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Forum: Introductions & General
 Topic: The Question ?
The Question ? [message #7389] Wed, 13 October 2010 01:30
JWBTI  is currently offline JWBTI
Messages: 289
Registered: March 2007
Location: Ohio
Senior Member
The question many have pondered over the years is…….

Why did I not get healed when I prayed ?
Take this quiz and see what the answer is !

1) Do you have any unforgiveness in your heart, hate or resentment ?
Mt 6:12-15, Mk 11:25, James 5:14-15.

2) Do you believe that you have Jobs trial or Pauls thorn ?
If so, do you have Jobs righteousness or Pauls abundance of revelation ?
Remember this! Job got healed Chapter 42 and Paul wasn’t sick.

3) Do you blame God or charge him with putting or allowing this Infirmity on you ?
Read John 10:10, Acts 10:38

4) Have you replaced Devine Healing with Medical Science ?
Read Mk 11:22, Mt 6:24, Ex 23:23, Heb 13:8

5) Have you asked for Healing, In Faith, without wavering ?
Read James 1:1-8

6) Are you Fully persuaded, that what God had promised, He is able to perform ?
Rom 4:21,
Mk 11:22-24,
James 5:15,
Mk 16:17-18
1 Jh 5:13-15

If the answer to questions 1 thru 4 are No !
And Yes! to 5 and 6, then stand fast in Faith, in Gods Word !
Your Healing is on its way !

If your answer to any of the questions 1 thru 4 are Yes!
And No ! to 5 and 6,
Then humble yourselves before God, read and believe His Promises
allow the Holy Spirit to impart faith to your heart so you will be Healed !

 Topic: Just a quick note...
Just a quick note... [message #5644] Fri, 27 March 2009 16:16
william  is currently offline william
Messages: 1222
Registered: January 2006
Senior Member
Just wanted to let those who are busy deleting messages that there is a
quicker method than deleting them one at a time... I can delete in bulk
if I know the reason and criteria you are using. I hate to see someone
wasting a lot of time when it is totally unnecessary as I can do it in
minutes instead of the laborious method of removing them one at a time.

I'm sure you are trying to be respectful to the other members who have
taken time to post; deleting your notes from the midst of the others one
at a time can be an arduous task.

Let me know if you need help in redeeming the time!


 Topic: Clean up, pack up, look up!
Clean up, pack up, look up! [message #5642] Wed, 25 March 2009 14:15
GWB  is currently offline GWB
Messages: 712
Registered: March 2008
Location: Louisville, Ky area
Senior Member
Psalm 62

A Calm Resolve to Wait for the Salvation of God

Truly my soul silently waits for God:
From Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.

How long will you attack a man?
You shall be slain, all of you,
Like a leaning wall and a tottering fence.
They only consult to cast him down from his high position;
They delight in lies;
They bless with their mouth,
But they curse inwardly.

My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.

Surely men of low degree are a vapor,
Men of high degree are a lie;
If they are weighed on the scales,
They are altogether lighter than vapor.
Do not trust in oppression,
Nor vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase,
Do not set your heart on them.

God has spoken once,
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God.
Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy;
For You render to each one according to his work.

God has given this Psalm to me for the past few months about His return. I know we are not to walk in fear of man or Satan, but I think a good dose of the fear of God never hurt anyone.

I was just wondering if anyone else is REALLY being dealt with about these things. I don't want to miss the first load!



Be still and know that I am God

 Topic: Mike Wingfield
Mike Wingfield [message #5339] Wed, 25 February 2009 03:54
whitearizona  is currently offline whitearizona
Messages: 8
Registered: April 2008
Junior Member
Can anybody give me some info on Mike Wingfield. His name seems to be popping up recently and I know nothing about him. Thanks for any info you have.
 Topic: Our Family Trouble, My Story
Our Family Trouble, My Story [message #4368] Mon, 15 December 2008 05:38
GWB  is currently offline GWB
Messages: 712
Registered: March 2008
Location: Louisville, Ky area
Senior Member
I believe Jesus would have me share my story with those who are interested. Please email me, in this forum, and I will send it to you. Due to the nature of my situation, I need to know who you are. I went to FA from six months before the "Exodus" to the new building until 1986; surely it cannot be very hard. Does this mean we are now officially underground? Rolling Eyes Smile

If I do not know you, I will have to have another member on this forum recommend that it is OK to send it to you. I am sorry, but that is the only way I know how to do it unless someone has a suggestion for me. Smile

It is a story of great battle and great victory. It is a rehearsal in words as to a type of persecution that I believe is near. It is also a story of restoration and not condemnation.

Blessings, GWB

"Be still and know that I am God"

 Topic: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother [message #4367] Mon, 15 December 2008 05:23
GWB  is currently offline GWB
Messages: 712
Registered: March 2008
Location: Louisville, Ky area
Senior Member
I wanted to bring up a topic we need to seriously consider. This will be brief due to time, but I think it is important. I will do the best I can to check in, even with moving. Rolling Eyes

Jiz has taken the time and care to minister to me out of this forum. Neat things happen there with people! Shocked

He is my first prayer warrior in agreement with me and my situation. Yippee! Very Happy ...anybody else? I need for my name to pass your lips everyday when you pray. Please let me know who is praying for what concerning me and what He has laid on your heart.

With what has happened to me, I have been praying for three years to the day, marked in my Bible, for Him to brush the dust off of all overcomers all over the world, raise them up, and get the energizer bunnies running again. The questions of numbers, timing, etc., are for another thread. There I go again. Shocked

Does anybody else need someone to hold them up in prayer and for what specifically? You cannot get any better than the faith in this place. Smile Besides, it is kinda' hard to be bickerin' when yur prayin' for 'em. Rolling Eyes Very Happy

Personally, I am going to start a prayer list as to who responds, and what to pray for, etc. Then we need a thread for manisfestations. Hey Hombre, this is your cue for a slam dunk teaching, or anyone else for that matter. This threads is just for requests. Shocked Very Happy

He has given me Psalms 105 and, of course, Rev. 12.

Blessings, GWB

"Be still and know that I am God"

[Updated on: Mon, 15 December 2008 05:48]

 Topic: Hello All
Hello All [message #3972] Wed, 29 October 2008 20:57
bullcea1  is currently offline bullcea1
Messages: 1
Registered: September 2008
Location: Elkhart IN
Junior Member
My name is Chris Albright and I went to Faith Assembly from age 4 (1973) until age 18 (1987) and was able to see the formation and eventual dissipation of the church in northern Indiana. There were many great things I learned and many great things I sacrificed growing up in FA. I had many good friends and knew alot of terrific people. I have seen that M Chupp posted here and wanted to say hello to him, our fathers were good friends and we ocassionally hung out together with other kids our age. Also Isaw his mom a few years back at Malcolm Webbers church were Iwas delivering on my job as a UPS driver. Very nice people. My father was in the ministry about ten years or so and I have been told and I also think he was a good charismatic speaker. Younger days at the barn and the home and tent meetings were very uplifting. It was a great wholesome atmosphere for kids with Mrs Reussers teachings in the bookstore, the animals and out door activity, no tv so i read every book i could get my hands on including the whole world book encylopedia. After the move to the "new building" I personally felt things begin to change. No more childrens classes just a nursery. Sections of the church began to get cliqueish. I was about 13 when a man i didnt know came up and told me he doubted my salvation. At the time I was doing better than alot of kids my age and that broke my spirit. I was taking abuse frowm kids at school and turning the other cheek, I wantd to play sports badly, but didn't even ask knowing what the answer would be. I didn't associate with "worldly individuals", but here was this random guy sowing the seeds of doubt and judgement on a very young person. I thought to myself then I NEED TO GET OUT! If my efforts to live the christian life were in vain to these people, i did not need them. Personally I have never doubted my salvation I had repented my sins, and had asked God to take over my life. Iknew He was with me then and I know He is now. It was very hard to sit in church after that and my attitiude towards it became very bad. We moved to Peoria IL where my father was a pastor and while we were there FA imploded causing that church to become splintered. Having basically no church our family moved back to Indiana and I went to Bethel College while my dad eventually gave up the ministry. I went on to start my career at UPS and my parents split up. My dad is still in the area, my mom went to TX and then to MO and is still living there. I ould also like to say hi to Duncan and buckley(thanks for the piano lessons lois), I have seen Mark and Missy Akers over the years, but not for awhile, I used to hang out with them and Kevin and Jay Deckard, Scott Reed and many others. The only person I have had recent contact with is Angie Davis who is doing well and is nice to have someone who remembers alot of what it was like growing up there to talk with. There is much more to say but I'm not the best typist and my fingers are getting tired. God Bless you all and I would love to hear from you.
 Topic: On The Head Covering
On The Head Covering [message #3825] Mon, 20 October 2008 05:30
Michael The Disciple  is currently offline Michael The Disciple
Messages: 166
Registered: September 2007
Location: Somerset Ky
Senior Member

Question for those who believe in the headcovering. Do you believe it is essential just in the meetings or in public or at anytime one prays?

This is not just for women. What about a man praying wearing a hat when he is alone?
 Topic: Since Faith Assembly (and related Bodies)...
Since Faith Assembly (and related Bodies)... [message #3662] Thu, 09 October 2008 16:01
Messages: 22
Registered: February 2006
Junior Member

Is it well with your soul?[ 13 votes ]
1.Yes, I am walking with the Lord, growing closer all the time! 8 / 62%
2.I am no longer walking with the Lord. 0 / 0%
3.I was backslidden for a while, but I'm back right with the Lord! 5 / 38%
4.I've been backslidden, but I'm under conviction and want to get right with God. 0 / 0%

Is it well with your soul? Smile Here's a poll (votes are totally anonymous and will not reveal your user name!).

[Updated on: Fri, 07 November 2008 02:25]


"I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."--Phil 3:12
 Topic: Church Poll #1
Church Poll #1 [message #3657] Thu, 09 October 2008 14:54
Messages: 22
Registered: February 2006
Junior Member

Church Poll #1[ 10 votes ]
1.I currently attend a local church. 4 / 40%
2.I currently home-church with only my family. 0 / 0%
3.I currently home-church, including other families. 0 / 0%
4.I'm currently visiting churches to find a "home." 1 / 10%
5.I don't attend a local church. 0 / 0%
6.I don't attend a local church, but would if I could find one that is "biblical." 5 / 50%

Here is an ANONYMOUS poll (your user name will NOT show up when you vote!) about whether or not you currently attend a local church.

(Now, I realize we are the church, but I'm using this phrasing due to my inability to come up with something more concise. Wink )


"I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."--Phil 3:12
 Topic: Henry And Debbie Carrandante
Henry And Debbie Carrandante [message #3571] Thu, 02 October 2008 15:33
Michael The Disciple  is currently offline Michael The Disciple
Messages: 166
Registered: September 2007
Location: Somerset Ky
Senior Member

Hi saints,

Anyone recall this couple? They attended for a long time and had a large number of kids. They lived in the Liberty Mills area. The last I knew Henry had done some travelling with Jim Brenemen probably in about 1986. Any info appreciated.
 Topic: Looking for old friends
icon5.gif  Looking for old friends [message #3526] Mon, 29 September 2008 02:08
Psalm  is currently offline Psalm
Messages: 1
Registered: September 2008
Location: NC
Junior Member
Does anyone know how I can get in touch with Elizabeth Hart Allabach or Krystal Borsa Mishler? Elizabeth was my best friend at FA before we moved to Alabama in 1989. Krystal was my next best friend. The last time I saw them was at Krystal's wedding when she married Jonathan Mishler. I'm not sure I'm spelling that right. He was the son of Don Mishler. Elizabeth married a guy named Joshua Allabach. I found their info on, but the phone number listed has been disconnected. I regret not keeping in touch better, but if anyone could let me know how I could get in touch with either of them, I'd be most grateful!
 Topic: Random Memories...whats yours?
Random Memories...whats yours? [message #3461] Tue, 23 September 2008 05:05
Messages: 3
Registered: April 2008
Location: BEAUTIFUL Indiana
Junior Member
I was wondering if any care to post random memories of Early F.A. Not necessarily the teaching but the buildings, surroundings and events that caused us to feel so unique. So, since I have a few, I'll go first.
My earliest memory is back at Claypool. I was a very young child at the time..about 6 or so. My family was there and we seemed to be one of the last ones to leave, alot.My dad prayed for people and preached too. P. was our childrens church teacher. It was at the Freemans house. I can still remember the floor plan. Anyways, I remember the contest of who could be the quietest. The nights got pretty long and kids get pretty wound up when it gets past their bed time. I never found out who won.
When that house got too small for the people that came we moved to J. E. 3 car garage by the lake. I remember how C. had this can of air freshner in the bathroom called 'roses roses'. That stuff smell sooo good. We loved spraying it. Their house was huge to me. But soon it got too small.
I went to the Glory Barn before it was remodeled. Mel was a friend of my father. He showed us the future plans of how the upstairs was going to be cleaned up and the walls repaired.(There were these big holes in the outside walls) The basement of the Barn had a ping pong table. The sheep shed section was converted into a small chapel. I remember the bunk beds in the end where I would fall asleep. Oh and the sugar cubes for the coffee. There were those salamander heaters that heated the downstairs and yes, the glorious field stone fire place. And the backless benches made out of logs that I think once were part of the barn. It was a very casual setting about 1972 or so.
I remember the night when we moved from the 3 car garage. They were packing up the chairs and I asked why. Someone told me we were moving to the Glory Barn. When we moved to the Barn, there were these big rolls of red indoor outdoor carpet that hadn't been laid yet.. I remember sitting on them during church. All that other work had been done. Another favorite seat was on the steps that went up to Mel's residence. Of course the top steps were Mel's familys seats. I loved going to the Upper Room Book Store. The comics that were for sale with 'Christian' Archie and the scary 'Chic' adult comics. My favorite thing was the COOL stickers! 'One Way Jesus' I would buy them and put them on my school folders.
On Sunday afternoons my sis and I would go to the 'N' trailer court and take guitar lessons with a few other kids my age. I don't remember how many months the lessons lasted but that talent has stayed with me to this day. Thank you Beverly from Michigan where ever you are. Oh, And I still have my 3 ring notebook you gave us too.
The Barn was an amazing set up. The goats, chicken coop, and field behind it. Sunflowers for seeds and huge gardens for canning. There was a wooded area way in the back that had paths in it. It was just amazing how it all disappeared so quickly later. The Love feast! And foot washings! All those people! Lining up to get seats on Sunday. The study off to the side of the pulpit.
The music was one of a kind for me. Guitars and more guitars. Blue Jeans were the norm.
Well, I think I will let someone else share a few memories....
 Topic: Brother Hodge
Brother Hodge [message #2039] Sat, 07 June 2008 08:42
grandom  is currently offline grandom
Messages: 404
Registered: October 2007
Senior Member
This past week Brother Ron (JWBTI) and myself had the blessed experience of meeting Brother Hodge and his wife Arlene and their friend Joy. They were in northern Indiana for the wedding of their grandson. It was just a few short hours but was one of the most uplifting times of my life that I will remember for all eternity.Brother Hodge has posted many faith filled posts on this forum and to meet him in person and see that he walks the talk is just tremendous. Here is a man who is walking out a very debilitating trial and is trusting Jesus totally for his healing.We went to minister to him if we could and we ended up being the ones who were blessed. He still is walking out some issues but he trust the Lord Jesus Christ with all his being and in this day and age I don't find many people who truly trust the Lord. That's not to say there aren't any but I find that even in scripture it asks will Jesus find any faith when he returns. I can say without a doubt that if he returned today he would find it in Hodge. What a privilege to have gotten to meet him and to see the faithfulness
Of Jesus.
Our belief is that he will be totally manifested and be able to give us some more faith filled posts.We join you brother Hodge in uplifting our risen saviour.
THE LOVEGREEN STORY [message #1219] Thu, 14 February 2008 16:55
Messages: 35
Registered: December 2007
Location: Auburn, Alabama

A C Valdez Sr., in his book Fire On Azusa Street, wrote

In those days—like today—skeptics loudly insisted that “the age of miracles is past.”

I could only answer, “It is past all right—past, present, and future—just as Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” So many miracles of all varieties happened—cures of “incurables,” reversal of sin-filled lives, and strange, supernatural events that couldn’t have occurred by coincidence.

I shall never forget the astounding series of major and minor miracles that occurred to a Mr. Lovegreen, a hotel owner in San Bernardino and Riverside counties of California.

Thirty years before, he had been a New York-based salesman who, with his wife, had traveled many times from city to city across country.

One day he told her, “I’m going west again.”

She sighed, “Dear, I’m tired of traveling. We’ve done it so much. I just can’t take it any longer.”

That was not the response Lovegreen had expected, and he be­came upset and then stubborn.

“All right, if that’s the way you feel, stay,” he replied. “But I’m going anyway?’

Just like that, he walked out of her life and headed for Califor­nia. Now, during that thirty years, he became an alcoholic, deathly ill and seemingly hopeless. One night he fell up against our San Bernardino mission door, which flung open. And there, lying on the floor, reeking of whiskey, was this large, once fine-looking man, hemorrhaging from his stomach.

