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Featured Cessationism: Tongues, Prophecy, and the Gift of Miracles Have Ceased.

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Bible Highlighter, Jan 3, 2019.

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  1. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    No. In the OT: If a person spoke as a prophet for God and their prophecy did not come to pass with 100% accuracy, they were to be killed. Granted, we do not kill in the NT, but the point here is that it is very serious thing to GOD if somebody gets a prophecy wrong.
     
  2. NBB

    NBB Well-Known Member

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    When your faith is in trouble, you try to get your hand in what can help you not to doubt that God is there with you etc etc, then those experiences you had are invaluable and great help, so please don't say experiences don't increases a christian faith, the more you receive the more you can believe and want.

    For example i have proof of God because of the experience with the Holy spirit, i will never doubt about it, and a lot of christians doubt all the time about things about God because they do not had any clear experience with him... So much that even pastors who knew the bible inside out, after years of preaching left the faith, because they had no proof of God, and experience don't increase you faith and confidence in God?? do me a favour. Anyway life and God is always going to test your faith.

    The bible says clearly that the church needs the gifts, the same can't be said about them ceasing, the scriptures that cessationist uses about that are more subject to interpretations, but that the gifts are needed and the holy spirit give them is very clear.

    I only have experience with prophecy with that pastor that i wrote about, something from God he had, i keep the door open to the gifts even if i don't have them.
     
  3. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Yes, it is a cheap shot.
    They had a healing meeting and God did not heal anyone.
    Why blame the church?

    And you have no proof that the Apostles healed 100% of the time.
    Especially when they actually healed 0% of the time. Only God can heal.
     
  4. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Do you even understand what NT prophecy is?

    Why do people that don't operate in the gifts want to tell those who do, what they are, and how they work? Thus confirming their ignorance.
     
  5. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    1. I'll just copy and paste what I wrote on the other thread:
    No, that passage isn't talking about a cessation of the gifts. In fact, the first epistle to Corinthians never thematizes spiritual gifts - it's only talking about spirital maturity, it just so HAPPENS that spiritual maturity is PROPERLY DEFINED as giftedness, an argument begun in chapters 2 and 3, where Paul contrasts the 'immature' Corinthian 'babes' with mature prophets like himself, Isaiah, Moses, etc. THOSE men defined spiritual maturity (see Numbers 12:8 for example), and it MANIFESTS in inspired-speech (see 1Cor 2:6-3:2)

    Chapter 12 hasn't deviated from this inspired-speech definition of maturity (note most of the gifts in 1Cor 12:7-11 are speech-based). Neither has 13 deviated from the same themes inaugerated at chapters 2 and 3 (babes, maturity, and inspired speech). For example, 13 uses the same Greek word for 'babes' found in ch 3, as WELL AS, the same word for 'mature' used in chap 2. Here's my rendering, therefore, of 1Cor 13:8-11:

    Love never ceases. As for prophecies, they will cease; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will cease. For we [apostles and prophets] know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the mature comes, what was in part will cease. When I was a babe, I spoke like a babe, I thought like a babe, I reasoned like a babe. When I became a [mature] man, I ceased from baby things (13:8-11, my translation).

    He's not talking about the cessation of the gifts, but their maturation. The immature manifestations inevitably cease when replaced by mature embodiments. To make his point, Paul creates a trio of three babe-activities, parallel to three GIFTS (tongues, prophecies, and knowledge). "When I was a [immature] babe, I spoke like a babe, I thought like a babe, I reasoned like a babe. When I became a [mature] man, I ceased from baby things."

    In what SENSE did the three babe-activities cease? Did the babe stop speaking, thinking, and reasoning? No! He merely MATURED in those things.

    Some noted cessationist scholars actually concede the above analysis, albeit with a huge amount of last-minute back-pedaling in a hopeless attempt to salvage their doomed cessationism. They call it relative maturity. Why? Because the process of maturation continues, even for Paul, as an endless cycle. RELATIVE to the Corinthian babes, Paul was mature. But relative to Christ, he was still an immature babe ANTICIPATING maturity. Every maturation (in prophecy, tongues, and knowledge) brings Paul closer to Christ, and yet Paul remains a babe relative to Him. It's an endless cycle.

    There is NOTHING in this passage about a cessation of gifts - not back then, not now, and not in heaven. The passage isn't eschatological for example. The ONLY thing it's referring to is spiritual maturity defined as maturation in the gifts, 'especially the gift of prophecy' (14:1).

    You are mature if you are a mature prophet. Otherwise, by Paul's definition, you are spiritually immature. That's the WHOLE POINT of this epistle.
     
