Question: Those who have received the Holy Spirit now speak in tongues. But others do not understand their tongues. Are these tongues the same as the tongues spoken of in the Bible? (Ju, Chekiang)
Answer: Some of the tongues mentioned in the Bible are not understood by others (1 Cor. 14:7-9), but they are still human languages (v. 21). Lately, the tongues spoken by those who claim they can speak in tongues are not dialects of any people in any country or in any place; they are merely a kind of yelling and shouting. These are not the tongues spoken of in the Bible.
THE "TRUE JESUS CHURCH"
Question: I wonder how one should view the new, recently established True Jesus Church established by Barnabas Chang.
Answer: First, we should not criticize others, but for the sake of the truth we must reject heresy. Our present need is to speak the truth in love. The True Jesus Church is a heretical organization. They put aside the salvation of the cross and do not preach it. They emphasize only the Holy Spirit; but what they have actually received are evil spirits. Their exposition of the Bible is a hodgepodge of unrelated texts, an arbitrary, nonsensical speaking that is not even worthy for the knowledgeable ones to laugh at. We should contend against their various heresies (Jude 3), but our speaking should be seasoned with salt (Col. 4:6). On our part, we should pray for the ones deceived by the devil that they be set free. If there is a believer who believes that the spirit he has received is genuine, you should ask him to do according to 1 John 4:1 and 2. This assembly is totally Satan’s deceiving work. What a shame that the deceived ones are not aware of this.
Question: How do you explain "appointed" in 1 Peter 2:8? Some say that those who stumble at the word were all appointed by God, just as the believers also are appointed by God. Some others say, "Not so, God can only appoint people to be saved; God cannot appoint people not to be saved. Some stumble because God allows them to misuse their own right. So the word `appointed’ here really means that God already has established the principle that whoever trusts in Him will not be put to shame, but whoever does not obey will surely be stumbled." Which of these two explanations is correct, and which one is wrong? Please instruct me in detail, or offer another explanation. (Song, Anhwei)
Answer: God predestinated believers to be saved. The teaching of predestination is never applied to unbelievers. God never predestinated people to perish. It is wrong to say that "God can only appoint people to be saved," and it is also wrong to say that "God cannot appoint people not to be saved." God only predestinated people to be saved; He did not predestinate them not to be saved. The word "can" should be deleted from both sentences. The first one is wrong, because God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4) and does not appoint anyone to perish. The problem of 1 Peter 2:8 is a mistake. In Acts 13:48 the original word for appointed is tasso. In Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:5 and 11, the original word for predestinated is proorizo. But here in 1 Peter 2:8, appointed is neither tasso nor proorizo but tithemi. The meaning of this word is not "ordained." The world-famous Greek scholar Mr. Young said the meaning of this word is "to set," "to place." So the meaning here is this: no one has been predestinated to be disobedient; hence, all disobedient ones are therefore appointed to (in the sense of being set or placed in) a place of stumbling. Whoever stumbles on this stone shall be broken; on whomever this stone shall fall, it will break him into pieces (Matt. 21:44).
Question: Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10 record the story of a centurion asking for healing; why is one written in a subjective way and the other in an objective way? (Sang, Yangzhou)
Answer: What is recorded here is not two incidents. Neither is it one incident in two contradicting records. The fact is that: the centurion first sent someone to see the Lord, then later he himself came. The sequence is as follows. First is Luke 7:3-5, where he sent men to Jesus, then is Luke 7:6a, where the men came back. Next is Luke 7:6b-8 and Matthew 8:8-9, where he himself went also. This way of recording is completely in harmony with the nature of Matthew and Luke. Matthew deleted the record of the centurion sending the other Jews, but Luke did the opposite. Matthew deleted all that would make the Jews proud. Luke wrote to the Gentiles and related the goodness of the centurion through the mouth of the Jews. This is written for their benefit.
Question: What does corpse in Matthew 24:28 refer to? And what do vultures refer to? I am looking forward to receiving your instruction soon. (Chao, Reho)
Answer: The corpse refers to those who join Antichrist. The vultures refer to sins or judgment. Please read the answer to Mr. Lui in the seventh issue of this magazine.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 07: The Christian (5), Chapter 16, by Watchman Nee)