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Cessationism: Have the gifts ceased?

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by Andrew, Jul 21, 2002.

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  1. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Sheep in Wolf's clothing

    Ummmm.... Mark was an apostle was he not? Was he numbered among those who were sent out, and who did such things as casting out demons?
  2. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Sheep in Wolf's clothing

    The purpose of miracles is stated with perfect clarity - that your faith rest on the demonstrated power of God, and not on mere words of worldly wisdom. The basis of faith does not change.
  3. SnuP

    SnuP A son of the Most High

    How do some of you explain the ministries of Smith Wigglesworth or John G. Lake?  Were their documented miracles fake, of lying signs and wonders?

    Do you know God even as God knows all things about you?

    When paul says "but then I shall know even as I am known."   He is implying a relational understanding.  I.E.  then we shall know each other as if standing face to face.  Why, after His return, would I need my spirit to use tongues to talk to God.  Or He, prophesy.  If I were to meet you face to face, why would I need the internet.  I could do away with the internet. 

    Are you saying that because we have a completed New Testiment, we know all there is to know about God?  We cant even serve Him correctly because of our ignorance.  Don't forget that there were other reasons for the miraculous in the gospels.  To display Gods love and to give God glory.  Have the needs for Gods's love and glory been completely met?  Can we say that this also has been perfected?  If Paul was talking about the canon then why did He say "but then face to face"?  Is he saying that we'll be face to face with the word of God.  (Was that written word or manifested word). 

    I sure hope that there are more revelations of the word of God, Because I want to get to know God as intimately as I can.  And if He chooses to reveal Himself to me through the scripture, then more power to Him.  And glory also. 

    (??Having a form of Godlyness but denighing the power thereof??)
  4. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    quote:"How do some of you explain the ministries of Smith Wigglesworth or John G. Lake?Ê"

    Those guys' ministries were awesome. Wigglesworth is my fav!

    quote: "Were their documented miracles fake, of lying signs and wonders?"

    Cessationists usu just deny all this as faked, false prophets, placebo effect etc. At most they'll attribute it to the work of the devil. :(
  5. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Sheep in Wolf's clothing

    Hmmm. How odd that after 2000 years, there has been no advance on the claims that the less than acceptable pharisees of that time were making.

    Same old same old.

    Not that I know anything of Wigglesworth or Lake. But if so many people are making contradictory claims, their claims cannot be dismissed out of hand.
  6. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member


    quote: "Ummmm.... Mark was an apostle was he not? Was he numbered among those who were sent out, and who did such things as casting out demons?"

    I did some checking:

    Luke 6: 13 -- And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; 14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, 16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

    Mark and Luke are not one of the 12 Apostles. The Bible does not record that they did any miracles too (correct me if I'm wrong).

    so the cessationists' argument that the purpose of miracles was to authenticate the Apostles and their writings fall apart when we consider the books of Mark and Luke.

    And Philip was actually an apostle, according to Luke 6:13. He did many great signs and wonders too (Acts), but didnt write holy scripture. so here again, the cess's arguments fall -- that miracles were needed to authenticated scripture/apostles.
  7. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Sheep in Wolf's clothing

    Yes, there are at least 22 named apostles in the New Testament. (and comment is made that indicates there were still others who were not specifically named).

    As to Mark: Act 12:12 And when he had considered [the thing], he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

    Act 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled [their] ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark

    Act 15:37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
    Act 15:39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;

    But yes, it seems that Mark is not named as an apostle.

    Their argument falls apart when the Biblical declaration of the reason for miracles. That there are other arguments also showing the same is not surprising.
  8. cougan

    cougan Senior Member


    The context reads as follows:

    "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ..." (Eph. 4:11-13).

    As we begin our consideration of the question pertaining to this passage, it is imperative that we be reminded of some clear Bible principles that attach to this subject. In this text mention is made of gifts, unity, the faith, knowledge, edification, and spiritual maturity. Scripture has much to say on all of these subjects, including the following:

    1. "The faith" has been once for all revealed to man (Jude 1:3).

