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Someone, I won't mention her name, gave me a book to prove I was wrong about God's answers to prayer.

The title of the booklet is PRAYER...talking to God by Millie E. Stamm, National Prayer Secretary.

Sounds like a real authority! She is probably just reiterating FALSE DOCTRINE she learned from someone else. I ask that you consult the Bible not your pastor who's prayers weren't answered so he came up with the excuse that God is asking him to wait. NO, NO, NO!

Here is her explanation of "NO ANSWERS" from page 25.
Sometimes His answer must be no. Wise parents do not give their children all that they ask for. Because they love them, sometimes they must say no or wait. So, in God's perfect wisdom, He may have to say no to us.

The Apostle Paul had some difficulty that he described as a "thorn" in the flesh. Three times Paul asked God for this thorn to be removed. It is very likely that he thought his service for God could be more effective if he did not have this difficulty. Each time, God's answer was no. The Bible says, "Three different times I begged God to make me well again. Each time he said, 'No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people...'" (2 Corinthians 12:8-9, TLB).

Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, prayed for his salvation. When he decided to go to Rome, she asked God to prevent him. He went, however, and it was there that he became a Christian. God said no to her verbal request, but in His own time and way He answered the prayer of her heart for his salvation.

2 Corinthians in chapter 11 talks about Paul's trials and tribulations endured for his service to the church. He also mentions that Satan can manifest himself as an "angel of light".

Chapter 12 starts off with Paul describing his "near death" experience probably suffered in Acts 14:19.
After suffering the crushing blows of the stones, the victims were dragged outside the city and left to the dogs and beasts. It is possible that he received the marks spoken of in Gal. 6:17 during this stoning. There is no doubt he was dead, because after all these were "professional" stoners.

Here God would have given Paul a glimpse of the heavenly realm to show him his reward and revived him after the disciples gathered around and prayed. He certainly knew that God's grace was enough for his calling.

The Bible translators do injustice in choosing words for describing Paul's "weakness, feebleness" as infirmities. The Greek word G769. astheneia, as-then'-i-ah; from G772; feebleness (of body or mind); by implication - malady; moral frailty. is transalted weakness in the preceding and following verses unless describing Paul's affliction.

Why? Are the translators trying to tie every thing together to imply that Paul had lost an eye during the stoning? (Gal 4:15) Unjustly Galatians 4 again describe Paul's weakness in verse 13 as infirmities.

Actually verses 12-15 is really saying: "That Paul has had a good relationship with the Galatians: you have in the past been ready to "pluck out your eyes for me" (a common expression of the time for giving up everything for another, not an indication of eye trouble. Similar to "giving your right arm"). Though he was ill (probably recovering from his 'near death' experience) on his former visit, they had not scorned him but had treated him as Christ had treated them. Now he wanted them to hold firm to the truth he had taught them."

Now let's get back to 2 Corinthians 12:6-10 by replacing the infirmity implication with an unbiased viewpoint: "For though I might desire to boast, I will not be mindless, I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.
7  And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the side was given to me, an angel of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
8  Concerning this thing I called upon the Lord three times that he might be removed.
9  And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my feebleness, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10  Therefore I think well in my weakness of overbearance, of constraint, of persecution, of being narrow minded for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Again, if we go back to chapter 11:17 you will see where Paul claims to speak EGOTISTICALLY, not foolishly as the foolish translators state.

Now you can see that Paul is not talking about an illness or sickness but about being buffeted by an an angel of Satan, a messenger of light, which probably refers to the incident in 1 Thess 2:18.

Now that we have cleared that up, God does not, nor has He ever, said no to a prayer asked according to His plan. When Jesus went about performing His ministry, He never said NO. He said "I AM willing"

If you have read the previous posts you will know by now that God only answers prayer on His terms. (James 4:2) This is not a "NO" answer prayer.

Now her explanation of "WAIT ANSWERS" on page 25:
"We may pray for a request for a long time without receiving an answer. We wonder if God has forgotten us. But God may be saying wait."

Well, I have questioned this before. How do you know if the answer is wait or no? How long do you have to wait before you realize the answer is no?

She goes on to the next subject of "God's delays are not denials" on page 26:
"God's delays are not denials. They are a special trust from Him. His delays give us more time to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of Him. Our confidence in Him is deepened. The delays teach us lessons, such as patience. He knows we need a larger capacity to receive His answers.