  6. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    So at the close of the book of Acts, the last chapter of the last history book of the NT, he was still healing ENTIRE ISLANDS but you call it a decline (some decline!) because:
    Have you ever stopped to think you're mixing apples and oranges here? Paul and his coworkers were on a WORLD MISSION charging full force at the enemy's gates. Shouldn't we expect the demonic opposition to be higher, the trials and tribulations to be worse, and so on? Not every Christian is expected to undertake what Paul set out to accomplish - but those who do are not likely to find it to be a walk in the park. Paul summed it up at 1Cor 4:

    " 11 To this very hour we [apostles] go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.
     
  7. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    This is one of the most unwarranted arguments of cessationists. Tell, me when was there ever a NEED - for anything? Is an omnipotent God in need of Bibles, pastors, teachers, buildings (etc) to erect his church? No. So WHY then are these things part of His plan? He has spelled out for us His PERSONAL PREFERENCE of how He WANTS to build things, and THAT'S what He's committed to. His commitments haven't changed because He hasn't changed. Example:

    28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues (1Cor 12)

    That's Paul's definition of a church because that's God's definition. Any OTHER definition is man-made. Doesn't mean it isn't true, but it's ALMOST CERTAINTLY not true, given God's unchanging disposition.

    The above definition isn't just NT - God has ALWAYS preferred leadership by prophetically equipped men, for obvious reasons - or what SHOULD be obvious to us. First and foremost, leadership by prophets means LEADERSHIP BY GOD, as an emerging theocracy.

    Common sense dictates the same would be God's will for OT saints. Clearly, the Mosaic law was a theocratic institution - and it was NOT based on written Word, but based on the spoken Word to the prophets. After all, what was the main purpose of the Tabernacle? Ongoing direct revelation!

    "There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites (Ex 25:22)."

    The people of God NEED such revelation - we all need clear guidance - but typically that DEGREE of revelation is reserved for mature prophets, in sharp contrast to the immature Corinthian babes (1Cor 3).

    I don't NEED Paul to tell me, as he did at 1Cor 14:1, to seek the gift of prophecy. Common sense dictates that such must be the will of God for every believer, for all generations.
     
  8. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Your bifurcation here is rather conspicuous - you say that tongues and prophecies have ceased, but make no mention of the gift of knowledge ceasing! How convenient for you! If cessation were really in view here, knowledge would cease too.

    At post 331 I exposed Paul's thesis to be maturation of the gifts rather than their cessation. I claimed it was based on an argument begun in chapters 2 and 3. This epistle is not about gifts - it's about spiritual maturity, it just so happens that spiritual maturity is PROPERLY DEFINED as giftedness, especially manifest in prophetic utterance. Let's turn back to chapters 2 and 3 to watch this thesis emerge.

    The first interpretive key is the usage of 'We' or 'Us' meaning 'We [mature] apostles and prophets', in stark contrast to the immature Corinthian babes. Example: "God hath set forth us the apostles last" (1Cor 4:9). This contrast began at 2:6:

    "We [mature apostles and prophets] speak wisdom among the mature..we speak, not in words of man's wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit" (2:6, 13). Considerable scholarship including Calvin concurs:
    (1) That Paul is here contrasting 'we the apostles' with the Corinthians.
    (2) That prophetic revelation and/or inspiration is in view here.

    At issue here is actually an elite class of prophetic revelations esoteric to mature prophets. Hence he couldn't even share these revelations with the Corinthian babes:

    "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able" (3:1-2);

    Again, 'We [apostles] speak [such] wisdom [only] among the mature' (2:6), NOT to Corinthian babes. So he had to settle for giving them milk, not solid food. What kind of milk? This epistle! The epistles are NOT SOLID FOOD! Similarly the writer of Hebrews provided his epistle INSTEAD of solid food (see Heb 5:11-14), as did Peter (1Pet 2:2). Chrysostom remarked on solid food that not even “Scripture hath anywhere discoursed to us of these things" (NPNF, Part 1, Vol 12, Homily 34). Solid food is that elite class of prophetic revelations for the mature.

    Both the following contrasts mean the same thing:
    (1) The mature versus the babes (2:6, 3:1);
    (2) The spiritual versus the unspiritual (2:15, 3:1).

    The spiritual man, then, is the prophetic man. Still not convinced? Take a hard look at 14:37:
    "If anyone considers himself a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that what I am writing are the commands of the Lord". You see the intimation? A spiritual man, by virtue of prophetic revelation, would KNOW that Paul's teachings were correct. Considerable scholarship finds at 14:37 that Paul is defining the spiritual man in terms of giftedness and/or inspiration. Examples include John Gill, JFB Commentary, John Wesley, People’s New Testament Commentary, Albert Barnes, Cambridge‘s Bible, Expositors Greek New Testament, John Dummelow's Commentary, Meyer’s NT Commentary, Phillip Schaff's Popular Commentary, Joseph Beet's Commentary.

    Moreover some of these commentators tie 14:37 directly to 2:15.
    "He that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we [apostles and prophets] have the mind of Christ" (2:15-16)

    Did you catch what Paul just said? Trying to judge or correct a spiritual man is like trying to correct the Lord! Because a spiritual man is already one-minded with the Lord! He is beyond human correction! Now, if THAT is not a description of prophetic revelation, I don't know what is.