    2. Miraculous gifts, listed in 1 Cor. 12, have ceased, vanished away, and been done away, replaced by "the perfect," complete revelation of God's will (i.e., "the faith)" to man (1 Cor. 13). The miraculous aspects of the gifts mentioned in the present context have also served their purpose and have ceased to exist.

    3. All truth has been revealed, having been originally given to the apostles (John 16:13) and by inspiration written down and made known to all men (2 Pet. 1:20-21). Therefore, no new "truth" from God is available for man to hear or for God to reveal.

    4. Scripture is the product of inspiration by the Holy Spirit, and is all-sufficient for "doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). A need for the miraculous gifts, as listed in 1 Cor. 12 and Eph. 4, does not exist today.

    5. There was, at the time of the writing of Ephesians (even as there is now), but "one faith" (Eph 4:5), and its needs are met when we "keep" (or guard) and proclaim that one faith.

    Therefore, whatever the nature and purpose of the gifts mentioned in Eph. 4:11-16 may have been, their use and significance will be made known in this context. Note some things about this immediate context:

    1. Certain specific gifts were given and enumerated in Eph. 4:11 -- "And he gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers."

    2. Three purposes of the gifts are listed in Eph. 4:12 -- "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."

    a. "Perfecting" is from [@katartismos], defined by Rienecker as "... equipping. The word was a medical technical term for the `setting of a bone.' The noun describes the dynamic act by which persons or things are properly conditioned."<7>

    b. "Work of the ministry" is from [@eis] [@ergon] [@diakonias], having to do with preparing and motivating God's children for their services to be rendered unto one another.

    c. "Edifying of the body of Christ" is from [@oikodoman] [@tou] [@somatos] [@tou] [@Christou], meaning the building up of the church, Christ's body.

    3. These purposes are then followed by an element intended to indicate duration or time; "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ". Therefore:

    a. The gifts were for a purpose.

    b. They had a duration or time limit.

    c. They would result in spiritual maturity and unity.

    With the preceding facts before us, let us consider the significance and current application of "till we all come in the unity of the faith." In Eph. 4:3 Paul spoke of the need of keeping "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Here in Eph. 4:13 is the statement saying that the gifts which had been given to men would endure until the time that the "unity of the faith" was attained. "Unity of the Spirit" (Eph. 4:3) is different from "unity of the faith" in that the former is in the ablative case, indicating the unity which is caused by the Spirit (or, as Vincent states, "wrought by the Spirit".<8> But the latter is in the genitive case, indicating the unity which belongs to the faith. The gifts earlier enumerated were to endure until we all:

    1. Attain unto the unity that belongs to the faith (Eph. 4:13).

    2. Attain unto the unity that belongs to the knowledge of the son of God (Eph. 4:13).

    3. Attain unto a perfect (full grown) man (Eph. 4:13).

    4. Attain unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13).

    5. Have the means by which to develop beyond spiritual "childhood," characterized by doctrinal instability, and by which to "grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ" (Eph. 4:14-15).

    In the Nichols-Weaver Debate, Gus Nichols used this context to prove that gifts of a miraculous origin and nature were to cease and have ceased. Referring to Eph. 4:13 he said:

    "`The faith' is here put for the truth of the New covenant. Paul preached `The faith which once he destroyed' (Gal. 1:23). `Earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints' (Jude 1:3). `Till' the unity of the faith means till all parts of the faith or new covenant could be revealed. Then miraculously-endowed men ceased ... Miraculously-gifted men were to continue "till" the "unity of the faith" was reached, and all parts of "the faith" had come from God."<9>

    David Lipscomb commented as follows on this context:

    "When the completed instruction was given, it was collected in the New Testament, as the perfected will of God, and the gifts of the Spirit vanished. The same thing is taught in the following exhortation given by Paul to the Corinthian church (then he quotes 1 Cor. 12:31 and 1 Cor. 13:8-10, C.B.G.)."<10>

