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Meaning of “speaking in tongues”

Meaning of filled with the Holy Spirit and “speaking in tongues”

Pentecost-holy-spirit-descent-on-disciples

In Acts 2:4-11, where the disciples first started speaking in tongues we get the first impression of what it really meant.

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together and were confounded, because every man heard them speaking in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, “Behold, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how then do we each hear them speaking in our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, Medes, Elamites and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”” (Acts 2:4-11 KJ21)

Speaking in Tongues Real or FakeIn Greek, the word for tongue is the same as the word for language.  We do find the “glossa” or  speaking in another kind of language also in  1 Corinthians 13:1, referring to a state of high spiritual excitement or ecstasy from inspiration, unconscious of external things wholly absorbed in adoring communication with God, breaking forth into abrupt expressions of praise and devotion which are not coherent and therefore not always intelligible to others.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.” (1 Corinthians 13:1 KJ21)

So “speaking in tongues” is identical to “speaking in languages”. In the passage cited, it is clear that the apostles spoke in the languages of the Parthians, Medes, Elamites, etc.

The followers of Christ gathered in the upper room who received the comforter or Holy Spirit, got gifted to relate to other’s with common ground and got inspired to tell others about what they understood from what they learned before from Christ Jesus and from what is written in the scrolls or Holy Scriptures.

The word ‘spirit’ in Hebrew is the same word (ruakh) ‘ruach‘ as  ‘breath’ or ‘wind’. These are the first two uses in the Bible Genesis 1:2 and Genesis 6:3 and we can find many verses where the (Holy) Spirit is personified, but this happens less with the Spirit or the Holy Spirit than with several other concept words (e.g. the flesh, sin, the world, creation, etc). So, overall, the way that the phrase “the Holy Spirit” is used in the Bible indicates a concept, a way of expressing characteristics or activities of God, or of holiness in those who follow his Son, not a sentient being or literal power. The addition of the adjective ‘holy’ or ‘set apart‘ is as simple as it appears – a spirit which is holy, a spirit of holiness, something special, something different than other things, ‘set-apart’. And the presence of the definite article, “the”, indicates a specific holy spirit, a specific spirit of holiness. In many cases, “the Spirit” means exactly the same as “the Holy Spirit”, since the idea of holiness is understood by context.

God gave His Word to the people. He made it clear that it was the word for all. Everyone can take up the Bible and read in it. But at the time of the first century of this Common Era Jesus had promised those who where willing to listen to his and his Fathers Words would receive the Send One of his Father, the Holy Spirit or the Force of God which would enlighten them. People with the eyes of the lord would get the Force of God (the Holy Spirit) to be able to interpret the Bible with common sense. God didn’t make anything in the Bible complicated but men tend too just too suit their selfish needs.

Christ had given his apostles “power” [Greek dynamis] but not “spirit” [pneuma]. Jesus knew that only his Father can draw people closer to Him and give them the most necessary power and spirit. But Jesus also knew God would not leave Jesus his followers on their own. Jesus was sure his Father would send a comforter or Help so that the apostles and other disciples could continue the work Jesus had tarted on this earth. In Christ Jesus we might have an Advocate, Comforter, Paraclete from the verb parakaleo, to call alongside, (1 John 2:1) but without the Work of God Jesus would have been nothing and we would be nothing. All the Power comes from Jehovah God. Christ breathed this “holy spirit”, holy breath, into the disciples on that first Sunday morning, when their thoughts where with Christ Jesus. From this it is easy to see where Paul found the idea of that “breath” of Christ as an allegory of the new breath, new life, in the believer as he or she walks towards the kingdom. (Rom 5:5, 2 Co 1:22, 2 Co 3:3, Gal 4:6)

For Jesus the Advocate or Comforter is ‘The Spirit of Truth’, which enable men to worship God the right way. After the apostles where blessed with the gift of the Spirit they also could go out and bring the word of the Spirit to life bearing witness.

“But the hour cometh and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”” (John 4:23-24 KJ21)

“”But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth who proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me.” (John 15:26 KJ21)

“However when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak from Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come.” (John 16:13 KJ21)

“These things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 2:13 KJ21)

“In Christ ye also trusted after ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. In Him also after ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,” (Ephesians 1:13 KJ21)

“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you for salvation, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,” (2 Thessalonians 2:13 KJ21)

“We are of God; he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby we know the Spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:6 KJ21)

“This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.” (1 John 5:6 KJ21)

File:17 Lorenzo Veneziano, Apostle Peter Preaching. 1370 Staatliche Museen, Berlin..jpg

The apostle Peter preaching – 1370, Lorenzo Veneziano, Staatliche Museen, Berlin

(Remember also that the gifts/powers “of” the Spirit, cannot be the spirit itself, or the word “of” is redundant.)

God provided those fearful men to have contact with others so that they also could get to know the Word of God. God made it possible that they could answer their many questions in a language which they could understand. Those men got the possibility of interpretation of tongues (like spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12:10). From God they received the ability to  understand many mysteries and received lots of knowledge, which they also could give to others so that they, at their turn, could grow.

Some may think the gift of speaking in tongues is also a gift for some today. That the gifts fail to meet the qualifications of the “Spirit of Truth” promised in John ch.14-16 is evident even from 1 Corinthians itself, where context shows that the gifts were failing and tongues already had ceased (compare 1Co14:2 with Acts 2:6,8,11) even when Paul was writing (also see ‘Have the Holy Spirit gifts died out?‘). It also fails the Deuteronomy 13:3 test that even successful miracles were no guarantee of truth, but just the opposite.

If the “Advocate” and “Spirit of Truth” contains any element of Christ’s own activity, then inevitably we are forced to see Christ as the major person in the promise of “another advocate”, simply because there is no other person between God and man, so there is no other advocate. Jesus has become the only mediator between God and men. The main argument in favour of Christ himself, in a different role, himself being the “another advocate” he promised, is the lack of other persons to concretely be between man and God.

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5 KJ21)

The gifts of the Spirit appear to have ceased with the death of the Apostles (including Paul) as they were the only ones who could pass on the gifts by the laying of hands or Imposition of Hands. For some if the apostles had not been able in some way or other to transmit the gifts hat they possessed in a pre-eminent degree the Holy Spirit would have been a belief of little value for the later church if they had not been able in some way or other to transmit the gift. But those believers or denominations add than straight away: “Of course, not to every one, but only to those who could be regarded as their successors in office.” But what was given to the apostle should not mean it is also given to any successor of that apostle. It was that special high measure of the gift of the spirit which is peculiar to the apostles. For example:

“whom they set before the apostles. And when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.” (Acts 6:6 KJ21)

“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” (Acts 19:6 KJ21)

“Therefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee through the putting on of my hands.” (2 Timothy 1:6 KJ21)

In the early times Simon tried to buy this power of passing on the Spirit but found that it was something only the apostles could do.

“And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit.”” (Acts 8:18-19 KJ21)

The Spirit gifts were given for a purpose — to help convince people that the gospel message was true (Mark 16:15,17-18) and establish the early Christian church (Eph. 4:8-14). Once Christianity was established (Eph. 4:13 — ‘mature’, perfect), the gifts passed away (1 Cor. 13:10).

At the beginning of the Church of God the frightened apostles did need a incentive and some pep-talk.  They needed help to come over their fear and to go out into the world to witness about the works of Christ. But once they had received the power to overcome their fear they did not need the Spirit gifts any more because they had the full revelation of God in the Bible to guide them (2Tim. 3:16-17)

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJ21)

juanita bynum speaking in tongues on facebook

“Juanita Bynum speaking in tongues on Facebook.”

Today we too have the full Scripture to guide us. The Bible is the Word of God, which should be our Watchtower and the Light for the world. The Holy Scriptures, or Bible has everything we need to make us ‘competent, equipped for every good work’. In the times of the New Testament, they only had the Old Testament and a few of the books of the New Testament as they were written. When the Bible was finally completed, the gifts ceased to be.

In Hebrews 6:4-5, the author speaking of the Spirit gifts says that they were a taste of the powers of the age to come:

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the world to come,” (Hebrews 6:4-5 KJ21)

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Preceding articles:

Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2

The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2

The day of the festival of Pentecost

Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2 v1-13 Working Spirit

Speaking in tongues

Tongues a sign of authenticity or divine backing

Our readers who speak Dutch can find a similar discussion in Dutch in our previous postings:

In Talen sprekend

Teken van authenticiteit of goddelijke backing” & in

Betekenis van ‘Spreken in Tongen’ en ‘Uitstorting van de Geest’

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Please read also:

  1. Did the Inspirator exist
  2. The manager and Word of God
  3. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #1 Creator and His Prophets
  4. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  6. Creator and Blogger God 1 Emptiness
  7. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  8. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  9. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  10. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  11. Creator and Blogger God 6 For His people
  12. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  13. Missional hermeneutics 3/5
  14. God Helper and Deliverer
  15. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  16. He has given us the Pneuma, the force, from Him
  17. Promise of Comforter
  18. Speaking in tongues
  19. The inspiring divine spark
  20. Worship and worshipping
  21. Make a joyful noise unto Yahweh, rejoice, and sing praise unto Jehovah
  22. Song of Praise for the Elohim Set-Apart
  23. Songs of Moses and the servants of God
  24. 144 000 following the Lamb
  25. A secret to be reveiled
  26. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  27. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  28. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  29. God’s Special Gift
  30. Singing gift from God
  31. A Breath for tomorow
  32. Prophets making excuses
  33. The great ideal of this age
  34. Words in the world
  35. United people under Christ
  36. God make us holy
  37. Be holy
  38. Get up in the morning and pray for the Lord’s blessings
  39. Be still and listen
  40. Listen, or thy tongue will keep thee deaf
  41. When discouraged facing opposition
  42. Kindness
    Speaking in a language which nobody in the meeting can understand does not from a proof of kindness or love for the other members at the meeting. In the first place we should show the Gift of Love, and so should do our best that everything we have to say can be understood by all around us.
  43. It is often forgotten that:
    Christianity is a love affair
    and that everything should have its fundament in this gift of having special attention to the others in creation. The things we receive from god we should love to share with others and we would do everything to be sure that others can understand those blessings and can enjoy those gifts as well.
    By speaking in words nobody else can understand we can not really help them nor would be building them up. though at the first place we should be willing to witness for Jehovah and to bring the Good News of the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God.
  44. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  45. With the words we utter in the congregation we should be trying to bring understandable edifying words to the meeting. Like Jesus Christ, the son of God, pulls us from the dark and lightens our path making clear all the signs which direct to the One and Only One God, God of gods, the Father of Jesus Christ, Jeshua, the son of Mary (Miriam/Maria) and Joseph,  from the tribe of king David, we too should try to be clear guides like the
    Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  46. Our hope should be that our community can grow and we should work for it, encouraging everybody in words they can grip.
    Be an Encourager
  47. Our Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage should not be with financial gifts nor with our so called ‘gifts of tongues’ but with our clearness and willingness to help all people around us, especially in our own community or parish. Often we do find in such churches where they put an importance on the ‘Speaking in tongues’ that after they spoke in such non-understandable language, that the preacher touches or lays hand on that person, let everybody pray for that person, and afterwards demands a financial contribution. By all the hocus pocus many are taken by the happening they do not understand, but do not want to show it to others, and therefore try to contribute more than the other person, so to give a sign he or she believes a great miracle is taking place.
  48. What we should be giving is our spirit, our love, our effort and that what can be good for the whole community:
    Blessed are those who freely give
  49. Not enlightened by God’s Spirit
  50. Pope Francis I on the Holy Spirit
  51. Why hasn’t anything been inspired recently? Revelation was the last inspired book and it was a long time ago. Why aren’t there any more?

Additional reading:

Tongues

  1. The Gifts of the Spirit – Speaking in Tongues
    Altogether there were eight different gifts in this list and it is noteworthy that the gift of the tongues and their interpretation were listed last as being of the least importance. The reason for this would be that these gifts were effective in the ecclesias generally for their immediate profit but the ability to speak in tongues or languages was only useful when preaching in a foreign country where that language was spoken.
    It must be remembered that the use of the gift of tongues or different languages was not mentioned in any of the four gospel records. This is because the preaching of Jesus was confined to those of his own race, the Jews and occasionally to Samaritans who apparently could also speak the same language as the Jews.
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    It is only natural that the brethren and sisters should be enthusiastic about using these gifts of the Spirit. Paul describes this as follows, “When ye come together, everyone of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” (1 Cor.14:26) Here Paul points out that the Spirit gifts were given for the express purpose of edifying the Church. This means that the gift of tongues must be used to the same end. So Paul adds, “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God.” (14:27-28)
    The whole purpose of these gifts of the Spirit was to build up the Church with knowledge and understanding so that it attains a state of maturity, an appropriate Holy Temple for God to dwell in. Consequently Paul, when writing to the Ephesian Church about these gifts wrote, “And he gave some apostles, and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph.4:11-13)
  2. Do You Speak in Tongues?
    What would you say if we told you that speaking in tongues was necessary for your eternal salvation? Many of you would be trembling in fear because you have never spoken in tongues. Yet there are members of the Pentecostal church who insist that you are not sealed by the Spirit of God unless you speak in tongues. In other words, speaking in tongues is the outward sign of your redemption and salvation.
  3. Brief hiatus
    First, a happy Shavuos (celebrating the giving the of the Torah at Mt. Sinai) to all those celebrating and a happy Pentecost (celebrating the Holy Ghost descending on the early Christian apostles) to all those celebrating.
    These holidays are sometimes celebrated through study, and especially to those of you who are studying, I wish that you enjoy full fruits of your study and that your study brings understanding and wisdom.
  4. Tuning-in to the Holy Spirit
    Powerful and peaceful transformation!!! That is one sentence that captures the Pentecost event.
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    How can we as Christians become so powerfully transformed that we become transforming witnesses to others and abide in Christ’s own peace? How can we have this powerful transforming experience?
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    The first way of tuning-in to the Spirit is by constant prayer. The disciples gathered to pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Though the gift of the Holy Spirit was promised to them, prayer remains necessary. Prayer opens our hearts to the presence and action of the Holy Spirit. Jesus even promised that the Holy Spirit is the guaranteed answer to every prayer: “How much more will my Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask?” We must pray always and everywhere in the ways that we find helpful like the Holy Rosary, pray with the scriptures, pray at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, etc. We close ourselves to the Spirit the moment we give up prayer.
  5. Pentecost Preaching
    Just as Jesus promised He bestows the Holy Spirit on His apostles and the church.  “A sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.”  “Tongues of fire.”  “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.”
  6. Being Governed by the Spirit
    When are minds are dominated by worldly and sinful thoughts, then those thoughts control us and we act upon them. However, when we focus our thoughts on Christ, then we live a life of peace. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct your thoughts and allow God to work in and through you!
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    The Holy Spirit is miraculously bestowed – manifested in the power of the wind and fire so that His church and His pastors are equipped and prepared to be a witness to Jesus, the Savior of the world, in word (Acts 2:14-36, 38-40) and deed (Acts 2:42-47).  So that in the preached Gospel, Holy Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper the forgiveness or salvation that Jesus won for the world is bestowed to died-for sinners like you and me!  That you believe that not only did Jesus die for the world but that He died For You!
  7. A Rushing Mighty Wind
    For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
  8. Acts for today!
    The Holy Spirit is necessary and available to every follower of Christ today! It is through God’s Spirit that we are wooed to Christ and it is by that same Spirit we will move and operate in our giftings as we serve Him. The same giftings and blessing that those men and women received on the day of Pentecost are the same giftings and blessing that we can receive today!
  9. What does it mean to speak in tongues? by Todd Clippard
    In its simplest form, speaking in tongues simply means to speak in an established and understandable language. English is a tongue, as is Spanish, French, German, and a host of other languages one might mention. To speak in tongues, in a biblical sense, is to speak a language one has never studied or learned.
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    If the Holy Spirit could enable them to speak one foreign language, why not more than one? This would be consistent with the promise Jesus made to the apostles in Acts 1:4-8, where they would be able to communicate the word of God no matter where they were.
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    To be able to communicate the gospel to all mankind at that time would require the ability to speak whatever language was spoken by the indigenous peoples.
  10. The Baptism In The Holy Spirit for All is the Biblical Norm.
    Those that are especially effective when using tongues, be it in prayer, bringing a word that requires interpretation seem to have some kind of proper office or function. 1 Corinthians 12:28 reads, “And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues”.
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    If it was a “federal” outpouring, ie: tongues of fire, wind, and speaking in tongues that does not have to be repeated because the rest of the world will straightway receive on conversion, one can discount everything I say in this chapter of the book. But if it was an infusion that every single born again Christian who ever lives qualifies to have a similar experience we need to be concerned about those who have not received it. It is this writers conviction that what happened in Acts 2: 4 is for everybody who believes. It is the inheritance of every child of God.
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    It is this writers opinion that wherever in the New Testament the phrase “filled with the Spirit” is used it is referring to either the baptism in the Holy Spirit, with the manifestation of speaking in tongues, or prophecy. Or for people who have already received their baptism in the Holy Spirit, it is a statement or encouragement to utilise those gifts.
  11. Impartation to Team Acts 19:1-7.
    the bible teaches  that there are some gifts, even some characteristics, some intuitive blessings of God, that under His leading and initiation, can be given to somebody else by some sort of action that commonly, externally looks artificially symbolic to the untutored. What I am saying here is denigrated and even ridiculed by some Christians, with questions like; “What if the person isn’t worthy of the imparted blessing?” (Is anybody “worthy”?). “How can we be sure it was God’s will for a blessing to be imparted?”  “Isn’t this putting into human hands something that is totally God’s responsibility and ability?”
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    There were gifts that Paul imparted to Timothy through prophecy and the laying on of hands. Paul was present when the impartation was made, and he encourages Timothy to keep those moments in the fore front of his mind to inspire him in the midst of life’s battles. That is, that by faith, Timothy was to remember how things that were intrinsic to Paul’s gifting and authority, had been given to Timothy by the laying on of Paul’s own hands.
    The English Dictionary defines, “impartation,” and, “to impart,” as Firstly, to communicate (information); relate. Secondly, to give or bestow, especially some abstract quality: to impart wisdom. Plain enough. The word used in the Greek New Testament is,  μεταδίδωμι, transliterated as “ metadidomi”, phonetically spelt as “met-ad-id’-o-mee”. It means, simply, “to offer by way of change. One offers so that a change of ownership is produced. One shares; sometimes merely: One imparts, bestows. “ In short, “One shares , and one gives.” I am speaking like a geek of Greek (which I am not), to make the point that there is no theological skulduggery here. We are simply using a commonly spoken word, but using it in the realm of the Spirit. Biblical examples of  impartation of spiritual life, or gifts are quite plentiful.  It is my conviction that Paul imparted the gifts and aspects of authority of his apostolic ministry to those twelve disciples. (Acts 19:6). I believe that the apostle taught his new team of twelve the power of apostolic impartation, by he himself imparting much to them as he taught.
  12. Speaking in Tongues
    Does the Bible say that all who would have God’s spirit would “speak in tongues”?

1 Cor. 12:13, 30: “Truly by one spirit we were all baptized into one body . . . Not all have gifts of healings, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they?” (Also 1 Corinthians 14:26)

1 Cor. 14:5: “Now I would like for all of you to speak in tongues, but I prefer that you prophesy. Indeed, he that prophesies is greater than he that speaks in tongues, unless, in fact, he translates, that the congregation may receive upbuilding.”
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Can the ability to “speak in tongues” come from a source other than the true God?

1 John 4:1: “Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression [“every spirit,” KJ, RS], but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God.” (See also Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15.)

