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Tip Of The Tongue

Thursday, August 17, 2017
Hello.  I have a question that deals with the interpretation of tongues.  So here it is; I’m going to explain it the best that I can.  Can a person that speaks in tongues be his own interpreter?  There has been some confusion between my mother and I about this subject.  It states in the Bible that there has to be an interpreter, but it doesn’t really explain past that (or if there are any restrictions on who it can be).  Hopefully, you can be of some assistance.  Thank you.

Sincerely,
Seeking A Translator

Dear Seeking A Translator,

The problem with answering your question is that the modern practice of speaking in tongues is nothing like the Bible account of the topic.  Speaking in tongues was a miraculous gift that allowed a person to speak in other actual languages (such as German, French, etc. – see a list of some of the languages in Acts 2:6-11).  The modern teaching of speaking in tongues has people speaking in “hidden” or “spiritual” languages that have no bearing on society.  Speaking in tongues was a tool God gave to the first century christians to help spread the gospel to people of many cultures without facing the language barrier – it wasn’t for the church’s edification; it was for evangelism (1 Cor 14:22).  Modern speaking in tongues is exactly the opposite.

Furthermore, speaking in tongues was a gift from the Holy Spirit.  The way that people received those gifts was through an apostle laying his hands on them (Acts 8:17-18).  Since it took an apostle to convey the gift of the Holy Spirit, the gifts would cease with the death of the last person that the last living apostle laid his hands on.  In fact, God promised that this would happen.  Paul says that spiritual gifts would eventually perish once God had given us the complete and perfect Bible (1 Cor 13:8-9 – read more on this subject in “Gifts That Stop Giving”).  So when you ask if you need an interpreter, we are hard-pressed to give an answer for an issue that is no longer applicable within the Lord’s church.

Day 162 - 1 Thessalonians 1

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

5 minutes a day 5 days a week - a year of Bible Wisdom

Four, For, Fore!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
What does the word ‘for’ mean?  Example: for forgiveness, for remission of sin, etc.

Sincerely,
Looking ‘For’ Answers

Dear Looking ‘For’ Answers,

In English, the word ‘for’ can mean ‘because of’ or ‘in order to receive, acquire, or achieve’… but in the Greek language, it can only mean one of these things (more on this a little later).  For example, if someone said, “I went to the store for my wife”, they probably mean that they went to the store because their wife asked them to.  On the other hand, if I said, “I went to the store for milk”, I probably mean that I went to go and get milk… not that the milk asked me to go to the store!  In the English language, the word ‘for’ can be used with either definition, and context has to decide which is the more appropriate use of the word.

However, the Greek language (the original language of the New Testament) is much more precise.  The word used in the phrase “for forgiveness of sins” in places like Acts 2:38 is a word that specifically means “that you might receive, acquire, go towards, unto”.  The Greek word translated most often as ‘for’ in most modern translations is ‘eis’ (pronounced the same as ‘ace’), and it always means the same as “I went to the store for milk”… never “I went to the store for my wife”.

Day 161 - Luke 24

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

5 minutes a day 5 days a week - a year of Bible Wisdom

Trouble At The Top Pt. 2

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

(This post is a follow-up to “Trouble At The Top”)

First of all, I wanted to thank you for the answer to a recent question about the doctrinal problem I was having in the church I attend.  But because of the answer, I have other questions I would like to ask.  They are:
  1. Why is this truth of Acts 20:17 not taught?
  2. All the churches in the area that I know of have a pastor, two to three elders, and deacons.  Where is this type of church government found in the Word?
  3. If it is not, why is it so popular and allowed?

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Skeptical

Dear Skeptical,

There is a constant battle in the religious world between doctrinal purity and ecumenicalism.  Ecumenicalism is the teaching that we should accept anyone and everything just as they are.  It is impossible to accept everyone as they are and still remain true to the teachings of Jesus Christ.  As people move toward tolerance of all, they move away from Christ.  Sadly, most churches in America flourish under the banner of total acceptance… this is why Acts 20:17 (among other simple but unpopular biblical teachings) isn’t taught.

The Bible even warns us that such things would happen.  Paul told Timothy that most churches would eventually stop teaching truth and start preaching whatever peoples’ ears itched to hear (2 Tim 4:3-4).  Whenever the main goal of preaching becomes to make people happy, false teaching abounds.  Paul also warned that there would be a “falling away” in the years following the Bible’s completion (2 Thess 2:3).  Every time a church shoves the Bible to the side and begins to do what is popular instead of what is faithful (faith comes by hearing and applying God’s Word – Rom 10:17), it falls away.  That is what began to happen to the Galatian church.  Paul warned them that they were misusing the Bible.  The Galatians were warping and twisting the Word, and that is just as bad as not using the Bible at all (Gal 1:6-9).  Many churches do exactly what the Galatian church did; they add or subtract from the Bible whenever it suits them, and consequently, they stop being a faithful church (Rev 22:18-19).

The biblical pattern for a congregation is for a plurality of elders to lead the church (1 Pet 5:1-2).  Those elders must meet the qualifications of 1 Tim 3:1-7 and Tit 1:5-9.  If there are men qualified to be deacons, they should be appointed to serve as helpers for the elders (‘deacon’ means ‘servant’).  Deacons must meet the qualifications found in 1 Tim 3:8-13.  There is no example in the Bible of a leadership structure other than that.  The single-pastor system is totally manmade… popular, to be sure, but still manmade.  We’ve all seen that many things in this life that are popular are also wrong.  The Bible is God’s tool to bring us salvation (Rom 1:16-17)… if we want that salvation, we must stand firm and not let Satan delude its influence.  The only way to stay doctrinally pure and pleasing to God is to test every church practice against the Bible (1 Jn 4:1).

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