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Ezekiel 18:4 – What the Bible teaches about Soul and Spirit

This brief text expresses a simple truth. Souls die. Against the speculations of some that there is something within a man, a “soul,” which remains alive after death, lingering as a disembodied spirit, the scriptures affirm to the contrary. Death is what it seems to be — death.

When a dog dies, what happens to the dog? It stops breathing, its body decays and returns to the elements. Thought and consciousness immediately terminate. There is no more dog. It does not go to some place prepared for old dogs, to chew bones in bliss, for there simply is no more dog. It is dead, it is gone, it is no more.

Death is the same for human beings. Death is the cessation of life. Psalm 146:4 describes what happens when a man dies.

“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”

“That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other … they have all one breath … all go unto one place, all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. (Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20).

The Resurrection

However, unlike the animals, man has the hope of a resurrection from the dead. Animals were made to live for a limited period of time, procreate, age, and pass away as part of the cycle of nature. But man, the height of God’s physical creation, was created with the capacity to live forever. They appreciate life, plan for the future, and cherish the hope for continued life. Accordingly, the prospect of living forever was offered to Adam in the Garden of Eden, by God who created him.

This offer was contingent upon obedience, a test which Adam and Eve failed. But even after being expelled from the Garden, so robust was the human frame that Adam lived 930 years before death claimed his life (Genesis 5:5). Almost 4000 years after Adam sinned, Jesus died as a ransom for father Adam (1 Timothy 2:6), which allows Adam and his posterity a release from the death penalty — in other words, a resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:22). For the world, this will come during the Millennium so near at hand.

In the meantime, where are all the dead of past ages? They are simply dead. They silently await the resurrection, when they will be reconstituted as the persons they were before they died, to learn the lessons God has for them during the Kingdom on earth.

What is a Soul?

From our opening text, it is apparent that souls do die. The expression immortal soul,sometimes used among Christians, is not found in the Bible.

A soul is a living being, whether animal or human, and neither animals nor humans are immortal.

The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh, word number 5315 in Strong’s Concordance, which gives this definition: “A breathing creature, i.e. animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense.”

Genesis 2:7 uses the word “soul” for Adam.

“The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Here the word nephesh, or soul, is defined as a living being, a body combined with the breathe of life. Thus we learn, that man does not possess a soul, but that he IS a soul, which means simply that man, when alive, is a living being.” Adam subsequently died, and he with all the others silently awaits the resurrection.

Animals as Souls

The “breath of life” which animates the human organism is no different than the breath of life given to the lower animals. In reference to the “beasts and every creeping thing” which perished in the Flood, we read,

“All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died” (Genesis 7:21,22).

Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 informs us that both man and beast

“have all one breath, so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast.”

As Strong’s Concordance notes, animals are also souls — living beings. However, in the common English version this is hidden by the translation, which confuses the subject to many readers. When the word nephesh, soul, refers to an animal, the translators rendered it with some other word, such as creature or beast.

For example, Genesis 1:20 says

“let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature [nephesh, soul]…”

Verse 21, God created great whales, and every living creature [nephesh, soul] that moveth…”

Verse 24, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature [nephesh, soul] after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.”

Here are other texts of the same sort: Genesis 1:30, 2:14, 9:3, 4, 9, 10, 12, 18. And Isaiah 19:10,

“… all that make sluices and ponds for fish [nephesh, souls].

This method of translating hides the fact that animals are souls. Were this fact more open and apparent, it would assist people to recognize that souls are not immortal, for no one supposes that animals are in any sense immortal.

Only once in the Old Testament did the translators render the word nephesh “soul” when it applied to animals, namely Numbers 31:28, where the word applies at one time both to people and animals: “one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep.”

The Difference Between the Human Soul and the Animal Soul

The difference between the soul of a human and an animal is in the construction of the organism, particularly in the formation of the brain. Although some organisms of some of the lower animals may seem to be superior to man’s (such as a dog’s keen sense of smell and hearing and an eagle’s eyesight), God in his great wisdom created man in his own image, thus giving man the ability to reason, and to have a moral sense of right and wrong — possessing a conscience (1 John 3:20-22). Man has the ability to love and obey Jehovah-God as well as to love (agape) his enemies or those who do or wish him wrong through, striving to see all things through the eyes of their Bridegroom — Christ Jesus. He died as a “ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6) because of his great love of the Heavenly Father — stemming from a love for righteousness which comes from a knowledge, understanding and experience of the results of obeying the Heavenly Father, which permits the highest and purest form of joy to be felt, that joy that is felt through the eyes of faith, that joy that our Lord Jesus had in bringing the Heavenly Father joy, as reflected in his words:

“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34, ESV).

Other Hidden References

There are other important places where the translators also obscured the use of nephesh.

“There were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body [nephesh, soul] of a man … those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body [nephesh, soul] of a man … If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body [nephesh, soul] …” (Numbers 9:6, 7, 10).

If the translation use “soul” in these places, it would be apparent to the reader that souls simply die. When Samson toppled the house of Dagon, he prayed to God:

“Let me [my nephesh, soul] die with the Philistines” (Judges 16:30).

Expanded Use

The texts above give us the proper meaning of the word soul, namely any living being. However, Strong’s Concordance shows that nephesh is sometimes used figuratively for one’s life, being, or vitality. Here are two examples of this.

(1) When Rachel was dying at the birth of Benjamin, Genesis 35:18 says

“As her soul was in departing (for she died) … she called his name Benomi: but his father called him Benjamin.”

(2) 1 Kings 17:21, speaking of the raisin of a young boy by Elijah, says he cried to God

“let this child’s soul come into him again.”

In both of these cases the word “life” or “being” is the meaning intended.

Sometimes the word is used of one’s deepest thoughts or feelings, distinguished from the mere body. Thus 2 Kings 4:27 says of a troubled woman,

“her soul is vexed in her.”

Language is flexible, and the word nephesh is used flexibly. But none of these cases are any predicate for believing some conscious force called “soul” mysteriously lingers after death. Death is death. It is the cessation of life.

Soul in the New Testament

The New Testament Greek word for soul is psuche. Whenever the word “soul” appears in the common English version of the New Testament, it is from this word (Strong’s number 5590).

1 Corinthians 15:45 uses psuche as the counterpart of the Hebrew nephesh, which serves to equate the two words.

“The first man Adam was made a living soul [psuche].”