  • Speaking in Tongues—Is It From God? — Watchtower Online
    Significantly, the Bible does not mention that Jesus or any of the pre-Christian prophets miraculously spoke in tongues that they had not learned. The gift of tongues bestowed upon Jesus’ disciples, then, evidently had some additional objective.
  • Speaking in Tongues—A Growing Phenomenon
    In his book Tongues of the Spirit, Cyril G. Williams suggests that there may be a “correlation between a sense of failure, and the desire for ‘tongues.’” He describes it as a release mechanism that has “therapeutic value as a reducer of tension” and a “resolver of inner conflict.” Frustration in church work, emotional stress, failure in a career, bereavement, domestic tensions, or illness in the family are cited as factors that contribute to such ecstatic speech.
    Similarly, in The Psychology of Speaking in Tongues, John P. Kildahl says that “anxiety is a prerequisite for developing the ability to speak in tongues.” Through personal research and careful interviewing, it was found that “more than 85% of the tongue-speakers had experienced a clearly defined anxiety crisis preceding their speaking in tongues.” For example, a mother wanted to speak in tongues so that she could pray for her son who was sick with cancer. A man began to speak in tongues during his period of indecision over an offered job promotion. A woman began speaking in tongues within a week after her husband joined Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Speaking in Tongues—Is It From God?
    When writing to Christians in the city of Corinth, some of whom apparently could speak in tongues, Paul explained that “tongues are for a sign . . . to the unbelievers.” (1 Corinthians 14:22) Hence, along with other miraculous abilities, the power to speak in tongues was an indication to observers that the newly formed Christian congregation had God’s approval and backing. The miraculous gifts were like a street marker pointing out where truth-seekers should now go to find God’s chosen people.
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    Clearly, modern-day speaking in tongues is very different from the gift of holy spirit given to Jesus’ early followers. In fact, there is no reliable record of anyone receiving that same miraculous power since the death of the apostles. This is not surprising to Bible readers. Regarding the miraculous gifts, including that of speaking in tongues, the inspired apostle Paul prophesied: “They will cease.” (1 Corinthians 13:8) How, then, can one discern who has the holy spirit today?
    Who Give Evidence of Having Holy Spirit?
    Jesus well knew that the gift of tongues would cease relatively soon after the formation of the Christian congregation. Shortly before he died, Jesus mentioned a timeless sign, or mark, that would identify his true followers. “By this all will know that you are my disciples,” he said, “if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:35) In fact, in the same verse where God’s Word foretold that the miraculous gifts would eventually cease, it says: “Love never fails.”—1 Corinthians 13:8.
  • Is Speaking in Tongues an Evidence of True Worship?
    Jesus cured the sick, raised the dead and performed many other amazing deeds. These miraculous powers identified him as a true prophet and servant of God, just as the performing of miracles established Moses’ authenticity as God’s prophet. However, speaking in tongues was not one of the miraculous powers exercised by Jesus. It was not until the festival of Pentecost A.D. 33 that this gift was first received, and on that occasion it served as an effective evidence that Christians had God’s spirit upon them.
    In the late spring of A.D. 33 the Jews had gathered from inside and outside the Roman Empire for their annual festival of Pentecost. Just ten days before, Jesus had ascended into heaven, and, in obedience to his instructions, 120 of his disciples were waiting in Jerusalem to receive the promised “power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
  • Tongues, Speaking in
    Jesus said that holy spirit would come upon his followers and that they would be witnesses of him to the most distant part of the earth. (Acts 1:8) He instructed them to “make disciples of people of all the nations.” (Matt. 28:19) He also foretold that ‘this good news of the kingdom would be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all nations.’ (Matt. 24:14) Who today, both as a group and individually, are doing this work? In harmony with what Jesus said, should we not look for this as an evidence that a group has holy spirit?
  • Is the Gift of Tongues Part of True Christianity
    “I Felt, as I listened to him praying in tongues, as if there were an electrifying charge in the air,” said Bill after he and six others had gathered before the preacher near the church altar. Do such experiences repeat the first-century operation of the holy spirit? Do they identify the religion of the Bible? We can find satisfying answers by carefully examining the Scriptures.
  • Is speaking in tongues Biblical?
    The sin of the Corinthian church was that it elevated one gift (i.e., speaking in tongues) above all other gifts in importance and desireability, and the church taught all members to seek the attainment of that gift. Paul responded by teaching that this kind of thinking regarding spiritual gifts is wrong.
  • Speaking in Tongues : Real or Fake?
    There seems to be three divisions in the use of tongues: First, a private prayer language that is not interpreted; second, a language that is interpreted — this defines proper usage in the Christian congregation; and third, missionary context — that is, it appears in the context of evangelism where people are presenting the gospel.
    +
    Sometimes some people speak false gibbish, some times people speak in devil tongues but other times some people do correctly use the real gift from God known as speaking in tongues. If and when done from and of God, it is Biblical. The ministers that forbid it are going against 1 Cor. 14:39 “forbid not to speak with tongues”! Paul’s solution to the tongues problem in the Corinthian Church was not to forbid tongues, but to correct the improper use of the gift from God.
  • The Cripplegate on Cessation and Continuation
    Very few theologians believe that there are Apostles in the church today. That fact alone means that they are “cessationists” in at least some sense of the word. In fact, in his book, To be Continued?, Sam Waldron has demonstrated that the cessation of the office and gift of the Apostle implies the cessation of the other miraculous/revelatory gifts.

 

But for those who would dispute even that, and argue that there are indeed Apostles in the church today, Nate provides five reasons why that is not the case.

  • Speaking in tongues. Heresy
    “Keep in mind, then, that the word tongues in the Greek means traditional languages. It is used in the New Testament fifty times and is never used to teach some heavenly speech of ecstasy. The Bible says nothing about going into a frenzy, a trance or an ecstasy to receive a ‘gift of tongues.’

 

Out of sixty-six books in the Bible, only three mention tongues except one reference related to the Jews in the book of Isaiah. And where it is most mentioned, in 1 Corinthians, God through Paul is correcting and regulating.
+
If the church that you attend speaks in jibber-jabber tongues, then you are in a false cult my friend, and it would be advisable to leave immediately. Biblical churches center around the plain and simple preaching of God’s Word and Soul Winning.

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  • Day 5 – Miracles, Power & More (citychurchuth.wordpress.com)
    Pastor Tom explained that speaking in tongues was a gift for ANYONE who has excepted Christ to receive that wanted it, not a reward that you had to work for; this surprised me! He also said scripture talks about praying in the spirit edifying you, in other words, charging you up! I knew that this is something I wanted and needed to have in my life. At the end of the message Pastor Tom called those up who were wanting to receive this gift. To my surprise it was the majority of the congregation and the team.
  • Three Questions About Speaking In Tongues – by Jim Dearman (Questions 2 and 3) (braggschurchofchrist.com)
    Is there an apostle still living today? No. So there is no one who can give this power to anyone else. And no one is still alive today who was given this power by an apostle. Therefore, the gift of tongue speaking is not available today.
  • Speaking in Tongues (truthinwisdom.net)
    Now the Holy Spirit sets the foundation for our communication with God, and we communicate with the Holy Spirit through our spirit.  Now the soul mediates desires and observations between spirit and body, so it sets the foundation for the body to express the spirit, and that expression is observed through speaking in tongues.
  • William Dwight McKissic Gives a Biblical Basis for Speaking in Tongues In Private (blackchristiannews.com)
    Based on the context of Jesus’ statement, coupled with Paul’s statement on the subject (1 Cor. 12:30), Jesus clearly did not teach that all believers everywhere, would speak in tongues–but He certainly was saying some believers, somewhere would speak in tongues. How can the IMB disqualify, what Jesus qualified? And that is speaking in tongues. Neither did Jesus preclude or promote the notion that his reference to “new tongues” would be limited to public forums–to the exclusion of private worship and devotion.
  • Three Questions About Speaking in Tongues, By Jim Dearman (1st Question) (braggschurchofchrist.com)
    Many people say they are able to speak in tongues today as some in New Testament times did. They claim this power is given by the Holy Spirit. By looking at three questions about tongue speaking we can know whether or not this miraculous gift is still available today.
    +
    Today, those who claim to be “Pentecostal” in their practice of tongue speaking are not doing what was done on Pentecost at all. On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit gave the apostles the power to communicate the gospel to people in the native languages of those people. Such is not being done today.
  • Ask for His Holy Spirit: #11 (mylegacyofferings.com)
    Knowing that God has sent a helper for us is so wonderful. How often do we actually admit our need or ask for His Spirit to be with us?
  • Holy Spirit Remains The Same (weushe.org)
    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
  • Tongues a sign of authenticity or divine backing (belgianbiblestudents.wordpress.com)

Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

[The history of the first three decades of the Christian Church]

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Acts 1:1-5 – A Second Account to Theophilus

AC1:1
In my first record, {1 Luke means his Gospel which ends with words that begin below in Acts, indicating

they could be a single volume. Luke was a Jewish physician and therefore educated. He has been
described in two primary ways: a] “the theologian of joy” for he uses such related words often, occurring
over 40 times in his two books; and, b] “the most accurate historian of ancient times.” His record in Acts
has been examined closely for over a century and a half by trained and scholarly archaeologists. It has
been found to be accurate in every sense.} O Theophilus, {2 See Luke 1:1. His name means “Loved By God” or “Friend of God.”} I wrote concerning everything that Jesus did and taught, from the very beginning,
AC1:2
until that day when he was received up,{3 Or, taken up, day of his ascension. Such was foretold by Daniel 7:13. The Greek is

ANELEMPHTHE [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #353, raise] and related to similar words that occur at Luke 17:34, 35; John 14:3; Acts 1:11, 22} after he had given orders to the apostles {4 The words of Matthew 28:18-20 and Luke 24:44-49 apply directly to the eleven apostles.} he had chosen by means of the holy Pneuma. {5 Or, Spirit. The word occurs 60 times as just “spirit” and 40 times as “holy spirit.” For details onthe subject see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000© on 1 Corinthians 2:16. In English the word “spirit”has taken on a strong form indicating a person or ghost. The Greek is not so limiting and literal means breath or wind, an invisible pressure or force.}
 AC1:3
After he had suffered [and died], Jesus showed himselfalive to his apostles by many irrefutable proofs, {6 The Greek TEKMERIOS [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #5039, infallible] is also rendered: positive proofs [KIT], infallible proofs

[KJV], convincing manifestations [MON], sure tokens [RHM], sure proofs [WEY], convincing proofs [NAS], convincing demonstrations [AMP]. Compare notes on John 21:1 and Acts 10:40.} becoming visible to them throughout forty days, {7 Or, manifest, showed, presented, being seen, manifest. This is the only place where the length of the Nazarene’s post-resurrection period with his disciples is mentioned. Pentecost means “Fifty” and occurs that many days after Passover. Thus, there were about ten days between Christ’s ascension and Pentecost. It is during this period that the events of Daniel 7:13, 14 and Revelation chapter 5 take place.} during which he spoke to them about the Kingdom of The God. {8 As other Bible writers, Luke most often uses the designation “The God” [TOU THEOU, TON THEON, HO THEOS].
AC1:4
Now while eating with them he gave them instructions not to depart from Jerusalem, but “to wait for the promise of the Father that I told you about.
AC1:5
For John immersed in water, but you [apostles] will be immersed in the holy Pneuma {9 Compare Matthew 3:11 and Mark 1:8.} only days from now.”

