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Date Posted:09/12/2007 9:49 AMCopy HTML

Revival Centres Answered Verse by Verse

Compiled by Nick Greer


(Last updated on the 12th of July 1998.)


This document was only possible thanks to the countless hours of writing and research by Nick Greer, Troy Waller, and Troy Harris. Many other people were also involved in giving advice and help - to everyone who participated in the Revival Centres Answered project - thanks!


This document represents a sincere effort to create a comprehensive resource for people ministering to those in the Revival Centres. This document has not been created in order for people to "win arguments" with Revival Centre people. Rather, many Revivalists are searching for the truth, and will ask you questions wanting to be assured of the truth.


In response to those who hunger for Bible truth, Jesus would quote scripture in order to help those who wanted answers. Paul argued the Scriptures with the Beroeans who wanted truth (Acts 17:2-3). Similarly, we hope that this manual will provide your ministry some help in helping those who have been hurt by the Revival Centres, or who question their Revival Centre teachings.


This manual is set out on a verse by verse basis, as inspired by the effective publications Jehovah's Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse, and Mormons Answered Verse by Verse. When a Revival Centre person has a question concerning a particular scripture, look up the scripture and an analysis of the Revival Centre position will follow. We cannot hope to include all possible scriptures a Revivalist will bring up. However, this manual is being continually updated, and most Revival Centre scriptures should be covered. And if you gain an insight on a particular verse, your input is certainly welcome. Having said all that, we hope this manual provides some help and if you have any further questions or comments, please contact us.

GENESIS 1:26, 2:7

According to the Revival Centre pamphlet, 'Was Adam the first man?', Genesis 1 and 2 describe "two quite distinct creations of man". In other words, there were people before Adam. However, the orthodox understanding of Genesis 1 and 2 is that they describe the same event: "Chapter 1 may be understood as creation from God's perspective; it is 'the big picture', an overview of the whole [while] Chapter 2 views the more important aspects from man's perspective" (Creation Ex Nihilo, 18:4, p.44).


A simple reading of Genesis shows flaws in the Revival Centre position, that Adam was not the first man. For example, Genesis 3:20 describes Adam's wife, Eve, as the "mother of all living" (therefore the first woman). It is also clear that there was a first man. Acts 17:26 reads, "From one ancestor he made all nations" (NRSV). Other translators put it in different words, "He created all the people of the world from one man, Adam" (Living Bible); "From one ancestor he has created every race of men" (Phillips Modern English); "he made from one every nation of men" (RSV); "From the one man he created all races of men" (TEV); "From one man he made every nation of men" (NIV). However, note that the King James Version puts the verse in an ambiguous way (based on a faulty manuscript reading). If Adam and Eve are both described as the first ancestors, then the Revival Centre argument fails. Genaologies found throughout the Scriptures attest to the fact that the first man was Adam. No pre-Adamic peoples are mentioned.


The final word on the matter should rest with the Lord. In Matthew 19:4,5 while describing marriage, he says: "have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?" Notice how in the same sentence, Jesus refers to both Genesis 1 (verse 27b) and Genesis 2 (verse 24). Obviously, by combining Genesis 1 and 2 in this way, he did not consider them to be separate, contradictory accounts.


Any confusion is cleared up when we remember that the Hebrew word for 'man' is 'Adam'. So, Genesis 1:26 reads "Let us make humankind [Heb. Adam] in our image". Then Genesis 2:7 reads "God formed man [Heb. Adam] from the dust". And so it becomes more clear that the two accounts describe the same event.

For more information on Adam and Creation, click here for David Hill's article.

GENESIS 12:2

"I will make of you [Abraham] a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great"

This Scripture is used to support Revival Centre British Israelism (Lost Tribes in Britain). Revivalist Frank Nankivell writes that, "there is ONLY ONE commonwealth of nations in this world today, originating from ONE historically GREAT nation, i.e. GREAT Britain" (Jacob vs. Esau, 1989, page 57). So, the name 'Great' Britain is taken to prove that the blessings of Abraham in Genesis were fulfilled in that country.


The promises, however, have been fulfilled in Israel (not Britain). With reference to the 'great name', the Hebrew word 'gadol' is used for greatness, eminence, and excellence. Two generations after this promise to Abraham, the Lord fulfilled his promise by naming the Hebrews after himself - 'Israel' - a 'prince with God' (Genesis 32:28).


For more information on British Israel, click here.

GENESIS 17:5, 7

"I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations ... I will establish my covenant between me and you, and to your offspring after you."


See Genesis 35:11


For more information on British Israel, click here.

GENESIS 28:11

"Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place"


A peculiar aspect of the British-Israel belief is that the English coronation stone is the same stone that Jacob rested his head on in the wilderness (Genesis 28:11). This stone is associated with the 'pillar' besides which kings were sometimes crowned (2 Kings 11:12-14). "As were the Irish kings, so also were the Scottish and English kings crowned while sitting on this stone, as indeed was Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her coronation in A.D.1953. This same practice was followed during the coronation of the Davidic kings" (Nankivell, J. Jacob vs. Esau, 1989, p.49).


Queen Elizabeth's coronation stone cannot prove that the Throne of David is in England. First, the stone is not from Israel. In the book British-Israelism, D. Olinger notes that, "Professor A.C. Ramsey of the Geology Department of London University inspected the [coronation] stone and identified it as red sandstone, probably of Scottish origin. The nearest red sandstone to Bethel, where Jacob found his stone is in Petra, nearly one hundred miles to the south; the stone around Bethel where Jacob slept is white limestone".


For more information on British Israel, click here.

GENESIS 28:14

"your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south"


More British Israel. The Revival Centres take this to mean "the West, i.e. the United States of America ... to the East, i.e. India ... to the North, i.e. Canada; and to the South, i.e. South Africa, Australia and New Zealand" (Nankivell, J. Jacob vs. Esau, 1989, p.57. This interpretation has problems, however. For one, Canada is hardly to the North of Palestine.


It seems most likely that the Lord's promise to Jacob was not meant to extend to far off lands in all directions. Chapter 13 of Genesis records the first time the promise was made. The Lord promised that "look ... northward and southward and eastward and westward ... all the land that you see I will give to you" (Genesis 13:14, 15, emphasis added). This promise was fulfilled. God gave the promise at Bethel, the site that played a large role in Israel's conquest of Canaan. From there, Israel conquered surrounding Jericho, Ai and Bethel (Joshua 8:9, 17, 22). Israelite tribes of the diaspora were spread further (1Peter 1:1, 2; Acts 2:9-11). And the Israelite nations did become as populous as the "dust of the earth" (1Kings 4:20; Deuteronomy 1:10; 10:22; 28:62; Nehemiah 9:23). So, the promises to Jacob seem to have been fulfilled in Palestine rather than Britain.

For more information on British Israel, click here.

GENESIS 35:11

"A nation and a company of nations shall be of thee"


A very literal translation could read: "a people, even an assembling of peoples, (it) shall be from thee".

Importantly, the meaning of 'goy', translated "nation", has really a broader meaning than is usually associated with this word. In Hebrew, the "goy" did not always refer to a political unit, country or state as we know it (as it was used in Gen.10:5). For example, it is used in Deuteronomy 26:5, where we read, "[Israel] went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation [goy]". 'Goy' comes from the word "body" and could stand for any distinguishable group of people or of animals, referring to groups other than what we think of as a "nation". In its singular form, 'goy' is used for an army and a swarm of locusts; in its plural form, 'goyim' is used for nomadic tribes or bands, the inhabitants of a city, the various groups of Samaritans, and even the remnants of the foreigners remaining in Canaan.


As explained by several Bible commentators, this prophecy was fulfilled in the nations of the tribes of Israel. They are especially distinguishable as seperate nations when grouped in the wilderness and later in the promised land, each with their ensign and orderly grouping as an assembling of peoples making up one people (Numbers 2:1-31; 10:5, 6, 13-28). In fact, Abraham fathered not only the tribes of Israel and Judah - but also the Midianites (Genesis 25:2,4), the Ishmaelites (Genesis 17:20). Other tribes descended from his sons (Genesis 25:1-3), together with the Edomites from his grandson Esau (Genesis 36). This was the "great multitude of nations" of Genesis 17:5,7.


This interpretation is borne out by verse 12 of Genesis 35, where we read: "And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land." The "nation and company of nations" were to be in the land of Palestine. Therefore, it is only in this land should we expect to see this prophecy fulfilled, and nowhere else. During Joshua and Judges, the tribes had their own territories, armies, and governing structures and also came together under the judges as a single people. During the reign of Saul, Solomon, and David, there is more emphasis on the central government, but there were leaders that came together as representatives of the tribes, still constituting an assembly of peoples. During the Divided Kingdom, Ephraim became an assembling of the rebellious tribes of the Northern Kingdom; Judah, of all the tribes - Judah, Benjamin, Levi, and much of Simeon, and the faithful of the Northern Tribes. This was the 'nation' and 'company of nations' promised to Abraham.


Furthermore, the "and" in the "nation and a company of nations" cannot here be a simple conjunction that joins two different items because the verb is singular and thus the subject is singular; i.e., the "nation" and the "company of nations" are one and the same people. The term "shall be" is also singular, third person masculine, in the imperfect form; consequently, there has to be a singular subject, not two entities. This passage, then, is not referring to one nation plus one company of nations, but a nation and a company of nations which are one and the same. Because the nation and the company of nations refer to the same people, this phrase could not refer to the combination of the USA and British Commonwealth. Interestingly, most people living in the British Commonwealth are not English: the great majority of the 1.6 billion people in its 53 countries are of other races other than Anglo-Saxon. So, even a British-Israelist may have to admit that the Commonwealth cannot be a company of Israelite nations.


There is also a greater fulfilment of the promise (Hebrews 10:1). In the Old Covenant, fleshy Israel was God's holy nation (Exodus 19:6). In the New Covenant, the body of Christ is the "chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people" (1 Peter 2:9; Romans 9:6). And so, Galatians 3:13-14, 16, 29 explains that the blessings of Abraham discussed in Genesis are primarily for this new spiritual Israel, not fleshy Israel. Similarly, Romans 4:13,16-17 says, "For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith ... he is made the father of all of us, as it is written, 'I have made you the father of many nations'". So, the blessings of Abraham are not on Great Britain because she is the leader of a Commonwealth of nations. The blessings of Abraham are found in the body of Christ, where we have taken hold of those promises for ourselves (Acts 4:12; Romans 4:17). In essence, the British-Israelist fails to understand that, even if his theory was correct, "God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him" (Acts 10:34-35).

NUMBERS 24:8,9

"God brought him [Israel] forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn ... he lay down as a lion".

This passage is used to associate Israel with the famous British 'Lion and Unicorn'. It was even an important scripture for Lloyd Longfield who has said, "when I came out of the army, I went to have a look at these prophecies because it seemed to be about Russia and you know, the lion and unicorn people are mentioned in the Bible in Numbers" (taped interview).


However, there are problems in translation. The word Hebrew word re'em, is mistranslated as 'unicorn' in the KJV, and really means 'wild ox' (a species of which is now extinct). In fact, re'em cannot be translated as unicorn (with one horn), because the re'em had "horns" (Deut.33:17, even as the KJV margin notes).


The New Encyclopedia Britannica
notes that the "word [re'em] was translated 'unicorn' or 'rhinoceros' in many versions of the Bible, but many modern translations prefer 'wild ox' (aurochs), which is the correct meaning of the Hebrew re'em" (15th ed., vol.12, p.129). For that reason, more accurate translations render Numbers 24:8, 9 as "God who brings him out of Egypt, is like the horns of a wild ox for him ... he lay down like a lion" (NRSV). (Note also, how in the more accurate translation, the identification of the unicorn to Israel becomes an identification of a wild ox's horns with Jehovah's strength.) Israel in Scripture is not identified with a 'lion and unicorn', and therefore the British standard does not identify it with Israel.

For more information on British Israel, click here.

2 SAMUEL 7:13-16

"I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place and be disturbed no more"


This scripture (and its parallel scripture in 1Chr.17) is probably the most famous 'proof text' for British Israel theorists, and I will have to say that it has taken me some time to get a good understanding of it. The whole idea of a 'new place' for Israel, other than the promised land, seems very out of place in the narrative.

It has been stated that because it says 'I will appoint a place', a future tense concludes a new and different land for Ephraim. The nation is fairly well established in Israel; thus this argument sounds at first logical. But we should first note some problems when we consider the nature of the 'promised land'.


Genesis 13:14ff sets the scene, "The Lord said to Abram ... 'Raise your eyes now and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land you see I will give to you and your offspring forever". The land promised to Abraham in perpetuity was Pelesheth, or Palestine, certainly not Britain.


