An Important Announcement…

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11/25/2017

There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven:  a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot;   a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build;  a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance;  a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;  a time to search and a time to count as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away;  a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak;  a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (HCSB)

 10 years ago today, a group of people sat around a table in a living room, and began a new journey, a new season. We did not know where God would take us, but we knew without a doubt that he said ‘Go’.

We knew that we were to be a Church, a gathering of the Ekklesia, and that our mission would be to (from our statement of practice):

  1. Equip the people of God with the tools necessary to draw closer to God, and to each other, through the systematic study of God’s Word , and loving fellowship with one another.
  1. Empower people by providing a safe, compassionate and loving environment, a place where wounds can be mended, loving correction given, hearts can be healed, lasting relationships can be formed, and Christ can be glorified.
  1. Encourage people to pursue God with their whole selves, and to live the Kingdom of God as defined in Romans 14:17-19, which says: 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness (which is a condition of the Spirit), and peace (which is a condition of the body and mind), and joy (which is a condition of the soul) in the Holy Ghost. 18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

We set out, believing that:

  • Equipped people = Effective Church
  • Empowered people = Confident Church
  • Encouraged people = Strong Church

We weren’t sure initially how it would play out, but we had trust that God would see it through in accordance with His will; and He has… Through twists and turns, births and deaths, growth, challenge and change, He has been consistent and ever present, as He promised. He is indeed, ‘not a man that He should lie.’

The absolutely amazing ways that God has shown His love for us, manifested mainly by sending those of you whom He sent, for the time that He sent you, continues to be a cause for Gratitude and Praise.

We have seen, experienced and grown much together. We have laughed, cried, celebrated and grieved together. Together we have seen glimpses of what it truly means to be a family of Faith, bound by unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

I am grateful to God for each and every one of you.

But this season has now reached its end…

Family and friends, please allow this brief note to serve as the formal announcement, that

The Repairer’s Fellowship is ceasing weekly operation as of today 11/25/17.

It is bittersweet to be sure, but moreso exciting to know that we can look ahead in expectation to what God is going to do next.

There are a couple of things that will be continuing:

  • The weekly Bible Study will resume in January (more detail will come forth shortly)
  • The teaching ministry (via internet, social media, and live on occasion) , church liaison work, seminars, pulpit supply and blogging will continue.
  • We are still (and always) available for prayer, counseling, questions, etc.
  • Depending on interest, we will also be offering an intensive leadership class, for those who feel that they are called to ministry.

Elders Fortt and McElwee will continue in their respective roles as it applies to the above capacities as well.

The email address, and phone number will remain active as points of contact, for those who need to contact us.

Finally, to all of you, on behalf of my family and I: THANK YOU!

Each of you , in your own way have contributed to the growth and development of the ministry, and the people involved. The last 10 years have been precious, and will never be forgotten.

God Bless you,

CTJermin signature

Cyril T. Jermin – Pastor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From The Archives: ‘Accept the responsibility for your freedom!’

For the next few weeks, leading up to our 10th anniversary as a church, we’re going to look back on (and post here) some of the more significant things that we’ve studied…

Many of the posts (like the one that follows) is directly from Pastor Jermin’s notes.

RFBC Meeting Notes: 03/23/2008

Accept the responsibility for your freedom!

  • Accept responsibility for the fact that you have been set free.

Galatians 5: 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

READ: Exodus 16:32- through 17:6  then Numbers 33:11-14 (ASV)

11 And they journeyed from the Red Sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin. 12 And they journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, and encamped in Dophkah (Hebrew: דָפְקָה means knocking.)  13 And they journeyed from Dophkah, and encamped in Alush. 14 And they journeyed from Alush, (Hebrew: אָלוּש means leaven or crowding ׁ) and encamped in Rephidim, The name “Rephidim” (Hebrew: רְפִידִם) may mean supports.) where was no water for the people to drink.

