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This Christian Journey:

 

Impact Five

Tongues, Healing, Predestination,
and The New Age Movement

Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min. D.R.S.

www.thischristianjourney.com

 Unit One, Unit Two, Unit Three, Unit Four

Unit One

Tongues and the Bible

 

One of the most controversial issues facing the Christian Church today is Biblical Tongues.  Some claim that these Biblical tongues have ceased.  Others claim that they exist only in a slightly different form from that demonstrated in the book of Acts.  Still others having experienced what they consider to be these tongues proclaim their reality, according to their personal experience.

The purpose of this study will be to guide you in a detailed Scriptural study of tongues.  It is important for you to understand at this point that the revealed truth concerning tongues is not dependent upon personal experiences, or life long traditions; it wholly relies upon that which is contained within God's Holy Word.  Therefore, you are asked to sift your current beliefs and experiences through the pages of the Bible, and to build your beliefs upon that which God has said.

What do you currently believe about TONGUES?

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

Are Tongues required for salvation, or the filling of the Holy Ghost? __________

 

The Purpose of Tongues 

The first step in understanding Biblical tongues is to find the Scriptural purpose of Tongues.  God has a purpose for everything, so we must at least try to understand what God was trying to do with tongues. 

1 Corinthians 14:21-22 21 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. 22 Wherefore tongues are for a ______________, not to them that __________________, but to them that believe ______________: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.  

The statement recorded in this passage of Scripture is a direct quote of Isaiah 28.11, take a moment to carefully compare these two Scriptures.   

Isaiah 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.  

Also, look up Deuteronomy 32.21, and compare it to Romans 10.19, and compare them to the passages listed above.  These two Old Testament passages are prophecies pertaining to that which is spoken of in First Corinthians. 

1.      Who is "this people" spoken of in 1 Corinthians 14.21, and Isaiah 28.11? (You may have to investigate more of the context to figure this out)

 _________________________________________________________

2.      Who will speak to "this people", what does "men of other tongues" refer to?

 _________________________________________________________

3.      Why will God allow these strangers to speak to His people like this (Deuteronomy 32.21; Romans 10.19)?

 _________________________________________________________

4.      1 Corinthians 14.22 states that "tongues are a sign", who is this sign for?

 _________________________________________________________

5.      Who is this "sign" not for?

____ _____________________________________________________

 

At this point let me bring out a few historical and Scriptural facts that many have a tendency to overlook.  First, these Old Testament prophecies were given to Israel by God's prophets; remember, in those days God had very little to do with the Gentiles, they were not God's chosen people.  So Isaiah, when he wrote to “this people” was writing to the Jews, God’s chosen people.

When Jesus came, He came to the nation of Israel, and they rejected, despised and crucified Him; they refused to believe, as a nation, that He was the promised Messiah.  However, the Gentiles believed in multitudes, it was wonderful news for them to hear that they could now be accepted by God, through Jesus Christ; hence, the Gentiles were the believers.  The Gentiles are the men of other tongues spoken of in Isaiah and Deuteronomy, and the believers spoken of in 1 Corinthians 14.

Remember, you must not take Scripture out of context, not under any circumstance.  The prophecies were given on a national level, therefore, their fulfillment must be on a national level.  Tongues are designed to provoke the unbelieving nation of Israel to jealousy, and this they did since they demonstrated to the Jews that the Holy Spirit of God had been given to the Gentiles. 

6.      Where do you usually see tongues practiced today, in Church or in public?

 _________________________________________________________

 

7.      Where was it seen used in Scripture, in Church or in public (Acts 2.4-6; 10.46; 19.6)?

 _________________________________________________________

 

Tongues, according to the book of Acts, were always spoken in public, and there were always Jews present when they were spoken.  This is important to notice since tongues were a sign intended to provoke Israel to jealousy.  When considered scripturally tongues are always spoken by new believers in the presence of Jews (some believers, some lost) who doubted the gifting of the Holy Spirit to the new believers.

Another important fact concerning tongues is that they were always understood by those hearing that which was spoken.  In other words the tongues spoken in the book of Acts were dialects, or known languages; this is what the Greek word GLOSSIA means.  The miracle was that these tongues were spoken by people who had never learned the language in which they were speaking.  Remember, these were understandable languages. 

8.      Are the tongues spoken in many Churches today a known language?

 _________________________________________________________

 

Even the Pastor's, and elders of the Churches that encourage the speaking of modern day tongues admit that what they are speaking are not known languages in our world today, and that which is spoken can not be understood unless an interpreter decipher the message for them.  Therefore, what we see in the book of Acts, and what is practiced and experienced by many today is not the same thing.