Other scriptures set the bounds of the promised land. The Israelites were given the land, "from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates" (Gen. 15:18). It was "the land of Canaan, for a perpetual holding" (Gen.17:8). "From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory" (Josh.1:1-6; see also Numbers 34). "I will set your borders from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates" (Ex.23:31). One writer notes:

There is definiately no suggestion of the BOUNDS of the promised land being set unto any other place, certainly not to England. (Payne, N.I.E., British Israel Deception Exposed (195?), p.69).

After the Assyrian exile, the remnants of Israel were to return to the same promised land (Ezek.20:41ff). There is no indication that these Israelites would migrate across Europe into a new 'promised land'. Yet, we have to still explain the statement in Second Samuel. It was written well after the Israelites were settled in Palestine, but it says they 'will be appointed' a place. At this point, I have to express my thanks to Ron Wilson for sending me his study into the Hebrew of this scripture.


It should first be pointed out that the translation of this passage is very complex. Notice the verbs translated "I will appoint" and "I will plant". In Hebrew there are no tenses (past / future) as we know them, just perfect and imperfect. Many translators show the first verb in the past tense and the second verb in the future. However, there seem to be no grammatical reason why these should be given different tenses. There are translations which put both verbs in the past tense. Perhaps you have wondered at the verbs in Isaiah 53. Some are future; most are past. Would anyone argue that most of that chapter took place historically before Isaiah's prophecy? I am sure you agree the context would indicate a future time for this prophecy to be fulfilled, and that it is pointless to be concerned why the verbs are translated as past time. Isaiah 53 is a good example of why we cannot place too much emphasis on Hebrew verb tenses. The Second Samuel quote could be in the same catagory.


Because Hebrew verbs only have a perfect or imperfect tenses, the verbs in this case can only indicate whether an action is completed or not yet completed at the time set in the context. For this reason, contextual clues are extremely important to show the time. A good example of this type of clue is seen in verse 11 of 1 Chr. 17, "And it shall come to pass, when your days are fulfilled...". However, such a clue is not present in the verse in question. The verb translated 'will ordain' is actually composed of the perfect form, preceded by the letter Vav or 'and'. This could mean 'And I appointed' or 'I will appoint' (or other shades of perfect or imperfect meanings). Usually to show the imperfect, the Vav Consecutive is preceded by a regular imperfect. In this case, however, it is preceded by a perfect verb - definitely not the usual pattern where the Vav Consecutive with the perfect is to be treated as future. There are no clear rules to follow for determining the tense in this situation - perfect or imperfect. So, the form of these verbs in question could be perfect or imperfect. Translators or commentators that interpret this verb as perfect take the previous perfect verb as an indication of past time; but most translators seem to take the general context to determine that it would be treated as imperfect. You can appreciate that it would be very awkward in English to try to express the exact meaning of the Hebrew imperfect. It might come out in such a way as 'I will complete ordaining a place for my people'. With the various possible meanings of the imperfect form, it is impossible to know from the word itself whether this action of appointing had already started and not finished or whether it is a separate action to be initiated in the future. The general context (as given below) points clearly to the former meaning.


Notice how the context of this passage shows that there had been considerable establishing of a place of peace and security for the nation of Israel in David's time:

2 Sam. 7:1 ...when the king (David) sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; ... 9 ...and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight... 11 ... and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies....

However, it is obvious from the chapter following the prophecy there was work to be done to complete the establishing a place for Israel by driving out or subjugating enemies and enlarging the place:

1 Chronicles 18:1 ...David smote the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and her towns... 2 And he smote Moab... 3 And David smote Hadarezer...as he went to establish his dominion by the thousand men. 13... a ll the Edomites became David's servants. 20:1 Joab smote Rabbah and destroyed it.

Next are scriptures to express the completing the establishment of a peaceful place for Israel - the building of the Temple being the great climax of the preparation.

1 Chronicles 22:9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about;... 10 He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever. ... 18 hath he not given you rest on every side?...25 The LORD God of Israel hath given rest unto his people that they may dwell in Jerusalem for ever.

Therefore, the verb indicates here that the placing of Israel had begun, but was not completed. A study of the verb translated "appoint" shows that it often refers to a new function or appearance of a person or place. It is clear in the context that the main thought in Nathan's words to David was that the Temple was to be built by Solomon. This placing of His presence in Jerusalem can be thought of the final stage in the establishment of that country as the home for His people. This understanding is borne out by reference to the ordanances listed in Deut.12. Rather than serving the Lord on mountains, hills and under trees, the Israelites were to "seek the place that the Lord your God will choose", and burn offerings to him there. "When you cross over the Jordan and live in the land that the Lord your God is allotting to you ... bring everything that I command you to the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling ... there you shall offer your burnt offerings".

The Second Samuel passage seems to refer to a completion of the 'planting' of Israel in Canaan. There is no indication that it refers to a future planting of Israel outside of the bounds of the promised land, but refers to the completion of the appointing of Israel in Palestine through the construction of the Temple which was to be built in Jerusalem - as is confirmed by the surrounding passages in context.

2 SAMUEL 7:13-16

"I will establish the throne of his (David's) kingdom for ever ... And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever"


In the RCI pamphlet 'Queen Elizabeth II is heir to great Bible Promises', the writer says that the scripture means that the Throne of David will never be unoccupied. Following on from this, the throne must still be used, and so Queen Elizabeth must be the Queen of Israel! People who believe Zedekiah was the last king of Israel until the Lord's return (Luke 1:32) are criticised: "They are undeterred however by the fact that this would leave a gap of centuries between the last king, Zedekiah, and Jesus Christ".

Actually, the promise of a perpetual ruler was always conditional (1Kings 8:25; 2Chronicles 6:16; Jeremiah 33:20, 21). The writer of the pamphlet should take note of Hosea 3:4, "the Israelites shall remain many days without king or prince". Ezekiel 21:26-27 says, "Remove the turban, take off the crown [the kingly symbols]; things shall not remain as they are ... A ruin, a ruin, a ruin - I will make it! (Such has never occurred) Until he comes whose right it is; to him I will give it" (that is, the Lord Jesus - John 1:49). The Scriptures seem clear, then, that there would be a period during which Israel would be "without king or prince" (John 19:15). After the death of Zedekiah, the turban and crown were removed. The vacant Throne awaits the parousia or 'second-coming', when the Lord Jesus will take the throne (Matthew 19:28). He will sit upon the everlasting throne (Hebrews 1:8), and rule the everlasting kingdom (Luke 1:33). There is no indication that this privilege belongs to Queen Elizabeth II.


For more information on British Israel, click here.

2 KINGS 11:12-14

"they proclaimed him king ... standing by the pillar, according to custom"

See Genesis 28:11

1 CHRONICLES 17:9

See 2 Sam. 10:7

ECCLESIASTES 9:5

"the dead know nothing; they have no more reward, and even the memory of them is lost"

The Revival Centres believe in the 'soul sleep' theory, along with other groups such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, etc. Defined as the belief that the dead are unconscious until the ressurection. It should first be noted that whatever position we hold regarding the state of the dead, it will have little impact on our Christian life - and is as such one of the more insignificant teachings (except when it relates to the issue of communication with the dead). Moreover, despite what many argue, the 'soul sleep' teaching was held in part by many reformers including Martin Luther. There are a lot of seemingly 'clear' Sciptures that support the soul sleep view (Ecclesiates 9:5; Psalm 146:4; John 11:11; Daniel 12:2). In addition, the idea of a resurrection seems of little significance if we are already in heaven after we die. However, Proverbs 18:13 says, "if one gives an answer before hearing, it is folly and shame". There are good (and seemingly clear) Scriptures on both sides of the fence that should be considered when reasoning about the state of the dead, and Revival Centre people must accept that there are valid reasons for many to hold to the position that the dead have some level of consciousness.


For example, in 2 Cor. 5:1-3, we read: "For we know that if the earthly tent we have is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling- if, indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked ...we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord"


So, the argument is that when our body is destroyed, we still have a building from God - a building 'eternal in the heavens'. We know that the body of Moses was destroyed (Josh 1:2). But then in Luke 9:30 we read of Moses' spiritual body conversing with Jesus. In Revelation 6:9-11, we see the martyr's (conscious) spiritual bodies waiting until their numbers are complete. Similar with corrupt people. In Luke 16:23, we read of a rich man whose body was destroyed and sleeping. But was he found naked? No, for we read that he was being tormented in Hades. Another verse describing the shades tormented in Hades is Job 26:5. The Hebrew word 'chool' in this passage means to twist and turn in pain like a woman giving birth. These scriptures seem to indicate other than unconsciousness in death.


In Isaiah 14:8-11, we read a detailed description of death and see that the afterlife seems very active: "Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come; it rouses shades to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth...'You too have become as weak as we! You have become like us!'...maggots are the bed beneath you, and worms are your covering". As the king of Babylon dies, he goes immediately to Sheol and converses with previous leaders of the world. Meanwhile, his body is being destroyed by 'maggots and worms'. That is why George Sandison notes that the best translation of Job 19:26 is "after my skin has been destroyed, yet without my flesh shall I see God." (see also Phil. 1:23-24)


It seems that the saints understood that Sheol represented a place of conscious (or semi-conscious) existence after death. It was viewed as a place where one can reunite with his ancestors, tribe or people (Gen. 15:15; 25:8; 35:29; 37:35; 49:33; Num. 20:24, 28; 31:2; Deut. 32:50; 34:5; 2 Sam. 12:23). That is why Jacob looked forward to reuniting with Joseph in Sheol after he died (Gen 37:35).


Sheol does not mean simply 'the grave'. There exists in Hebrew a specific word for the grave: kever. When the biblical authors wanted to speak of the grave, they used the word kever. That they did not view kever and Sheol as synonymous is clear from the way these words are used throughout the Old Testament. For example, in Isa. 14:19, the king is cast out of his grave (kever) in order to be thrown into Sheol where the departed spirits can rebuke him (vv.9,10). In this passage, Sheol and kever are opposites, not synonyms. This distinction is maintained in the Septuagint as well. In the Septuagint, Sheol is never translated as mneema, which is the Greek word for grave. It is always translated as Hades which meant the underworld.


The condition of those in Sheol is described in the following ways: At death man becomes a rephaim, ie., a "ghost, "shade," or "disembodied spirit" according to Job 26:5; Ps. 88:10; Prov. 2:18; 9:18; 21:16; Isa. 14:9; 26:14,19. If these spirits of the dead were unconscious, then there could be no possibility of consulting the dead. However, the Egyptians could consult the spirits of the dead (Isaiah 19:3). This concept is carried on into the New Testament in such places as Luke 24:37-39. A belief in "ghosts" entails a belief that some part of man survives the death of the body. Those in Sheol are pictured as conversing with each other and even making moral judgments on the lifestyle of new arrivals (Isa. 14:9-20; 44:23; Ezek. 32:21).


For the above reasons, it is clear that reasons exist for holding to a position that the dead have some level of consciousness. That is why Jesus could say to his friend on the cross, "Today you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43). And as much as Revival Centre leaders twist and turn over the thief on the cross, the Scripture is clear that the thief (who, by the way, didn't speak in tongues) would be with Jesus in Paradise that day.

ISAIAH 19:19

"there will an altar to the LORD in the centre of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border"

Revival Centres take this scripture to refer to the Pyramid of Cheops (The Great Pyramid - God's Witness in Stone pamphlet). So, the Pyramid is said to be 'God's altar in Egypt'. However, the pyramid is made of quarried stones, and no altar of the Lord was allowed to be made of quarried stones! Moses wrote "if you make for me an altar of stone, do not build it of hewn stones; for if you use a chisel upon it you profane it" (Exodus 20:25).

Furthermore, the Pyramid of Cheops was associated with dreadful pagan religion. As George Hart writes in Ancient Egypt (1990), page 20, "The pyramids were just one part of the funerary complex devoted to the pharaoh's afterlife". For example, the Egyptian Pyramid Texts explain how the pyramids were meant to be a stairway for the dead Pharaoh, to help him reach the realm of the sun god Ra (spells 267, 523, and 619). Religious boats uncovered under Cheops in May 1954 were also meant for his afterlife travels with Ra. The Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, under 'Khufu', says:

In 1954 the 38-m (125-ft) solar funeral ship of Khufu was discovered near the Great Pyramid. In the ritual of the funerary cult as practiced by Khufu and his contemporaries, such vessels were constructed to transport souls of the departed through the heavens in the path of the sun god.

In view of this knowledge, it in inconceivable that the Pyramid could be the 'Lord's altar', as God will not associate with darkness. And, "what agreement has the temple of God with idols?" (2Corinthians 6:15, 16).

For more information on the Great Pyramid, click here.

