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Meaning of “speaking in tongues”

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

Pentecost-holy-spirit-descent-on-disciples

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

juanita bynum speaking in tongues on facebook

“Juanita Bynum speaking in tongues on Facebook.”

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

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

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

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Preceding articles:

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

The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2

The day of the festival of Pentecost

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

Speaking in tongues

Tongues a sign of authenticity or divine backing

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

In Talen sprekend

Teken van authenticiteit of goddelijke backing” & in

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

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Please read also:

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

Additional reading:

Tongues

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Out of sixty-six books in the Bible, only three mention tongues except one reference related to the Jews in the book of Isaiah. And where it is most mentioned, in 1 Corinthians, God through Paul is correcting and regulating.
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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.
    +
    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)

Tongues a sign of authenticity or divine backing

English: The Pentecost Mosaic, in the center i...

The Pentecost Mosaic, in the center is the dove of the Holy Spirit with the twelve apostles below. This is one of the oldest mosaics in the church dating from 1125 AD. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the previous articles “The day of the festival of Pentecost” and “Speaking in tongeus” we have cited that speaking in tongues or Glossolalia, was by the grace of God‘s Holy Power, the Holy Spirit, the holy Pneuma, which had been poured out on the disciples of Jesus gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem in the late Spring of CE 33.  They were surprised by a sound from the shamayim as of a groaning Ruach or a rushing stiff breeze, filled with the Ruach Hakodesh, the Holy Spirit or counsellor,  presented by tongues as if of fire, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Ruach Hakodesh or Pneuma gave them the utterance. It was bringing the followers of Christ outdoors to meet the foreigners, who were not pagans but returning returning Israelites in varying stages of return, who were there in Jerusalem for the annual festival of Pentecost, the Shavuot feast or moed of Shavuot . No pagans would go and worship יהוה YHWH {Jehovah} on Shavuot/Feast of Weeks.

It was not until the festival of Pentecost CE 33 that the gift of speaking in tongues was first received, and on that occasion it served as an effective evidence that Christians had God’s spirit upon them.

You can imagine the effect it had on the people in town when the Jews heard Jesus’ followers speaking in perhaps over a dozen different languages. But their talking at that time had nothing to do with what certain Christians today believe is ‘speaking in tongues’. The people at the beginning of the Chrisitian church heard the followers of Christ speaking in their tongues about the magnificent things of God and not in a sort gibberish or in ‘loud and fervent shouts’ of the Pentecostals. — (Acts 2:5-11) (Please do find our next article about the meaning of “filled with the Holy Spirit” and “speaking in tongues” : Meaning of “speaking in tongues”)
In “Is Speaking in Tongues an Evidence of True Worship?” a sister also goes deeper into the subject.
Knowing the beliefs of other religions always helps to understand why they think so or where certain religions go wrong. Therefore it is worth looking into the matter if speaking in tongues is really a necessary requirement of true worship. In the article the sister discusses the three chapters in which the apostle Paul discusses the gift of tongues.

This special gift of tongues received in Jerusalem through God’s holy spirit assisted the disciples there in preaching the good news for a sign to those Jewish worshippers from distant parts of the earth. But the real fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel 2:28-32 on that day of Pentecost was the fact that those who were filled with the spirit prophesied. Speaking with tongues was incidental, for a sign of authenticity or divine backing. — Acts 2:16-22. {Is Speaking in Tongues an Evidence of True Worship?}

To emphasize the importance and permanence of love as compared to the miraculous gifts of the spirit, the Apostle Paul wrote: “Love never fails. But whether there are gifts of prophesying, they will be done away with; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will be done away with.” — (1 Corinthians 13:8).
On the basis of Paul’s words here, there should be no question that the miraculous gifts of the spirit were to pass away. Find out in the above mentioned articles how Paul is comparing the temporariness of the gifts of the spirit with the permanence of love; and how he links the transitoriness of these gifts, not with unbelievers, but with the infancy of Christianity and how these miraculous gifts passed away when the community or congregation reached maturity by becoming a recognized, established organization. (1 Corinthians 13:9-13; Acts 8:18)

Our readers who speak Dutch can find a similar discussion in Dutch in our previous posting: “In Talen sprekend” & “Teken van authenticiteit of goddelijke backing” & in the coming publication “Betekenis van ‘Spreken in Tongen’ en ‘Uitstorting van de Geest’”

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14 But Peter stood up with the eleven {1} and raised his voice and made this utterance to them: “Men of Ju·de′a and all YOU inhabitants of Jerusalem,{2} let this be known to YOU and give ear to my sayings. 15 These [people] are, in fact, not drunk,{3} as YOU suppose, for it is the third hour {*4} of the day. 16 On the contrary, this is what was said through the prophet Joel, 17 ‘“And in the last days,” God says, “I shall pour out some of my spirit {*5} upon every sort of flesh,{*6} and YOUR sons and YOUR daughters will prophesy and YOUR young men will see visions and YOUR old men {*7} will dream dreams;{8} 18 and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.{9} 19 And I will give portents in heaven above and signs on earth below, blood and fire and smoke mist;{9} 20 the sun {10} will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and illustrious day of Jehovah {*11} arrives.{12} 21 And everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah {*13} will be saved.”’{14}

*

(NWT)

 

Pentecostés. Óleo sobre lienzo, 275 × 127 cm. ...