 

Unknown Tongues 

There is a second type of tongues identified in the Bible, in 1 Corinthians 14.  You will have to use a King James Bible to identify the two types of tongues, since the many other versions of the bible don't show the two different types.  In 1 Corinthians 14 you will notice that there is a reference made to an UNKNOWN TONGUE; this Greek word is the word GLOSSA, instead of the GLOSSIA used previously in Acts, and means an ecstatic utterance (According to Spiros Zodiates, a trusted Greek scholar of our day). 

“One observation only needs to be made.  In the three historical occurrences of speaking in tongues in Acts 2.4,6,8;10.46 and 19.6, these were dialects as specifically stated in Acts 2.6,8. or languages (heterai, 2087) other than the ones known by the speakers.  Also in Mk. 16.17; 1 Cor 12.10,28,30; 13.1,8; 14.5,6,18,22, when the word glossai is used in the plural with a singular pronoun, reference is made to ethnic languages.  When the word “tongue” is used in the singular, glossa as in 1 Cor 14.2,4,13,19,26,27, it refers to the Corinthian ecstatic utterance.  In 1Cor 14.9 it refers to the physical tongue of man, and in 1 Cor 14.23; being in the plural with a personal pronoun, it refers to the Corinthian ecstatic utterances.” [Spiros Zodhiates, The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, (Chattanooga, AMG Publishers, 1984) pg1405] 

This word is only used in this chapter of the Bible, and it is not found any where else in Scripture.  It indicates an ecstatic outburst or an emotional outburst, and does not indicate any linguistic value to either the speaker or the hearer of its vocalization.  It is important to note that the translators of the King James Bible noted this important distinction and placed the word unknown in to the text in order to help you and I distinguish the difference.  The word unknown is placed in the text in italics to let you know it was added by the translators.  They honestly added it to help you discover very important truths in your study of 1 Corinthians 14.

Knowing this, lets do an interesting study.  In the space provided below, and in the appropriate column, go through 1 Corinthians 14 and each time you see either the mention of tongues or the unknown tongues write what is described or revealed about that tongue in the chart below, include the verse numbers for easy reference, then compare the two columns for the purpose of understanding what Paul was expressing in this text.

Tongues

Unknown Tongues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.      Now look carefully at what you have just charted, what does it reveal to you?

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_______________________________________________________ 

10.  According to 1 Corinthians 14, did Paul ever say that he had spoken in an unknown tongue? _______________ 

11.  Did Paul express any desire to speak in an unknown tongue (1 Corinthians 14.19)? ______

 

It seems clear from a diligent study of 1 Corinthians 14, and the other Old and New Testament passages we have compared to this chapter, that God’s purpose in giving Tongues (dialectic languages) was to provoke Israel to jealousy in order to bring them to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.  Latter in the history of the Church a new kind of Tongues appeared in Corinth (unknown tongues, the ecstatic utterance), which was very distinct from the tongues spoken in the book of Acts.  Paul notes that these unknown tongues: 

o       Provide no edification for the Church as a whole (vs 2-3)

o       May provide spiritual encouragement for the individual (vs 4)

o       Our primary purpose in Church is the edification (building up) of the Church as a whole (vs 5)

o       Speaking in unknown tongues should only occur if an interpreter is present (vs 27).  How does one know before hand if an interpreter is present?  One cannot know!

o       If no interpreter is present then he should keep silent in Church and speak privately with God (vs 28).  In other words keep it private, between the individual and God. 

Therefore, from a diligent and honest study of this text I find that the following counsel is the best I can give.  If you feel led to speak in an unknown tongue it is best to do so at home in your private prayer closet.  Edification and understanding are of primary importance within the Church.  Unknown Tongues are not a sign of a special Spiritual gift, nor do they indicate that one is specially filled with the Holy Spirit; one may be filled with the Holy Spirit and never speak in these unknown tongues, as I believe Paul indicates in this text.  Yet, I also do not find Paul excluding unknown tongues from ones personal relationship with Christ.

From a personal point of view, I must admit that I have never spoken in, nor felt a desire to speak in, unknown tongues or tongues.  I am very much like Paul when he wrote, “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 language.” (1 Corinthians 14.19)  Even in private prayer my strongest desire is to be near my Lord and to fully understand His will, purpose, and love for me and others.  Yet, I have known many very godly and precious brothers and sisters in Christ who have shared with me that they have spoken in these unknown tongues in their private prayer closet; yet I know from time spent with them that they deeply loved our Lord and that their doctrine was sound and based on God’s Word.

 

The End of Dialectical (Languages) Tongues  

Turning back to the purpose of Tongues, I find that I must give you a little history to go along with this study.  Israel was a rebellious nation, they did not like to have other countries like Rome ruling over them, and they were always rising up and fighting against their rulers.  In 70 A.D. the Emperor of Rome had finally had enough of these Jews and he sent in Titus with the Roman Army who completely destroyed Israel, scattered its people and renamed the country Palestine.  At that time Israel ceased to be a nation. 

