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Tongues and Healing

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Tongues, Healing & Signs

 

 

Tongues, Healings, ad Signs

Speaking in tongues, public healing meetings and looking for “signs and wonders” is sweeping the world at an alarming rate. 

The looming question is: Are these things for us today?  Many think so.  But I for one do not.  I believe that millions of sincere Christians are being deceived by Satan on these issues thus frustrating the grace of God.  One of the reasons I am writing on this subject is to give you scriptural proof of what I believe in hopes you will see the real truth.

It all comes down to this one issue:  people not knowing the difference between the gospel committed to Peter and the gospel committed unto Paul.  “But contrariwise, when they saw the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter: and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should to unto the heathen, and they to the circumcision.” Galatians 2: 7-9

I believe that if not for the ministers of grace preaching the gospel of the grace of God, Satan would deceive the whole world.

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…” Revelation 12:9

Ministers who persist on taking one back to Pentecost for the beginning of the dispensation of the grace of God has taken Christian minds off the goals and objectives of the Pauline books of Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians.

We are always hearing the works “Back to Pentecost” from full gospel fellowships.  And I say, “What for?”  What sound minded individual would want to go back under the bondage of the law?  Not I!  I hope I have matured enough to know when I am being given information not intended for me today.  We are warned by Paul of just that.  “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, wherby they lie in wait to deceive.” Ephesians 4:14

Mark 16:15-18 is invariably used by ministers of the signs movement. Let us look at what it says.  “And He said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be dammed.  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

TAKE WHAT YOU WANT, LEAVE OUT WHAT YOU DON’T WANT

Upon examining Mark 16, this is what we find:

  1. If you believe and are baptized you shall be saved.
  2. If you do not believe, you shall be damned.
  3. Those who believe shall be able to do all of the things that follow:
  4. SHALL cast out devils
  5. SHALL speak with new tongues
  6. SHALL take up serpents
  7. SHALL drink any deadly thing without it hurting them
  8. SHALL lay hands on the sick and
  9. They SHALL  recover.

Question, what does the word “shall” mean?

                   Does it mean maybe you will?

                   Does it mean you ought to be able?

                   Does it mean if you have enough faith?

The word “shall” has the meaning of inevitability, determination, or promise.

It is very clear that if you were a believer in the time of Acts two, you would be capable of performing all those things listed in the passage.  But that is not what is being taught.  Only some people heal, some cast out devils and a few take up serpents.  But the verses specifically say all believers shall be capable of performing all the things listed.

The verses DO NOT SAY:  “A few will be able to do one thing and another few will be able to do another thing.”

Nor do the verses say:  “Pick out a few signs that fit your personality and let them be for you.”

There is one more thing that makes me question so called faith healers.  When you pin them down as to why one particular person was not healed after the laying on of their hands, they usually always reply “They did not have enough faith to believe they would be healed.”

Show me one passage of scripture that said faith was a pre-requisite to healing.  For that matter, show me any scripture that required the person being healed to be a believer.  So then, what was the purpose for signs, etc.? They were to announce the coming of the Messiah.

…..Your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense:  He will come and save you.  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deft shall be unstopped.  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing:  for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”  Isaiah 35:4-6

Miracles were performed by the Lord to authenticate that He was Messiah.  That is why John sent two of his disciples to question Jesus.  “Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto him, Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another?  Jesus answered and said unto them,   Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:  The blind receive their sight , and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are  raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.  And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me”  (Matthew 11:2-6).

Pentecost was one of the seven Jewish feast days.  It was held fifty days after the feast of Passover.  When the feast of Pentecost was come (Acts 1) Peter and the 120 others were assembled together in what has been called the upper room.  First they appointed two to be considered for taking the place left vacated by Judas.  The majority vote was given to Matthias.

Then in Acts 2:1, 3-4, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, ..and there appeared unto them cloves of tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Thee next verses go on to say there were devout Jews from every nation under the sun there hearing everyone speaking to them in their own language.  They were so astonished that this was happening, they accused them of being drunk.  But Peter was not confused at all and began quoting from the Book of Joel.

