THINK AGAIN ABOUT SPEAKING IN UNKNOWN TONGUES

According to The Apostle Paul: Speaking in unknown tongues is good.

"For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries... He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself... I would that ye all spake with tongues..."
- 1 Corinthians 14:2-5 KJV

Not all in the Corinthian church spoke with tongues.  Because, if they did, Paul wouldn't have said: "I would that ye all spoke with tongues." Notice that, even though some didn't speak with tongues, Paul still included them in the Corinthian church. Some fellowships today could learn a lot from The Apostle Paul.

Additionally, according to The Apostle Paul: Prophecy is good. Interpretation of tongues is good. And, both of these are even better than simply speaking in tongues.

"...But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort... He that prophesieth edifieth the church.  I would... rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying."
- 1 Corinthians 14:2-5 KJV
1 Corinthians 14:39

Like with tongues, not all in the Corinthian church prophesied. Because, if they did, Paul wouldn't have said: "I would... rather that ye prophesied."  Notice again that, even though some didn't speak prophecy or interpret tongues, Paul still included them and encouraged them in the Corinthian church.  

Likewise, The Apostle Paul included and even more so encouraged those speaking in tongues, those speaking prophecy, and those interpreting unknown tongues in the church.  In this way also, some fellowships today could learn a lot from The Apostle Paul.

Of course: "Let all things be done decently and in order."
- 1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV

So, in conclusion: Prophecy is good. Speaking in unknown tongues is good.  Interpretation of tongues is good.  Not everyone is expected to do these things to be a part of the church.  However, these acts (the acts of speaking in unknown tongues, prophecy, and interpretation of tongues) should not be forbidden, but rather encouraged.

Encourage these things. Why?

It's not the act that matters, it's the edification.  It's not the work, but the result, that is needed.  The need is met through the act.  The act need be encouraged.

"...He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself... 

He that prophesieth edifieth the church..."
- 1 Corinthians 14:2-5 KJV

The body of the church needs to be edified!

The Apostle Paul gave everything he had into this single purpose:  The edification of the living body of Christ Jesus - the edification of the church!

"Follow after charity [love], and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy... Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church." 
-1 Corinthians 14:1,12 KJV

EDIFYING definition:
"(the act of) building, building up"

EDIFICATION definition:
"the act of one who promotes another's growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness, holiness"

CHURCH:  Be encouraged to EDIFY one another.  Imitate Paul The Apostle as he imitates Christ Jesus (ref. 1 Cor. 11:1) Christ is our perfect example.  Be like Christ.  

God bless you!

John Ankerberg Revelation Study

This is an outstanding study of The Holy Bible.  God bless you!

THE LAST WORDS OF JESUS: THE BOOK OF REVELATION

PART 1 OF 3 The Glorified Jesus Reveals the Future
Revelation Chapters 1 thru 6

THE GLORIFIED JESUS REVEALS THE FUTURE (Part 1, Segment 1 of 3)

In this opening segment:  "The important information from Revelation 1 as well as the opening letters to the seven churches of Revelation in Chapter 2."



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHRIST'S LETTERS TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES (Part 1, Segment 2 of 3)

In this segment:  "Revelation 2-3 are the letters to the seven churches. Jesus proclaims a message to seven different churches in Asia Minor that all existed in the first century. He says to them 'Here’s what you’re doing right, keep it up; but here’s what you’re doing wrong, you need to repent and correct it.' His words to these churches offer much application for our lives today."



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE THRONE ROOM OF GOD  (Part 1, Segment 3 of 3)

In this segment:  "Imagine the scene the apostle John must have experienced as he witnessed the throne room of God in Revelation 4-5. The sights and sounds exceeded anything he could have fully explained in human words. Yet in faithfulness to Christ, John penned his vision for us to read and consider. What truths did the Lord share that He wants us to know and apply today?