This expression clearly draws from Genesis 2:7, where nephesh is used. This word is frequently rendered life.

“Whosoever will save his life shall lose it” (Mark 8:35).

“I lay down my life (John 10:17).

“They seek my life (Romans 11:3),

and many other examples. In these cases “life” refers to the being, the person. The same meaning attaches when the word is rendered “soul,” as in Acts 2:43,

“fear came upon every soul” — every person, or being.

Revelation 8:9 and 16:3 apply the word to sea creatures. Revelation 6:9 and 20:4 use the term metaphorically of the spent life of the saints, awaiting the resurrection. John 12:27 says of Jesus

“now is my soul troubled.”

Thus there is a breadth in this Greek word that matches the breadth of its Hebrew counterpart.

In the Old Testament the condition of death is expressed by the Hebrew sheol, and its Greek counterpart in the New Testament is hades. This was the condition into which Jesus’ “soul,” psuche, passed for three days until his resurrection, for a soul, psuche, dies and is later raised from the dead.

The Soul Is Not Immortal

If the soul were truly immortal, the soul would be indestructible, yet it is not, because each human born under the curse of Adamic condemnation, dies until the curse shall be lifted up from humanity once Christ’s ransom price has been applied to all mankind. By then the Bride of Christ will have completed their share in the sin offering — and the antityical “atonement day” sin offering thus completed. The High Priest in Leviticus 16 made atonement for  himself, his sons, and then, finally, for the sins of the people (the world of mankind). God warned Adam that if he disobeyed God’s rule, then as a living soul Adam would cease to exist. We read about this in Genesis 2:17,

“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

In Ezekiel 18:4 God said,

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth it shall die.”

This means that the person who sins shall die, and since all are born in sin, the entire human race has been dying for nearly 6000 years. Here are two examples of Scriptures about death being the consequence of sin:

“So death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12, NASV).

Every soul [person] sins and, as a consequence, every soul dies (Romans 6:16,23).

But God in his great love provided redemption from death for all sinful souls, or persons, through the gift of his beloved Son, Christ Jesus, who died as a corresponding ransom price to free mankind from the prison house of death. All of Adam’s progeny lost life through Adamic transgression and thus have inherited sin and imperfection. The Apostle Paul wrote that

“in Adam all die,”

adding to this,

“even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

And again,

“Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:21,22).

The Prophet Isaiah wrote that Christ’s “soul” was made an offering for sin, and also that he

“poured out his soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:10,12).

John 3:16 says,

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Adam and all past generations of his children have fallen asleep in death, but they have not “perished,” because through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, and by the exercise of divine power, they are to be awakened in the resurrection and given an opportunity to believe. Then, upon the basis of their belief and obedience, they may live forever.

Those called to discipleship in the present life are given an opportunity to inherit eternal life by accepting Jesus as their personal Redeemer and responding to the invitation to take up their cross and follow him, gladly lay down their lives with him, and be planted together in the likeness of his death (Roman 6:3-6). These are referred to in Revelation 20:4 as the “souls” which are

“beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God.”

The Apostle Paul wrote,

“If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished” (1 Corinthians 15:17,18).

Thus, Paul speaks of Christians who die as merely being “asleep,” and not in any sense perishing in death.

Genesis 12:11-13 (NASB) says Abraham was afraid that his soul would not live, and thus, that he would die.

“It came about when he [Abram] came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I (“my soul,” nephesh) may live on account of you.” If the Hebrew word nephesh meant an indestructible immortal soul, Abram’s soul could not have died (Br. Peter Karavas, 2011).

Jesus emphasized this same important truth in an admonition to his disciples to meet courageously any and all opposition against them and any persecuted unto death, saying,

“Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [Gehenna]” (Matthew 10:28).

Jesus here refers to the possibility of permanent cessation of life by God for the incorrigible, which the Bible terms as “second death.”

“This does not imply that the soul can live apart from the body, for actually the body is the organism of the soul. Rather, Jesus is speaking from the standpoint of the divine plan to awaken the dead in the resurrection. It was from this standpoint that Paul could say that Christians who fell asleep in death had not ‘perished.’ If an enemy puts a Christian to death, he has not perished as a soul. The body dies, but the person, the soul, merely ‘sleeps’ until the resurrection. But if a Christian becomes a willful sinner and is not worthy of a resurrection, then death means extinction of that person, or soul, forever.

“Jesus explained this from another standpoint, as recorded in Luke 20:37,38

Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.’

Jesus did not say that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had gone to heaven to live with God. He simply explained that because there is to be a resurrection of the dead, and these faithful servants will be restored to life, God does not consider them as having gone out of existence — they ‘live unto him,’ or, to him they are alive.

“So it is with all God’s faithful servants of the past. They may have been ‘sawn asunder’ by their enemies; they may have been thrown to the lions, or beheaded, or burned at the stake, but to God they still live, they have not ‘perished,’ for he has the power and will use that power to awaken them from the sleep of death.

“The ‘souls’ which are ‘beheaded,’ as mentioned in Revelation 20:4, are brought forth in the ‘first resurrection’ to live and reign with Christ a thousand years. The ‘souls’ that died serving God during the ages preceding Jesus’ first advent will come forth to a ‘better resurrection,’ to serve as ‘princes in all the earth’ Hebrews 11:35; Psalm 45:16” (The Dawn – and Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, January 1959 issue).

Lazarus – An Example that the Soul is not immortal

In John 11:11 Jesus said “Lazarus sleepeth.” Lazarus was dead for four days (John 11:39). Surely Jesus would not have retrieved Lazarus from the bliss of heaven. For those four days Lazarus did not go anywhere, nor did he see anyone, nor did he speak, eat, feel, or think. He was simply dead. When he was raised to life he began again to do all those things. In this respect the whole world sleeps in death, waiting for the resurrection — unaware of what is transpiring in the meantime, because the dead do not sense, feel or think anything.

“The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).

“There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

In John 5:28,29 Jesus said that the hour is coming when all in their graves will come forth. If their souls were already in heaven, then there would be no need for Jesus to say that he would bring them forth from the grave? If physical bodies were needed in heaven, how have these presumably immortal souls survived without them? Scripture also tells us that

“flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:50).

Seeking After Immortality

The Bible never equates immortality with the soul of common man, only with the saints, and then only as a gift for faithfulness (Romans 2:7, 1 Corinthians 15:53-54). The sleeping, unconscious dead will one day be awakened from their graves (John 5:28,29; Job 14:11-15; Psalm 17:15; Acts 24:15,16). At that time,

‘the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea’ (Isaiah 11:9).