Pentecostés. Óleo sobre lienzo, 275 × 127 cm. Madrid, Museo del Prado. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

{1} the eleven: (Matthew 28:16): 16 However, the eleven disciples went into Gal′i·lee+ to the mountain where Jesus had arranged for them,

{2} Jerusalem: (Acts 7:2): 2 He said: “Men, brothers and fathers, hear. The God of glory+ appeared to our forefather Abraham while he was in Mes·o·po·ta′mi·a, before he took up residence in Ha′ran,+

(Acts 22:1): 22.1 “Men, brothers+ and fathers, hear my defense+ to YOU now.”

{3} not drunk: (Acts 26:25): 25 But Paul said: “I am not going mad, Your Excellency Festus, but I am uttering sayings of truth and of soundness of mind.

(1 Thessalonians 5:7): 7 For those who sleep+ are accustomed to sleep at night,+ and those who get drunk are usually drunk at night.

{*4} the third hour of the day: That is, about 9 a.m., counting from sunrise:

{*5} pour out some of my spirit: Or, “active force.” Gr., pneu′ma·tos; Lat., Spi′ri·tu; J17,18,22(Heb.), ru·chi′, “my spirit.” See Ge 1:2 ftn, “Force.”: (Isaiah 44:3): 3 For I shall pour out water upon the thirsty one,+ and trickling streams upon the dry place.+ I shall pour out my spirit upon your seed,*+ and my blessing upon your descendants.

(Ezekiel 36:27): 27 And my spirit I shall put inside YOU,+ and I will act so that in my regulations YOU will walk,+ and my judicial decisions YOU will keep and actually carry out.+

(Zechariah 12:10): 10 “And I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit* of favor+ and entreaties,+ and they will certainly look to the One whom* they pierced+ through, and they will certainly wail over Him as in the wailing over an only [son]; and there will be a bitter lamentation over him as when there is bitter lamentation over the firstborn [son].+

{*6} every sort of flesh: Or, “upon all flesh.” Gr., e·pi′ pa′san sar′ka; Lat., car′nem; J17,18,22(Heb.), ba·sar′.

{*7} old men: Or, “elders.” Gr., pre·sby′te·roi.

{8} dream dreams: (Joel 2:28): 28 “And after that it must occur that I shall pour out my spirit*+ on every sort of flesh,+ and YOUR sons and YOUR daughters+ will certainly prophesy. As for YOUR old men, dreams they will dream. As for YOUR young men, visions they will see.

{9} prophesy: (Numbers 11:29): 29 However, Moses said to him: “Are you feeling jealous for me? No, I wish* that all of Jehovah’s people were prophets, because Jehovah would put his spirit* upon them!”+

(Joel 2:29): 29 And even on the menservants and on the maidservants in those days I shall pour out my spirit.+

(Acts 21:4): 4 By a search we found the disciples and remained here seven days. But through the spirit+ they repeatedly told Paul not to set foot in Jerusalem.

(1 Corinthians 12:10): 10 to yet another operations of powerful works,*+ to another prophesying,+ to another discernment+ of inspired utterances,*+ to another different tongues,+ and to another interpretation+ of tongues.

{10} sun: (Matthew 24:29): 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened,+ and the moon+ will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.+

{*11} illustrious day: “Jehovah.” Heb., יהוה (YHWH or JHVH)

{12} illustrious day of Jehovah arrives: (Joel 2:31): 31 The sun itself will be turned into darkness,+ and the moon into blood,+ before the coming of the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah.+

(Mark 13:24): 24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,

{*13} the name of Jehovah: Heb., יהוה (YHWH or JHVH)

{14} be saved: (Joel 2:32): 32 And it must occur that everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will get away safe;+ for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will prove to be the escaped ones,+ just as Jehovah has said, and in among the survivors,* whom Jehovah is calling.”*+

(Romans 10:13): 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah* will be saved.”+

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Preceding articles:

The day of the festival of Pentecost

Speaking in tongues

Compare also with:

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

The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2

Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1

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

and later to: Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2 v14-21

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Additional reading:

  1. Did the Inspirator exist
  2. The manager and Word of God
  3. The Soul not a ghost
  4. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  5. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  6. He has given us the Pneuma, the force, from Him
  7. Speaking in tongues (article on Christadelphian World)
  8. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  9. The Great Trinity Debate
  10. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  11. True riches
  12. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  13. Followers with deepening
  14. Not enlightened by God’s Spirit
  15. Pope Francis I on the Holy Spirit
  16. Know Who goes with us and don’t try to control life
  17. 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?

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  • What does it mean to speak in tongues? by Todd Clippard (braggschurchofchrist.com)
    There is a general misunderstanding, especially among modern pentecostals and charismatics as to the nature of tongues. Those who claim to speak in tongues today are referring to ecstatic utterances made after a so-called personal manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Ecstatic coming form the word “ecstasy” meaning to be beside oneself, beyond reason or self control, given over to extreme and engrossing emotions. Utterances are simply vocalized expressions. Participants in such babbling believe the Holy Spirit has taken over their verbalization and caused them to speak some heavenly language or tongues of angels.
    What does it really mean to speak in tongues?
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  • The Baptism In The Holy Spirit for All is the Biblical Norm. (keithlannon.wordpress.com)
    To minister as New Testament preachers did without the baptism in the Holy Spirit would not be consistent with what Jesus commanded the 120 to do.  In the very mouth of Christ, before He returned to heaven, was the command for the disciples to stay in Jerusalem – ie: no preaching, no healing, no casting out demons, until they were baptised in the Holy Spirit. That was the priority that Jesus Christ placed on the Holy Ghost baptism.
    +
    The outward sign of the inward work of grace that John the Baptist referred to as, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, was unwelcome in many churches of the world when the Pentecostal move began. Zealous evangelical movements, as well as the lukewarm nominal denominations, ejected many “tongue talking” believers who had sought after and received what they believed to be the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The ejected regrouped into newly formed churches. These “new” churches referred to themselves as “Full Gospel”, or “Pentecostal Churches.” The first few decades of the outpouring saw an incredible growth of zealous, biblically based, supernaturally inclined Christianity. However, the growth of those early days was stultified somewhat as mid century approached.
  • William Dwight McKissic Gives a Biblical Basis for Speaking in Tongues In Private (blackchristiannews.com)
    If the Bible does not back the practice of speaking in tongues, then no believer–period–should speak in tongues at any place or at any time.
    +
    It is not my purpose, desire, or place to attempt to persuade all Baptists or all believers to speak in tongues. I do not believe that it is God’s will based on His Word for all believers to speak in tongues (1 Cor. 12:30). Although it is debated among those of us who speak in tongues, neither do I believe that every believer is capable of speaking in tongues–even if they desire to. God sovereignly determines which believer gets which gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-12).
    +
    Those of us who speak in tongues often during times of intense worship, devotion, prayer, and praise spontaneously often speak in tongues as the Sprit gives utterance (Acts 2:4). It is my opinion, but, I don’t believe their tongues speaking was limited to Pentecost only. I believe it carried over to their private devotions.

