Revelation 13:13-14 “He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.”
The phenomenon of speaking in tongues that is seen in the Christian churches today is relatively new. It did not start to enter into some churches until the early 1900’s. This raises the question. If what we are seeing today is the genuine gift of the Holy Spirit that empowered the disciples at Pentecost, allowing them to go into all nations and preach the gospel in the native tongue of those they came across, why was it absent from the church for over 1800 years? Is it that God only gives His people gifts of the spirit that are required at a particular time or for a particular purpose?
Throughout the Bible it is seen that God always empowered His people to do what it is that He wanted them to do. He directed them with His Holy Spirit and then gave to them whatever gift was necessary to get done what needed to be achieved. This being the case it is easy to see why God saw it necessary to give the gift of tongues to the early Church. How else would uneducated men have been able to effectively spread the gospel? This all makes perfect sense. The question is then, for what reason would the gift of tongues have been reintroduced to the church a hundred years ago? What possible purpose does it serve? And in fact is what we see in churches today the genuine gift, or has Satan somehow been able to infiltrate the Christian world and deceive them with a counterfeit of one of God’s gifts for his own purposes?
We are warned in the Bible that in the end times there will be a huge outpouring of false miracles, signs and wonders that will deceive much of the Christian world. Mark 13:22 “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”
Many of the events predicted for the end times are now happening, Mathew 24:7 “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”
In the history of this planet we have never seen such a continuous, increasing amount of natural disasters and such a threat to peace as the terrorism epidemic.
Everything is pointing toward the soon coming of the Lord, and as such we need to hearken to the severe warning that the disciple Mark gave to us. We need to be aware that false signs and miracles are even today occurring, and to earnestly search the scriptures so as to be able to discern the true from the counterfeit.
In Revelation, John writes that he saw in vision that the antichrist beast power (representing a false system of religion that bases it’s doctrines on the traditions of man, instead on the word of God, and does blasphemous things, like claiming to have the power to forgive sins and replace Christ with an earthly representative) would also do great wonders and signs and make fire come down from heaven.
Fire in prophetic terms was symbolic of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16 “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”) which means that the false fire from heaven, is a false representation of the Holy Spirit, or more precisely the deceiving spirits of demons counterfeiting the works of the Holy Spirit.
Revelation 13:12-14 “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”
So if we are in the end times, and there is a false representation of the Holy Spirit in our churches, what is it? Are some of the miraculous healings being done by a source other than God, and is this speaking with tongues phenomenon that has already swept through more than 20% of the Christian world the genuine gift or a counterfeit?
The best way to find out, is to study the word of God in relation to the fruits and the gifts of the spirit, and test what we see happening in our churches against the Bible. If what we see today is exactly the same as what happened in the examples in the Bible, and is being used for the same purpose, then we can be assured that what we are checking is the genuine gift or fruit from God, but if what we test against the scriptures comes back different – then it is most likely a deceptive counterfeit from the devil, who is always doing his utmost to trick or seduce God’s people into sinning and falling away from God.
One of the most important attributes of the Holy Spirit is that He will guide you into truth. John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself;” Truth is the understanding of the true gospel message of forgiveness of sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus our Lord. The message that we are saved by grace and not works, and that those who are saved will be obedient to the will of the Father and follow His commandments, just as Jesus also instructed. John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
The Bible does not contradict itself, and the Holy Spirit will never contradict the word of God, so if anyone says that the Holy Spirit showed them that we don’t have to obey the Ten Commandments or anything else that would directly contradict the teachings of the scriptures, then you can be assured that the spirit that they are listening to is not the Holy Spirit, but a deceiving spirit. We must never forget that most of the attacks that the devil makes on us are through the thoughts and temptations that he or his evil angels place into our minds. 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.”
One of the devils strongest tools is his ability to deceive, to make counterfeits that are very close to the original, and if not tested against the word, may be easily accepted as being the genuine thing.