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  and on my servants and on my handmaids I will pour out in those days of my Spirit and they shall prophesy.”  Acts 2:16-18

You will notice that the Spirit’s coming was accompanied by a noise that sounded much like a tornado or hurricane.  Anyone who has ever been around one of those two things know it is quite a wake up call; an attention getter. 

After getting the Jews attention, God sends a sign: a cloven tongue, like as fire, sat upon each of them. If the noise of the wind didn’t get their attention, this surely would.  God was sending a message toIsrael:  Messiah has come and the time for the restoration ofIsraelis near.

God Had promised the nation ofIsraelhe would restore to them all lands that conquerors of the past had taken from them. (Joel 2:25-32)  This would be accomplished when He returned to establish His 1,000 year reign on earth. 

Know what?  God never promised the Gentiles that!

True, the Holy Spirit was given to some of the first Gentile converts, but not by the laying on of hands.  They spoke in tongues, but this was a sign to convince the Jews that Paul’s message, that there was no difference between Jew and Gentile, was true.  AfterIsraelwas declared “Not my people,” there is never a mention of tongues nor signs or miracles.

There was a very small gathering of Jews assembled in the upper room on the day of Pentecost.  They were the first to see the advent of the Holy Ghost into the world.  But you will only find the doctrine of the indwelling Spirit in the Pauline Epistles.  In them alone will you find how you can be filled with the Spirit, quench the Spirit, be baptized by the Spirit; how we can know that the Spirit who is in us is greater than he that is in the world.

The Pauline Epistles reveal things exclusively for the age of grace, the mystery hid in God before the foundation of the world, the mystery kept secret since the world began, and the formation of a new group of believers – the Church the Body of Christ.

In this dispensation of the grace of God, we do not have to ask for the outpouring of the Spirit.  If we are saved, we have the indwelling Spirit with us at all times.  To be filled with the Spirit, one only has to empty oneself of the flesh, not speaking in tongues.

Signs were for the purpose of showing the Jews that the Messiah had come. When that had been accomplished, the sign gifts ceased.  In the latest Epistles of Paul there is no mention of the sign gifts at all.

In Philippians 2:25-29,  Epaphroditus is “sick nigh unto death.”  Not because of any sin, but because he had been working so hard and had discovered that his friends were “full of heaviness” because they had heard he was sick.  Why didn’t Paul heal him?

In 1 Timothy 5:23, Paul tells his beloved Timothy to quit drinking water “but use a little wine for they stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.”  Why didn’t Paul heal him?

In 2 Timothy 4:20, Paul had to leave Trophimus at Miletum because he was sick.  Why didn’t Paul heal him and take him with him on his journey? 

Answer!  Healing was no longer included in the dispensation at hand.  Paul gave Timothy a lot of instructions about what he was to do when he died, but he never left one word to him about healing.

Paul said he gloried in his infirmities.  I am sure he had taught Timothy and Trophimus to do likewise;  both knowing that the sign gifts were no longer operative for them. There is no foundation in the Word of God for the prevailing Pentecostal doctrine of  “divine healing.”

Does God heal today?  Yes He does!  But His miracles are sovereign.  Just because God heals someone every now and then does not mean that He will heal everyone who asks it of Him.  I would not dare to limit the power of God and His ability to do whatever He wants to do.  But I must warn you that teachers who say they have the power to heal are to be watched very carefully.  There has been so much damage done by some of them.  Remember, Satan has his ministers just as Christ has His ministers.

The following quotes are from a pamphlet by A. E. Bishop.  It is published by Moody Press. I got these quotes from a pamphlet written by the late J. C, O’Hair.