‘Many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths’ (Micah 4:2).

In God’s kingdom on earth, mankind will be raised from the dead and have their first real opportunity to learn God’s ways of righteousness because Satan will be bound and will no longer be able to deceive the world (Revelation 20:3) (Br. Peter Karavas, 2011).

The Dead Raised To Life In the Resurrection Age

“Possibly the spirit that returns to God contains the unique ‘data’ of each individual can be compared to computer information on a removable disk. The resurrection of an individual could be a recreation after the pattern of Adam. The original body had passed to dust so a new one, either spiritual or fleshly, would be created. The individual again comes to life when the (unique?) spirit is returned to the body and he becomes a living soul again. Whatever the exact process is, we know the resurrected fleshly body will be in its intended perfected state. Job intimates that the flesh will be fresher than a child’s and will have the beauty and vitality of youth (Job 33:25)” (Robert Davis, The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom article.)

Spirit

The word “spirit” in the Old Testament is usually from the Hebrew ruach, and in the New Testament it is usually from the Greek pneuma. Both terms refer to breath, inhalation, or the movement of air, whether gentle or forceful. But as these are invisible forces, the words are applied by extension to the “spirit” of a person which is the invisible mental force, personality, influence, or disposition of a person.

Thus the Old Testament uses ruach when speaking of the “spirit” of Jacob, Elijah, Cyrus, Zerubbabel, Joshua, God, and others. The New Testament uses pneuma when speaking of the “spirit” of Paul, Christ, and God.

These words are also used to describe the influence of various non-personal but good “spirits” — the spirit of Truth, Holiness, Life, Faith, Wisdom, Grace and Glory and of an opposite spirit of Jealousy, Judgment, Burning, Heaviness, Infirmity, Divination, Bondage, Slumber, Fear and Error.

Ruach also refers to the “spirit of life” which we receive from God, which figuratively “returns” to him when we die.

“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

This does not imply a transport of persons. It applies to the motivating force of life, of both good and bad people alike.

Both words sometimes refer to the essence of a person, that is, their identity, character, personality. In this sense Jesus commended his “spirit” to God when he died, which was restored on the third day when God raised Jesus from the dead (Luke 23:46, Psalms 31:5).

In this sense also Paul speaks of the “spirits of just men,” the faithful Ancient Worthies of the Old Testament, who were matured by the things they suffered, and await their resurrection reward in the Kingdom (Hebrews 12:23, 11:40).

None of these cases teach that any conscious entity persists after the death of a person, except metaphorically, in the memory of God. Not until the resurrection does a person who has died live again as a conscious, sentient being. The great hope for the world lies in such a Resurrection from the Dead.

“There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Acts 24:15).

“The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth” (John 5:28,29).

This assurance was secured for us at great cost, both by God who gave His dearest treasure, his son Jesus, and by Jesus who labored in his ministry for 3 ½ years, suffered accusation from the religious leaders of his day, and died for our sins on the cross.

“Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust … [to] bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 3:18). “By man [Adam] came death, by man [Jesus] came also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:21).

For the saints of the Gospel Age, this resurrection occurs during the present “Harvest” period. For the remainder of the world, the resurrection will occur during the coming Millennium.

Do Angels Have a Soul?

As with human being, angels are souls, for they are the union of the spirit of life, together with a body, in this case a spiritual body.

“The first man Adam was made a living soul…” (1 Corinthians 15:45).

It would be the same with the angelic hosts, but on a higher scale.

“There are also celestial bodies … but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another” (1 Corinthians 15:40).

——-

Acknowledgment & References

We are thankful for the permission of sharing content from a study titled “Soul and Spirit,” drawn from a study by Br. Gilbert Rice, featured in the “Faithbuilders Fellowship” Journal.
http://www.2043ad.com/journal/2006/01_jan_06.pdf

“Immortality and the Human Soul,” The Bible versus Tradition—Article IV, April 1959 in The Dawn – A Herald of Christ’s Presence (Monthly Magazine) Rutherford, NJ, USA.
http://www.dawnbible.com/1959/5904tbs1.htm

“Immortality of the Soul” by Br. Peter Karavas. The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, May-June 2011.
http://www.heraldmag.org/2011/11mj_3.htm

“The Resurrection of the Dead” by Br. Robert Davis. The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom.
http://www.heraldmag.org/literature/doc_14.htm

Suggested Further Reading

Volume 5 of “Studies in the Scriptures” — “The Atonement Between God and Man” by Br. Charles Taze Russell, pages 383-404, Study 13, “Hopes For Life Everlasting and Immortality Secured by the Atonement.”

“What Is the Soul?” by Br. Robert Seklemian
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/treatises/seklemians%20discourses.htm

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part A: What Is Jesus All About?https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/03/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-a-what-is-jesus-all-about/

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part B: Will Mankind Resurrect With the Same Mind?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/05/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-b-will-mankind-resurrect-with-the-same-mind/

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part C: The Order of the Resurrection Process
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/11/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-c-the-order-of-the-resurrection-process/

This post’s URL:
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2018/07/14/ezekiel-184-what-the-bible-teaches-about-soul-and-spirit/

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Preceding articles

Matthew 11:20-24 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 5 Reproached Cities a Lesson for Judgment Day

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2

 

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Additional reading

  1. Concerning Man
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3
  3. Creation of the earth and man #9 Formation of man #1 Cure of souls
  4. Creation of the earth and man #10 Formation of man #2 Mortal bodies and Tartarian habitation
  5. Creation of the earth and man #12 Formation of man #4 Constitution of man
  6. Creation of the earth and man #14 Formation of man #6 The Uncreated One, neshemet ruach chayim and nephesh
  7. An openingschapter explaining why things are like they are and why we may have hope for better things
  8. Bereshith 3 Fall of man
  9. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #4 The Fall
  10. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #5 Temptation, assault and curse
  11. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
  12. What is life?
  13. Death
  14. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  15. Today’s thought “Death by being taken captive” (May 15)
  16. Is there an Immortal soul
  17. The Soul not a ghost
  18. The Soul confronted with Death
  19. What happens when we die?
  20. Decomposition, decay – vergaan, afsterven, ontbinding
  21. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #1 Intro
  22. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #2 Psyche, the word
  23. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #3 Historical background
  24. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #4 Psyche, According to the Holy Scriptures
  25. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #5 Mortality of man and mortality of the spirit
  26. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  27. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #6 Summary
  28. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre
  29. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  30. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  31. A Ransom for all 1 Eternal tormentAll Souls’ DayI Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell

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Is it true that all Non-Christians today will go to hell

Related

  1. What is the human soul?
  2. On Plotinus and immortality
  3. The dreams of the Manichees and of Servetus, as to the origin of the soul, refuted
  4. It were vain to seek a definition of the soul from philosophers, not one of whom, with the exception of Plato, distinctly maintained its immortality
  5. Duty of Preparing for the Future World: Immortality and Separate State of the Soul: Book Eight- Chapter 1
  6. There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God’s restraints
  7. This light is such as effectually influences the inclination, and changes the nature of the soul
  8. Is the human soul mortal or immortal?
  9. Immortal Soul
  10. River myths and the soul
  11. Secret Principles of Immortality, Edition 25
  12. All Soul’s Day, All Saint’s Day, and Day of the Dead
  13. Are there degrees of punishment in hell?
  14. J. W. Hanson on Gehenna
  15. There Is No Hell, Look It Up
  16. Are Near Death Experiences or Out of Body Experiences Biblical?
  17. Fantastic Article Proving that Hell = Complete Annihilation, Not Eternal Torment

El-Shaddai God Almighty Who no-one may see and live

 

 

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1 NIV)

“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; {Hebrew El-Shaddai} walk before me and be blameless.” (Genesis 17:1 NIV)

“2 God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, {Hebrew El-Shaddai} but by my name the LORD {See note at Exodus 3:15.} I did not make myself known to them. {Or Almighty, and by my name the LORD did I not let myself be known to them?}” (Exodus 6:2-3 NIV)

“”Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11 NIV)

“Now I know that the LORD is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.”” (Exodus 18:11 NIV)

“But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no-one may see me and live.”” (Exodus 33:20 NIV)

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. {Or The LORD our God is one LORD; or The LORD is our God, the LORD is one; or The LORD is our God, the LORD alone}” (Deuteronomy 6:4 NIV)

“I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!” (Deuteronomy 32:3 NIV)

“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendour, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11 NIV)

“”The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods.” (2 Chronicles 2:5 NIV)

“How great is God—beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out.” (Job 36:26 NIV)

“”Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”” (Psalms 46:10 NIV)

“[A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah.] Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain.” (Psalms 48:1 NIV)

“Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you?” (Psalms 71:19 NIV)

“Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvellous deeds.” (Psalms 72:18 NIV)

“Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD—that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.” (Psalms 83:18 NIV)

“Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.” (Psalms 86:8 NIV)

“For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings?” (Psalms 89:6 NIV)

“How great are your works, O LORD, how profound your thoughts!” (Psalms 92:5 NIV)

“3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; 7  for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, {Meribah means quarrelling.} as you did that day at Massah {Massah means testing.} in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did.” (Psalms 95:3-9 NIV)

“For you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.” (Psalms 97:9 NIV)

“He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant for ever—holy and awesome is his name.” (Psalms 111:9 NIV)

“I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods.” (Psalms 135:5 NIV)

“Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no-one can fathom.” (Psalms 145:3 NIV)

“But the LORD Almighty will be exalted by his justice, and the holy God will show himself holy by his righteousness.” (Isaiah 5:16 NIV)

“And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”” (Isaiah 6:3 NIV)

“The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread,” (Isaiah 8:13 NIV)

“To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to?” (Isaiah 40:18 NIV)

“I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no saviour.” (Isaiah 43:11 NIV)

“Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”” (Isaiah 44:8 NIV)

“For this is what the high and lofty One says—he who lives for ever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Isaiah 57:15 NIV)

“Who should not revere you, O King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no-one like you.” (Jeremiah 10:7 NIV)

“I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will show myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.” (Ezekiel 20:41 NIV)

“I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.” (Ezekiel 36:23 NIV)

“And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.’” (Ezekiel 38:23 NIV)

“The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”” (Daniel 2:47 NIV)

“And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls.” (Joel 2:32 NIV)

“”Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder.” (Zephaniah 3:9 NIV)

“”This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,” (Matthew 6:9 NIV)

“”Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No-one is good— except God alone.” (Mark 10:18 NIV)

“for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.” (Luke 1:49 NIV)

“God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.”” (John 4:24 NIV)

“1  After Jesus said this, he looked towards heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:1-3 NIV)

“”I have revealed you {Greek your name; also in verse 26} to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.” (John 17:6 NIV)

“25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”” (John 17:25-26 NIV)

“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ {Joel 2:28-32}” (Acts 2:21 NIV)

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NIV)

“for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” {Joel 2:32}” (Romans 10:13 NIV)

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and {Or riches and the wisdom and the} knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33 NIV)

“4  So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” (1 Corinthians 8:4-6 NIV)

“that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” (1 Timothy 1:11 NIV)

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

“For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.” (Hebrews 9:24 NIV)

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16 NIV)

“Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”” (Revelation 4:8 NIV)

“saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.” (Revelation 11:17 NIV)

“And I heard the altar respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.”” (Revelation 16:7 NIV)

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The Aleppo Codex is a medieval manuscript of t...

The Aleppo Codex is a medieval manuscript of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), associated with Rabbi Aaron Ben Asher. The Masoretic scholars wrote it in the early 10th century, probably in Tiberias, Israel. It is in book form and contains the vowel points and grammar points (nikkudot) that specify the pronunciation of the ancient Hebrew letters to preserve the chanting tradition. It is perhaps the most historically important Hebrew manuscript in existence. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God die Almagtige ’n Gees Wie geen mens kan sien en nogtans lewe nie

God die Almachtige Geest die geen mens kan zien

Allmächtige Gott denn kein Mensch wird leben, der Dich sieht

Dieu Tout-puissant Qui ont peut pas voir et vivre

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Building up the spirit of the soul

When you know the Spirit is the source of life you should also know that life without spirit and without the Spirit is impossible. When people think about the living person they think about the living soul which is the being which can exist because of the Divine Creator allowing it to exist.

Of Light and Shadow  says:

All life has soul. The soul tells the body what it is as it’s essence. What it will be. If something is one dimentional, what is it. It simply exists. It is what it is. Humans, animals, and plants have a living soul. Although different from each other. {Spiritual Senses, Opening your spiritual hearing}

Man thinking on a train journey.