12.  Who was the sign of tongues sent to, according to Scripture?

___________________________________________________________ 

13.  If Israel is not a nation in the eyes of God, for they won’t be again in God’s eyes until Jesus gathers them back together again, then what happened to the purpose of tongues?

 __________________________________________________________

 Therefore, that which is revealed in 1 Corinthians 13.8 has come to pass, Scriptural Tongues have indeed ceased.

To support this let me give just a little more history.  Since Israel ceased to be a nation tongues have been foreign to the Christian Church.  Throughout the ages, all the way up to 1901, we hear nothing about tongues from our Church Fathers.  Please keep in mind there is a distinction between tongues and unknown tongues.  We even have records of men of God who openly stated that they knew nothing of this tongues for they were not spoken in their day.  Even those who practice the speaking in unknown tongues in our day admit that tongues were not heard of until 1901 when a woman in a revival meeting stood up, spoke in unknown tongues, and gave birth to the Charismatic Movement, and the possibly the Pentecostal Church.

Now, what do we say to those who have experienced something that they and many others would call tongues?  We simply say that yes they have experienced something.  However, what they have experienced is not the Scriptural dialectic tongues (languages) that the Apostles and others had spoken in the book of Acts.  They most likely experienced the ecstatic emotional outburst (unknown tongues) revealed in 1 Corinthians 14, and we won’t condemn them for that.  Yet we will not encourage it in public Church services either, for it is not edifying to the Church as a whole, and the edification of the Church body must come first.

Do we believe that these emotional tongues are necessary for salvation or for the filling of the Holy Spirit?  No, Scripture does not even begin to imply anything of that nature, and clearly teaches otherwise.  Do we allow the speaking of these tongues in our Church services?  No, because we do not have a known interpreter present (1 Cor 14.26-27), and because we want the unlearned to learn of Christ Jesus clearly without any occasion to doubt (1 Cor 14.23-25).

 

Spiritual Pride 

Someone might respond to this study by asking, “Preacher, you say that if these unknown tongues were spoken that it ought not to be spoken in Church, but what about 1 Corinthians 14.27, which states: 

1 Corinthians 14:27 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.  

Aren’t you opposing the Word of God by not allowing these tongues to be spoken in Church?”

In order to fully understand the position being forwarded in this study you must understand the literary context of 1 Corinthians 14.  This chapter appears in a letter written to a Church that is described as carnal, immature, and divided (1 Cor. 3.1-3).  These Christians were divided over their Church leadership (1 Cor 1), spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12), and the purpose of the Church (1 Cor 13-14).  These saints were even divided over sin in the Church and how to express godly love in the face of sinful saints (1 Cor 5).  To say the least these saints were contentious and divided, to the extent that Paul said to them:

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

In this context, it is easy to understand that Paul, in dealing with such an emotionally charged and hot button issue, like unknown tongues, would realize that these saints would need to develop spiritually before they could fully respond to what Paul was trying to teach them.  Hence, much of what Paul was addressing in their carnal position would only be corrected in time, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit of God.  The simple fact was that these Christians were far to spiritually proud to just instantly change.

Spiritual pride is one of those often unseen obstacles that many Christians recognize only when they have climbed low into its deep chasms.  Saints caught up in spiritual pride often feel that they are high upon a mountain rather than deep in a spiritual valley and it takes a supernatural act to awaken them to their current status or position.  Then, once they realize where they have gone, there is the difficult climb out of its slippery banks; but climb they must.  We must always remember that: 

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

These Corinthian Christians were caught up in their emotional, spiritual experiences and the feelings that accompanied these experiences had taken root in their spiritual lives.  It felt good, but more importantly their outward spiritual expressions caught the eyes and ears of those around them.  There was a spiritual status that accompanied these spiritual expressions, and that gave them a sense of spiritual stature.  This spiritual stature would be no different than the feeling of stature that accompanies a young man that buys his first new BMW.  This is none other than spiritual pride.

Someone caught in the grip of this kind of pride will find themselves defending their actions with vehemence.  They will obstinately contend, “My actions had nothing to do with my self will, and I will defend my spiritual actions and rights until I die!”  Of course there are many variations to their arguments, but the point here is that they will absolutely refuse to change their practices over a study like this, because they know, that they know, that they are spiritually superior, and their abilities reflect their spiritual stature.  If they were not so very proud they would not hesitate to practice their unknown tongue in their secret place of heartfelt prayer, where God listens to the heart rather than to the mouth.  Paul said it this way, 

1 Corinthians 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

 Jesus Christ said it this way,

Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Hence, this unknown tongue, which provides nothing of edifying value to the Church of Jesus Christ, and is at best the interaction of ones deepest being with Almighty-God, ought to be kept appropriately in the secret chambers of ones personal prayers.