When I reached him, he glanced up, hopelessness in his blood­shot, blue eyes. As more blood oozed from his mouth, he gasped.

What pity I felt for him!

“O, parson. Do something for me!”

Now the hemorrhaging stopped; he coughed, soon caught his breath and explained himself.

“Before my mother died, she prayed for me. While she was dying, she took me by the hand, looked into my eyes and said, “Son, I had hoped that, by this time, you would have given your heart to Jesus. Your mother would then have had the joy of seeing you a born again Christian. It seems I won’t have that pleasure. But, son, before I go, do me a favor. Put forth the effort to be a Christian and meet me in heaven. I’ll be watching for you through the eastern gate?”

“I said, ‘Yes, mother.’ Parson, what else could I say? But I con­fess to you, I haven’t tried”

The creases in the forehead of his ruddy face deepened in grave concern.

“A few hours ago, I came away from the doctor’s office. The lining of my stomach is gone—eaten out with alcohol. The doc­tor advised me; ‘Lovegreen, there’s nothing I can do for you now. Take my advice. Go right on drinking, because you won’t live long anyway. And if you’re drunk, you won’t know the difference.’ ”

Lovegreen’s watery eyes begged me as much as his voice.

“Parson, can’t you do something for me?”

“Yes, if you’ll promise to do something for me.”

“What’s that?”

Again he gasped for air, and blood oozed from his mouth.

“Come into the mission. Promise that you won’t leave until we pray through to God. Then you’ll have complete deliverance from alcohol, and I also promise that Jesus will heal your body and make you whole.”

As the path eased for an instant, he looked up at me with a flicker of hope.

“That’s the least I can do.”

I have dealt with many alcoholics, and their promises are often worthless. So I was still skeptical. Lovegreen slowly, painfully rose to his feet and followed me to the altar. In this mission, we had home-made, awkward-looking, heavy benches eighteen feet long. They served me well that night, because my wife, mother and I piled many of these benches against the back door.

Then we fell upon our knees and prayed. The spiritual battle was on. I don’t know how many times Lovegreen collapsed on the floor, but the devil spoke to me in no uncertain terms.

“Valdez, if you keep this man locked up in here, and he dies. you will be held for manslaughter?”

That sent fear racing through me. Unfortunately, what he had said was true. And I felt a terrible temptation to yield. But it wasn’t the voice of God. God doesn’t speak that way. The Lord says, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” So I turned and said— “Satan, get behind me in the Name of Jesus,” and the Spirit of the Lord rebuked the devil.

That was just the beginning of the story It was a night of strug­gle, and Lovegreen started screaming in an unearthly way. “Get those snakes off me!” he begged. He was having terrifying nightmares of delirium tremens. He thrashed and worked his hands to untangle snakes winding around his neck. “O, my God,” he cried, “Those witches and demons!”

We continued to pray with faith, through the night and into the early morning. At six o’clock, we were hoarse and exhausted but still holding on to God in his behalf.

By this time, he was beginning to flail his arms and crying out:

“Let me go! Open the door! Let me go!”

But I spoke sharply to him.

“You promised to stay until deliverance comes?”

A few minutes later, when my mother, wife and I were praying, the glory of God came down like a skyfull of light, filling the room. All of us looked up at the same time. A bright shaft of light fo­cused on Lovegreen’s face, and he shouted, “I’m saved, I’m saved, I’m saved.”

Not only was he gloriously born of the Spirit of God, he was also healed in body. His stomach was so well he was able to eat a large beef steak. He no longer wanted alcohol.

An urge to be with his wife had gnawed at him off and on for thirty years and was part of the reason for his alcoholism. They had been divorced and, in a generation, had not communicated with one another. Like him, she had never remarried.

On one morning, she felt a powerful desire to travel to Los An­geles. She didn’t know why. Although a Christian, she did not realize that God was leading her. Her train stopped at San Bernardino, and a strange urge made her take a layover in that city

The railroad station was then at least three quarters of a mile from the heart of town, so she drifted down on the left hand side of the street, looking for a hotel.

At that very instant, Lovegreen felt a strong desire to go for a walk, and he started down the same side of the street.

The woman coming toward him looked familiar. He blinked his clear blue eyes. The woman saw him and squinted to make sure. The man coming toward her looked so familiar.

Suddenly they were face to face for the first lime in thirty years.

Lovegreen felt a surge of warmth. She was beautiful—snow white hair, still a young face. How could she be even more lovely than before?

Similar feelings stirred her.

They gazed into each other’s eyes momentarily, and the years between melted away. Then they literally flew into each other’s arms.

When I learned from them what had happened, I knew that this wonderful reunion was a story written and directed by the Holy Spirit.

A few days later, they asked me to marry them. It was a I privilege and an honor for me.

This was just one of the many flames of Azusa Street.

THE EVIDENCE OF HIS POWER! [message #1216] Wed, 13 February 2008 19:18
Messages: 35
Registered: December 2007
Location: Auburn, Alabama

I want to tell you about a miracle and this miracle happened to me. How? By one prayer, after I had the correct instructions about divine healing.

Everything that we receive from God comes through His grace, by faith. I had multiple sclerosis for more than fifteen years. I could not walk around without stumbling and falling. Many times I was in a wheel-chair, I often broke my bones, but I firmly believed that the Lord was going to heal me. If there is no cure for the illness humanly speaking, it matters not: healing comes from God and there is nothing impossible with Him (Luke 1:37 “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”)

My church did not teach Divine healing, but my Bible does. So, if your church does not teach you about Divine healing, your Bible teaches it. Isaiah 53:5 says: "With His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 59:1 says: "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither is His ear heavy that it cannot hear." Oh, He can hear your prayer right now.

Hebrews 13:8 says: "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Did you ever have a Scripture come alive to you? This was the first one that became alive to me. When I read Hebrews 13:8, I knew definitely that "Jesus Christ is, the same, yesterday, today and forever."

Then I read about Moses. Moses said to God: "Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me. What is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM." (Exodus 3:13-14).

These words put God in the present. He has never existed in the past. He is always the God of TODAY. Then I also read in Acts 10:34 that "God is no respecter of persons."

Then I said to God: "Lord, if Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and there is no respect of persons and by His stripes we were healed, then this is for me."

The Bible says that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17). We receive a measure of faith when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, but if we want that faith to increase; this has to come through the Word of God.

I became more and more paralyzed. One doctor told me that the day would come when I would be completely blind, and thus it was, the optic nerves were paralyzed leaving me completely blind. Then one day they told me not to stay alone for before the next 24 hours would go by I would be completely paralyzed --so it was.

The ambulance came and they took me to the hospital, but on the way I said to the boys that took me: "You forgot something?” They answered: "What did we forget Gertrude?" I said: "You did not bring my shoes." "Oh", they said: "What in the world is a paralyzed person going to do with shoes? You can't use them, you won't need them."

I said: "Oh yes, I am going to need those shoes! One of these days the Lord is going to heal me and I will need those shoes to get out of the hospital." I believed with all my heart that God was going to heal me, but I did not know how to appropriate my healing.

Many people came to pray for me. I firmly believe that all the prayers that were said by my family and friends in my behalf were heard by God. When we pray in faith for someone, God hears and considers that prayer. Perhaps the answer is delayed but it is never denied.

While I was in the hospital I had three heart attacks and one stroke. Every time they would put me under an oxygen tent, I would think: "There is room for two, Jesus and I." The nurse would come and say: "Don't say a word; you must not waste your breath." One does not have to speak in a loud voice to Jesus. I would pray and feel His presence and I knew the answer was on the way.

This was my prayer: "Oh, Lord, make me whole again, don't just make me better, but make me entirely whole again." I remembered how Jesus asked the impotent man: "Wilt thou be made whole?" and I answered to that question: "Yes, Lord, make me entirely whole again."

Spiritual Preparation for Healing

The Lord had to deal with me concerning many things. I had worked in the church for twenty-five years and thought I was doing pretty well but the Lord thought otherwise. One day He said to me: "Do you love your neighbor like yourself, all the time and all of them?" I answered: "No Lord, how can I, when some I don't even like?" He taught me how to love them through the love of Jesus Christ. Yes, you can love your neighbor through the love of Jesus Christ. He dwells in us and we in Him, so it is possible to love others such as He loves them.

The Lord also dealt with me concerning doubt, fear and unbelief, things that I never considered as sin. For three months He taught me about those things that were within me that were not according to His Holy will.

I finally became completely paralyzed so that I could not do one thing except talk to Jesus. I knew that the Lord was with me and when we know He is with us, we can stand all the disappointments in life. One day they covered me up with a sheet for they thought I was gone. I could move one hand, so when they saw that move, they came and took the sheet off.

Faith Unmovable

I was always asking those that came to visit me to bring my shoes. No one responded for everyone thought I would not need clothes or shoes. It wasn't their fault; they did not know Christ as their Healer. I would say to them: "Bring me some shoes, for when the Lord heals me I am going to need them."

One day the head doctor came to see me and said: "Gertrude, I would like to know your attitude about yourself." The night before I had suffered much thirst, as spasms produce thirst and they would not give me water at night for fear that I would swallow my tongue. Now came the question: "I want to know your attitude about yourself." I asked him if he wanted an honest answer, or if he wanted me to joke. He said he wanted an honest answer. So I answered: "I do not see myself here lying less than a human being." Then he said: "How do you see yourself?" I said: "I see myself walking with shoes on."

"Oh," he said, "I am sorry I ever asked you that question. That will never be! You will never be different from what you are now!" So, I answered: "According to you, I’ll never be different, but you have not considered my Lord. One of these days He is going to heal me and I will walk with shoes on."

His answer was: "Oh that is your imagination." He thought that for he did not believe the Bible, but I know that God gave me a faith vision concerning myself walking, just like He gave Abraham a vision when he was to go into a far country.

I was tired of being in that room in the hospital and one day I asked the nurses if they would take me outside and put me under a tree, for I knew there were trees out in the yard, having been in this hospital many times before, when I was in a wheel chair. They called for the head nurse and she said "Gertrude, do you realize that if we were to take you outside we would have to have enough men to carry you bed and all? Don't you think this is unreasonable?" Yes, I answered, I withdraw my request.

The Divine Answer

One day a woman came into my room, Beatrice by name, and asked me: "Do you believe that God can heal you and do you want me to pray?" I answered yes to both questions and she said a short prayer and left. As she was leaving the room, an audible voice said to me: "I sent this woman to you."

I was frantic for I had no way of knowing what the woman looked like, for I was blind, so I called on the person in the next bed and asked them to call this woman. When she was by my bed, I said to her: "God spoke to me and said that He sent you to me." Beatrice said, "I am so glad you called me back, I was in my home in Maryland when God spoke to me and asked me to come to Las Vegas, Nevada and visit all the incurable wards and ask people if they wanted me to pray for them. He added that one day a woman would say to me that God sent me to her. I was getting tired of getting a cold shoulder as I went around asking: Do you believe God can heal you and do you want me to pray?"

Oh, I am so happy that Beatrice obeyed God and traveled from one end of the country to the other to do His will. Once she knew who she was to pray for she started to fast without food and without water, in spite of the terrible heat, she obeyed our Lord. Every evening she would come to the hospital to pray for me, and everyday I was worse. She found me on July first and three nights after that on July fourth she was told that my grandson, who lived in this same city, had been called and asked to make arrangements to take care of my body.

When she got to my bed-side she asked: "Do you still believe that God can heal you?" My answer was yes. Then she asked: "Even now?" Again my answer was affirmative. This time she asked: "Do you realize that this is the last opportunity, it has to be now or never?" My answer was: "Yes I know this."

Beatrice then said: "If I bring you a glass of cold water and place it here beside your bed, do you believe that if you would drink it, it would quench the terrible thirst you have? Oh, I said, that is easy to believe. She said, "Now if I bring the glass of cold water and place it here by your bed but you do not drink it you would still believe that it would quench your thirst, but you would still be thirsty because you did not drink the water, though you believed. That is what you are doing with healing, you believe that God can heal you but there is no contact of faith, it is necessary that you accept your healing in a definite way, even as you accepted Christ as your personal Savior.

"There are many sinners who believe that Jesus died for their sins and was resurrected from the dead but they remain sinners because they do not accept salvation for themselves. That is what you are doing with healing, you believe that God can heal you, but it is necessary that you take this healing right now. That is true faith."

Oh, God knows the intentions of our heart. He knows our spiritual condition, He knows our spiritual stature, and He knows if we truly believe in His greatness and power.

Beatrice told me to raise my hands and pray. I lifted my heart to God and raised my one finger that I could move and said to the Lord: "Lord, I take my healing this moment, I take it like water, I accept it, I believe, but I am afraid."

Of a truth there is no room for fear. Fear indicates unbelief. I said to God: "I am afraid that you will ask of me something that I am not able to do. I fear that I am not capable of fulfilling that which you would ask of me."

The Lord then spoke to me in an audible voice and said: "Go and say that God healed you. Go to those that believe in divine healing and go to those who do not believe, those who mock and scorn and tell them that God healed you." I then answered: "Yes, Lord, I will go."

It was at this point that I saw Jesus standing by the side of my bed and when I saw Jesus I could see the entire room. Jesus had restored my sight! I must say here that when I say, I saw Jesus, I saw all except His face which was but a very bright light. Then the Lord touched me with the tips of His fingers and healed me completely.

Many have asked, "What did you feel?" I will tell you what I felt. Fire started to go from my head all through my body and my body had been like ice. The divine heat circulated all through my body and I started to feel my bones crack, for my muscles were like cement, my hands and feet were all twisted, my body was a big arch, my head and feet touching the bed but the rest of my body in the air.

My bones ached as the Lord was straightening them but it did not matter about the pain, for my eyes were on Jesus. When we have our eyes on Jesus, pain does not matter. He told me many things that night. He ordered me to stay in the hospital three days and three nights, that I might testify to all that God had healed me and speak about salvation in Him.

Jesus said to me: "I am not returning you to your old life. You cannot live your own life anymore. I am loaning your life to you that you might testify about Me. I will take, care of you." So, I know I am living on borrowed time, but that does not matter. The important thing is that I obey Him.

Many people have asked me: "What did you say to Jesus?" I'll tell you, when one is in the presence of the Lord, you do not say anything to Him, you listen to what He has to say and you will hear it with every fiber of your body and you will never forget it.

Live Testimony Is Effective

For a while after Jesus left, I did not get up, I had a bit of fear of saying that God had healed me. I was not prepared to tell them and they were not prepared to hear me. Of a truth the City of Las Vegas was not prepared to see the evidence of God.

Someone had finally brought me a pair of shoes, so I got up and put them on. Afterwards they asked me if it was difficult to walk, since I had not walked for such a long time. I said: "Oh no, it was difficult to stay on the floor, under the powerful anointing of God." I felt like I could float, for two weeks I felt like I was walking on my tip-toes.

I walked out in the hall and one of the patients who saw me raised his hands and said: "Glory to God, look what the Lord has done for Gertrude!" There were people in the hall and as they would see me they would fall on their knees and start to pray. They were calling on God upon seeing the evidence of someone who had been completely paralyzed, now walking.

I walked into the nurses' room, I did not mean to hurt them, but two of them passed out when they saw my face. They had to carry them out on stretchers. Later they told me that my face had been discolored and bags of water were under my eyes, when the Lord healed me He wiped it all off and gave me a natural face.

One of the head nurses came, she went into hysterics and said: "Gertrude, you can't be here because you can't sit and you can't walk and I have signed the last papers on you, you can't see and you can't stay here." Then I said to her: "Oh yes, I can be here, I am just like you, look at my hands, God has healed me, they are not like the hands of a paralytic person, I am just like you."

Then she said to me: "I know that you can't be alive, this is not you that is here. Tell me how many people helped you down the hall?" I said: "Just one." She said: "Please tell us who it was." I said: "It was Jesus Christ."

They called the superintendent of the hospital. He had known me for years, for I had been in and out of this hospital many times and he knew my condition. Now he said: "Gertrude, I am an unbeliever, but now that the Lord has come and worked a miracle in this hospital, this old hospital has rocked on its heels. Ever since Jesus came to heal you no one has worked in this part of the hospital, but that does not matter. Look what the Lord has done! Here was an unbeliever admitting that Jesus had worked a miracle. Hallelujah!

Yes, it was a miracle, for if it had been a healing I would have had to learn to walk. God left many signs for them. One was the sign of the bed. People would come and touch the bed and it would give them a shock. Then I understood that when Jesus came and anointed me for healing, He anointed the bed also and left it for a sign for the unbelievers.

The next morning they came to doctor a bed sore. I asked them: "Did you come to doctor me?" They said: "This is duty." I told them to go ahead and what a surprise when they found the place just like the palm of my hand. They exclaimed: "This truly is a miracle for the flesh had flaked away so that we could see the bone and it does not heal up like this!"