  • The Gift of Tongues (thetruesacrifice.wordpress.com)
    Does the bible state that speaking in tongues is proof of receiving the Holy Spirit? In this article i will show you biblical proof that what the majority of Christians are taught about tongues is indeed false and the tongues most christians think they are speaking may indeed be satanic.
    +
    When Jesus was alive with his disciples, he instructed them not to preach to anyone who was not a Jew. You can read this in (Matthew 10). However, after Jesus died and resurrected, the command changed drastically. Jesus told his disciples almost the exact opposite in (ACTS 1:8). The time had come for the Apostles to preach to everyone whether or not they were Jew. Since Jesus went to his own people and they ended up killing him, Jesus made it then possible for anyone to be saved just by believing in him. This is the new covenant(testament). But how could the Apostles preach to everyone without being able to communicate with them? Good question! This is why Jesus gave them the gift of tongues so that they could preach to the Greek, Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamians, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontos and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, In Egypt, Libya about Cyrene and so on… you can read the full list in (Acts 2:9-10) The apostles needed to preach to everyone and the only way to do so was to be able to speak those people’s language or tongue.
    +
    The proof that you are saved and have the Holy Spirit is if you are Holy!! It is as simple as that. You will know if you are reborn or born again because you will be different.
  • Is Speaking in Tongues an Evidence of True Worship? (illustrationstoencourage.wordpress.com)
    someone may argue that there is a difference between the “gift of tongues” and the speaking in tongues as “evidence” of the outpouring of the holy spirit. All spoke in tongues upon receiving the spirit, they might say, but not all were later endowed with the “gift of tongues.” But where is the Scriptural support for such a supposition? It is lacking.
  • Wisdom: Evidence of God’s Breathe (mfmdelaware.wordpress.com)
    The spiritual gifts in the New Testament were also found in the Old Testament except for the gift of tongues. That marks the evidence of God’s nature in us. Demons speak in tongues as experienced on deliverance ground. The difference is that it is to confuse and deceive while that which is from the Holy Spirit caries power and fire. The one by demon entertains but that from God shakes the kingdom of darkness to the root and turns the believer to unquenchable flames of fire
  • Mark Driscoll Preaches About the Gift of Tongues (blackchristiannews.com)
    Cessationists, such as influential pastor and traditional Calvinist John MacArthur, believe that 1 Corinthians 13:8 and other Biblical passages indicate that the divine ability to speak in other languages or an unknown tongue (glossolalia) ended with the apostles’ deaths, as did prophetic revelations and faith-healings through individuals. Some Christians, however, believe that these Holy Spirit-inspired gifts will continue until Christ’s return.
  • Rose and Linda’s Journal Speaking in Tongues (momsfirstscreenn.wordpress.com)
    Jesus said that the Spirit would testify, and that the disciples would be the ones to witness.
    +
    Ten years after Pentecost, the Gentiles received the gift of the Holy Ghost; the Holy Ghost also testified through them when He came in.
    +
    Twenty-five years later we find some people receiving the same Holy Ghost in the same way. He took over their vocal organs and spoke in another tongue. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues (Acts 19:6).
  • Speaking in tongues (belgianbiblestudents.wordpress.com)

A fact of History or just a fancy Story

A man killed for an other

The previous weeks we looked at the suffering of Jesus and how he came to an end. When he was killed, our story did not end. We got to read that he in a strange way disappeared from the grave in which he was put in.

Christian views on Hell

Certain Christian views on Hell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three days after the crucifixion, the tomb of Jesus was found empty by his closest friends, who did not know what could have happened. normally his body would be part of the world of the dead, going to become victim of decay. But to the unbelief and surprise Jesus appeared to his followers, who where very much afraid for what went on and for the reprisals of the Romans and locals.

They all had witnessed how Jesus died and knew he was buried. Today there are people who take Jesus to be God, but than they forget that God can not die. Jesus really did. He had given his body, of flesh and blood to his Holy Father, the Only One God, Jehovah. In common with all other men his life came to an end, but unlike other men he returned from Hades (Sheol = hell) were he had stayed for three days. He was not tortured over there, because the hell is just the burial place or grave, where people are place in when they die. there would also not be one reason to put Jesus into a torture place for the sins he might  have done, because Jesus was the only man who could stay without any sin.