 

An Easy Way Out 

Some of my fellow Pastor’s might argue, “No, you are wrong, all tongues have ceased, and that is what we must teach.”  While it is easy to understand why it is easier to just teach this traditional position, if one is going to stand on the Word of God, and teach all that is contained within its pages, then one must eventually address 1 Corinthians 14 and its unknown tongues.  It cannot just be ignored, it must be addressed.  Christians must be encouraged to: 

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Therefore, in this study we have discovered: 

1.      The apostles spoke in tongues, which were dialects (known languages) of there day, for the purpose of provoking Israel to jealousy.

2.      The tongues of the apostles ceased when their purpose ceased and Israel ceased to be a nation.

3.      The unknown tongues of 1 Corinthians 14 were emotional tongues that were not known languages, and could not be readily understood.

4.      The edification of the Church is the most important thing in any Church service.

5.      It is best, if one must practice unknown tongues to exercise it in privacy.

6.      It is not necessary for any Christian to speak in any kind of tongues for them to have the Holy Spirit or be filled with the Holy Spirit.  The new-birth is all that is required. 


 

Unit Two

Scriptural Healing

 

The Christian Church has been struggling in recent years with a misunderstanding about divine healing.  Many good Christians have struggled to understand what they know has occurred in their own lives (they get sick, they loose loved ones, etc...), compared with what they see and hear all about them; as many claim that no faithful Christian should ever be sick.  The focus of this study will be to understand what God has revealed in His Word concerning sickness, and healing.

One Scripture that is almost always quoted by those in the anti-sickness crowd is Isaiah 53.5.  Look up this Scripture, and read it carefully.  They claim that the statement ". . . with His stripes we are healed . . ." speaks of physical healing.  Lets consider this Scripture in more detail. 

1.      What was Jesus wounded for (vs 5)?

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2.      What is a transgression?

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Transgression - pesha` peh'-shah (hb) - 1) transgression, rebellion. (Strong’s)

3.      What was He bruised for?

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4.      What is iniquity?

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Iniquity - avon aw-vone' (hb) - 1) perversity, depravity, iniquity, guilt or punishment of iniquity. (Strong’s)

5.      What is chastisement?

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Chastisement - muwcar moo-sawr' (hb) - 1) discipline, chastening, correction. (Strong’s)

This correction is associated with one’s transgressions and iniquity.  It is associated with what we commonly refer to as sin.

6.      Is there anything physical about transgressions, iniquities, and chastisement or are they more spiritually orientated?

 _________________________________________________________

7.      If we keep this Scripture in context, what type of healing must this be referring to?

__________________________________________________________

8.      When does a person experience this healing?

__________________________________________________________ 

Whenever something does not appear to make sense in Scripture, if the avid seeker will diligently study, then the truths of God's Word will always shine through.  It is obvious that this passage is spiritual in nature, and presents little in respect to physical healing.  It is making a clear reference to a spiritual healing from the consequences and affects of our sin.  There is an eternally declared price tag on our sin, the bible states: 

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; . . .

The cost of sin is clear, it is death; this death makes reference to the second death defined in Revelation 20.11-19.  Sin requires that one spend all of eternity in the horrible confines of the Lake of Fire.  Someone might say, “I don’t believe in a literal hell! I don’t believe that a loving God would ever throw someone into a Lake of Fire!”  If you understand Scripture properly you will understand that God does not throw anyone into hell.  Instead they throw themselves into hell by their sin.  Yet, God provided a remedy for the human sickness known as sin, and its consequences.  God gave Jesus, who suffered in your place for your sins, and died so you could live, then Jesus arose that you might not only live but live abundantly.  Through Jesus stripes you can be, and if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have been eternally healed from your sins.  Glory To God!

Therefore we find that Isaiah does not speak of physical healing at all.  To interpret this passage as referring to physical healing is to wrestle the passage from its context and to misunderstand its divinely intended meaning.

 

Biblical Healing 

However, the bible does give us illumination about divine physical healing.  So, lets look at the Scriptural case for healing.  We will start by addressing the issue of God's will concerning sickness.  There are some who claim that it is not God's will for any Christian to be sick, but does the Bible literally support this view? 

9.      What was the condition of Trophimus when Paul left him (2 Timothy 4.20)?

__________________________________________________________

10.  How sick did Paul say Epaphroditus had been (Philippians 2.26-27)?

__________________________________________________________

11.  What did Paul say about himself (2 Corinthians 12.7)?

__________________________________________________________ 

Some claim that Paul's thorn was spiritual in nature, instead of physical.  Scripture always answers any questions it genders in the course of its study.

