Your session will end in  seconds due to inactivity. Click here to continue using this web page.
The Study Bible - A Bible that gives you instant access to all of John’s teaching on the passage you’re reading.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 | Comments (26)

by John MacArthur

True biblical discernment is grounded in the knowledge and love of the truth—as Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:21, every discerning believer must “hold fast to that which is good.” But that’s not the only ingredient. Too many pastors and church leaders today believe that if they just preach the truth, their people will be able to avoid error by osmosis. True discernment doesn’t work that way, as Paul made clear in his very next line to the Thessalonians: “Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

The word translated “abstain” is a very strong verb, apechō, meaning “hold oneself back,” “keep away from,” “shun.” It is the same word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “abstain from sexual immorality,” and 1 Peter 2:11, “abstain from fleshly lusts.” It calls for a radical separation from “every form of evil.” This would include evil behavior, of course. But in this context, the primary reference seems to be evil teaching—false doctrine. Having examined everything in light of God’s Word, when you identify something that does not measure up—something that is evil, untrue, erroneous, or contrary to sound doctrine—shun it.

Scripture does not give believers permission to expose themselves to evil. Some people believe the only way to defend against false doctrine is study it, become proficient in it, and master all its nuances—then refute it. I know people who study the cults more than they study sound doctrine. Some Christians immerse themselves in the philosophy, entertainment, and culture of society. They feel such a strategy will strengthen their witness to unbelievers.

But the emphasis of that strategy is all wrong. Our focus should be on knowing the truth. Error is to be shunned.

Granted, we cannot recede into a monastic existence to escape exposure to every evil influence. But neither are we supposed to be experts about evil. The apostle Paul wrote, “I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil” (Romans 16:19).

In the King James Version, 1 Thessalonians 5:22 is translated “abstain from all appearance of evil.” The word translated “appearance” is eidos, literally “that which is seen.” The New American Standard Bible gives the better sense with “every form of evil.” We are to reject evil however it appears, to shun every manifestation of it.

This explicitly rules out syncretism. Syncretism is the practice of blending ideas from different religions and philosophies. Some people—even some professing believers—devour materials from every cult and denomination, looking for good in all of it. Whatever they deem good, they absorb into their belief system. They end up designing their own unique religions based on syncretism.

A syncretist might attempt to use 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to justify his methodology: “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.” That is, after all, precisely what he is doing—examining everything. But what he is really doing is actually the opposite of what this passage demands. Verse 21 is balanced by verse 22: “Abstain from every form of evil.”

Erroneous doctrine is no place to look for truth. There is usually some point of truth even in the rankest heresy. That is Satan’s subtle strategy. He often sabotages the truth by mixing it with error. Truth mixed with error is usually far more effective and far more destructive than a straightforward contradiction of the truth. If you think everything you read or hear on Christian radio and television is reliable teaching, then you are a prime target for reckless faith. If you think everyone who appears to love the truth really does, then you don’t understand the wiles of Satan. “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light,” Paul wrote. “Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14–15).

Satan also disguises his lies as truth. He doesn’t always wage war openly against the gospel. He is much more likely to attack the church by infiltrating it with subtle error. He uses the Trojan-horse stratagem by placing his false teachers in the church, where they can “secretly introduce destructive heresies” (2 Peter 2:1). He puts his lies in the mouth of someone who claims to speak for Jesus Christ—someone likable and appealing—then he spreads his perverse lies in the church where they can draw away Christ’s disciples (Acts 20:30). He attaches Bible verses to his lies (Matthew 4:6). He uses deception and hypocrisy. He disguises falsehood as truth. He loves syncretism. It makes evil look good.

That’s why we are to examine everything carefully and shun whatever is unsound, corrupt, or erroneous. Doing anything less is deadly. Millions in the church today are being overwhelmed by the Trojan-horse ploy by calling for the integration of secular ideas and biblical truth. Others are easily duped by anything labeled “Christian.” They don’t carefully examine everything. They don’t hold fast to the truth. And they don’t shun evil. As a result, they are left vulnerable to false doctrine and have no defense against reckless faith.

That is not discernment.

(Adapted from Reckless Faith.)


You have 3000 characters remaining for your comment. Note: All comments must be approved before being posted.