One time I was going through a heartbreaking experience, one of the darkest times in my life. One evening as I was praying, I reminded God that He hadn't answered my request and I asked Him why.

Suddenly it seemed that God was saying to me, "I am doing exactly what you are asking Me to do, but you are rebelling against the way I am doing it." For the first time I realized this was true. That night I totally committed my situation to Him. His answer to my request did not come immediately - I had to wait several years for it - but it did come in God's time.

One day a friend entered the study of Dr. Phillip Brooks, a well-known preacher of the last century. Dr. Brooks was pacing back and forth. "What's the trouble?" his friend asked. "Trouble?" replied Dr. Brooks. "I'm in hurry and God isn't."

You may be hurting today. Your heart is broken and there seems to be no human solution. You have been asking, but no answer has come. God's silence does not mean He has forgotten or forsaken you.

This is your opportunity to trust God when there is nothing else you can do. It has been said, "When you come to the place where there is nothing left but God Himself, you learn that He is all you need."

I wonder if she read her article and doesn't realize what she wrote. God is not waiting to answer your prayers. He is waiting for you to come to Him on His terms. Not as some rebellious child expecting favors for pushing to the front to get what he can for himself.

I mentioned before that God does NOT give us the harvest, He gives us the SEED. We just never recognize it as a blessing. Uuhmm. One kernel of wheat? If I plant it I can get a whole head of kernels. And if I only take what I need and plant the rest, I can get a bushel, then an acre which I can harvest and continue in His blessing. If I try to take credit for my ingenuity, bam, there is a drought and I need to start all over again. You reap what you sow!

God does answer prayer. No and wait are not answers, they are rejections. God is ignoring your foolish requests or your foolish behavior. He doesn't even acknowledge your prayers unless they are on His terms. Love Him, Love your neighbor, forgive others, respect His authority, and ask in the name of your advocate, Jesus. He will intercede for you.

Pray right. He does not ask us to drop to our knees or fall on our faces. He also expects men and women to approach Him differently, in a hierarchical manner. He asks us to humble ourselves.

In His service
>< ))/*>

For Discussion On Christian Matters *CLICK HERE* / Re: What's Your Gift?
« Last post by hymnsinger on January 26, 2011, 10:06:21 PM »
I watched Charles Stanley on Sunday and heard him talk about the GIFTS we have.
The GIFTS he was speaking about were the nine manifestations of the Spirit given to the church for the profit of all.

Charles, they are not OUR GIFTS if they are gifts at all! Read the posts above! They are not GIFTS, but manifestations of the Spirit.

I think if Charles Stanley is going to talk about the church and FALSE doctrine, like he did, then he should make sure his doctrine is according to the Bible.

If you buy into his "road apple" theology you will never be open to being used by the Holy Spirit when you attend church. You should not sit in church wondering what "your gift" is. You should have an open mind and heart expecting the Holy Spirit to gift you with a "manifestation" that will benefit all.

Every epistle Paul wrote, he warned about false prophets, leaders, and teachers.

Did he know something pastors yet don't know and understand.

Once more, here is the first Corinthians, chapter 12 scriptures from the NKJV.

Please read what it says.
"7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
8  for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
9  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,
10  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
11  But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills."

One thing I know is that we are not to add nor subtract from God's word. The translators did that already.

Once you understand that the "gifts" in chapter 12 are wholly the manifestation of the Holy Spirit given to or more rightly using a Spirit filled Christian, we will understand that it is not us but Him that is performing miracles, signs, and wonders IN THE CHURCH today.

Thank you for using me!

In His service
>< ))/*>
For Discussion On Christian Matters *CLICK HERE* / Re: Is Spanking Biblical?
« Last post by hymnsinger on October 14, 2010, 05:06:31 PM »
I found this in my email this morning and I don't know if this is appropriate, but my guess is that this person is AGAINST spanking.

Here is the content of the email
Tough Love vs. Spanking

Most people think it improper to spank children, so I have tried other methods to control my kids when they have one of  'those moments.'

One that I found effective is for me to just take the child for a car ride and talk.

Some say it's the vibration from the car, others say it's the time away from any distractions such as TV, Video Games, Computer, IPod, etc.