What is the main area that he has been able to deceive much of the Christian world in over recent times? Before we answer that question, let’s just look at a couple of things from the Bible, firstly the gift of tongues and secondly the gift of miraculous healings to see what the genuine manifestation of these gifts were.
Acts 2:3-8 “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. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?”
When used in reference to speaking, tongues simply meant “language.” The Greek word is “glossa” and means “tongue, language,” and the verb “laleo” means “to speak”, producing the word “glossolalia.” Here is the definition from the Strong’s and Thayer dictionaries on glossolalia:
Strong’s Definition: “glossa”, pronounced “gloce'-sah” Of uncertain affinity; the tongue; by implication a language (specifically one naturally unacquired): - tongue.
Thayer Definition: “glossa”
1) The tongue, a member of the body, an organ of speech.
2) A tongue.
1a) the language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations.
When the disciples and believers at Pentecost were baptised by the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues, what was the purpose? Why did God choose to bestow that gift upon them at that time?
Jesus had predicted the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking with tongues for the purpose of carrying out the Great Commission, when He was telling the disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel message. Mark 16:17 “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;”
Jesus' disciples were to receive the power of the gift of the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues so that they could proclaim the Good News of Jesus, first in Israel, and then to all nations, tongues (languages) and peoples. The disciples were unlearned men who would never have been able to preach in other languages to all the people of the various nations, without the divine intervention of God, giving them the ability to preach the Gospel message in languages they had never learned.
It should be noted also that when the genuine gift of tongues was given, for the purpose of evangelising, they understood what they were saying. 1 Corinthians 14:15-16 “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when you shall bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at your giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what you sayest?”
Paul is also pointing out in this verse that it is of no value to be praying, singing or speaking blessings in tongues if those around you do not understand the language. He found it necessary to point out to the church at Corinth the fact that they were misusing the gift.
1 Corinthians 14:4-6 “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that you all spoke with tongues, but rather that you prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking in tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?”
1 Corinthians 14:9 “So likewise you, except you utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for you shall speak into the air.”
1 Corinthians 14:13-14 “Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.”
1 Corinthians 14:18-19 “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.”
1 Corinthians 14:21-23 “In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that you are mad?”
1 Corinthians 14:26-27 “How is it then, brethren? when you come together, every one of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.”
1 Corinthians 14:39 “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.”
Paul was clarifying with them that the purpose of the gift was for teaching and preaching to people in languages that they could understand – not to do it just for the sake of it. Select 1 Corinthians 14 by Albert Barnes or 1 Corinthians 14 by Adam Clarke to read these Bible Commentaries for more on this chapter.
Paul also confirmed that the gift of tongues was the least of the gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:4-10 “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:”
Again later he repeated the message that we are all given different gifts so that we can work together as parts of the body of Christ to achieve whatever God commissions us for, and again he listed tongues last. 1 Corinthians 12:27-28 “...you are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
Now that we have looked at what the genuine gift of tongues was used for and why it was required, let us look at what glossolalia in the occult world is.
Studies have revealed that glossolalia is found in the zar cult and various spirits in Haitian Voodoo. It is practised in non-Christian religions among the Eskimos, Japanese séances in Hokkaido, in a small cult led by Genji Yanagide of Moji City, in Malaysia, Indonesia, Siberia, Arabia, Burma, Japan, Korea, China and Arctic regions, the shamans in Ethiopia and is also found extensively in African tribal religions. History also shows that it was present among many pagan religions many years before Pentecost.
Glossolalia as we find in most Christian churches today bears far more resemblance to the tongues spoken in the above non-Christian religions than it does to the wonderful miracle that God gave to the early disciples in order to spread the gospel message to the world.
This is not to say that the genuine gift of tongues or interpretation is not given to some Christians today. I have heard of missionaries who have been preaching the gospel message in English and the Solomon Islanders they were speaking to heard them in their own language.
On the other hand, TV evangelists who claim to have the gift of tongues prove over and over again that they are being hypocrites, when they take their team of trained interpreters on their international crusades. If they had been given the genuine gift of tongues why would they ever need to hire an interpreter?