#1  Posted by Manuel Jr. Reyes  |  Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 1:34 AM

The Lord Jesus has said, "I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it". That means God is still building His kingdom 2000 years now. That means His church is still existing, available and shining out the light of Gospel and Truth of Scripture -- not to mention fighting falsehood. That means every man still have the chance to see that church. That means every thinking mind must seek that church even though it would cost him his life. Why? Because the world is increasingly rotting down to the reality of God's judgment and hell. We pray that we would be part of God's true Church. Thanks Pastor John for being available for God's use. God bless this ministry!

#2  Posted by Michael Kennedy  |  Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 6:05 AM

Yes, I agree Sir, John. Wholeheartedly!

I certainly remember when I got saved. I had been listening to the false teachers; Copeland, Dupantis, etc., those were the first ones I was introduced to by the guy who befriended me.

So, I kept listening and going to church... and then I was also introduced to Dr. John MacArthur at the same time when I just happened to turn on the radio and hear a guy talking about statistics from a Romans 1 sermon (you know...10,000 bugs in the world...and they were all at his last picnic).

So, I was getting the truth and error but not realizing it, and jumping to ALL the special events going on everywhere, trying to get as much wisdom as I could.

That's when God started to show me what direction I was headed in and decided to help by pulling the "spiritual-WRONG WAY Kennedy- rug" out from under me.

Now when that happens things get pretty scary, because you're kinda in a "nowhere land" type of trial (rescue) from God and you don't know which way is up OR down. That's because you don't know what is true or not true and don't know which way to turn, so a person will get really nervous, worried and scared...mainly wondering if they're saved or not.

Believe me, I know! Cause I went through it and it ain't fun....but....I''m glad I did. Because the Lord knew EXACTLY what to do to get me headed in the right direction and show me the RIGHT ways to go. You think you're in something that you can't get out of, but God promises that He will use what you're in to help get you out, remember? ("There is no temptation such as common to man...that God will, with the temptaion provide a way out?).

I was in that trial for over 4 months because of my, "lack of knowledge", basically because I was not getting the correct explanations of God's word and too proud to think I wasn't!

I mean, you talk about God being in charge of you when you genuinely get saved... He is. And He knows how to bring back a child of His from going over the cliff when He tests your faith to see if it is real......BIG TIME!

(I'm thinking this is probably involving the "doctrine of election", a place where I can't go) God's decision on who He saves? " He does what He wants to, and to whom he wants to do."

I sincerely believe too many people who think they're saved are just scoffers not listening to their Father's rebuke (sounds like a humility, or lack of, thing to me) Prov.13;1.

I remember John talking about God using negative prodding on him when John thought he was headed for a athletic career. Hah! That's a good one!

God did the same thing with me. As Dr. John describes it, God will start off easy and try to get your attention on Him and what He wants for you. But if we don't hear... for however many times it takes...then at last God will say, "You WON'T like this time."

Yes, God IS GOOD ALL THE TIME...even in those DEEEP VALLEYS!

PRAISE TO GOD ...I'm certainly glad He IS in control. God bless!

#3  Posted by Billy Cenea  |  Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 6:55 AM

Thanks Pastor John for such biblical, truth grounded teaching. i wish we could have more sound teaching like all this in Haiti. May God continue on Blessing you and your ministry. it has been a great long time help to my spiritual life. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

#4  Posted by James Allen  |  Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#5  Posted by Gabriel Powell (GTY Admin)  |  Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 9:04 AM

James, thanks for the comment. If you haven't seen John's teaching on the gifts yet, I'd encourage you to peruse the Strange Fire area of our website. In short, the answer is yes. John MacArthur teaches that the gift of tongues is no longer normative for the church today. He teaches that every believer is baptized by the Spirit the moment of their salvation, and speaking in tongues is not a sign of it.