    If asked whether we currently have evangelists, pastors, and teachers, we respond in the affirmative. We do have such individuals as part of the Lord's church even today, but these individuals are not "miraculously-endowed" men today as those listed in this context were. It may be worthy of note that there is no reason to believe that the only evangelists, pastors, and teachers in the first century were those who were miraculously endowed by some means of direct inspiration. "Therefore, they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word" (Acts 8:4). The prophets and those who spoke in tongues had the benefit of miraculous information and ability, which was also true of the apostles. But once an individual with a good heart (even though not miraculously endowed) learned the truth of the gospel and obeyed it, many did exactly as Priscilla and Aquila had done, teaching many others. Doubtless many of those initial three thousand who were baptized in Jerusalem (Acts 2:37-41) returned to their homes from that first Pentecost after Jesus' resurrection bursting with the zeal that accompanied their obedience to the gospel. They told anyone who would listen about God's plan for redeeming man through Jesus Christ.

    The plea for Hebrew Christians to "call to remembrance the former days," may allude to those who in their earliest days as Christians taught their neighbors and their families, only to face "a great fight of afflictions" (Heb. 10:32-34). They did not need miraculous endowment to tell others what they had heard and what they had done when they obeyed the gospel.

    While this context is not exactly parallel to 1 Cor. 13, it has some similar qualities. It speaks of miraculous gifts that were for a specific purpose, gifts that had a limited duration, gifts that could cause Christians to mature and grow up in Christ, gifts that would eventuate in their being unaffected by "every wind of doctrine," but would enable them to "speak the truth in love." "The unity of the faith" is a reference to that time when the revelation of the gospel was completed and the gifts ceased.
  9. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    quote: 1. "The faith" has been once for all revealed to man (Jude 1:3).

    Yes but not all Christians have come to the unity of it. for eg, some still believe baptism is necessary for salvation, some believe tongues is necessary for it. ie no unity yet/ that's obvious even to non-christians.

    quote: 2. Miraculous gifts, listed in 1 Cor. 12, have ceased, vanished away, and been done away, replaced by "the perfect," complete revelation of God's will

    Nope. The "perfect" as explained, cannot be the Bible for logical reasons of interpretation, but refers to our perfection, which obviously have not occurred.

    quote: 4. Scripture is the product of inspiration by the Holy Spirit, and is all-sufficient for "doctrine, for reproof, for correction,

    Nope. My Bible says "is profitable for" not "all-sufficient". What version is that btw?

    quote: 3. These purposes are then followed by an element intended to indicate duration or time; "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ". Therefore:

    as I've mentioned, I dont understand how any Christian can honestly say that all christians in the world, in the last 2000 years, and in the years to come have all come to the unity of the faith, unity of the knowledge of Christ, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. How can all Christians since the last of the 12 apostles died have already attatined the full stature of Christ???
  10. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Sheep in Wolf's clothing

    Unity of the Faith - not yet achieved.

    God's will <> faith

    All sufficient? Is that what "ophelimos" means these days? It used to mean profitable. Are these the same people who complain about "sola fide" as a doctrine?

    perfecting of the saints is a little clearer than "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ..." but the meaning is not different. The perfecting of the SAINTS - not of the faith.

    In short, Cougan and Andrew - your authors can't do it, so they make up excuses for to explain their lack.
  11. SnuP

    SnuP A son of the Most High

    How many christians will continue to make up excuses and twist the scriptures to easy their hearts.&nbsp; You can not make excuses for the lack of God's power in your life.&nbsp; God desires to work salvation in our bodies as well as our souls.&nbsp; "For by His stripes we are healed" and "we were healed".&nbsp; How many times in the scriptures have you read the Jesus healed everyone.&nbsp; And again the He was moved by "compation".&nbsp; We serve the same Jesus, the Jesus that is moved with compation.&nbsp; Do you realy think that He has changed?&nbsp; That He is no longer moved with compation to heal?&nbsp; He has not changed, we have changed.&nbsp; we make excuses for our lack of faith.