12.  What did Paul say that the Galatians did not despise (Galatians 4.14)?

__________________________________________________________

13.  What did he say the Galatians would have done for him (Galatians 4.15)?

__________________________________________________________

14.  Why would they have desired such as this?

__________________________________________________________ 

It seems obvious that the thorn in Paul's flesh had something to do with his eyes, and his vision.  This defect had to be visible, for the Galatians would not despise what they could not see.  This accounts for the reason that Paul would have someone else pen his epistles for him, since writing would have been a formidable task for a person with a problem like his.  Paul even recognized the extra effort that was required for him to write when he stated "ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand" (Galatians 6.11), a reference to the size of the letters he was writing; a man with a vision problem would have experienced great difficulty in reading and writing.

From these texts we learn that God does not heal everyone.  There are many who are allowed to carry a disability or sickness, and are powerfully used regardless of their circumstances. 

15.  Look up James 5.14-15, and describe what this passage says to you.

_________________________________________________________

 

Many believe that this passage guarantees healing to any who pray in faith.  However, we know that Paul was a faithful prayer warrior and God refused to heal Him; so, this becomes either a contradiction or a misunderstanding.  Just what is the truth of this passage? 

There are two different Greek words for sick used in these two verses.  The first in verse 14 is the Greek word asthenei (gk) which means to be weak, without strength, powerless.  This same word is used in at least three other places in the New Testament.  By looking at these references we can understand how this particular word is usually used. 

16.  Look up John 5.5-9; Mark 6.56; Luke 4.40, describe the type of sickness spoken of in these references.

___________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

 

So, it is clear that these passages use this word for sick to describe a physical affliction, such as a handicap or a disease.  This is the type of sickness being addressed in James 5.14. 

17.  What are the physically sick told to do?

 __________________________________________________________

18.  What are those called upon to do?

 __________________________________________________________

19.  Is there any guaranteed outcome of obedience given in verse 14 alone?

 ________________ 

The second word for sick is used in verse 15.  It is the Greek word kamnonta (gk) which means to grow weary or to be sick.  It is also used elsewhere in the New Testament, lets look at its usage. 

20.  Look up Hebrews 12.3; Revelation 2.3, what type of sickness do these references speak of?

_________________________________________________________

21.  What does James 5.15 state will save one from this type of sickness?

_________________________________________________________

It is clear that this passage does promise healing to the spiritually and mentally sick.  However, it does not promise any result to the physically handicapped or sick; instead we are told to obediently commend them into the hands of God, and trust that His divine will and knowledge is of greater value than our expectations or desires.

Therefore, as a result of a diligent word study of James 5.14-15 we have learned that these verses refer to the physically sick who are to be prayed for by the elders of the Church and the mentally or spiritually sick who will be raised up and encourage through prayer and forgiveness.  The two are very properly linked together in these verses.  It is not rare for a physically ill or handicapped person to become mentally or spiritually cast down as a result of a long and enduring illness.  While God promises encouragement through prayer in these cases, the Bible does not guarantee a physical healing.

For your information, there are other passages of Scripture that are often quoted by the health and wealth guys which they claim guarantee healing to the sick; however, when the passages are diligently studied the truth of God's Word is made clear, THERE IS NO GUARANTEED PHYSICAL HEALING GIVEN WITHIN THE PAGES OF GOD'S WORD. 

Please, don't misunderstand what I'm stressing at this point.  Our God is a great God, and is able to heal, should He desire to do so; often healing is God's will.  However, He has in no way subjected His divine power to the will of any human being.  God heals or refuses to heal in keeping with His divine will.  If God’s should choose not to heal someone, as He refused to heal Paul, then there is no definitive failure of faith on the part of the sick individual; instead there is the simple exercise of the omnipotent will of a truly sovereign God.

 

22.  Why would God allow anyone to be sick (2 Corinthians 12.9; 1 Peter 1.7)?

 ________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________ 

God uses trials, temptation, sickness, and health to magnify Himself in and through our lives.  Sometimes our trials are used to mold us, build us, and make us more like our lovely Lord Jesus Christ.  At other times our afflictions are tools used by God to build someone else, whether it seems fair or not.  Then there are times when our rebellion demands the stern correction of a Heavenly Father who loves us too much to leave us under the decaying influence of sin.  Whatever God’s purpose and will is we can rest assured that: 

Romans 8:28 . . .  all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.


 

 

Unit Three

Predestination 

For hundreds of years the Church of Jesus Christ has struggled with the doctrine of predestination.  In this debate there are two primary views concerning predestination.  There is the literal Baptist view, sometimes called the Armenian view.  Then there is the view that was common with the Reformers that came out of the Roman Catholic Church, commonly called the Reformed view or Calvinism.

