Last Days Prophecy
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"What is truth"? If you do not know where the final authority rests, then truth is what each person thinks it is. Bible-believing Christians must agree on the fact that the final authority for God's creation is what God Himself clearly states in His Holy Word. (Mat.4:4; Luke 16:29-31; John 12:48; 17:17).
The charismatic movement is characterised by emotions, experiences, and dreams. Also they are often quoted as justification for non-Biblical actions or beliefs. God says in His Word that Truth is of any private interpretation (2 Pet.1:20). Charismatics continually give the Holy Ghost credit for their feelings or ideas, even if they disagree with the plain teaching of the Bible. Emotions are NOT always right. What we feel is NOT always true. The heart CANNOT be trusted (Jer.17:9). BEWARE of any statements like: "God told me"; "God spoke to me"; "I had a vision"; etc.
Charismatics believe that Christians still possess the gift of prophecy today, meaning they still believe they get "messages" from God personally, as did the prophets in the Old Testament. If this were true, then the Bible would not be finished. If this were true, what is spoken should be written down and added to the Bible, which is in direct opposition to what rthe Bible states (Rev.22:18-19). When prophets of old spoke, God spoke through them what He wanted to say and it was recorded as His Word. But . . . the charismatics often speak on things which contradict God's Word or don't come true. God made it VERY clear that any prophecy which did not come true 100% was false (Deut.18:20-22) and had been spoken by a false prophet. Beware!
The ultimate deception of the last days and the tribulation will occur through "signs and wonders", according to God as spoken in His Word (Mat.24:24; Mark 13:22; 2 Thes.2:9; Rev.13:1-15). Wonderful works do not prove that they are of God (Deut.13:1-3; Mat.7:21-23). Satan can appear as an "angel of light" (2 Cor.11:14-15). That does NOT mean that he is good! BEWARE! Don't allow the devil to deceitfully lead you astray from God's "only" authority, the written Word of God.
Although charismatics believe they must be born again (John 3:3), they really doubt the Saviour's power to keep those that He saves, and they also doubt the need for one to trust only the Saviour for salvation.
Charismatics teach that Christians can lose their salvation because of sin. They CANNOT explain which sins or how many sins causes one to lose his salvation, but they believe that Christians fall in and out of salvation based upon their actions. The problem is: if sin causes a person to lose his salvation, which is gained solely because of the grace of God through faith (Rom.3:24; Gal.3:26), HOW do you get it back? This FALSE doctrine basically teaches that a person's behavior must be changed or improved to get salvation back once it is lost, and that is salvation by "works", which is a very dangerous teaching and opposite to Scripture (Eph.2:8-9). The Bible clearly teaches that Christians are secure in their salvation in Jesus Christ, not because of their behavior but because of the person of Jesus. Ultimately they believe in another Jesus (2 Cor.11:4), a Jesus who is not able to keep them (I Pet.1:5), preserve them (Jude 1:1), protect them (John 10:28-29), or seal them "until the day of redemption" (Eph.4:30). The Bible tells us that JESUS is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb.5:9; 7:25; 12:2).
I simply CANNOT agree that we can lose our salvation! NO way! IF we are born again spiritually into God's family, then we slip and sin . . . according to chariamatics, we no longer are God's children. BUT, if and when we get it right again, we are again God's children??? NOT what the Bible teaches! When I sin (NOT if), God is displeased with me and will correct me, but He will NOT disown me! That would be like me saying I no longer have two children. I have them today, and forever. They anger and displease me some times but I cannot disown them any more than God will disown any of His children. Once saved, always saved!
Speaking in Tongues
One of the earmarks of charismatics is "speaking in tongues". The word "tongue" in the Bible always refers to "a language". The Greek word for tongue is always the same, "glossa". Some examples are found in Acts 2:11; Rev.5:9; 7:9; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6; 17:15. In Rev.9:11, the phrases "Hebrew tongue" and "Greek tongue" make it clear that the word means language.
