“Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not.” I Cor.14:22.
As events unfold to bring to a close the controversy over sin and righteousness, there are two directions for one’s religious life that are becoming progressively more prominent. There is seen what appears to be a resurgence of the power of Pentecost in the charismatic/evangelical churches. Accompanying these displays is a prophetic scenario that has hardened the whole Christian world to look to the nation-state of Israel to be the culmination of the controversy over sin in the last battle called Armageddon.
In these two of Christianity’s chief policies we see a serious crises on the horizon: in both the churches’ theology and its prophetic views. First and foremost, sin is never mentioned as the cause of Armageddon. Have you noticed how sin, the greatest threat against the souls of men is never incorporated into the conversations of Armageddon? Nor is the church’s tradition of sin against the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment acknowledged in the dominant churches of the world. Is GOD’S Holy Law removed from the equation and somehow open to a pick and choose system of religious law? Can we remove the law of gravity by our merely willing it to be gone? It was this question the LORD asked of Job: “Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?” Job 38:33. The obvious answer is “No” to both questions. And the LORD’S extensive list of questions to Job in the aftermath of Satan’s afflictions led Job to humbly acknowledge “the word of the LORD.”
“He hath showed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen. The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” Ps.111:6-10.
When we consider the prophetic application of the feasts of the sanctuary service of Moses’ law, and how one by one they are being fulfilled, such as the feast of Pentecost, our eyes are drawn to the high priest of the sanctuary, who ministered before the LORD on the “mercy seat.” His work was representative and a type of Jesus Christ interceding in our behalf. The grand lesson of the sanctuary service points us to the priestly ministry of Jesus Christ. And as it was in the days of Israel so is the work of Jesus today: “seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” And thus CLEANSE THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN OF ALL THE SINS OF THE SAINTS whereby He can leave and return for His Bride. This was the great lesson of the “day of atonement!” On that day the sanctuary had to be cleansed of every defilement before the priest could come out of the most holy apartment and declare the congregation righteous before GOD. It all pointed to the deliverance from sin through Jesus Christ sacrificing His Holy Life for the forgiveness of sin.
This was the most important day on Israel’s calendar:
“On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.” Lev.23:27-32.
While most Christians today treat salvation like it’s nothing more than a game of trivia, on that sacred day the Jews searched their hearts before GOD, to repent of all known sin and to plead His forgiveness for the unknown sins. This is why David earnestly prayed: “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” Ps.19:12,13.
We who believe in the LORD Jesus Christ live in today’s counterpart of the “day of atonement.” We are called to fulfill the significance of its solemn call on the heart: to repent and forsake all known sin (Prov.28:13) and thus receive “the seal of God.” And as it was then, so it is today: Jesus cannot leave His position as “high priest” (Heb.7:26) until the last of His saints are sealed with the forgiveness of all sin (Rev.7:1-3). But those who refuse His authority will never repent of their sin as it is prophesied: “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” Rev.9:20,21.
The Apostle Paul provides us with precious light on the intercession of Christ as our High Priest before our Father—for the forgiveness of sin:
“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” Heb.8:1-6.
In the Bible doctrines on repentance and forgiveness it is seen that GOD cannot and will not empower His children with any gift of the Spirit so long as the life is polluted with sin. This would make GOD an enabler of His children’s destruction! But GOD, in obedience to His Ten Commandment Law never has nor ever will contribute to the ruin of His children, for He is a consuming fire to sin! (Deut.4:24; Heb.12:29). And by His majesty our Father controls the amount of fire that is needed to purify the gold and burn away the sin from our lives, as in the life of the prophet Isaiah:
“Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” Isa.6:6,7.
Satan’s last claim is that GOD’S people cannot cease from sinning: that Christians will always be ‘sinning sinners.’ This has led to the theology declaring we must be saved in sin instead of from sin. This historically has always been the leverage for the Roman church to take grotesque liberties with the words and warnings of Christ, and pass them on to the leading Protestant churches. Thus the sins extending as far back as the pagan tower of Babel have been perpetuated unto this today. Passed down generation by generation these sins are part of “the tradition of men” that men give greater reverence than the GOD they claim to serve.