Either way, my kids usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our car ride together

Eye to eye contact helps a lot too.

I've included a photo below of one of my sessions with my son, in case you would like to use the technique.


Your Friend

This will probably work with grandchildren, nieces, and nephews as well."

Sometimes tough love works better than spanking.

In His service
>< ))/*>
I had a long debate with several "work for your salvation" people on another forum. I call them that because if you don't believe in OSAS, then you have to believe you have to work for your salvation.
Bad, lose Spirit, good, Spirit back, bad, Spirit gone, good Spirit back.

Uuhm. seems like God can't make up His mind, because He knows what we are going to do in every given circumstance and to be vindictive and punish us with the loss of salvation and require us work to earn back Grace is not scriptural.
Their arguments start with Rom 8:28-30 from the renowned CEV. A paraphrased version that is more a commentary by the translators.

"We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose, and he has always known who his chosen ones would be. He had decided to let them become like his own Son, so that his Son would be the first of many children. God then accepted the people he had already decided to choose, and he has shared his glory with them."
They state that we choose whom we will serve. I have no truck with that as most believe that we have free choice BEFORE we are saved.

Rom 9:13 "As it is written, 'Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.'" is referring to the nations, not the persons as indicated from the referrenced verse in Malachi 1:2,3.
So what? One is chosen, and the other is not chosen. God's graciousness, mercy, and compassion are far above and beyond human understanding. Through election He works freely to achieve His just and loving purposes. Those purposes are not limited to one people but extend to all nations.

Human arguments can try to prove God unjust because He chooses to save some but not all. Only through a selfish attitude on our part could we complain about how God has shown His love and mercy. God's sovereign love is the explanation for His choice of Jacob over Esau in earlier times and for what He was doing in Paul's time to develop a people for Himself. As sovereign Lord, Creator of all things, He has the perfect right to plan and work in His world according to His own purposes. His purpose could be one of total destruction. Instead, He chose in love to work out a way to save those who believe.
Reminds me of a story told by Spurgeon when questioned on this subject. His response was, "If a rich widow having no children went to an orphanage and chose only half the orphans. Would we say she was good for adopting some or would we say she was unjust for only taking half?" Interesting.

Next scripture Rom 9:18, (they neglected verse 17) "Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens." Their claim is that is was the circumstance not pharaohs heart that God hardened. Similar to a lump of pottery clay and a lump of wax placed in the sun. Same sun different substance. One is hardened and the other is softened. Pharaoh responded through pride rather than humiliation. His choice. God knew his heart and how he would respond therefore He said He would harden Pharaoh's heart. A bit of a stretch, but how does that relate to works vs grace? God still chose who He would love and who He would hate.

Would you believe that they said that if God took away choice He would be an accessory to sin by not providing salvation to all.

John 6:37 and 10:27. Here God is not saying you don't have freedom but that He can be trusted. He will not force you to stay with Him. That would be forcible confinement. What?

Luke 8:13. If you have never been to a city, can you leave? This verse shows that you must be able to leave Christ's grace. Even Satan understands that the fate of the kingdom of God resides in the understanding of the Word in the human heart. Satan seeks to make us ignore or not listen to God's Word. He wants to divert us from God's message of salvation. Maybe these are those that heard a different gospel and accepted it to find it had no foundation.

There are many cases of people accepting Christ as Lord and yet live like the devil. Charlie Sheen claims he was born again at a Billy Graham crusade. Was it hype or real? Paris Hilton claims she accepted Christ while serving time. It was accepted with joy at the time but didn't serve them in their world. Was it real? There are always seekers of God in times of need. Some even choosing Hinduism, Sihkism, etc. They then choose Christianity as just another religion. Not a relationship with the Master. When the circumstances of need are removed so is the need for a Savior.

Here are some of the scriptures they threw in to say means that we can lose our salvation. I think it just means that no one is really secure in the knowledge of God's judgment. If you think that you know for sure, then read Matt 7:21-23 again.
1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim 4:10; 1 Cor 9:27; 10:12 and 15:2; 1 John 2:3; Heb 10:38; 2 Peter 2:20, 21. They say all these scriptures indicate that we can lose our salvation. I say it just means that we can never be sure. Only God knows who He has predestined to eternal glory.