God worked a miracle in the lives of the early disciples and gave them the ability to preach the Gospel in a language that they had not learned. In Acts chapter two, many Jews from sixteen other areas of the world heard the gospel in their own language and were saved. This was the beginning of the great church in Jerusalem. This miraculous gift was given for two very important reasons: #1 to break language barriers so many could be saved in the early days of the church and,#2 as a temporary sign to the Jews (1 Cor.1:22; 14:21-22) that the message of these disciples was from God, since the New Testament was not written yet (Heb.2:2-4; Mark 16:20,Heb.2:3). "Speaking in tongues" was another of the "signs of an apostle" (2 Cor.12:12), and they are NOT mentioned from 2 Corinthians through Revelation. I truly do believe that the apostles were given this special gift of speaking other languages because they traveled in their ministry and came across different languages. I believe that "tongues" was a special gift only for the early church.
Tongues was a "gift" from God. It did NOT have to be taught or learned, although many churches today "teach" people how to speak in tongues. Something else to consider: if the Biblical "gift" of tongues is present today, as charismatics claim, WHY do missionaries (even charismatic ones) have to spend years learning new languages so they can preach the Gospel? Make sense to you? It doesn't to me!
Charismatics believe that speaking in tongues is the evidence of the filling of the Holy Ghost. BUT . . . Jesus prophesied of the filling of the Holy Ghost and NEVER mentioned speaking in tongues (Luke 24:49). Acts 1:8 makes it clear that the filling was for the preaching of the Gospel. Many times in the book of Acts, people were filled with the Holy Spirit but they did NOT speak in tongues (Acts 4:8, 31; 9:17-18; 13:9, 52). Of the 17 times in Acts where people were saved, in only 3 of them was tongues involved. I Cor.12:28-31 makes it clear that not every Christian would be given this gift, which is listed as the "least" of the gifts.
One church in the Bible (Corinthians) was overly magnifying this gift and abusing it. This church was very carnal, so the book of I Corinthians was written as a rebuke (2 Cor.7:8-9) to correct them. In chapter 14, God gave some Biblical guidelines for speaking in tongues. These guidelines were given to make sure that everything was done decently and in order. For those who believe that the gift of speaking in tongues is still available to Christians today, these guidelines would be followed by the Holy Ghost, since He wrote them. Any church that encourages the speaking in tongues should ensure that these guidelines are being followed. Otherwise, maybe the Holy Ghost isn't the one motivating the tongues (Deut.13:1-5; 2 Thes.2:9-10; Mat.24:24) which show that Satan can also work through the miraculous.
These guidelines are as follows:
I Cor. 14:21-23, a sign for Jewish unbelievers' only (1 Cor.1:22)
I Cor. 14:12, 26, for edification of others
I Cor. 14:27, only two or three in a given church service
I Cor. 14:27 (also vs. 23, "all"), must take turns
I Cor. 14:28, must always have an interpreter present or keep silent
I Cor. 14:33, 40, no confusion; decently and in order
I Cor. 14:34-35, women NOT to participate in speaking in tongues in the churches.
If you were to check, you would find that churches which have "speaking in tongues" today do not follow most of these Biblical guidelines. There is a serious problem. IF the current practice breaks these guidelines, then it CANNOT be from God, for He never violates His own Word. IF the gift of "speaking in tongues" is available today, so must the gift of "interpretation of tongues" be available. BUT, what happens, is multiple interpretations of the same mumbo-jumbo, which would be impossible IF it were of God!
The Bible warns against the "praying in tongues" because the understanding is not there (1 Cor.14:14-17). We must agree with Paul when he said, "in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue" (1 Cor.14:19). "Speaking in tongues" is being used by Satan to unite non-Biblical churches, even churches that do not preach the gospel. Beware!
Healing and Miracles
Our God is a miracle-worker (Mat.19:26)! He answers prayer and heals when it is His will (James 5:16). BUT, charismatics teach that Christians today still posses the "gifts of healing" and the "working of miracles", as listed in 1 Cor.12:9-28. As is with "Speaking in Tongues", God gave TEMPORARY sign gifts to prove to the Jews (1 Cor.1:22; 14:21-22) that the message of the disciples was from God, since the New Testament was not written yet (Heb.2:2-4; Mark 16:20; Heb.2:3). These gifts were part of the "signs of an apostle" (2 Cor.12:12).