    When He says in John 14:12-14 that He'll do anything that we ask in His name, He doesn't quantify it by saying, 'well that is, only untill the new testiment is finished' or 'just untill the apostels figure out everything'.&nbsp; No, but He does quantify it by saying "he that believes on Me".&nbsp; And I know that I fit into that catagory.&nbsp; The real question is:&nbsp; Do you?

    17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:17,18

    For all those doubters out there, check this verse out in the greek, and see if you can disect it and change its meaning.

    John 14:13 says that the reasons for this promise of signs and wonders is not to show the valitity of the Word, or to prove the apostles, but rather to glorify the Father in the Son.&nbsp; Last time I checked, the Father is still desiring to be glorified through the Son.

    14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

    No strings attached, every thing to the glory of God.
  12. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member


    u said..."In short, Cougan and Andrew - your authors can't do it, so they make up excuses for to explain their lack."

    I think you've misunderstood me. The author I quoted in the first post is against cessationism, so am I. I was refuting cougan's posts.
  13. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Sheep in Wolf's clothing

    Awk - mea culpa. and most abject apologies, Andrew.
  14. cougan

    cougan Senior Member

    Thunderchild I have a difficult time understanding exactly what you are trying to say. Your answers seem to be very vague.

    Now the reason I want to know what you think the unity of the faith is, is because this is very important to the meaning of these verses. Andrew you took the safest ground by saying you don't know for sure when the unity of the faith will come. This way you just leave it open. Now I will attempt in my own words to make this very easy to understand.

    First things first. I want you to notice that it does not say "till we all come in the unity of faith" No it says "till we all come in the unity of THE FAITH"&nbsp; The "unity of THE FAITH" does not refer to the time when all religious people will be united in one faith.&nbsp; It refers to the gospel, the truth, the complete revelation of God's will to men. "...And a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith" (Acts 6:7).&nbsp; Paul preached, "...the faith which once he destroyed" (Gal. 1:23). Christians are "... to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 1:3).&nbsp;

    I want to post this small article to go with this section.
    In 1 Cor. 13:11 Paul utilizes an analogy (the only illustration in this context) to emphasize the contrast between infancy and maturity.&nbsp; Sometimes proponents of current charismatic activity claim that having spiritual gifts is a mark of Christian maturity.&nbsp; Nothing could be further from the truth.&nbsp; The church in Corinth had more in the way of spiritual gifts than any other as far as we have record.&nbsp; Yet, it was a church plagued by factions, lawsuits, fornication, skepticism and drunkenness at the Lord's table!&nbsp; Paul said they were not spiritual but carnal (1 Cor. 3:1) and told them to quit being "children in mind" (1 Cor. 14:20), a condition aggravated by their inordinate use of tongue-speaking!

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Paul's illustration is to point out that just as he left behind childish ways when he grew from infancy to manhood, so also the infant church would discard spiritual gifts when revelation is complete.&nbsp; When Jesus "gave gifts unto men" (Eph. 4:8), it was so that part by part the Word might be correctly set forth through the apostles and other divinely aided teachers (Eph. 4:11) to build up the body (Eph. 4:12) until it arrived at "the unity" (wholeness) of "the faith" (the New Testament content) and the wholeness of the (full) "knowledge" ([@epignosis]) of the Son of God, "unto a full-grown ([@teleios]) man" (Eph. 4:13).&nbsp; Thus, when the revelation became "perfect" ([@teleios] -- 1 Cor. 13:10), the body of Christ also became "full-grown" because Christians were protected from doctrinal "error" (Eph. 4:14) and able to speak "the truth" (Eph. 4:15). When the full revelation was given, the church could then "grow up" (Eph. 4:15) and reach the status of "man" (Eph. 4:13).&nbsp; Being "no longer children" (Eph. 4:14), the body of Christ put away "the things of the child" (literal reading of 1 Cor. 13:11).&nbsp; The formerly infant church discarded the spiritual gifts.