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PART 2 OF 3:  The Judgments and Main Players of the Tribulation
Revelation Chapters 7 thru 13

THE JUDGMENTS OF THE TRIBULATION  (Part 2, Segment 1 of 3)

In this segment:  "The book of Revelation unfolds a series of three sets of seven judgments. These include the seven seal judgments, the seven trumpet judgments, and the seven bowl judgments. We began looking at the seal judgments in the last session. In this session, we continue with both the seal and trumpet judgments God will one day unleash upon the earth.




-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE MAIN PLAYERS OF THE TRIBULATION (Part 2, Segment 2 of 3)

In this segment:  "We’ll start in Revelation 10 with the little scroll and continue toward the middle of Revelation to discuss the two witnesses. We’ll also discuss chapters 12 and 13 where many of these key players are identified and introduced. We’ll discover both an acceleration of evil as well as God’s ongoing plan of redemption during earth’s darkest days."



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE ROLE OF THE ANTICHRIST  (Part 2, Segment 3 of 3)

In this segment:  "You’ve probably heard about the Antichrist in films or novels. Perhaps you’ve talked about him in a Bible study or sermon at church. Yet few know the biblical details regarding the future world leader called the Antichrist. Revelation 13 offers clear information regarding who he is, what he will do, and the great power he will have during the tribulation period."



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Part 3 of 3:  Armageddon, the Second Coming and Eternity Future
Revelation Chapters 14 thru 22

THE COMING BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON  (Part 3, Segment 1 of 3)

In this segment:  "From Revelation 14-19 the final events of the endtimes unfold rapidly. By the end of chapter 19 Jesus returns as king with His people to defeat His enemies at Armageddon. The dire physical and spiritual situation on earth will come to an end at the Lord’s second coming. The final chapters of Revelation contrast the evil of the end times with the coming of Jesus to restore justice and make all things new."



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM  (Part 3, Segment 2 of 3)

In this segment:  "After the second coming of Jesus, Revelation 20 speaks of a millennial kingdom on earth where Jesus will reign with His people for a 1,000-year period. What is the importance of this kingdom? Why is Satan again unleashed at the end of this time period? What judgments will take place during this time?"



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GOD'S PLAN FOR ETERNITY FUTURE  (Part 3, Segment 3 of 3)

In this segment:  "Heaven. The very word brings to mind a glorious final resting place for the people of God. However, many believers know very little about the biblical details regarding our eternal home. In Revelation 21 and 22, we find two chapters devoted to the new heavens and new earth Jesus will create where His people will dwell with Him forever."



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE LAST WORDS OF JESUS: THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Source:  John Ankerberg Show YouTube Channel
Host:  John Ankerberg    Host Web Site:  The John Ankerberg Show
Guests:
Dr. Ed Hindson:  Dean - Liberty University School of Religion
Dr. Mark Hitchcock:  Associate Professor, Bible Exposition - Dallas Theological Seminary
Dr. Ron Rhodes:  President, Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries

This program has been made available from The John Ankerberg Show as a DVD and Study Guide set.  The set is currently available HERE.

God bless you!

LAY HANDS SUDDENLY ON NO MAN

Recently, I have heard some wild (fear based) doctrines and theories centered about the following passage of scripture:

"Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure." (1 Timothy 5:22 KJV)


After much research, the clearest understanding of this passage that I have been able to find [the translation of the passage that best lines up with the context of the scripture and makes the most sense] is from The Complete Jewish Bible. Here it is:

"Do not be hasty in granting s’mikhah to anyone, and do not share in other people’s sins — keep yourself pure." (1 Timothy 5:22 CJB)

Okay, what is s’mikhah?

According to The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, 1917, page 552: The Hebrew word "s’mikhah" means "ordination."

According to Webster's Dictionary: "Ordain" means "to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority."

So, in other words, Paul is simply instructing Timothy not to be in a hurry to ordain people into an office of the Church.

This makes perfect sense yesterday, today, and forever. Without controversy, these are simple and plain instructions that anyone of faith can and should put into practice.