A lot of Christians will argue with me, but they have no answer to the above scriptures. I just know what I said in the beginning. If we are NOT saved by grace through faith, then we are saved by works and Jesus died for nothing and God is impotent.

In His service
>< ))/*>
For Discussion On Christian Matters *CLICK HERE* / Re: Tithe or Offering?
« Last post by hymnsinger on August 23, 2010, 08:14:06 AM »
Pastors still don't get it!

I watched a young pastor on TV yesterday trying to explain how to simplify giving. He took out 10 one dollar bills and from that group he took one away and said this is God's. Explaining that we still gets to keep 9. What?

Is he living in Utopia? The first hand you see reaching out to take 3 of those bills is the government. Now you only have 6 dollars from the ten.

He then said if we could now exchange those one dollar bills with 100 dollar bills we still get to keep 900. Well, now the government is even more pleased because now it gets to take 4 of those 100 dollar bills leaving you with only half of what you worked so hard for. And if we exchange the hundreds for 1000 dollar bills the government helps itself to 5, leaving you with four 1000 dollar bills.

When will the church realize that tithing was for the Levites and that sensible giving from that which is ungrudgingly purposed from the heart is for the church.

Remember that the priests were basically the government to the Israelites.

In His service
>< ))/*>
For Discussion On Christian Matters *CLICK HERE* / Re: What's Your Gift?
« Last post by hymnsinger on June 15, 2010, 03:27:35 PM »
In my conversations with people, there are still some that believe that these are our gifts and we should seek and develop them. No! The only gift we have is the gift of the Holy Spirit which is GRACE (2 Cor.9:14, 15).
[ Acts 2:38  "Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"]
We have nothing to do with the Charismatic Spiritual Gifts accept we are in control to obey or disobey the prompting. [ 1 Cor 14:32  "And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets."]
We are merely instruments that the Holy Spirit uses as He wills for the good of the church, the Body of Christ, that He baptized us in to. [ 1 Cor 12:13 "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body;"]
Because we all have the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are all gifted; [ 1 Cor 12:7  "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:"]

We do have God given gifts in the form of talents and abilities. We pretty much grew up with them and even unbelievers possess God given gifts.

The word "GIFTS" does not actually appear in verse 1 but is added to clarify the intent and bolster the meaning of {{pneumatikos, pnyoo-mat-ik-os'; from G4151; non-carnal, i.e. (humanly) ethereal (as opposed to gross), or (daemoniacally) a spirit (concr.), or (divinely) supernatural, regenerate, religious:--spiritual.}}.
In verses 4, 9 the word used is {{charisma, khar'-is-mah; from G5483; a (divine) gratuity, i.e. deliverance (from danger or passion); (spec.) a (spiritual) endowment, i.e. (subj.) religious qualification, or (obj.) miraculous faculty:--(free) gift.}}Doma is also used for "gifts" (Eph. 4:8).

A divine gratuity, a Spiritual endowment? uhm, doesn't sound carnal to me. I think it is pretty plain that these are Spiritual gifts given and used in a church setting for a specific time and occasion.

The gifts are supernatural rather than natural endowments. The Holy Spirit gives each Christian one or more gifts "as He wills" (vv. 7, 11) and I believe "when He wills."
The purpose of the gifts includes "for the profit of all," the common good (v. 7),
The proper functioning of the body of Christ (vv. 14-26),
Edification (14:3-12),
And the confirmation of the preached word (14:24, 25; Acts 1:8; Heb. 2:3, 4).

Each believer needs the contribution of every other member of the body of Christ (vv. 14-26). The outline which Paul follows is this:
(1) gifts and the unity of the body (ch. 12),
(2) gifts and love (ch. 13), and
(3) gifts and edification (ch. 14). (BSB electronic notes)

God intends for His people to have a variety of gifts, but there is only one God, one Christ, one Spirit. Diversity of gifts should not cause a division in the church (vv 4-6). The various gifts should unite the church. The variety of gifts is for the good of all. Christians are given gifts so they can serve each other (1 Peter 4:10). Anyone who uses a gift to create disunity among God's people is misguided. Gifts are for building up the entire church, not for making one person feel proud and another feel left out.