This understanding can be tested by looking at the New Testament occurrences of these gifts. When these gifts were exercised, they were unmistakable, and "faith" in the one being healed was not a factor (Acts 3:1-8; 5:12-16; 9:40; 19:11-12; 20:9-12; "every one" and "all" in Mat.4:23-24; 8:16; 9:35; 12:15; 15:30; 19:2; Lk 4:40; 6:17-19; Acts 5:16). Every one was healed completely, even those lame from birth. People were raised from the dead (Acts 9:40; 20:9-12). Some were healed simply by touching a handkerchief which had been touched by Paul (Acts 19:11-12). The supposed gifts of healing and miracles done today do not even come close to the ones performed by the men in the New Testament with those gifts. AND, last but certainly NOT least . . . the apostles did NOT accept payment in any form (Acts 3:6).
If you check it out, you will find that John the Baptist "did no miracles" (John 10:41), and that the ONLY ones in the New Testament who did miracles were Jesus, the twelve disciples, and four others: Stephen, Philip, Paul, Barnabas. Each of these other four had hands laid on them by the apostles in Acts 6:6 and Acts 13:3. These gifts were passed on by Jesus for a TEMPORARY sign to the Jews. The truth is, these apostolic gifts began to fade even before Paul died (1 Tim.5:23; 2 Tim.4:20).
Another FALSE and WRONG teaching is that it is God's will for everyone to be healthy. This is NOT true! Sometimes it is God's will for His children to suffer (Job 2:1-7; Rom.5:3; 2 Cor,. 11:30; 12:7-10; 1 Pet. 1:6-7; 4:12-13; 5:10).
God still heals and works miracles in answer to the prayers of God's people and when it is His will. BUT, no Christian today possesses these apostolic gifts. If they did, hospitals would be empty!
A main teaching of charismatics is that Christians close to God are always physically blessed of God. God always blesses His faithful servants with peace, joy and contentment. BUT, charismatics teach that a person's spirituality can be measured by his outward, physical circumstances. So, IF you are healthy and/or physically prosperous, God is with him and vice versa; IF not God is NOT with you.
Job's friends also believed this false teaching. They were convinced that Job was suffering because of sin and that God would not bless him again until he repented of that sin. BUT, they were wrong. Job was completely right with God and he still suffered physically . . . probably more than any person in history other than Jesus. At the end of the book of Job, God rebuked Job's friends for their wrong theology, "prosperity theology".
People today still fall into this same trap! IF they are not careful, they will figure that their closeness to God is based on their circumstances. Many times God will use suffering as a form of chastisement (2 Sam. 12:14; Psalms 119:67, 71;1 Cor.11:30-32; Heb.12:6-11). The Bible also teaches that we "reap what we sow", (Pro.1:31; Gal.6:7-8). For instance, if you smoke, you might get lung cancer; if you are an alcoholic you may have a liver disease, etc. BUT, not all suffering is God's chastisement. Some suffering is just the result of the curse. Things like arthritis, brittle bones, memory loss are just part of getting older (Rom.8:22-23). The Bible also teaches that Christians who live "godly" are going to suffer persecution (1 Pet.4:12-16; 2 Tim.3:12). The Christians of Heb.11:32-29 who were tortured, scourged, imprisoned, stoned, and sawn asunder are listed as people of great faith, NOT people who suffered because of sin. "Foxes Book of Martyrs" lists hundreds of faithful Christians of the past who suffered pain and death for doing "right".
God often uses suffering for our good. He knows that testing strengthens our faith and refines us (1 Pet.1:6-7). 2 Cor.4:16-17 says that "affliction" is good for us. I Peter 5:10 says that suffering will "perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle" us. Romans 5:3 says that tribulation works patience.
Our closeness to God is often totally independent of external circumstances. Be careful not to be fooled by this FALSE system of belief called "prosperity theology". And always remember that God does NOT make all His children worldly wealthy, because most of us wouldn't know how to handle riches.
Church of Christ
False Church of Today
Light Opposes Darkness
Universalism's False Doctrine
Universalism NOT Biblical
Universalism's No Hell
Which will it be?
Universalism? OR One Way to God?