Praise God for His perfect work and signs for the unbelievers. Hallelujah! This did not take place in a corner but in a public place so that the people could see the manifestation of the power of God.

I told the director of the hospital that I would only be there for three days and three nights, but he answered: "Oh no, you have to stay 30 days for observation." I said: "It is impossible for Jesus told me to stay for only three days and three nights."

When it came time to sign the final papers the phone rang and the nurse said to the director: "It is your Chief of Staff." He answered: "Lay that phone down, for if I take that call the time will be past when Jesus Christ said Gertrude should go and I don't want that on me." Oh yes, they obeyed what the Lord had said!

Another thing they noticed was the change in my handwriting. Some said that I was not the same person. So I said to them: "I know you have a psychiatrist here in this hospital. Bring him here." He came and I said to him: "Take me to your part of the hospital and ask me any question you want to, for I am still me. Jesus came and made me whole again."

The psychiatrist looked at me for a while and then said: "Oh no, I will not examine you, for the One who performed the healing will give you the answers and I will be left there like a fool."

Many things happened in those three days and nights that I was in the hospital. They called my grandson, Tom, and asked him to come to the hospital immediately. He is the one who had been asked to prepare to take care of my body, I was walking down the hall when I saw him coming and called to him: "Look, Tom, look what the Lord has done for me, He came and made me whole again." Someone said to me: "Tom can't hear you, he is in complete shock." They worked on him for hours, when he came to he said: "When I saw you walking is when I went into shock. I never saw you walking before, I remember the grandma who pulled one foot and scraped the other. I remember the one who held to the walls, why didn't they tell me that Jesus had healed you?"

I still wanted to go outside and see the trees. I want to tell you this so that you will see how easy it is to get out of the Lord's will. The Lord told me to stay in the hospital three days and three nights. He did not say anything about going outside. But I still wanted to know what it would be like to breathe the fresh air.

I went outside and stood under one of the trees thinking: "This is just like I thought it would be, wonderful to see the trees and partake of the fresh air." Just then one of the nurses tapped me on the shoulder and said: "What are you doing here? Don't you know that the halls are fun of people wanting to know if you can really walk! When I heard this I knew that I had gone outside thinking only about myself and that I was outside of the will of God. Jesus wanted me to testify to the people.

As I stepped back into the hospital I saw a black man sitting in a wheel chair. As I got near him he asked: "Aren't you the woman that they used to bring to this hospital tied to a wheel chair so she would not fall?" I answered, "Yes I am she." He asked: "Aren't you the woman that used to fallout of bed with spasms?” I said: "Yes, I am she." Again he asked: "Are not you the woman who was blind?" "Yes," I answered, "I am she." He said: "Tell me about your Jesus, for I do not know Him." Oh, what a blessing it is to be in the will of God and be able to guide a soul to Jesus!

One day I was walking down the hall praising God when I saw a man on a stretcher at the door of the operating room. He was ready to be wheeled into the operating room to be operated on. He had witnessed my paralytic condition and when he saw me walking and praising God, he said: "If God can heal Gertrude, He can heal me too." He wrapped the sheet around him, got off the stretcher, went to his room, got dressed and walked right out of the hospital!

Two years later I met that man on the street and asked him if he had signed his dismissal papers and he said, no because Jesus Christ had dismissed him and he did not have to sign any papers. Then I asked him if he ever had that operation and he said: "No, I did not need it." The Lord knew that He was going to accept divine healing at the last moment, so He saw to it that the spinal that they gave him did not take effect: Hallelujah!

Bible Events Take Place

Those three days in the hospital I witnessed what is written in Mark 2:2: " And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them." The people filled the halls day and night, even staying until 2 o'clock in the morning for they wanted to see the evidence of God.

In closing I want to tell you about Mr. Martin. He was in charge of us 8 hours a day. When Jesus came to heal me he had his day off, so the following day the Lord said: "Go to Mr. Martin." So I went to Mr. Martin and said: "Mr. Martin, look at me, Jesus came and made me whole again." He did not turn, he had his back to me, but rather said: "You go away woman." And I went away.

Again the Lord said: "Go to Mr. Martin." So I went the second time to him and said: "Mr. Martin, look at me, Jesus came and made me whole again." But Mr. Martin again refused saying: "You go away; I am not going to look at you."

I returned to the people standing in the hall and the third time the Lord said: "Go to Mr. Martin." So I went and this time I said: "Mr. Martin, please look at me, for Jesus has said to me three times: “Go to Mr. Martin and you know how far it is from my place with one hall going this way and one that way, so please look at me."

Then Mr.' Martin turned and said: "Yes, I am going to look at you. When I had my day off was the time you were to have died, that is why I did not want to look at you when you came the first time. When you came the second time I had heard rumors about a miracle of healing. I am a good Catholic and they do not teach me in my church that God can do miracles in my part of the hospital." Mr. Martin did not mind seeing a miracle but he wanted it in a church, he wanted it in a Cathedral. But God wanted it in a hospital so that many would hear the testimony and see the evidence of God.

Mr. Martin said: "When I turn around to see you I will have to admit that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. I will have to confess that He works miracles today, even in my section in the hospital." Mr. Martin has now returned to his country, Canada, but he has returned believing that Jesus Christ can do the same miracles that He did when here on this earth.

Once Mr. Martin accepted my healing he said: "Oh, let's do something, let's call your children, let's call that woman who prayed for you, let's do something!" Yes, when we see the reality of God and know that He has visited us we want to do something.

May God bless and use this testimony in the lives of all that read it! Mrs. Gertrude Ticer, P 0 Box 52, Seattle Heights, Wash. 98063

"Jesus said unto him.
If thou canst believe,
All things are possible to him that believeth.”

"And he said unto them,
This kind can come forth by nothing,
But by prayer and fasting"

(Mark 9:23 & 29)


Take no thought for food or raiment; take no thought for wealth or fame,
But seek first our Father’s Kingdom, and His righteousness proclaim,
He will give to you great treasures: grace abounding, joys untold.
Peace that passeth understanding and a faith worth more than gold.

Take no thought for those who scoff you nor for those who try to kill;
For our God is our defender and will hover o’er us still.
He will be our Shield and Buckler; He will banish all our fears;
In His arms He will enfold us and will wipe away our tears.

Take no thought for sinful pleasures; only seek to do His will,
And to follow where He leadeth and His purposes fulfill;
For the Kingdom He hath given---and to ALL who enter in
There is a rest for the weary, freedom from the power of sin.

“Take no thought,” He now entreats you; casting all your cares on Him,
Trust His great unfailing mercy and let not your faith grow dim,
Looking always to the Savior, let Him be your Friend and Guide;
Living daily in His presence, where no evil can betide.

Take no anxious thought for loved ones; they are in His loving care,
And the One who minds the sparrows surely hears and answers prayer.
Take no thought for Life’s Tomorrows; leave the future in His hands;
Hitherto, He has not failed you, for He cares and understands.
Louise L. Gardanier.

This is one of the greatest testimonies
of a Healing Miracle in our day, that I have ever read.
My wife and I have known Mrs. Ticer about seven years.
We have heard her give her testimony a number of times.
Mrs. Ticer lives by Faith! J. A. Dennis

If the Red Sea is before you,
Mountains to the left,
Desert to the right
And the Egyptians are galloping up behind,
Start praising God,
For the situation is ideal ……..
For a miracle! Peter Allard

Reprinted from: THE TEXAS HERALD
October 1971
Order from
P.O. Box 2156, Austin, Texas 78767

 Topic: Tommy Hick's Vision of the Sleeping Giant
Tommy Hick's Vision of the Sleeping Giant [message #1173] Fri, 08 February 2008 00:08
Derick N.  is currently offline Derick N.
Messages: 75
Registered: November 2007
I have this in print, but I remember hearing it on a tape once. I'm thinking it might have been at a Full Gospel Businessman's meeting or maybe before Bro Branham preached. Anywayz I was wondering if anybody had it?
A FRIEND'S TESTIMONY [message #1074] Fri, 21 December 2007 02:33
Messages: 35
Registered: December 2007
Location: Auburn, Alabama


I heard the words. I didn't know where they came from. I didn't know they were Scripture, but I knew they were true. The voice said, “This day thy soul is required of thee.”

It was 1986. I was 30 years old, and my life was wasted. I had been an alcoholic since a teenager. I was also a drug addict. I couldn't function without starting everyday by getting 'high' on marijuana. I had made a few vain attempts at religion, in treatment centers, or to escape troubles with parents or authorities, but always with selfish motives. Being raised in the “Bible-Belt,” I had a smattering of the gospel, but I was never convinced enough to believe that it was anything except modern man's mythology. I often tried to bargain with God, and when He wouldn't meet me on my terms, the devil was always quick to accommodate me.

But the devil always left me with the feeling that one day I would have to pay for his favors. So when I heard this voice, I knew my day of reckoning had come. Since I was so miserable and didn't have anything to lose, it came as somewhat of a relief. I had been living in an old run-down house way out in the country in south Alabama, where I was growing marijuana. Ever so often I would drive to my old hometown, which had a college campus, and sell some “pot,” or just party with old friends.

It was on one of these return trips to south Alabama when I heard the voice say that my soul was required. I was driving a small Honda Civic and decided to drive head-on into the first big 18-wheeler truck that came my way. I felt a “peace” about what I was doing, so firing up another joint (marijuana cigarette), I continued down the county road waiting for my opportunity to escape my miserable life. I hadn't gone but a couple of miles or so, when I looked and saw a little toddler {2 year girl) pushing a toy down the white stripe on the side of the highway. It startled me and I immediately pulled over and went to the child. It was a little girl. I couldn't see a house, and when I tried to ask the little girl some questions, she couldn't talk good enough to put a sentence together. I picked her up and walked back the way she had come, and came to a dirt driveway emerging through a thicket of pine trees. As I turned and walked down the driveway, I heard a man cry out, “Rachel, Rachel, O God, where's Rachel!” I saw him come running from the front of a house on the other side of the pine thicket.
For the first time in my life I felt like I had done something good. I felt like a hero, but God had a different purpose. The man and I met about halfway down the driveway. As we made eye contact, I began trembling. The father of the child was a person I had gone to high school with. He had been one of those “Jesus Freaks,” and had always been witnessing to me about salvation. In return, I always mocked him, or laughed him to scorn. He was always carrying a Bible and took advantage of every opportunity to pray or preach. I had thought he was ridiculous. This time was different. Suddenly I wasn't the hero I thought I was. He recognized me, and said my name as I handed him his child.

He sat the child down, turned, looked me right in the eye and asked, “How is your relationship with Jesus Christ?” I buckled at the knees as I told him, “I don't know Jesus. My life is wasted, and I had just been talking with the devil.” He invited me in his house, but I declined. I told him I had to get back on the road. His last words to me as I turned to leave were, “Before you do anything, try Jesus.”

I staggered back to my car, got in and sped away. I lit another joint but it had no effect. My mind was racing. I tried another joint but still no effect. Jesus was real. Jesus was greater. Jesus rescued me. He was my hero. I was certainly convinced, but I didn't know what to do with it. I was so flabbergasted at what had taken place; the hour and a half trip home seemed like five minutes. I went inside and lay across the bed and buried my head in the pillow. I began to talk to God. I said, “God, I've often called to you for help, and guess you always did, because I'm still alive. But I'm going to quit calling you God, because this man said to try Jesus.” So instead of saying, “God help me,” I cried out, “Jesus, please help me.”

At that instant the Prince of Peace came to me and gently removed my old wicked selfish heart and gave me a new one. He took away all condemnation, and translated me from the power of satan into His kingdom, an everlasting kingdom without end. At that moment I was born again, and when my feet hit the floor, I was walking in newness of life. I hadn't committed suicide that day, but I certainly died. Jesus, my Savior and Deliverer from suicide, was also my Creator, and He made me a new creation-old things passed away. He makes all things new simply because, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”

I love you, Jesus. You're my Lord, my God and my Hero.


[Updated on: Fri, 04 January 2008 02:27]

HAVE YOU RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT SINCE YOU BELIEVED? [message #1057] Sat, 15 December 2007 12:07
Messages: 35
Registered: December 2007
Location: Auburn, Alabama
Many well-meaning Christians insist that there is no "Baptism in the Holy Spirit" subsequent to salvation, or, at the very least, that "speaking in tongues" is not the initial sign of the reception of such an experience, the stress of Acts 19:1-7 seems to indicate otherwise. This passage's description of Paul's encounter with a group of Ephesian disciples, his intriguing question, and their subsequent, life-changing reception of the Holy Spirit, is an invaluable teaching tool for relating the nature of that "second experience" known as the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

"And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve" (Acts 19:1-7).

Paul's Puzzling Question

Paul's initial response to these new-born Christians may come as somewhat of a surprise to those schooled in the traditional viewpoint (Mk. 7:9&13: 9 “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject {frustrate} the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” 13 “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”) which holds that every believer receives the Holy Spirit at the time of his conversion --automatically, inevitably, often unconsciously, and usually unceremoniously. In fact, to even broach the question "Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?" is considered in some circles a tell-tale token of a faulty theology. For Paul, however, the question was not only legitimate; it was absolutely essential. Unshackled by the theological assumption that every believer has necessarily received the Holy Spirit and evidently detecting some deficiency in their Christian experience which indicated they had not, the discerning Apostle is bold to inquire, "Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?" (Acts 19:2).

One of the untold tragedies among contemporary evangelicals/fundamentalists is a short-sided theology that refuses to give unbiased attention to the searching, and, might we add, embarrassing (from the standpoint of their theology), implications of Paul's crucial question. Its very existence in the Sacred Text presents an enigma that no amount of theological circumlocution or exegetical acrobatics can adequately explain. The issue is profoundly simple: if Paul believed that every Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit at the time of his or her conversion, the answer to his question of whether they had received the Holy Spirit since their initial belief in the gospel would have been a foregone conclusion. Well might they have answered, "Why, of course Paul, every believer realizes that the Holy Spirit is received automatically the moment he exercises faith in Jesus as the Messiah! Why do you ask?" Paul, however, did not view the answer to his question as self-evident. It was a necessary question, yes, even a crucial one-the answer to which was sure to reveal the status of their spiritual experience. It was, and is, one of those "dangerous" spiritual questions that are sure to raise eyebrows, unnerve the cozy traditionalists, and spawn an interest in investigating an hitherto unexplored realm of Christian experience. As we shall soon see, it is a question which, if honestly considered, could usher you into a new and invigorating dimension of the Christian life. It is, in any event, a question that demands an answer.

Teeming With Implications

The profound nature of Paul's question is seen in the fact that it reflects his understanding -- which, for those who believe in the inspiration of Scripture, is the only reliable one -- of the nature of the believer's reception of the Holy Spirit. Is the reception of the Spirit an optional matter, or is it absolutely essential to empowered Christian living? Do believers automatically receive the Spirit at the moment of their conversion, or is HE received sometime subsequent to salvation? As a rule, is the reception of the Spirit a rather mysterious transaction, or is it an experience of which the believer is definitely conscious? Is the reception of the Holy Spirit to be accompanied by some external token which serves as standard evidence that HE has indeed filled an individual, or is the proof of HIS arrival limited to subjective conviction and/or guesswork? All of these crucial issues are involved in Paul's striking enquiry.

Teeming with implications that we dare not ignore, Acts 19:1-7 portrays the believer's reception of the Holy Spirit as: (1) significant, (2) subsequent to salvation, (3) a supernatural experience of which the believer is definitely conscious and, (4) accompanied by a supernatural sign which signals to observers that the recipient has genuinely received the promised Comforter. It is to a consideration of this four- fold description of the Spirit's reception that we now turn.

A Significant Experience

Isn't it interesting -- and no doubt noteworthy -- that of all the questions Paul could have posed these new born Christians, he chose to ask them, "Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?" Otherwise appropriate questions such as "Are you bearing the fruit of the Spirit?" or, "How are you progressing in the Christian life?" could have suggested themselves to Paul's mind, but amazingly enough, his supreme objective was to know whether they had received the Holy Spirit. Why?

Is it not because the reception of the Holy Spirit is vitally important to the ongoing work of the Lord in the life of the believer? Indeed, Paul recognized -- as did the entire apostolic church -- that apart from the Holy Spirit's infilling, the believer must of necessity be resigned to a mediocre, albeit Christian, existence, Moreover, he evidently detected that there was a missing element in the experience of these fledgling saints and so, out of concern for their souls, posed the pertinent question, "Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?" (Acts 19:2) So significant was the reception of the Spirit in his eyes, that he could not avoid broaching such a personal question. He no doubt knew that Jesus had identified the Holy Spirit as the believer's power Source, when, in one of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances (Acts 1:8), He said "But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me,..." Paul also knew that apart from the infilling of the Holy Spirit these newborn believers would prove woefully ineffective in the fierce struggle that is the Christian life (Hebrews 12:4 “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”) How were they to consistently "walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and {fulfil not} ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”) be "led by the Spirit" (Galatians 5:18 “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”), "pray in the Spirit," (1 Corinthians 14:15 “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” or yield to the Spirit in the all important mortification of the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13 “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”), unless they had first of all received HIS charismatic presence within?