I think his best explanation was when he recently taught through Acts 2:1-21. Here are the links: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

#6  Posted by Timothy Yakich  |  Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Our God is an amazing God!! On Sunday, April 27th, 2014, our "college" pastor gave the sermon because our Pastor is recovering from a recent massive heart attack. During his sermon he mentioned that at the college they recently had a "healing" service and that it was the largest attended service so far. He didn't go into detail...then later in the sermon he mentioned that he was going to play part of a "worship" song by the group "Jesus Culture" and that he had made this song a prayer of his, and that he wanted the congregation to go home and listen to the whole song...his prayer was that we, too, would make this song "our prayer". My wife asked if I had ever heard of "Jesus Culture" and I told her that I had, but didn't go into detail. Then the "college'' pastor twisted Scripture from Exodus, wrongly stating that when Moses came out to the people aafter speaking with God, that the people demanded that Moses cover his face because the glory of God was too much for them...that is the exact opposite of why Moses put the veil on his face. When I presened the college pastor, via e-mail and with his blessings, with my concerns about promoting "Jesus Culture" and his twisting the Scripture for his purposes, he (and another senior pastor, too) told me that I was not showing love by judging "Jesus Culture" and Mr. Bill Johnson!! They also didn't like that fact that I called "Jesus Culture" and Bill Johnson "heretics". I told them that it was my responsibility once I realized that heretics were being promoted in our church, to bring those facts to light (to them). They disagreed. I am at my wits end, because our lead pastor does not promote anything heretical, but 2 of his assistant pastors do - Rick Warren, Sarah Young, etc., books do appear in our library and "Purpose" is preached by them - and I am not sure what my next move should be. I started attending this church (a C&MA church) almost 2 years ago, my wife and I joined the church in March (looks like a huge mistake) and like I stated, the lead pastor is biblically sound, but it's the others that I have a real concern with. Any assistance from anyone would be greatly appreciated. For God's glory, Tim.

#7  Posted by Gabriel Powell (GTY Admin)  |  Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Hello Tim,

Thanks for the comment. You're right to be concerned about these things. What I would encourage you with initially is to remember that despite these deep concerns, you should keep at the forefront of your mind the desire to honor your leaders.

Perhaps the pastors aren't aware of the heretical statements Bill Johnson has made. Many people accept Jesus Culture without looking into their doctrinal foundation. Before making any decisions, it would be wise to ask a lot of questions. Questions that would tell you how much the leaders know about the Bethel Church, what the pastors believe about the charismatic gifts, what they believe crosses the boundary into heresy (if anything), etc. If they are unaware and/or don't have time to investigate, ask if it would be helpful to them if you provided documentation of why you believe they are heretical. If they're not interested in that, that'll tell you something as well.

At this stage, the more you can ask with humility in order to understand where they are coming from, the better position you'll be in to make a decision about how to proceed.

#10  Posted by Timothy Yakich  |  Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Thanks Gabriel. I did provide videos from Brannon Howse (World View Weekend) and Todd Friel ("Wretched") where they presented their concerns about "Jesus Culture", Bill Johnson, and the New Apostolic Reformation, et. al., with no success. I will continue to pray for my church leaders, for the church itself, and for myself for continued discernment, patience, guidance, and compassion in the future.

#8  Posted by James Allen  |  Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#9  Posted by James Allen  |  Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#12  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Friday, May 9, 2014 at 2:33 AM

#9 James Allen

"I have been shuned by other belivers because I pray in toungs"

"my belief in the gifts of the Spirit"

May I ask you: Have you read trough the arguments from the Strange Fire conference, and the blogs here at GTY?

Did you see any logic in this reasoning at all? That the speaking in a "miraculous language" from God to communicate to real listeners in their own language, is seen nowhere today? You have to learn a language before you can speak it.

So this gift does not exist today, and your belief is not based on careful discernment.

No, you are not persecuted, you are warned about not to deceive and being deceived in a biblical sense. You can not have that claimed gift from God, because it is not the gift as described and practiced in Scripture.

#14  Posted by James Allen  |  Friday, May 9, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#11  Posted by Mike Dalgleish  |  Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 6:20 PM

I believe, personally, that the separation there is between Christians through denominations, ideologies, entertainment, theology, doctrine, ect. is not pleasing to God and grieves the Holy Spirit. I also believe that professing Christians agree to disagree to often and far too quick. We are not to tolerate error in one another but correct with truth (light), love, gentleness and fear when confronted with error (darkness). Not only are those in a position of authority to correct be willing to, but that those who are younger in the faith be willing to be corrected.