ISAIAH 49:1,3

"LISTEN, O Isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far ... Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified" [KJV]


This scripture is used to associate Israel with the [British] Isles, as the King James Version notes. However, the passage is a mistranslation, which modern translation has remedied. The Jewish Encyclopedia notes that:

"The whole [British-Israelite] theory rests upon an identification of the word 'isles' in the English version of the Bible unjustified by modern philology, which identifies the original word with 'coasts' or 'distant lands' without any implication of their being surrounded by the sea."

For instance, in the King James Version you will also see that Tyre is descibed as an 'isle' (Isaiah 23:1,2). This example shows the mistranslation clearly, because Tyre is not an island, but a costal town.


And so, a more accurate translation renders Isaiah 49:1, 3 as "Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away! ... And he said to me, 'You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.'" (NRSV). The original text did not have Israel dwelling in an island. The faulty translation should, therefore, not be used as a defence to the British-Israelite theory.

For more information on British Israel, click here.

DANIEL 12:2

"Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake"

Regarding 'soul sleep': see Ecclesiates 9:5

MARK 16:17

"these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."


It may seem strange that the Revival Centres will try to pick from the middle of Mark 16 that, 'believers will speak in tongues'. Then ignore the rest. For instance, casting out of demons is not practiced in the Revival Centres. Nor is snake handling (the active picking up of snakes as suggested), or drinking poison. For this reason, you could say that the Revival Centres lack the proper signs that accompany belief. What the Revival Centres will do is 'spiritualise' the meaning of drinking poison and snake handling as 'protection from evil'. Casting out demons becomes 'protection from false doctrine'. But these redefinitions smack of rank liberalism in fundumentalist clothing.


While Mark 16 is included in the King James Version without comment, experts in textual transmission argue that Mark 16 was not a part of the original text. Dr. B. F. Westcott, in An Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, has said "the verses ... are no part of the original narrative but an appendage" (1881, page 338). Translator Edgar Goodspeed noted that, "The Short Conclusion connects much better with Mark 16:8 than does the Long, but neither can be considered an original part of the Gospel of Mark" (Goodspeed Parallel New Testament, 1944, page 127).


An argument is sometimes made that these scholars try to 'disprove' Mark 16 because they don't want to accept what it says. Two comments can be made about this assertion: (1) Some of the people who discount the verses are university-type Greek experts by trade and are complete athiests. They couldn't care less about the implications of Mark 16. (2) Many others, like the Catholic Church, accept the verses as cannonical (since they 'declare' them cannonical), even though they disagree with the Revival Centre interpretation. Meanwhile, their own scholars disagree with them. New Catholic Encyclopedia (1966), Volume 9, page 240, says: "The manuscript tradition indicates that the Gospel originally ended at 16.8, but that the longer ending that is incorporated in the Vulgate was later added, becoming widely accepted in the course of the 5th century ... Its vocabulary and style differ so radically from the rest of the Gospel that it hardly seems possible Mark himself composed it ... Mark 16.1-8 is a satisfactory ending to the Gospel insofar as it declares Jesus' Resurrection-prophecy to be fulfilled."


The reason for their views are as follows. The 'long ending' is not found in any of the earliest manuscripts (Sinaiticus or Vaticanus codexes), and many of the oldest versions (or translations) do not contain the verses. Among them the ancient Syriac, Armenian and Ethiopic versions. The passage also uses a different vocabulary than Mark. The passage contains 163 Greek words, and of these 19 words and 2 phrases do not occur elsewhere in Mark's Gospel. Early witnesses also declare the verses spurious. The fourth-century Christian translators Eusebius and Jerome said that the authentic record of Mark's gospel ended in verse 8. Jerome further noted that "almost all the Greek codices [are] without this [long ending] passage" (Jerome. Letter 120, question 3. Published in Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum. 1912. Vol. LV, page 481). Perhaps an early Christian was unsatisfied with the original abrupt ending, and decided to write a more fitting one, using texts such as Acts and the Shepherd of Hermes as a basis. In fact, some later manuscripts insert a comment next to Mark 16 alleging that this was the case.


You can even see several apparent 'blunders' in this passage. For example, these questionable verses say that the apostles didn't believe the the two disciples who saw Jesus after his death. However, in Luke 24:13-35, we read that the apostles did believe the two disciples.


On the other hand, we must accept the possibility that the passage is genuine. It is true that most later manuscripts contain the passage. A valid interpretation of the passage in that case is that it refers to the church in general: "these signs [in general] will accompany those who believe". Some in the church will speak in tongues, some will cast out demons. This interpretation is in line with 1Corinthians 12, where some in the body will speak in tongues, some will prophesy.

For more information on Mark 16, click here.

LUKE 22:32

"But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not, and WHEN THOU ART CONVERTED strengthen thy brethren" [KJV]

The Revival Centres claim they can support their view that no-one was saved before the day of Pentecost by looking to events surrounding the Apostle Peter's denial of Christ. Lloyd Longfield writes,

It was Peter who later "denied the Lord" - THRICE; who "went back fishing", who showed no spiritual link whatsoever with his master.

Jesus admonished him "I tell thee Peter the cock shall not crow this day before thalt shall thrice deny that thou knowest me" but Peter's future strength was assured as Jesus added "But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not, and WHEN THOU ART CONVERTED strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:32) ...

In the Bible it was clearly the PENTECOSTAL EXPERIENCE that brought conversion or salvation - the born again condition. (Voice of Revival. August, 1982, p.3)

The mistake made by Longfield here is a simple one. The word in the KJV translated 'converted' (epistrepho) can also be translated 'to revert'(Strong's Concordance). The basic sense of the word is to 'turn around' either in conversion to Christ, or in returning to Christ. The word is used in elsewhere in Scripture. James uses epistrepho when encouraging Christians to help return their wayward brethren, who had wandered from the faith, back to Christ:

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20, KJV)

As Peter was saved well before Pentecost (Luke 6:13; 10:20), the best understanding of epistrepho in Luke 22 would be Peter's return to Christ. Peter was not going to get saved for the first time. In fact, Jesus makes it clear that Peter's faith would not fail, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not" (Luke 22:32, KJV).

The NIV translates Luke 22:32 in a better way by saying, "But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers". (Luke 22:32). So, Peter was saved well before Pentecost but when he denied the Lord he had to turn back. It is interesting to note that he tuned back to the Lord well before Pentecost. John chapter 21 tells of Peter's reinstatement by Jesus as well as his commission to feed Jesus's sheep.


For more information on salvation, click here.

LUKE 23:43

"Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. "

Revivalists use this verse to again argue that salvation was not given before Pentecost. Whereas most Christians agree that Jesus promised the thief a place in heaven, the Revival Centre would say that this account is mistranslated. Their argument, however, is weak and erroneous. What sort of comfort was Jesus offering the thief? One Revivalist wrote,

Paradise is mentioned three times in the Bible. The root meaning of the word is a park or garden. The Lord and the two malefactors died and were buried in the earth (garden).

The Greek word for paradise used by Jesus here is paradeiso, 'a park, ie. (spec.) an Eden (place of future happiness, "paradise")' (Strongs). This was a Persian word, taken over into Greek, and symbolises a place of beauty and delight. The definition of the word is not just park or garden but also Eden, paradise. The place where God walked with man in close fellowship and unbroken relationship. The words of Christ to the thief on the cross were not that he would be in the grave with Jesus but that he would be in the Garden of God, Eden, a place of future happiness, paradise.


Paul uses the same word when he writes, 'And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter' (2 Cor 12:3-4). One simply cannot accept the Revival Centre definition for the word paradise in the above verse. Firstly, it makes no sense to say that a man was caught 'up' into the ground or tomb. And secondly, how does one hear 'unspeakable words' whilst dead in a grave? However, when we define the word properly it makes perfect sense. This man was caught up into God's presence, possibly bodily, where Jesus had promised to take the thief.

JOHN 3:8

"The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."


The Revival Centres claim that there is a mistranslation in the King James version of John 3:8. They say it's correct translation supports their view that one must be baptised with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues in order to be saved.


They say that it should be translated to say that, "the Spirit breathes where it chooses, and you hear the voice thereof, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit". So, wind is changed to Spirit, blows is changed to breathes, and sound is changed to voice. To them, the passage indicates that you, "hear the voice of the Spirit," whenever someone is born of the Spirit. They take 'voice of the Spirit' to mean tongues.


Firstly, we must note that nowhere in Scripture is speaking in tongues referred to as the 'voice of the Spirit' so for the Revival Centres to say so is pure assumption.


Secondly, speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit but is definitely not the 'voice of the Spirit' as the Holy Spirit does not generate the sound, people do. Both simple observation and the Bible prove this to be true. 'Though *I* speak with the tongues of men and of angels'(1 Cor 13:1); 'For *he that speaketh* in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God' (1 Cor 14:2); '*He that speaketh* in an unknown tongue edifieth himself' (1 Cor 14:4); 'For they heard *them* speak with tongues, and magnify God' (Acts 10:46); 'For if *I* pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth'( 1 Cor 14:14).


Finally, the RCI insist that all must "hear" the voice of the Spirit, and that this "hearing" is the sounds of tongues. Tongues, it is said, being the voice of the Spirit, audibly heard. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The word "hear" in this text, does not refer to audible hearing, but rather to spiritual, as is clear in the Greek. Here the word "akouo" (hear) is used as a verb, in the accusative. That means that the voice of the spirit is not audible, as would be in the genitive. Rather, it is the message or meaning which is heard. "The thing perceived", in other words. The two usages of this word is demonstrated thoughout the bible, for example Matt 13:13-17, where we see both cases and meanings used side by side. Vines gives a definition:

1.AKOUO.the usual word denoting to hear,....etc... The former (partitive genitive case) indicates a hearing of the sound ,the latter (accusative) indicates the meaning or message of the voice........in John 3:8 , of hearing the wind, the accusative is used, stressing "the thing perceived".

In John 3:8, Akouo is used in the accusative sense, meaning that the 'hearing' does not stress literal sounds but 'perceiving'. It cannot be tongues, because a literal sound is not intended by the Greek in the passage.

So, what is the passage really saying? The word used for 'wind' and 'Spirit' are the same Greek word, 'pneuma'.
 
The John passage may be a word play with both meanings. Translating the word as 'spirit' we learn of the sovereign workings of God in relation to the new birth. The Living Bible puts it this way, "Just as you can hear the wind but can't tell where it comes from or where it will go next, so it is with the Spirit. We do not know on whom he will next bestow this life from heaven". That seems to be a reasonable interpretation of John 3, especially with regard to the surrounding passage about salvation and the workings of the heavenly realm (v.12, 16). If we translate 'pneuma' as 'wind', it does not detract from the sovereignty of God but gives us a better illustration of the Spirit's working in people. We do not see the Holy Spirit, but like the invisible wind in the trees, we know his presence by the effect it has.

For more information on salvation, click here.

JOHN 4:23

"the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth"


Revival Centres quote this to show that true Christians must speak in tongues (worship in spirit). It is often referenced with 1Corinthians 14, which refers to speaking in tongues as 'prayer in the spirit'. However, check the context. The woman asks Jesus WHERE God's people should worship. The Jews say Jerusalem and the Samaritans say on the mountain. Why does she ask this obscure question?


At one stage, God was worshipped on a mountain. But his progressive revelation to the Jews led them to erect a temple and worship his presence in the 'Holy of Holies'. The Samaritans, however, continued worshipping God on a mountain even though he was no longer there. That question of where God could be worshipped was a current issue and was addressed in John 4. However, the John 4 passage says nothing about prayer. Old Testament saints often prayed from a diversity of locations, but only worshipped at specific locations (the temple or tabernacle).


"Worship in the spirit" cannot be equated with "prayer in the Spirit". I will admit that prayer in the Spirit may well refer to speaking in tongues, but how can one link it with John 4? They are unrelated other than the mention of the 'Spirit'. If we insist that to worship in the spirit means to pray in the Spirit, then what does it mean to 'walk in the Spirit' or be 'led by the Spirit'? Does that also refer to speaking in tongues?

Furthermore, If John 4 refers to the baptism in the Spirit, then how could Jesus have said: "But the hour is coming, and is now" (v23). The hour... IS NOW? But the baptism in the Spirit did not come until Pentecost some years later. How could this 'worship in the Spirit' refer to tongues if tongues were later on and not 'NOW'?

For more information on salvation, click here.

JOHN 11:11

"Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him"

Regarding 'soul sleep': see Ecclesiates 9:5

JOHN 21:15-16

"Simon son of John, do you love me?"