THE LEADING DISPLAY FOSTERING THE CONTINUATION OF SIN
When Jesus said, “Follow me,” it was His work to deliver us all from the sin that separates the Spirit of GOD from the hearts of men. Therefore, sin can have no place in the life of the believer and receive the gifts of the Spirit, “for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (Ja.1:13-16). To oppose this grand work of deliverance from sin Satan mischievously works to lead all men to turn to his power, his spirit, and his false assurances, to the end that men remain in sin and thus stand condemned “before the judgment seat of Christ.” Bible history is riddled with the devil’s counsel that has brought ruin to multitudes of men, women, and children, and the nations in which they lived. And Bible prophecy declares of our day that “Satan…deceiveth the whole world.” Rev.12:9.
It is in light of sin’s threat against the soul that we need to examine today’s displays of “tongues” in the various denominations who hold the view that this gives evidence of the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Let us begin our study by accepting the fact that today’s popular manifestation of “tongues” in the church are also seen in every major religion on earth. They all claim the same gift: in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sorcery, Witchcraft, Voodoo, Obeah, Santeria, Juju, etc. This is common knowledge, and therefore begs the question: Is there a difference between the spirit of “tongues” in the Christian churches vs. the many religious cults resting on Satan’s enchanted ground?
And if there is no difference, is there a single sin within the Christian church today that is not acknowledged? one that opens the door for Satan to exercise his power over the minds and hearts of men? Scripture instructs us of the devil’s powers: of healing, creating disease, nature’s destruction, visions and dreams. The rules of engagement between Christ and Satan are clearly defined in Scripture: where Satan is withheld from carrying out his full use of the powers he has. But by the same token there is the boundary where Christ is withheld from giving His blessings.
So, if any sin can be identified as the common denominator connecting the churches we see an open door for Satan to enter and work his deceptive magic as he has so often done: in Egypt (Ex.7:10-12); in Israel (I Ki.22:5-38); in Judah (Jer.5:31); and in Judæa (Jn.11:49-53).
With this knowledge of existing sin in the church, how could GOD bless the church to continue on a path that continually perpetuates the sin and thus withhold the Presence of the Holy Spirit of GOD within the church? Classic example: when the papal power of Rome united violence with the non-violent message of Jesus and His Apostles, the Holy Ghost left the church of Rome to her own devices.
Scripture is also clear that GOD can have no part in blessing a life with the power of His Spiritual gifts including tongues or prophecy while the soul is indulging in sin, as it is written: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Isa.59:2. A key illustration of this separation from GOD was when king Saul had indulged in sin, and he refused to repent and forsake the sin in his life:
“And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.” I Sam.28:6.
This led Saul to turn to Satan for salvation:
“Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her” (v.7).
There are many testimonies from people who were delivered from these heathen practices that openly verify Satan’s power to deceive the various church denominations. Two of these testimonies are from two dear friends in my church whose testimonies verify Satan’s total control over the charismatic/evangelical churches. One dear friend, Raymond Joseph, was a member of the eastern cult of Maharishi Yogi. During their worship services Ray spoke in “tongues” as did the other members. And this was believed to be the leading of the “spirits:” to reach “the upper planes,” where greater wisdom and power would be gained. They were told that the goal is to aspire to “spiritual nirvana.”
But a Christian missionary shared the Gospel of Christ with Ray. Having truth and the power of the Holy Spirit to convince Ray of his greater need, of deliverance from sin, and how only through Christ can the forgiveness of sin be provided, he left the eastern cult and joined the Christian church. After he turned to Jesus Christ and began attending a church whose members spoke in tongues he immediately recognized the spirit in that church was identical to the spirit of the cult he had just left. This led Ray to search out the reasons why, and to find a church that stands exempt from this influence. As it turned out: only those who “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” have the sure protection of GOD from Satan’s manifestations to manipulate the life into sin, and to remain therein.