Man thinking on a train journey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The above blogwriter considers that spirit is energy and exists throughout all the universe and forms all things even objects, though we can not see any life in such lifeless elements, like cupboards, houses, etc.. For us the spirit is just the ‘lifespirit’ or ‘breath of life’ which is God His and our thinking, handling, speaking and working.  It is an activity which may keeps the laws of physics in check and which can give impulses or carry with it everything a living thing is and capable of becoming.

A seed carries the potential of being a tree. {Spiritual Senses, Opening your spiritual hearing}

And so we may also carry the potential of growing up and becoming an adult who can think in a different way than the baby, toddler, young child, or adolescent. That spirit, our thinking and our soul is not something which lives next or separately in our body. It is not something which can leave our body to continue to live somewhere else. Once we die our spirit or breath goes out of our body and we finish living, thinking and handling. In our death we can do nothing any more.

Human being itself is the ‘soul’ wherein God blew His Breath of life. we may consider ourselves righteous, lovers of God, believers, wise, or perhaps not so wise, but we all are existing because God allows us to be. We only can do certain things because God allows it to happen and has given us certain crafts or capabilities.  All our works are in the hand of God.

The problem is that since the downfall in the Garden of Eden we all have good and bad things in us. We all carry love  but can bear hatred in ourselves. We all have to grow up and learn things, like Jesus also had to grow up and learn things. We all shall be tempted like Jesus also got tempted. Only God is the only One Who can not be tempted. God is also the only One Who can not die or cease living. god cannot expire or come to come to an end. When a person dies, that person breathes his last breath and dies. All human beings have the death thread in their tree of life. Even Jesus who did not sin had to face death and landed up in hell (sheol = the grave) for three days. We probably shall be there in the underground for longer.

Breath of Life - both sides

Breath of Life – both sides (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We may be sure that there is one event which shall be the same for rich and poor, to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good, and to the bad; both to the pure, and to the impure; both to him that sacrifices, and to him that does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; as is the swearer, even so is he that fears an oath.  After the madness of this world we all go to the dead. The living will know that they shall die; but the dead know nothing, and there is no longer any reward to them, for their memory is lost. Also their love and their hatred and their envy shall have perished when they die. Yea, there is no portion for them any-more, not an other being, a spirit or extra soul that will go out of their body and all the material they gathered in this worl shall be useless for them in their death.

When death comes to us it will be too late to change or to change our mind or path. When we did not enough preparations to enter the gate of the Kingdom of God it shall be totally too late.forever in all that is done under the sun.  It is before you die that you do have to build up your mind, make the right friends, find life with the wife whom you love, all the days of the life of your vanity, which are given to you under the sun; for that is your portion in your life, and in your labour in which you labour under the sun.  Whatsoever your hand shall find to do, do with all your might; for there is no work nor device nor knowledge nor wisdom in Hades/Sheol/the Hell or the Grave/Sepulchre, where you are going.  For Christians there does not exist a Hades, god of the netherworld and dispenser of earthly riches. Also his netherworld kingdom, the abode of the shades of the dead has no meaning for a Christian. Though the bastardisation of the Nazarene prophet Jeshua who is the son of God, to ‘Issou’ or ‘Jesus’ meaning “Hail to Zeus“, real Christians know Jeshua or the Christ is not Zeus the brother of Pluto, the god of the underworld which does not exist in the real universe of the Only One GodAfter you die you shall become dust again.

” Jehovah God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7 NHEBJE)

“1  For all this I laid to my heart, even to explore all this: that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God; whether it is love or hatred, man doesn’t know it; all is before them.  (2)  All things come alike to all. There is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good, to the clean, to the unclean, to him who sacrifices, and to him who doesn’t sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; he who takes an oath, as he who fears an oath.  (3)  This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event to all: yes also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.  (4)  For to him who is joined with all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion.  (5)  For the living know that they will die, but the dead do not know anything, neither do they have any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  (6)  Also their love, their hatred, and their envy has perished long ago; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.  (7)  Go your wayeat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works.  (8)  Let your garments be always white, and do not let your head lack oil.  (9)  Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your life of vanity, which he has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity: for that is your portion in life, and in your labor in which you labor under the sun.  (10)  Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, where you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:1-10 NHEBJE)

“19  For that which happens to the sons of men happens to animals. Even one thing happens to them. As the one dies, so the other dies. Yes, they have all one breath; and man has no advantage over the animals: for all is vanity.  (20)  All go to one place. All are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.  (21)  Who knows the spirit of man, whether it goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, whether it goes downward to the earth?”  (22)  Therefore I saw that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his works; for that is his portion: for who can bring him to see what will be after him?” (Ecclesiastes 3:19-22 NHEBJE)

It is before we die we shall have to have build up knowledge. Gaining knowledge has to happen in the ‘now’, when we do live.

Adam heard the sound of God walking in the garden and heard his voice calling to him.
Samuel when he was young and living with Eli heard God calling his name. He heard it clearly and suspected that Eli was calling to him. He heard it the same as he would hear with his natural ears. {Spiritual Senses, Opening your spiritual hearing}

The Divine Creator, Jehovah, the Most High God, has given His Word to His creation. Each of us is part of that creation and can either listen to God His word or ignore it. In this world we are living in, most people have lost the notion of hearing God.

We have placed God beyond our understanding (and indeed he is) but we have also placed him beyond our experienceing (which He is not) We are called to experience God and have him in our lives. We just get so caught up with our daily lives we loose sight of him and our senses grow dull. Samuel said “Here I am.” We have to ready our mind and spirit to receive from our spiritual senses. We need to learn to pay attention to what they tell us. There are many places in the Bible where the voice of God was heard. Sometimes like a trumpet or a thunder. When Jesus was baptized the heavens opened and voice called out “This is my beloved Son, in whome i am well pleased.” {Spiritual Senses, Opening your spiritual hearing}

Lots of people, also many who call themselves Christian, do not want to listen to what God said about His son, nor to what Jesus said about him and his Father. They ignore what they have said and what is written down in the Bible, and made their own doctrines which all their church members do have to believe, because they so called can not understand it.  But God is not a God of disorder and incomprehension. God is a God of Clarity, and when He says “this is my son’ He means that person is His son and not Him.

We should listen to what God says, but then we first do have to be hearing God which

is not the only benefit of hearing in the spirit.

It is Jehovah God Whom we do have to ask to open our ears to hear

“the sounds of heaven”.

