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 Editor's Pick
 No Midnight Conversion
 

Luis was an angry young man involved in gang wars as far back as he could remember. He stabbed so many rival gang members in fights he loss count at 20. He was abandoned by his parents when he was 10 years old. He got into too much trouble and they gave up on him. Jesus never gave up on him. Luis wanted nothing to do with Jesus even after that fateful night… He found solace and acceptance in his gang family.

Luis was a tall, good-looking Puerto Rican who exceled in athletics. He was wiry, strong and a very fast runner. His skin was dark brown and shone like bronze under the New York sun. He spent most of his young life on the streets of New York City scraping out a living by stealing and working at the local market part time. He was induced to join the gangs at a very early age. He was a natural leader having a bent toward violence being filled with rage from being abandoned by his parents five years earlier.

Unfortunately, Luis took to the gang life like pancakes and syrup blend together. Unlike pancakes Luis left a bad taste in the mouths of many people especially his parents, who abandoned him because he was out of control.  He became a seasoned drug addict by age 15 and his choice of weapon was a black-handled switchblade. The blade of the knife was 6inches long and sparkled brightly when the noon sun reflected off it.  He kept that blade as sharp as a razor. This knife was Luis’s prized possession and it was like a brother to him. Everywhere he went it went right along with him. His knife was well known to the police and rival gang members. He had punctured many young men while actively fighting with his gang. He became so successful in gang warfare that he started his own gang.

He called his gang” Luis’s Loners.” His gang became so prominent that they controlled about 20 blocks of prime New York City turf. Luis was known for pulling his weapon out and let it talk for him. He had become a very skilled street knife fighter with all the gang wars he fought. He always managed to avoid getting sliced by other gang fighters. He was extremely quick with his hands and feet and instinctively he ducked, dodged and weaved to avoid being stabbed by an opponent’s knife.

Joey was the only bright spot in Luis’s life. Helen, his girlfriend, was of no help to him she was always high and worlds away from reality. Joey was his younger brother who had been a formidable gang member as well. Jesus took Joey off the streets about a year earlier when Joey became a Christian. Ever since then Joey had been imploring Luis to turn his life over to Jesus before it was too late. Luis wanted nothing to do with Jesus or that religious trash. Luis was heading into his 1000th gang fight this evening a record he was quite proud of.

This night Luis was especially bold and feeling very angry. He had pumped his system with amphetamines all day in preparation for his big occasion. Luis displayed his usual fighting prowess avoiding knife blade after knife blade. He slashed right and left never missing a body within his reach. Then the unthinkable happened … a knife blade flashed out of the dark alley slicing Luis’s jugular vein in half!  He crumpled to the ground grasping his throat and gasping for air. Everything spun around him faster than his mind could perceive. He woke up in the hospital with tubes entering and exiting out of his body every way imaginable.

He lost so much blood doctors had little hope he would live through the night. He drifted in and out of consciousness. Joey was at Luis’s bedside waiting for the right time to have one last talk with Luis. The time came. “Luis can you hear me?” He nodded his head yes.  “John 3:16 says For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. I am asking you for the last time-Do you want to accept Jesus as your Savior?” Luis nodded his head violently no! At that moment Luis slipped into eternity, Joey laid his head on Luis’s bed and wept like a baby. There was no midnight conversion this time.

 

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. John 3:16

Author Admin  Added On 05/03/2015
Rating (1)  Category Christian "The Series"
 
 Article Of The Day
 12 - Principle 8 Taking a Stand For the Testimony of the Church
 