    Eph. 4:13 -- The gifts were limited in duration.&nbsp; They were until "we attain unto the unity of the faith" -- not the "unity of faith," but the unity or completion of the faith, that is, the New Testament itself.&nbsp; This is parallel to "that which is perfect" in 1 Cor. 13: the perfect or compete revelation contrasted with the partial knowledge and partial prophecy of the spiritual gifts.&nbsp; Such will result in a full-grown man and "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."&nbsp; The gifts of the first century did for them what the completed New Testament does for us today, and the New Testament does for us today what the spiritual gifts did for those of the first century.

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Eph. 4:14: Eph. 4:13 and Eph. 4:14 are parallel to 1 Cor. 13:11 -- "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child: now that I am become a man, I have put away childish things."&nbsp; The spiritual gifts belonged to the childhood of the church, and would be put away as it matured.&nbsp; Paul's statement in Ephesians that as children, they were subject to being "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error" is parallel to 1 Cor. 13:12: "For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known."

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Eph. 4:15-17 -- Paul speaks of the results of the perfect revelation, the "unity of the faith," and closes this discussion of the spiritual gifts by once more referring to "that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part."&nbsp; Every member, Jew or Gentile, had his part to contribute to the building up of the body in love.

    Now think about this. If the unity of the faith is not limited to the completion of the revealed word then you would have to contend that there&nbsp;are still apostles today. I'm not talking about term apostle used in the general sense as one sent out. Im talking about a qualifed apostle as found in Acts 1:20-23. They had to be a eyewitness of Jesus, and yes Paul was also an eyewitness of Jesus an apostle born out of due season. 1cor 9:1; 1cor 15:8.&nbsp; I want you to notice that Paul states in in 1cor 15:8 that he was the LAST TO SEE JESUS making him the last apostle. So unless one of these eyewittnesses of christ is still living today, it becomes abundantly clear that the unity of the faith came when the word was fully revealed.

    The second problem comes if you try and say that the unity of the faith will not occur until Jesus 2nd coming and when we are in heaven. First of all we will not have faith when we get into heaven because faith is hope in things not seen. When we get to heaven we will see it and be there it will be a reality. The next problem with this view is found in verse 14. If we do not acheive this unity of the faith until we get to heaven then this teaches that there will be evil people in heaven trying to deceive us. This also means that we will not have spiritual maturity needed to withstand such evil doers until we get to heaven. Even if you hold the view that you dont know when the unity of faith will be then you are stateing that we can not tell if someone is tricking us or not that we can be tossed to and fro because we dont have the unity of the faith yet. Again it is very clear that the unity of the faith is the completion of the reavealed word.&nbsp;

    Do you not beleive that the word of God that we have today is self sufficent?

    1. The Scriptures were written to be understood, that one might:
    &nbsp;&nbsp; a. Know the certainty of what happened - Lk 1:1-4
    &nbsp;&nbsp; b. Believe in Jesus, and have life in His name - Jn 20:30-31
    &nbsp;&nbsp; c. Have an apostle's understanding of the "mystery of Christ"&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; - Ep 3:3-5
    &nbsp;&nbsp; e. Know they have eternal life - 1 Jn 5:13
    2. The Scriptures are an all-sufficient guide for our salvation
    &nbsp;&nbsp; a. The whole counsel of God has been preached - cf. Ac 20:27
    &nbsp;&nbsp; c. The Word can save us, and help us grow - Ja 1:21; 1 Pe 2:2
    &nbsp;&nbsp; e. It has been revealed once for all - Ju 3
    &nbsp;&nbsp; f. Not even angels or modern apostles have anything new to add - Ga 1:8,9 See Also Rev 22:18 Det 4:2;12:32
    -- The Scriptures are able to make the man of God "complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" - 2 Ti 3:16-17 Yes in fact we are to study the word of God to be able to rightly divide the word of truth. 2Tim 2:15

    In regards to your Mark, Luke etc arguement. Are you trying to deny that these books should not be in our bible? Are not these books that are written, written about what was said and done. Do you not belive what the wrote was inspired by God? I don't see any validity to your arguement unless you are trying to state that these books are fakes. They simply wrote down and recorded those things that had been backed up by miracles and sighs. 1Thes 1:5; Acts 8:13 Heb 2:4 Acts 4:33; 5:12; 6:8; 14:3 Rom 15:9&nbsp; 2cor 12:12 Mark 16:20. Are you going to deny what the word of God plainly says in these verses. When the verse like Mark 16:20 tells me that everywhere they preached that they confirmed what they preached by signs following I belive that.