Acts 1:6-11 – The Ascension

AC1:6
So when the apostles had gathered, {10 Some think this in the mountain s near Galilee. [Matthew 28:16] Others, the Mount of Olives. [Acts 1:12]} they asked Jesus, “Master, {11 Luke uses the designation “Master” [KYRIE] more often than any other writer, over 90 times. He uses the designation for both “The God” and Christ. When used of the Nazarene it is always “Master.”} are you restoring the Kingdom to Israel now?” {12 The Kingdom was never to be restored to Israel as Jesus said it would be taken from them. [Matthew 21:43] The apostles ask in error as they do as Matthew 24:3.}
 AC1:7
However, Jesus answered them: “It is not for you [apostles] to know times or seasons {13 Or, KIT: times and appointed times; WMS: times and dates; MOF: periods of time; NAS: times and epochs. Jesus had told his apostles that no one could know the time of his Return. [Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32] The Nazarene warned that any who preached, “the time is at hand,” were not to be followed. [Luke 21:8]} which the Father has fixed within His own authority.
AC1:8
However, you [apostles] will receive power when the holy Pneuma comes upon you. {14 The word “power” comes from the Greek DYNAMIN. The thrust of the word here means authority. The holy PNEUMA is the mental force of God’s mind that exerts a pressure on the object of His will. See notes on 1 Corinthians 2:16. Compare the results at Acts 4:33 and elsewhere.} Also, you [apostles] will be my witnesses {15 Christian disciples are often called Jesus’ witnesses. [Revelation 17:6]} through Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” {16 There are three divisions here: Judea, Samaria, and the non-Jewish world. The Nazarene told Peter he would give to him the “keys of the kingdom” and in the case of the Jews, the Samaritans, and the Non-Jews, it is Peter who initiates the Gospel with these three groups. [Acts 8:14; 10:24] Daniel 9:25-27 suggests that the “Jews first” would have a seven year period of special grace during which the Gospel was present solely to them. [Matthew 10:6; 15:24] This period covered 29-36 AD, following which the non-Jews were then giving the invitation. Compare notes on Matthew 22:1-14. It is thought by some that many of the apostles departed Jerusalem

before the year 66 and went to distant lands, including England and India. Peter himself writes from Babylon. [1 Peter 5:13}

AC1:9
Now when Jesus had said these things – just as they were watching – he began to ascend and a cloud took him up [Daniel 7:13] out of their sight. {17 Or, KJV: he was taken up, a cloud received him out of their sight; TCN: caught up; RSV: lifted up.  It is the cloud in the sky that finally obscures the Master from the vision of the apostles. It is likely the reference to the cloud is an allusion to Daniel 7:13 which foretold the ascension to heaven of someone “like a son of humankind.”}

 AC1:10
While Jesus was ascending {18 Or, KJV: as he went up; NOR: his departure. This is likely that moment described in Revelation 12:5.} – and the apostles were watching skyward – suddenly two humans in white robes stood beside them. {19 Or, men, males. Angels that materialized are often called “men.” That is, they appeared in a human-like form. Compare Genesis 18:1f. In these cases regarding the resurrection and ascension it is not the word ANTHROPOS which may mean a human in general, but ANDROS, meaning precisely a male. [Luke 24:4] In Mark 16:5 this is a “young man” [NEANISKON].}
 AC1:11
These said to the apostles: “Men of Galilee, {20 It should be noted that the eleven apostles were all from Galilee. This comes up again at Acts 2:7.} why do you standing watching toward the sky? {21 Or, heaven. If the apostles had understood Daniel 7:13 at this moment they would not have lingered watching the skies wondering what was going to happen.} This same Jesus, {22 Or, this Jesus. This is the Risen Master now in a spirit-like body. [1 Corinthians 15:40-50; 1 Peter 3:18] The former, fleshly body sacrificed on the Tree, has been accepted by God and used as a sin-offering. [Compare the notes on Hebrews 13:11, 12.] “This Jesus” is the one who will return at his Parousia. [John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17]} who is departing from you into the sky, {23 Or, heaven. The Hebrew and Greek for “heaven” may be used of the atmosphere or Sky. [Note Genesis 1:8, 20; Revelation 14:6]} will return in the same manner as you watched him ascend into the sky.” {24 How did “this Jesus”

depart? It was visibly, until a cloud caught him from beneath out of the sight of the apostles. If this was like a film rewound backward, “this Jesus” would be seen visibly coming on the clouds, and so Jesus foretold. [Matthew 24:30, 31] In 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Christ appears in the “air.” In Revelation 11:12, 13 the raptured Saints are seen by their enemies as they ascend in clouds. [Note: some apply Zechariah 14:4, 5, and its mention of the Mount of Olives, as a reference to the Return of Christ as Yehowah’s representative.]}

Acts 1:12-14 – The Waiting Apostles

AC1:12
Now when the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives {25 Whether this means Jesus ascended

from the Mount of Olives, or the apostles had paused there on their trip from Galilee, is a subject for personal choice.} – which is close to Jerusalem (about a Sabbath’s days distance) –
AC1:13
as they entered the city, they went into a room upstairs {26 Possibly the same place where the Master’s Supper was first observed. Some think this part of the home of John Mark’s mother. [Acts 12:12]} where they were staying. [These included] Peter, John, James, {27 Peter appears about 50 times but vanishes after Acts 15:7. The apostle John is named about a dozen times and then disappears after Acts 12:2. The apostle James is martyred at Acts 12:2. The apostle Andrew is only mentioned here, as are the other apostles. The apostles as a group did not leave Jerusalem when persecution broke out at Acts 8:1. However, after Acts 16:23 they disappear as a group. Indeed, following that it is “James [the disciple] and the elders” who seem in authority. It is possible the apostles dispersed to widespread areas to further the Gospel.} Andrew, Philip, Thomas,
Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James.
AC1:14
All of these apostles were continually in devotional prayers {28 Or, KJV: with one accord; GDS: devoting themselves to; BER: engaged constantly and with one mind in prayer. This would be for about a weeklong period during which the apostles were obedient to Jesus and stayed put until they should receive the holy Pneuma.} along with certain women, {29 Only one is named, the mother of Jesus, but it is possible that it would include about a half dozen of those particular women who are mentioned in association with Jesus. [Luke 8:1-4] This would bring the group to about 18, or 22 including the Master’s brothers.} including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his [fleshly] brothers. {30 Jesus had four named brothers who were not his disciples during his lifetime. [Matthew 13:55; John 7:5] It I likely the resurrection of Jesus had a powerful affect on them. [1Corinthians 15:7] One in particular, James, becomes something of a presiding elder within the Church.

[Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; Galatians 1:19; 2:9, 12] He also writes the epistle named after him. [James 1:1] This James is mentioned by the 1st Century Jewish historian Josephus, who reports, “[The high priest] convened the judges of the Sanhedrin and brought before them a man named James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ, and certain others. He accused them of having transgressed the law and delivered them up to be stoned.” [Jewish Antiquities, XX, 200 (ix, 1)]}

Acts 1:15-22 – The Replacement of an Overseer

AC1:15
Now during those days, Peter rose in the midst of the brothers {31 Still during this period of about a week, there is a conference to select a replacement for the apostle Judas Iscariot. The whole group was “about one hundred and twenty.” It is not likely they met in the previously mentioned upper room but in some other location. During the ministry of Jesus he had appointed twelve apostles and seventy special envoys. This would number 82, perhaps the bulk of those present at the conference. No women are mentioned as being present on this occasion, and judging from the agenda of the meeting, it is unlikely female disciples shared in this decision.} – the crowd was about one hundred and twenty in the same place – and he said:
AC1:16
“Men, brothers, {32 The Greek here is ANDRES, ADELPHOI, and means “males, brothers.” It indicates Paul is addressing only men. Though sometimes the designation “brothers” may include Christian women, never does ANDRES also include women. Compare Acts 2:29, 37 where a similar address includes only men.} it was necessary for the Scripture to be fulfilled {33 Formerly lacking in understanding of the Scriptures, Peter now shows a new comprehension, likely because of inspiration, for prophetic texts.} that the holy Pneuma foretold through David concerning Judas – who was the one who guided those who arrested Jesus –
AC1:17
for he had been numbered among us [apostles] and had received a portion of this [apostolic] ministry.”
AC1:18
(Now this person {34 Luke injects an editorial comment of his own to clarify certain background matters.} had gotten possession of a field from his unrighteous payment – he himself had fallen headfirst and when his belly burst open his
intestines spilled out of him –
AC1:19
[and this field] became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so the field was called in their own language “Akeldamai,” that is, “Field of Blood.”
AC1:20
This was so because it had been written in the book of Psalms: “Let his place of dwelling become desolate, and let no one come to live there.” [Psalm 69:25] And again, “Let another receive his office of overseer.” [Psalm 109:8]
AC1:21
“So it is necessary that from among the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Master Jesus went in and went out among us –
AC1:22
beginning from John’s baptism until that day when Jesus was received up from us – one of these men must become a witness with us regarding the resurrection.”