“In the various crises that have occurred in the history of the church, men have come to the front who have manifested a holy recklessness that astonished their fellows. When Luther nailed his theses to the door of the cathedral at Wittenburg,135 cautious men were astonished at his audacity. When John Wesley ignored all church restrictions136 and religious propriety and preached in the fields and byways, men declared his reputation was ruined. So it has been in all ages. When the religious condition of the times called for men who were willing to sacrifice all for Christ, the demand created the supply, and there have always been found a few who have been willing to be regarded reckless for the Lord. An utter recklessness concerning men’s opinions and other consequences is the only attitude137 that can meet the exigencies of the present times.”138
There is coming a time and perhaps it is already here where many in the body of Christ in countries with little or no persecution will have to take a stand for truth in these end times. There will be such a strong apostasy139 that will overtake many churches, denominations and groups that the true body of Christ will be called out by God to meet together under the Headship of Jesus Christ. These gatherings will be led by servant leaders who know the true Shepherd140 and will lead the flock of God into holiness and purity.141 There could be a time coming soon when even the weakest, simple believer in Jesus Christ will have to take a courageous stand for truth and God’s Word. Are you willing to stand amongst all those in Hebrews 11 that stood for faith and righteousness? Are you willing to stand with the millions of Martyrs before the throne of God?
May it be so that God would raise up many to stand up and be counted with those in history who had such a love for Jesus the Son of God that they sacrificed their homes, their possessions, their jobs, their friends, their lives, their all.142 These believers in Hebrews 11 suffered much, being scattered from home to home, cave to cave, den to den. Like the prophets of old “they were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.”143
The world was not worthy of them and will not be worthy of us if we follow steadfastly in their example and ways. Nothing less than a full recovery of the Church in the Book of Acts is the crying need of these last days. May we simply be found willing in the day of His power.144
God is calling many of His saints to take a radical stand for truth and seek to be the Bride of Christ in view of the soon coming of the Lord.145 This will mean bearing the reproach of Christ, not only from the lost world, but also from a believing Christendom that has not submitted to God’s Spirit in these last days. “So Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through His own blood. Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess His Name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”146
Such a following of the Lord in this day will seem strange to most, yet it is out of a desire to be only involved with what the Lord is involved with. If the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit’s power are absent from the modern church, then such a church cannot be the Bride of Christ. “Oh how He longs to hear those voices of repentance and intercession asking Him—and saying to Him, Lord, if You don’t go with us, we aren’t interested in going anywhere. We’re not interested in church anymore if You Yourself are not present.”147 When the Lord comes in the midst of His Church in full splendor we will see the glory of the Book of Acts again.
May we be of those that are fully pleasing148 to the Lord in these last days as we step out to follow the Lord “outside the camp.”149



135 Wittenberg, Germany (1517)
136 There is a time when there needs to be a holy boldness from the simplest of saints to follow God rather than men and question even the most practiced tradition.
137 Though we need to fear the Lord alone and not care for the opinions of men, if men disagree strongly with us we must show the character of Christ in meekness and love. If we have to separate, we should do so in the most honorable way possible, not speaking evil of others.
138 Frank Bartleman (1871-1936)
139 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, Matthew 24:12
140 John 10:14
141 Ephesians 5:27, Ephesians 1:4
142 Hebrews 10:32-35
143 Hebrews 11:37-38
144 Psalm 110:3
145 1 John 2:28
146 Hebrews 13:12-16
147 Allan Halton
148 Revelation 14:4, Colossians 1:10, Ephesians 5:10
149 Hebrews 13:13


A free Christian ebook on persecution from Gospel Fellowships Network.
Author Gospel Fellowships Network  Added On 06/03/2014
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 Latest Articles
 Speaking In Tongues And Face To Face
 

Speaking In Tongues And Face To Face
What does face to face mean in 1 Cor. 13:12?

Regarding 1 Cor. 13:12 and the term "face to face", in Ex. 33:11 we are told that God talked to Moses "face to face, as a man speaks with a friend". We know this is figurative language because Ex. 33:20 tells us that Moses did not actually see God’s face. The same thing happens to us today when God speaks to us through His Word. Heb. 4:12 tells us that the Bible is living and active and that it judges the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts. As we read the Bible, even though we don’t see God’s face, we feel and know that we have personally come "face to face" with Him.