  15. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Sheep in Wolf's clothing

    Your problem arises with the meaning of "all" in that passage cougan. The word does not mean "all" as in "without exception," it means "all as individuals" - better translated (as far as understanding goes) as "each."
    Nonetheless, all even taken as "without exception" still shows the same application.

    The grammatical construct of the passage has been completely ignored by your self styled "authority." " we all come in the unity (wholeness) of the faith." Note how this so called authority failed to show that the word in Greek is "henotes" - not wholeness, but unanimity, or agreement. There is no use or implication of "attaining" in the first clause - it belongs to the second clause, attaining maturity as Christians.

    There is absolutely NO justification for this claim within scripture. It has been pulled out of thin air.

    This one that you cite as an authority has completely abandoned the text - which says that the unbeliever will be convinced because he has witnessed for himself that prophecy is.
  16. SnuP

    SnuP A son of the Most High

    cougan, have you reached perfection?

    If you have, then you have no need of apostles, prophets, evangalists, pastors, and teachers.

    I still need their deligated&nbsp;authority because I have not reached perfection yet.

    If the church has come into the unity of the faith then why do we still need evangelist, pastors, and teachers?

    The unity of the faith has nothing to do with heaven or earth.&nbsp; It has to do with a bride with out spot or blemish.&nbsp; When we reach the unity of the faith (in Christ) then we will be the bride of Christ.

    The unity of the faith refers to the unity obtained when we all come to a perfect and complete trust of Christ in all areas of our lives.

    If all the sheep have their focas completely set on the shepard then there is no more arguements or bickering, no sheep wondering of.&nbsp; All are following His leading and trust Him completely and they operate as one unit.&nbsp; (Does the body of Christ operate as one unit, presently?&nbsp; And how can we possibly be in unity if we don't operate as one unit, but rather many saperate units?)
  17. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    quote: "Andrew you took the safest ground by saying you don't know for sure when the unity of the faith will come. This way you just leave it open."

    I dont believe I did this. Anyway, we believe the "perfection" happens at the rapture when Christ comes back for the church. In an instant will be changed from perishable to immortality. That's what I believe the "face to face" means. face to face with Jesus.

    I think I explained this in another thread....

    From glory to glory

    * 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.

    Again, to say that the perfection refers to the completion of the Bible is to also say that the Bible once saw a "poor reflection" of itself in the mirror, then saw "face to face" with someone once it was completed. This, of course, is ludicrous. So, what is the verse saying?

    Let us look at two other verses for the meaning or symbolism of "mirror". Let the Bible interpret the Bible:

    * 2 Corinthians 3:18 -- and we all, with unvailed face, the glory of the Lord beholding in a mirror, to the same image are being transformed, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. [YLT]

    * James 1:23 -- because, if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this one hath been like to a man viewing his natural face in a mirror, [YLT]

    Christians have "unveiled faces" in the sense that they are able to see that Jesus is Lord by the grace of God. But for the Jews, till today, their hearts are "veiled" whenever they read the Old Covenant scriptures -- they cannot see that Jesus is the Messiah. But should any Jew turn to the Lord, the veil is removed (2 Corinthians 3:14-16).

    But we don't see the Lord "face to face" now as He is still literally at our Father's right hand, interceding for us, since His ascension. What we see is a "poor mirror reflection" of Him (1 Corinthians 13:12). Because we are in Christ and Christ is in us by His Spirit, we reflect His image, albeit poorly, when we "look in a mirror". That is why James 1:23 says that a person who hears the Word but does nothing about it only reflects his natural self (not Jesus) as he "looks in a mirror".