Peter and Paul mention about 20 different gifts.
The four lists in the N.T. differ according to purpose:
(1) Rom. 12:6-8, in which Paul speaks of gifts in a general way;
(2) Eph. 4:11, in which Paul deals with the gifts that most further the unity of the body of Christ;
(3) 1 Pet. 4:10, 11, where Peter emphasizes the service the gifts render;
(4) 1 Cor. 12 (vv. 28-30), in which Paul is concerned with an order of importance, and again this passage (vv. 8-10), in which he has to speak of the more spectacular, extraordinary gifts or "manifestations of the Spirit" (v. 7)

The ultimate gift of God is GRACE manifested through His Spirit!

The ultimate gift of the Spirit is the one gift available to all Christians: the gift of love (1 Cor 13).

To have all other gifts and lack love is to have nothing; to lack all other gifts and have love is to have everything (13:1-3). All other gifts should be used in a spirit of love (14:1). Next to love, Paul appeared to value the charismatic gift of prophecy most highly (1 Cor 14:1). This gift enabled the church to carry out its task of world evangelism. All gifts come from the Spirit to individuals for the church's good. Each can show that the Spirit is working in a believer's life, but not one of them is to be used as a test of a believer's spirituality as long as love uses the gift in ministry.

In His service
>< ))/*>
I watched 2 pastors stumble through 1 Corinthians 14 trying to explain something that totally escaped them. The Holy Spirit.

They tried to explain by using head knowledge and finally decided that "their" congregation should quench the Spirit rather than submitting. If the Spirit " all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills." (1 Cor 12:11) He has to have permission from the pastors first. If anyone has a message the pastors have to make sure the Spirit knows what He is doing.

I know these pastors won't be reading my posts so I won't even bother saying "Here is the correct interpretation and remain open and teachable!"

1 Cor. 14:1  Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
2  For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.
3  But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
4  He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
5  I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.

>>verse 1 & 2 - Pursue love, and the desire the Spiritual gifts. Which ones? Tongues with interpretations and prophesying. Both are the same! One is for the unbelievers and one is for the believers. We'll get to that in verse 22.

Speaks mysteries? Greek word for mysteries! {{propheteuo, prof-ate-yoo'-o; from G4396; to foretell events, divine, speak under inspiration, exercise the prophetic office:--prophesy.}} Say again in teachable english? "however, in the spirit he prophesies."  Using head knowledge and trying to bypass the power of the Holy Spirit is not only heresy, but blasphemy.

>>verses 3 to 5 - Remembering there are different kinds of "tongues" here Paul reverts to "praying in the Spirit." Speaking to God in Tongues. He edifies himself, like recharging a battery, an Eph 5:18 experience. also remembering that speaking in tongues with interpretation IS prophesying. It edifies the church, " another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues." [1 cor 12:10] or more correctly translated "to another a different kind of tongue," One that is manifested by the Holy Spirit for interpretation. The Holy Spirit gives a believer a message in tongues (manifests). And yes, it is for the church!
To another the interpretation of this message, again by the Holy Spirit for the church. How can any pastor misinterpret this simple scripture, unless he is a false prophet. In verse 5 Paul states that "UNLESS indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification." Now this kind of tongues is no longer a prayer language, but a prophetic message from the Father through His Holy Spirit for His children, the church.
Ephesians 5:18 - "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit," {{4137. pleroo, play-ro'-o; from G4134; to make replete, i.e. (lit.) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (fig.) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.:--accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.}}

"6  But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?
7  Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played?
8  For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?
9  So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.
10  There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.
11  Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me.
12  Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.
13  Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.

>>This whole passage can be summed up by simply stating that "pray that he may interpret" that this kind of tongue is now in a language we can understand. Paul is now speaking by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching in this interpreted tongue. As revelation because it was a manifestation of the Holy Spirit from the Father. As Knowledge and prophesying, because they are also Spiritual gifts, 12:8, 10. As teaching, because they can understand that which Paul and believers are receiving from God through the Holy Spirit.

"14  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful."

>>He is praying in the Spirit who is bearing witness to Paul's spirit [Rome 8:16, 26] but even he doesn't understand what he is saying. His meaning is unfruitful to the church, but it edifies him.

"15  What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding."

>>I believe Paul is saying in different circumstances he will use "tongues" differently. Alone, talking and worshiping God he will use tongues but in the church setting, he will speak in a language understandable by the majority or in tongues if he also interprets or the Holy Spirit has an interpreter present.