The Calvinist would state that God is sovereign in every way, and being sovereign there is no decision that any individual could make that would be opposed to God.  Therefore, since God is sovereign, and since it is revealed that some individuals are going to go to Hell; then God has predestined some people to Hell, and others to Heaven.  Mans will is of little recourse when placed beside of God's sovereign will, and man really has no real choice in the matter.  The major principles surrounding Calvinism are easily remembered in the acronym TULIP as follows:

T” stands for Total Depravity and involves the implications and ramifications of Adam’s original sin upon himself and his physical descendants.

U” is for Unconditional Election and teaches God’s eternal selection of certain human beings for eternal salvation, which selection was not caused by anything meritorious done by fallen man.

L” represents the teaching of Limited Atonement, the assertion that the death of Christ was intended to eternally save only those who were unconditionally chosen by God from the realm of depraved humanity, but not every single human person.

I” designates Irresistible Grace which asserts that the depraved, yet chosen person for whom Christ’s death was intended cannot (or is not able to) resist the Holy Spirit’s application of the provisions of Christ’s death.

 “P” points to the Perseverance of the Saints (i.e., those totally depraved humans who were unconditionally chosen, redeemed specifically by Christ, and recipients of Spirit-applied grace) in holiness and faith until the end of their earthly lives.[2]  

In trying to sum up the Calvinistic position one might say that God has chosen who will and who will not be saved.  There is nothing any individual person can do concerning their salvation, there is no choice to be made by the individual, the choice has already been made by God.  Hence, total depravity implies that mankind cannot make any good choice, not even the choice to be saved.  Irresistible grace implies that since God has chosen who will be saved and when that mankind is incapable of refusing God’s gift and will accept Christ as God has preordained that he should.  The other theological points contained in TULIP lend themselves to these same essential principles.

Scripturally speaking, this author finds that the Calvinistic position stands in stark contrast and opposition to the revealed Word of God, and does great harm to the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.  To even begin to suggest that God has purposefully willed that some men and women were destined for the Lake of Fire from the beginning of God creation darkens Scriptures like: 

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, ______________ that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

John 3:16 For God so loved ________________, that he gave his only begotten Son, _______________________ believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 10:13 For _____________________ shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

On the other hand James Arminius taught in opposition to the TULIP principles of Calvinism.  He taught that mankind was called upon by God to choose whether or not they would accept God’s gift of grace.  Many Arminians in our day have developed a theological system that is just as complicated and demanding as that of the Calvinist.  Today, true Arminians teach that not only can you choose to be saved but that you can also loose your salvation through your freewill choices as well.  Many Arminians take free will and freedom of choice to the extreme position of teaching that the choices and will of mankind can bend the will and purposes of Almighty-God.

Clearly, the position of this document does not stand with the traditional Calvinist, but it will not take up the position of the Armenian either.   It will be the goal of this text to discover what is revealed in the Word of God and to try and explain a complicated debate that has lasted for many centuries and through the studies of many Godly Christians.  Let’s take a close look at what God's Word has to say about predestination.

 

In His Image 

When God created mankind, He made us different from anything else in creation.  What was the difference?  According to Genesis chapter one it was that He created us in His image.  That does not necessarily mean that we look exactly like God.  No, instead it means that He gave us something that he had not given to anything else in His creation; A FREE WILL.  He gave us the ability to think, and make choices.  When we make the right choices, we honor God.  When we make the wrong choices, we sin against God.  None the less we are able to choose. 

1.      What was to first bad choice made by mankind (Genesis 3.1-13)?

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2.      According to Genesis 3.6, did they make the choice to sin or did God force them?

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3.      What is the ultimate result of any sin (Romans 6.23)?

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4.      Where will this death be (Revelation 20.14)?

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5.      Who did God prepare this place for (Matthew 25.41)?

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6.      Is it God's will for any man to perish (Matthew 18.14)?

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7.      IS IT GOD'S WILL FOR ANY MAN TO PERISH (2 Peter 3.9)?

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If God did not prepare the Lake of Fire for mankind, and if God clearly declares that IT IS NOT HIS WILL for any to perish, then how can anyone believe that God has predestined anyone for Hell!!  It is our willful rebellion against the revealed will of God that brings sins cost (hell) upon us.  God does not force us to rebel and sin, we willfully exert ourselves and transgress against a holy, just and loving God.

While it is clear that God has not predestined any individual for Hell, it is also clear that predestination is mentioned in Scripture.  Since we know that God's Word never contradicts itself, then we must fervently seek the truths of these passages; seeking to understand what God has predestined mankind for. 