Acts 1:23-26 – The Choice of Matthias

AC1:23
So they put forward two men – Joseph, the one called Barsabbas, and Matthias.
AC1:24
Then they prayed: “YHWH, {35 Or, Lord. It is possible the Tetragram originally occurred here.} You know the hearts of everyone. Reveal whom You chose of these two
AC1:25
to take the place of this ministry and apostleship from which Judas abandoned to follow his own course.”
AC1:26
Then they cast lots regarding the two, {36 The 120 male disciples were equally divided on two qualified men. This could have led to an early division in their midst. The apostolic solution will seem strange to some, but it likely represents the stated principle of Proverbs 16:33, “The lot is thrown into the lap, but every judgment belongs to YHWH.” The Hebrews and Jews were used to the lot for the Urim and Thummim of the Israelites’ high priest wore a pocket in his priestly apron in which there were divine lots. [Compare Exodus 28:30 MOF; Numbers 27:21]} and the lot fell upon Matthias, {37 According to the divine choosing, Matthias became the twelfth apostle, replacing Judas. Likely the Twelve had to be present at the outpouring of the Spirit as the Congregation or Temple was founded. [Ephesians 2:21, 22] Though some think Paul the replacement apostle there is no direct indication of such.} so he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

*

Nazarene Commentary 2000©
21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures© [NCMM]
Mark Heber Miller
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Ministry of the Apostles, a complex multi-figu...

Ministry of the Apostles, a complex multi-figure icon with a full-height image of Jesus Christ, surrounded by sectors with scenes of His disciples’ calling, ministry and martyrdom. Icon from the Yaroslavl Museum Preserve. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Please do find also to read:

About Breath:

  1. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  2. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness

Pentecost:

  1. Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus
  2. First Century of Christianity 1. The early days of Christianity
  3. Is it wise to annul the Pentecostweekend

Ascension of Christ:

  1. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2

Holy Spirit or Pneuma:

  1. Did the Inspirator exist
  2. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  3. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  5. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  6. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  7. Christ having glory
  8. True riches
  9. Followers with deepening
  10. The Great Trinity Debate > Groot Drie-eenheidsdebat
  11. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  12. The Soul not a ghost
  13. Speaking in tongues
  14. Pope Francis I on the Holy Spirit
  15. Know Who goes with us and don’t try to control life
  16. The manager and Word of God

+++

  • There were more than twelve apostles? What does it take to be an apostle? (newtheologicalmovement.blogspot.com)
    St. Barnabas is honored in the Church and in the Scriptures as an apostle. While not one of the twelve, he is given this title (together with St. Paul) in Acts 14:13 – The apostles Barnabas and Paul.
    +
    Solemnity of Pentecost > Were the Apostles confirmed at Pentecost?
    +
    Why was Matthias chosen by lots?
    If Matthias was selected in this manner, the critic might ask, “Why does the Church not employ this means in our own day for the selection of bishops?” The answer to this question reveals just how necessary Pentecost was.
  • The Ascension of the Lord – Part 1 (friarmusings.wordpress.com)
    Acts tells how Jesus’ disciples received his Holy Spirit and continued his work after he ascended into heaven. Much of Acts is a travelogue, following the Christian missionaries, especially Paul, as they spread God’s word  outward from Jerusalem. Similarly, Luke’s Gospel had put a unique stress on Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51 to the end of the book.)
    +
    In the development of the church from a Jewish Christian origin in Jerusalem, with its roots in Jewish religious tradition, to a series of Christian communities among the Gentiles of the Roman empire, Luke perceives the action of God in history laying open the heart of all humanity to the divine message of salvation. His approach to the history of the church is motivated by his theological interests. His history of the apostolic church is the story of a Spirit-guided community and a Spirit-guided spread of the Word of God (Acts 1:8). The travels of Peter and Paul are in reality the travels of the Word of God as it spreads from Jerusalem, the city of destiny for Jesus, to Rome, the capital of the civilized world of Luke’s day.
  • Names of the Holy Spirit (amenalways3.wordpress.com)
    Taken together this list of names reveals an amazing amount of information about the Holy Spirit. The first time He is mentioned in the Bible occurs in Genesis 1:2, and the last time is Revelation 19:10. Thus, the work of the Holy Spirit spans the entire Bible, from creation to the final redemption of God’s people.
  • The Resurrection of Jesus, Did it happen? By Brendan Byrne (deisespirit.wordpress.com)
    In light of our contemporary society it makes the question, did Jesus rise from the dead? A more valid question.
  • This is the Day (cbcirwin.wordpress.com)
    In killing God’s Son the religious leaders of Israel fulfilled the predestined plan of God. They were rejecting the very stone that would become the chief cornerstone. When Peter addressed the rulers and elders of Israel, he explained that Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead…He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very cornerstone. (Acts 4:10,11) Israel’s rejection was prophesied and it opened the door of salvation for the Gentiles. Paul addressed the issue this way, “But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.” (Rom 11:1)
  • Ebionites and Nazarenes: Tracking the Original Followers of Jesus (repostingforislam.wordpress.com)
    According to the book of Acts, which comes late in the 1st century, the followers of Jesus were called, or perhaps called themselves, “the Way” (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 24:14, 22). The term “Christian” or “Christians” is mentioned twice, but presented as a newly minted designation, probably coming from outsiders, as the movement spread north to Antioch of Syria (Acts 11:26; 26:28). It is surely surprising for many to realize that the term “Christian” only occurs one other time in the entire New Testament, in one of our latest sources (1 Peter 4:16). This is, however, the name that apparently stuck as it shows up in our earliest Roman sources mentioning the movement, namely Suetonius, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Lucian, and Galen (see texts here.). It is a Greek name, not a Hebrew or Aramaic one, but unfortunately the English term veils what was likely the more original connotation of the term, which would translate roughly as something like “Messianist.”There is, however, a reference in the book of Acts to a Hebrew name for the Jesus movement that might have well been its earliest formal appellation. Paul, on trial before the Roman governer Felix, is referred to as being “the ring leader of the sect of the Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5). Whether this term was used by “outsiders” to label the group, or within the movement itself, is difficult to know. Associated with the term “Nazarenes” is a second Hebrew designation, namely Ebionites, that was also apparently used for the earliest mostly-Jewish followers of Jesus.This Ebionite/Nazarene movement was made up of mostly Jewish followers of John the Baptizer and later Jesus, who were concentrated in Palestine and surrounding regions and led by “James the Just” (the oldest brother of Jesus), and flourished between the years 30-80 C.E. Non-Jews were certainly part of the mix but the dominant ethos of the group was an adherence to what Paul calls ioudaizein–to live according to Jewish law (Galatians 2:14). They were zealous for the Torah and continued to observe the mitzvot (commandments) as enlightened by their Rabbi and Teacher. The non-Jews in their midst were apparently expected to follow some version of the Noachide Laws (Acts 15: 28-29). The term Ebionite (from Hebrew ‘Evyonim) means “Poor Ones” and was perhaps related to the teachings of Jesus: “Blessed are you Poor Ones, for yours is the Kingdom of God” based on Isaiah 66:2 and other related texts that address a remnant group of faithful ones. I am convinced that Nazarene comes from the Hebrew word Netzer (drawn from Isaiah 11:1) and means “a Branch”—so the Nazarenes were the “Branchites” or followers of the one they believed to be the Branch–that is the Davidic Messiah. It is often confused with a completely different word,  Nazirite or Nazir, that refers to individuals, male or female, not a group, who took on a special vow based on Numbers 6. The two terms can sound alike in English are spelled differently in Hebrew.
    > Ebionites & Nazarenes: Tracking the Original Followers of Jesus
    Like the group behind the sectarian writings of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the earliest followers of Jesus, apparently, did not use a dominant self-identifying label but preferred a variety of descriptive terms. Paul’s letters are our earliest sources, dating to the 50s CE, and he never “names” his followers or the movement as a whole, but uses phrases like “the believers” or those “in Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:7, 2:10; 1 Corinthians 14:22; Romans 16: 3, 7, 9; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
  • “Nazarene Judaism” rebrands Jesus Christ according to their counterfeit gospel (revisionistreview.blogspot.com)
    Jesus didn’t free anyone from the Torah of Yahweh. True. He freed them from the spurious “Torah sheBeal Peh” of the man-made traditions of Babylon as encoded in the Mishnah, Gemara, Mishneh Torah, Shulchan Aruch, Tanya, Zohar etc. ad nauseum.
    +
    Jesus, Mary and the apostles were all Jews, so where is the anti-Jewish discourse? To the extent that first century Jews rejected the clear evidence that Jesus was the Moshiach (Messiah-Christ of Israel), they bore guilt for His crucifixion. The generations bearing that guilt are long dead, having largely perished in the Roman assaults on Jerusalem in 70 and 135 A.D.  Today the guilt for denying the doctrine and resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is endemic not to people but to ideology, wherein is counseled rebellion against God; more specifically, in the continuation of the wicked ideology of the Pharisees, in the form of contemporary Orthodox Judaism.
  • Tongues of Fire and the Fullness of God (fbcpadenok.wordpress.com)
    The power promised by Jesus in Acts 1:8 and Luke 24:49 is an extraordinary power.
    +
    This promise that the disciples would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:8) and that they would be clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49) was a promise given to sustain the completion of world evangelization, and all the ministry that supports it.
  • Information, Revelation and Application (pastorkeithhodges.wordpress.com)
    The word of God is the foundation for all true preaching. Our goal is never to express an idea or a thought, our goal is to teach and preach the Word of God.
    +
    The word of God is alive, it speaks not only about what was happening but what is happening, this is the revelation of scripture. The quickened word that specifically addresses the issues of our day and the conditions of the hearts of men.
  • When were the gospels written? (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    the Acts of the Apostles (which post-dates Luke’s gospel) does not mention the destruction of the temple in AD 70, nor the death of Peter or Paul, nor for that matter the persecution of Christian martyrs under Nero in the 60?s or the Great Fire of Rome from which it resulted. If such events had already taken place by the time Luke wrote Acts, one would expect to find a pertaining description. But, instead, Acts leaves us hanging, by ending after Paul has been placed under house-arrest.