Jesus offered himself to his Father who resurrected him out of the dead and made him higher than angels, to which he was lower before. God is and always has been the most High, but now He allowed Jesus to come sit next to Him, to be a mediator between Him (God) and men.

A great miracle and reason for Christianity

For Christians this taking out of death is one of the greatest of all miracles since the creation itself, and could have been accomplished only if Jesus got the full blessing of his Father,  God, the Creator of the universe. The death and resurrection of Jesus marks the central point of God’s master plan for the world.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of the promises made by God and the reason of existence of Christianity. Everything else that was said or done by Christ and the apostles is secondary in importance to the resurrection. If the resurrection did not take place then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then we got the proof of the Old Testament sayings and have proof of the Messiah ship of the Nazarene Jew Jeshua, Jesus Christ, the son of man and son of God.

In case Jesus would have been God, than God just faked a death and presented a show of His body going out of a grave. As an eternal spirit God has always existed and shall always exist, but is also everywhere at once, and not bounded to any place. But Jesus Christ was bounded to the environment where he preached. He also was tempted, while God can not be tempted. After he died, Jesus was taken out of the boundary where his body was put in the clothes. The guards in front of his grave could take care his body was not been stolen, nor that a living person would be able to roll away the very heave stone on his own.

Charlatan or madman

If all of this is somehow a delusion and if Jesus of Nazareth did not really rise from the dead, then he is either a god who fooled everybody, and let the people suffer for many years before intervening, or he was no different from other great men who are also dead. He is worse than they, in fact, because he is thereby branded as either a charlatan or a madman, since he staked all his claims to be the son of God and being the Way to his Father, and who would come back to the earth after his death.

On the other hand, if the resurrection is really a demonstrable fact of history, then not only are his claims vindicated, but so are God His promises and the promises of Jesus. In case Jesus really died and was taken out of death, we have the proof of the love of God, who is willing to bring an end to the curse brought forward by the first men. In Jesus we can find then the new Adam, or the first one of  the New Creation, the 2° Adam. With Christ Jesus we than can find a new beginning of which all followers of Christ may be part of.

Then we may believe that death is not, after all, the great victor, but is a defeated foe.

“3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5 KJ21)

Provider of a New Covenant

Jesus had brought his followers hope to life using the true Word, showing them how they could follow in his footsteps and go through the small gate to enter the Kingdom of God. By the work Jesus had done, his death made them free. By his offering they became partakers of the New Covenant with God  by which they received new life which is not like their old life. Also for us, who want to follow Christ Jesus and believe in his resurrection we are not bounded any more to our old birth coming from mortal sperm. In case we face the reality of the Nazarene man having died and being resurrected by the Force of God, we can receive that new birth which comes from God’s living Word, which lives and stays for ever. (James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23) We can get a new and better life, because Jesus was willing to give himself as a ransom for us all.

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind; be sober and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13 KJ21)

“By Him ye believe in God, who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.” (1 Peter 1:21 KJ21)

Seeing the son, lower than the Father

In case you have doubts about the death and resurrection of Christ, think what reasons the whole parade would have been useful for. If Jesus is God, why did God wait such a long time before taking steps to save the world. And why did He not say directly who He really was when He would have been here on earth as Jesus. Plus how could all those people see and touch Jesus when he would have been God, because God Himself told the world that they could not see Him and live.

“And He said, “Thou canst not see My face, for there shall no man see Me and live.”” (Exodus 33:20 KJ21)

When we take Jesus to be God, we minimise his suffering, his death and his resurrection. Though as followers of Christ, being Christian, we should follow the teachings of our master and believe his words.  He never claimed to be God and always told others to recognise the Hand of his father in the works he did. Jesus also was fully aware that his Father, God was mightier than him.

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, “Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19 KJ21)

“Ye have heard how I said unto you, ‘I go away and come again unto you.’ If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice because I said, ‘I go unto the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28 KJ21)

Worshipping the Right One

Jesus often spoke to his Father, whom he worshipped and told us also to pray to Him like he prayed to his Father, who is the Master or Head of Christ.

“But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3 KJ21)

“And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son Himself also be subject unto Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28 KJ21)

As Christians we should believe the words of Christ and be believers because we trust the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead.

Smoke and mirrors

We have to face it — if Jesus did not really died and there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything the apostles told us is smoke and mirrors, and everything we have staked our life on is smoke and mirrors.

But we also have to be aware that there is an even bigger problem and a very bad sign we do give to those who do not believe in God or who do believe in other gods than our only One God, Jehovah. We would namely give the impression that all the sayings of the Old Testament make no sense at all and that God bends His words. We would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits the apostles passed on to us verifying that God raised up Christ — sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection.

If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. If Christ is God he could not die and was not dead, so could not have been standing up from death, but if he would have fallen asleep, He just would have woken up and walk out the grave, no matter if it was sealed or closed by one or more heavy stones, because He can go through everything.

And if Christ wasn’t raised, then all we are doing is making wise vesicles, fooling ourselves and wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves and there would be nothing any more.  It all shall be finished and without any prospects. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration, like we can enjoy the quotes from special humans or other religious figures, for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot.

File:Brooklyn Museum - The Women at the Sepulchre (The Angel at the Tomb of Christ) - Benjamin West - overall.jpg

The Women at the Sepulchre (The Angel at the Tomb of Christ) – 1805, Benjamin West (1738–1820)

“12  Now if Christ is preached, that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 and if Christ be not risen, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up, if so it be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised; 17 and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of those who slept. 21 For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive; 23 but every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-23 KJ21)

With the ignominious death of their master, his disciples were utterly confused and afraid for their own lives. There is no possibility that they could have continued as teachers of the Nazarene’s doctrines, and even less that others could have been persuaded to follow them, in those circumstances. The people who had seen and hear about Jesus and his miracles would have joked about him and his followers which would have been fooled all the way long.