8.      Look up and read Ephesians 1.5, what does this passage state that God has predestined us for?

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God has predestined us to the adoption of children.  God wants us to be a part of His glorious family through the adoption of sons.  Hence, God’s will is that you and I should be a part of His royal heritage. 

9.      When does one receive an adoption into God's family (John 1.12; Gal 4.1-7)?

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10.  When were we predestined to this adoption (Ephesians 1.4)?

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We were predestined for God’s family from the foundation of the world.  Thus, God’s plan from the beginning of all things was that people should receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and should be added by divine adoption to the incredible family of God. 

11.  Who was predestined (John 3.16)? __________________________

 

This passage states, “For God so loved the world . . .”  When it comes right down to it, God wants every individual to be with Him in Heaven.  This is clearly revealed in John 3.16 and is reiterated throughout the Bible.   Peter wrote, “. . . not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3.9)  This being the case, God then predestined every human being to the "adoption of children."  God wanted everyone to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, and to find their entrance into His family and an eternal Heaven.  So, as one diligently considers those verses in the Bible that mention predestination one discovers that their context almost always points to the fact that God has predestined us for salvation and the transformation that accompanies that glorious New-Birth.

 

Election

Whenever one debate’s predestination with a Calvinist election almost always comes up; it is as though election is the trump card, so to speak, for every other argument surrounding the issue.  A Calvinist might argue that if one is elect, then that must mean that one was pre-selected.  Hence, they would claim that election means that God must have determined who would and who would not be saved before the world was created.  While there are many verses in the Bible that mention the elect or election I believe that one verse in particular helps us glean a proper understanding of election.

 

12.  What does 1 Peter 1.2 reveal about God’s election?  Election is according to what?

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Foreknowledge deals with the Omniscience of God, or the fact that God knows everything.  There is nothing that happens, good or bad, that catches God by surprise.  God knows everything.  God knew that Lucifer (Satan) would rebel against him.  God knew that Adam and Eve would rebel and eat the forbidden fruit.  God knew that you would be born and would be in need of salvation.  God just simply knows absolutely everything.  This means that God also knows who will and who will not accept Jesus Christ and their personal Lord and Savior. 

Now, the first assumption we want to make at this point is, if God’s knows everything then God could influence everything.  After all God is not only all knowing, He is also all powerful and sovereign. Therefore, God has already chosen who will and who will not be saved.  Think again!

Just because God knows everything does not mean that He chooses everything.  In God’s sovereign plan God wants you to be saved, but God has also chosen that you should be allowed to choose for yourself whether or not you will be saved.  Our Heavenly Father loves you so much that He sent Jesus, the very best that heaven had to offer, that you might be Born Again through Him.  Yet, God also loves you enough that He will not force you to love Him back, for that would not be love at all.  Instead He has purposed that you should choose for yourself whether or not you will be a part of His glorious family.  God wants you to repent, receive Jesus and be transformed into the image of His precious son, but He will not force you to be saved.  You must choose that for yourself.

 

Conclusion

Do  not  confound  the  issue.  God  wants  you  in  Heaven, He  has  predestined  you  to  be  there;  however,  He  will  not  force  you  to  go  there.

 

13.  Read Romans 8.29, what did God predestine each individual to be?

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14.  How can we become Christ like (2 Corinthians 5.17)?

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15.  What have those who accept Jesus Christ been predestined to obtain (Ephesians 1.11)?

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16.  What is this inheritance (John 14.1-4)?

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17.  Has God predestined anyone to Hell?

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God has predestined that every human being should receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.  God does not want anyone to perish for a lack of repentance.  Therefore, God is holding out the free gift of eternal life toward anyone who will receive it.  The most important question you face in your mortal life is, will you receive God’s love gift, will you be born-again?

 

Unit Four

The New Age Movement

 

New Age Theology has seized modern society; it is being taught in our academic schools, graduate schools, and is stressed by our government.  It is even preached from some of our pulpits.  However, many never recognize it for what it is; a religious belief system that finds its roots in ancient history.  The focus of this study is to inform you of this New Age Theology, and to develop a Biblical position concerning its pretenses.

First, one must realize that we don't label any one religious system as heretical simply because it is recognized by a title other than our own.  No, instead we must become familiar with its pretenses or views, and compare them with the truths contained in God's Word.  It is through this diligent comparison that each religious system either stands or falls, completely apart from any individuals personal opinion.

While there are many who hold the views commonly attributed to the New Age Movement, there are few of its proponents who would openly identify themselves as a part of the movement.  This movement is not an organized religious system, but is a movement that can find itself working its way into any religious system.  Many who hold the views expressed by the New Age Movement do not hold all of its pretenses, but may find themselves affected by as few as one or two of its more common principles.

This movement flows from ancient philosophical views mixed with ancient mystical thought, is liberal in its collective stand, and can be dogmatic in its personal standards.  It has so permeated our society that its principles can be found in almost every environment.