Another dear friend, Patty Osborne, was raised in the Christian faith, but became discouraged with the mechanical rote in the church’s list of do’s and don’ts and so she left the Christian faith as a young adult. But years passed and being convicted by the Holy Spirit to return to her faith in Christ she began to attend church. The church she joined was a tongue speaking Baptist church. A spirit came over her and she began to speak in tongues. She described how it felt identical to being drunk on liquor. But after each church service she became depressed: similar to the low mood caused by a hangover after drinking. Being convicted that this religious walk was not conducive to a sustained joy in the Gospel of Christ, this led her to seek that Spirit that GOD who alone can provide the joy to remain in the continued atmosphere of peace and communion with GOD. She left the rollercoaster ride of that spirit and settled into the truths of Scripture to bring her a sustained happiness.
Other testimonies include a missionary from China who witnessed tongue speaking Christians curse the name of Jesus Christ in Chinese. An American Indian gave testimony of how a tongue-speaking Christian was cursing that Indian’s own mother in his native tongue! While other testimonies include feelings identical to being drunk and other forms of intoxication. Even “the spirit of laughter” and other sensual experiences such as “sexual orgasms” have been experienced and reported. But these unholy, sensual displays have no part with the Holy Spirit! Paul emphatically and repeatedly warned of this: “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Rom.13:14.
Said Jesus, “the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Jn.4:23,24. The sinful flesh has no part in this! The purpose of GOD’S gift of tongues is very plain: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature…And these signs shall follow them that believe…they shall speak with new tongues.” Mk.16:15-17. The Gospel goes to every “tongue!”
There is no traceable difference between today’s charismatic Christians and the tongue-speaking followers of the occult. Christians who indulge in this practice can defend this power all they want. None denies there is a supernatural power involved. But the Bible is clear that GOD will not be complicit to the sin or the eternal death of anyone (Ja.1:13).
Remember, Satan determines to unite the church to himself by hardening men in their sin and thus share his fate. This is what end-time prophecy is all about! He does this through displaying miraculous powers to deceive. He gives visions to weak-minded men, and even children. He displays his power via supernatural feats in the martial arts. And he has led men to all manner of violent crimes where many of whom who carry them out all declare that voices commanded them to carry out their ugly deeds, and the voices would not stop until the crime was completed. This is common knowledge. In this, atheists stand utterly illiterate to the great threat against life on Earth! They’re so wrapped up in Star Wars, crime thrillers, action movies, superheroes, and chic flicks, that they stand blind to the danger of the pleasures of sin and how all the ways of the world are a diversion from facing the reality of man’s trek to his own inevitable destruction.
TONGUES AND THEIR INFLUENCE IN EVERYDAY LIFE
It is under this unholy control that a spirit of fanaticism has come to rule a certain class of Christianity. They are drinking the wine of Babylon, but nimbly at the fountain of “living waters” and as such are led to deny “the Spirit of truth” (Jn.16:13). But GOD’S warnings are the same in every age. This is why GOD uses Babylon as a template for today’s apostasy, as it is written:
“Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompense. Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad. Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.” Jer.51:6-9.
As it was in Jeremiah’s day, the last book in the Bible, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” prophesies its counterpart in our generation. In fact, the closing scenes of prophetic utterance declares the day when “Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” Rev.16:19. To stand ignorant of who Babylon is and the spirit leading her is to remain in Babylon and stand in the fate of all who deny the method GOD ordained for the salvation of His every child (Matt.7:26,27).
Of the closing message of the third angel in Revelation 14:9-12, nothing can be done for this class who have given entrance to the spirit of the “Adversary” until their fanatical views that oppose the basic tenets of salvation are corrected. Some who are involved with this Pentecostal/evangelical movement continue to impose pagan based theology such as the natural immortality of the soul (declaring immortality to men, women, and children in the fiery torments of hell), and to declare the Ten Commandments to be no longer binding by corrupting the clear distinction of what it means to be “under the law” vs. “under grace” (Rom.6:15). The words of the great Apostle Paul have been maligned in a variety of ways as the Apostle Peter said it would be:
“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” II Pet.3:15-18.