A physical body, not a ghost, returned to life

When Jesus appeared to his closest friends he proofed to them that he was not a ghost, while his Father is Ghost. They could see the marks of his wounds.

“5 And as they were afraid and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke unto you when He was yet in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”” (Luke 24:5-7 KJ21)

File:Köln - An Groß St Martin - Groß St Martin in 34 ies.jpg

Stigmata, visual signs of his torture. – Groß St. Martin, An Groß St. Martin in Cologne – Photo Frank Vincentz

“19 And He said unto them, “What things?” And they said unto Him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel. And beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company, who were early at the sepulcher, made us astonished. 23 And when they found not his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the sepulcher and found it even so as the women had said, but him they saw not.” 25 Then He said unto them, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:19-27 KJ21)

“36  And as they thus spoke, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them and said unto them, “Peace be unto you.” 37 But they were terrified and afraid, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said unto them, “Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me to have.” 40 And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, “Have ye here any meat?” 42 And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and of a honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate before them. 44 And He said unto them, “These are the words which I spoke unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, 46 and said unto them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.”” (Luke 24:36-49 KJ21)

John his doubts and fears immediately gave way to an amazed faith when he had entered the empty tomb. The collapsed grave clothes yielded no possible interpretation except that the physical body of the crucified Christ had returned to life, in such a remarkable form that it could simply pass through the linen wrappings and enter henceforth into the power of an endless life, like Jesus had foretold should happen! Spirit does not die and therefore cannot be “resurrected”, but they had met and spend many hours with the man from Nazareth.

Pilate was given assurance that Jesus died by the centurion (Mark 15:43-45). The savage spear thrust into his side by the soldier (John 19:34) made certain of his death, “and forthwith came there out blood and water,” evidencing complete collapse of the heart cavity.

Body not taken away

The disciples were hiding in fear of their lives and nothing could have been further from their thoughts than them trying to take away the body of Christ. Furthermore, the tomb had been sealed, a great stone rolled in front of it, and a watch of Roman soldiers set to guard it (Matthew 27:62-66). What is interesting about the witness of the disciples is that it is never presented as conclusive, or even as important. The reason for this is that there was no need for a human witness to the empty tomb at the time at which the gospels were written, because the witness of the whole population of Jerusalem – not to mention pilgrims from all over the known world – was that the tomb was empty. The inhabitants form Jerusalem could witness themselves what happened to the place where Jesus was been buried. In case the grave was not empty and it was not enough clear that the apostles had hidden the body they could not have made so many converts.

Several looked for Jesus, who was crucified, but could not find him in the grave. The angels had told the wives that he was risen and that they had  to go quickly and tell his disciples that Jesus was risen from the dead. They told them that they would see him. When they and the apostles were going, some of the guard came into the city and reported unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave a large amount of money to the soldiers to say that his disciples came by night and stole him away while they slept.  So they took the money and did as they were taught.

This story was current among Jews from the earliest times, and we have independent evidence of this. For example, Justin quotes a debate in which his opponent refers to Jesus as:

“One Galilean deceiver, whom we crucified, but his disciples stole him by night from the tomb… and now deceive them by asserting that he has risen from the dead and ascended into heaven” (Justin Martyr: Dialogue Against Trypho,108 [c.AD150]).

The story does, in fact, persist to the present day.

Judea in 30 AD was a province subject to revolt and terrorism. It was no place for soldiers to sleep in the open: any soldiers who were not alert were likely to be killed by Zealots. It is thus unlikely that my guard would go to sleep, and inconceivable that they would sleep so soundly that a group of men large enough to carry away a dead body could roll aside the stone over the grave mouth (this itself would be a noisy operation) without at least one of the guard waking up.

More significant still is the condition of the disciples. Before the resurrection they were broken men, afraid and in hiding. Afterwards they were bold preachers of the gospel, who were prepared to turn the world upside down in order to preach the risen Christ. Not only that, but they were almost all put to death for their faith (probably John was the only disciple to die a natural death, and even he was exiled). None of them ever denied their faith in the risen Christ. It would take a group of several men to remove a body from a grave; if the body of Jesus had been stolen all of the men in the group would have known that the resurrection never took place, and at least one of them would have been expected to break down and confess in the face of certain and unpleasant death. If one of the disciples had confessed to stealing the body, we would certainly have known it, because the Roman and Jewish authorities would have ensured that it was reported. That it was not reported shows that it never happened, and that the disciples did not steal the body.

The important point about this explanation is that it would be unnecessary if the body of Jesus was still safely in the tomb. There is only one conclusion that can be drawn: The tomb was empty.

“5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, “Fear ye not, for I know that ye seek Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and behold, He goeth before you into Galilee. There shall ye see Him. Lo, I have told you.” 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “All hail.” And they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, “Be not afraid. Go tell My brethren to go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.” 11  Now when they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city and reported unto the chief priests all the things that were done. 12 And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave a large sum of money unto the soldiers, 13 saying, “Say ye, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him and secure you.” 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught; and this account is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.” (Matthew 28:5-15 KJ21)

Anyone who wished to find out for themselves could go down to see it; to do so would take only a very short time. Yet Jerusalem was the cradle of the infant church; thousands of people were converted there very soon after the crucifixion.