Realizing that the reception of the Spirit was essential to their spiritual development, he was anxious to know whether they had received the Blessed Comforter (John 14:16 “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever”).

Paul's penetrating evaluation of the Ephesian situation has implications for today. If, from the portals of New Jerusalem, Paul were permitted a glimpse of the alarming impotence that characterizes the twentieth century church, would he not suspect, as was the case with the Ephesian disciples, a missing element in its spiritual experience? As the spectacle of rampant divorce (except it be for the cause of fornication [Matthew 5:32 “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” 19:9 “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”]) and remarriage, powerless preaching, creeping lukewarmness and evident worldliness met his eye, might he not well ask, as he did of old, "Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?"

It is painfully obvious to the perceptive observer that the church of our day is suffering severely from a serious power shortage. Unable to minister effectively to the spiritual needs of its members, it has become, more or less, content with the role of a referral agency. When members are stricken with some debilitating disease, the church may be quick to refer them to a leading medical specialist, but it too often finds itself woefully unable to offer the "prayer of faith" which will -- according to Scripture -- without fail heal the sick (James 5:14,15 “Is any sick among you? 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 shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”). Or is it a question of some mental disorder? Here again, the church, just like the world (contrast to Rom. 12:1&2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”), franticly seeks to enlist the assistance of secular psychology and psychiatry, rather than casting out the unclean spirits of depression in the power of the Holy Spirit (Mark 16:17 “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;” Matthew 12:28 “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.”)! The church -- in many quarters at least -- can no longer say with the Apostle Peter, as he spake to the lame man at the gate called Beautiful, "Silver and gold have I none, but, such as I have, give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk" (Acts 3:6). The reason for this is as simple as it is sad: many in the church no longer have what the early church considered absolutely essential -- a supernatural infilling with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”)

Subsequent To Salvation

Another significant issue raised by Paul's probing question is the all important matter of when one actually receives the Holy Spirit-whether at the time of, or subsequent to salvation. While many well-meaning Christians insist that the Holy Spirit is inevitably received at the time of one's conversion,

C. I. Scofield is representative of this view, when he says in a footnote to this passage: "Both passages [alluding to Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” and 19:2 “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.”] could not be stronger in indicating that the Spirit was given at the time of believing; The New Scofield Study Bible (New York: Oxford University Press), 1192.

the grammatical construction of Paul's question indicates otherwise. The original Greek of his query may be accurately translated, "After that ye believed [or, 'having believed'] did ye receive the Holy Spirit?" Crucial to the proper interpretation of this text is an accurate understanding of the time-sequence denoted by the Aorist Participle. C. F. D. Moule, in his book, An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek, 2nd edition. (London: Cambridge University Press), p. 99, cites the general rule for translating the Greek Aorist Participle when he writes:

"When the context positively demands a decision as to the sequence of the actions referred to in the participle and the main verb respectively, it often turns out that a Present Participle alludes to an action with which the action of the main verb coincides (at least in part), while the Aorist participle refers to action previous to what is referred to in the main verb " [italics mine].

Machen also concurs with this rule for translating the Aorist Participle. He concludes: “... The aorist participle denotes action prior to the action denoted by the leading verb, whether the action denoted by the leading verb is past, present or future." Gresham Machen, New Testament Greek For Beginners (Toronto, Canada: The Macmillan Company), pp. 116-117. Though the aorist participle can at times signify action coincident to that of the main verb, the general rule justifies the King James Version translator’s understanding of the time sequence.

The verdict of such authorities can lead to but one conclusion: The King James Version translators were correct in understanding the time sequence of Paul's question as being first, believe, and then, receive the Holy Spirit. This in turn can only mean that the Apostle Paul conceived of the reception of the Holy Spirit as occurring subsequent to salvation. Nor is this the only place in Scripture where they believe on Jesus first/then receive the Holy Spirit sequence is to be found. Acts 8:5-17 “5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
8 And there was great joy in that city. 9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. 12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs {Gr. signs and great miracles} which were done. 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” is equally clear in its teaching that the reception of the Spirit is an experience quite distinct from salvation (cf. v. 16, which, in direct reference to previously saved and water-baptized believers, says: 'For as yet he [the Holy Spirit] was fallen upon none of them...'). In addition, Ephesians 1:13 is highly instructive, especially in view of its correspondence with the experience of the Ephesian disciples, whose reception of the Spirit has been the subject of our discussion. There we read, "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." "After that ye believed"! Clearer evidence could scarcely be found; may it serve to convince the unbiased reader of a valid reception of the Holy Spirit subsequent to salvation.

A Conscious Experience

When Paul asked the thought-provoking question, "Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?" he obviously expected his listeners to be fully aware of whether they had received the Spirit's indwelling presence. That is to say, he understood the reception of the Spirit to be a personal experience of which the believer is vividly conscious. If they had received the Spirit they would know it: and the very fact that they did not know it (verse 2b - 'We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Spirit') served to prove that they had not. Thus, the very wording of his question implies that for Paul the reception of the Spirit was a supernatural, personal occurrence of which the recipient was acutely aware. This is the only rational explanation for the form of Paul's question; it is, moreover, the only view that harmonizes with the body of Biblical evidence which strongly suggests that, for the New Testament believer, the reception of the Spirit was a conscious experience. How else are we to understand such references as 1 John 3:24b- “And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us" -or, Galatians 3:2- "... Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" Plainly, they imply (as does Paul's question in Acts 19:2a “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?”) that the reception of the Spirit is a definite experience to which believers can consciously relate.

A Sign-Attested Experience

In response to the Ephesians’ apparent ignorance of the need of receiving the Spirit after their initial belief, Paul proceeded to lay hands upon them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Immediately the Spirit came upon them, announcing His arrival with a charismatic display of tongues and prophecy (Acts 19:6 “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”). Indeed, in every account in the Book of Acts where we are told what actually happened when believers received the Spirit speaking in tongues is the common feature. (Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”; 10:44-46 “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,” 19:6 “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”), It was the display of tongues that soundly convinced the Jewish believers who accompanied Peter to Cornelius' household that this Gentile gathering had genuinely received the Holy Spirit. They judged by what they heard; and what they heard was tongues- “for they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God" (Acts 10:46). Though often despised today, it was this selfsame, supernatural token that announced the indwelling presence of the Spirit among the 120 in the upper room (Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”), and which was identified by our Lord Himself as one of the signs which are to follow believers (Mark. 16:17 “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;”).

Are you a believer? Are you conscious of a reception of the Spirit accompanied by the sign of tongues? If not - why not?

For More information Contact:
Sandhill Bible Church,
4505 Sandhill Road.
Auburn. AL 36830


[Updated on: Fri, 04 January 2008 02:27]

HAVE WE REALLY FORSAKEN ALL INCLUDING SELF? [message #1048] Wed, 12 December 2007 15:07
Messages: 35
Registered: December 2007
Location: Auburn, Alabama
Praise the Lord Jesus!

My wife, Arlene, and I usually have a time before the Lord as we read and meditate over the word every morning. Today’s readings ended with the verses below.

Isaiah 66:1-2

1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

As I was reading it to Arlene the Lord God Himself came in a stronger way. He impressed me to speak out as I read the underlined words. As I spoke out I was impressed that He was asking some questions and then had some things to say!

Where is the house that you have built? Why have you told others that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit but you have not totally yielded to Me yet? How is it My house when you don’t always make Me welcome? There are times that you take the house back and you push Me out. It is to be My house. O, when will you stop struggling with Me and let Me do My will in and through you? It is I Who will receive the glory and not you! You also have told others that you have the peace that passeth all understanding but I can’t see it as you lose your peace with others and thus with Me. O My son, get out of My way and then and only then will I find My place of rest to be in you. For it is I and I alone Who has started and will complete the building of My house in you. Then I will find my place of rest and you will abide in My rest and that peace that passeth all understanding will abide upon you all to My glory and not yours!

Your servant in Christ


[Updated on: Fri, 04 January 2008 02:28]

THE REAL REASON FOR THE SEASON [message #1043] Tue, 11 December 2007 14:30
Messages: 35
Registered: December 2007
Location: Auburn, Alabama

THE TIME-HONORED tradition of a midwinter celebration in honor of Christ's birth is seldom scrutinized, and almost never suspected of sinister implications. Even to suggest that its observance is a paganistic import and that its festivities are fraught with idolatrous significance is sure to shock, alarm, or even anger the many men and women who cherish its celebration as the high point of their year. Despite the sentimentality associated with its observance, an unbiased review of its historical roots will reveal a startling reality--Christmas is thoroughly unchristian! Beneath the glittering lights, greenery, gift-giving, and reckless gaiety there is a lurking evil of sinister proportions: a thinly disguised paganism parading as "Christian"! Bombastic rhetoric? Ill-informed rant? Hardly. The facts speak for themselves, and in the following paragraphs we intend, by the grace of God, to underscore those considerations that make participation in Christmas unthinkable for true Christians.

Where Did It All Come From?

As one seeks to trace Christmas to its historical roots, one thing becomes obvious: Christmas was not celebrated among the Christians of the New Testament era. Albert Henry Newman, writing in The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, states quite frankly: "There is no historical evidence that our Lords birthday was celebrated during the apostolic or post apostolic times.” Echoing this observation, the M'Clintock And Strong Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature adds rather bluntly: "The observance of Christmas is not of divine appointment, nor is it of New Testament origin... the fathers of the first three centuries do not speak of any special observance of the nativity. "

The fact of Christmas' relatively late introduction (A.D. 360) into the realm of church observance has profound implications: (I) It indicates that the festival was definitely not a tenet of the early, apostolic understanding of Christianity (Acts 2:42; Jude 3); and, (2) it suggests that the festival is an unauthorized addition which lacks Divine approval.

In exposing the relatively late origin of the Christmas observance, the above quoted authorities confirm that it was never part of apostolic Christianity. Though often hailed as an expression of Christian piety, the celebration was utterly absent from that body of truth preached by Jesus, Peter, Paul, and John. The churches of Asia and Europe, who were the privileged recipients of the Apostles' labors, were absolute strangers to the idea of a midwinter festival in honor of Christ's birth. It was definitely not part of the "faith once delivered to the saints," for which the believers were exhorted to earnestly contend (Jude 3; c.f. also Heb. 2:1-4), and is consequently an unauthorized addition-lacking both Biblical support and divine sanction.

While this consideration may seem of little consequence to the casual observer, those familiar with the backward-glancing sentiment of Scripture recognize it as one of the weightiest arguments against Christian participation in the Christmas festival. Basic to any question of Christian practice is the test of antiquity. Says the inspired prophet, "Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls " (Jer: 6:16). Therefore, any observance of a post apostolic origin becomes immediately suspect of being an unwarranted alteration. A striking illustration from the Old Testament may serve to illustrate the point. When Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, offered strange fire (a type of well-intentioned, but unauthorized worship) before the Lord, which he commanded not, "...there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them" (Lev. 10:1, 2). Clearly, any observance, worship form, or practice lacking a Divine and Biblical precedent falls short of God's approval. If for no other reason, the Christmas festival must be rejected by conscientious Christians on this account. The Lord's work and His worship must be conducted His way if they are to enjoy His endorsement.

A crucial question, however, remains to be answered. If Christmas did not derive its origin from Christ or His apostles, from whence, pray tell, did it originate? If you are a patron of this winter festival, you may want to brace yourself for an answer that might prove unnerving.

Out of Paganism and Into the Church

"By us who are strangers to sabbaths, and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to God, the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and Matronalia, are now frequented; gifts are carried to and fro, new year's day presents are made with din, and sports and banquets are celebrated with uproar; oh, how much more faithful are the heathen to their religion, who take special care to adopt no solemnity from the Christians."


"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."


The year was 336 A.D. and the church had but recently emerged from the fiery trials of imperial persecutions. With the alleged conversion of the emperor Constantine himself, the church began to breathe more easily and to bask in the surprising recognition and endorsement that a new era seemed to have bequeathed it. However, as the church adjusted to the changing times, there was a noticeable shift in its attitude toward the world. Its former aversion to all things pagan was rapidly giving way to a growing acceptance of heathen practices. As the salt began to lose its savor (Matt. 5: 13), a policy of cultural accommodation arose whereby the church, in an attempt to make Christianity more appealing to the masses, adopted outright pagan observances and sought to invest their symbols and rites with Christian meaning. It was in the midst of this climate of apostasy that a December 25th celebration in honor of Christ's birth was born. Two observances that especially lent themselves to the church's tendency to Christianize the pagan were Saturnalia and Brumalia, celebrated from December 17th-24th, and on December 25th, respectively. Writing in The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Albert Henry Newman takes note of this attempt to christen the pagan festival and thereby traces the Christmas celebration to its true source:

"The pagan festival with its riot and merrymaking was so popular that Christians were glad of an excuse to continue its celebration with little change in spirit or manner. Christian preachers of the West and the Nearer East protested against the unseemly frivolity with which Christ's birthday was celebrated, while Christians of Mesopotamia accused their Western brethren of idolatry and sun-worship for adopting as Christian this pagan festival.” 1 (emphasis mine)

That this aforementioned accusation was not farfetched may be amply demonstrated from other reliable sources. The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, for instance, adds its weight to our contention with these words.

“December 25th eventually became the officially recognized date for Christmas because it coincided with the pagan festivals celebrating Saturnalia and the winter solstice. The church thereby offered the people a Christian alternative to the pagan festivities and eventually reinterpreted many of their symbols and actions in a way acceptable to Christian faith and practice.” 2

To this evidence we may add the witness of the Dictionary of Bible and Religion:

“Celebration of Christmas on December 25th dates from A.D. 336, when the pagan festival of natalis solis invicti (the birthday of the invincible sun) established by the emperor Aurelian in the third century A.D. was converted to a Christian holy day, referring to "the Sun of Righteousness.” 3

Thus, Christmas, with its gift-giving and merry making, good cheer and universal good will -- that most cherished of the holidays --is actually a paganistic intrusion into Christianity! Don't let its innocent looking face fool you. Don't let its good humor cajole you. Beneath that mask of merrymaking are the insidious minions of hell, laboring behind the veil of the supposedly Christian to lure the unsuspecting into the embrace of the decidedly worldly. The very fact that the world rushes madly into a gay celebration of this allegedly Christian holiday is in itself a witness against a divine origin. You see, the Bible reveals that the world always hates those whom and that which God has chosen. Jesus said to His disciples: “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (Jn. 15:19); and in another place: "...For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God" (Luke 16: 15). No, my dear reader, if Christmas were of God, the world would avoid it just as they do a true New Testament church (Acts 5:13), the uncompromised preaching of the Word of God (In. 3:20), and other genuinely spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). The reason why Christmas is so popular with the masses is because it is not genuinely spiritual. As we have clearly shown, it is of the world, and it is for this very reason that the world loves it so. The unregenerate throng recognizes in Christmas a license and frivolity that answers to their own desire for carnal indulgence (and with the additional sanction of religion!); they simply recognize and love their own (Jn. 15: 19). The Bible, however, warns us as believers not to capitulate to the mindset and ways of life of this world's culture. For those unfamiliar with this Biblical stress, we highly recommend an open hearted reading of the following passages: Rom. 12: 1, 2; 1 Cor. 2:12; 10:14, 21; 2 Cor. 6:14-17; Eph. 4:17; James 4:4; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; 5:19, 21).

Surely, the Puritan, Prynne, was writing in concert with the ruling sentiment of Scripture when he observed:

"Our Christmas lords of misrule. together with dancing. masks, mummeries, stage-players, and such other Christmas disorders now in use with Christians were derived from these Roman Saturnalia and Bacchanalian festivals, which should cause all pious Christians eternally to abominate them" (emphasis mine ). 4

If Prynne's "heavenly accent" is a bit too strong for you, please continue reading; there is more evidence to come!

A Birthday for Jesus?

Perhaps such a flurry of evidence will constrain the conscientious to cry out, "Enough. I concede that Christmas is pagan in origin and was never a part of the original gospel." But then, in an attempt to rationalize its observance, some resort to the sentimental plea: "But isn't it praiseworthy to honor our Lord Jesus Christ on His very own birthday? After all, you celebrate your own, don't you? Such an emotional appeal tends to sway the sentimental and uninformed; for who would object to honoring the birthday of Christ? Consequently many well-meaning but misguided Christians continue to participate in an utterly pagan celebration with a view to providing Jesus Christ with the unrequested privilege of a birthday observance.