Politics and power first priority #1

The early days of Christianity

2.2.1. Politics and power first priority

File:ArsameiaSockelII.jpg

Mtihras; Dexiosis-Relief from Arsameia by Nymphaios, Turkey – Photo Klaus-Peter Simon

It was just as impossible to bring men back to the old simplicity as to make them return to the old pagan beliefs and to the national form of worship. Consequently, the empire had to identify itself with the progressive movement, employ as far as possible the existing resources of national life, exercise tolerance, make concessions to the new religious tendencies, and receive the Germanic tribes into the empire. This conviction constantly spread, especially as Constantine’s father had obtained good results there from. In Gaul, Britain, and Spain, where Constantius Chlorus ruled, peace and contentment prevailed, and the prosperity of the provinces visibly increased, while in the East prosperity was undermined by the existing confusion and instability. But it was especially in the western part of the empire that the veneration of Mithras predominated. Constantine the Great wondered if it would not be possible to gather all the different nationalities around his altars. Could not Sol Deus Invictus, to whom even Constantine dedicated his coins for a long time, or Sol Mithras Deus Invictus, venerated by Diocletian and Galerius, become the supreme god of the empire? Constantine may have pondered over this. Nor had he absolutely rejected the thought even after a miraculous event had strongly influenced him in favour of the God of the Christians. [1]

For political reasons after his victory against his rival Maxentius, Constantine granted tolerance to the Christians and took a further step in their favour. He was the first Roman emperor who recognized the church’s resistance against a pagan Roman state established upon the ruler cult as a political factor. In 313 Licinius and he issued at Milan the famous joint edict of tolerance. This declared that the two emperors had deliberated as to what would be advantageous for the security and welfare of the empire and had, above all, taken into consideration the service which man owed to the “deity”. Therefore they had decided to grant Christians and all others freedom in the exercise of religion. Everyone might follow that religion which he considered the best. They hoped that “the deity enthroned in heaven” would grant favour and protection to the emperors and their subjects. This was in itself quite enough to throw the pagans into the greatest astonishment. When the wording of the edict is carefully examined there is clear evidence of an effort to express the new thought in a manner too unmistakable to leave any doubt. The edict contains more than the belief, to which Galerius at the end had given voice that the persecutions were useless, and it granted the Christians freedom of worship, while at the same time it endeavoured not to affront the pagans. Without doubt the term deitywas deliberately chosen, for it does not exclude a heathen interpretation. The cautious expression probably originated in the imperial chancery, where pagan conceptions and pagan forms of expression still lasted for a long time. Nevertheless the change from the bloody persecution of Christianity to the toleration of it, a step which implied its recognition, may have startled many heathens and may have excited and given them a chance to blend their religion with the other one.

Arch of Galerius (detail)

Arch of Galerius (detail) (Photo credit: George M. Groutas)

The imprisoned Christians were released from the prisons and mines, and were received by their brethren in the Faith with acclamations of joy; the churches were again filled, and those who had fallen away sought forgiveness. Though it was good that there were religious people who remained in the original Christian faith and were conscious of the dangers of this political handshake.

Constantine had become master of the Roman world and was determined on restoring ecclesiastical order in the East, as already in the West he had undertaken to put down the Donatists at the Council of Arles. He managed to come to an agreement with most of the church leaders by giving them also power, just for changing some teachings, giving in some ways of thinking, and of celebrations. In the dedication of Constantinople in 330 a ceremonial half pagan, half Christian was used. The chariot of the sun-god was set in the marketplace, and over its head was placed the Cross, sign of the god of evil Tamuz, for Christ, while the Kyrie Eleison was sung. Shortly before his death Constantine confirmed the privileges of the priests of the ancient gods. Many other actions of his have also the appearance of half-measures, as if he himself had wavered and had always held in reality to some form of syncretistic religion.[2] Thus he commanded the heathen troops to make use of a prayer in which any monotheist could join, and which ran thus: “We acknowledge thee alone as god and king, we call upon thee as our helper. From thee have we received the victory, by thee have we overcome the foe. To thee we owe that good which we have received up to now, from thee do we hope for it in the future. To thee we offer our entreaties and implore thee that thou wilt preserve to us our emperor Constantine and his god-fearing sons for many years uninjured and victorious.”[3]

The Church tolerated the cult of the emperor under many forms. It was permitted to speak of the divinity of the emperor, of the sacred palace, the sacred chamber, and of the altar of the emperor, without being considered on this account an idolater. From this point of view Constantine’s religious change was relatively trifling; it consisted of little more than the renunciation of a formality. For what his predecessors had aimed to attain by the use of all their authority, and at the cost of incessant bloodshed, was in truth only the recognition of their own divinity; Constantine gained this end, though he renounced the offering of sacrifices to himself.


[1] The original Catholic Encyclopedia

[2] Syncrtism

[3] http://oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Constantine_the_Great

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Previously: Hellenistic influences

Next: Politics and power first priority #2

Dutch version: Politiek en macht de eerste prioriteit #1

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File:Vatican-Apostolic Palace-Battle of Milvian Bridge.jpg

Vatican City, Apostolic Palace, Constantine and The Battle of Milvian Bridge – Photo Jean-Christophe Benoist

  • Constantine’s Gift to Christianity (insightscoop.typepad.com)
    On October 28, 312, Emperor Constantine met Emperor Maxentius in battle just outside the city of Rome at the Milvian Bridge, spanning the Tiber. This battle—occurring exactly 1,700 years ago—is one of the most important events in the history of Christendom, since it was through Constantine’s victory that Christendom began. It is a battle well worth reflecting upon.
  • Constantine’s Gift to Christianity: Catholic World Report (nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com)
    There are, for example, those who take Constantine’s conversion as the beginning of the end of real Christianity. Christianity, they argue, is the Christianity of the early Church, the Church before it became favored and hence entangled with the empire, the pure Church, the Church before Constantine, the Church of the martyrs.

    The problem with this romantic vision of the pure early Church is that it wasn’t shared by the early Church. We owe it to them to take things, first of all, from their point of view.

  • October 27, 312 – Constantine’s Conversion (gentlereformation.org)
    Constantine reported having a dream in the night. In that dream, he saw the Chi-Rho sign (the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ), with the promise “in this sign, conquer.” Constantine believed he had received a sign from the God of the Bible, and commanded that his soldiers to place the Chi-Rho sign on their shields as they went into battle.
  • Christianity and Constantine 1700 Years Later (reflectionandchoice.wordpress.com)
    The defeat of Maxentius is a significant step in Constantine’s quest to become master of the entire Roman Empire, but historians have usually emphasized it as the turning point in his relationship with Christianity.
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    Constantine favored Christianity with money and attention and set a trajectory for its continued growth. He did not, however, make Christianity the official religion of the empire. That move would be made a few generations later.
  • Late Antique Crossbow Fibula Looted from Turin (adrianmurdoch.typepad.com)
    Dorothy King at Lootbusters passed over details of a crossbow fibula which was stolen from the Museo d’Antichita in Turin.
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    CONSTANTINE CAES VIVAS (May Constantine caesar live)… is an indisputable reference to the emperor who was going to have a greater impact on history than any other of the tetrarchs, the future augustus Constantine the Great.
  • Constantine and Christendom: Glory or Calamity? | Catholic Lane (nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com)
    how the church became allied (sometimes, anyway) with the state, and how armed resistance to the state is also sometimes allowed under our doctrines. All of this as well as much more come from Constantine, who provides one of the major turning points in Christianity.

    Here we see the beginning of the Church Militant, and the beginning of Christendom as we understand it. We have spoken here  of the importance of this to western civilization.
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    At first, Christians found it hard to adjust to this radical transformation.  In the end they found it impossible to discern the divine will without reference to salvation history.  Our ancestors in the Faith had to take divine Providence as it actually transpired, not as one might suppose the Great Helmsman of history could more fortuitously have steered the course of events. Proud minds ready to second-guess God wonder why the Divinity did not stop Christians from having recourse to the sword; or why God let the Church be sullied by immersion in power politics.

  • The historical evolution between the churches and politics in the Roman Empire (perspectives11.wordpress.com)
    Christianity started out as a small group of followers. They did not have a place of worship; they would often reunite at each other’s homes.In the early 60’s AD, a fire broke out in Rome that destroyed most of the city, emperor Nero blamed the Christians for it and ordered them to be killed. At the time, most of the Romans were Pagan; they believed in many Gods, as well as the emperor was considered a semi divine monarch. Christians were persecuted for centuries in the Roman Empire, and executed by getting torn apart by dogs or burnt alive.
  • The day Christianity became a fighting faith (thewesternexperience.com)
    + Jonathan Kay: The day Christianity became a fighting faith
    Constantine was a conqueror. And like all conquerors, he wanted to memorialize himself in word and stone. “Over his reign, he gave the Church an equal place alongside the traditional official cults, and lavished wealth on it,” writes Dirmaid MacCulloch in his 2009 opus Christianity: The first 3,000 years. “Christianity would now embark on its long intoxication with architecture, previously a necessarily restricted passion. Among [Constantine’s] many other donations were 50 monumental copies of the Bible commissioned from Bishop Eusebius’ specialist scriptorium in Caesarea: an extraordinary expenditure … for which the parchment alone would have required the death of around 5,000 cows.”

    In Constantinople (formerly Byzantium), Constantine created a network of churches devoted to various saints, festivals and holy days, thereby establishing the pattern of prayer-by-station that remains a feature of Christian pilgrimage to this day. He also promoted the practice of convening councils of bishops to settle questions of religious doctrine. This included the First Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. (presided over by Constantine in person), whose eponymous creed created the foundational dogma that Christ is “begotten, not made” “from the substance of the Father, God from God, Light from Light.”