"16  Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say "Amen" at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say?
17  For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.
18  I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all;

>>Paul concludes that speaking in church in "tongues" is senseless unless interpreted even when done well, therefore in this situation verbal utterances should be in a known language. But, he is thankful that he has the opportunity to speak and sing in tongues when he is alone. Only God knows what he is uttering. He boasts about doing it "more than you all."

"19  yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
20  Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
21  In the law it is written: "With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me," says the Lord.

>>Here again Paul reinforces the uselessness of tongues in church unless interpreted. It would be like speaking in a foreign language without an interpreter present. Even 5 words in a known language is better than ten thousand in an unknown foreign language or the heavenly language.

"22  Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.
23  Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?
24  But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all.
25  And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.

>>When unbelievers are in church and hear and see the Spiritual gifts in action, there may be some skepticism about the validity. (Remember Simon the Sorcerer, it very well could have been this that he witnessed [Acts 8:18]) But, if they hear one speak in tongues and another interpret, it is like a confirmation. One is witnessing for the other, but by the same Spirit. A believer should be able to discern a message in knowledge, wisdom, or prophecy. Therefore the believer can more readily accept these messages in a known language.

The rest of the chapter is pretty straight forward, but an uninformed pastor can easily be deceived by Satan if he quenches the Spirit.

"31  For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.
32  And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

>>This is important to know as the Spiritual gift can be quenched, or controlled by the "chosen one" who is moved by the Spirit but is hesitant. They are not and should not be controlled by the Pastor or his "church" will very soon be barren. When you quench the Spirit, He very quickly moves on to where He is welcome. Without the Holy Spirit we are without Christ. And a Christian without Christ is an IAN. (I Am Nothing)

The most pathetic thing is that he is talking to sheep, and sheep normally follow their shepherd, even if he is leading them astray. The constant referral to Heb 13:17 to reinforce their authority. "Listen to us, obey us, be teachable" are their cries.
Hebrews 13:17  Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you."
It is assumed here that the leaders are trustworthy and that they do not exercise their authority in an authoritarian manner. The congregation is to respond to their leadership cooperatively and should not create a hostile environment in which their leaders must grimly toil. This does not mean that the congregation owes their leaders blind obedience, however; the Christian is accountable to Christ alone (with fear and trembling). Leaders are not to dominate others by exercising dictatorial control. Their office is a function within the church, not over it. The church is gathered only under Christ and is to be controlled only by the Spirit. Those who lead the church are therefore to imitate Christ in a willingness to serve tirelessly and sacrificially in their watchcare over others. They carry out their calling in obedience to Christ and may wield only the power of love. They also must give an account to God.

Works of Satan, to mangle the Word of God.
1 Thess 5:12  And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
13  and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
Christians should respect leaders called of Christ to do specific works of ministry. Leaders earn respect, honor, and love through their work for Christ. Leaders must work for peace in the church.

Finally the last verses.
"39  Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.
40  Let all things be done decently and in order.

>>Desire earnestly to prophesy either through tongues and interpretations or in a known language. BUT do not forbid speaking in tongues. Let the Spirit flow and your church will grow.

In the book Experiencing God, authors Henry Blackaby and Claude King say that one of seven important steps to experiencing God in everyday life is how God speaks to us. "God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways." [Henry Blackaby and Claude King, Experiencing God (Nashville, Tennessee: LifeWay Press, 1990), 225]

In His service
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I watched a Seventh Day Adventist program on "Sunday" and the preacher started off great about true and false worship but very quickly began preaching about worshiping a "DAY." [Romans 14:5; Col. 2:16]

He doesn't seem to grasp the differences between Israel and the Gentiles. All through the Old Testament the LAW was given to Israel not the gentiles. [Ephesians 2:11,12]

Jesus gave us (Christians) two (2) laws, not ten (10). The Israelites were given 10 commandments and 613 laws which could never save them. It defined sin and what was expected of them. If the Adventists would read the O.T. for what it is and remember that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and His commandments encompass all the laws.

First, God doesn't recognize any sin worse than another except the blaspheming of His Holy Spirit. Sin to Him is missing the mark of His righteousness. Jesus gave us 2 positive commandments to LOVE. Love God, love the image of God.