Believe in Christ Jesus

We may not forget that even in the family of Jesus there where who doubted about Jesus his task. The gospels tell us that James nor any of Jesus’ younger brothers believed in him during his lifetime. It would be very strange that the early church would generate fictitious stories concerning the unbelief of Jesus’ family and they would not have reacted against those stories. We must imagine the grieve the children of Joseph and Mary had with their parents and how they would react if uncertain events happened or unjust stories were told. Though with everything that happened James and his brothers did become active Christian believers following Jesus’ death. James was considered an apostle and eventually rose to the position of leadership of the Jerusalem church. According to the first century Jewish historian Josephus, James was martyred for his faith in Christ in the late 60s CE.

We only can conclude that the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.  There is a nice symmetry in this: Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man. Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ.  But we have to wait our turn: Christ is first, then those with him at his Coming,” (1 Corinthians 15:12-23 )

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Please do read more about this matter in: The Resurrection of Jesus: A fact of History!

Preceding articles:

After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ

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

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Please do find additional literature:

  1. The Seed Of The Woman Bruised
  2. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  3. The wrong hero
  4. A god between many gods
  5. History of the acceptance of a three-in-one God
  6. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  7. Altered to fit a Trinity
  8. Attributes to God
  9. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  10. A Jewish Theocracy
  11. Promise of Comforter
  12. Promises, God’s
  13. God does not change
  14. God’s salvation
  15. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  16. A promise given in the Garden of Eden
  17. Written to recognise the Promised One
  18. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  19. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  20. About a man who changed history of humankind
  21. Who was Jesus?
  22. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  23. Yahushua, Yehoshua, Yeshua, Jehoshua of Jeshua > Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua + Jezus, Yeshua, Yahushua
  24. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  25. Jesus begotten Son of God #4 Promised Prophet and Saviour
  26. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  27. Jesus begotten Son of God #10 Coming down spirit or flesh seed of Eve
  28. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  29. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  30. Jesus begotten Son of God #16 Prophet to be heard
  31. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  32. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  33. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  34. Jesus begotten Son of God #20 Before and After
  35. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  36. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  37. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  38. On the Nature of Christ
  39. Jesus spitting image of his father
  40. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  41. A man with an outstanding personality
  42. On the Nature of Christ
  43. Mission son of God perceived as failure
  44. 2 Corinthians 5:19 – God in Christ
  45. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  46. Self inflicted misery #3 A man given to suffer for us
  47. The meek one riding on an ass
  48. Jesus and His God
  49. Was Jesus Religious
  50. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  51. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  52. Slave for people and God
  53. Apple of Gods eye
  54. Servant of his Father
  55. What did Jesus sing?
  56. What Jesus sang
  57. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  58. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  59. A Messiah to die
  60. Dying or not
  61. Swedish theologian finds historical proof Jesus did not die on a cross
  62. Impaled until death overtook him
  63. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  64. Crucifixion for suffering
  65. Why 20 Nations Are Defending the Crucifix in Europe
  66. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  67. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  68. Decomposition, decay – vergaan, afsterven, ontbinding
  69. Self inflicted misery #6 Paying by death
  70. Jesus three days in hell
  71. Jesus and the fallen angels in hell
  72. Ressurection of Jesus Christ
  73. Jesus is risen
  74. Risen With Him
  75. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  76. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  77. One Mediator between God and man
  78. Christ having glory
  79. Christ’s coming
  80. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  81. God demonstrates his own love
  82. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  83. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  84. Secret or public return of Jesus
  85. Certainty in a troubled world
  86. Concerning gospelfaith
  87. Breathing to teach
  88. Why believing the Bible
  89. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything

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  • William Lane Craig’s case for the resurrection of Jesus (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    Dr. Craig’s famous minimal facts case for the resurrection has been posted at the Christian Apologetics Alliance. He presents 4 facts admitted by the majority of New Testament historians, and then he supplies multiple pieces of evidence for each fact.
  • The Jesus of Faith a myth? (proudfootz.wordpress.com) +
    the term ‘historical Jesus’ as Ehrman will be using it is in contrast to the ‘Jesus of Faith’, that is that when Ehrman is describing an ‘historical Jesus’ he does not mean a Jesus as accepted by most christians: the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ, capable of performing miracles, uttering true prophecies, or raising others or himself from the dead, or really appearing as a spirit or some such thing to real humans after a resurrection. The sort of Jesus Ehrman is proposing to establish the real existence of is a mortal man like any other who is born, lives his life, and eventually dies and stays dead.
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    most or (unlikely) all of them think Jesus was merely a mortal man like any other.
    +
    it may well be that virtually all the experts believe Jesus really existed, but that doesn’t mean they believe in an ‘historical Jesus’ as Ehrman defines it. This is I think a major difficulty for Ehrman’s thesis because on the one hand he wants to stack the deck in favor of the historical existence of Jesus by citing the united front of ‘all New testament scholars’, but to do so he has to include the many, many people – scholars and laymen alike – who are convinced on the evidence that Jesus was a real miracle-worker who could raise the dead, raise himself from the dead, and was if not a god in his own right the son of a god. For most people Jesus was not a failed prophet, a street-corner rabble-rouser, or a social reformer: Jesus was Lord and Savior, the long-promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, Son of God reigning even now in Heaven, coming soon to judge the living and the dead.
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    It’s safe to say that a great number of teachers in theological seminaries and divinity schools (and I think many in ‘secular’ colleges and universities) believe that Jesus not only existed, but worked miracles, rose from the dead, and was the son of a god, and communes with believers from his seat in Heaven. Up until now Ehrman has downplayed this fact.
  • Understanding the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (christianity.answers.com)
    The Bible teaches that the resurrection of Jesus was an actual historical event. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all record the resurrection as true. These same accounts also record many other miracles performed by Jesus during his life. Although many have offered alternative explanations for the resurrection, few are plausible and all contradict the earliest accounts of Jesus’ life.
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    Some have suggested that perhaps Jesus wasn’t really dead and was able to walk out of his tomb after a few days of rest. The greatest difficulty with this opinion is that it fails to account for the thorough nature of Roman crucifixion. Roman soldiers performed thousands of crucifixions every year. They were experts at using crucifixion to kill people. It is simply not plausible that a man could have lived through a Roman crucifixion and had the energy and ability to break out of a sealed tomb a few days later.
  • Jesus Freaks (live-your-best-life.me)
    What about being called a Jesus Freak though? Would it embarrass you or make you feel politically incorrect? What actions would it take to make you a Jesus Freak? Would you be considered for one if you are just a nice person or maybe someone who doesn’t hang out with the partiers of the crowd? Do you have to go to church for someone to think you are a Jesus Freak? What if, are you ready for this, you read your Bible in public? Certainly that qualifies you for that title. Is this a label you would wear in secret or would you wear it proudly?
  • The Meaning and Purpose of Our Existence. (revivehope.wordpress.com)
    The New Testament is the fulfillment of the events, characters, laws, sacrificial system (the forgiveness of sin), and promises of the Old Testament. The New Testament also prophesies our future and warns us to be spiritually prepared, warning others, and spreading the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
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    God sent His sinless Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth to show His tremendous love for us, teaching us and demonstrating God’s power and might over all through various miracles, healings, and even raising people from the dead. He sent His only begotten (to cause) Son to die on our behalf (the penalty/consequence for sin is the shedding of blood) and rose from the dead to demonstrate His love for us and His power over sin and death.

Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit

In the previous articles we have seen that churchmen of the late third and early fourth centuries, such as Athanasius, reflected this influence as they formulated ideas that led to the Trinity. Their own influence spread, so that Morenz considers “Alexandrian theology as the intermediary between the Egyptian religious heritage and Christianity.”

The early days of Christianity

2.2.3. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit

Cybele, Ankara Museum

Montanus (? born in Ardaban (Misia) not for from Phrygia – 195) was first a priest of the Anatolian Earth Goddess Cybele.  Phrygia‘s State deity was adopted and adapted by Greek colonists of Asia Minor, and spread from there to mainland Greece and its more distant western colonies from around the 6th century BCE. In Rome, Cybele was known as Magna Mater (“Great Mother”). The Roman State adopted and developed a particular form of her cult, and claimed her conscription as a key religious component in their success against Carthage during the Punic Wars.

When Montanus converted to  Christianity, at Ar­daoau he fell into a trance and began to “prophesy under the influence of the Spirit.” He was soon joined by two young women, Prisca, or Priscilla, and Maxirnilla, who also began to prophesy. He got the message that Christ would soon return and that the Holy Spirit would reign now.
As a prophet of God convinced that the Paraclete spoke through him Montanus proclaimed the towns of Pepuza and Tymion in west-central Phrygia as the site of the New Jerusalem, making the larger Pepuza his headquarters. His followers, the Montanists awaited, the coming of the Holy Ghost to take the place of the Son and announce a more perfect Gospel, made Him the object of an exclusive worship, which the Church had to repress.

Giving the Holy Spirit such an important place in adoration was as such not such a bad teaching to bring forth the third person in the godhead. The idea to transpose the function of Anatolian Mother Goddess  Cybele to Mary as mother of Christ, was very convenient, because now Mary could also be seen as the Magna Mater (“Great Mother”) or mother of God and could be adored. She now could belong to other figures to be but apart or made “holy” (‘set apart’ as sacred.[1])

More and more artefacts where used to bring adoration or placed in worship spaces. God detests statues or artefacts given shape by man for worship. In the Old Testament, votive offerings, the re­turn of which to profane use was strictly banned; such objects, destined for destruc­tion, thus became “accursed” as well as con­secrated. [2] The apostle Paul also considered such statues or stone carvings an abomination which should be ruled out. He spoke about something’s to be “denounced” [anathema] or accursed but also being “offered up to God”. Praying to statues was considered a crime for the first Christians.

Those who showed their love to pictures or statues did do something against the commandments of God and showed that they did not love Elohim the Most High God but were objects of loathing and execration to all holy beings. For the first Christians they were unrepentant of a crime that merits the severest condemnation and as such should not be considered any more as part of the ecclesia. They were exposed to the sentence of “everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” for they did “not embrace saving beliefs, as was the sentence of all mankind before the atonement, justification and sanctification of the blood of Christ that allowed for the redemption of sins”. [3]

The use of the word “anathema” to signify a curse and forced expulsion from the com­munity of Christians was taken over and became the standard term in the church after St. Cyril of Alexandria pronounced his 12 anathemas against the heretic Nestorius (in 413 CE). In the 6th cen­tury, anathema came to mean the severest form of excommunication that formally sepa­rated a heretic completely from the Christian Church and condemned his doctrines; minor excommunications, while prohibiting free reception of the sacraments, obliged the sinner to rectify his sinful state through the sacra­ment of Penance.