John chapter 21 tells of Peter's reinstatement by Jesus as well as his commission to feed Jesus' sheep. The Revival Centres however, use it as an example of how people cannot really love until they are 'Spirit filled' and speak in tongues (quoting Romans 5:5). They say,

Sometime later (John 21:15-16) Jesus twice asked the supposedly 'spiritually enlivened' and 'regenerated' Peter...if he loved Him with God's supernatural love (Greek: agape). Peter was quite adamant: he loved Jesus with a natural human love (Greek: phileo). Why was Peter unable to satisfy his Lord's requirement? Romans 5:5 gives us the answer: 'And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love (agape) of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us'. Peter had not received, been given, been baptised in the Holy Spirit at the time of this encounter with Jesus, so of course, he could not manifest God's supernatural love to his master. (Voice of Revival. June/July 1985. pp 4-5)

The Revivalist error is clearly seen when we look into the Greek text. It is true that Jesus asks Peter if he loves him twice using the Greek word agape and Peter replies using the Greek word Phileo. But what the above Revival Centre writer fails to note is that Jesus also uses the Greek word Phileo in his third question to Peter.


So, there are problems with the Revival Centre teaching that God's love is agape only and human love is phileo only. The Bible records God showing both agape and phileo love!

For God so loved (agape) the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

For the Father loveth (phileo) the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. (John 5:20)

God does not show agape love alone but also phileo. Sadly, the Revival Centre teaching is mistaken when it claims that Peter did not show a godly type love for Jesus. Peter showed the phileo kind of love for Jesus that the Father himself shows Jesus. The Bible clearly shows that both kinds of love are not limited to 'Pentecostal' Christians either. The Bible records men having both phileo and agape love before Pentecost. Jesus said even the sinners have this agape love,

For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love(agape) those that love(agape) them. (Luke 6:32)

Bearing this in mind we see that this Revival Centre teaching is lacking any real substance. Even the sinners can agape love each other! Jesus was not implying Peter could not love him as he required.

For more information on salvation, click here.

ACTS 2:38

"Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"


If you ask a Revival Centre member to tell you what the gospel is, they will usually reply "Repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues".


To get a proper understanding of this verse, we must first look at the context. It is set in Jerusalem about fifty days after Christ was killed there. It is the day of Pentecost, and the Spirit had just come upon the believers in the upper room (2:4). Jews from the Diaspora were witness to the believers speaking in tongues (2:6). Then Peter stands up and addresses the crowd. It is important to note what Peter says to them.


Firstly, he explains to them that this strange occurrence they were witnessing was the fulfilment of Joel chapter 2, that the Spirit would one day be poured out on all flesh (2:14-21). However, the bulk of his message wasn't the Spirit's outpouring, but Jesus Christ. He reminds them of the miracles Christ did amongst them and how they crucified Him (v.22-24). He tells them of Christ's resurrection from the dead, that He is exalted at the right hand of God, and that it is Jesus who is now pouring out the Spirit which the Jews were now seeing and hearing (v.33). Note that he was not giving a talk about tongues - he was sharing about Jesus, as he was asked to do (1:8).


He then says in verse 36: "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Peter's emphasis was Christ, not the Holy Spirit. The scripture then says, "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart." What were they pricked in their heart about?


Surely they saw the miracle of Acts 2:4 as of God, but the truth that pricked their heart was Jesus is the Lord and Messiah and they had crucified Him (v.36).


Notice that they asked "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" It was not a selfish and inane request, "What shall we do to be saved?" but a desperate "What shall we do?" The truth had hit home - they had killed the Messiah! Peter told them what they must do.


REPENT


The Greek word for `repent' is "metanoeo" which means "to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (morally feel compunction)". In context of killing Christ, they were commanded to re-think their entire belief system! They were ordered to realise what they had done and repent.


BE BAPTIZED


"Be baptized every one of you in the name of the Jesus Christ for the remission of sins"


At face value this scripture reads as if baptism plays some part in the remission of sins. But when we look at the context and extrinsic evidence, that initial conclusion seems unlikely. The focus was still on Christ.

1 John 1:7, "the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin". The blood of Jesus frees mankind from sin and death, as stated in John 1:29; Hebrews 9:24-26; 1 John 2:1, 2. The emphasis is on forgiveness is through his blood, and not baptisimal water. By placing our faith in Christ, his blood sacrifice becomes effective for us as an anonement for our sins - Romans 3:25.


Acts 22:16 provides an insight to Acts 2:38, "Get up, be baptised, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name". And so, it seems that the 'calling on Jesus' name' is what was important, not the baptisimal fluid (Acts 10:43). The fact that the Acts 2:38 baptism was done 'in the name of Jesus Christ' testified to the faith of the new Jewish converts. It cleansed them of the greatest sin imaginable - the killing of God's own Son (Mt.21:38). Note that this forgiveness would come before they they received 'the gift of the Spirit'.


RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST


"And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."


These are often quoted words in Revival Centre literature. Some examples:


"The Bible says, 'REPENT, and BE BAPTISED, and RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST' (Acts 2:38)" (World Signs of the Last Days and the Return Of Christ pamphlet)


"Acts 2:38. Look at the basic steps for salvation that Peter was given by God to present:


1. REPENT 2. BE BAPTISED 3. RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT" (Hollins, K. What Must we do to be Saved? booklet, p.3)

"the basis of our stand is that we believe that to receive Bible salvation we must repent, be baptized (by full immersion) and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues" (Arguments & Explanations : Some of the Whys and Wherefores pamphlet)


"First, he said, a person must turn to the Lord in repentance ... [then] they were to be baptised in water. Next they must receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit from Christ himself. (Acts 2:38)" (How the Christian Church Began pamphlet)

"WE BELIEVE the ... directive to repent, be baptised and receive the Holy Spirit" (Statement of Faith).

But read Acts 2:38 again. Does it really say, "Repent, be baptised, and receive the Holy Ghost?" In fact, it doesn't! The Revival Centres usually misquote Acts 2:38 in an important way. It does not describe a 'three steps to salvation' plan. Here is the actual reading again:


"Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"


Note that rather than being a command, Acts 2:38 is a promise that all those who repent and are baptised will receive the Holy Spirit. Revivalists often ask, "how do you know you have the Spirit?" (expecting to lead on to glossolalia). However, it is quite valid to answer, "I have repented and been baptised - Acts 2:38". The scripture promises that everyone who repents and is baptized, in Jesus' name for the forgiveness of sins, receives the Holy Spirit (presumably, whether they speak in tongues or not).


For more information on salvation, click here.

ACTS 8:5-15

"Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed [with them]: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were

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Re:Revival doctrines: Verse by verse - Nick Greer

Date Posted:09/12/2007 9:51 AMCopy HTML

The 'long ending' is not found in any of the earliest manuscripts (Sinaiticus or Vaticanus codexes), and many of the oldest versions (or translations) do not contain the verses. Among them the ancient Syriac, Armenian and Ethiopic versions. The passage also uses a different vocabulary than Mark. The passage contains 163 Greek words, and of these 19 words and 2 phrases do not occur elsewhere in Mark's Gospel. Early witnesses also declare the verses spurious. The fourth-century Christian translators Eusebius and Jerome said that the authentic record of Mark's gospel ended in verse 8. Jerome further noted that "almost all the Greek codices [are] without this [long ending] passage" (Jerome. Letter 120, question 3. Published in Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum. 1912. Vol. LV, page 481). Perhaps an early Christian was unsatisfied with the original abrupt ending, and decided to write a more fitting one, using texts such as Acts and the Shepherd of Hermes as a basis. In fact, some later manuscripts insert a comment next to Mark 16 alleging that this was the case.

You can even see several apparent 'blunders' in this passage. For example, these questionable verses say that the apostles didn't believe the the two disciples who saw Jesus after his death. However, in Luke 24:13-35, we read that the apostles did believe the two disciples.

On the other hand, we must accept the possibility that the passage is genuine. It is true that most later manuscripts contain the passage. A valid interpretation of the passage in that case is that it refers to the church in general: "these signs [in general] will accompany those who believe". Some in the church will speak in tongues, some will cast out demons. This interpretation is in line with 1Corinthians 12, where some in the body will speak in tongues, some will prophesy.

For more information on Mark 16, click here.

LUKE 22:32

"But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not, and WHEN THOU ART CONVERTED strengthen thy brethren" [KJV]

The Revival Centres claim they can support their view that no-one was saved before the day of Pentecost by looking to events surrounding the Apostle Peter's denial of Christ. Lloyd Longfield writes,

It was Peter who later "denied the Lord" - THRICE; who "went back fishing", who showed no spiritual link whatsoever with his master.

Jesus admonished him "I tell thee Peter the cock shall not crow this day before thalt shall thrice deny that thou knowest me" but Peter's future strength was assured as Jesus added "But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not, and WHEN THOU ART CONVERTED strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:32) ...

In the Bible it was clearly the PENTECOSTAL EXPERIENCE that brought conversion or salvation - the born again condition. (Voice of Revival. August, 1982, p.3)

The mistake made by Longfield here is a simple one. The word in the KJV translated 'converted' (epistrepho) can also be translated 'to revert'(Strong's Concordance). The basic sense of the word is to 'turn around' either in conversion to Christ, or in returning to Christ. The word is used in elsewhere in Scripture. James uses epistrepho when encouraging Christians to help return their wayward brethren, who had wandered from the faith, back to Christ:

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20, KJV)

As Peter was saved well before Pentecost (Luke 6:13; 10:20), the best understanding of epistrepho in Luke 22 would be Peter's return to Christ. Peter was not going to get saved for the first time. In fact, Jesus makes it clear that Peter's faith would not fail, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not" (Luke 22:32, KJV).

The NIV translates Luke 22:32 in a better way by saying, "But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers". (Luke 22:32). So, Peter was saved well before Pentecost but when he denied the Lord he had to turn back. It is interesting to note that he tuned back to the Lord well before Pentecost. John chapter 21 tells of Peter's reinstatement by Jesus as well as his commission to feed Jesus's sheep.

For more information on salvation, click here.

LUKE 23:43

"Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. "

Revivalists use this verse to again argue that salvation was not given before Pentecost. Whereas most Christians agree that Jesus promised the thief a place in heaven, the Revival Centre would say that this account is mistranslated. Their argument, however, is weak and erroneous. What sort of comfort was Jesus offering the thief? One Revivalist wrote,

Paradise is mentioned three times in the Bible. The root meaning of the word is a park or garden. The Lord and the two malefactors died and were buried in the earth (garden).

The Greek word for paradise used by Jesus here is paradeiso, 'a park, ie. (spec.) an Eden (place of future happiness, "paradise")' (Strongs). This was a Persian word, taken over into Greek, and symbolises a place of beauty and delight. The definition of the word is not just park or garden but also Eden, paradise. The place where God walked with man in close fellowship and unbroken relationship. The words of Christ to the thief on the cross were not that he would be in the grave with Jesus but that he would be in the Garden of God, Eden, a place of future happiness, paradise.

Paul uses the same word when he writes, 'And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter' (2 Cor 12:3-4). One simply cannot accept the Revival Centre definition for the word paradise in the above verse. Firstly, it makes no sense to say that a man was caught 'up' into the ground or tomb. And secondly, how does one hear 'unspeakable words' whilst dead in a grave? However, when we define the word properly it makes perfect sense. This man was caught up into God's presence, possibly bodily, where Jesus had promised to take the thief.

JOHN 3:8

"The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

The Revival Centres claim that there is a mistranslation in the King James version of John 3:8. They say it's correct translation supports their view that one must be baptised with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues in order to be saved.

They say that it should be translated to say that, "the Spirit breathes where it chooses, and you hear the voice thereof, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit". So, wind is changed to Spirit, blows is changed to breathes, and sound is changed to voice. To them, the passage indicates that you, "hear the voice of the Spirit," whenever someone is born of the Spirit. They take 'voice of the Spirit' to mean tongues.

Firstly, we must note that nowhere in Scripture is speaking in tongues referred to as the 'voice of the Spirit' so for the Revival Centres to say so is pure assumption.

Secondly, speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit but is definitely not the 'voice of the Spirit' as the Holy Spirit does not generate the sound, people do. Both simple observation and the Bible prove this to be true. 'Though *I* speak with the tongues of men and of angels'(1 Cor 13:1); 'For *he that speaketh* in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God' (1 Cor 14:2); '*He that speaketh* in an unknown tongue edifieth himself' (1 Cor 14:4); 'For they heard *them* speak with tongues, and magnify God' (Acts 10:46); 'For if *I* pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth'( 1 Cor 14:14).

Finally, the RCI insist that all must "hear" the voice of the Spirit, and that this "hearing" is the sounds of tongues. Tongues, it is said, being the voice of the Spirit, audibly heard. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The word "hear" in this text, does not refer to audible hearing, but rather to spiritual, as is clear in the Greek. Here the word "akouo" (hear) is used as a verb, in the accusative. That means that the voice of the spirit is not audible, as would be in the genitive. Rather, it is the message or meaning which is heard. "The thing perceived", in other words. The two usages of this word is demonstrated thoughout the bible, for example Matt 13:13-17, where we see both cases and meanings used side by side. Vines gives a definition:

1.AKOUO.the usual word denoting to hear,....etc... The former (partitive genitive case) indicates a hearing of the sound ,the latter (accusative) indicates the meaning or message of the voice........in John 3:8 , of hearing the wind, the accusative is used, stressing "the thing perceived".