In context, here is the larger section of scripture in the Complete Jewish Bible which deals with the handling and appointing of leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ [text in brackets added by me]:

"Never listen to any accusation against a leader unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. Rebuke before the whole assembly those leaders who continue sinning, as a warning to the others. Before God, the Messiah Yeshua [Christ Jesus] and the chosen angels, I solemnly charge you to observe these instructions, not pre-judging and not doing anything out of favoritism. Do not be hasty in granting s’mikhah [ordination] to anyone, and do not share in other people’s sins — keep yourself pure." (1 Timothy 5:19-22 CJB)

REMEMBER: "...the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated [easy to put into practice], full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:17-18 KJV)

God bless you!

Image source:  Art For Jesus

Carrie F. Judd Montgomery - The Prayer of Faith

A remarkable book is stored in The Library of Congress. The book was published in 1880. It is "The Prayer of Faith" by Carrie F. Judd. Thankfully, now we are able to freely access and read this book online.  Here is a link to the remarkable book written by the outstanding woman of faith Carrie F. Judd Montgomery: The Prayer of Faith


A brief synopsis of the life of Carrie F. Judd is contained in the book "Pioneers of Faith" by Dr. Lester Sumrall (Pg. 97-101).  Here is a timeline compiled from the Sumrall synopsis and from Carrie's book The Prayer of Faith.

1858:  Birth - Buffalo, New York
1869:  Born Again
           Confirmed at the Episcopal Church
1873:  Literary Career Began
1876:  Suffered a severe fall on a stone sidewalk
1877:  Attacked by a severe fever - became invalid
           Diagnosed with hyperaesthesia
1878:  Improved to where she could be lifted into a chair "for a little while each day"
           Relapsed into illness and her health "continued to fail"
1879:  Her dear grandmother died at her house after a short illness
           Carrie's weakness was so great that she could only speak in a whisper and sometimes
                   could only move her lips.  Her body was wasting away to death.
           Carrie learned of "wonderful cures performed in answer to the prayers of
                   Mrs. Edward Mix" of Wolcottville Connecticut.
           Carrie's sister Eva corresponded with Mrs. Edward Mix about healing for Carrie in
                  the name of Jesus Christ
           Mrs. Edward Mix responded with prayer and instruction via correspondence
           Carrie was healed by faith in Jesus Christ
1880:  Carrie wrote "The Prayer of Faith"
1881:  Founded "Triumphs of Faith" Magazine
1890:  Moved to Oakland
           Married George S. Montgomery
1893:  Established the "Home of Peace" for the housing and care of missionaries
1894:  Established "Shalom Training School" to train missionary candidates
1895:  Established orphanage which housed an average of fifty to one hundred children
1908:  Handed operation of orphanage over to the Salvation Army
1908:  Received The Holy Spirit gift of tongues (Acts 19:6, 1 Corinthians 14:1-21, Acts 2:4)
           "Filled with a remarkable love for the Chinese"
           "A number of Chinese understood her speaking in the Chinese tongue under
                     the power of the Spirit of God."
1909:  Embarked on a missionary trip around the world
           Published articles about the outpouring of The Holy Spirit all over the world
           After her husband passed away, she ran her home for missionaries by herself
1934:  Met Dr. Lester Sumrall when he stayed at her "Home of Peace" in Oakland, California
           Faithfully served The Lord Jesus Christ through the end of her earthly life
1946:  Passed away

Carrie F. Judd Montgomery "believed in speaking in tongues, but she felt that some people in the Pentecostal movement had put too much emphasis on it.  She kept her emphasis on unity and love."
~ Dr. Lester Sumrall, "Pioneers of Faith" (Pg. 101).

God bless you!

Glory to God!
Romans 11:36

AFTER THIS MANNER...

