...honestly. If God want to work through a man He will, He has done it time and time. Jesus said unless you come as a child...you know how a child will believe so innocently and humbly without reservations...that is how we must go to God and know that He will do ANYTHING and can do ANYTHING - because He IS. I can go on and on and on about God, and try to make you understand, but it wouldn't do no good, because God has not given you that opportunity, like He hasn't given me the opportunity to know your experiences But in Love we can see all things and do all things...you know what I'm trying to say????? I know you want to lead people to God and give them the truth, but God can handle that...even if by using you. I am not saying that you are giving half truths in a bad way, but I am saying that you need to give the whole chapters of the story or instructions when you do. If I was an unlearned person, I would go for what you had posted, but I know what Paul said way before verse 8 and way after verse 8.

In Love, Sis. Denise
the whole bible is doctrine...
I knew a woman who was blind in one eye... and her testimony is that she received her sight... in fact, I was in the prayer meeting where it happened... we were praying... the minister asked her if she wanted to receive her sight... she said yes... all he did was lay his hand on her eye... she opened her eyes and began to proclaim that she could see out of BOTH her eyes...not making it up... and God did receive glory that day because it further increased the faith of all those in that room... we know we can trust HIM with our very lives... both natural AND spiritual...
Amen....and I pray for those who haven't seen God's miracles, it is something powerful when you see God do His works right before your eyes, that you can be a living testimony for someone. But you will always have your doubters and unhealed...Just pray for them, that's all we can do, and let God do the rest.

In Love, Sis. Denise
By the way...I have a sister that introduced to my church she ended up joining and comes when she can...she is blind, but I am believing that God is going to use her to open the eyes of others to His powers. I truly believe that God is going to give her sight and when He does, it is going to open the eyes of the non believers that is surrounding her. And that is a testimony that I can't wait to give...how I am waiting on the Lord to heal my sister in Christ and open her eyes so she can show some of these blind so called SEEING people the way.

In Love, Sis. Denise
Lady's where is the medical proof! of this claim.....Before any one claim that a healing has happen I and others ask for proof of the sickness, and proof of the healing. I have been in many churches that have wheelchairs and canes on the wall saying that people came in with these and walked out. One after another of these ministries have been proven to be false, from Benny Hinn, Robert Tilton, Jim Whittington. It is not to say that God does not heal, God is God and He can if it fits His will. but I ask for the proof.....

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