    Despite the dim reflection, the more we behold Jesus, that is, to learn about Him, the more we are transformed from glory to glory into His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18). This transformation is still ongoing for every Christian, but it will be completed when we see Christ "face to face" -- no longer as a poor reflection in a mirror (1 Corinthians 13:12). In other words, when Christ comes back for His church at the rapture, we would be perfected -- complete knowledge with glorified bodies 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, 1 Thessalonians 3:16,17; 2 Thessalonians 1:1).
  18. cougan

    cougan Senior Member

    You guys are missing the whole concept of those verses. Its all about acheiving spiritual maturity. When the chruch was in its infant stage people back then only had the word revealed to them in part. They did not have what we hold in our hands today. When all the parts are put together you get what we have today. Andrew your passages do not show the meaning of 1 cor 13 use of seing in a mirror dimely. When you examine the context of 1 cor 13 it seems very clear to me that this expression is just simply stateing that because the word was being reavealed in parts that you could not see the full message clearly. But now that we have all the parts of the reavealed word we can see it face to face or clearly.

    You asked am I perfect. No not in the sense that you are implying but I am perfect as the word is being used in Eph 4 verses , because the idea here is spiritual mature grow up in the faith able to keep from being a child tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.

    I already answered this question in one of my previous post.

    Now how about actually answering my post. I showed the qualification of an apostle and how Paul was the last apostle. This means that there are not any qualified apostles today. This by itself limits what the unity of faith is. However you did not respond to this whatsoever.

    Now Andrew in regards to your rapture view. Again consider what you are saying. You are saying that we will come to the unity of the faith at the rapture. So you are saying that there will be people that can deceive us in heaven and that we will not be able to reach spriritual maturity until the rapture. This just doesnt make sense.

    Nobody commented on the self suffience of the scriptures. I would like to add one more verse and that is John 2:1 which tell us those things written can keep us from sinning if we follow them. Would you argue that if you were stuck on an island and you found the bible for the first time that you could not read it and become spiritual mature by the bible itself. You could easily find out that the jesus was the son of God and that salvation is found in him and how to live your life for christ. You would see that you need to continuely grow in grace and knowledge. As you did this on a daily basises you would become spiritual mature and be able to withstand false doctrine.

    And finally nobody touched on my point the fact that word of God was confirmed by signs. Once the word was fully reavealed then there was no more need for signs. If there are still signs today then we must still be having new revealation being reavealed to us today.
  19. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Sheep in Wolf's clothing

    Paul was by no means the last apostle. Timothy and Silvanus also were apostles. Along with quite a number of other people who were named as apostles. When I stopped counting, I had found 22 - but since then other people have added a few more that I hadn't noticed. Of course, there are some who will declare that while the Bible called them apostles, they weren't real apostles. (and then that same "some" will tell you that everything in the Bible is wholly accurate.)

    An apostle is attested to be such by the working of power.

    Not in the least - the one who is missing the point is the one saying that apostles, prophets, teachers and preachers are no longer appointed to show the way to new believers until those new believers (achieve maturity) are able to follow Christ without guidance.

    bulldust - the issue was addressed in posts #29 and 30.

    1 John 2:1
    The verse only addresses the things that John writes - it makes no reference to anything written by any other author. If you're expecting anyone to believe that all we need is the first epistle of John (or maybe all three of his epistles at a stretch), you're in for a mighty big disappointment.

    I was sure that I had, but I'm not going back through the thread again to locate the place. The word of God isconfirmed by signs, not "was", "is." Do you really think, with all the nonsense being promulgated today as doctrine, that there is no need for God to be showing where the ones who are faithful to him might be? The signs are given that our faith have its foundation in the demonstrated power of the Holy Spirit, instead of being foundered (sic) on mere words of wordly wisdom.

    The Old Testament prophecy regarding the New Covenant declared that "You sons and your daughters will prophesy" among other things. Prophecy is declared beyond doubt to be a part of the New Covenant order. As far as I am concerned, we are living under the New Covenant as ushered in by Christ Jesus. If there is some sort of post New Covenant in effect, I have not been acquainted with its establishment.
  20. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

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