Through the ages many eyes may not have seen, nor ears heard what was really written in the Bible, not wiling to accept it as God His Word. Not willing to listen to it and not prepared to open their heart to it those Words of God could not enter into the hearts of those people. It is up to the lovers of God to call others and to let them know that God calls them. We should let others know that also they like we have the things prepared by Jehovah.

God has revealed so many things to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.  For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

Those who love God and are willing to come closer to Him with the assurance they did not receive the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, in order that they might know the things granted to them by God; which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

We should allow the Words of God feed us and should be pleased there are men of God willing to contribute to the work of the Lord, helping to spread the Good Tidings and to exhort or to give urgent advice, recommendations, or warnings to people around them. They are aware that the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can they know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  For them and us it is important to listen to those Bible readings, exhortations and devotionals knowing that he that is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned by no man.

“9  But as it is written, “Things which an eye did not see, and an ear did not hear, which did not enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him.”  (10)  But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.  (11)  For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except God’s Spirit.  (12)  But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God.  (13)  Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.  (14)  Now the natural man does not receive the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  (15)  But he who is spiritual discerns all things, and he himself is judged by no one.” (1Corinthians 2:9-15 NHEBJE)

Living in this world we would like to find perfection. The Creator has given His commandment, which is very broad.  those who call themselves Christian should love God’s law and use it as their meditation all the day, so that God can make them wiser than their enemies. We can find God His testimonies as our meditation. Together, with other lovers of God, you can read the Bible and follow its guidance, seeking God His commandments and not those of man. Already in our life such bible reading shall keep back our feet from every evil away when we not depart from God His judgements; for He will instructed us. We can  gain understanding by God His commandments, looking daily in His Word and when we are willing to think about what He is saying to us. Having Daily Manna, when hating every way of unrighteousness we shall be able to find God His law as a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our paths.

“96  I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commands are boundless.  (97)  MEM How I love your Law! It is my meditation all day.  (98)  Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for your commandments are always with me.  (99)  I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.  (100)  I understand more than the aged, because I have kept your precepts.  (101)  I have kept my feet from every evil way, that I might observe your word.  (102)  I have not turned aside from your ordinances, for you have taught me.  (103)  How sweet are your promises to my taste, more than honey to my mouth!  (104)  Through your precepts, I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.  (105)  NUN Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path.  (106)  I have sworn, and have confirmed it, that I will obey your righteous ordinances.” (Psalm 119:96-106 NHEBJE)

Memoir and remains says

The Word of God functions like a light to illuminate both God’s nature and the human heart — and thus interaction between the two.

in Exegeting the Heart.1

The Gospel acknowledges how we have no claim upon God, God is not obliged to us– and yet, God blesses us supremely despite ourselves. A right understanding of the Gospel thus drives us to thankfulness. {Exegeting the Heart.1}

On this site we shall offer words of thought freely and we should carry them out and bring also words of meditation to others freely.

Where all is received freely, there is no cause of discontent: much of giving thanks if we have anything. When we look to desert, we may wonder more at what we have than what we want: if afflicted, destitute, kept low and bare, it is a wonder we are not in hell. All this is spoken because men are not thankful, We are eager till we have blessings, but when we have them, then barren in praises, unfruitful in obedience: like little children, forward to beg favours, but careless to acknowledge what they have received.  {Exegeting the Heart.1}

English: Bas-relief, River Wall, Calne This is...

Our meditation and breathing as a plumb-line to place the bricks of the church wall, strong but with a blow in the wind to bring the message worldwide of the Good News. – Bas-relief, River Wall, Calne This is one (and a half) of several similar pieces in the wall. They were made of ceramics by Richard Cowdy and Vivien ap Rhys Price to symbolize the theme of ‘Breath of Life’ inspired by the legend that the scientist Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen here.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should all serve God cheerfully  (Psalms 116:16, Psalms 123:2, 1 Corinthians 3:22-23, Malachi 3:18, John 12:26) and make use of His Word to show others which blessings can come unto mankind if they would listen to the Most High. That Word should be our plumbline in the body of Christ we would like to be part of. With it we can make sure that the walls of our congregation can be straight.

Like Mike Parsons with Jeremy Westcott wrote in A Plumbline, a Doorway and an Anchor

When we meditate on it (the word of God) we can picture what it talks about and use our imagination. We ought not to be scared to use our imagination: God has given it to us so that we can see things, picture them, and visualise them. Now some Christians are wary of concepts like ‘visualisation’ because they have been adopted by New Age and occult people. Even meditation is viewed with suspicion in some circles. But these things are not wrong in themselves. It is simply that we have to approach them afresh and learn how to use them in a godly way.

There are some Christians, also some Bible Students who find meditation is part of the heathen world. Mostly they have a limited view about meditation, thinking of Zen and Buddhist meditation.It depends how you want to look at meditation, being it a mental concentration on something or a way to transpose our being from this world or imagining something that gives us peace or satisfaction. You could say when we are looking for methods to slow down and, eventually, completely stop the incessant activity of our minds then we would also say that is not the meditation we are talking about. For us such exercises are not really meditation – they are substitutes for meditation because it is normally very difficult to stop our minds all-together.
But to come to a state of thoughtless awareness, as an act of doing nothing we also would not call it the right mediation.

The thoughts we would like to present on this platform should make us think and consider. They should bring us into a state of awareness. It may be short messages, but they may not miss their point in waking the state of consciousness. When we take a look at the various explanations of meditation, another thing we often see is that meditation is defined as taking a moment to sit quietly or to ponder. True meditation, however is much more than this. It is a state of profound, deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent, yet completely alert. This is just the beginning of an inner transformation that takes us to a higher level of awareness. This enables us to fulfil our true human potential.

We either come  in this state or we are not, regardless of what we are doing in life. Truly, a man can be in meditation while doing his day’s labours as another man can be very far from meditation while sitting in a lotus posture on the top of a mountain. He can come in a dreaming state of consciousness, where his or her thoughts are far away from the Creator. When we speak about the meditation we as Christians should get it is not about a state of deep sleep in which the mind, the ego and the superego are still. No, for us it should be placing ourselves in the willingness to receive messages from our heavenly Father. It is giving our own ego in the hands of the Most High. It is not bringing ourselves in a state of thoughtless awareness beyond the mind, but bringing ourselves in a state where we allow God to enter our mind and to enlighten us by taking us deeper into His world of ‘sacral’ knowledge.

Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. The short messages we would like to bring regularly, as form of meditation, with the short quotes from the Bible, we would like to offer as a help or a tool to transform our character. It should bring us to take a moment to think about a certain matter and to let the text give us information how to change or how to build ourselves up to become a good Christian. Those texts may be from ordinary human beings, but they want to bring the focus on God His Word and to relate His Words to our daily life. The confrontation of every day, which we should not be afraid off.

Psalm 1 gives us a key to deeper fulfilment in every dimension of our being: meditation. Its essence is reading and reminding ourselves of the truths of God while dwelling in his presence. As we dwell on him with our minds, our other dimensions ignite, affecting our lives and relationships, infusing them with wisdom, stability, and delight.

According the Apostolic Resource Centre, which believes that Jesus intends the church to be instrumental in transforming human society and that he will be returning for a victorious church, a bride who has made herself ready for the King, to meditate we have to learn to use the right side of the brain, the creative/intuitive area.

we need to learn to activate that part of the brain so that we can see, and visualise, and experience spiritual realities, and especially the heavenly realms.

That flow of the spirit is revelation from the inside which comes as spontaneous thoughts and pictures and feelings. If we are not used to tuning in to them, they can slip past and we can miss them. It works like this. The air around us is full of radio and television signals of which we are not normally aware. But if we were to have a radio, turned on and tuned in, we would be able to hear whatever was playing on that particular station. If we had a TV set tuned in we would be able to see what was on that channel. And it is just the same with tuning in to God. {A Plumbline, a Doorway and an Anchor}

Therefore we do need to open our mind and give ourselves in the Hands of God. in case we are not willing to open our ears to the signals God is sending out all the time, we shall not be able to be comforted. We , when reading the bible or reading exhortations, should be willing to let the words come deep into us and should try to find its connection with other passages in the Bible. When we allow those Words from God give sense to those words from people and let them flow through our spirit, then we can let them become projected into the right side of our brain, so that we can hear His voice, see visions and pictures, and receive revelation from Him. We tune in to that through meditation.

Our imagination is the screen on which God projects things. But it can also receive images from our soul, from our subconscious, and we need to know the difference. Our imagination can play back experiences we have had in life. There may be a song, or a smell or a taste which can transport us instantly back to an experience we had many years previously. We can imagine it, recall it even feel the same feelings we had at the time (whether positive or negative).  {A Plumbline, a Doorway and an Anchor}

With those words from our brothers and sisters, who look at a certain Bible passage, we can ad some songs, like ‘Songs in the night’ and other previous publications from various Bible Students from several countries. Those meditations do not have restrictions by borders of countries. they may cross oceans and with internet we do hope to bring those messages all over the world. And each reader can carry the messages with him and bring it to others, so that the good News may be preached in far away parts of the world.

All those people may live far away from each other, but by reading the same texts and taking time to meditate on it and to say prayers over the same subject, we can connect with each other and join forces, being part of a world wide movement of people who want to learn from God His word and who are willing to help each other to grow by that Word of God.

We do hope we can contribute to the spreading of that Good News and to help you to meditate on God His Word. Wishing that we all can grow in ‘heavenly’ knowledge and grow as brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Preceding: Daily portion of heavenly food

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Additional reading:

  1. What is life?
  2. Darkness, light, burning fire, Truth and people in it
  3. Dying or not
  4. What happens when we die?
  5. Is there an Immortal soul
  6. The Soul not a ghost
  7. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  8. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  9. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre
  10. A fact of History or just a fancy Story
  11. Jesus three days in hell
  12. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  13. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  14. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  15. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  16. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  17. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  18. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  19. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  20. Fear and protection
  21. Atonement And Fellowship 5/8
  22. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  23. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  24. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  25. Exhortation -Exhortatie of uiteenzetting
  26. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  27. Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro
  28. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  29. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  30. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  31. Are you being swept along by the world
  32. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof

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Other useful readings:

  1. Becoming People of “True Faith”
  2. Is There Still a Place for Religion?
  3. Spirituality and Your Health

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  • On Not Knowing the Soul (irrevspeckay.wordpress.com)
    The soul is either a very delicate thing, or an everlasting thing. It is disputable and indisputable. Self-evident and non-existent. A matter of belief and, for some, a matter beyond believing. It is the foundation upon which theologies have been built and kingdoms sold away. It is where we locate any immortality that might exist; it is where any sense of permanence might reside; it represents wholeness unyielding to the vagaries of disease and death (though, apparently, it is possible to be corrupted morally and bought through a deal with the devil). Even for those who are not sure what they believe happens upon the death of the body, the survival of the soul offers solace.
  • Are Soul & Spirit different? (bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com)
    if we are not trying to figure things out would there be that much to talk about. If we do not talk about the past, about others or about what we are trying to achieve in the future…..what’s left to talk about?
  • Breathe (markconner.typepad.com)
    No one I know really takes time to stop and think about his or her breathing. Yet, each day we take about 26,000 breaths. That’s about 14,000 litres of air. We should breath from our stomach not our chest … but when we are stressed, distracted, or moving too fast we don’t breath properly. We need only around 4-6 breaths a minute but most of us take around 16-20. Experts tell us that 99% of our energy should come from our breathing But most of us only access 10-20% of that available energy. [See Nooma 014 Breathe for more]
  • Is The Gift of God’s Holy Spirit Reviving You? (chronicillnesspaindevotionals.wordpress.com)
    Have you ever thought about what life was like for believers before the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? Although certain individuals were anointed with the Spirit at various times, the continual gift of the Holy Spirit was not given to all believers until after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  • Spirituality Science – Man Is a Spiritual Being (bhavanajagat.com)
    In my view, Soul or Spirit is the divine attribute of a material substance that Science describes as Protoplasm, Cytoplasm, or Cytosol, the Living Matter found in all living entities.The method called scientific inquiry is limited to observations or statements that can be further verified. The reality of Soul or Spirit when defined as the vital, animating, Life principle of all living things can be verified using scientific inquiry. There is a fundamental dualism between matter and matter. A distinction can be made between living and non-living, or animate and inanimate matter. In Natural Science, matter is defined as a thing that has Mass and hence it occupies Space. While Matter has physical dimensions such as weight, and volume, it has an immaterial dimension for it has attributes such as being immutable, and imperishable.
  • True Source of Joy (prayersofmysoul.wordpress.com)
    Whenever we focus on our troubles, we take our eyes off Jesus and we become blind to what he’s doing to help us. Spiritual growth means improving our self-control so that we focus on Jesus no matter what’s happening. The sooner we remember to do this, the sooner we see him again.Keeping our eyes on Jesus does not mean ignoring everything else. Quite the contrary! We are to look at the world and look at others with eyes wide open,fantasizing nothing, apathetic toward nothing, in denial over nothing, but viewing it all through the eyes andthe vision of Jesus Christ.Losing sight of Jesus makes us vulnerable to sin. Then, when we get in touch with our sins and realize that we’ve crucified Christ by hurting others and ourselves, we truly do mourn and weep, as Jesus prophesied in this Gospel reading. But notice that he added: “You will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy.”