  • There is a lot here, but the things we will deal with are:
  1. God took them from the place of Idolatry, (things built on lies, false gods) to Knocking (seeking, a quest, unsurety) to Leavening (to make light by fermentation, separation, preparation) to Support. (foundation, strength)
  2. The process took time
  3. This passage points to Christ, in that: 1 Cor 10:4 (the rock is Jesus) John 19:34  But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
  4. God gave the tools to remember, but they chose to forget Because they let their immediate circumstances divert them from the larger situation/goals/objectives  (v.3)

How often do we do that? Why does it seem that in times of difficulty, we resort to the comfortable, destructive behaviors first…

  • What does it mean to be free? Freedom is defined as:
  1.  The condition of being free of restraints.
  2. Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression.
  3. Exemption from an unpleasant or onerous condition: freedom from want.   
  4. The capacity to exercise choice; free will: We have the freedom to do as we please all afternoon   
  5. The right to unrestricted use; full access:
  6. The right of enjoying all of the privileges of membership or citizenship

The Three Edwards

Thomas Costain’s history book The Three Edwards includes the story of the life of Raynald III, a fourteenth-century duke in the country of Burgundy (now called Belgium). Raynald III was grossly overweight, and he was commonly called by his Latin nickname, “Crassus,” which means, “Fat.”

After a violent quarrel, Raynald’s younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him. Edward captured his brother Raynald, but he did not kill him, as was the custom. Instead, he built a room around Raynald in the Nieukerk castle and promised him he could regain his freedom, his title and his property as soon as he was able to leave the room.

This would not have been difficult for most people since the room had several windows and a door of near-normal size, and none was locked or barred. The problem was Raynald’s size. To regain his freedom, he needed to lose weight. But Edward knew his older brother, and each day he sent a variety of delicious foods. Instead of dieting his way out of prison, Raynald grew fatter.

When Duke Edward was accused of cruelty, he had an available answer: “My brother is not a prisoner. He may leave when he so wills.”

Raynald stayed in that room for ten years and wasn’t released until after his brother Edward died in battle. By then his health was so ruined that he died within a year . . . a prisoner of his own appetite. – Dave Wilkenson

 

  • What can we learn from Raynald?

His freedom kept him a prisoner, because he would not discipline Himself.

We are free to do a great many things, the question always is: SHOULD WE? How often do we resort to the familiar to our own detriment, when the promise that lays before us is so much better, simply because we do not want to do the work, or we are afraid, or it’s hard, or (your excuse here) ?

Paul put it like this, in his 1st letter to the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

  • God’s provision…..Deuteronomy 29:1, 16-19, 29 –  

1 These are the words of the covenant which Yahweh commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.

16  (for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed;

17 and you have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them);

18 lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turns away this day from Yahweh our God, to go to serve the gods of those nations; lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood;

19 and it happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart, to destroy the moist with the dry.

We can skip Verses 20-28, as they are the penalty phase, and we are not under this covenant…

29 The secret things belong to Yahweh our God; but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

 

  • We can break that passage down like this:

 

16-17: You have gone through Egypt to LEARN, and over the last 40 years you have seen many cultures to LEARN, because you are accountable for what you KNOW

18-19: You have been allowed to SEE so that you are not deceived. Don’t fool yourself, constantly check yourself

  • 29: WE are RESPONSIBLE FOR REVELATION

 

Notice that this is from God to the people, a covenant with ALL the people, not just the Pastor, not just Moses…

 

  • God’s desire is for us ALL to KNOW HIM, be knowledgeable about Him, and be so attuned to His voice that we can be truly obedient.

Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

 

How I choose to exercise my freedom affects me, and impacts those around me…

 

  • Freedom. Like the Kingdom (Rom 14:17) is a gift, but it is up to us to maintain it.

 

Our thoughts, words and deeds are the factors that determine or situations, and though grace abounds, many times it is we who, like the Hebrews in the desert, wish to return to the comfortable in times of stress.

 

2 Corinthians 1:18  But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. 19  For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. 20  For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 21  Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22  Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 24  Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. (read this in the NIV)

2 Corinthians 3:17  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

  • Grace is the gift, it is on us to obey…

In the two examples below, the gift was free, the follow-through, and maintenance were the responsibility or the recipient. It is the same for us today

 

John 9:7,11

7, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.  – 11,   He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

John 5:4-15

4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5  And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.6  When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?7  The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.8  Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.9  And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.10  The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.11  He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.12  Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?13  And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.14  Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.15  The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.

(11- I know what You say, but the one that healed me said…)

That’s the line to use on your temptations, the line to use on the devil

(I know what You say, but the one that healed me said…)

 

From The Archives: ‘Prayer: Plain, Purposed and Powerful…’

For the next few weeks, leading up to our 10th anniversary as a church, we’re going to look back on (and post here) some of the more significant things that we’ve studied…

Many of the posts (like the one that follows) is directly from Pastor Jermin’s notes.