In John 3:8, Akouo is used in the accusative sense, meaning that the 'hearing' does not stress literal sounds but 'perceiving'. It cannot be tongues, because a literal sound is not intended by the Greek in the passage.

So, what is the passage really saying? The word used for 'wind' and 'Spirit' are the same Greek word, 'pneuma'. The John passage may be a word play with both meanings. Translating the word as 'spirit' we learn of the sovereign workings of God in relation to the new birth. The Living Bible puts it this way, "Just as you can hear the wind but can't tell where it comes from or where it will go next, so it is with the Spirit. We do not know on whom he will next bestow this life from heaven". That seems to be a reasonable interpretation of John 3, especially with regard to the surrounding passage about salvation and the workings of the heavenly realm (v.12, 16). If we translate 'pneuma' as 'wind', it does not detract from the sovereignty of God but gives us a better illustration of the Spirit's working in people. We do not see the Holy Spirit, but like the invisible wind in the trees, we know his presence by the effect it has.

For more information on salvation, click here.

JOHN 4:23

"the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth"

Revival Centres quote this to show that true Christians must speak in tongues (worship in spirit). It is often referenced with 1Corinthians 14, which refers to speaking in tongues as 'prayer in the spirit'. However, check the context. The woman asks Jesus WHERE God's people should worship. The Jews say Jerusalem and the Samaritans say on the mountain. Why does she ask this obscure question?

At one stage, God was worshipped on a mountain. But his progressive revelation to the Jews led them to erect a temple and worship his presence in the 'Holy of Holies'. The Samaritans, however, continued worshipping God on a mountain even though he was no longer there. That question of where God could be worshipped was a current issue and was addressed in John 4. However, the John 4 passage says nothing about prayer. Old Testament saints often prayed from a diversity of locations, but only worshipped at specific locations (the temple or tabernacle).

"Worship in the spirit" cannot be equated with "prayer in the Spirit". I will admit that prayer in the Spirit may well refer to speaking in tongues, but how can one link it with John 4? They are unrelated other than the mention of the 'Spirit'. If we insist that to worship in the spirit means to pray in the Spirit, then what does it mean to 'walk in the Spirit' or be 'led by the Spirit'? Does that also refer to speaking in tongues?

Furthermore, If John 4 refers to the baptism in the Spirit, then how could Jesus have said: "But the hour is coming, and is now" (v23). The hour... IS NOW? But the baptism in the Spirit did not come until Pentecost some years later. How could this 'worship in the Spirit' refer to tongues if tongues were later on and not 'NOW'?

For more information on salvation, click here.

JOHN 11:11

"Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him"

Regarding 'soul sleep': see Ecclesiates 9:5

JOHN 21:15-16

"Simon son of John, do you love me?"

John chapter 21 tells of Peter's reinstatement by Jesus as well as his commission to feed Jesus' sheep. The Revival Centres however, use it as an example of how people cannot really love until they are 'Spirit filled' and speak in tongues (quoting Romans 5:5). They say,

Sometime later (John 21:15-16) Jesus twice asked the supposedly 'spiritually enlivened' and 'regenerated' Peter...if he loved Him with God's supernatural love (Greek: agape). Peter was quite adamant: he loved Jesus with a natural human love (Greek: phileo). Why was Peter unable to satisfy his Lord's requirement? Romans 5:5 gives us the answer: 'And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love (agape) of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us'. Peter had not received, been given, been baptised in the Holy Spirit at the time of this encounter with Jesus, so of course, he could not manifest God's supernatural love to his master. (Voice of Revival. June/July 1985. pp 4-5)

The Revivalist error is clearly seen when we look into the Greek text. It is true that Jesus asks Peter if he loves him twice using the Greek word agape and Peter replies using the Greek word Phileo. But what the above Revival Centre writer fails to note is that Jesus also uses the Greek word Phileo in his third question to Peter.

So, there are problems with the Revival Centre teaching that God's love is agape only and human love is phileo only. The Bible records God showing both agape and phileo love!

For God so loved (agape) the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

For the Father loveth (phileo) the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. (John 5:20)

God does not show agape love alone but also phileo. Sadly, the Revival Centre teaching is mistaken when it claims that Peter did not show a godly type love for Jesus. Peter showed the phileo kind of love for Jesus that the Father himself shows Jesus. The Bible clearly shows that both kinds of love are not limited to 'Pentecostal' Christians either. The Bible records men having both phileo and agape love before Pentecost. Jesus said even the sinners have this agape love,

For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love(agape) those that love(agape) them. (Luke 6:32)

Bearing this in mind we see that this Revival Centre teaching is lacking any real substance. Even the sinners can agape love each other! Jesus was not implying Peter could not love him as he required.

For more information on salvation, click here.

ACTS 2:38

"Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"

If you ask a Revival Centre member to tell you what the gospel is, they will usually reply "Repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues".

To get a proper understanding of this verse, we must first look at the context. It is set in Jerusalem about fifty days after Christ was killed there. It is the day of Pentecost, and the Spirit had just come upon the believers in the upper room (2:4). Jews from the Diaspora were witness to the believers speaking in tongues (2:6). Then Peter stands up and addresses the crowd. It is important to note what Peter says to them.

Firstly, he explains to them that this strange occurrence they were witnessing was the fulfilment of Joel chapter 2, that the Spirit would one day be poured out on all flesh (2:14-21). However, the bulk of his message wasn't the Spirit's outpouring, but Jesus Christ. He reminds them of the miracles Christ did amongst them and how they crucified Him (v.22-24). He tells them of Christ's resurrection from the dead, that He is exalted at the right hand of God, and that it is Jesus who is now pouring out the Spirit which the Jews were now seeing and hearing (v.33). Note that he was not giving a talk about tongues - he was sharing about Jesus, as he was asked to do (1:8).

He then says in verse 36: "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Peter's emphasis was Christ, not the Holy Spirit. The scripture then says, "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart." What were they pricked in their heart about?

Surely they saw the miracle of Acts 2:4 as of God, but the truth that pricked their heart was Jesus is the Lord and Messiah and they had crucified Him (v.36).

Notice that they asked "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" It was not a selfish and inane request, "What shall we do to be saved?" but a desperate "What shall we do?" The truth had hit home - they had killed the Messiah! Peter told them what they must do.

REPENT

The Greek word for `repent' is "metanoeo" which means "to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (morally feel compunction)". In context of killing Christ, they were commanded to re-think their entire belief system! They were ordered to realise what they had done and repent.

BE BAPTIZED

"Be baptized every one of you in the name of the Jesus Christ for the remission of sins"

At face value this scripture reads as if baptism plays some part in the remission of sins. But when we look at the context and extrinsic evidence, that initial conclusion seems unlikely. The focus was still on Christ.

1 John 1:7, "the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin". The blood of Jesus frees mankind from sin and death, as stated in John 1:29; Hebrews 9:24-26; 1 John 2:1, 2. The emphasis is on forgiveness is through his blood, and not baptisimal water. By placing our faith in Christ, his blood sacrifice becomes effective for us as an anonement for our sins - Romans 3:25.

Acts 22:16 provides an insight to Acts 2:38, "Get up, be baptised, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name". And so, it seems that the 'calling on Jesus' name' is what was important, not the baptisimal fluid (Acts 10:43). The fact that the Acts 2:38 baptism was done 'in the name of Jesus Christ' testified to the faith of the new Jewish converts. It cleansed them of the greatest sin imaginable - the killing of God's own Son (Mt.21:38). Note that this forgiveness would come before they they received 'the gift of the Spirit'.

RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST

"And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

These are often quoted words in Revival Centre literature. Some examples:

"The Bible says, 'REPENT, and BE BAPTISED, and RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST' (Acts 2:38)" (World Signs of the Last Days and the Return Of Christ pamphlet)

"Acts 2:38. Look at the basic steps for salvation that Peter was given by God to present:
1. REPENT 2. BE BAPTISED 3. RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT" (Hollins, K. What Must we do to be Saved? booklet, p.3)

"the basis of our stand is that we believe that to receive Bible salvation we must repent, be baptized (by full immersion) and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues" (Arguments & Explanations : Some of the Whys and Wherefores pamphlet)

"First, he said, a person must turn to the Lord in repentance ... [then] they were to be baptised in water. Next they must receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit from Christ himself. (Acts 2:38)" (How the Christian Church Began pamphlet)

"WE BELIEVE the ... directive to repent, be baptised and receive the Holy Spirit" (Statement of Faith).

But read Acts 2:38 again. Does it really say, "Repent, be baptised, and receive the Holy Ghost?" In fact, it doesn't! The Revival Centres usually misquote Acts 2:38 in an important way. It does not describe a 'three steps to salvation' plan. Here is the actual reading again:

"Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"

Note that rather than being a command, Acts 2:38 is a promise that all those who repent and are baptised will receive the Holy Spirit. Revivalists often ask, "how do you know you have the Spirit?" (expecting to lead on to glossolalia). However, it is quite valid to answer, "I have repented and been baptised - Acts 2:38". The scripture promises that everyone who repents and is baptized, in Jesus' name for the forgiveness of sins, receives the Holy Spirit (presumably, whether they speak in tongues or not).

For more information on salvation, click here.

ACTS 8:5-15

"Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed [with them]: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost."

Elements of Acts 8:5-15 have been among the most hotly debated topics of the last few centuries. The main question is that in Acts 8, we have what appear to be believers, but they do not appear to have the Holy Spirit.

The two problems with this are as follows. All believers are saved. However, it is also often said that all saved people have the Holy Spirit. Acts 8 seems to throw a heap of mess into the picture! Over the last 150 years in particular, about 4 main explainations have been put forward as to how this can be so:

1/ (primarily the Reformed school) The Samaritans did receive the Spirit when they believed on Phillip, and later received only a charismatic manifestation with Peter and John. It is based on the Greek 'pneuma agion'. However, I think the argument falls to the clear word of scripture in v.16 ('not yet fallen').

2/ (primary Pentecostal / Catholic view) Acts 8 records a second reception of the Spirit. This view draws a line between the sealing of the Spirit and the baptism in the Spirit.

3/ (FJA Hort / N. Turner / E.W. Bullinger) Luke has seperated what in fact was joined. A more liberal view, which suggests that Luke has expanded the story to two events.

4/ (some Lutheran, Calvin, etc.) God in his sovereignty had withheld the Spirit from the Samaritans, even though they were believers. It was an unusual event.

ACTS 9:3-18

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?... And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

People often say that they've had a 'Road to Damascus' conversion. It means they may have been very vocal against an idea, but then in a flash of enlightenment change their whole perspective. That is what happened to Saul (later Paul). However, the Revival Centres say that Saul wasn't converted on the road to Damascus! He couldn't have been because he didn't speak in tongues! He was converted later on when Ananias prayed with him (even though tongues are not mentioned there, they nevertheless imply tongues at that stage). Their belief has a lot of problems.

On the road to Damascus Saul sees the resurrected Christ and asks him 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?' Saul had seen the resurrected Lord with his own eyes, and had acknowledged him as 'Lord'. It is as clear as day that at this point Saul believes on Jesus. Even the Revival Centre would agree to this,

"All of a sudden Saul was a believer! He was sure, not only that Jesus was the Messiah that the prophets had foretold, but also that He had risen from the dead. He was a believer but he was not saved!" ('Believers Must Obey the Word of God'. Voice of Revival, Volume 19, Number 5, November/December, 1977. p5)

Of course, their statement that someone can be a believer and yet be unsaved is unscriptural. In John 5:24, the Lord said, "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life". Not only does Saul believe but also obeys the vision.

Paul was saved on the road to Damascus - this must be the case otherwise he lied to the Galatians. In Galatians chapter one Paul says, "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Gal 1:11-12).

Notice then, that Paul received the gospel on the road to Damascus. Mark 4:20 reads, "these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive [it], and bring forth fruit" (KJV). James 1:21 likewise talks about 'receiving' the 'engrafted word', "which is able to save your souls". On the road to Damascus, Saul evidently received the Word of God and was saved. That is why, when Ananias first met him, he was called 'Brother Saul'. Unless you speak in tongues, it is unlikely that anyone in a Revival Centre would dare call you 'Brother'. But, Ananias accepted Saul as a Brother before he ever spoke in tongues.

ACTS 10:43-48

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.

This scripture is often used to show that tongues is the evidence of being filled with the Spirit and being saved.

For a detailed exposition of Acts 10, see the comment at Acts 19:1-8.