There have been several studies on this tongues phenomenon in Christian churches. One was done by Felicitas D. Goodman, a psychological, anthropologist and linguist. She did her study on various English, Mayan and Spanish speaking Pentecostal communities in the United States and Mexico. She took tape recordings and then compared them to recordings of non-Christian rituals from Africa, Indonesia, Borneo and Japan. Her results were published in 1972 in an extensive monograph (Speaking in Tongues: A Cross-Cultural Study in Glossolalia by Felecitas D. Goodman, University of Chicago Press, 1972).
Her conclusions were as follows: “when all features of speaking in tongues were taken into consideration, which is the segmental structure (such as sounds, syllables, phrases) and its suprasegmental elements (namely, rhythm, accent, and especially overall intonation) there is no distinction in tongues between Christians and the followers of non-Christian (pagan) religions.” Ms. Goodman wrote in the prestigious Encyclopedia of Religion (1987) that the “association between trance and glossolalia is now accepted by many researchers as a correct assumption.” Goodman also concluded that glossolalia “is, actually, a learned behaviour, learned either unwarily or, sometimes consciously.”
Being able to speak in a language or articulate foreign phrases and syllables that you have never been learned is indeed a miracle, but unless you have received the genuine gift to meet a specific need for witnessing or evangelising to people in their own language, and unless you understand what it is you are telling them, then it would seem that the miracle is most probably from a deceiving spirit, rather than the genuine gift from the Holy Spirit of God.
So many of the charismatic and Pentecostal churches put an overwhelming emphasis on tongues as proof that you have been baptised by the Holy Spirit. This is in direct contrast to the teaching that Paul gave, where he described the different gifts of the spirit and put tongues and interpretation down the bottom of the list. He also pointed out that we are all part of the body of Christ, and as such are all given different talents, gifts and abilities, so that we can work in harmony together to advance the kingdom of God. He certainly never advocated that everyone should seek solely for the gift of tongues and not wholeheartedly beseech God for the other gifts, such as evangelism, apostleship, teachers etc.
Anyone who is preaching that if you do not have the gift of tongues that you have not received the Holy Spirit is directly contradicting the scriptures. Those who go one step further and pronounce that if you do not speak in tongues you are not saved are speaking a lie. 1 Corinthians 12:28 “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” This shows clearly that we are not all given the same gifts and not all given the gift of tongues.
Many Pentecostal churches preach that tongues is a heavenly language, the “tongues of angels.” Where does this teaching stem from?
There is only one verse in the Bible relating to the tongues of angels. It is 1 Corinthians 13:1. In the King James Version it reads “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” Is Paul saying that he speaks in the tongues of angels? This verse needs to be viewed in both the context of the following passages and also in relation to the translation from the Greek. The word that has been translated to “though” when translated and used in over 95% of all other places in the New Testament has been more correctly translated to “if.” Other Versions of the Bible do in fact translate this correctly to “if I spoke in the tongues men and angels.”
Regardless of this mistranslation, if we go on to read the following verses they reveal clearly that Paul is speaking rhetorically, as had he been speaking literally he would be boasting that he understood all mysteries and had all knowledge, which we know is not the case. Only God has the full understanding of all things. These verses read 1 Corinthians 13:2-3 “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” Paul is emphatically expressing his desire that the people should demonstrate love, generosity and charity which are fruits of the spirit, because without these everything else becomes void. He is showing that love is the most important characteristic that God’s people need to express in all aspects of their lives and their ministries.
Paul writes 1 Corinthians 14:4 “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.” Many preachers use this verse to show that we should speak in tongues to edify ourselves and build up our faith. Is this really what Paul is saying? If we look again at the following verses in the passage it can be seen that Paul is in fact rebuking the church at Corinth for their misuse of the gift of tongues, and telling them that it is of no use whatsoever if they speak in tongues and no one around them understands them. He says that prophesying is far more important, as that will build up the church.