RFBC Meeting Notes: 07/27/2008

Our topic this week is Prayer: Plain, Purposed and Powerful

Part One: We will be studying specific Prayers of Jesus

The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus – John 17
The Model Prayer of Jesus (which we call the Lord’s Prayer)  – Matthew 6:9-13, and Luke 11:2-4.

Analysis of the Lord’s Prayer:

9-After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

9) The acknowledgement of God’s Power, Authority, Position & Holiness

10-Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

10) Let your Kingdom (Righteousness, Peace & Joy in the Holy Ghost as described in Romans 14:17) come upon me, so that I can do your will here on earth

11-Give us this day our daily bread.

11) Provide for my day to day needs. (This so I can concentrate on you)

12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

12) The tightrope walk: The balance of repentance and forgiveness is where we must stand in order to stay in right relationship with God

13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

13) The first part is perhaps a reference to Psalm 23, in that the Shepherd leads and protects the sheep, and the second points again to the authority and eternal power of the Father

 

How did Jesus Pray?

John 11:41-43 – Lazarus (Confidence)

41  They took therefore the stone away. And Jesus lifting up his eyes, said: Father, I give thee thanks that thou hast heard me. 42  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people who stand about have I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43  When he had said these things, he cried with a loud voice: Lazarus, come forth.

 

John 12:27-30 – Glorify your name (Meekness/Temperance)

27  Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour. But for this cause I came unto this hour. 28  Father, glorify thy name. A voice therefore came from heaven: I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.

Luke 22:31-32
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Could Jesus simply have rebuked the devil for Peter’s sake?
Yes, obviously. Then why didn’t he?

v.32 the word translated as for is: περί  / peri /  per-ee’

which means properly: through (all over), that is, around; figuratively with respect to;

Reading that verse again it says: 32 But I have prayed through, all over, and around;  you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.

What did he pray FOR?: That Peter’s Faith not fail…
How did Peter benefit? How did the rest benefit?
The Word converted there is the greek word: ἐπιστρέφω / epistrepho / ep-ee-stref’-o

meaning; to revert (literally, figuratively or morally): – come (go) again, convert, (re-) turn (about, again).

And the word strengthen in the greek is: στηρίζω / stērizo / stay-rid’-zo

To set fast, that is, (literally) to turn resolutely in a certain direction, or (figuratively) to confirm: – fix, (e-) stablish, stedfastly set, strengthen.

What do we glean from this?

What does it mean to be sifted as wheat?

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.” (22:31)

Has asked, desires to is the Word ἐξαιτέομαι / exaiteomai   / ex-ahee-teh’-om-ahee  which means; to demand (for trial): – desire.

We sift processed flour to fluff it up before baking, but that isn’t the analogy here.

The word “sift” is the Greek word σινιάζω / siniazo / sin-ee-ad’-zo, which means “to sift by shaking in a sieve.” Here, grains of wheat are being sifted, holding back large pieces of foreign matter while letting the wheat through. The ideas of shaking and separating the grain from rubbish are at the forefront of Jesus’ description.

David Allan Hubbard explains, “The figure of sifting was an agricultural one, and its interpretation hinged on a knowledge of how grain was threshed. The sieve … must have been used to separate the kernels of grain from the trash they had mingled with in the threshing: pebbles, twigs, etc. With its large mesh the sieve would allow the farmer to sift the useful kernels into a pot or sack while the strings of the sieve retained the unwanted trash.”

 

Could it be that Jesus let Satan’s plan happen so that instead of destroying Peter, it would in fact purify him?

And what was the trial he had to endure? Could it have been this:  

Luk 22:33-34   – 33 But Peter said to him, “Lord, I’m ready to go to prison with you and to die with you.” 34  Jesus replied, “Peter, I can guarantee that the rooster won’t crow tonight until you say three times that you don’t know me.”

Luk 22:55-62  – 55  And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall and were sitting about it, Peter was in the midst of them. 56  Whom when a certain servant maid had seen sitting at the light and had earnestly beheld him, she said: This man also was with him. 57  But he denied him, saying: Woman, I know him not. 58  And after a little while, another seeing him, said: Thou also art one of them. But Peter said: O man, I am not. 59  And after the space, as it were of one hour, another certain man affirmed, saying: Of a truth, this man was also with him: for he is also a Galilean. 60  And Peter said: Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, as he was yet speaking, the cock crew. 61  And the Lord turning looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, as he had said: Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny thrice. 62  And Peter going out, wept bitterly.