To understand 1 Cor. 13:12, we first need to look at James 1:21-25 and 2 Cor. 3:18.
i) James 1:21-25 liken reading the Bible to looking into a mirror. Just as a mirror reflects our physical condition, the Bible reflects our spiritual condition – a mirror is being used as a symbol for the Bible.
ii) James 1:21-25 refer to the Bible as "the perfect law that gives freedom" and, in the next paragraph, there is a link to a PDF showing that "the perfect" in 1 Cor. 13:9-10 is speaking about the Bible also.
iii) 2 Cor. 3:18 also speaks figuratively about looking into a mirror (the Bible) and being changed into Jesus’ image. The Holy Spirit changes us from glory to glory as we continue to look into the Bible.

This tells us that Mirror = the Perfect = the Bible.

1 Cor. 13:12 is a continuation of the discussion on the cessation of prophecy and knowledge and it uses figurative language similar to James 1:21-25 and 2 Cor. 3:18. It says, "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known". This verse speaks of "now" and "then" - "now" being the time when Paul was writing 1 Corinthians and "then" being the time when "the perfect" was to come. Therefore, our interpretation of this verse depends upon what "the perfect" is. In the following link, I show why I believe that the coming of "the perfect" refers to the time when God would give His final revelation for inclusion in the Bible, making it complete; this revelation being the book of Revelation -
http://www.christianissues.biz/pdf-bin/blogarticles/tonguesandtheperfect.pdf

The following interprets 1 Cor. 13:12 in the light of "the perfect" being the completed Bible -
"Now [with an incomplete Bible] we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror [prophecy was limited];
then [when we have the completed Bible] we shall see face to face [figuratively speaking].
Now [with an incomplete Bible] I know in part [because knowledge is in part];
then [when we have the completed Bible] I shall know fully, even as I am fully known".

Regarding "mirror", the polished metal mirrors used in Paul’s day gave a poor reflection. This speaks of the poorer understanding of things like our spiritual condition, Jesus’ sacrifice, End Times etc., that we get when we only read the Old Testament. But, just as today’s glass mirrors give a clear reflection, the New Testament gives us a clear, "face to face" understanding of God’s Will.

Knowing fully is not referring to knowing God fully as even in our eternal state we will not know Him fully or be all-knowing like He is. We will never be omniscient. Knowing fully simply means having a full knowledge of God’s Will, Plans and Purposes as revealed in "the perfect", complete Bible. Through the New Testament we can come to a much deeper knowledge of these things than through reading the Old Testament alone. God’s Will for man is fully known from the beginning to the end, from Genesis to Revelation. With this in mind, the verse is saying,

"Now [with an incomplete Bible] I know in part [because knowledge is in part];
then [when the completed Bible comes] I shall know [God’s Will] fully,
even as [that is, in the same manner as] I am fully known [by Him]".
[I will fully know God’s Will just as He fully knows me].

So, through the Bible, we can figuratively come face to face with God and as we continue to look into this spiritual mirror we will come to know His Will fully and be transformed into Jesus’ likeness, going from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor. 3:18).

The following books on the cessation of Tongues, Prophecy and Knowledge are free to download.

All About Speaking In Tongues by an ex-Pentecostal Pastor -
http://www.christianissues.biz/pdf-bin/tongues/allaboutspeakingintongues.pdf

Sola Scriptura – very good, author unknown -
http://www.christianissues.biz/pdf-bin/tongues/tongues_solascriptura.pdf

The Doctrine Of Tongues written by a New Zealand Barrister in the 1960s -
http://www.christianissues.biz/pdf-bin/tongues/tonguesbywgbroadbent.pdf

Other free books and articles -
http://www.christianissues.biz/tongues.html

This article can be downloaded as a PDF or an MP3 from -
http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads2.html

The video of “Speaking In Tongues And Face To Face” can be seen on YouTube at-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01FrXFi1OHA

Christian Issues' blog can be subscribed to at -
http://www.christianissues.biz/blog/wordpress/feed/