In short, we can say that it is entirely possible to be saved and speak in tongues at the same instance. It does not conflict in any way with the possibility of being saved and not speak in tongues. At best, Acts 10 provides that tongues is an evidence of receiving the Spirit. Remember these are the first non-Jews to come to Christ since the baptism with the Spirit was given. The only Christians recognised by the newly formed Church were Jewish, and these had trouble accepting the fact that Gentiles could be acceptable to God. As Cornelius and his household heard the message of Christ they believed and were saved (and note it was not a message about the neccessity of speaking in tongues (v43)). The tongues were a special proof God gave to demonstrate that the Gentiles could have God's favour. At that moment the Lord baptised them in the Holy Spirit and they spoke with tongues and magnified God. There could be no doubt that the Lord was allowing the Gentiles to be saved because he was also giving them a gift of the Holy Spirit. This is the central message of Acts 10-11, that the Gentiles could receive salvation. In the instance, then, of Acts 10, the tongues were a clear confirmation that Gentiles could be acceptable to God. However, Acts 10 does not conflict in any way with the posibility of being saved and not speaking in tongues.

ACTS 11:15

'And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.'

The Voice of Revival (June/July 1985, p5.) says:

Peter said (Acts 11:15), "And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, AS ON US AT THE BEGINNING." Reference to Acts 10:46 shows us what happened when the Holy Ghost fell on Cornelius and others, "For they (Jewish Christians) heard them SPEAK IN TONGUES and magnify God".

Peter then went on to explain to the Jerusalem saints (Acts 11:16-17), "Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like (Greek: isos, equal) gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?" Peter's beginning in the Holy Spirit, like that of Cornelius, was his baptism in the Holy Spirit (on the day of Pentecost).

The problem with this argument used by the Revival Centres is that it is based entirely on assumption. There is no doubt Peter referred to the baptism in the Spirit in Acts 11, however, the Revivalists make a huge assumption by claiming that "Peter's beginning in the Holy Spirit, like that of Cornelius, was his baptism in the Holy Spirit (on the day of Pentecost)"

The Bible teaches that the disciples had a lot to do with the Holy Spirit before the day of Pentecost. The Apostles' dealings with the Holy Spirit began during Christ's ministry. Jesus said, "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:17). They knew the Spirit and even utilised His power in healing the sick and casting out demons (Luke 10:1-20) well before he ever indwelled them. The day of Pentecost was not the beginning of the disciples' dealings with the Spirit at all.

So what did Peter mean by the phrase 'at the beginning'? The Baptism with the Holy Spirit was given to Cornelius' household in the same manner as it was given to the 120 in the upper room. So in effect, Peter is saying, 'They were baptised in the Holy Spirit just as we were when it first happened to us.' There is no reference on Peter's part to this being the formula for salvation at all. We can agree with Revivalists that Peter was referring to the Baptism with the Spirit but to say this proves their view on salvation is purely assumption.

ACTS 11:26

"And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."

The Revival Centres also use the word 'Christian' to support their claim that we must be baptised in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues to be saved. They claim that the basic definition of the word Christian implies that if anyone is not anointed by the Holy Ghost through the baptism in the Holy Spirit then he or she is not truly a Christian,

"...THE BIBLE HOWEVER IDENTIFIES A CHRISTIAN AS ONE OF GOD'S ANOINTED (Christos = Anointed; Iani = belonging to or a recruit)". (Revival Review. Melbourne Revival Centre, April, 1973, p4).

Firstly, Christos is simply the Hellenic form of 'Messiah'. So, it literally means someone belonging to the Messiah, the Christ (the Annointed One).

According to Revival Centre doctrine, to belong to the party of the anointed you must be anointed too. This is erroneous for another simple reason. The Bible does not identify God's anointed ones as Christians! The word Christian was not a name given to us by Jesus, the Father or even the Apostles. W.E. Vine writes,

"Christian is a word formed after the Roman style, signifying an adherent of Jesus, was first applied to such by the Gentiles and is found in Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16." (Vine, W.E., Amplified Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. World Bible Publishers Inc., Iowa Falls, Iowa, 1991. p130).

The word Christian was used by Gentiles as a derogative term to signify a follower of Christ as in Agrippa's words to Paul in Acts 26:28, 'Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.' Again Vine notes,

"As applied by the Gentiles there was no doubt an implication of scorn, as in Agrippa's statement in Acts 26:28. Tacitus, writing near the end of the first century, says, 'The vulgar call them Christians...'"

In 1 Peter 4:16 the saints of God are referred to as Christians but not by Peter, "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." Peter is speaking from the persecutor's point of view when calling the saints Christians. He lumps the term Christian amongst murderer and thief as the Gentiles who persecuted his 1st century readers would. It was not until the second century AD that the term was adopted by believers as a title of honour.

ACTS 19:1-8

"'Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?' They replied,'No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.' ... When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied".

Acts 10 and 19 are commonly brought up by the Revival Centres as 'proof' that speaking in tongues is the evidence of being filled by the Holy Spirit and gaining salvation.

In answer to this, it should be first noted that experience is the foundation upon which much of the Revival Centre system is built, and it is very important to identify that. When talking to Revival Centre people, we often hear the phrase, "I can't deny my experience of speaking in tongues". They have an experience-centered approach to truth that even influences the way they approach scripture. The Book of Acts, which is a journal of the apostle's experiences, is where the Revival Centres usually turn in search of Scriptural support for what they believe. Acts is a historical narrative, in contrast, for example, to the Epistles of the New Testament which are didactic, or doctrinal, or instructive to the Church. So in the Epistles you have the rather permanent instruction and doctrine for the Church. In Acts you have a chronicle of the history of the Early Church experiences. Historically, Christians committed to a Biblical perspective have recognized the difference, and have drawn their doctrine from scripture passages intended to teach the Church. While Acts is an inspired, historical record of the Apostolic period, it was never intended to be the primary basis for teaching doctrine to the Church.

We can say that there is nothing in Scripture which teaches, "you must speak in tongues to be saved". There isn't even anything that teaches, "tongues is evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit". Notice that in no doctrinal letter, such as in Paul's epistles, are tongues taught as the evidence of salvation or of recieving the Holy Spirit. The only evidence for tongues being the evidence are found here in this historical book of Acts - and when the Revival Centres argue their doctrinal beliefs from this historical source, they are taking a wrong approach. Even in Acts, tongues only occured at salvation in two places: in Acts 10 and Acts 19. Acts 2 is not a salvation account because the apostles were saved well before Pentecost (Luke 10:20, etc.). So, the Revival Centres are only able to present two questionable 'proofs' from an innapropriate source as a defence for their teaching.

It is true, however, that the gentiles and Ephesians did speak in tongues when they were apparently saved in Acts 10 and Acts 19. In answer to this, it can be said that we agree it is entirely possible to be saved and speak in tongues at the same instance. It does not conflict in any way with the possibility of being saved and not speak in tongues.

Importantly, there is no evidence that the early church was ever concerned as to whether tongues were the evidence of the spirit. In Luke's account of both Paul's conversion (Acts 9) and his account of the conversion of the Samaritans (Acts 8), he neglects to mention an evidence present of receiving the spirit. In both cases, tongues may have been present. However, since Luke in both cases neglects to mention the presence of tongues, it seems that, for Luke, the role of an evidence of the Spirit baptism was a minor issue. Likewise, the epistles don't concern themselves to teach about it (except, perhaps, Gal.5:22). The emphasis in apostolic teaching and witnessing was on putting faith in the Messiah. Jesus was always the emphasis, never tongues. Neither was the Holy Spirit baptism preached, only the need to follow Jesus (Acts 2:22-32; 3:13,14; 4:1-2, 10-12, 33; 5: 30-32; 8:30-35; 10:39-44; 13:26-44; 16:30-31; 20:20-24). What follows from this is that it seems we need not concern ourselves as to whether a particular evidence is present or not.

In fact, it is wrong to be concerned with specific signs or proofs from God. Jesus said, "This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah" (Luke 11:29). In other words, let's not demand signs or proofs from God - but just focus on Jesus. Paul commented, "Jews demand signs ... but we proclaim Christ crucified" (1Co.1:22). Remember, there is nothing in Scripture which even asks us to seek a sign of tongues or the baptism in the Spirit. Luke 11 says only that if we do ask for it, we will receive it. Acts 2:38 simply says that we will recieve it if we repent and are baptised. But there is nothing which even says we have to seek tongues. The rule of Scripture asks us to focus on God and all the rest will follow of its own accord (see Matthew 6:33 passage). The clear rule is not to be concerned with signs, such as tongues, but simply to follow Jesus.

Jesus only talks about one proof of salvation, and it is not tongues. As recorded in John 13:35, the Lord says, "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another". Paul writes something similar, when he says that we shouldn't be looking at tongues to test someone's worth in God, "If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal" (1Co.13:1). In other words, get your focus off tongues and on to more testing signs from God - the sign of Jonah, that is the death and ressurection of Christ, and on the greatest gift, love.

For more information on salvation, click here.

ROMANS 5:5

"...because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

See the discussion of John 21:15-16

ROMANS 8:9

"you are in the spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him"

This scripture is used to show that people who do not speak in tongues ("don't have the Spirit", according to Revivalists) are not saved. It is one of their more commonly used scriptures.

A brief answer to Romans 8:9 is that we agree the Holy Spirit is God's seal upon all believers as a 'pledge of their inheritence' (Jn 7:38-39; Gal3:14; Eph 1:13; 4:40; 1Cor.12:13; 2Cor.1:21-22; Rev.9:4). However, the real question revolves around what it means to 'have the Spirit'. Does 'having' this 'Spirit of Christ' means speaking in tongues? The answer to this question must be 'no'. If we say that those who do not speak in tongues 'do not belong to him', then we would have to say that the Jewish prophets did not belong to God. However, the scriptures make it clear that those prophets will be in 'the kingdom of God' (Luke 13:28).

These pre-Pentecost prophets did have 'the Spirit of Christ', even though they didn't speak in tongues. Importantly, 1 Peter 1:10,11 notes that:

"Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours made careful search and inquiry, inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated [about Jesus]..."

So, although the Hebrew prophets did not speak in tongues, they did have 'the Spirit of Christ'. Whatever we decide about Romans 8:9, then, we should agree that we can have the Spirit of Christ without speaking in tongues. However, let's try to explain what it actually means by 'having the Spirit of Christ' in the passage, if tongues were not meant.

Look at the context of Romans 8. The passage in whole discusses the 'Inner Conflict' of flesh and spirit from 7:14 to 25, it then moves into a discussion about life in the Spirit until 8:17. The flesh is the uncomforming part of us, while the spiritual is the part of us which has attained the diposition of Christ. In the passage, the term 'spirit' is used in this loose sense. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament compares the statement about 'the Spirit of God dwelling in you' with Paul's earlier reference at Romans 7:20 to "the sin dwelling in me":

"The dwelling of sin in man denotes its dominion over him ... [It] is no passing guest, but by its continuous presence becomes the master of the house ... Paul can speak in just the same way, however, of the lordship of the Spirit [in Romans 8:9]."

One use of the term "spirit," ru'ahh (Heb.), or pneu'ma (Gk.), in the Scriptures and in this context is in application to mental disposition. This use of "spirit" has some similar English expressions. We can talk about "breaking a person's spirit," or we could talk about a "spirit of discontent" in a nation. We are not refering to a supernatural being when we talk about a 'spirit' in this way. In Scripture, we read that "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Prov. 16:18). There is a "spirit of jealousy" in a man (Nu 5:14), and "a spirit of compassion and supplication" (Zech. 12:10). Peter talks about a "gentle and quiet spirit" (1Pe 3:3, 4). In these cases, "spirit" refers simply to a mental disposition accompanying someone. Could it be that, in Romans 8:9, having "the Spirit of Christ" refers to having the mental disposition of Christ?

If that were the proper interpretation, it would mean that a so called 'Christian', who did not have the mental disposition of Christ, is really 'none of his'. A true Christian is someone who has "stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed [themselves] with the new self, which is being renewed in the image of the creator" (Eph. 3:9-10).

In addition, the argument that Romans 8:9 describes tongues does seem weak. Read Romans 8 carefully, and take note that Paul's dogmatic definition and teaching revolves around justification by faith. The gift of tongues is not mentioned in this epistle at all. If it were the evidence of conversion, then it's omission is mind-boggling and one is left to wonder how the early church accepted this epistle as God inspired.

ROMANS 8:26

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.

Some within the Revival Centres use this verse to say that the Holy Spirit make the sounds of Speaking in tongues. But this verse cannot be referring to speaking in tongues because this the verse speaks of 'groanings which cannot be uttered' yet the gift of tongues was given on the day of Pentecost 'as the Spirit gave them utterance' (Acts 2:4). Tongues (the spiritual languages) are uttered by men making it impossible to equate this verse with speaking in tongues.