In view of this common alibi for continuing to celebrate the holiday, it is ironic that one of the primitive church's primary objections to Christian participation in the Christmas festival was the holiday's dubious claim to be a birthday for Jesus. The early church, as have some Christians since, opposed birthday observances per se on the grounds of their obviously pagan origin. Jane Hatch, in The American Book of Days, makes an interesting observation:

"...In any event, the observance of birthdays generally was wholly condemned as a pagan custom repugnant to Christians. It was in this vein that Origin, the African church father and philosopher, wrote in A.D. 245 that it was sinful even to contemplate observing Jesus’ “birthday as though He were a King Pharoah.” 5

In a similar vein, the Encyclopedia of Early Christianity remarks:

"Origin said that Christians should not celebrate birthdays because it was a pagan custom, adhered to by unrighteous people, such as Pharoah and Herod." 6

That Christmas is definitely not the birthday of Jesus is clearly seen from the fact that the date of the festival, a wintry December 25th, is at variance with the time of Jesus' birth as suggested by the Biblical narrative. Luke records that at the time of Christ's birth there were "shepherd's abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night" (Luke 2:8); whereas, according to Talmudic writers, the flocks in Palestine were brought in at the beginning of November, and not driven to pasture again till toward March. This would rule out a mid-winter birth for Christ.

December 25th, however, was the date of another birthday-the birth of the "invincible sun" at the time of the winter solstice. As the days began to lengthen, winter's back seemed to be broken and the sun appeared to be reborn or resurrected after a wintry death. In pagandom, this astronomical cycle was attributed to the activity of the gods. In fact, the Roman Saturnalia, which no doubt gave Christmas its mid-winter date, was a festival dedicated both to the agricultural god, Saturn, as well as to this renewed power of the sun. Therefore, the birthday unwittingly celebrated by many misguided Christians is sadly that of the physical sun, not that of the Divine Son of God, and their perpetuation of this purely pagan concept brings them dangerously close to virtual sun worship!
With such birthday overtures Jesus remains entirely unimpressed, for, despite their appearance of piety, they remain beggarly "rudiments of the world" (Gal. 4:9; Col. 2:20) to which the true believer is dead (Col. 3:2). In fact, their practice involves one in "will worship" (Col. 2:23), which, due to its arbitrary and self-devised nature, lacks both Biblical authorization and Divine endorsement. Self-made holydays can no more please God than Nadab and Abihu's strange religious fire (Lev. 10: 1, 2), for in matters of worship, it is only the precedent of Divine ordination that lends endorsement to human sincerity (Mk. 7:7; 1 Chron. 15:13; Isa. 8:20).

What's In A Name?

Then again, there is the tell-tale significance of the holiday's name. As is generally the case, titles tend to be descriptive, and the designation, "Christmas," is no different. It describes for us a distinctively Catholic religious rite with ramifications that should disturb every Bible-believing Christian.

According to The Dictionary of Bible and Religion, the name "Christmas" derives from the Old English "Christesmesse," which means "a mass for Christ." 7 This rite, which has for centuries obscured from devoted Catholics the once-for-all efficacy of Christ's atoning sacrifice, purportedly involves a mysterious transformation of the wafer and wine into the actual body and blood of our Lord (see in refutation: Heb. 10:10,12,14). However, the idea that Jesus must be continually sacrificed in this material form flies in the face of the Biblical evidence, which asserts that Christ died once and for all time at Calvary (Heb. 9: 12, 24-28; Jn. 19:30), and is utterly repugnant to the true believer. Nonetheless, multitudes of uninformed Christians lend their moral support every year to this heretical doctrine by joining the happy throng of Christmas patronizers! Oh, Consistency, thou art a rare jewel indeed!

Pagan Potpourri

In addition to the evidence already cited against Christian participation in the Christmas festival, there is the indisputable fact that many of its customary practices are fraught with idolatrous or superstitious significance. Despite the admonitions in Scripture to "flee idolatry" (1 Cor. 10:14), "learn not the way of the heathen" (Jer. 10:2), and "abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Thess. 5:22), the average church member conforms to the prevalent practice of this evil age (contra Rom. 12: 1,2) by turning his once-innocent home into a showcase of pagan practices. Just over the doorstep, a pagan potpourri awaits the unsuspecting visitor. First to strike his shivering senses are melodious strains celebrating a mid-winter birth of the Christ child which never occurred (Jesus was not born in mid-winter; see the above discussion). Then, as he makes his turn into the living room he is greeted by a most unusual and unnatural sight: an erect evergreen, wrenched from its original setting and fastened with hammer and nails (Jer. 10:3-5) to a wooden base-the ancient pagan emblem of eternal life. A disguised idol in any spiritual man's estimate. Curled like a long coiled serpent around its aromatic branches is an ordinary extension cord, studded with glittering bulbs of assorted colors, flashing fitfully like tiny warning lights-a sophisticated version of the lighting that decorated pagan homes during this darkest period of the year to combat evil spirits. Almost taken in by the sight, our visitor tears his eyes from the magnificently decorated tree to canvas the walls of the room. There, over a distant entrance way, he locates a sprig of mistletoe fastened to the wall just above the door frame, an evergreen honored by the Druids at pagan winter solstice festivals as possessing magical properties. Turning to leave, he spies a row of red stockings, hanging neatly from the fire-place mantle, as though anticipating a visit from the popular gift-giver, Santa Claus. This imaginary figure is an American invention, combining features from the traditional children's saint, Nicolas of Myra, with elements of the Germanic fire god, Thor: This jolly obese man, with a penchant for playing God, has perhaps occasioned more parental lies than any fiend this side of perdition. His incredulous story is perpetuated through the generations by those who love and make a lie (Rev. 22:15)-a most unworthy guest in the home of a truth-Ioving Christian (2 Thess. 2: 10-12). As our visitor makes his way over the threshold into the cold mid-winter wind, his mind reels with thoughts of his recent encounter. Troubled, he muses, as must each of us, "An idolatrous evergreen, and lighting to ward off evil spirits, magical mistletoe reminiscent of Druid belief, and the lie of Santa Claus. What does .it all have to do with Jesus Christ, His Bible, and holy living?"

In the silence of his own heart he formulates an answer: "Nothing. Absolutely Nothing." His calm conclusion rings true with those who "have ears to hear."

1 The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge,
s. v. "Christmas," by Albert Henry Newman.
2 The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. s. v. "Christmas."
3 Dictionary of Bible and Religion,
s. v. "Christmas," by John Cooper. .
4 Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature, s. v. "Christmas."
5 Jane M. Hatch, The American Book of Days,
(New York: The H. W. Wilson Co. 1978), 1142.
6 Encyclopedia of Early Christianity. s. v. "Christmas."
7 Dictionary of Bible and Rebellion,
s. v. "Christmas," by John Cooper.

For More information Contact:
Sandhill Bible Church,
4505 Sandhill Road.
Auburn. AL 36830

[Updated on: Fri, 04 January 2008 02:30]

 Topic: Hi All
Hi All [message #869] Wed, 14 November 2007 02:36
Derick N.  is currently offline Derick N.
Messages: 75
Registered: November 2007
I was there for a while, said a few prayers, sung a few songs, did some good and some bad, but am happy about my time at Faith Assembly.

Thanks to whoever did all this. Its good. I like it.

Just wanted to say hello. I'll Probably check in once in a while if its OK.
 Topic: Thoughts for today...
Thoughts for today... [message #602] Mon, 06 August 2007 15:14
william  is currently offline william
Messages: 1222
Registered: January 2006
Senior Member
From Hoekstra's daily devotions Aug 6, 2007:

"I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1Co_15:10). Paul worked harder than any other leader in the early church. Yet, he acknowledged that the enabling reality was the grace of God, not himself. This fits perfectly with another confession from Paul that we have also considered in previous devotions. "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God" (2Co_3:5). Ultimately, such a life is explained as Christ Himself expressing His life in and through our lives. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal_2:20).

Does this mean that those who don't labor as strenuously don't have the grace to do it?

Did the other apostles simply lack the grace that was given to Paul when it came to "their" labors?

Is a lack of diligence on the part of some simply a result of not having the measure of grace that may be with others? If this is the case can we not conclude that there will always be "weak" brothers and sisters among us? I know that the strong, credit God for their strength (or should) but do those who "ought to be teachers..." simply lack the grace to "be teachers?

I've often wondered about the reason we were given the opportunity to participate in the deeper life message. We, at least with our heads, acknowledge that it was the grace of God, but do we really admit that we had nothing to do with it?

I can remember Bruce Kinsey saying that the 14-16 hours a day that HEF spent studying the word was due to "a gift from God". Now, if this is the case, it is obvious that not all have that gift. Do we only acknowledge such "gifts" when the "gifts" exceed our own labors or do we expect that those who don't measure up to a certain level, don't, because of a lack of commitment on their part?

A bunch of questions… mostly rhetorical.


I want to believe!
 Topic: Thanks for the Welcomes/ A Bit of Humor
Thanks for the Welcomes/ A Bit of Humor [message #419] Mon, 22 January 2007 19:13
unclebob_5  is currently offline unclebob_5
Messages: 15
Registered: January 2007
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Junior Member
Thanks to all for their welcomes...God's blessings to all of you today...

And now, a bit of weather-related humor (from the Internet today, I know not the source)...

60 above zero:
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Minnesota plant gardens.

50 above zero:
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Duluth sunbathe.

40 above zero:
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Minnesota drive with the windows down.

32 above zero:
Distilled water freezes.
The water in Bemidji gets thicker.

20 above zero:
Floridians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats.
People in Minnesota throw on a flannel shirt.

15 above zero:
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Minnesota have the last cookout before it gets cold.

People in Miami all die.
Minnesotans close the windows.

10 below zero:
Californians fly away to Mexico
People in Minnesota get out their winter coats.

25 below zero:
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Minnesota are selling cookies door to door.

40 below zero:
Washington DC runs out of hot air.
People in Minnesota let the dogs sleep indoors.

100 below zero:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Minnesotans get upset because they can't start the Mini-Van.

460 below zero:
ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero on the Kelvin scale.)
People in Minnesota start saying..."Cold 'nuff fer ya?"

500 below zero:
"You know what" freezes over.
Minnesota public schools will open 2 hours late

Laughing Cool Laughing Cool Laughing Cool Laughing

 Topic: A little blessing...
A little blessing... [message #229] Mon, 27 March 2006 23:07
william  is currently offline william
Messages: 1222
Registered: January 2006
Senior Member
I was in town on Saturday and I ran across a really neat piece of equipment, it is a Mitsubishi Auto-Changer Double Cassette Deck. For many years we've only had those little walkman type cassette players so this thing really impressed me. It is one of those devices used in a component type hi-fi setup. No one knew if it worked or not so I took a chance and paid $5 for it.

I got it home and boy I'm I impressed! You can load it up with 7 cassettes and it will play them all--both sides of each tape--automatically sensing the silence and switching sides.

It also has a high-speed dubbing feature for duplication of tapes (I got this after I sent you the Steve Hill tape Mark!).

Ok, I'll quit slobbering all over everything and get to the second part.

I was able to hook this baby up to my computer and I found a piece of software which allows me to record directly from the tape, edit the soundtrack and then export it into various formats--including the mp3 format! Man, am I blessed or what?

I can get a pretty good quality mp3 from a cassette which takes up about 13.5 meg... I can of course do better quality if I give up some of my hard-drive space but the recordings that I've done thus far seem as good as the cassette tapes (which won't last forever).

I'm going to convert all of my tapes eventually and then get me one of those little mp3 players that all of the kids have.

The software I'm using is open-source (free) and it is platform independent... I've got it loaded on both my Windows and Linux machines. It will also work on the Mac (Hombre, I think I read somewhere you used a Mac?).

You don't need a 7-tape loading cassette deck to use the software either... you can record stuff from a mic, radio, or a walkman. Of course you need a sound-card for your computer to input stuff, but I'm guessing you all have that.

Here is the software link:


I want to believe!
 Topic: Put a face on that post!
Put a face on that post! [message #112] Sat, 25 February 2006 03:14
william  is currently offline william
Messages: 1222
Registered: January 2006
Senior Member
Hombre mentioned that allowing avatars to be shown with the message might add more personality to the forum, I agree, so if you would like us to see your mug (or tasteful artwork if you prefer complete anonymity) just go to your "User CP" select "Settings" and then go down to Avatars and upload your pic. I'll need to approve it before it shows up, but when approved it will be posted with each of your posts.

The max size should be 100x100 and under 10K.

I put my reading glasses on so I wouldn't be recognized... <grin>



[Updated on: Sat, 25 February 2006 04:35]

I want to believe!
Forum: Bible Issues
 Topic: The Tree of Life
The Tree of Life [message #12263] Sat, 30 September 2017 02:13
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 559
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
Senior Member
Do you ever think about what is going on in a verse. So much of what is written in the bible is two dimensional. By that I mean just the bare fact(s) are given with no extras adjectives or embellishment. Probably because doing so would mean we would need a library instead of a book.

So I gave some thought to the Tree of Life in the Garden.

Genesis 3/24.

The facts
They were driven out of the garden Cherubim were place there along with a flaming sword to guard the tree of Life.

So the first fact we see here is that the Tree of Life must have been available to people on the earth to get to or else why guard it. I'm sure Adam/Eve told their children about it. The whole earth must have known about it. I think the tree of Life was there probably up to the flood. Or at least a long time after the garden.

I did some research some yrs ago and came the opinion that the flood occurred about 7000 BC. Later in going over my OT survey notes I was absolutely astounded to read Bro Freeman believed the flood occurred about 7000 BC. According to those notes he also believed there was about 10-15,000 yrs of history before the flood. An opinion I agree with.

There are lots of conservative scholars (like Bro. Freeman) (and conservative hangers on like me) who believe that the genealogies in the OT are not father son lists. That includes the list in Gen 5. Those who believe in a 6000 yr old earth generally take it from the genealogies. For lots of good reasons a 6000 yr old earth simply isn't credible. By that I mean scriptural reasons not science.

Us human beings or Living Souls as the bible calls us are just a just a pale shadow of the partly physical partly spiritual personality God created in the garden. Both male and female. God created us humans “a little lower than the angels” Ps 8/5
In other words concerning strength abilities intelligence we were created close to what an angel is capable of.

I think over the thousands of yrs of our history (and especially at the flood) we have lost most of the awareness of the spiritual side of our nature. Creation being made subject to vanity is a reference to this as well. Rom.8/20 To at least some degree Adam/Eve (and their descendants) would have been cognizant of and aware of the spiritual realm around them “and” the personalities living in it. Angels for eg.

Adam/Eve had kids and apparently lots of them because they all got mates somewhere. Cain himself established a city (or more probably imo) a civilization. There must have been thousands (or millions) living there. Over the 1000's of yrs of history prior to the flood there must have been many cities and civilizations established. Millions and billions of people. Think of the many civilizations that have risen and fallen just over the last 2000 yrs here in our post flood world.

Genesis 6/11-13 says the earth was filled with violence. Do we think that was just neighbors engaged in fisticuffs? Or is it as I think there were wars big and small. Cities countries civilizations fighting with each other. With all kinds of weapons. With the intelligence people had then some of those weapons must have been horrifying.

So to get to the point of the tree of life . . . It must have been a prize worth having. Eat of it and live forever. Never die! Probably the one prize in all the earth worth having! At least as far as sinful man was concerned. The knowledge of it was certainly in the earth.

I think it is entirely reasonable to assume that not only was the knowledge of it available but that sinful man tried to get to it. Why else block the way.

It is interesting that God set Cherubim there to guard it. Not just angels but cherubim. A personality with a higher class of strength intelligence and ability to guard it. And not just one but cherubim “plural” probably lots of them. And not just Cherubim plural but also some serious spiritual weapon. (the sword which turned every way) Obviously because just the Cherubim wouldn't have been enough.

So to keep sinful men from the tree God had to set very significant powerful spiritual beings and weapons for a defense. Man in his natural state working together on his home ground (the earth) with the weapons their civilization gave them must have been powerful indeed.

Is it beyond reason that sinful men would have lived and planned the same way we do today? Armies don't just up and head off to battle. There is much planning and thought that goes into it. By knowledgeable experienced intelligent people. My point is that I think there were great campaigns and wars designed to get to the tree and eat of it.

As I said it was a prize worth having. Obviously they never got to it though.

[Updated on: Sun, 08 October 2017 00:33]

 Topic: Spirit of Whoredoms
Spirit of Whoredoms [message #12258] Sun, 17 September 2017 20:15
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 559
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
Senior Member
Hosea 14/9 Who is wise and he shall understand these things. Prudent and he shall know them.

The book of Hosea was written mainly to show one truth. The Spirit of Whoredoms its effect causes and results. There is a lot in the book but I want to deal mainly with the Spirit of Whoredoms. But first some detail.

Hosea 1/2 sets the tone for the entire book.
Literally . . . The Land in whoring has whored

After Solomon's death because of his unfaithfulness the kingdom was divided. The northern 10 tribes became the kingdom of Israel and the southern 2 tribes (Benjamin & Judah) became Judah.

The two issues in the book are Israels (northern kingdom) unfaithfulness to God and the reasons for it. In the first 3 chap this is expressed through the prophet Hosea's life.