Mick Alexander
leeandmick@gmail.com
http://www.ChristianIssues.biz

Author Mick Alexander  Added On 11/19/2016
Rating (0)  Category Christian Bible Studies
 Speaking in Tongues and 1 Cor. 13:11
 

Regarding speaking in tongues, what is 1 Cor. 13:11 saying? The verse says, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me". In this verse, the putting away of the so called childish ways of speaking, thinking and reasoning is parallel to the cessation of the gifts of tongues, prophecy and knowledge spoken of in 1 Cor. 13:8. The following points make this connection obvious -

I) 1 Cor. 13:11 is right in the middle of 1 Cor. 13:8-13 which is about the cessation of the three spiritual gifts of tongues, prophecy and knowledge.

II) In 1 Cor. 13:11, the word translated "put away" (G2673 - katargeo) is the same word that is used in 1 Cor. 13:8 where it talks about prophecy and knowledge ceasing. So, in saying "put away", Paul is talking about the cessation of speaking, thinking and reasoning.

III) Because verses 8 and 11 are both talking about the cessation of three things, it is obvious that speaking, thinking and reasoning are parallel to the gifts of tongues, prophecy and knowledge.
Speaking = tongues
Thinking = prophecy
Reasoning = knowledge

Therefore, 1 Cor. 13:11 is saying, "When I was a child, I talked like a child [tongues], I thought like a child [prophecy], I reasoned like a child [knowledge]. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me".

Paul figuratively refers to tongues, prophesy and knowledge as "childish ways" because they were for the infant church and were put away, ceased, as he became a man, that is, as the church matured. Tongues, being a sign of judgement (1 Cor. 14:21-22), ceased with the early church, some time after Jerusalem’s judgement in 70AD and God stopped giving biblical prophecy and knowledge to men when Revelation was written (around 96AD) because He had nothing further to add to His written Word.

Some suggest that 1 Cor. 13:11 is about abuse or love or moving on spiritually but the context of the verse rules these out. The verse is right in the middle of three chapters on spiritual gifts and, further still, it is firmly anchored in the middle of six verses which are talking about the cessation of tongues, prophecy and knowledge so the context is clearly about the cessation of the spiritual gifts of tongues, prophecy and knowledge and not about things like abuse, love or moving on spiritually.

Another suggestion is that “becoming a man”, in 1 Cor. 13:11, is talking about maturing when Jesus returns but this cannot be as, at the Rapture, we will not “become a man” but be totally transformed into spiritual beings, no longer even human (1 Cor. 15:50-53). Sudden change from a flesh and blood human being into an immortal, spiritual being can hardly be called maturing.

All this, I believe, shows that tongues, prophesy and knowledge ceased with the early church.

A final point for thought:
Some believe that, in 1 Cor. 13:9-10, “the perfect” is Jesus and that all gifts cease when He returns but this can’t be true for two reasons:
I) “the perfect” is neuter gender, not masculine, so it cannot be referring to Jesus.
II) Even if “the perfect” was Jesus, 1 Cor. 13:9-10 say that only prophecy and knowledge cease at the coming of “the perfect”, not all the gifts.
The following books on the cessation of tongues, prophecy and knowledge are free to download -

All About Speaking In Tongues by an ex-Pentecostal Pastor -
http://www.christianissues.biz/pdf-bin/tongues/allaboutspeakingintongues.pdf

Sola Scriptura – very good, author unknown -
http://www.christianissues.biz/pdf-bin/tongues/tongues_solascriptura.pdf

The Doctrine Of Tongues written by a New Zealand Barrister in the 1960s -
http://www.christianissues.biz/pdf-bin/tongues/tonguesbywgbroadbent.pdf

Other books and articles -
http://www.christianissues.biz/tongues.html


This article can be downloaded as a PDF or an MP3 from -
http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads2.html