This verse is speaking of the Spirit's ability to help us in our weaknesses and trials by speaking to the Father on our behalf when we are unable for whatever reason. This verse is a beautiful Scripture teaching us of the great love and care the Holy Spirit has for us and to interpret it as a tongues Scripture is to miss a wonderful truth.

1 CORINTHIANS 5:9

"I wrote to you in my letter not to company with sexually immoral persons"

One Revival Centre group uses this scripture to expel 'fornicators and adulterers' without possibility of return to fellowship. However, scripture indicates that a sincere confession of our sins to the Lord will bring us cleansing (Ps.32:5; 2Cor.7:8-11; 1Jn.1:9).

For example, the person put out in 1 Corinthians 5:9 Scripture seems to have been reinstated in 2 Corinthians 2:6-8, after his repentance (also 7:11-12; 12:21). Jesus likewise forgave the woman caught in adultery, commanding her to not sin again (John 8:1-11).

Another example comes from David. We read in 2.Sam.11:1-27 of David's adultery with Bathsheba. David was sincerely repentant. He later wrote Psalm 51, "Have mercy on me, O God ... wash me thoroughly from my iniquity ... Against you, you alone, have I sinned ... wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow". David was forgiven (2.Sam.12:13). We read the details of his confession and forgiveness in Ps.32:5. This is because the Lord understands our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15), and is quick to forgive. In Ezekiel 34:23, 24 and 37:24,25 the Lord again recognises David as "my servant". In Acts 13:28, David is even described as "a man after [God's] own heart"! David had clearly been restored 'whiter than snow' by God's grace. Most incredible is that David was even made a forefather of Jesus. The Son of God was not ashamed to say, "I am the root and the descendant of David" (Rev.22:16). David's sin was behind him... and as far as God was concerned, it was as far as East is from West because David repented.

Forgiveness is at the heart of the Christian message. If we do not understand forgiveness, then we surely do not have Christ. Not only is God willing and powerful enough to forgive sin, but we are meant to follow his example. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, deserving death, and God has graciously forgiven us all (Rom 3:23,24). Like the servant who has been forgiven so much, we must likewise forgive the brethren when they sin (Luk.15:11-32). Remember, we are commanded to forgive (Luk.17:3,4; Eph.4:32; Col.3:13). By failing to forgive the brethren or ever fellowshipping with them again is to disobey the command of God.

1 CORINTHIANS 5:11

"I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard [Gk. Methusos]..."

Sometimes used to show that, as Longfield puts it, "Christians do not drink". According to him, someone is a 'drunkard', Methusos, if they drink any alcohol. However, that is not what the word means. Plato uses the same word to describe being reduced to a state of 'childish helplessness' (Repub., III, 325).

It is clear that drinking any wine, if it would be a stumbling block for someone, is wrong (Romans 14:21). Scripture is also clear that drinking too much wine destroys lives, causes confusion, makes people do unwise things (Proverbs 23:29-33). Wine in excess is definitely harmful. However, even honey, when eaten in excess, is bad (Proverbs 25:27). The common Revival Centre response goes like this - "well, it is best if we don't allow any drinking, just in case someone gets drunk". That's legalism. We could use the same argument and say, we better not eat anything, in case someone becomes gluttonous!

Despite what Revival Centres might say, there is nothing inherently wrong with alcohol. Melchizedek served wine to Abraham. The priests in Israel were allowed to drink wine, except when serving in the tabernacle or temple. It was used during the religious feasts, with God's approval, and was gratefully accepted as a divine provision (Genesis 14:18; Leviticus 10:9; Psalm 104:14, 15). Jesus' first miracle was to turn water into wine (John 2:1-11).

Even Jesus drank. There are no explicit references to Jesus drinking alcohol in Scripture (except as a type of 'sedative' on the cross - John 19:30). Matthew 11:19 may suggest that he drank, but the verse is disputable. However, at the so-called 'last supper', we are told that Jesus drank of the "fruit of the vine" - Mark 14:25. This could mean unfermented grape juice. However, from the context, we know that Jesus' last supper was the Passover meal (Mark 14:14-17). Now, the Palestine grape harvest begins in the Jewish month of Elul (August-September). The harvest is over before Tishri 15-21 (September-October), the Festival of Booths - Deuteronomy 16:13. Because the last supper was on Passover, at Nisan 14 (April), seven months had elapsed since the harvest of the vine. Long before the last supper, any grape juice in Palestine would be well fermented. So, when Jesus drank the "fruit of the vine" at the last supper, we can be sure that he could only have been drinking wine. That is why, when the Corinthians re-enacted the supper, some of them could get drunk (1Corinthians 11:21). Do the Revival Centres say that Jesus sinned by drinking?

The key is in moderation, as it is with all things. At 1 Timothy 3:2, 3, we read that an overseer should be "temperate". That means in all habits. Likewise, the older men and women are given similar counsel to be "temperate" (Titus 2:2; 1 Timothy 3:11). The key is temperence (Gk. Sophron). The Greek comes from sozo ('to save') and phren ('the mind'), in other words don't go too far and blow your mind! So, in disussing the qualifications of the deakonos, Paul says that they should be, "not indulging in much wine" (1 Timothy 3:8). Women are similarly warned not to be "slaves to drink" (Titus 2:3). Those words imply that drinking some wine is acceptable. But the warning is this - don't go too far with your drinking!

For more information on alcohol, click here.

1 CORINTHIANS 6:10

"thieves, the greedy, drunkards ... none of these will inherit the kingdom of God"

See 1 Corinthians 5:11.

1 CORINTHIANS 12:5-11; 29,30

There are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities; but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses ... Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts.

The Revival Centre difficulty with this passage is obvious. While they teach that "everyone must speak in tongues to be saved", the passage is clear that only some will speak in tongues. All believers would partake of the manifestation of the Spirit, but they would each have different roles. For this scripture very clearly states that not everyone will receive the gift of tongues. You don't all have to be 'eyes' or 'ears' (v.17) in the body, but you contribute to the unity through diversity of your gift or gifts. For the Revival Centres to say that all must be speakers of tongues is to make a body all of eyes or ears. But as it is written elsewhere, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." -Romans 12:6.

For this reason the Revival Centres have warped this passage until it's laughable. They have systematically deconstructed the Greek of the passage and teach that all believers get all of the above gifts! A Brisbane Revival Fellowship booklet (The Gifts of the Spirit) says,

In the description of the gifts of the Spirit (v8-10); it appears that the gifts are divided and granted differently to individuals ... this is incorrect. Verse 7 very clearly states that everyone was to be granted all the gifts of the Spirit.

Perhaps in embarasment, the writer continued, "If you find the above appreciation hard to believe ...". Why do they warp the obvious meaning of the text so obviously?

The answer is simple. The RCI NEED this to work for them, otherwise, they invalidate their teaching completely. They need to find their theology here, so violence is done to the text. Yet, Paul writes in a clear fashion, and this passage is quite straight forward.

For a start, Paul states his point: divers gifts, one Spirit. (v.4-11). Here he starts his teaching, and he expounds for the rest of the chapter. This is his point. To come to a conclusion to the opposite is erroneous. If you come to another conclusion, then you missed the point and weren't paying attention. Imagine if you were trying to explian this to someone. Would you start with a clear statement and then finish saying the opposite? No. You would be clear and build each point upon the other, until there is no doubt in what you are saying. So, also the Holy Ghost, through the Apostle, would teach us in this place.

Verse 8 says: ..for to *one* is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to *another* the word of knowledge"...and so on....no where does it say that to *one* is given one gift, and to the *same* is given another. The words used are not badly translated or mysterious, Paul uses 'allu' to another [so and so is given] and 'eteru' - to a different (one) [so and so is given]. Paul's point still being : divers gifts, one Spirit.

Paul then builds further on this teaching by way of analogy- the body of Christ is likened to a human body. Many parts, different functions, one body. "But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body" (v.18-20). Thus Paul further builds on the eternal principle of unity and diversity. Paul's point still being: divers gifts, one Spirit.

Paul then concludes his argument by way of rhetoric. He outlines and ranks the different gifts,(v.28), taking care to note that all are different, and asks the rhetorical question, to bring home his conclusion. (v. 29,30). Not all are Apostles (they have passed on into glory), not all are prophets, not all are teachers, and so on. His point still remaining, *unity in diversity in the church of God, the body of Christ.* This is not a congregational question, but still speaking on principles, as it says in verse 28, "and God has appointed these in the Church". The church, it is clear in the whole context of the argument, is here referring to the universal body of Christ, as was clearly pointed out in the preceeding verses. Paul's point still being: divers gifts, one Spirit.

When Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14:5 that, "I would like every one of you to speak in tongues", he is making the point that not every one does. That not everyone will speak in tongues for Paul had just made that clear in his letter to the Corinthians. We each have different gifts. Paul is just pointing out the obvious. That he would rejoice if everyone did speak in tongues, but not every one does or will. Paul was clear in other Scriptures that not all Corinthians did speak in tongues (12:10, 30; 13:1; 14:2, 5, 13).

Still people like to say that in Acts, whenever the Holy Spirit was given, everyone spoke in tongues. That simply is not true. Tongues are only one of the manifestations of the Spirit given. Times tongues are mentioned: Acts 2:1-4, 10:46, 19:5-7 Instead the Spirit comes mostly with* *Revealing the glory of God. Acts 2:11, 2:23-33, 5:12-13, 6:3, 7:55 *Having everything in common. Acts 2:42-46, 4:32-35 *Conviction and the revealing of sin. Acts 2:23, 2:37, 4:10, 7:51, 8:18-23 *Power and courage. Acts 4:8-9, 4:29-31, 9:17-20, 5:9-10 Scripture never declares that tongues were always given when the baptism of the Spirit comes.

It just says that they "saw the evidence of". Which could mean any number of manifestations of the Spirit. What we see is that when the Spirit is poured out different things take place. In one place they spoke in tongues and praised God. While at other times they spoke in tongues and prophesied. For again, God gives as "he determines" and not as you try to make him do. "All these are the work of the one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines." -1 Corinthians 12:11.

The RCI objection to this point is that this refers only to a congregational meeting. It is true of course that these chapters deal with errors in the congregational meeting, but are the principles set out before us only for meetings? Let's test the theory. Verse 13 says "For by one Spirit we were all baptised into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-and have all been made to drink into one Spirit". Is this true only for the congregational meeting? Of course not, this is a great Spiritual principle, upon which the whole argument is based. Unity in the Spirit, diversity in gifts. Notice that the word 'congregation' is not used, but that the principle was meant to apply to the 'body' of Christ (v.12, 27). 'The body' does not merely refer to a congregational meeting, but to the Body of Christ, which means believers everywhere. Now do not begin to say to yourself,"This only applies to the Body, when the church is gathered together". For we are apart of the Body of Christ whether we are gathered in a building or not. So, the principle that believers would have unity through diversity of gifts, such as tongues, was to apply to the Body of Christ as a whole. Not all believers must 'speak in tongues'.

How did the RCI make the "no" of verses 29, and 30,into a "yes"? Simple. Cloud the issue. Smokescreen the simplicity of a straight-forward teaching. There is a term for this. It is "eisegesis", this means, basically "to read what you want into the text". It is the oppposite of "exegesis", which simply put means "draw out of the text it's contents". Friends, eisegesis is "exit Jesus". And it is the prime rule of bible interpretation in the RCI.

Now we read in 1 Corinthians 12:27-28, "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues." Now answer the following questions posed to us in 1 Corinthians 12:29-30. "Are all apostles?" "Are all prophets?" "Are all teachers?" "Are all workers of miracles?" "Do all have gifts of healing?" "Do all interpret tongues?" Now in the same way you answered the questions above you should answer the next one. "Do all speak in tongues"? In summary, scripture very clearly says, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." -Romans 12:6

1 CORINTHIANS 14:23

"If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter..."

Revival Centres say this means they were all speaking in tongues. However, Paul was clear in other Scriptures that not all Corinthians did speak in tongues (12:10, 30; 13:1; 14:2, 5, 13). So what is the passage talking about? Paul is talking about a hypothetical event.

For more information on salvation, click here.

1 CORINTHIANS 14:26

"when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation" [KJV]

The King James rendering suggests that everyone would have a 'tongue' to bring to the meeting. However, Paul was clear in other Scriptures that not all Corinthians did speak in tongues (12:10, 30; 13:1; 14:2, 5, 13). Better translations put the passage more clearly, "When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation" (NRSV). This rendering is consistent with v.27, "if anyone speaks in a tongue". It is also more consistent with the body analogy in chap.12, where some in the body could perform one function while others in the body could perform another.

For more information on salvation, click here.

GALATIANS 1:7-9

"There are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed. As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!"