He is commanded to marry a “women of Whoredoms” (Hosea 1/2-3) Which he does in marrying a women named Gomer. I think this is referring to a women with an unstable heart which is later borne out when she leaves him and runs after other men. They have 3 kids all given prophetic names by God

1. Jezreel - Israel as a kingdom is going to cease
2. Loruhamah – He is not going to have any more mercy on them.
3. Loammi – They are no longer his people & he is not any longer their God

Eventually Gomer runs away after other men and God commands Hosea to go find her and bring her home. When he finds her she is apparently in some sort of slavery because he has to buy her back.

The final 10 chap of the book are a series of somewhat unrelated prophecies. Sometimes the Hebrew prophets would just throw all the information in and expect the reader to sort it out for themselves. This is the case with Hosea. Other of the prophets would carefully document everything sometimes with the day and month.

As I said Hosea just threw everything in and expected us to sort it out. There is some very deep stuff in this book and I don't pretend to understand it all. I do understand some though. As far as I am aware I have never heard anyone talk about a Spirit of Whoredoms. I looked around on the internet and couldn't find any significant info there either

One other significant detail about Hosea is his use of the the term Hesed. Or Chesed. Which is love or kindness expressed as part of a covenant. The point being that Israel may not be faithful but God is going to be. He is rejecting them and exiling them but because of his “Hesed” he is eventually going to bring them back. Hosea 3/4

Some yrs ago the saved members of my family (6 of us) started meeting weekly to pray for our family. We did so for several yrs. What I am sharing here came from what the Lord showed me in those times of prayer.

The book of Hosea is dealing with this one subject in the entire book.
Hosea 5/4
Hosea 4/12
KJV Sp. of Whoredoms
NIV Sp. of Prostitution
NASV Sp. of Harlotry

It was the cause of Israel and Judah's turning away from the Lord and shows Gods attitude toward it and its results. It should be said here that there is no relationship between this spirit and any kind of fornication or sexual activity. None whatsoever. It is entirely spiritual.

This spirit comes into a family / person / region / nation after God gives light & salvation and understanding and then the people backslide. This happened in my family. In the Welsh revival of 1905 my family got saved and eventually the family walked away from the Lord. Or they didn't go on living in the light they had. They didn't teach their children the ways of the Lord and eventually the door opened and this spirit came in.
When salvation and understanding of Spiritual things is given and not walked in or ignored or forgotten about in a nation or family or person eventually the door opens and this spirit comes in and eventually when it really gets a hold it prevents them from returning to the Lord.

John Wesley said in his comments on Hosea 4/12
. . . they have a heart ensnared in Whoredoms. It blinded and deceived them.
He phrased it that way because he understood it.

Ezek 16 is dealing with the same subject. Spirit of Whoredoms
2Thessalonians 2/9-12 in this vs you see the final stage of a spirit of whoredom expressed through Gods sovereignty ie . . . God shall send . .
Jer. 44 especially vs 15-19. completely deceived.

How does it work

Blinds their minds so they cannot see and understand. Believe a lie.
Interferes with the circumstances of their life so they don't hear the Gs word. Which will give them light. Or the parable of the sower. (hard ground/ wayside)
It takes away the strength of their heart so they cannot stand. Do not have the strength to resist or fight.
Turns their heart so they don't want to return to the Lord

It also has a human component Hosea 5/4 (they will not frame) & 11 Thess. 2/9-12-- (because they received not). There comes a point where the spirit will completely overcome the person and they are just too far gone to come back. Until that time the person can still by one means or another get back to the Lord if they really want to and persist.

I think this originally came into Israel in the later times of Solomon's reign. 1 Kings 11. It came into the nation and then fought tooth and nail to dominate. Because of Solomon's sin God divided the nation. The 10 northern tribes almost entirely forsook the Lord. Eventually going into the Assyrian captivity.

The southern tribe Judah (and Benjamin) took longer but eventually suffered the same fate with Babylon (and for the same reasons). The book of Hosea was written right at the time of King Ahaz. 2 Chron.28/22-23.

The spirit of Whoredoms is often found working with a spirit of witchcraft. Which is interesting because they are both doorkeeper or control spirits. Meaning they are a higher level of strength and intelligence and ability and have other spirits working for them.
Isaiah 57/3 literally . . . sons of the sorceress and she will commit whoredom.
11 Kings 9/22 Whoredoms and witchcraft s ( words in the bible are not put together by accident)
Nahum 3/4 This entire book is dealing with Gods judgment on Assyria which for a time ruled the entire OT world. This vs tells us why they succeeded.

Without going into too much detail it is quite interesting to me that my father with a family controlled by an ancestral spirit of witchcraft married a women with a family controlled by an ancestral spirit of Whoredoms. My mothers family forsook the Lord and it was the later generations that paid the price.

Some thoughts and characteristics of this spirit. Some of these are very strange but they are on the page so I'm including them. It should be said here that there can be other reasons for these problems. But these are in Hosea and the spirit of Whoredoms is one big reason why people have them.

1/ Chronic backsliding

2/ Hosea 4/6 You are unable to protect your children. This absolutely characterized my family. When I was a teenager my mother got saved and filled with the HS and started fighting against the devil with the result our entire family got saved.
Is there anything more tragic then being unable to protect your children? Ancient societies (and some today) even including King Solomon sacrificed their own kids to evil Gods. Why would normal ordinary people do that? Why would otherwise normal, understanding, supposedly intelligent people sacrifice their own children through abortion? And see nothing wrong with it!

3/ Hosea 4/3 Land will languish – no prosperity – diminish ordinary. I think it means the ordinary things in life. Money health kids do well etc.

4/ Hosea 4/3 Very interesting it says this . . . the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. Odd? In Canada we have a province called Newfoundland. It joined our confederation in 1949. Before that it was a British protectorate. The entire NFL economy was built on the Cod fishery. The school system there was coordinated entirely by the Anglican and Pentecostal churches. Some yrs ago there was a strong move by the secular authorities to remove education from the churches. Well about that time the Cod completely disappeared. The Govt still isn't completely sure why. I think there is a direct connection.

5/ Hosea 4/7 Shame will cover you. Know anyone like that? It sure characterized my family.

6/ Hosea 4/11 Ezek. 16/30 Unable to stand strong in your life – take away your heart. Lots to say here. Says it several times throughout the passages.

7/ Totally unaware of evil in your life and being done to you until it is too late. A spirit of stupor. Unaware of what is going on around you until it is too late. You just don’t see.

8/ Hosea 4/5 I will destroy your Mother. I don't really understand this but it is there on the page.

Eventually when that spirit gets control.

God will withdraw his justice
Won’t requite wrong
Given over those hate you
Won’t protect the innocent
Barrenness in all your life
Lack of prosperity
Enemies not just hurt you - but pursue to destroy

There is lots more that could be said here about characteristics but this covers the basics. These things happen not because God is mad at people but they are spiritual laws. They are the activities of an evil spirit that get entrance into a persons life or family or country.

I think this spirit is a major force in our western world. All our countries of course but particularly America. It has had more light than any other nation outside Israel. And for all practicable purposes it has forsaken it all. Why spirit filled Christians think they can fight these principalities with secular courts and political power is beyond me.

The Holy spirit said by prophetic utterance through a prophet yrs back “that fighting the enemy (who is a spirit) with these weapons is like fighting an enemy tank with a sling shot.”

In my opinion this spirit is a major force in our western world and particularity America. And its going to get much much worse

Whoredoms and Witchcraft they go together in the bible. I believe they have not yet reached the height of their power (particularly in America) and they are controlled by even more powerful personalities. Spirits of Wickedness in high places.

One last point here.
Hosea 4/12 is there any difference between listening to their staff and the atheism all around us today. They look at the world around us and say their is no God. Solomon said the fool says there is no God

[Updated on: Fri, 15 June 2018 03:40]

 Topic: Unregenerate Israel and the Believer
Unregenerate Israel and the Believer [message #8467] Fri, 28 October 2011 13:01
lesjude  is currently offline lesjude
Messages: 48
Registered: October 2011
Location: Camden, NY
God does not punish any nation for not supporting Israel. His heart is salvation, not judgment.
The devil does not do God's job and God does not do the the devil's job. This is where judgment begins, when it begins: 1 Peter 4:17-18 (New King James Version)
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now
“ If the righteous one is scarcely saved Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” BY "RIGHTEOUS" PETER IS REFERRING TO I COR 3:15 CHRISTIANS OF WHICH LOT IS A TYPE (SEE GEN 19). THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURE IS THE HEART OF JESUS UNTIL JUDGMENT DOES COME: Luke 9:54-56 (New King James Version)
54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”[a]
9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. THIS IS WHY THE BIBLE SAYS CHRISTIANS ARE TO DO THE FOLLOWING: BRING THEM THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM AND PROVOKE THEM TO JEALOUSLY BY LIVING AND DEMONSTRATING THE KINGDOM OF GOD (SEE MATT 5, 6 AND 7 MARK 16:17-18, AND MATT 10:7-8) AND PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM WHICH IS CHRIST'S 2ND COMING. Religious Jews CANNOT live the heart of Christianity (Matt 5, 6 and 7) or do any part of Matt 10:7-8. The church provokes Jews to laughter with xmas, easter and religion. The devil is pleased to distract Christians from what God says to do, with partisan politics on behalf of unregenerate Israel along with the things the devil does to make it look like God is judging the US for not supporting Israel's world agenda. There are whole ministries wasting time doing this. Israel despises the US and thinks of the people as fools to be used. WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN ANYWHERE IT IS SIMPLY THE CONSEQUENCES OF A FREE WILL CHOICE TO LIVE IN THE DEVILS KINGDOM INSTEAD OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD. THE DEVIL IS A CRUEL KING. THESE CONSEQUENCES SHOULD NEVER BE SEEN AS GOD'S JUDGMENT. HIS JUDGMENT WILL COME SOON ENOUGH, BUT HIS HEART NOW IS SALVATION. IT IS TRUE THAT MANY WILL SEE THAT THE CONSEQUENCES OF 'FREE WILL' LIVING IS NOT A GOOD CHOICE AND SEEK JESUS. IN THE MEAN TIME WE NEED TO SEEK HEAVEN TO DO WHAT IT SAYS IN MATT. 10:7-8, MARK 16:17-18 AND LIVE MATT 5, 6, AND 7.
I will add that the creation of Israel, just as Christ death, was God's perfect will. The Jews (who are not ethnic Jews but converts) meant the founding of Israel for their own evil purposes. So far they are doing VERY well!

[Updated on: Fri, 28 October 2011 13:05]

 Topic: How "user friendly" is Jesus?
How "user friendly" is Jesus? [message #8458] Thu, 27 October 2011 23:06
lesjude  is currently offline lesjude
Messages: 48
Registered: October 2011
Location: Camden, NY

Jesus is compassionate. He demonstrates the the love of His Father throughout the gospels by healing ALL that came to Him, setting people free from demons, raising the dead, and feeding the hungry with His word. The all inclusive purpose of His ministry was to teach, preach and demonstrate the Kingdom Of God by the power of the Holy Spirit; and raise up disciples to do the same. This has NOT changed, but it seems the current meaning of discipleship has.

Jesus ALWAYS rebuked unbelief in His disciples at every occasion. Let us look at them.

1. His disciples were EXPECTED to have faith in what Jesus said, not whine.

Mark 4:35 (New King James Version)

Wind and Wave Obey Jesus

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”

37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.

38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?

40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”[a]

2. Peter demonstrated faith when he was the only one that got out of the boat to walk on the stormy sea.One would think Jesus would cut Peter some slack. It was not the case. It should be noted that Jesus did NOT let Peter drown and it is obvious as to why. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”[a] "saved" (sozo) means a LOT more than having ones sins forgiven. This is what Jesus was demonstrating!

Matthew 14:30-31 (New King James Version)

30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous,[a] he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

3. Jesus expected His disciples to heal and cast out demons. NOTHING has changed! Note His rebuke for their unbelief. Perverse means corrupted, turned aside. In this case turned aside or corrupted from the meaning and use of FAITH to set people free from powerful demons. HAVING COMPASSION!

Matthew 17:16-17 (New King James Version)

16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”

17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” THE DISCIPLES CHOSE NOT TO BE OFFENDED AND AS A RESULT RECEIVED INSTRUCTION FROM JESUS. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A TEACHABLE HEART. IT WILL SAVE ONES LIFE. (see King David)

4. Jesus spoke the Words His Father gave Him. His disciples were EXPECTED to believe them, not try to put their own "spin" on things or be offended.

60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”

64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.


66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.


67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”


68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”[a]

5. Let us look at corporate unbelief. Christian leaders and Christians who think they know Jesus are the cause of a culture of unbelief in the churches. It is difficult to overcome.

Matthew 13:55-58 (New King James Version)

55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses,[a] Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 So they were offended at Him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

6. The disciples experienced a devastating trauma when Jesus was crucified. However He still expected them to believe the report:

Isaiah 53:1 (New King James Version)

1 Who has believed our report?


10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.

14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.


38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.[a] 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.[b] 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.


2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”

They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately[a] got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.


John 14:17 (New King James Version)

17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

John 16:13-14 (New King James Version)

13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.


Acts 2:4 (New King James Version)

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:38-39 (New King James Version)

38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”


Hebrews 11:6 (New King James Version)

6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
 Topic: If It Be Thy Will?
If It Be Thy Will? [message #8455] Thu, 27 October 2011 22:19
lesjude  is currently offline lesjude
Messages: 48
Registered: October 2011
Location: Camden, NY
Can Christians receive a yes by faith to prayer if the request is contrary to the latest charismatic teaching from the Father's heart, opposed by all the elders; they are called names, told no, and told to go away? You make the call.
 Topic: Whose Father is it?
Whose Father is it? [message #7777] Sat, 23 April 2011 15:05
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 559
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
Senior Member
The question is . . .

Is the Father of Jesus the Allah of the Muslims. A related question would be "Is the Father of Jesus the one the Jews worship". Christianity Today had an editorial on the Muslim question some time ago. I looked for it but couldn't find it. Their conclusion was that he isn't. I would agree. God has a triune nature but the God we worship is Jesus. The visible representation of the triune God is Jesus.

To my mind even asking the question is indicative of the days we live in. Once you start compromising even a little on important issues like this where does it stop.

The writer here is part of the evangelical establishment. A born again christian. He teaches in the rarefied heights of Yale university. I would agree with the thrust of his book that we need to find common ways of living with our Muslim neighbors but you don't do it by compromising on Jesus. Peter said Acts 4/12 that Jesus is the only way. ianssamegod.html
 Topic: New manuscript findings...
New manuscript findings... [message #7740] Mon, 04 April 2011 02:24
william  is currently offline william
Messages: 1222
Registered: January 2006
Senior Member
Anyone seen this yet? First-portrait-Jesus-1-70-ancient-books.html

Last week there was another article mentioning this as well... fascinating!


I want to believe!
 Topic: Mark Chapter 1
Mark Chapter 1 [message #7690] Fri, 04 March 2011 02:10
JWBTI  is currently offline JWBTI
Messages: 289
Registered: March 2007
Location: Ohio
Senior Member
14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1:14-15 (KJV)

It has been over 2000 years sense Jesus spoke those words.
How do we define this passage ?

The time is fulfilled ?Does this mean…?
The completion of prophecy…Or
The completion of a time span ?
Or Both ?

The Kingdom of God is at handDoes this mean…?
The Eternal everlasting visible Kingdom is at Hand (close by-near in time) or
Does it mean that Jesus is near to us, personally as in walking close to us daily
Or Both ?

Repent ye and Believe the Gospel !

I am so Glad that Jesus made this simple to understand !

Repent: Change your mind…Let His mind be in us..
Believe: Trust !
The Gospel: The Words that He Spoke (Old and New)

 Topic: Faith or Desire
Faith or Desire [message #7363] Tue, 21 September 2010 19:03
grandom  is currently offline grandom
Messages: 404
Registered: October 2007
Senior Member
Is it faith or is it desire?

We can desire any of the thousands of promises in the word. Does that entitle us to get them?

Jesus desire is that all these promises are ours. Does that mean we will get them?
Can we hinder and actually nullify the promises of God?

Consider Ex 3:17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. God promised it. Did it happen? Of all the hundreds of thousands of His children, only two entered in. Why? They saw the giants in the land and did not BELIEVE what God had said.God`s desire was for all His people to enter in. Only two did.

Mat 9:27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us. It doesn't tell us how long they cried but there cries did not heal them Mat 9:28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Their crying didn't heal them. It was their faith.

Mat 19:26 says that all things are possible with God. Mat 12:22 qualifies that "All things believing you shall receive."
God addresses unbelief in numerous places but in James 1:6-7 says ask without wavering for unbelieving person will receive nothing.

Mark 6:5-6. Jesus couldn't do any mighty works because of their unbelief.

Faith or desire. What are you using for your giants in the land?

Be blessed.
ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS [message #7343] Thu, 16 September 2010 15:27
grandom  is currently offline grandom
Messages: 404
Registered: October 2007
Senior Member
Onward Christian Soldiers

Another old hymn I was reflecting on the other day. You don't hear much of anything about warfare or fighting a good battle in sermons or music of today. I believe that most (professing) Christians of today haven't a clue about being at war with the devil. I hate to preface people by saying professing Christians each time but so many today claim to be Christians and their lives reflect every thing but living as Christ lived.