    Unfortunately, Constantine used the same venue to promote the theme of Jew-hatred that would remain a stubborn part of mainstream Christian thought and culture until well into the 20th century. “At the council, we also considered the issue of our holiest day, Easter,” he wrote. “In the first place, it seemed very unworthy for us to keep this most sacred feast following the custom of the Jews, a people who have soiled their hands in a most terrible outrage, and have thus polluted their souls, and are now deservedly blind.”

     

A Society pleading poverty

It is incredible how many people can get enthusiast to do the work Jesus had asked from them. All those who call themselves Christian should go out in the world and preach the Gospel of the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. Though we are afraid we can not find many Christians bringing that Good News worldwide. But it is also wrong of the Jehovah Witnesses to think they are the only ones who bear witness. We do agree the other groups, like Mormons, Abrahamic Faith, Church of God people and Biblestudents and Christadelphians are minority groups. But they also try to bring the Word of God to as many places as they can. Those groups are by a lot of people considered to be sects or cults, because they do not adhere to the mainstream believe.

Politics and acceptance

In the world it can go very strange with ideas about those preaching groups. As soon as one of the groups becomes more powerful or has something to offer politicly it can be changed. For example the Baptists in Belgium are a sect or cult according to the State committee about sects, while in the United States they are one of the mainstream churches. The Mormon Church in Belgium and the United States are also mentioned under the list of sects. But recently the Billy Graham group threw his support behind Mitt Romney due to his clear support of biblical values of marriage and opposition to abortion and lots of Americans suddenly do not consider the Mormons a cult but the best Christian value. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association seems to find Mormons being Christians like they are, and a group they do not need to evangelize, while the others are non-trinitarian and therefore not Christian and in high need to get to know Christ. The only thing is that they forget that they themselves are not following Christ Jesus as it should and that they believe other values than thought in the Holy Scriptures, the Book of books which Bible Sudents,  Jehovah Witnesses, Christadelphians, Church of Abrahamic Faith and others like Messianic Jews take as the Book to follow.

Jehovah's Witnesses House Bratislava

Jehovah’s Witnesses House Bratislava (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we can not only see hiding the light of the Gospel under a bushel in the name of politics, some groups do not mind bringing cover-up policy, like the Roman Catholic Church and the Jehovah Witnesses about the paedophilia acts of their preachers. The ongoing ‘accidents’ and ‘files being lost’ in the court case of the archbishopric Mechelen and the diocese Bruges show clearly how politics and Roman Catholic Church are still interwoven in the jurisdiction system of Belgium, though the last few years the Roman Catholic Church had to give the power over the country to the Banks. The Witnesses kept all the time quiet about the matters that went wrong between youngsters and people in charge of certain Kingdomhalls.

Sanctity of life and love

The sanctity of life is extremely imperative to our foundation of love and creation and the last few years many so called Christian organisations are making a joke out of it. The main motivating factor to do missions or to proclaim the Word of God needs to be love. This love in-comprehends the respect to others, also other believers. But those who want to proclaim the Word of God do also have to live according this Word of God. They should be an example for all people, believers and non-believers. They also should be honest to all people, believers and non-believers. It can not be that they would fool their own believers and do wrong to their own congregation. But this is what we have seen happening the last few years with the Roman Catholic Church and by the Jehovah Witnesses.

Energy, time and money spend

The apostle Paul may perhaps have written that he suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, but that does not mean that the church or organisation should take as much as they can from their followers because they should count it as of no value and have to consider any worldly material as rubbish.

Photos by Patrick Dove/Standard-TimesSan Angelo members of the Jehovah's Witnesses faith walk into a new Kingdom Hall built on Pullium Street across from the Shannon Health System's St. John's Campus. The new building can hold both English- and Spanish-speaking services at the same time.

San Angelo members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith walk into a new Kingdom Hall built on Pullium Street across from the Shannon Health System’s St. John’s Campus. The new building can hold both English- and Spanish-speaking services at the same time. – Photo by Patrick Dove/Standard-Times

For years the people who followed the Watchtower Society gave all of their best to the Society with the idea they where giving everything for the Work of God. And yes it is good that we can give to the work of God, and we should do that. But when we give our time and money to an organisation to do the work of God, they have to value it and make good use of it. Lots of Jehovah Witnesses have been motivated by love, when they did their preaching work. From door to door they went and offered leaflets and Watchtower brochures to the people to whom they could talk to. Several did it for many years without regretting the work they do or did. Others you can see at their faces  or at their customary uniform clothing that they are not so interested any more and that it has become a burden. With other organisations mostly the people quit if things get tough, but we must say that those Jehovah Witnesses, no matter what happens, continue in their ardent task of telling others about the end times.

A heart for work

The church is the tool God uses to push his good news into every hidden corner of the planet to shine his glorious light and God uses many people all over the world to do His job on earth. those who can do such work in love of the Almighty should be pleased to do it. Organisations who can have enough people willing to join the work should be glad and thank God for them.

“Do You Have ‘a Heart for Working’?” has been asked worldwide at the three-day conventions of the Jehovah Witnesses.

Nehemiah made many sacrifices to see that the walls in Jerusalem were rebuilt and the gates remade so as to give God’s restored people a secure future. There is an article regularly featured in the Watchtower magazine entitled “Learn from God’s Word.” It helps others and the faithful to deepen their knowledge of God, His Will and purpose.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, (Colossians 3:23) is written in the Holy Scriptures, so many Christians do their work for their church heartily as though they were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people. So the work should be done not by mere force and necessity, grudgingly, and with murmurings, but from the heart, and with good will, having a true, real, and hearty affection for their masters, having their good and interest at heart, and a delight in their service; like the Hebrew servant, that loved his master, as also his wife and children, and therefore would not depart from him, see Exodus 21:5.

Christian empires

As such many people also devote their time for their organisation to build up a congregation. Over the years the Watch Tower Society could build up, like the Roman Catholic Church did in previous centuries, a great empire. They managed to buy lots of grounds and buildings. All over the world the organisation did find enthusiast hands who could construct in a few days time a new Kingdom Hall. Often they are able to build a Kingdom Hall in less than three weeks, thanks to hundreds of volunteers who descended on the work site as part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Regional Building Committee. People come from all parts of the country, working with members of the local congregations. It is great to see them at work and to see them so organised. People that have registered with the Regional Building Committee are put into a database according to what department they would work in. Like roofing, concrete, trimming, painting, the kitchen, electrical, plumbing, bricklaying, welding, everything is notated, registered and taken care off by volunteers. to clear such huge projects in such a short time it would cost a lot of money.  Here for those projects it are all the people of the congregation and others who voluntary give money and time to the organisation so that it may grow. and it has grown enormously.

Assets

Strangely enough, the organisation pretends now that it has not enough assets to help out on those in affliction because certain things went wrong at certain of their congregations.

For more than 70 years, the Watch Tower Society has prided itself on its clean legal record, although this has now collapsed in dramatic fashion after a jury at the Alameda County Superior Court found Jehovah’s Witnesses legally responsible for the sexual abuse of Candace Conti, who suffered repeated molestation at the hands of a member of her congregation when only nine years old. Candace Conti, now 26 and living in Stockton, is one of the rare courageous girls who dared to take legal action against the organisation. As in many other cases the congregation and the Watchtower Society concealed the important information from her parents. In showing such shocking negligence, a jury has found that the Fremont elders were acting under the Watch Tower Society’s instructions. The elders failed to report these incidents to the authorities, or warn parents in the congregation.

The Watch Tower Society has therefore been held to account for the abuse suffered by Candace, and has been ordered to pay millions of dollars both in compensation and punitive damages. Compensatory damages of $7 million have been awarded, of which the Society must pay 40%. A further $21 million is due to be paid by the Society in punitive damages. On its official website, the Society has announced it will appeal this decision. It is feared that such an appeal will potentially drag the case out over a considerable period.

Attitude taken

Worse is also the attitude the organisation further takes.

Like in the Roman Catholic Church the than still Cardinal Ratzinger in 2001 issued a secret Vatican edict to Catholic bishops all over the world, instructing them to put the Church’s interests ahead of child safety the Watchtower Society have seem to have like to do the same way, not loving God’s people but loving more the organisation structure and income.

In a remarkable twist, on June 20th Judge Robert D. McGuinnes ruled that the real estate assets of the Watch Tower Society were to be effectively frozen pending the outcome of the Society’s appeal against the judgement. This would mean that, for a considerable period, the Watch Tower Society would be powerless to buy, sell or exchange property without first seeking the permission of the court in Alameda. It is estimated that the total value of the Watch Tower Society’s remaining Brooklyn property portfolio alone is a staggering 1 Billion dollars.

The Watch Tower Society has been ordered to pay millions in damages for their part in the abuse suffered by Candace Conti (pictured) – Photo jwsurvey.org

Now the Society appears to be pleading poverty, indicating that it cannot afford to produce the required $17.3 million dollars by way of surety without using property instead of cash. Amazingly, the Society is prepared to put their Patterson complex (The Watchtower Educational Center) on the line over this judgement, offering it as surety rather than starting the payments. However, this remarkable proposal has been blocked by Candace’s legal team. They understandably want cash to be paid as surety, not shaky property assets during times of economic uncertainty.

The Society has described the payment of $17.3 million in damages along with the premium as something that would cause them “immediate irreparable harm and hardship”.

It is normal that such a huge sum is going to do a certain damage, but trying to get rid of the fine is not an attitude which we would like to see from an organisation who, at first got all the money from its members, and secondly has done grave mistakes. Weekly lots of magazines and other publications or distributed worldwide. For the printed work they receive cash money which is partly also transferred to the headquarters. They should bear the consequences of their acts, like they so often tell others to do, and should bear the fine.