  1. There is a corrective passage in God’s Word for every error, every heresy, every delusion, every hobby, every fanaticism and every unbalanced position.
  2. For some years after Pentecost the church was exclusively Jewish, clinging to their rites and ceremonies, the converts sometimes receiving the Holy Spirit subsequent to their conversion, by the imposition of the apostolic hands. (Acts 8:14-17)
  3. There is no foundation in the Word of God for the prevailing popular doctrine of divine healing. It is not true that healing is as much the will of God for every Christian as salvation is for the unsaved.  Some of the choicest of saints by the elective will of God have been patient sufferers for years upon sick beds.
  4. Also after careful restudies of the book of Acts and of the Epistles written before its close, I am convinced that those who contend for a purely kingdom dispensation covering the book of Acts period are those who contend that the sign gifts are still in the church and would be in manifestation everywhere if God’s people were in a healthy spiritual state and exercising faith to that end.
  5. In the latest Epistles of Paul not only is it noticeable that the sign gifts are nowhere in manifestation, but a different order is brought forth by the Holy Spirit for the correction of prevailing hobbies and fanaticism.
  6. A careful study of the Epistles especially of the latest Epistles of Paul, which give the normal course of the church during the present dispensation, would dismount all from their hobbies, eliminate the last vestige of Judaism from their lives and teachings, and would adjust things in general, placing secondary things in their place and first things where they belong.
  7. Is it the Spirit of God or Satan who attempts to revive the sign gifts that were divinely retired after having fulfilled their purpose?  Every widespread attempt to revive them, has without exception, resulted in confusion, divisions, injury and disgrace.
  8. This was an overlapping of the former and present dispensations, as some years elapsed before the dispensation of grace took its normal course.
  9. In contrast with the sign gifts of 1 Corinthians 12, limited to a portion of the believers and operative only during the book of Acts period, let us note the non-sign gifts of Ephesians 4: 10.
  10. The fact that the Bible does not give a hint of the manifestation of the sign gifts after the close of the book of Acts, must carry convincing evidence to the careful student who compares Scripture with Scripture, that they have been retired.
  11. If we give heed to this fact, it will be easy for us to see later on why God, who is sovereign in the giving of signs, afterwards retired completely the sign gifts.
  12. Is it the Spirit of God or Satan who turns the eyes of sincere Christians back to Pentecost and away from the goal placed before them in Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians?

Who Are We To Believe?

I want to be perfectly clear.  If you want to know whether the sign gifts are for you today, study the Scriptures.  Not just the ones your pastor/teacher gives you, Get a good concordance and tract down every available verse you can find on the subject.  If there seems to be a contradiction between what the pastor/teacher said and the Word of God, let me give you some suggestions as to how you should study.  First of all, ask questions:

1.   Do the verses fall under the dispensation of the law or the dispensation of grace? (We are living in the dispensation of Grace.)

2.   To whom are the verses speaking – Jew or Gentile?  While all Scripture is FOR us, remember all Scripture is not TO us in the present dispensation.

3.   Do the verses you are reading seem to contradict with other verses elsewhere?  If they do, you need to take the verse that is for the present dispensation.  Chances are you will find that God has seen fit to do away with certain practices in the present dispensation.

Thos of us who are privileged to live in the dispensation of Grace have certain responsibilities: Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. (1 Corinthians 4:1-4)

We are to be stewards of the mysteries of God.  It does not say stewards of the law.  You will only find the mystery concerning the Church the Body of Christ in the Pauline Epistles.  There will come a time when we will all stand before God to give an account of our stewardship, if you are found lacking of knowledge of what was expected of you, you will not escape the judgment of God by saying, “My preacher taught me differently.”

God holds each and every one of us responsible for our own actions.  It is time we took the responsibility for learning what is truth and what is not.  Search the Scriptures. We all of us have a ministry.  Are you performing yours? And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. (Colossians 4:17)

Do not overlook what you have nor neglect the responsibility that goes with it.  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Are tongues, healing and sign gifts for today?  I believe I have given you evidence they are not. I will close with one passage of scripture written by Paul while in a Roman prison. 

Ephesians 4:11-14: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

You will notice no one was given the gifts of tongues, healing or signs. Why?

Search the Scriptures for your answer!