Mick Alexander
leeandmick@gmail.com
http://www.ChristianIssues.biz

Author Mick Alexander  Added On 08/11/2016
Rating (0)  Category Christian Bible Studies
 Speaking in Tongues – Ceasing and Remaining
 

In 1 Cor. 13:8, we are told that Tongues, Prophecy and Knowledge will cease at some point in time  and, after they cease, 1 Cor 13:13 says that Faith, Hope and Love will remain. We know that Love is eternal but our Faith and Hope are both fulfilled and come to their conclusion when Jesus returns as the following shows -

Regarding Faith, Heb. 11:1 tells us that Faith is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” and 2 Cor. 5:7 says, "we live by faith, not by sight", so when we see Jesus our Faith will give way to sight. 1 Pet. 1:9 says, “you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls”. Thayer’s dictionary defines “goal” as the “termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be” so, when Jesus returns to bring our salvation (Heb. 9:28), our Faith will have reached its goal and terminate. The AMP says, “you receive the result, the outcome, the consummation of your faith” and the KJV says, “receiving the end of our faith” so it’s clear that our faith reaches its conclusion when Jesus returns.

Regarding Hope, Tit. 2:13 tells us that we are waiting for Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and Rom. 8:24 says, “hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?” So, when we see Jesus, our Hope will be realised and come to its conclusion.

From this we can see that Faith and Hope will only remain until Jesus returns but Love will continue eternally, as 1 Cor. 13:8 says.

So, Tongues, Prophesy and Knowledge are the first to cease, leaving Faith and Hope remaining and they will both conclude when Jesus returns. This shows that Tongues, Prophesy and Knowledge cease before Jesus returns and brings Faith and Hope to their conclusion.

It’s not possible for Tongues, Prophecy, Knowledge to remain alongside Faith and Hope as this would contradict Scripture which says that Faith and Hope remain after Tongues, Prophecy and Knowledge have ceased. (The word “now”, beginning 1 Cor. 13:13, is not the “now” of time but the “now” of logic or argument and is better translated as “but” - see this in the VWS and JFB commentaries. This means that the passage is saying that Tongues, Prophecy and Knowledge would cease at some point in time “but” Faith, Hope and Love would remain.)

Some say that Faith and Hope will continue eternally but their Biblical descriptions, as shown above, make it abundantly clear that they will both be consummated and terminate when Jesus returns.

A simplified explanation is -

First, Tongues, Prophesy and Knowledge cease, leaving Faith, Hope and Love remaining.

Next, Faith and Hope cease when Jesus returns.

Therefore Tongues, Prophesy and Knowledge cease before Jesus returns.

The aim of this article is simply to show that tongues, prophecy and knowledge were targeted to cease before Jesus returns. To keep things short, the timing of cessation has not been examined. However, I believe that a close look at 1 Cor. 13:8-13 shows that they ceased in the first century. An in-depth look at this can be found in the following links to free books on the subject. Amen.


The following books on the cessation of Tongues, Prophecy and Knowledge are free to download -

All About Speaking In Tongues by an ex-Pentecostal Pastor -
http://www.christianissues.biz/pdf-bin/tongues/allaboutspeakingintongues.pdf

Sola Scriptura – very good, author unknown -
http://www.christianissues.biz/pdf-bin/tongues/tongues_solascriptura.pdf

The Doctrine Of Tongues written by a New Zealand Barrister in the 1960s -
http://www.christianissues.biz/pdf-bin/tongues/tonguesbywgbroadbent.pdf

Other free books and articles -
http://www.christianissues.biz/tongues.html

This article can be downloaded as a PDF or an MP3 from -
http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads2.html

The video of “Speaking In Tongues – Ceasing and Remaining” can be seen on YouTube at-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIrqhTf_-Vk

Christian Issues' blog can be subscribed to at -
http://www.christianissues.biz/blog/wordpress/feed/

Mick Alexander
leeandmick@gmail.com
http://www.ChristianIssues.biz

Author Mick Alexander  Added On 08/11/2016
Rating (0)  Category Christian Bible Studies
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