This scripture is often used to attack other salvation beliefs. Yet, the Scripture turns against the Revival Centres very easily. The Revival Centre pamphlet 'The Holy Spirit' says, "We are also warned that 'no other gospel' is to be preached (Gal. 1:8). To preach less than the Holy Spirit Baptism for salvation is a disaster".

However, is this 'gospel' really tongues? Notice that Paul in Gal.1:7-9 talked a lot about holding to the gospel "we proclaimed to you", and the "gospel ... you received". What was the gospel they "received"? He explained it in another one of his books, using the same words:

"I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news [gospel] that I proclaimed to you, which in turn you received, in which also you stand, through which also you are saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you - unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day" (1Corinthains 15:1-4)

So, the gospel is not tongues, as the pamphlet says. The early Christians received a gospel of Christ's death and resurrection. Unfortunately, the Revival Centres pervert that gospel and now proclaim a gospel of tongues instead (contra the Galatians passage). They are warned of the consequences (Gk. anathema)! Showing Revival Centre people Galatians 1:7-9 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 together is one of the best ways to disprove their 'tongues gospel'.

For more information on salvation, click here.

GALATIANS 5:19-21

"the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication ... drunkenness, carousing ... those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God"

Concerning fornication, see 1 Corinthians 5:9.

Concerning alcohol, see 1 Corinthians 5:11.

EPHESIANS 5:18

"Do not get drunk with wine"

See 1 Corinthians 5:11.

HEBREWS 11:13

"All of these died in faith without having received the promises"

Sometimes, used to show that those before Pentecost were unsaved. Actually, the 'promises' in the passage probably refer to the blessings of Abraham, which were given their greatest fulfilment after Christ. The fact that the Hebrew Heroes were saved is attested to in v.14-16.

Salvation was offered to the Israelites and John the Baptist well before Pentecost (Luke 13:28). Matthew 8:11 says, "many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven".

There are many other references in the Bible stating that the disciples and other New Testament personalities were saved well before the day of Pentecost. Jesus said to the 70 who he had sent out in his name, "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:20) Jesus did not say that their names will be written in heaven but that their names are written in heaven.

When Jesus prayed for his disciples before his crucifixion he makes a clear distinction between the disciples and the world, saying, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (John 17:6-9, 16)

For more information on salvation, click here.

2 PETER 3:8

"with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day"

This scripture is used in proving the Revival Centre 6000 years theory. According to various works, and John S. Fox's book which is sold in the Revival Centres, the world would end after 6000 years. Because "a day is like a thousand years", the seventh thousand year would be the year of the Sabbath and Christ's return (who is 'Lord of the Sabbath'). Christ would then begin the 'thousand year reign'. All this was based on the year 3996 B.C. being the year of the creation of Adam.

However, there is much argument concerning the date of creation. The most popular calculation belongs to Anglican Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656). In a marginal reference of the King James Version, and in the footnotes of some editions of the Catholic Douay Bible, he gives the date of man's creation is given as 4004 B.C.. Fox's chronology was only one of the many efforts made during the past centuries to determine the time of Adam's creation. A hundred years ago when a count was taken, no less than 140 different timetables had been published by serious scholars. In such chronologies the calculations as to when Adam was created vary all the way from 3616 B.C. to 6174 B.C., with one guess set at 20,000 B.C.

According to Fox, we enter the seven thousandth year in 2001-2. Similarly, Longfield has written, "It's 24 minutes before the start of a new day - the millennium reign - God's national Sabbath. Are you ready? At one minute past midnight (17th Sept 2001) His Majesty the Lord Jesus Christ will rule out of Zion. Are you ready?" (What time is it Now? pamphlet). How would Jesus have reacted to claims that the Revival Centres knew when Jesus would return? Surely he would have remarked, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority" (Acts 1:7). It will be interesting to see whether 17 September 2001 passes us by, or, whether something interesting happens...

REVELATION 20:5-6, 11-15

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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... And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The Revival Centres teach that although the Old Testament believers will not take part in the resurrection of the saints at Christ's return, these Old Testament people will be judged according to their works alongside the rest of the 'unsaved' creation at the end of the millennium. The Revival Centre view teaches that some will be found worthy, based on their works, and will join the New Testament saints after the millennial reign of Christ has been completed

There is, however, a major problem with this interpretation. This Revival Centre doctrine teaches that there are two ways to enter the Kingdom of God. The first is by faith in Christ and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Those who enter this way speak in tongues and will go to be with Jesus at the beginning of the millennium. The second way to enter the Kingdom of God, according to Revival Centre doctrine, is by doing good works and being judged according to those good works. People who enter the Kingdom of God this way will do so at the end of the Millennial reign of Christ. This teaching is heretical and in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Bible.

Firstly, there is absolutely nothing in this or any other passage about any of the dead entering the Kingdom of Heaven at the end of the millennium. In fact, the above mentioned passage from Revelation chapter 20 implies just opposite. The Greek word translated into English as 'judge' in verse 13 is krino which does not imply a second chance for the unsaved but a sentencing, condemnation and punishment. The unrighteous will be judged for their wickedness and receive their reward, the lake of fire.

The second reason why this Revivalist doctrine is not compatible with Scripture is that the Bible never teaches that there are two ways into the Kingdom of God. The Bible is quite definite in declaring Jesus Christ to be the only avenue by which men could enter into eternal life for all time,

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (John 10:9)

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6. Also Heb 5:9; 12:2; Rev 21:6 etc.)

The Bible is also quite clear that no-one will ever enter the Kingdom of God based on their works,

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Rom 3:23)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be in heaven with the Christians. Jesus himself testified to this fact when he said, "And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." (Mat 8:11)

When I asked Lloyd Longfield how he reconciled his view with Jesus's statement above he replied,

Plenty of time ahead. Plenty of time ahead. Don't you believe that there's ages? Don't you believe there's a thousand years coming now where the Lord's going to reign and people will be in the next age on planet earth? You believe it will be on planet earth? (Taped Interview with Troy Waller, 1994).

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Re:Revival doctrines: Verse by verse - Nick Greer

Date Posted:09/12/2007 9:52 AMCopy HTML

1 CORINTHIANS 14:23

"If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter..."

Revival Centres say this means they were all speaking in tongues. However, Paul was clear in other Scriptures that not all Corinthians did speak in tongues (12:10, 30; 13:1; 14:2, 5, 13). So what is the passage talking about? Paul is talking about a hypothetical event.

For more information on salvation, click here.

1 CORINTHIANS 14:26

"when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation" [KJV]

The King James rendering suggests that everyone would have a 'tongue' to bring to the meeting. However, Paul was clear in other Scriptures that not all Corinthians did speak in tongues (12:10, 30; 13:1; 14:2, 5, 13). Better translations put the passage more clearly, "When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation" (NRSV). This rendering is consistent with v.27, "if anyone speaks in a tongue". It is also more consistent with the body analogy in chap.12, where some in the body could perform one function while others in the body could perform another.

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GALATIANS 1:7-9

"There are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed. As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!"

This scripture is often used to attack other salvation beliefs. Yet, the Scripture turns against the Revival Centres very easily. The Revival Centre pamphlet 'The Holy Spirit' says, "We are also warned that 'no other gospel' is to be preached (Gal. 1:8). To preach less than the Holy Spirit Baptism for salvation is a disaster".

However, is this 'gospel' really tongues? Notice that Paul in Gal.1:7-9 talked a lot about holding to the gospel "we proclaimed to you", and the "gospel ... you received". What was the gospel they "received"? He explained it in another one of his books, using the same words:

"I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news [gospel] that I proclaimed to you, which in turn you received, in which also you stand, through which also you are saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you - unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day" (1Corinthains 15:1-4)

So, the gospel is not tongues, as the pamphlet says. The early Christians received a gospel of Christ's death and resurrection. Unfortunately, the Revival Centres pervert that gospel and now proclaim a gospel of tongues instead (contra the Galatians passage). They are warned of the consequences (Gk. anathema)! Showing Revival Centre people Galatians 1:7-9 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 together is one of the best ways to disprove their 'tongues gospel'.

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GALATIANS 5:19-21

"the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication ... drunkenness, carousing ... those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God"

Concerning fornication, see 1 Corinthians 5:9.

Concerning alcohol, see 1 Corinthians 5:11.

EPHESIANS 5:18

"Do not get drunk with wine"

See 1 Corinthians 5:11.

HEBREWS 11:13

"All of these died in faith without having received the promises"

Sometimes, used to show that those before Pentecost were unsaved. Actually, the 'promises' in the passage probably refer to the blessings of Abraham, which were given their greatest fulfilment after Christ. The fact that the Hebrew Heroes were saved is attested to in v.14-16.

Salvation was offered to the Israelites and John the Baptist well before Pentecost (Luke 13:28). Matthew 8:11 says, "many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven".

There are many other references in the Bible stating that the disciples and other New Testament personalities were saved well before the day of Pentecost. Jesus said to the 70 who he had sent out in his name, "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:20) Jesus did not say that their names will be written in heaven but that their names are written in heaven.

When Jesus prayed for his disciples before his crucifixion he makes a clear distinction between the disciples and the world, saying, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (John 17:6-9, 16)

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2 PETER 3:8

"with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day"

This scripture is used in proving the Revival Centre 6000 years theory. According to various works, and John S. Fox's book which is sold in the Revival Centres, the world would end after 6000 years. Because "a day is like a thousand years", the seventh thousand year would be the year of the Sabbath and Christ's return (who is 'Lord of the Sabbath'). Christ would then begin the 'thousand year reign'. All this was based on the year 3996 B.C. being the year of the creation of Adam.

However, there is much argument concerning the date of creation. The most popular calculation belongs to Anglican Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656). In a marginal reference of the King James Version, and in the footnotes of some editions of the Catholic Douay Bible, he gives the date of man's creation is given as 4004 B.C.. Fox's chronology was only one of the many efforts made during the past centuries to determine the time of Adam's creation. A hundred years ago when a count was taken, no less than 140 different timetables had been published by serious scholars. In such chronologies the calculations as to when Adam was created vary all the way from 3616 B.C. to 6174 B.C., with one guess set at 20,000 B.C.

According to Fox, we enter the seven thousandth year in 2001-2. Similarly, Longfield has written, "It's 24 minutes before the start of a new day - the millennium reign - God's national Sabbath. Are you ready? At one minute past midnight (17th Sept 2001) His Majesty the Lord Jesus Christ will rule out of Zion. Are you ready?" (What time is it Now? pamphlet). How would Jesus have reacted to claims that the Revival Centres knew when Jesus would return? Surely he would have remarked, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority" (Acts 1:7). It will be interesting to see whether 17 September 2001 passes us by, or, whether something interesting happens...

REVELATION 20:5-6, 11-15

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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... And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The Revival Centres teach that although the Old Testament believers will not take part in the resurrection of the saints at Christ's return, these Old Testament people will be judged according to their works alongside the rest of the 'unsaved' creation at the end of the millennium. The Revival Centre view teaches that some will be found worthy, based on their works, and will join the New Testament saints after the millennial reign of Christ has been completed

There is, however, a major problem with this interpretation. This Revival Centre doctrine teaches that there are two ways to enter the Kingdom of God. The first is by faith in Christ and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Those who enter this way speak in tongues and will go to be with Jesus at the beginning of the millennium. The second way to enter the Kingdom of God, according to Revival Centre doctrine, is by doing good works and being judged according to those good works. People who enter the Kingdom of God this way will do so at the end of the Millennial reign of Christ. This teaching is heretical and in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Bible.

Firstly, there is absolutely nothing in this or any other passage about any of the dead entering the Kingdom of Heaven at the end of the millennium. In fact, the above mentioned passage from Revelation chapter 20 implies just opposite. The Greek word translated into English as 'judge' in verse 13 is krino which does not imply a second chance for the unsaved but a sentencing, condemnation and punishment. The unrighteous will be judged for their wickedness and receive their reward, the lake of fire.

The second reason why this Revivalist doctrine is not compatible with Scripture is that the Bible never teaches that there are two ways into the Kingdom of God. The Bible is quite definite in declaring Jesus Christ to be the only avenue by which men could enter into eternal life for all time,

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (John 10:9)

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6. Also Heb 5:9; 12:2; Rev 21:6 etc.)

The Bible is also quite clear that no-one will ever enter the Kingdom of God based on their works,

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Rom 3:23)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be in heaven with the Christians. Jesus himself testified to this fact when he said, "And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." (Mat 8:11)

When I asked Lloyd Longfield how he reconciled his view with Jesus's statement above he replied,

Plenty of time ahead. Plenty of time ahead. Don't you believe that there's ages? Don't you believe there's a thousand years coming now where the Lord's going to reign and people will be in the next age on planet earth? You believe it will be on planet earth? (Taped Interview with Troy Waller, 1994).

RCI prophesies
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