John was right on when he stated that people are looking else where for answers but the word of God. And some people who claim Christ as their Savior, are included. We are to walk/live by faith and faith comes from the hearing of God's word. The more of God's word one gets into their life, their faith is increased. Thus, their walk is sturdy/stable/balanced in pleasing God and being a living witness, which also includes properly discerning truth from error.The more faith grows from scripture, God's grace (strength/power and desire) is more active in a believers life. And because it's God's grace, it is God doing it. Grace comes through faith and grace can't operate in ones life more than the faith they possess.

In John 1:14, scripture teaches that Christ was full of grace and truth. I believe it doesn't mention faith because faith comes from the word of God and Christ is the Living Word of God. Therefore, Christs' faith was perfect. He fully, completely, trusted and believed the Father. And it was through the perfect faith that Christ had in the Father, that allowed the Father to work though Christ by His grace. The same grace that we are called to live in. I believe it was that grace that moved Christ to anger toss out the traders and sellers from the temple and confronted teachers who taught error. We too, by that same grace, be led to correct, rebuke, admonish, exhort, ect.

John 17:23 shows Jesus praying for complete unity of those who would follow Him. Which is not even closely in the church today. It's my conviction in the word of God that I do not believe there will be unity until the grace of God is allowed to be more present in the life of the church. It's not what you do, but who is doing it through you.

God bless

#16  Posted by James Allen  |  Friday, May 9, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Comment deleted by user.
#21  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

#16 James Allen

In Acts 13:4-12, we meet a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus...who... opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.

Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

Jesus Christ alone, our righteousness. Forgiveness of sin. Repentance. New creation.

Will YOU NOT STOP making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?

And I'll quote from Henry M. Morris, (The Institute for Creation Research)

Two Imperatives

“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7)

The term “born again” has come into such common use in recent years, even in political campaigns, that its tremendous meaning has been all but lost. But Jesus — who ought to know, being none other than God incarnate — said, “Ye must be born again!” Furthermore, He said it to Nicodemus, one of the most religiously knowledgeable people of that day.

He did not say to Nicodemus that “they must be born again,” meaning the unbelieving multitudes who were not as instructed in the things of God as they should be. Nor did he say that “we must be born again,” meaning all of us mortals including Himself. Rather, Jesus said, “Ye must be born again!”

Even a man like Nicodemus must be born spiritually—born again (literally, “born from above”) — if he were ever to see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3). In answer to his question as to how this could be, Jesus said he must be born of the Spirit, supernaturally. But Nicodemus — as well as each of us — was born a sinner and was still a sinner, even failing to recognize Christ as Son of man and Son of God. How could he be born again? The answer is in a second imperative: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14-15). If “ye must be born again,” then “even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” Christ must die for our sins before it can ever be possible that a lost sinner can be born again. Since Jesus Christ was lifted up on the cross to die for us, our burden of sin has also been lifted up and placed on Him. If we would enter God’s Kingdom, we must be born again through faith in Him! There is no other way! HMM

#22  Posted by Mike Dalgleish  |  Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Hello. May God bless you and increase your faith, James, as you wrestle in the ways/things of God.

If you are meaning that God controls all things regardless of man's input, I would agree that God is not in that kind of control. However, as you know, in the bible God makes it clear that He is in control in the sense that nothing happens without His allowing it to. Whether good or bad. We can see this in the Book of Job. Even Satan, himself, is under God's authority.

It's my personal belief that Christ not only lived in His ministry for the time He did, but also to demonstrate and give an example, to us who believe, of how we are to live before God and man. For every precept and principle we can find in the word of God, we can see it in the life of Christ. For example, scripture teaches that God will always provide a way out of temptation. We can see that in the life of Christ when tempted/tested in the desert. Jesus said, "It is written". Jesus is the Living Word of God and so His faith was perfectly set on the Father at all times. Christ lived by faith perfectly for our benefit to give an example of how we are to live as children of God, and that by the grace of God. Christ lived in the grace of God (the Fathers strength/power and desire) and not in His own will. Christ chose to subjected Himself totally to the Will of the Father (Phil 2:6-7)and so the grace of God was full in Christ. I don't believe that The Lord decided to come down on His own but that it was the Father's will. Even from Heaven Christ obeyed.