The Israelites were given 8 Negative commandments to honor God and respect their neighbor.

When the preacher quoted Genesis 2:2,3 "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." Does this mean that God is just laying around heaven all day, or working 6 and resting on the seventh?

What does "For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night." [Psalm 90:4] and "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." [2 Peter 3:8] mean? Could it mean that after the 7 day week of creation, God now has thousand year days? He is doing His work every thousand year day and will rest on the seventh thousand year day?

Literally it means what everyone can read. Spirit filled or not.

Figuratively it means that Israel should remember the Seventh Day and keep it Holy and rest. Science has proven that man will "burn out" if he doesn't take a day or 2 off every week.

Spiritually, for the followers of Christ, it means the seventh one thousand year day. The millennium. The Lord's DAY. The Day Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, promised us Christian believers as the true rest. [Heb 4:1-11], [Matt 11:28]

To take this and other passages literally and figuratively is to read the human authors and ignore the message of the Co-Author, the Holy Spirit. An example is to believe that we will all be children in heaven because of Mark 10:14,15.

I think if we are Spirit filled we should recognize the spiritual message of the Bible. It is more than a "Good Book" written by man. It is a spiritual mirror, where one can look into and see what his heart looks like.

A physical mirror can reflect your physical, worldly, carnal image. But God's word, the Bible reflects your heart, your soul. [1 Cor 13:12; James 1:22-25] What do you see when comparing yourself to "What Would Jesus Do" in the Bible? Or more appropriately "What Did Jesus Do" or "What Would Jesus Expect?"

In His service
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Admin (hymnsinger) has limited membership because of the atheist Spammers that post porn and fake medicinal aids, but don't let that stop you from registering and posting if you love Christ.

Way back when I used to frequent chat rooms I found one of the best ways to handle such people is to try to befriend them. It takes a lot of time and patience....listen to me, now....A LOT of time and patience. There would be Satanic people who would come into the Christian chat room, of course, just to stir up trouble. Just to make people mad. At first, whoever was moderator would kick them out. Finally, I found that if I engaged them and got them to focus just on me then I could just calmly answer their questions, their hateful comments and keep up a constant friendly, loving tone to my replies they would eventually settle down.

"A soft word turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." Prov. 15:1

There was actually one guy who began to come in regularly to chat with only me. I don't mean to sound like I'm tooting my own horn here...but he said I was like no other Christian he had ever met before. And...he finally admitted to me that he did this sort of thing only for entertainment purposes; he liked jerking Christians' chains. He told me because of my responses to him I was no fun, but just enjoyable to talk to. I would "joke" with him that if jerking people's chains was his idea of fun he had some deeper problems he wasn't admitting, too.

I think we should respond to the comments made by people such as this atheist. I believe they are seeking answers and they won't admit it. If he's such a devout atheist, why would he be discussing this so adamantly with a Christian? Is he trying to "convert" someone? No, because by his own belief there is nothing to convert to. It's a sad, twisted cry for help. "I want you to believe I have the answers because I'm still trying to prove to myself I have all the answers but the answers I have don't seem to answer the questions I have."

The basis of what we believe is love. God is love. Everything in the Bible boils down to love. Everyone in the world is looking for love. (I feel a country song coming on.....) This guy is no different. The thing that makes us different is that we found Love. We need to show him what he's looking for.

Don't argue with him. That's exactly what he wants. Just like we discuss things in here...that's why we're all here, isn't it? We enjoy a good discussion on spiritual matters. Sometimes we even disagree on some points but we do it with love. If you feel you should converse with this guy you need to always stay focused on why you're talking with show him Love...God. You will never change his mind with words because he's using words as a smoke-screen for what's really bothering him. He was forced to read the Bible at gun-point? I'm sure that's a slight exagerration but it does sound like maybe he was forced into "religion" and not taught about the Love part. Maybe his parents taught the Christian faith but didn't live it.

Read between the lines...there's nothing but fear there:
"he hates the religion...not the people who follow it" fear of organized action
"murder unbelievers, gays..." fear of being persecuted
"Christianity against freedom" fear of being controlled
"his belief in evolution" fear of being thought un-intelligent/ not p.c.
"spare me the Bible quotes" fear that The Word might actually speak to him.
and on and on.......