Imagine not only the conviction, the shame, the guilt, the pain that Peter felt, but then Satan (the accuser) comes in, and there is condemnation and fear…

How did denying Jesus shape him?

Who did he become as a result?  – Read Acts 3

How have your trials shaped you? – Could it be that this is the way that the LORD answers your prayers at times?

 

Hebrews 12: 25-29 – Things that can be shaken…

Heb 12:25  See that you refuse him not that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke upon earth, much more shall not we that turn away from him that speaketh to us from heaven.

26 Whose voice then moved the earth; but now he promiseth, saying: Yet once more: and I will move, not only the earth, but heaven also. 27  And in that he saith: Yet once more, he signifieth the translation of the moveable things as made, that those things may remain which are immoveable. 28  Therefore, receiving an immoveable kingdom, we have grace: whereby let us serve, pleasing God, with fear and reverence. 29  For our God is a consuming fire.

Deut. 4:24 – For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God


Part Two: What I would like you to consider and share this Sunday are the following:

What are the most important aspects of prayer?

What types of prayers do you pray?

The Prayers I’ve prayed are:

The I’m sorry (prayer of repentance)

The Gimme, you know, the “Lord I NEED” and the “Lord, You Promised in your Word that”

The Bargainer/Let’s make a deal “Lord if you would do XYZ, I promise I’ll Never…”

The Thank You

A: By faith for what we want ( kind of like the gimme)

B:  The aftermath of the gimme

What types of prayers do you pray?

What are the most important aspects of prayer?
The object – Who are you praying to?
The subject – What are you praying about?

The Attitude – The way in which we approach God (ie boldly, confidently, etc)
Honesty – Pray honestly, pray sincerely
Listen- Prayer is after all, a 2 way endeavor

How has your prayer life changed over the past 5 years (if at all)?
What are the benefits/challenges of prayer for you?
Any suggestions that work for you re: your ritual (yes we all have them) that would benefit the fellowship
 

The Question: Do you have to speak in tongues to be saved/Christian?

From The Fellowship’s ‘Question and Answer’ series:
The Question: Do you have to speak in tongues to be saved/Christian?
The Answer:  Simple quick answer? In a word, No.
But we must then ask the larger question, namely:
What is speaking in tongues?
Well what are Tongues? Simply, languages. The term that is used to identify the tongues movement is “glossolalia,” made up of two Greek words, glossa (language or tongue) and lalia (speech). It therefore means speaking in languages or tongues.
This is from Lehman Strauss:
“The word glossa appears in the Greek New Testament not less than fifty times. It is used to refer to the physical organ of the tongue as in James 3:5; once in reference to the flames of fire shaped like tongues (Acts 2:3); at least once in a metaphorical sense when referring to speech as in the statement, “my tongue (speech) was glad (joyous)” (Acts 2:26). As far as I understand the remaining usages of the word it always means a language.
 
When our Lord predicted the gift of tongues (the only mention of tongues in the four Gospel records) He said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17). The adjective “new” (Gr. kainos) can only mean they were going to speak in languages new to them, that is, languages they had not learned or used until that time. If I say the Russian language is “new” to me, I do not mean that I never knew there was such a language, but rather its use by me is new to me because I can neither speak it nor understand it when I hear others speak it. On the other hand the German language is not altogether “new” to me because I can both read and speak it with a small degree of understanding.
 