Pagan religion is as active today as at any time in history. We see pagan ceremony and incantations carried out in the religion of the Druids, the Wiccans, witchcraft, and Satan worship. Even at the great pagan site in America, the Bohemian Grove in Monte Rio, California, every year America’s and world leaders gather for what they claim is a mock sacrifice before a giant idol of an owl. The sacrifice, taking place at night, and carried out behind a curtain, its mystery makes one wonder whether it was a mock sacrifice of a human or a real blood sacrifice. All through history, Satan has demanded human sacrifice to receive his blessing, but also to placate his wrath. Should it be any different today?
Jesus addressed this and every other decision made by cowardly men who hide behind closed doors:
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” Jn.3:19-21.
The fact that there are so many secretive activities going on, in government, business, and religion, gives proof of the luciferian agenda being carried out.
Satan has chosen the owl as his mascot simply because the owl sees perfectly in the darkness of night, and is so quiet in his flight that its prey never know of their danger until it is too late for them to escape. And these same pagan customs have infiltrated the church. Although they are more “subtil” because men have the Bible to learn the boundaries of GOD’S jurisdiction and Satan’s strategies to remove it, once the basic tenets of salvation are disregarded and sin has become accepted in the life, Satan is free to expand his control. And he will always stretch his authority as far as he is allowed.
And so the same cultic practices are with those who propagate the heathen spiritualism in the churches. They are seeking to set in concrete these gifts of the so-called holy spirit by claiming the paranormal powers they experience in “tongues,” “slain the spirit,” and “the word of knowledge” prove they are heaven-led and therefore on the right course to salvation. And those who oppose them are declared to not be spirit-led but deceived and led of the devil, just as the Scripture illiterate Jews accused Jesus of the same. It will be this very conflict that leads to Armageddon! And the nation state of Israel have no involvement other than to restore to public view the ark of the covenant with the Ten Commandments inscribed by “the finger of God:” Jesus Himself (Jn.8:58)
It’s the same spirit that leads the atheist, but down a different tack. But in the end, both will deny “Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Professing Christians cannot choose this course and remain obedient to Scripture, for there is no agreement between Christ and Belial. Faith and sin are not partners in salvation! In their prophetic views of the age to come there are found the most obvious errors through which Satan has worked his deceptive magic among last-day Christians to serve his own purpose to bring every soul to stand condemned with Satan himself in his own sins (Eze.28:16). These errors can have no harmony with the message of heavenly origin, and therefore receive no approval from GOD.
Several renowned ministers follow a spirit, which they insist that the Lord is leading. And they are convinced by the evidence of this “power” that GOD has placed them in the church to enlighten others to this higher power. This is how Satan always weaves his way into the church. They have an untranslated language which they call “the tongues of angels.” The statement is true, but the angels are not of heaven! That which is unknown by man is known by the Lord of heaven. GOD has no intimacy with these individuals. The boundaries of Christ’s warning, “I never knew you” are treated with a very shallow understanding. They don’t receive the counsel of John: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” I Jn.4:1. Such gifts are manufactured by men and women who only desire the power of GOD and not the character of Jesus Christ! These are aided by the great deceiver. They pray, “Father give us thy Spirit;” then Satan stands between GOD and the sinner to breathe upon them his power to deceive. In this spirit there is light and a display of power, but no sweet love, joy and peace. And yet, this false spirit is believed to be of GOD.
How often we see this with ministers who display a gross indifference to those they believe and teach will suffer in the fires of hell forever. By inviting this spirit to take possession of their souls Satan can keep them deceived, and through them deceive the congregations of God’s children. Scripture has much to say about the priests, pastors, and evangelists who betray their trust: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” II Cor.11:13-15.