Perhaps you misunderstand grace. Grace is more than unearned favor. It's true that is is unmerited and a favor from the Father, but all things from God can claim that same statement. The grace of God is His strength/power and His desires that He works in you to do the "good" work in Christ that He calls all to. However, grace is subject to ones faith. The grace of God can not be greater than ones faith. And faith can not be greater than ones knowledge and understanding of scripture. And ones understanding of scripture can not be greater than what the Father has revealed. There is rife examples of God working in His people (grace) including Christ. The more of the word of God you get into your life and desire a deep and meaningful relationship with the Father, your faith will increase and become strong because faith comes by hearing the word of God. As a result, the grace of God is actively being displayed in ones life because your faith increases your trust, convictions and love for Christ and His Truth. Therefore God will work in ones life to do the "good" work. There are many works as there are many people. But only One who is good and One work which He desires.

The Path is narrow my friend. God bless you in Christ.


#24  Posted by Steve Lamm  |  Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 5:09 PM


You wrote: "There is an evil that has invaded the church today and it is the false doctrine that God is in control of every thing that happens in the world."

If you believe that the biblical doctrine of God's sovereignty is evil, you are ignorant of what Scripture teaches. I would encourage you to go back to Scripture and study this issue more carefully. It's a logical absurdity to suggest that God is "almighty" and yet believe that there is something within God's creation that is outside of His control. The overwhelming teaching of Scripture is that there is nothing outside of God's sovereign control. I could list a score of passages, but they are easy to find with a little effort.

You also suggest that any kind of suffering that enters into the life of a believer is evil and therefore, not God's will. Even many non-charismatic believers adopt this view. In fact, the Scriptures clearly teach that at least some suffering (i.e., persecution), even if perpetrated by evil people upon a believer, may actually be God's will (I Peter 4:16,19; James 1:2-4,12). The Bible does not say that all sickness that afflicts a believer (i.e., cancer) is the direct result of Satan's activity or sin in the life of that believer.

Brother, until we receive our resurrection bodies, we will be subject to the same physical frailties as any other human being. The proof of that resides in the fact that even Christians die of old age - the ultimate disease!

If you need help to find some good study resources on these topics, let me know. I'll be glad to help.

#18  Posted by Mike Dalgleish  |  Friday, May 9, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Added thoughts:

In regards towards tongues, I'm convinced that all the gifts are available to God to work in any of His people whenever He wills. However, not one of the gifts are operated independently from the grace (strength/power and desires) of God. Jesus Christ, never once, did anything on His own (John 14:10-14; John 5:30,36). This includes the gifts and must be done by the grace of God through the Holy Spirit.

I've had the opportunity to talk to some that claim they speak in tongues and often am told that it is their spiritual language. I respond by repeating John 6:63. Scripture teaches that the words of God are spirit. So if you want to speak in a spiritual language, speak the word of God. The grace of God will never lead you to sin or stray from the precepts and principles of God. And scripture commands any who claim to speak in the gift of tongues, that they must get it interpreted....which I have yet to meet any, who claim to speak in the gift of tongues, that have.

Paul did mention that he speaks in tongues more than anyone else, but he also said that he would rather prophesy. I feel that the reason for so many speaking tongues is mainly out of selfishness. Because I know that the word of God claims that all the gifts are for the edifying of the body of Christ and the fact that these people speak unto their own edification, is revealing of how they are not operating in the grace of our Lord Jesus. Paul also said that tongues are a sign for those who do not believe and prophesy is a sign for those who believe (1Cor: 14:22). I encourage you to do a personal study on that in prayer.

May God bless you as you walk in the light of scripture.

#20  Posted by Ben Enders  |  Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 7:14 AM


Paul’s reference to praying in an unknown tongue is in Romans 8:26. This is clearly not the mumbo jumbo the charismatics call tongues. If you are honest with yourself concerning what the bible teaches about tongues then you’ll see that speaking a known language is what tongues really is.

Why if tongues are no longer normative do we have to throw out the other gifts? Where is that taught, or is that from the throne of human reasoning?

I agree with you,

“Faith is beliving the word of God which cannot be decerned with the carnal mind”

Based on this statement I urge you to reconsider what scripture says on this and get yourself a copy of Strange Fire and it least read and consider the opposing view.

