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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

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.
+
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.

+++

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

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