All of these warnings of Scripture are as active today as at anytime in history. But even more so in our generation, for we are nearing the end, and Satan will use every means at his disposal to mislead and betray the congregations of the world as the prophecy is emphatic, how Satan “deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;” “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Rev.13:14; 12:9). Nobody seems to associate the “miracles which he had power to do” with the popular manifestation of tongues, slain in the spirit, the word of knowledge and faith healing. Yes, Satan can heal any disease when it suits his purpose to keep men in sin and therefore exempt from Christ’s salvation (Jn.5:1-14). And faith healing stands under the same banner of following miracles that perpetuate sin in the church.
Fanaticism, false excitement, false talking in tongues, and the cacophony of noisy displays have been considered gifts which God has placed in the church. Many have been deceived here. My own brother who speaks in tongues was a participant in these displays. He invited our parents to one of these meetings at “Teen Challenge” that he was attending; and mom and dad walked away declaring, “These people are crazy! Its like an insane asylum!” The fruits of this are seen to have no contribution to the conversion of souls who “know not the truth.” Likewise, because of the continued sin in the church that remains unconfessed and unforgiven, they can have no companionship with “the Spirit of truth.”
Said Jesus, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Fanaticism and noise are declared to be special evidences of GOD’S Presence. Rod Parsley is a huge proponent of this. As a result, some are not satisfied with a meeting unless they have a powerful and happy time. They work for this and work up a fever pitch of emotions and feelings. But the influence of the spirit there is not beneficial to either their edification or to their witness to an unbelieving world. When the happy flight of feeling is gone, they sink lower than before the meeting because their happiness did not come from the Right Source. As with the prosperity doctrine, when temptation comes they cave in because their characters have not refined to withstand the fiery darts of the enemy. The only profitable means for spiritual advancement is that which is characterized with solemnity and deep searching of heart; each seeking to know his or her strengths and frailties, and earnestly, and in deep humility, seeking to learn of Christ and conform their lives into the similitude of His holiness.
Some rejoice and exult in pride that they have the gifts, which others have not. Many a minister has exulted in the pride of this spirit. Some ministers even demand that unless you speak in tongues the Holy Spirit is not in you and you are in a lost condition. This stands rebuked by Paul’s words: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit… For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” I Cor.12:4,8-11.
From my studies and the testimonies of friends and others, I believe the counsel of Paul is not being honored. As said before, my brother speaks in tongues. And I know his story and its association with “slain in the spirit” and other pitfalls of spiritualistic adultery. And I’ve yet to see Paul’s warnings heeded among any of the churches that advocate sin against the Ten Commandments as acceptable service to GOD: “Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue…Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not…If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church…For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” I Cor.14:19,22,27,28,33.
This begs the question: “Who have the tongue speakers of these churches witnessed to, of other nationalities, who could not speak English, but given the gift of “tongues” the Gospel of Jesus Christ was shared? This was the sole purpose of GOD giving the gift (Mk.16;17; Acts 2:4-8); and yet is not seen among tongue speakers! Its all about them! And nobody else. These verses were drawn from the prophecy of Isaiah, who also addressed the primary reason for the gift, as did Paul:
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” Isa.28:9-13.
If I did not fear for the salvation of my fellow man who Christ leads me to care for and to share the little thimble of understanding the LORD has graciously granted me, I would’ve held my tongue. But most who are advocates of “tongues” and “slain in the spirit” are convinced of their beliefs. And Christ forbids the use of any coercion, ridicule or tyranny to change their minds.
Nevertheless, may God deliver His people from any and everything that uplifts spiritual adultery in the church! What do these gifts do for them? Are they, through the continued exercise of these gifts brought into the truth “as the truth is in Jesus? (Eph.4:21). And do they convince the unbelievers that God is with them? When these church members continue to perpetuate the sin of the world’s oldest tradition of pagan idolatry, Sunday sacredness, while holding to their Biblically antagonistic views and come together, and there is considerable excitement speaking the unknown tongue, they are only hardening their souls in sin. And they let their crazed exhibitions lead the unbelievers to declare: These people are not sane! They are carried away with a weird excitement that cannot be moral, and thus, with this insanity, that is akin to anarchy, we know that they do not have the truth.