File:Svenskaya.jpg

SS. Anthony and Theodosius with the Theotokos Panachrantos, an 11th-century icon from the Svensky Monastery. Tretyakovkaja Gallery. – 11 Century

In the 4° century they liked the idea of the adoration of the Holy Spirit and the Magna Mater or Theotokos, the Greek title of Mary, the mother of Jesus used especially in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches. Its literal English translations include ‘God-bearer ‘ and ‘the one who gives birth to God’. The Council of Ephesus decreed, in opposition to those who denied Mary the title Theotokos (“the one who gives birth to God”)[4] but called her Christotokos (“the one who gives birth to Christ”). Athanasius of Alexandria in 330, Gregory the Theologian in 370, John Chrysostom in 400, and Augustine all used theotokos.[5]

Next to the incarnation of God now the Spirit would also come onto the earth and could be adored or worshipped. In 380 the anathemas [6]pronounced by Pope Damasus, in the Fourth Council of Rome, condemned whosoever should deny that the Holy Ghost must be adored like the Father and the Son by every creature (Denzinger, Enchiridion, n. 80). These anathemas were renewed by Celestine I and Virgilius, and the ecumenical council of 381 in its symbol, which took its place in the liturgy, formulated its faith in the Holy Ghost, “Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified.” These expressions indicate the unity of the adoration of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; that is, that one or the other Person of the Trinity may be adored separately but not to the exclusion of the other two.

The idea of a Trinity, which, since the Council of Nice, and especially through Basil the Great (370), had become the Catholic dogma was of course not only regarded by Jews as antagonistic to their monotheistic faith . Real students of the Bible found no reason to go into such a teaching. For them the Bible was clear with words like the ‘son of God’. It became even worse when certain Christians took this Three-Une God, ‘God the son’ ‘God the Father’ together with “the Holy Ghost [”Ruaḥ ha-Ḳodesh”] as conceived of as a female being,” having their parallels in all the heathen mythologies.[7]


[1] In this sense the form of the word was once (in plural) used in the Greek New Testament, in Luke 21:5, where it is rendered ‘gifts.’

[2] Old Testament descriptions of reli­gious wars call both the enemy and their be­seiged city anathema inasmuch as they were destined for destruction.

[3] Alternatively, the Apostle Paul could be suggesting that those who do not love the Lord should be offered up to God.

[4] For some Mary gave birth to Jesus, who would be the god of eternity, being both God and man, divine and human and therefore the child born ‘tokos’ from God ‘Theos’ or Theotokos.

[6] Offerings or precious Gifts made to God

[7] As has been shown by many Christian scholars, such as Zimmern, in his “Vater, Sohn, und Fürsprecher,” 1896, and in Schrader’s “K. A. T.” 1902, p. 377; Ebers, in his “Sinnbildliches: die Koptische Kunst,” 1892, p. 10; and others.

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=489&letter=C&search=Christianity

  • The Doctrine Of The Trinity (justsimplyinlove.wordpress.com)
    Christians regards their religion as monotheistic, since Christianity teaches the existence of one GodYahweh, the God of the Jews. It shares this belief with two other major world religions, Judaism and Islam.
  • Advent Series 2012, Pt. 4 | Mary: The Mother of God (thereformedwesleyan.com)
    She was a simple and frail human being just like the rest of us. I think that there are some within the Christian family that have gone too far in seeking to praise Mary for her role in the Christmas story. However, I do believe that those of us on the other side of the family do not go far enough in recognizing the remarkable fact that Mary was the one chosen for this sacred task.
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    The first characteristic Mary demonstrated was humility.
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    The second characteristic that Mary demonstrated in this short exchange was acceptance.
  • Mary & Joseph (findingchristinchristmas.wordpress.com)
    In real life we see out-of-wedlock births all the time. Plus, we witness all the consequences thereafter to one extent or another.But, how miraculous that God chose Jesus to be born this way.
  • Fatherhood: One Reason the Holy Trinity Matters (gregoryccochran.com)
    The Holy Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, operating in complete unity of will and purpose (though 3 distinct, divine persons)–is unique to Christian theology. The Trinity belongs to no other religion, and, thus, no other religion can explain the complexities of the universe.
  • YOUCAT(38) Who is the “Holy Spirit”? (mycubao.org)
    When we discover the reality of God in us, we are dealing with the working of the Holy Spirit.
  • Advent: The First Baby Shower Unites Women on the Margins (wholeness4all.wordpress.com)
    In America, baby showers are times for women to come together and celebrate new life; presents are exchanged, advice given, and games played. Mary and Elizabeth celebrated the new life within them by exchanging presents of joy, encouragement, song, and prophecy. Both women were carrying children of promise: one would pave the way and the other would be the way.
    +
    during this season of Advent, let us remember that the Gospels included everyday people who God used in extraordinary ways.
  • Charles Stanley: 10 Ways to Know You’re Following the Holy Spirit (promisebook.net)
    Not sure if you’re being led by the Spirit? Here are a few key Scriptures to help discern.
  • Hail Mary, Full of Grace – Advent Meditation (mccatholic.com)
    There is a tendency in Protestant and many Anglican circles to overlook Mary.  We see her in Nativity scenes and on Christmas cards.  We sometimes hear the Ave Maria sung or played at this time of year, but there is often such a fear of treading on ground that is considered Roman Catholic that many Christians miss out on the great lessons that the Mother of our Lord and the Mother of the Holy Church has to teach us.  Many of us have been brought up in circumstances and backgrounds that, if not directly, then indirectly, lead us to feel that any honor or veneration paid to Mary was an act of worship and therefore wrong and sinful.

Politics and power first priority #1

The early days of Christianity

2.2.1. Politics and power first priority

File:ArsameiaSockelII.jpg

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

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

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

Arch of Galerius (detail)

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

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

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

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


[1] The original Catholic Encyclopedia

[2] Syncrtism

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

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Previously: Hellenistic influences

Next: Politics and power first priority #2

Dutch version: Politiek en macht de eerste prioriteit #1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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