In Acts 2:4 Luke uses a different adjective when he says, “they began to speak with other tongues.” The word “other” (Gr. heteros) simply means that they spoke in languages different from the normal language they were used to. The context substantiates this. Notice the surprised reaction on the part of the hearers—“And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:7,8). Every man heard them speak in his own language (Acts 2:6). Here the word “language” is the translation of dialekto from which our word “dialect” comes. The two words glossa (tongue) and dialektos (language) are used synonymously, making it obvious that the disciples were speaking in known languages other than the language native to them. In verses 9-11 the languages are then identified. It was a miraculous phenomenon which enabled the disciples to speak in languages which they had never learned. Here in this Acts passage we have tongues-speaking in its pure and unperverted form as God gave it.
The following verses in the Book of the Revelation should be examined carefully (Revelation 5:9; 7:9; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6; 17:15). In each passage where the word “tongue” is mentioned it means one of the languages associated with the various nationalities and races. I see no reason why anyone should raise a question as to the tongues in those passages in Mark, Acts and Revelation meaning languages.”
– Lehman Strauss, as quoted in the book: Encyclopaedia of Oriental Philosophy and Religion: Christianity, (p. 532) edited by Nagendra Kr Singh, A. P. Mishra
If the preceding is correct (and I for one believe it to be) then it must be asked why the speaking of different languages would be necessary for salvation? The answer is that it is not.
Then what is it for?
Consider the following verses:
1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 27-31 (HCSB)
1 Now concerning what comes from the Spirit: brothers, I do not want you to be unaware. 2 You know that when you were pagans, you used to be led off to the idols that could not speak. 3 Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person. 7 A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial: 8 to one is given a message of wisdom through the Spirit, to another, a message of knowledge by the same Spirit, 9 to another, faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another, the performing of miracles, to another, prophecy, to another, distinguishing between spirits, to another, different kinds of languages, to another, interpretation of languages. 11 But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He (the Spirit) wills.
 
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. 28 And God has placed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, next miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, managing, various kinds of languages. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all do miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in other languages? Do all interpret? 31 But desire the greater gifts. And I will show you an even better way.
In this passage, the Apostle Paul seems to be stating rather concretely, that the speaking of other languages is a gift of the Spirit, and it appears to be, like the others, for use in building the body of Christ. So, just as every believer is not a Pastor, nor is every person in the body possessive of the Prophetic gift, or the teaching gift, not everyone has the gift of other languages, or their interpretation.
This, in my opinion is directly in line with Jesus’ statement as quoted by Mark, specifically:
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; they will pick up snakes; if they should drink anything deadly, it will never harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.” – Mark 16:15-18 (HCSB)
In the process of going forth and preaching the Gospel, as sent/ordered by the master, these ‘signs’ shall accompany (the phrase ‘those who believe’ does not appear in the original Greek), who? As it appears that there is a fulfillment of this command in verse 20, I am of the opinion that the signs were to accompany those to whom He spoke, as a testament to HIS power and the truth of the message they preached…
So where does the ‘Tongues’ doctrine find its root?
As far as I can tell, in Acts 2, Acts 10, Acts 19, and 1 Corinthians 14. If you care to go a little deeper, to answer the questions more fully, one needs to examine the ‘tongues as evidence’ doctrine more deeply. It has its roots firmly in the book of Acts, and in that fact lays the fundamental problem. What is the book of Acts?
“The book of Acts is a historical narrative in contrast, for example, to the Epistles of the New Testament which are didactic or doctrinal or instructive to the church. This is a chronicle. It is a story really of the early church experiences. The Epistles, on the other hand, contain detailed instruction for believers throughout all the church age. So, in the Epistles, you have the rather permanent instruction and doctrine for the church. In the book of Acts, you have a chronicle of the history of the early church experiences. Historically, Christians committed to a Biblical perspective, have recognized the difference, and it is an important difference to recognize. Evangelical theologians through the years have drawn the heart of their doctrine from Bible passages intended to teach the church. They have understood that Acts is an inspired, historical record of the apostolic period, not necessarily viewing every event or every phenomenon that occurs there as normative for the entire church age.” – Dr. John McArthur
It is essential to the doctrine of speaking in tongues, (and to much of today’s Pentecostalism), that the book of Acts be viewed as both a historical and doctrinal, but then the question arises, namely, what is normative?
From Gordon Fee, a writer who is a Charismatic,
“How do the individual narratives in Acts, or any other biblical narrative for that matter, function as precedents for the later church, or do they? That is, does the book of Acts have a Word that not only describes the primitive church but speaks as a norm to the church at all times? If there is such a Word, how does one discover it or set up principles to aid in hearing it? If not, then what do we do with the concept of precedent? In short, just exactly what role does historical precedent play in Christian doctrine or in the understanding of Christian experience?
 