The devil doesn't spend to much time warring with professing Christians. They really aren't causing him any problems. Paul exhorts Timothy in 1 Tim 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare. 1 Tim 6:12 he is urged to fight the good fight.

May I submit that if you are doing the will of the Father Brothers and Sisters you are in a warfare. I`m sure I don't have to remind you of that fact. We are all in a war with eternal consequences.
I would that all read again eph 6. God has given us the weapons we need to fight and remember he is a defeated foe.
I encourage and exhort, be strong in the Lord. Eph 6:14 stand therefore. Watch and pray.

Be Blessed
 Topic: The New Testament Pattern
The New Testament Pattern [message #7078] Sat, 08 May 2010 04:37
william  is currently offline william
Messages: 1222
Registered: January 2006
Senior Member
Actually the "Biblical Pattern".

As the Lord established Himself in the new nation of Israel with the
giving of the Law, it becomes obvious that His plan for mankind is being
unveiled. Interestingly enough He chooses an unlikely and relatively
small group of people to make Himself known. Without their obedience His
message would not proceed very far. Apart from the tables of stone
written with His own finger there wouldn't be a whole lot of evidence of
God's plan if the recipients hadn't taken some responsibility to both
document and preserve His words for future generations.

That revelation could be further compromised by the lack of morality, by
those to whom the Word had come. Fortunately the written record survived
despite the moral failings of His chosen people. Even the lack of
faithfulness on the part of trustees was documented and preserved so that
future generations could see aspects of God's grace and forbearance that
might otherwise be hidden.

Fast forward to the New Testament. The Jews have neglected their
responsibility to bring the light of the good news to the gentile nations
and have become introverted. In the span of a few years they reject God's
renewed attempt to restore their prominence as bearers of His revelation
which turns out to be a blessing for the gentiles. They officially reject
God's offer of salvation obtained through the suffering and death of His
own son.

God had once again offered to them the responsibility of bearing His
standard to the world and in the pages of the Book of Acts you seen them
time and again rejecting His offer.

They wanted to continue to be focused upon those things that seemed to
make them unique-adherence to an outward conformity to a myriad of
minutia. They saw the details but failed to see the grand mosaic that was
spread before them. Paul finally has had enough of their rejection and
says: (Act 28:28) Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of
God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

They did indeed hear the message of the Gospel and proceeded to spread it
far and wide.

Fast forward to the present day. As gentiles we were given the same
responsibility to spread the good news by offering God's salvation to all.
This has been done to some degree throughout Church history with various
levels of success. The main problems that continue to hinder the
successful propagation of that message is the same problems that the Jews
encountered-pride and sin. (Obviously pride IS SIN!)

We spend our days thanking God that we are not like that sinner, and just
like the Pharisee we wrap ourselves in the knowledge that we are "the
elect". Oh the simplicity of the Gospel! Love God with our whole heart
and love our perishing neighbors as we love ourselves!

None of us know how much time we have left to spread His message;
shouldn't we spend the rest of our days doing just that? How much time
have we wasted as professional critics; critiquing this group or that
group, instead of preaching the good news of our common salvation, and the
blessings derived from following His Word?

As far as I can tell the first attempt to mold the Church into the failed
methodology of the past came from the Judaizers who wanted to burden the
growing-by-leaps-and-bounds Church by preaching: You must be circumcised
to be saved! We have our own variations but the message is the same-- Do
This, or Don't do that, or you can't be saved. Shouldn't we have the same
sort of answer to those false messages as did the early church? Is the
Lord's arm so short as to be unable to save without us trying to help Him
produce good works in the people He chooses?

The message then is the same message today--preach the Good News of the
Gospel and the Holy Spirit will come as a refining fire to purge the dross
from the midst of His people. He has His work and we have ours, let us
not become as the Jews became-so introverted as to be unable to perceive
God's plan for the world. They failed miserably and we will fail too...
unless we learn the lessons that have been clearly set before us.



 Topic: Worship is a Verb
Worship is a Verb [message #2015] Wed, 04 June 2008 03:22
jisamazed  is currently offline jisamazed
Messages: 170
Registered: January 2008
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Senior Member
"...Yet a time is coming, and now has come, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. For God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24

I've read and heard many different comments from former "faith message" people over the past year. Regardless of their perspectives on their experiences, I have noticed that there is one consistent positive comment that people have made: they really miss the way we would worship the Lord in church. It was heartfelt, spontaneous and fervent. On one hand, we were not bound to strict litergy and hymns only out of hymnbooks. On the other hand, it was not showy and artificial and self-absorbed. The beautiful melodies we used to sing were often written to scripture, and we have memorized passages based on those songs (remember Psalm 100 or Isaiah 41:10?). It was not about how slick or smooth the instrumentation was, nor did we showcase fancy guitar riffs. The Holy Spirit might lead guitar player to play skillfully like the Psalm says, but that was not our focus. We could sing loud (hopefully in tune), we could sing soft, we could clap, dance for joy, raise our hands, kneel (once people got freed up), pray, wait for the gifts of the Spirit to flow, etc...

I miss that. I think a lot of us miss that. The church that I am currently a part of has similar freedom, and in some ways even more, but I cut my teeth on the "faith" group. That way of worshipping the Lord in church became a part of my spiritual DNA.

Robert Weber wrote a book in the late eighties called, "Worship is a Verb." I never read the book, but the title speaks volumes. It caught my eye at a bookstore one day, and I was taken aback by it. As I thought about it later, I realized that he is right. Worship is always a verb in the Bible, never a noun. There is no such thing as "the worship". It is what you do. It is not this thing that we evaluate and judge and decide that this church has it and that one doesn't. We just do it. We are to focus on our risen Lord and not pay attention to whether or not others are doing things "just right". If you are worshipping the Lord with other Christians and they sing hymns out of a hymnal, join them and do it with all your heart, even if you feel like you can't raise your hands because of the hymnbook. Maybe you can it aside and raise them anyway. If there is a set liturgy, make the most out of it and worship the Lord wholeheartedly like Wigglesworth did when he visited the Anglican church. God's children are at many different places in their journey to heaven, and he meets them where they are, even if they are stuck in liturgy land. Yes, he loves us too much to leave us there, but our job is not to judge the way others worship, but rather to give Him our best wherever we are. Maybe people will follow our example. Maybe we will learn something.

It is always important that a church be open for the Holy Spirit to move and do something unexpected. He likes to interrupt the program. We sometimes had our own liturgy in the faith camp: a couple fast songs, then some slow, quiet songs, a time for some utterance gifts, a testimony or two, an "I confess such and such...", maybe another song or two, and usually a song about the blood of Jesus before the teacher came to the pulpit. If we were so set in that order that we could not follow the Holy Spirit to do something different, we were no different than Anglicans or Baptists or Reformed or whatever else that had their own set way of of doing things.

Even if you are in a fellowship that does not function in the gifts of the Spirit (not just the utterance gifts) during church, worship him fervently, anyway. Whatever you do, do with all your heart to the Lord. That is what He desires from us when we worship Him. It is what you do. Do it simply because He is worthy of it, regardless of what the people around you are doing or are not doing.

"Worthy, so worthy are you, Lord; worthy to be thanked and praised and worshipped and adored..."

Amazed smitten astonished stunned floored blown away astounded shocked flabbergasted surprised wonderfully devastated awed shattered overwhelmed incredulous speechless sense of wonder at the love of God.
THE UNIQUENESS OF JESUS [message #1140] Sat, 26 January 2008 18:17
Messages: 35
Registered: December 2007
Location: Auburn, Alabama


A new and unusual age of religious pluralism seems to be bursting upon the American scene. The cultural exchange facilitated by means of mass communication and transportation has brought with it a steady influx of strange religious ideas and practices, particularly from the East. Given impetus by the Hippie Movement (a revolt of American youth against traditional religious and social norms stemming from a disillusionment with the materialism of the age), this Eastern influence has made its presence felt in the rapid growth of interest in yoga, transcendental meditation, psychic experiences, and occultism of all forms. The West's increasing fascination with Eastern thought and practice is reminiscent of Isaiah's description of decadent, eighth century B.C. Judah: "Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished [Heb. 'They are full from the East'] from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers" (Isaiah 2:6). This explosion of eastern religious ideas upon American soil has won the acceptance of many within the scientific community, sparked a "human potential movement” bent on realizing personal godhood (remember the serpent's age-old lie: ' shall be as gods' [Gen. 3:5 “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”]?), foisted a pantheistic world view upon minds that were largely, though imperfectly, conditioned by a Judeo-Christian one, and-most alarmingly-reshaped the thinking of some in Christendom to embrace a less-than-Biblical view of Jesus Christ.

The existence of religious pluralism has presented a new challenge to believers in America and has rendered necessary a bold reaffirmation of the UNIQUENESS OF JESUS. Is our Lord to be regarded merely as a highly proficient guru in a long line of Eastern adepts or is He, as the Scriptures declare Him to be, God in the flesh? Is faith in Jesus Christ the only way of salvation, or is Christianity merely one way among many religious paths that share a common essence and which ultimately lead to the same destination? In what sense is the Biblical teaching concerning the resurrection of Christ and the believer unique and superior to the oriental concept of reincarnation and eventual absorption into the "Universal Soul"? These questions, and others, must be satisfactorily answered if we, as conscientious believers, are to "keep the FAITH" (2 Timothy. 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”) and effectively repel the influence of the pagan religions of the Orient.

Almighty God-Not Just Another Guru

From Islam to Hinduism and from Buddhism to Baha'ism, the religions of the East are united in their contention that Jesus Christ is not uniquely Divine. Dr. Hobart E. Freeman, distinguished author and Bible scholar, has written concerning Baha'ism's attitude toward Jesus: "He was not unique, according to Baha'ism. He was a prophet, but only one of many whom God has sent into the world at certain times to witness to their generation. Christ was the prophet of the Christians, as Moses was the prophet of the Jews. Others were such religious leaders as Mohammed, Zoroaster, Buddha, and Confucius." (Hobart E. Freeman, Every Wind of Doctrine, (Warsaw, IN: Faith Ministries and Publications, 1974), p. 74.) Such a deluded evaluation of Jesus is characteristic of devotees of the drug culture, Hinduism, Christian Science, Unity School of Christianity (falsely so called), Mind Science, yogis, etc., and is increasingly conditioning the mindset of Western civilization. No longer a bastion of conservative Christianity, the West is increasingly looking Eastward for spiritual direction and is, in the process, losing its appreciation for the unique and absolute Deity of Jesus Christ.

Despite, however, this alarming trend, the Bible is unflinching in its declaration that Jesus Christ is, in fact, God (e.g., John. 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”). To deny this Biblical testimony to the absolute Divinity of Jesus Christ is to strike at the very foundation of Christianity, which is squarely built upon the understanding that God has assumed humanity for the purpose of suffering and dying as the sacrificial Lamb of God (1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”; Hebrews 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” 14 “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;”; John. 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away {beareth} the sin of the world.”; 1 Corinthians 5:7 “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed {is slain} for us:”). In fact, it is the Divinity of Jesus that gives His sacrificial death its saving power; for the blood of a mere man, being sinful can not save from sin! (Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”), By virtue of the virgin birth, God side-stepped the universal stain of original sin and assumed a real, though sinless, humanity. (Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”; Matthew 1: 22&23 “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”) It was in virtue of His unique person (simultaneously both Divine and human), that He could offer Himself as a sinless sacrifice dying on the Cross in our stead (1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”). This is why the apostle Paul could refer to Christ's shed blood as the very blood of God: "...feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood" (Acts 20:28 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”). A denial of the Deity of the Lord Jesus is therefore a repudiation of the saving power of His sacrifice, without which men everywhere are doomed to the torments of eternal punishment (Mark. 16:16b “but he that believeth not shall be damned.”; John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”). If one refuses to believe that Jesus is the great "I Am" (Exodus 3:14 “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”) of the Old Testament then he will certainly die in his sins (John 8:24 “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”). It is therefore no small matter when men begin to think of Jesus as somehow less than Divine, as do the Cults, Liberals, and all Eastern religions. In attempting to rob Jesus of His unique Divinity men tamper with the truth of God's Word, and expose their souls to grave peril.


If we are to rescue the Biblical concept of Christ's unique Divinity from the pluralistic religious influences that are presently molding the mind set of contemporary society, we must recover what the Scriptures plainly teach concerning this important subject. The following should serve to illustrate the wealth of undeniable Biblical evidence pointing to the absolute deity of Jesus Christ:



John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
John 20:28 “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”
Romans 9:5 “Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”
Philippians 2:6 “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Titus 2:13 “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”
1 John 5:20 “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
Hebrews 1:8 “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”


John 1:3 “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
10 “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”
Colossians 1:16-17 “16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. ”
Hebrews 1:2-3, 10 “2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:”


Hebrews 1:6 “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten {unique} into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.”
Matthew 14:33 “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”
28:9 “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 worshipped him.”
John 20:28 “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”


Mark 2:5-7 “5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?”
Colossians 3:13 “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel {complaint} against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”


"...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."(John 14:6).

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

Due to the current drive to develop dialogue between major world religions in the interest of world peace, the message of the above-mentioned passages, which have been historically interpreted as asserting explicit faith in Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation, is being increasingly questioned. Here again, the pressure to formulate a "pluralistic theology," so as not to offend or alienate worshipers of other religions, has been keenly felt by both Catholic and Protestant alike.

It seems as though modern man, with his obsessive aversion to religious intolerance and his frequent dislike of those who claim to know the truth (contra John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”; 1 Timothy 2:4 “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”; 1 John 4:6 “We are of God:[ he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”), is intent on re-interpreting Christianity in an effort to embrace adherents of native religion the world over. In so doing, he downplays the importance of Jesus' uniqueness and seeks for some common denominator around which world religions can rally. Despite this search for a "common essence" among world religions, Biblical Christianity remains essentially and unchangeably at odds with every religious alternative in that it unequivocally states that its message is God's final saving Word to mankind (John 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”; Hebrews 1:1 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,”). Apart from a knowledge of and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”), all men are doomed to an eternity of conscious torment (Mark. 16:15-16 “15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”) here we see that salvation is conditioned upon faith in the gospel and not upon dutiful observance of native religion; (cf. also John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”; John 8:24 “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”; John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”; Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”; 2 John 9 “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”).

In addition, it is well to remember that Christianity did not begin within the social context of a religious vacuum. The apostles of our Lord Jesus encountered a largely unsympathetic world teeming with varying religious sentiments, as is attested by the Ephesian mob's hysterical cry "Great is Diana of the Ephesians!" and by the various objects of worship that dotted the landscape of religious Athens (Acts 19:28 ”And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.”; 17:22-23,29 “ 22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions {gods that ye worship}, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.”). Theirs was -as ours is- an age of religious diversity. And yet in the very midst of this pluralistic environment these servants of God were bold to declare that God wanted Gentiles to "turn from these vanities unto the living God" (Acts 14:15 “And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:”)

Can one honestly imagine the Apostle Paul, who traversed sea and land to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation in Christ, seeking some common bond between the gospel and the gross idolatrous religion that was the order of his day? Even to ask such a question is to expose the absurdity and sheer nonsense of seeking to develop dialogue with the pagan religions of the world! To those searching for sure salvation our response must ever be, as was Paul's: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." (Acts 16:31)

There is, moreover, another consideration that points to an irreconcilable conflict between Christianity and other "faiths." In citing the very commissioning words of the resurrected Jesus, Paul reveals the motivating purpose of his apostolic mission to the Gentiles as being: "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me " (Acts 26: 18). Plainly, the apostle, as did his Master, considered the Gentile world to be groping in a satanically induced darkness and in dire need of the forgiveness, spiritual inheritance, and sanctification that is only to be found in Jesus! Why else would Paul brave the perils of a heathen world to bring them a message that was so often offensive to their religious sensibilities? (2 Corinthians 11:26 “In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;”; 1 Corinthians 1:23 “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;”) If steadfast devotion to their native religions was sufficient for salvation, why even bother to evangelize?

Obviously, an intelligent faith in Jesus as God and Savior is essential to salvation. Moreover, such faith is produced by hearing the gospel faithfully proclaimed by men sent from God. The inspired words of Paul, himself a champion of the UNIQUENESS OF JESUS, should forever settle the question of whether non Christian religions can be a way of salvation and serve to underscore the urgent need of telling a lost and dying world about Jesus: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord [Jesus] shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how: shall they believe in him of whom they have not: heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? (Rom. 10:13-15a). No man comes to the Father except through Jesus (John. 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”). Buddha, Mohammed, Hinduism, or any other religious alternative will simply not suffice--ye must be saved by calling on the name of the uniquely divine Son of God.