    Jesus knows the answer! Keep your eyes on him. Follow him.

  • Revival (thispathcalledlife.wordpress.com)
    God is truly my compass. I will always find my way home because God points north.
    +
    Technically, we as humans get older because time moves forward and that constant covers many aspects of this path called life. With that said, I know I’m a new person through the Spirit within. Worldly Crysta died in the water that day. Sin lost it’s power and hold on me. I publicly declared I walk with Jesus until my last breath on this planet. Even in this confidence, I do have lingering emotions of Worldly Crysta. These emotions feel like the aftermath of a mint in my mouth I long ago finished. But the flavor faintly stings on my breath. As a growing Christian that raises an eyebrow and birthed a recurring thought: Did Worldly Crysta really die?
  • Jesus I love You, But Not Your Word (graceandtruth.me)
    Many times I said it. Even though I had always read the Bible, even from a young child. I read it a lot. I memorizedverses even. I believed it was truth, I believed it was the Word of God. And over and over God used His Word to teach me and to speak to me.But I didn’t love it.
  • The Ongoing Spiritual Battle (foodforthespiritualsoul.wordpress.com)
    While we focus on the things that we can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch, on this earth; we often lose sight of the Spiritual Battle that we, as Mankind, have been engaged in since the time of Adam and Eve. Upon that sin committed in the Garden of Eden, that is when God established Enmity between Man, and Satan and his evil. Harmony would never be reestablished again, until God’s Perfect Timing for it. God, the Creator, could only reestablish or “create peace” again, on this earth, as His Creation. As His Creations, we have consistently used His Gift of Freewill in choosing to rebel against Him; instead of following His Ways. We have consistently been seduced…enticed…and willingly chose to flirt with evil and it’s indulgent ways; when it was originally created for us to lead lives in perfect harmony, with His Guidance from Up Above.

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism

Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism

Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21, 22; John 1:31-34

MT3:13 Then Jesus came to the Jordan from Galilee, approaching John to be baptized by him. MT3:14 But John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you and yet you come to me?” MT3:15 Jesus replied and said to him, “Let it be this time for in this way it is proper for us to fulfill all righteousness.”[1] Then John stopped resisting. MT3:16 Having been baptized, and rising from the water, immediately, look! the skies[2] were opened up. Jesus saw God’s Pneuma[3] descending as if a dove[4] lighting[5] upon him. MT3:17 Look! a Voice[6] out of the Sky, saying, “This is my beloved Son[7] in whom I am well pleased.”[8]

 

[1]Fulfill all righteousness: In order to “fulfill all righteousness” it is necessary to be baptized after our Lord’s example.

[2]Skies: Or, heavens. The Greek word OURANOI (heavens) is used in a variety of ways and judging from the context here where the dove flies down to light on Jesus it must be that atmosphere were birds fly (Genesis 1:7, 20).

[3]Pneuma: Or, spirit; breath; wind. The force or pressure which emanates from God’s Mind. This is the “anointing” of Isaiah 61:1 (Luke 4:16). Compare also Isaiah 11:1-3

[4]Dove: The bird Noah released from the Ark.

[5]Lighting: Or, ALF: coming; KNX: resting. Here the Greek ERKHOMENON means arrived.

[6]Voice: The first of three times the actual Voice of God is heard, each in the presence of Jesus. The same One who speaks at Psalm 2:7 and Psalm 110:4. As God spoke to the first perfect man, Adam, He now speaks to this second Man.

[7]Son: We may suggest that the one here named Jesus becomes God’s “Son” in several ways: 1. Creation; 2. Birth as Perfect Man; 3.as spirit-begotten Child; 4. by resurrection; and, by enthronement in the heavens.

[8]Well pleased: The language is very similar to Isaiah 42:1.

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Francesco Albani's The Baptism of Christ

Francesco Albani’s The Baptism of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was possible for all the people standing around John the Baptist and his cousin Jesus (Jeshua) to see two men of flesh and blood, standing in the water. Above them appeared a pigeon in an incredible light, like lightening. They also heard a Voice clearly saying “This is my beloved Son”. It can well be that many did not know Whose Voice it was and what it meant that Jesus was the son of the One speaking. In the Old Testament we are told that the Elohim Hashem Jehovah does not tell lies. therefore we should well take into account that God did not tell that it was Him having come down on the earth, but He said that it was His son.

“And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”” (Matthew 3:17 NIV)

“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfil?” (Numbers 23:19 NIV)

“Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—and I will not lie to David—” (Psalms 89:35 NIV)

“He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind.”” (1 Samuel 15:29 NIV)

“a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,” (Titus 1:2 NIV)

“God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.” (Hebrews 6:18 NIV)

In case Jesus would have been God those who saw him would have fallen death, because nobody can see God and live, according to the Word of God. Nobody can see God, but we can hear Him, and at the baptism of Christ Jesus they clearly heard what He said. are you willing to believe what God said and worship the real Only One God Who we must worship in spirit and truth?

“But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no-one may see me and live.”” (Exodus 33:20 NIV)

“And you said, “The LORD our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that a man can live even if God speaks with him.” (Deuteronomy 5:24 NIV)

“God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.”” (John 4:24 NIV)

 

 

Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:21-23 – The Baptism of Christ

 

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  1. On the Nature of Christ
  2. The Naturalness of Jesus
  3. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  4. Church sent into the world
  5. Only One God
  6. God of gods
  7. God is one
  8. Attributes to God
  9. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  10. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  11. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  12. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  13. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  14. Jesus Messiah
  15. Jesus and his God
  16. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus
  17. On the Nature of Christ
  18. Servant of his Father
  19. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  20. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  21. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  22. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  23. A Messiah to die
  24. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son

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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.
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    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.
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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.
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    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)

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