Many stand directly between GOD and sinners. Their influence is Satan’s means to keep others from accepting not only “Jesus Christ and him crucified,” but also the truth of the eternal Sabbath rest of GOD. Such will be rewarded according to their works at the time of the second resurrection as it is written: “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” Rev.20:13. If only they would be reformed or leave the church! They would not then stand in the way of Christ’s outreach to unbelievers.
God has led men who have worked for years, who were willing to make any sacrifice for Christ, who have experienced privation, hunger and trials, to bring the truth of Christ’s salvation to those who “know not the truth.” And by their steadfast course remove the reproach that religious tyrants and frenzied fanatics have brought upon the cause of God. They have met opposition of every kind. They have labored night and day in searching the evidences of our faith that they might bring out the truth in its clearness, in a consistent, coherent form, that it might withstand all opposition. Incessant labor and mental trials in connection with this great work have worn down the stamina of many great men and women and prematurely brought on the gray hair of old age. They have not struggled for GOD’S truth in vain. God has marked their every earnest and tearful prayer. And GOD answered their prayers that they might have light and truth, and that the truth might shine in its clearness to others. He has marked their unselfish efforts, and He will reward them in accordance with their works: the reward of everlasting life with Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, those who have not struggled to learn the meekness of Christ and/or to share His precious truths have come up before GOD’S throne and are likewise marked by the Omniscient Father. They read the truths of Scripture and received some points. But then the little gratitude they manifest for that which costs them nothing, and no sacrifice on their part, is to be rewarded with nothing. “These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest…For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein…it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” II Pet.2:17-22.
And when others come along having fire and zeal, coupled with truth and the plain “Thus saith the LORD” the selfl-righteous Laodiceans rise up like Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and reproach those upon whom God has laid the burden of His work. They declare as did those apostates of old: “Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them.” Nu.16:3. These are strangers to gratitude. They possess a strong spirit which will not yield to reason and which will, without repentance, lead them on to their own destruction, as will be the fate of most who claim the Christian faith (I Pet.4:18).
God has blessed His people who have moved forward in following His opening providence. He has brought out a people from every class: from rich and poor, free and bond—young and old alike. He established their footsteps on a good path, who rely on “every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God” to guide them. Many unbelievers have been convinced that God was with His people and have humbled their hearts to obey His Word declaring salvation. The work of God is moving steadily forward. Yet notwithstanding all the evidences that God has been leading the body of Christ, there are, and will continue to be, those who profess the Christian faith and claim their loyalty to the Bible, but who will move independent of the body, and believe and act as they choose. Their views are confused. Their sinful state is a standing testimony that God is not with them.
In the unbelieving world, the Sabbath and the Ten Commandments have been thrown away all together. And coupled with the anarchist displays of fanatacism in the churches God is angry with those who pursue a course to make the world hate them. If a Christian is hated because of his good works and for following Christ, he will have a reward (I Pet.3:17); but if he is hated because he does not take a course to be loved, but rather hated because of his uncultivated manners, and because he makes the truth look ridiculous or a matter of quarrel with his neighbors, and takes a course to make the Sabbath as unimportant as possible to them, he is a stumbling block to sinners: a reproach to the sacred truth of “the seal of the living God.” And unless he repents as Jesus warned, it were better for him that a millstone were hung about his neck and he were cast into the sea.
No occasion should be given to unbelievers to reproach our faith. We are considered odd and singular, and should not take a course to lead unbelievers to think us more so than our faith requires us to be. To the end of time there will be the scoffers. “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” I Cor.1:23-29.
Regardless of the plainness of the Scriptures, all manner of reasons are given to support this modern “tradition of men.” “Nevertheless what saith the scripture?” Gal.4:30. “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” Lu.10:25-28. Please note: To summarize the Ten Commandments does not do away with them individually.
Compiled by Gary McAleer