Resurrection, Not Reincarnation

Reincarnation is (transmigration-rebirth as an animal, plant or insect is a broader term. See Hobart Freeman, Every Wind of Doctrine (Warsaw, IN: Faith Ministries and Publications, 1974). p.229.), the erroneous belief that all men are involved in a series of rebirths into successive lives in which they fulfill the Law of Karma until they are (either through spiritual enlightenment or religious self effort) absorbed into a nebulous "World Soul," is a characteristic feature of Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, and of certain cults (e.g., Theosophy, New Thought, and Unity School of Religion)

Such a concept, however, is fraught with unscriptural presuppositions. For one, the law of karma, upon which the alleged cycle of rebirth is based, is none other than an oriental version of "works-salvation " (see in refutation: Romans 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin”; Galatians 2:16 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”; Ephesians 2:8-10 “8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained {prepared} that we should walk in them.” Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”). Secondly, successive rebirth implies many earthly opportunities to attain salvation and is therefore in direct opposition to such passages as Luke 16:19-31 “19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”; 2 Corinthians 6:2 “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”; and, most obviously, Hebrews 9:27, which reads: " is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" [emphasis mine]. Also, the dignity of human individuality is denied, since man is viewed as but an extension of an all embracing, impersonal force (a pantheistic concept of God) and could just as easily be reborn as an acorn, earthworm, or caterpillar!

In stark contrast, the Bible asserts the bodily resurrection of Christ (Matthew 28:6 “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 “15 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory {hold fast} what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”) and the eventual resurrection (or change for those who are still alive when Jesus returns) of every born-again believer (1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 52 “20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that 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 they that are Christ's at his coming. :52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”; Philippians 3:21 “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”). The bankruptcy of Eastern thought is nowhere more apparent than at this crucial point. In place of the conscious and eternal existence of the soul in a glorified body like unto Christ's, it has substituted a dreary, unconscious absorption into an intangible something. Sadly, its adherents remain without substantial hope and without God in the world; the tombs of its venerated founders are unable to ever remotely suggest the expectation embodied in the angel's morning message, "He is not here: for He is risen, as He said" (Matthew 27:6).

Sandhill Bible Church
4505 Sandhill Rd.
Auburn, Al 36830
 Topic: WHY EVERY BELIEVER Should speak with TONGUES
WHY EVERY BELIEVER Should speak with TONGUES [message #1131] Thu, 17 January 2008 15:43
Messages: 35
Registered: December 2007
Location: Auburn, Alabama

"What is the value of speaking in tongues; to what extent, if any, will it enhance my spiritual life, empower my testimony and improve my ministry to the Lord's assembly?" These questions and others are not infrequently pondered by observers of what may be properly labelled "the spiritual phenomenon of the Twentieth Century"-- the great Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This spiritual movement, which began in earnest in the late 19TH Century and literally exploded in the early 20TH Century, has made phrases such as "baptism with or in the Holy Spirit" and "speaking with tongues" almost common parlance in the realm of theological discussion and has done much to awaken the sleeping masses to the reality, if not the validity, of that form of inspired utterance commonly called "tongues." (Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”)

Frowned upon by churchmen as emotional gibberish and decried as the spontaneous outburst of individuals emotionally disturbed, it should come as no surprise that the practice of speaking in tongues has enlisted its fair share of enemies. Despite this opposition, however, conservative evangelicals have found it increasingly difficult to deny the reality of a practice that is thoroughly documented in Scripture, and have therefore chosen to reluctantly acknowledge the validity of speaking in tongues while carefully downplaying its value. Especially have they denounced the idea that speaking in tongues is for every Christian. I, for one, take exception to such a sour response and believe that when the pertinent Scriptures are examined with an unbiased heart, this cold toleration will change to a warm hearted approval of tongues as a form of spiritual utterance of immense value for every saint. So this humble tract is sent your way in the interest of the Truth, and with the sincere desire that, upon further examination, you yourself will join the happy throng who have come to realize in a personal way the reasons WHY EVERY BELIEVER SHOULD SPEAK WITH TONGUES.

A Telltale Token

"But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy..." (Acts 2:14-18).

It was Pentecost, 30 A.D., and Jerusalem buzzed with teeming throngs of the pious who ascended to the "city of the Great King" to observe the pilgrimage Feast of Weeks. But this Pentecost was to be extraordinary; it was destined to be the day when a huddled band of one hundred and twenty Galileans, believers in the crucified but resurrected Jesus of Nazareth, were to become a "habitation of God by the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:22 “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”). The stage had been set by long days of prayer and supplication (Acts 1:14 “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”), days of expectation and hope, as the tiny band, unnoticed by the world, eagerly awaited the "promise of the Father" (Luke 24:49 “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.”). And then it happened. The sound of a forceful gust of wind filled the house where they were sitting, and they saw mysterious tongues as of fire distributed to each of them. In the awe of that moment, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues.

As the rumor of what had happened spread, a curious but startled crowd gathered and, perplexed by the remarkable scene, enquired as to its significance? In response to their enquiry, the Apostle Peter announced with holy fervor and evident fire: "This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God. I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh..." (Acts 2:16. 17a). The Spirit had descended. The promise of the Father had arrived, heralding the dawn of a new epoch in the Divine economy. The church, predicted by Jesus (Matthew 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”), was birthed in the glory of a moment cloaked in power. And significantly, God had chosen to announce the arrival of His Spirit with the telltale token of tongues.

It was, in fact, this supernatural utterance in languages unlearned by the speakers that prompted Peter as the apostolic spokesman to announce the arrival of the Holy Spirit in partial fulfillment of Joel's prediction (Joel 2:28,29 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”).
"... This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel," replied Peter to the unenlightened charge that these men were "full of new wine." By so doing, this leading apostle underscored the evidential value of tongues as betokening the indisputable arrival of the Holy Spirit in the lives of these New Testament believers. Similarly, at a later period, he, along with some fellow Jewish believers accepted an eruption of tongues at Cornelius' household as conclusive proof that the Holy Spirit had fallen upon that band of Gentile believers:

"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" (Acts 10:44-47)

The key phrase in the above quotation is "For they heard them speak with tongues." The phenomenon of tongues, which characterized the initial outpouring of the Spirit in the Jerusalem upper room, was what convinced those of the circumcision (Jewish believers who were zealous for the law and therefore leery of Gentile inclusion) that these Gentiles had genuinely received the Holy Spirit. In a later rehearsal of the Cornelius episode to brethren in Jerusalem, Peter seems to establish an experiential link between the tongues of the Jerusalem outpouring and the Holy Spirit's work in Caesarea by recounting: "And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.” (Acts 11:15) (The Greek particle in this context means “just as,'' "even as''; it augments the force of the simple, thus emphasizing a commonality of experience between the initial Jerusalem outpouring and the work of the Spirit here in Caesarea.) Clearly, speaking in tongues is beginning to emerge, just as Jesus predicted (Mark 16:17 “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;”), as a sign following believers; and, as Peter plainly implies, as a supernatural display evidencing the reception of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”; Acts 11:15,16 “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.”; 19:1-6 “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”). This is reason number one why every believer should speak with tongues: it is the initial evidence of one's reception of the Holy Spirit. Nor should we expect to walk in the pathway of apostolic Christianity apart from this apostolic experience!

It is precisely at this point, however, that Satan beguiles the unlearned who are unaccustomed to making those subtle distinctions so essential to proper Biblical interpretation. For how many of these believers have rejected the insistence that all Christians should speak with tongues as the initial evidence of the Holy Spirit's arrival with an appeal to Paul's question in 1 Corinthians 12:30: " all speak with tongues?", thereby concluding that universal tongue-speaking for Christians is utterly out of the question? But does such an appeal actually prove their point? On the surface it might seem so, but a careful reading of 1 Corinthians 12-14, and indeed of all New Testament references to speaking in tongues, will point us to a consideration that they have over-looked-- and one that is absolutely vital to the discussion. It is simply this: The New Testament uses the phrase "speaking in or with tongues" in a fluid manner, sometimes denoting the inspired utterance in a language unknown to the speaker which signals the reception of the Holy Spirit, and at other times the charismatic gift of tongues whereby God seeks, in conjunction with the companion gift of interpretation, to communicate a message to His people. It is the all important context which determines which particular form is under review. In 1 Corinthians 12:28-30 “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities {kinds} of tongues.
Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?”, for example, the context clearly reveals that it is the gift of tongues that is under consideration, not the sign of tongues which every believer can, and indeed should, express as a means of prayer and communion. Failure to make this distinction inevitably results in a confounding of things that differ, the obvious error of those who attempt to make a sweeping application of the form-specific reference in 1 Corinthians 12:30. Such an attempt thus reflects an over simplistic view of the phrase "speaking with tongues," which, as a fluid expression, may refer to more than one form of tongues-speech.

To illustrate this point, let us examine for a moment the experience of the church in Jerusalem. This assembly initially consisted of 120 men and women who received a powerful baptism with the Holy Spirit, and who each spoke with tongues as the sign or evidence that they had received the Spirit's in filling (Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”). And yet, there is no Biblical evidence that this entire company possessed the charismatic gift of tongues which is generally used to communicate a message from God to His people and is to be accompanied by an interpretation in the native language of the Christian assembly. Paul could have addressed these believers in Jerusalem as he did the church at Corinth, "Do all speak with tongues [as the charismatic gift to communicate a message]?" and fully expected his rhetorical question to be answered with an inward "no" by the congregation, although each member prayed in tongues in his or her private devotional life.

To further illustrate this distinction, permit me to appeal to my personal experience as a pastor. The congregation (the adult element) I currently pastor consists of a company of tongue-talking believers (those who are baptized members), and yet perhaps no more than one of them presently has the charismatic gift to deliver divine messages to the congregation in tongues! Do they all speak with tongues? Certainly not in the sense of the gift of tongues; no, no more than the Corinthians did. But if you mean "do they all pray in tongues as a sign of the Spirit's presence in their lives?" The happy answer is a resounding yes! And my dear friend, so should you! So the appeal to 1 Corinthians 12:30 in objection to universal tongues-speaking for believers does not prove what the detractors would hope; it is simply a classic instance of confounding things that differ-all in an attempt to discredit a Pentecostal emphasis.

A Source of Spiritual Edification

A second reason why every believer should speak with tongues involves the immense spiritual up building that is the direct result of "praying in the Spirit." Jude is no doubt referring to the edificational value of tongues when he writes: " But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith praying in the Holy Ghost" (Jude 20).

Of course, there may be those who respond negatively to an identification of "praying in the Holy Ghost" with prayer in tongues, but those who are privileged to pray in this manner recognize that when they lift their voices in a language supernaturally inspired by the Holy Spirit they are, in the purest sense, "praying in the Holy Ghost. " This is readily apparent when one reflects on the fact that the individual who is praying in tongues is giving expression to words that originate independently of his own finite understanding (1 Corinthians 14:14 “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.”), words which articulate, as humanly formulated ones seldom do, the very mind of the Spirit (Romans 8:26,27 “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”). Such an individual has been admitted into a special prayer channel, through which "mysteries in the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 14:2 William's Translation: "by the Spirit he is speaking secret truths") leave lips of clay and are borne heavenward. Is not such prayer, which expresses the "mind of the Spirit" and conveys "mysteries in the Spirit," the most undeniable and unadulterated form of "praying in the Holy Spirit"?

Jude 20 indicates that such prayer is a spiritual boon to the believer. I can attest from personal experience (over twenty years of praying in tongues) that "praying in the Spirit" is an invaluable means of fortifying one's faith, replenishing spiritual energies, and refreshing the weary soul. It is Divinely directed prayer in a spiritual dimension that makes a decided difference in one's over-all development in discipleship.

A Means of Rest and Spiritual Refreshment

Speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance is also the source of spiritual refreshment to which the prophet Isaiah refers when he writes: "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest ["this is the rest, quietness"] wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear" (Isaiah 28:11,12). It is to this prophecy that the apostle Paul refers in 1 Corinthians 14:21 as he writes, "In the law it is written, with men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. " It is as if the Lord were saying, "As an irrefutable sign, I will speak supernaturally in an unfamiliar language to a disobedient and gainsaying people, in an attempt to rouse them from their unbelief and usher them into My glorious rest." Has not God been doing just that through what is popularly and derisively known as the "Tongues Movement"? Is not the very Lord who invited the heavy laden to find rest beneath His easy yoke (Matt. 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”), beckoning to this end-time generation, beset with information overload, dazed by the daily buzz of business, and ruffled with the hustle and bustle of religious activism, to come apart for a while and find invigorating and refreshing rest in the place of Spirit-inspired prayer? Could it be that some, despite the obvious length to which the Lord has gone, will not hear Him--opting instead to run the Christian course without the promised rest and finding themselves, in the end, "wearied and faint in their minds" (Hebrews 12:3 “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”)? How shall we escape the besetting burdens of age-end difficulties (2 Timothy 3:1 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”), the strain of increasing satanic opposition (1 Peter 5:8,9 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”), and the widespread spiritual lethargy (Matthew 24:12 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”) of the last days if we brush aside this "rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest"?

Without it, a believer's experience will lack the apostolic luster, the deep seated tranquility and the calm repose of the one who said, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:" (1 Corinthians 14:18).

Fail-Proof Intercession

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Rom. 8:26, 27).

Ah, and now we come to a vital and very practical reason why every believer should treasure the ability to pray supernaturally in the Spirit. According to Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts (Galatians 4:6,7 “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”) to assist us in the monumental task of prayer. The Greek word used to depict the Spirit's help in this regard which, according to Thayer's Lexicon means "to take hold with another," thus implying that unaided human weakness is woefully inadequate when it comes to the vital issues of for what and how we ought to pray.

Who is the man or woman who cannot relate to the limitations of the finite human intellect when seeking to formulate prayers in accordance with God's will (1 John. 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”) and in a manner that is acceptable in His sight? Just consider for a moment the numerous questions associated with the question of effective intercession. For whom shall I pray--especially in a sin-cursed world wherein myriads are in dire need of Divine intervention? For what should I pray, since the basic need{s) of needy men is (are) often shrouded in circumstances that are but symptomatic (Mark 2:5 “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”)? In what manner and to what extent should I pray-should I pray at length against stubborn demonic strongholds (Daniel 9:3 “And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:”) or briefly in ejaculatory {brief utterance} faith (Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”)? Should I fast while I pray? The crucial answers to these questions are provided when we learn to rely upon the Spirit's assistance in the matter of prayer.

With the Spirit's indwelling presence, we will be prompted to pray, given utterance (Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”) that adequately expresses the mind of God concerning the matter about which we are praying (Romans 8:27 “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”), and moved to sigh and groan with heart-felt emotion appropriate to the eternal issues that engage us in intercession. Who is sufficient for these things (2 Corinthians 2:16 “To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?”)? None but the competent Holy Ghost, Who maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God, thus insuring that all things work together for our good and His ultimate glory (Romans 8:27,28 “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”).


In the foregoing paragraphs we have sought to examine the sign significance, edificational value, tranquilizing and helpful nature of speaking with tongues. Now it is time for you to make a decision. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, are you convinced that this outflow of tongues, occasioned by the reception of a personal Pentecost (Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”), is of sufficient value to be a dynamic part of your Christian experience? Do you believe that your faith would be fortified, your spirituality furthered, and your testimony enhanced by praying in the Holy Spirit (Jude 20 “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,”)? If you answer these questions in the affirmative, there would seem to be but one recourse for you--Receive ye the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of praying in tongues! Then you will be able to pray as Peter, James, John, Paul and a host of other New Testament worthies prayed. And if we will purify ourselves as they purified themselves (2 Corinthians 7:1 “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”; 1 Jn. 3:3 “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”), and labor for the souls of men as they did labor (1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”), we will not be far from the heartbeat of apostolic practice (Acts 2:42 “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”).

If your interest is sufficient to join me in prayer, please do so now: "Dear Heavenly Father, as a believer on your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, I am convinced of the value of praying supernaturally in other tongues. But Father, I recognize that such a blessed capability is the result of receiving, as did the early disciples on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit. In Jesus Name I ask for the Holy Spirit now. I believe that He is in me now and begins to give me utterance in new tongues. In an act of childlike faith, with perfect confidence in your promise [Luke 11:13 “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”], I begin to lift up the sound of my voice, not in any language you know, but in the new language [Mk. 16:17 “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;”] which you have given me." At this point you should lift up your voice, expecting the Holy Spirit to form the words and syllables as you supply the sound of your voice. The Holy Spirit, unlike unclean spirits, will not forcibly usurp control of your vocal apparatus, moving your tongue, lips and jaw against your will. As you begin to speak by faith, determined not to utter a word in any language you know (since one cannot speak two languages simultaneously), the Holy Spirit will graciously begin to mould and shape the sound of your voice into the syllables and words of His choosing. As you act your faith, the assurance and manifold blessings of prayer in the Spirit will assuredly follow. (Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”; John14:14 “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”; 1 John 5:14,15 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”).

For More information Contact:
Sandhill Bible Church,
4505 Sandhill Road.
Auburn. AL 36830

[Updated on: Mon, 21 January 2008 17:45]

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