1 Corinthians 14:5-7 “I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking in tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?”
He goes on to say that they may as well be speaking into the air. 1 Corinthians 14:9 “So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.” Does this sound like he is encouraging them to edify themselves? It doesn’t sound like it at all. The whole purpose of this message is to encourage them to stop being self-centered and work on doing things that will build up the church.
The following verses even further clarify that he is discouraging them from speaking in tongues where it is not for the purpose of witnessing to people in their own languages that they can understand. 1 Corinthians 14:11-12 “Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” See the following for further commentary on this chapter and verse.
It is often taught that praying in tongues is letting the Holy Spirit pray through us, because we don’t know what to pray for but He does. I was unable to find any texts that backed up this assumption. The Bible does say that the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us. Romans 8:26-27 “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” “Groanings that cannot be uttered” does not relate to glossolalia though. If they cannot be uttered then they cannot relate to speaking, but rather to the inaudible work that the Holy Spirit carries out on our behalf.
Paul does speak of praying, singing and blessing with the Spirit, but he is speaking in the context of doing these in the Church, where as the preacher up the front he would of course have been praying in the tongues (languages) of those in his congregation. This does not relate to the idea that the Spirit was praying through him and that he did not know what to pray. 1 Corinthians 14:15-16 “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?”
When we pray, we can definitely ask the Holy Spirit to help us to know what to pray for and He will guide us and reveal needs to us, which we can then pray for in your own language. Also sometimes the Holy Spirit will prompt us to pray and intercede for someone else’s needs, but again this can be done in our own language. God understands everything, He does not need us to pray in tongues to Him. There is no logic behind the idea that praying in a prayer language would be more powerful than praying in an earthly one, as God made all the languages and understands them all.
We need to seek after the truth of God’s word and what He is telling us about the need to obey and follow Him. The more we search the scriptures in earnest for truth, the more God will reveal to us through his Holy Spirit.
The book of revelation speaks of an end time church which it calls the remnant, because it is the portion of the Christian population who are seeking to be like the original church of Acts. Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon (Satan) was wroth with the woman (symbolic for a church), and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” The remnant is a church that solely bases all of her belief system on the scriptures alone, and clings to the true gospel message of redemption through the blood of Christ. A church who believe in following ALL the Commandments of God. Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
John shows us that at the end of time, God will call His people out of the other “Harlot” churches, those churches that have been polluted with incorrect, unbiblical doctrines, and deceived by Satan’s counterfeit miracles and counterfeit day of worship. Revelation 18:2-4 “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great (the antichrist beast power church with false doctrines) is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
Many Christians are unaware that doctrines they have been taught since childhood, and accepted as being biblical are actually founded on ancient pagan myths, and not found at all in the Bible. Some Christian churches have inherited an enormous amount of false beliefs and traditions, while others a smaller amount. Following are some examples of teachings that are not biblically based, and yet have been widely accepted among the Christian population without question, simply because they have been passed down for so long.
The idea that the devil wears a tight red outfit, has a pointed tail and horns and lives today in the deep bowels of the earth among the fires of Hell is not found anywhere in the Bible. This teaching stems from paganism. The scriptures tell us that God through Satan down to the earth. Revelation 12:9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” He dwells on this earth, not in a burning place of fire and brimstone called hell.
The idea that our souls are eternal and that no-one will ever die, that if we follow Jesus we will go to heaven and if we don’t we will be cast into Hell to burn forever and ever also does not line up with the scriptures. God tells us that he will destroy with eternal fire those who have not been saved with the blood of the lamb. They will be destroyed with the same eternal fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. It was eternal because it was unquenched; it burned until everything was burned up. The scriptures clearly state Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This does not say eternal life in either heaven or hell. It says those who don’t accept Christ as Saviour will die. It also shows that this will happen after the day of judgment. The day of judgment does not happen until one thousand years after the second coming of Jesus, and after the second resurrection. The devil will be unleashed for a time and will try to rally all those who have been raised at the ‘resurrection to damnation’, to attack the New Jerusalem. But before they attack God will destroy them with eternal fire. Revelation 20:7-9 “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city (New Jerusalem): and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” The eternal destruction of the unsaved is further clarified in Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
Another scripture clearly showing that our souls are not immortal is Romans 6:16 “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
The followers of Christ only become immortal when we are raised at the first resurrection at the coming of Jesus in the clouds, or for those Christians who are still alive, our bodies will be transformed and we will be given our new immortal bodies in that instant.