#23  Posted by James Allen  |  Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Comment deleted by user.
#26  Posted by James Allen  |  Monday, May 12, 2014 at 7:32 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#28  Posted by Patty Duke  |  Monday, May 12, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Dear James,

Please do a careful reading and study of the book of Daniel to see that God is sovereign over all history, over all His people, and even over all of those who are not His people. I think many will be very surprised when we enter eternity to see just how sovereign and in control our Lord has been over all things. And please re read Strange Fire if you have not done so and understand from John MacArthur that the gibberish that is called "tongues" today is not any kind of language. He makes a wonderful argument from actual linguists that it is not any kind of language, heavenly or otherwise. And is pagan in its roots. The tongues in the Bible was always a human language-understood by someone. Again, John MacArthur explains this very well so I will not pound on that.

#29  Posted by James Allen  |  Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Comment deleted by user.
#30  Posted by Janie Hildebrand  |  Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 6:44 AM

James, forgive me for jumping in here, but you cited the verse where Paul said that the one who prayed in tongues was "speaking mysteries" as confirmation of ecstatic speech.

Please understand that when reading that verse you have to take the chapter in context. Paul was addressing an issue where many in Corinth had been given the ability to speak in many different languages. (Corinth was a port city and would receive many visitors that needed to hear the gospel in their own language.)

Unfortunately, the people with those gifts were using it in church when there was no interpreter. They were "showing off" if you will, and that's why Paul warned them to stop acting like children (1 Cor. 14:20-22) because tongues were, "a sign for unbelievers, not believers".

When Paul said they were speaking mysteries, he meant no one present was able to understand them. So in that case, they were "speaking to God and not man" (1 Cor. 14:2) since only God understands all languages. He confirms this by saying without an interpreter they were just "speaking into the air" (1 Cor. 14:9).

Paul himself did speak in many different languages as seen in Acts 22:2. This gave him the ability to proclaim the gospel to all the regions he visited.

Even the concept of angelic language is mistranslated in that Paul was using hyperbole. When he said in 1 Cor. 13:1, "If I speak in the tongues of men and EVEN OF ANGELS," he was using the same language that he did in Galations 1:6 that, 'If EVEN AN ANGEL' from heaven preaches a different gospel, let him be eternally condemned." (Jews often swore by something greater than themselves to make a point, see Hebrews 6:16.)

The point is that Paul was referring to actual languages in this chapter, not ecstatic speech. Otherwise, he would not have said that tongues were for unbelievers. Ecstatic speech has been around forever in occult and cult practices, but not until the last century or so in the church.

Please pray about this and know that when scripture is twisted to make it fit our experiences, there is danger. Please be safe.

#31  Posted by Patty Duke  |  Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Dear James,

Funny, no I am not the movie/TV star. I married the name, but I like it, it gives me name recognition! Showing our age, because alot of young people do not know who she is!

I have no problems with anything Paul or Luke have to say about tongues- I am a "Scripture alone" believer- and I believe we need to bring our minds into agreement and submission to the Word of God, even if it seems to go against our human understanding. I would just respectfully ask if you have read John MacArthur's book Strange Fire? Because he gives a well documented and thoughtful analysis on the current "tongues" being spoken today and how it is not the Biblical tongues of which Paul and Luke speak. It is gibberish and is not any kind of language, heavenly or otherwise. I have seen the things of which John speaks in an charismatic church, and I agree with John, it is not of the Holy Spirit, and is pagan in it's roots. Unfortunately I do believe entire congregations can be deceived into this movement- look how many people are deceived by all kinds of false religions- Mormons for example. He also shows that the first ones speaking in the current tongue movement were Mormons. Hmmmm.

#32  Posted by James Allen  |  Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Hi Patty,I have heard someone say that we hafe to prove to someone that we are right and they are wrong so the other person wont think we are insane. I am not going to try to convince you of what I belive,I will leave that to God,I will however let you know that We both belive in the birth ,death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord,this is the foundation of our faith. I will keep praying in toungs for I have been sinse 1978 and I will keep beliving what I belive and I am sure you will to. Let our faith and hope always be in Christ and and always belive the best in others and that God will help them and show them the way. thanks Patty ,sorry for the mistake its just that was one of my favorite shows----James