There are several of the major denominations today, and in fact, the number is growing everyday, who believe that in order for you to be saved, you must experience the gift of tongues. Now if you go to these people and ask them as bluntly as I have stated this, most of them would deny it, but they really do feel just that strongly about the gift of tongues. They reason that you are justified when you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, just like most of the other denominations, but to this they add that you must also be sanctified in order to go to heaven, and the Bible certainly does teach that sanctification is a mandatory part of our salvation. But how do we interpret what sanctification is? As always, we want to go to God's Word for the answer!
The Bible teaches that sanctification is the process whereby we are changed, and actually cleansed from the filthy habits of our sins. Justification is the forgiveness for our sins, and we understand that justification happens immediately and instantly, but because sanctification is the process of changing our bad habits into good habits, we say that it is the work of a lifetime. All of the bad habits of our lives of sin, are not necessarily changed the moment that we become Christians. Here is where we differ with many of the so called Pentecostal churches. So many of them believe that sanctification is instant like justification. In fact, they believe that sanctification takes place, when they are baptized in the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost as they seem to prefer. They teach that there are several evidences of the outpouring or baptism of the Holy Ghost, but that there is one evidence of this gift that is always present, the gift of speaking in unknown tongues. Hence, they really do believe that you must speak in tongues in order to be saved.
As we begin to look at this important subject, I would like for us to draw a simple little illustration from the very first occurrence of the speaking of tongues in the Bible. It is found in Acts 2:3-4 "And there appeared unto them cloven 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."
In these very verses, which are so important to the Pentecostal, or Charismatic Christian, there are two different uses of the word tongues. BUT first, let me assure you that these are indeed the exact same word in the original language. (1100. glossa, gloce'-sah; of uncert. affin.; the tongue; by impl. a language (spec. one naturally unacquired):--tongue., Strong's Exhaustive Concordance) So if we take these verses literally, we have to decide what definition to attach to them, for there are more than one definition for the word tongues. Did these men literally speak with someone else's tongue? Did they see cloven languages like as of fire? You see, we MUST decide which usage of the word by reading the context of the passage, and deciding which one fits.
Will you agree with me that there has to be a little more understanding applied to these verses? Will you agree with me that we will have to use a little common sense in dealing with this issue?
Some churches believe in this "Pentecostal" gift of speaking in tongues, and some churches don't, but I think that most all of the churches lack a basic knowledge of what took place in the early apostolic church. A church that doesn't believe in the speaking in tongues at all, is wrong. BUT those who believe in the speaking in tongues as we have described above are almost surely to be swept away by the spiritualistic deceptions of Satan. What is the truth about speaking in tongues? What actually took place on the day of Pentecost? Let's look into God's great book and find out!
1. What is the name of the woman which represents Satan's counterfeit religion in the last days? Revelation 17:5
Remember that in Bible prophecy, a woman always represents a church. Lesson number 9, "Two Women," showed us this in great detail
2. Revelation 18:2 speaks of this same false church, what name does it say?
"Babylon the _____________________________________"
What is so great about this false and Satanic church? This word great bespeaks her size and strength, not goodness. In Revelation 17:1, Babylon is identified as "the great whore." She is also called the mother of harlots because she as the great apostate "mother church" has been unfaithful to God, and she has caused many other churches to do the same. The Protestant world is filled with Catholic heresies such as Sunday worship, pagan festivals, and other non-Biblical teachings. Whether they know it or not, they are daughters of the great whore and harlots themselves.
3. What message does the angel give concerning Babylon the great? Revelation 18:2
Please take a few moments to read Revelation 18:2-3 carefully. Compare it to Revelation 14:8. These references are almost word for word the same, and obviously deal with the same warning message which is to be proclaimed in the last days.
4. What is this end time warning message called here? Revelation 14:6
"the _________________________________________ gospel"
There are three important points which should be noticed about this passage of Scripture before we even consider what the message is saying to us.
The message of Revelation is called the "gospel." Remember the book of Revelation was given to John by Jesus Himself (see Revelation 1:1-2). Let us compare this to the words of Jesus in Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." You can
see that Revelation 14:6-12 is the fulfillment of Jesus' words. We are given the everlasting gospel message which must be preached to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. This takes place just at the end of this world because Jesus also said in Matthew 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
It has already been shown in this series of Bible studies that the popular churches in our land are not preaching the everlasting gospel according to Jesus in Revelation 14:6-12. This must not be taken lightly because the very worlds of this everlasting gospel message tell us: "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." Revelation 14:9-11.
5. What other important message is given to God's people concerning the false religious system called Babylon? Revelation 18:4
The Bible Says: "Come ____________ of her __________ ______________________"
This text plainly show us that Babylon is filled with God's people. The very last work of the gospel message is to call God's faithful people out of the churches which follow the traditions of men, and into the churches which keep the commandments of God, and have the faith of Jesus (See Revelation 14:12).
6. Did Jesus ever refer to this calling out in His gospels? John 10:16
Jesus makes it plain, all of His sheep are not in the same fold yet. But before the end of time, He is to call His sheep, and His true sheep will know His voice, and they will come out of the other folds and into the true fold of the Great Shepherd, Jesus. He speaks to us through His Word, and we must be willing to follow the truth as it is given in the Holy Bible.
We must be very careful in these last days to make sure that every teaching and doctrine we follow is built upon the Solid Rock. Many of us have held to beliefs because we have been told it all our lives. Many professed Christians do not study the Bible to know for themselves what the truth really is, but instead rely upon some preacher, or teacher, or the word of their parents, or some author, or some church. While all of these should and could be useful tools in the Christian walk, we must be careful to do as we are told in Scripture:
1 John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
Acts 17:11 "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
Matthew 24:11 "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many."
8. Will everyone who professes to be a Christian be saved? Matthew 7:21
Notice in this Scripture that we cannot be saved by simply professing to know and love Jesus. But at the same time verse 22 shows us that there is no amount of great works that we can do which will assure us a place in God's kingdom. There will be "many," Jesus says, who will believe that they have done many wonderful works, and that they have had great faith in the name of the Lord, but who will be turned away by Jesus because He never knew them. They did not build a personal relationship with Him through His Word.
9. What is God's three point plan for receiving blessings from the study of His Word? Revelation 1:3
a: "Blessed is he that __________________________"
b: "and they that ___________________________ the words of this prophecy"
c: "and ________________________________ those things which are written therein;"
We must be willing to take the time to find out God's will for us by reading the Bible. We must have a personal relationship with Jesus through His Spirit in order to understand that Word. And then we must allow that Word to penetrate our very lives and change us so that we will be like Jesus. No amount of good works will save us, but because we have been forgiven of our sins and cleansed from unrighteousness, we will be filled with good works from God!
10. Are you willing to COME OUT and be separate from the world? How about the worldly churches?
11. Would you like information about a Commandment keeping, Sabbath keeping church in your area?
12. Would you like to be contacted by a church member in your area?
2 Corinthians 6:17
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.