The false information about the eternal nature of souls was first quoted by the devil in the Garden of Eden. God told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the tree of knowledge they would die. Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” The devil lied to Eve and told her Genesis 3:4 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:”
Another misteaching is that if you are a Christian, when you die you will go straight to heaven and if you are an unrepentant sinner you will go straight to hell. Again this is certainly not what Jesus taught. He always referred to those who had died as being asleep. John 11:11 “These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.”
When the scriptures talk of the stoning of Stephen it says Acts 7:60 “And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” 1Corintians 15:18 “Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.”
Paul spoke at length to the Thessalonians about the state of the dead 1Thessalonians 4:13-16 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:”
For all intensive purposes though, when a Christian dies it will seem like only an instant before they see the coming of the Lord. For those who have not accepted Jesus as Lord and saviour, it will also seem to them only an instant before they come face to face with the Lord, after the second resurrection, but they will be outside of the city of New Jerusalem. They certainly would never have died and been sent straight to hell before receiving their sentence on the day of judgement.
Certain churches that profess Christianity have huge doctrinal differences to the scriptures, and in fact go as far as to claim that they are not bound by the scriptures, but have the authority to change them and even override the precepts of Christ.
“It was the Catholic church which...has transferred this rest to Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord. Therefore the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) church.” Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, p. 213.
“Sunday is our mark or authority...the church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” Catholic Record of London, Ontario, September 1, 1923.
“The authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scriptures, because the Church had changed...the Sabbath into Sunday, not by command of Christ, but by its own authority.” Canon and Tradition, p. 263.
At one time in our history literally millions of Christians lost their lives because they protested against the doctrinal misrepresentations of the Roman Catholic church, and yet today, with the advent of this tongues phenomenon sweeping the Christian world, it seems that doctrinal differences are being whitewashed as insignificant – and the common denominator of speaking with tongues is seen as a great thing to break down the doctrinal barriers and unite the Christian world.
Who is it that wants false doctrines in the church? Who is it that wants to deceive even the elect? Who is it that will do whatever is necessary to lead God’s people away from the light and into a false form of worship? Who is it that has instigated a course of action that will lead many away from the kingdom of God?
Who is it who is raining down False Fire from Heaven to deceive those who are not grounded firmly enough in the truth of the word of God?
It is time that we all started getting back to the grass roots of our faith and studying the lifestyle and beliefs of the first believers in the book of Acts. We need to get back to the pure faith, the faith that relies on the scriptures to test all spirits and to lead us into truth. We need to start asking for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to those who have been deceived or who are ignorant. We need to pray for the latter rain that will draw the genuine believers out of the polluted “harlot” churches and into the remnant church who keep the Commandments of God and base all doctrine on the Bible and the Bible alone.
Satan wants us in the mentality of signs and wonders and so he counterfeits God's gifts and miracles like speaking in tongues more then ever as we draw near to Earths final days. If Satan succeeds in doing this with the majority of Christians, what do you think their response will be when the following happens? Revelation 13:13-14 “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,” This is what will happen, “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do...” We need to be aware of Satan's plans by studying the word and not just lusting after miracles that may be false which the Bible warns us will happen. Here is one example from 2Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
We need to put on the armour of God daily and resist temptation and stand firm, using the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God to ward off the attacks of the devil. And we need to test the fruits of the spirit against the Word of God, so that we will not be deceived by false fire from heaven. Please read speaking in tongues and glossolalia if you would like an even more comprehensive study on this topic with Bible commentaries.