It must be noted at the outset that almost all biblical Christians tend to treat precedent as normative authority to some degree or another. But it is seldom done with consistency. On the one hand, people tend to follow some narratives as establishing obligatory patterns, while neglecting others; on the other hand, they sometimes tend to make one pattern mandatory when there is a complexity of patterns in Acts itself.How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart. Grand rapids, Michigan: Zondervan publishing House, 1993. Page 105.
So what does this mean?
Well, it means specifically that the doctrine of tongues as we know it in Pentecostal/Charismatic circles is probably erroneous/fallacious/unbiblical.
But then you ask:
‘But what about 1st Corinthians 14?
‘After all, Paul is speaking here about tongues, and it is not in the book of Acts…’
Well, let’s examine it
1 Corinthians 14:1-7 (HCSB)
1 Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and above all that you may prophesy. 2 For the person who speaks in another language is not speaking to men but to God, since no one understands him; however, he speaks mysteries in the Spirit. 3 But the person who prophesies speaks to people for edification, encouragement, and consolation. 4 The person who speaks in another language builds himself up, but he who prophesies builds up the church. 5 I wish all of you spoke in other languages, but even more that you prophesied. The person who prophesies is greater than the person who speaks in languages, unless he interprets so that the church may be built up. 6 But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in other languages, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you with a revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7 Even inanimate things that produce sounds—whether flute or harp—if they don’t make a distinction in the notes, how will what is played on the flute or harp be recognized?
1 Corinthians 14:8-19 (HCSB)
 
8 In fact, if the trumpet makes an unclear sound, who will prepare for battle?
 
9 In the same way, unless you use your tongue for intelligible speech, how will what is spoken be known? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different kinds of languages in the world, and all have meaning. 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker will be a foreigner to me. 12 So also you—since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, seek to excel in building up the church. 13 Therefore the person who speaks in another language should pray that he can interpret. 14 For if I pray in another language, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with my understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with my understanding. 16 Otherwise, if you praise with the spirit, how will the uninformed person say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you may very well be giving thanks, but the other person is not being built up. 18 I thank God that I speak in other languages more than all of you; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, in order to teach others also, than 10,000 words in another language.
I have heard it preached, based on this scripture, that the practice of ‘speaking in tongues’ is a personal act, which takes place between the believer and the Lord, for personal edification (v.4a), and Paul even says that he wishes that they could all speak in tongues (v.5a). But look at the second half of both of those verses, and remember to WHOM the apostle is speaking and about WHAT. He is speaking to a competitive, selfish, sin-allowing church about unity, Love, Peace and true faith.
So, could it be that He is in fact saying, (understanding the purpose of tongues as described in mark’s Gospel, and in the passages in the book of Acts) that it is better that you seek to build up the body than try to exhibit ‘signs’ in order to puff yourself up, (v12, 17) especially since the sings that you want to exhibit, have no place or point in the Worship service, and the goal in the service is the building up of all (v.16, 19).
If ‘speaking in tongues’ is for the purpose of declaring the works of God in languages that you are not a speaker of, and from all of the other accounts, these are human languages, then it need only occur in evangelistic situation, no?
A potentially dangerous doctrine?
That said, I would like to make not of something specifically concerning the ‘tongues’ doctrine. In my view, it is potentially harmful. I agree with the statements below, made by former Pentecostals, and tongues speakers…
“The enemy of the soul is ever ready to take advantage of an out of control situation, and thousands of Christians can testify with regret to the end results. Such experiences not only give Satan an opening he is quick to exploit, they can be physiologically damaging to the individual. Charismatic writers are constantly warning tongue speakers that they will suffer a letdown, this is ascribed to the devil and the reader is urged to get refilled as soon as possible. So the seeker for experience goes back through the ritual again and again, but begins to discover something. Ecstatic experience, like drug addiction, requires larger and larger doses to satisfy.
 
Sometimes the bizarre is introduced; I’ve seen people run around a room until they were exhausted. I’ve seen people climb tent poles, laugh hysterically, go into trances for days, and do other weird things, as the high sought becomes more elusive. Eventually there is a crisis and a decision is made; he will sit on the back seats and be a spectator, fake it, or go on in the hope that everything will eventually be as it was. The most tragic decision is to quit and in the quitting abandon all things spiritual as fraudulent. The spectators are frustrated, the fakers suffer guilt, the hoping are pitiable, and the quitters are a tragedy. No, such movements are not harmless.” – From: ‘The Corinthian Catastrophe’ (p.61) By George E. Gardiner
REGARDING TONGUES:
Although we cannot say that tongues have ceased, we can define tongues in the Bible as a real phonetic human language that a Christian has not learned, but that has been given to the Christian by the Holy Spirit. When we compare what biblical tongues really are, then we realize that the overwhelming majority of people who claim to speak in tongues are not TRULY speaking in a tongue that is from God, but are either carried away by their emotions or by a deceiving spirit or both. – Paul Washer
“To say that speaking in tongues is a harmless practice, and is all right for those who want to, is an unwise position when information to the contrary is evident. Speaking in tongues is addictive. The misunderstanding of the issue of tongues and the habit, plus the psychic high it brings, plus the stimulation of the flesh, equals a practice hard to let go of. But to equate much speaking in tongues with advanced spirituality is to reveal one’s misunderstanding of Bible truth, and to reveal one’s willingness to be satisfied with a deceptive and dangerous counterfeit.” – From: ‘The Truth About Speaking in Tongues’ (p.49) By Ben Byrd