Pray like this often. It reveals the truth and the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:9-13 "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."
Believer in Christ: God is your father.
God's name is holy.
God's kingdom has come and is coming in Christ Jesus.
God's will will be done because He has ALL POWER AND AUTHORITY.
Jesus holds the keys to heaven and hell.
It is not Jesus's will to lead us into temptation.
It is Jesus's will to deliver us from evil.
Jesus's will is in perfect agreement with our Father God in heaven.
He's our Father too - because we are in Christ Jesus - by grace through faith.
Our Father's will will be done in earth as it is in heaven in the holy name of Jesus Christ.
There is no name higher than the name of Jesus Christ.
Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord!
There is no doubt that Jesus's will is done in heaven.
There should be no doubt that Jesus's will will be done in earth.
In belief, in faith, there is no doubt - no fear.
Prayer is agreement with God.
Agree with Jesus.
Let us all be in agreement with Jesus.

Say: "I agree with you Jesus.

Father God, thank You for removing temptation - making it be far from me. Thank you Father God for delivering me from evil. FOR YOURS, FATHER GOD, IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY - FOREVER AND EVER!
AMEN!"

P.S. AMEN means, "So be it." AMEN means, "We agree: It's a done deal!"

God bless you!


JESUS RAISES THE DEAD - YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND FOREVER

Upon hearing the Word of God preached again about the resurrection of the dead (John 11:1-44), I am reminded of three stories from recent history.  These are stories of God using His children to speak the word of faith into a situation in order to raise the dead.  These stories confirm, yet again, that Jesus is the resurrection and the life - the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Below are links to each of these accounts.  We are INFINITELY blessed in the fact that all things are possible with God! (Hebrews 13:8 & Matthew 19:26)

The following study has helped me to grow in faith in Christ Jesus.  I pray that it helps and encourages you as well as many others in the days to come.

--- BEGIN STUDY ---

Account # 1:  Africa Crusade - CFAN - Reinhard Bonnke


Account # 2: United States - Medical Doctor Chauncey Crandall


Account # 3: United States - North Carolina State Patrol Officer Sam Wagner


REFERENCE TEXT: John 11:1-44

John 11:1-44
Before the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus said: "This illness does not lead to death.  It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it." (John 11:4) 

It is amazing that this particular illness "not leading to death," actually led to life and life more abundant through the sharing of this testimony of Jesus Christ over the course of thousands of years.  

Jesus always leads to life.

In fact, Jesus is life (John 14:6). Hallelujah!

Let us look at how Jesus used this particular sickness to bring glory to God.

At surface level, one may be tempted to think that God placed this sickness on Lazarus in order to kill him and later bring him back to life.  However, a deeper look into the scripture will reveal that sickness doesn't originate in The Kingdom of Heaven.

First, let us further consider the story of Lazarus.

Consider how different the story would have been if Jesus hadn't raised Lazarus. 

What would the story be if Jesus couldn't raise Lazarus? 

To who's glory would the sickness of Lazarus have been if he had remained dead?

If Lazarus hadn't been raised, death would have been glorified above Christ.  Jesus would have been proven unable to perform His very word.  Travesty!

To proceed further, think about it another way.  Would it ever have been correct to say: "Glory to God, Lazarus is dead forever?"

Of course not.

Instead, Glory to God, Lazarus is raised to life in the MIGHTY name of Jesus Christ!

Jesus came preaching and demonstrating The Kingdom of God with power.

What kind of power?

Did Jesus, while in the flesh, demonstrate His power to kill and destroy people?

List some examples:  _______________________

Did Jesus, while in the flesh, demonstrate His power to resurrect and restore (heal) people?

List some examples:  _______________________

Compare the lists.

What do these lists reveal about the nature of God?

Jesus in the flesh was our visible image of the invisible God.  Jesus is our example.  Our example is recorded in The Word of God.
"Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves."
~ Jesus of Naareth (John 14:10-11)
What kind of works did Jesus do?

Did He go about making people sick?

God forbid!

Did He go about killing people?

No!  In fact, when His disciples suggested such a thing; He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.  For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”  (Luke 9:55-56)

It doesn't get much plainer than that.
Luke 9:55

Here's a simple question to ask yourself: "Does God want me to live or to die?"