As for us being imitators? And how did he learn to eat? talk? walk? read? write? multiplication tables? spout his arguments? He learned all that from someone else.

And excuse me? Does it take more faith to believe that God created everything that was created in 6 days...(tell him creation didn't take 7 days...God rested on the 7th day)? Or does it take more faith to believe that "something" exploded "somewhere" and a bunch of gases happened to collect in various and random locations then just happened to start revolving creating hardened masses from which the gases happened to form a single, living cell which happened to divide and do so continuously. Then that continuously dividing cell happened to form a "creature" that happened to leave the water it happened to be in and happened to form air breathing lungs and through a myriad of continuing "just happened-ings" ended up being an ape which happened to evolve into a human? (ever use a word so much it stops sounding like a word?  ) If you ask me that takes an awful lot of faith...more than a grain of a mustard seed which, if memory serves me correctly is all we are asked to start with as Christians.

All kidding aside, my advice would be to first, pray seriously for this guy. Second if you feel you should, I would engage him but only with love. Remember, if you start getting frustrated or angry at things he's're on the computer...he can't see your face or hear any other tone of voice than what you type in. You might want to excuse yourself for a bathroom break or a drink of water. Take a time out for prayer and then return when you feel you can speak with him quietly and send him those love vibes. I think you'll be surprised at the difference if you can just hang in there and be patient with him.

....lets start with these "wise-guys". They're Holy Ghost toast and don't even know it yet!
smiley   ;D
For Discussion On Christian Matters *CLICK HERE* / Can a Christian Sin?
« Last post by hymnsinger on March 27, 2010, 02:12:29 PM »
There are some intriguing scriptures that indicate that Christians can sin but it is not held against them because of the blood of Jesus.

We read two (2) passages in 1 John where one says if we say we are without sin we lie and later that it is impossible to sin.

First is "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
  My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments." [1 John 1:6-2:3]

It would appear that past sins are forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Christ. The first part appears to be past tense and if we say we have no sin and refuse to accept the finished work at the cross then we are liars and we are not in Christ. If we transgress the two (2) commandments of Jesus we have an advocate to bring us before the Throne of Grace where we can confess to the Father who cannot look upon sin.

The 2 commandments encompass all 10 of the Hebrew commandments. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and might and also His image commonly known as your neighbor.

To God there is no difference in sin. It is not divided and placed in segments of Dishonor, Murder, Theft, Fornication, Lust, or Lying. To God you fall short of the mark. In archery terms you miss the mark and "sin" and fall into "evil" where the arrow lands.

King David says, "Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight;..." [Psalm 51:4]

 And James says, "If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all." [James 2:8-10]

The next passage in 1 John we will examine is
"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother." [1 John 3:1-10]

Either this whole passage is about Jesus and all the pronouns should be capilalized or the Believers that are "in Christ" are sinless by the cleansing blood at the cross. They may transgress and do wrong, but they are saved and His Grace is Sufficient. They only lose fellowship until they confess and seek forgiveness.

Did Paul ever change or did he continue in his doing what he ought not to and not doing what he willed to do in Romans chapter 7 and then explained that it doesn't matter because "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." [Romans 8:1-2]

What? no "condemnation" because we are in Christ Jesus? OK, that makes it easier to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness from the Father. But, does that give us license to continue in the flesh? Doesn't Paul encourage Believers to walk in the Spirit? Doesn't he also list all the sins that are in the flesh?

As I explained above, that list is for us to know where the boundaries are. Because to the Father a sin is a sin! Don't be comparing yourself to your neighbor to see if you stack up to the Father's tolerance. [1 Cor 10:12] He has none!

You either walk in the Spirit or in the flesh! Walking in the Spirit dictates that you look inward for guidance. Paul gives directions in Romans 12:1-2 and how to transform the mind in 2 Cor 10:4. Take all your thoughts captive and examine them for purity before entertaining them. What you think about, you will eventually do. [Matt 5:21, 22, 27, 28]

Can a Christian sin? Yes, but there is NO condemnation. We do not lose our salvation. We are children of God and He does not lock us out for falling short of His righteousness. He only forsook His Son for a short time while He became the sins of the world.

"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors; not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." [Romans 8:12-14]

Walk and live according to the Spirit, [Romans 8:1,4,5]

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints;" [Ephesians 6:10-18]

In His service
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