The Bible in 10 Sentences

1) In the beginning YAHWEH created… – Genesis 1:1
2) And YAHWEH said “Let there be”, and it was
3) and YAHWEH said to Adam
4) and the Serpent said unto Eve
5) and YAHWEH said to Abram
6) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, 
and the Word was God – John 1:1
7) And Yahshuah said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
8) And Yahshuah said “It is finished”
9) If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9
10) And His Kingdom shall have no end.

© CT Jermin 2008

The Option you choose makes ALL the difference

 We as a culture value our opinions over the truth. That is because we are taught that truth is in fact relative, and subjective. The problem is that when this ideology is applied to the scripture, mayhem ensues, because the Word of God is just what it is: The Word of God, and when we run into things which are uncomfortable or in disagreement with our held views, we have three options:

a)    Bring our views in line with, and bow to, the Scripture
b)    Ignore the passage
c)    Change its meaning

The Option you choose makes ALL the difference.

Is your soul worth your momentary pleasure or comfort?

pastor.ctj

Pastor J is not concerned with Charlottesville, per se…

Why not? Because the issue pre exists, and is much larger than Charlottesville or MAGA hats…

I have been seeing for a long time, a growing tribalism that has permeated this culture in a way that was/is surprising to some, but certainly not unexpected. Personally, I don’t see why this is surprising to anyone; especially to anyone who calls themselves a Christian. The ‘values’ that seem to be in the lead in this culture are: Individualism, Diversity, Pride and Acceptance and all of those things are antithetical to The Gospel. If you do not espouse any and all of these things, declaring yourself to be an ‘ally’ of any and every group and expression, you are an enemy. This thinking transgresses all the lines of division, be they ethnicity, class, language, origin, sexuality or religion. It’s all the same issue.

The problem is, that this is a recipe for anarchy, and this is what we are seeing. Every tribe is lashing out in their various milieus, be it the board room, the class room, the neighborhood, or the street. It’s all the same thing. Every tribe wants to assert its rights, declare the supremacy of their ideology, and values, and give no quarter to the other.

Tribalism is the root issue, and the other things grow out from it as ‘values’. As such, one’s interpretation of each of those so-called ‘values’ will flow out of their given tribe’s definition. So at its root, ‘diversity’ is really division.

This is a divisive, angry selfish culture in America today, and the only cure is The Gospel, the very thing that the culture seeks to silence. We are raising a generation of self-absorbed, self-important bratty beasts who are now attending our Colleges and Universities, and being told that the culture should cater to them. Speech is violence, debate is aggression, and opposing points of view are ‘hatred’ that must be silenced. This to me, should concern us much more than it does.

Personally, I am not afraid or anxious, I am more disappointed than anything else. Why? Because I can’t see how people who claim The Gospel did not see/anticipate this. I am not clairvoyant, so it has to have been obvious to more than just me. Those who did/do, and fail to speak on it, for whatever sinful selfish reason, should be beaten with many stripes.

As one who went to a KKK rally near my college in CT. in 1981, lived through my neighborhood (Crown Heights) blowing up in 1991, stood less than a mile from the WTC and watched planes hit in 2001, losing friends and colleagues in the aftermath, (to mention just a few things), Charlottesville means little as a specific event. It is merely a symptom of the never-ending, heart-rooted issues that exist in all human cultures, and have since Cain and Abel.

We are tribal creatures, and we seek to find ways to a) find belonging and acceptance, and b) believe that there is something special about us.

The answer here is in the hands, hearts, minds and mouths of people like you and I, brethren. We are those with what the Bible calls, ‘beautiful feet’.
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the herald, who proclaims peace, who brings news of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”  – Isaiah 52:7

SDG