Meltdown

We totally agree with the Jehovah Witness Cedars who writes on his blog Jehovah’s Witnesses Survey:  “Many Witnesses will no doubt be shocked to hear that the organization, said to be enjoying Jehovah’s blessing, is in such a perilous predicament that it is seemingly only $17.3 million dollars away from meltdown! They will be just as amazed to learn that the Society is seeking to effectively put Patterson on the gambling table, to be given to Candace Conti if Watchtower loses its appeal.”

The whole problem is that even ordinary members of the “anointed class” do not have a voice on decisions involving ways to go or legal and doctrinal matters, despite the Governing Body’s claim that it serves as a “representative” and “mouthpiece” to the “Faithful and Discreet Slave” anointed remnant and lots of money is involved in the structure of this worldwide organisation which has become very powerful at the cost of ‘poor’ believers.

We can wonder if it are really Jehovah Witnesses who dare to come out of one’s shell to take care that Jehovah’s name shall not be dragged through the mud by an all-powerful organisation which has become blinded by its worldly and economic power. In case those whistle-blowers are really Jehovah Witnesses, than we wish them lots of courage and appreciate it that they are trying to save all the good work that many Jehovah people have done by the years gone by. In such instance they probably shall have to play a more important  role to safeguard the name of the people who really love God and are spending so much time on the streets to get Jehovah been known all over the world.

The Watchtower Society shall have to show her real face and show the world if it would like to to save face over their doctrinal stance on child abuse, or for their very survival as a global organisation willing to keep the power over many persons worldwide!

Good reason to have cleansed the name of many preachers

In several countries elders have done things which are humanly and legally not right. Not to recognise such faults of those humans or even worse, to punish victims by humiliating them or by putting them out of the organisation is not respectful to those who have given their love and time to Jehovah and to the organisation they sincerely believe to be Jehovah’s Organisation. Many more people should have to see in the handling of these matters that it clearly shows that it is an organisation which may have the luck to receive a lot of God’s blessing, but that it is a human organisation like all the churches here on earth, and as such have humans ruling it who can do also faults like any other human being.

It can happen that people do something wrong. Not one person is without sin. So people should recognise that also in the organisation of the Jehovah Witnesses there can be people who do serious sins. what surprises us is that the people in charge of the organisation prefer covering up certain sins of elders, while the ordinary people are easier expelled and punished in a way that they even cannot have contact with family members any more.

The value and sincerity of the preaching is also pulled down. The action of the Board of Directors makes that outsiders who hear the news in the media are going to shit on the Jehovah people even more. The preaching wich is necessary shall be done a lot of damage, because the faithfulness or fidelity of the followers of the Watchtower and Tract Society shall not be appreciated by the general public.

The world needs a lot of preachers to proclaim the Word of God. The Jehovah Witnesses may have been the most known preachers who dare to tell others the Name of the God of gods. Hopefully those who leave the organisation on matters of the above mistrust shall stay convinced that Jehovah is the Only One God they should go for, and that we have to let the world to get to know His son Jesus and have to look for his return. That they shall stay clear and eager to tell the world the Truth.

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Please do read:

  1. A discussion of theology among friends What’s up with this???
  2. Jehovah’s Witnesses convention kicks off on high note
  3. It takes a village to build a kingdom
    Several years ago, the four congregations of the Jehovah’s Witnesses cq in San Angelo had a dream of building a new Kingdom Hall.
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    The spacious, 8,900-square-foot brick building has matching auditoriums with plenty of room for worshippers. There’s also a library, conference room, literature room, restrooms and other support rooms.
  4. The Girl Who Took On The Watchtower – Candace Conti Speaks Out
  5. The Watchtower Punished: Society loses legal battle over child abuse case
  6. Patterson on the line: Watchtower claims that paying cash bond would cause “immediate irreparable harm and hardship”
  7. “We will decide who is a predator!” – New Watchtower Instructions to Elders on Child Abuse
  8. Manifests for believers #1 Sex abuse setting fire to the powder
    In the 50s and 60s of the previous century many acolytes and young boys became confronted with not such a nice site of human nature and his urge to have physical contact. Growing older and not having been able to cope with the old trauma some got up from their quit seat and started to tell tales out of school.
  9. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
    For decades, the problem of paedophilia has been badly managed within the church and now that everything comes out of the cesspool this brought the church in discredit and got even more people leaving their church and their faith. Some wonder if you can you blame Catholics for leaving the faith when these types of attitudes run rampant in the church?  The problem becomes bigger when they do take it that “the Church” is bad and that they should not go to any church or return to the Catholic Church because they get the impression that nothing is being done to prevent abuse from happening.  It certainly doesn’t seem that the Catholic church has a screening process that will eliminate paedophiles and child molesters.
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    With all the tribulations and sex scandals many have lost their faith. Many do claim God for what happens in the world, but then they forget that at the beginning of the world-existence God had given men liberty to go his own way.
  10. Manifests for believers #3 Catholic versus Protestant
    The sex-scandals in the Roman Catholic Church did already too much damage. The clergy as well as the believers needed the commotion like they needed a hole in the head. They want to adhere to the Catholic teachings but would prefer to go back to the first century church. They do think they have enough teachings provided in the Holy Bible so that men do not need to bind others to man made teachings or to restrict others by their own teachings.  They just wanted to go back to the teachings which were already part of the church life in early centuries. They also found that the church had to put away certain teachings which where brought into existence for all sorts of reasons, of which some were financial (as protecting the church property).
  11. Roman Catholic Church at war
  12. Breathing to teach
  13. Representatives of the “Slave Class” or the Real “faithful and discreet slave”
  14. Breathing and growing with no heir
    Some may think we aren’t called to just preach. Jesus has given the major task to his followers to go out in the world and to let the Good News be known wherever they go. We also as followers of Christ Jesus should let others know that marvellous Good News.We have marvellous tools which brings us very easily much further than the doorstep.
    Jehovah Witnesses for a long time took it for granted it was the best way to reach people by bothering them at any moment of the day, ringing the bell and talking to them at the doorstep. But it seems that they today, also have found the modern means of the computer and internet. On the internet they now seem to have opened up and present more literature to the general public. Which is nice, because they also have very good literature, which can bring many more people to God.

    But, we should not let them do all the work, and let them get people in their Kingdom hall, while we have other thoughts of which we are sure they are also valuable for the people and leaving them more free. We should get others to know that there are other places of worship where honest God loving people can come together as a congregation.They may offer over there Theocratic Ministry School with a common global curriculum and nest to the weekly services with Watchtower-study they also may offer Pioneer Service School for full-time preachers, and the Kingdom Ministry School for elders and ministerial servants. The Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah Witnesses should be known as the only sort of kingdom hall the world offers good Bible teaching and worship to the One and Only God.

    We should be more conscious that we also have a lot to offer to the unbelievers and those looking for the Truth. We Can offer the Truth, but than we may not stay in our little cocoon of our armchair at home. We should get off our ass and do something.

    It is more than high time that more people would come out of their house and take up the task Jesus has given them.

  15. Which back voters in the US wants to see
  16. Mormons, just an other faith

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  • Cult or True Religion (wordsonsergebenhayon.wordpress.com)
    “…if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps ‘the’ religion; and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect; but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.” Leo Pfeffer.
    +
    Call someone a name and you don’t have to refute their argument – it makes it easy to toss it aside as the workings of a potentially crazed mind rather than something that may be of value, truth and substance.Why are there two separate words in the English language – cult and religion – that are understood by most to refer to two separate things. Calling new religions ‘cults’ is a very clever scare tactic used by the older religions in order to protect their market share. Christianity sees other religions that do not follow its version of doctrine as cults… so that makes all Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, followers of Islam plus all other religions, and thus a very large proportion of the population, cult members on those grounds.
  • Billy Graham: Mormonism No Cult (orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org)
    it seems that Mormonism is no longer a “cult”
    +
    now even the walking-Evangelical-saint Billy Graham has sacrificed doctrine for politics, that his desire for a Republican in the White House has transcended his commitment to the distinctives of his Southern Baptist religious faith.
    +
    The Graham definition above—”any group which teaches doctrines or beliefs that deviate from the biblical message of the Christian faith”—is similarly problematic. How would this definition include Jehovah’s Witnesses but not Roman Catholics? How would it include Unitarian Universalists but not Mormons? Isn’t it true that all of these groups (and many more) would deviate from most Evangelicals’ understanding of “the biblical message of the Christian faith”?
  • Defining Christianity (reneland.wordpress.com)
    I recently had a very good friend of mine who is Catholic and went to a Catholic school until the 9th grade say to me that she wasn’t a Christian, she was a Catholic. She said that the nuns told her she wasn’t Christian.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses (calltoprayerministries.wordpress.com) {the writer of this article does not seem to see what it really means to be a ‘Christian’ and wants to take hold only on a sort-sighted vision.}
    Jehovah’s Witnesses come up in conversation more times than one might think. I guess that it’s because there are many people who know JW’s and there don’t seem to be many obvious differences between their faith and ours. Many JW’s are nice people, talk about Jesus, share their faith, and care about their families… just like Christians. So what are the differences? Are they just a different kind of Christian?
  • ‘Mormonism’ Taken off Site’s Cult List (abcnews.go.com)
    The prominent Christian evangelist Billy Graham has taken public steps to embrace Mitt Romney for president this week, removing Romney’s Mormon religion from a list of cults on his website and taking out an advertisement that appears to urge people to vote for Romney.
  • Billy Graham Offers To Help Mormon Mitt Romney And Then Removes Section From Website Calling Mormonism A Cult! (soulrefuge.org)
    The scriptures make it very clear that true believers in Jesus Christ should not be “yoked” together with unbelievers. Why would any true Christian want to help and support a Mormon who teaches that Jesus Christ is the spirit brother of Lucifer?
    +
  • Billy Graham Risks His “Legacy” By Scrubbing His Website Of Mormonism Cult Reference, But He Also Changed His Views About The Cult Of Rome Over 50 Years Ago (soulrefuge.org)
  • Grahams tighten Romney ties (newsobserver.com)
  • Mormons off Graham’s ‘cult’ list (upi.com)

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