What does God's word say about it?

"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;  (Deuteronomy 30:19)

God wants us to choose life.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."(Romans 6:23)

And what of sin and it's wages?

Is it to the glory of God that Adam sinned and brought death into the world?

Of course not.

Is sin allowed in The Kingdom of Heaven?

We can know the answer by considering the case of Satan (Lucifer).

Jesus declared:   “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." (Luke 10:18)

According to this and other scripture, Satan is removed from The Kingdom of Heaven.

Away (excluded - thrown down - removed) from The Kingdom of Heaven, is the kingdom of Satan.  In Satan's kingdom (the rejected kingdom) exist all forms of sin, rebellion, lies, temptation, witchcraft, killing, and destruction. These are the nature of the fallen.  (John 8:44-45, John 10:10, 1 Samuel 15:23, Matthew 4:3)

Does Satan's behaviour (or the behaviour of those with him) bring glory to God?

Of course not.
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ (Isaiah 14:12-14)
Luke 10:18
Is it to the glory of God that Satan wanted to exalt his throne above the stars of God?

God forbid!

There is no glory in rebellion, temptation, and sin.

And where do these lead?

Rebellion, temptation, and sin lead to death.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:13-15)

Therefore, if there is no glory in rebellion, temptation, and sin (and there is not) how can the fruit of sin (death) bring glory to God? 
It cannot.

Galatians 6:14
The Glory of God is in God's righteousness.

The Glory of God is in God's resurrection.

The Glory of God is in God's life.

The Glory of God is in Christ Jesus!

The glory on the cross (death as the result of persecution) was not simply that Christ suffered.

The glory is in His righteousness - that He did not deserve to suffer - but He did anyway - willingly for us and for the glory of God.  The glory of the cross is not death.

The glory of the cross is in the resurrection and the life:  Christ Jesus the righteous!
1 Peter 2:21-24 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
By whose stripes you were made sick?

God forbid!

"By whose stripes you were healed!"

Today, as in the days of old, some are concerned of strange beliefs creeping into the body of Christ. I share this concern.

For example, it is very strange to think that Jesus makes people sick. And yet, some seem to believe that Jesus has brought sickness upon them for His glory.

1 Peter 2:24
Isaiah 53:5
By the stripes of Jesus, you are made sick?

God forbid!

By the stripes of Jesus, you are healed!

Does the presence of Jesus, and His Kingdom, bring with it sickness and death, the fruit of sin?

God forbid!

The presence of Jesus and His Kingdom brings with it healing and life, the fruit of righteousness.

Is it for the glory of God that humans get sick and die? If it is, then we should all be praying for sickness that we glorify God. Let's all pray that we suffer sickness for the glory of God?

Absurd! God forbid!

Simple rule: If it is not something to pray for, then it is something to pray against.

We are called to pray for one another.  We are called to pray against sickness and death.
"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.  Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."  (James 5:13-16)
This prayer MUST be a prayer of faith.

For a double-minded man should not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.
"But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8)
For this reason, it is CRITICAL to understand (without a single doubt) that sickness does not originate, nor remain, in the Kingdom of God.  Belief otherwise, destroys (hinders) the prayer of faith.  It is of the utmost importance to be STABLE in faith.  To TRUST in the fact that GOD is for us, not against us.

GOD IS GOOD!

Be encouraged through worship of The Righteous King:  Christ Jesus!

The King My Heart
Worship Song by Stephanie Gretzinger

REJOICE!  GOD IS GOOD!
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
There is much more to say of this matter. However, in closing, one more example is offered. This is a story of a woman, her son, and a debilitating illness.  Life on earth isn't all flowers and roses.  But that should never stop a person of faith from believing and seeking breakthrough.

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:8-9)
--- END OF STUDY ---

I'm certain that we can continue to learn much and grow together in faith.  Greater things are possible in Christ.

In fact, Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)

God bless you!