 

The three most common principles of this movement are: 

1.      That everyone is a part of God; therefore, everyone is God. 

2.      That since everyone is, at least, a part of God, each person can establish their own moral standards without any outside or higher influence. 

3.      That reincarnation presents the only reasonable future hope for mankind.

 

Lets deal with the first principle.

 

Everyone Is God 

1.      Look up Isaiah 14.12-17, according to verses 13-14 what was the cause of Satan's fall? 

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2.      According to Genesis 3.4-5 what was the lie Satan used to deceive Eve?

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 Notice that in each of these references there is the end goal of a created being becoming a god.  Lucifer wanted to assume the throne of God, and hence become a God himself.  Satan’s persuasive argument with Eve was “. . . ye shall be as gods . . .” 

3.      Where did mankind originally come from (Gen 1.26)?

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4.      Can a created being cause himself to be God?

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Remember, according to Scripture, if one has been born again he or she will have the indwelling presence of God.  However, this does not make an individual into a god.  Also, if one has not accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior; then they do not even have God's indwelling presence.  Just because someone declares themselves a god does not make them into a god.

The clear testimony of Scripture is that we are created beings.  We are not god’s and cannot ever be god’s.  We are invited by God to become His adopted children through faith in Jesus Christ, but even this does not make us into god’s.  It is Satan’s lie that tries to convince people that they are god’s in themselves.

 

Concerning the Moral Character of Mankind. 

5.      What is the Biblical definition of sin (Isaiah 53.6; Romans 3.10-11)?

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6.      According to God’s Word how many have sinned (Romans 3.23)?

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7.      What is the outcome of mans way (Proverbs 14.12)?

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8.      How does mankind find godliness and morality (Psalm 119.9,11)?

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9.      What does this say about mans ability to establish his own moral standards?

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10.  How does God’s Word answer those who say that they don’t necessarily believe what the Bible declares about mans moral ability (Romans 3.3-4)?

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History clearly reveals that mankind has yet to demonstrate any real ability to find a set of moral standards that can overcome the selfish and warring tenancies of all men.  This is just another example of the foolishness of an inherently immoral humanity.  Men are not naturally good to each other, many are not even naturally good to themselves.  Therefore, God’s standard was given, and if all mankind were to follow God’s revealed Word to the utmost, then true morality would be found.  However, mankind is not even capable of adhering to this truly pure standard, yet many still believe that mankind can somehow establish a selfless morality.

We are all sinners, lost and undone by our selfishness and greed.  We have been fooled into believing that somehow we can find it within ourselves to build and maintain perfection.  Yet, in the end find nothing but failure.  We clearly need a Savior, and our Heavenly Father has indeed met that need through the sacrifice of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The Final Outcome of Life.

 

11.  What does Hebrews 9.27 reveal about what happens after death?

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Nowhere within the passages of Scripture is there any inference to the reincarnation of mankind.  Reincarnation is a pagan religious belief which teaches that once an individual dies their soul will pass into another animal or living substance, and continues to live on.  The one thing that reincarnation and Christianity have in common is the belief that the human soul will never die.  Thus, reincarnation is the pagan attempt to deal with the enduring conscience of man.

The difference between the New Age Movement and Christianity is the distinction between reincarnation and resurrection.  In reincarnation there is no accountability to any higher power or authority, in resurrection there is a definite accountability known as judgment.  In reincarnation your choices and actions don’t matter much, you will be given another chance anyway.  In resurrection your choices and actions make an incredible difference both in glorification and condemnation.  The gulf between the New Age Movement and the Word of God is wide and vast.  There never has been and never will be a harmony between the two positions.

The Christian relies on God revelation to tell him about what will happen after he dies, and God has been good enough to give us enough revelation to provide each of us with an eternal hope.  However, in reincarnation there are only suppositions and fancies about the next life.  There is nothing to support the idea of reincarnation, there is plenty to support the Word of God, and if the Word of God is to be trusted, and lifted up as ones standard; then reincarnation can not be a valid option.

 

Conclusion

Don’t make the mistake of adopting New Age Beliefs as a part of your spiritual understanding of life.  Almighty-God has revealed much in His written Word to help you understand the creation we live in, the life we have been given, and the future that is before us.  Study His word diligently and prayerfully seek to understand what it reveals about your life in Jesus Christ.  Our world has many philosophical beliefs, but they are all vain in comparison to God's all knowing wisdom.


 

[1] Updated, February 05, 2007

[2]Anthony B. Badger, “TULIP: A Free Grace Perspective Part 1: Total Depravity,”  Grace Evangelical Society. 2003; 2004. Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society Volume 16 . Grace Evangelical Society, P 38-39.

 

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