    Ok so we've seen that to be mature - 'spiritual' - can be defined in terms of giftedness. As Gordon Fee noted, the term spiritual (pneumatic) means Spirit-powered. This background explains 1Cor 12:1:

    "Now concerning spiritual things, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant."

    Most translations write it like this, unfortunately:

    "Now concerning spiritual GIFTS, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant."

    The word gifts is not in the Greek. He's not talking about gifts. He is STILL talking about being SPIRITUAL (spiritual maturity). He's concerned with spiritual things. It just so HAPPENS that spiritual maturity is largely about GIFTEDNESS!!

    The same translation-error is made at 1Cor 14:1 - there too, the words gifts is NOT in the original Greek.

    "Earnestly pursue spiritual things, especially the gift of prophecy" (14:1).

    Paul isn't talking about gifts. He's STILL talking about being spiritual/spiritually mature. He took up this argument in chapters 2 and 3, picked it up again in chapter 12, climaxed it at 13, and recapped it here at 14:1. This should alleviate the concern that Paul's exhortations to seek the gift of prophecy might be 1900 years out of date. Seeking spiritual maturity (prophethood) will NEVER be out of date.​
     
  9. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    1. Your extrapolation of 1Cor 13 to the written Word contradicts the sense of the passage. Then you draw a conclusion patently false:
      The written Word/Law doesn't transform anything because it's not the power of God. The whole downside of written Law was its inability to sanctify such that, left to itself (i.e law-without-Spirit), it is a curse that condemns us (2Cor 3) and exacerbates our sinful passions (Rom 7:5, 13). Doesn't matter whether it's NT written laws or OT written laws - the dynamics are the same. You're confusing the written Word with the divine Word (see John 1), who does sanctify.
    Anyway the language in 1Cor 13 can't be construed to anticipate the written Word, as a a replacement of prophecy. The passage is anticipating the 'mature' as a (quantitative) fullness of what is 'in part' (ek merou in the Greek). This can only mean a fullness (maturation) of prophecy following upon the heels of partial prophecy, not a CESSATION of prophecy to be replaced with something else. And some esteemed cessationists so concede, despite a significant amount of back-pedaling.

    In fact the claim you just made is the usual form of back-pedaling. They start with Paul's expectation (a fullness of prophecy) and then MORPH it into these words (a fullness of revelation), THEN they conclude: 'The NT is the increase in revelation anticipated by Paul'.

    But Paul never mentioned an increase of revelatoin at 1Cor 13 - and even if he HAD, it would have been in reference to DIRECT REVELATION (not to biblical exegesis), see for example Gal 1:12 where Paul credited ALL OF HIS KNOWLEDGE to direct revelation (which is precisely where the Galatians had gone wrong, by regressing back to a written-Word-centric approach). But I digress. The point is that 1Cor 13 doesn't refer to an increase in 'revelation' but to an increase in, specifically, 'prophecy'. Therefore it cannot be construed as a termination/cessation of prophecy.
     
  10. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Actually, your view here is enforcing an idea that does not exist within the Scriptures. In 1 Corinthians 2, and 1 Corinthians 3: Paul had to speak unto the Corinthians using milk and not the meat of the Word because they were not able to bear the meat of the Word because they were still yet carnal. Paul's point in 1 Corinthians 2, and 1 Corinthians 3 is that he was not pointing out how he was more mature because he spoke in tongues. The context is in 1 Corinthians 2 and 1 Corinthians 3 was about their being carnal because they were glorying in men (1 Corinthians 3:21) (1 Corinthians 3:4), and the wisdom of men (1 Corinthians 2:1) (1 Corinthians 2:5).

    Numbers 12:8 in the NIV says,
    "With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"

    So Numbers 12:8 is about the CLARITY of speech and not in the obscurity of speech or just pointing out the general maturity of believers. It is referring to the clarity of the message in how God did not speak in riddles (Which is a more difficult way to understand) but God spoke to Moses face to face clearly. Keep in mind that Moses did have to put a veil over His face.

    1 Corinthians 13:12 says: "but then face to face: now I know in part;"
    1 Corinthians 13:12 also says: "For now we see through a glass, darkly;"
    1 Corinthians 13:10-11 says,
    10 "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
    11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
    If you were to keep reading in 1 Corinthians 14, Paul is rebuking the Corinthians for their using tongues without an interpreter. For God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).

    Paul says he knows in part, and he prophesy in part.

    Are you saying that the Bible is not all the prophecy that we need?
    Are you saying that the Bible needs more added holy words to it?
    Does the Bible need more prophetic visions?
    Is the Bible incomplete?
    Again, James compares a person looking into a glass/mirror and forgetting what kind of person they were in relation to their not doing the Perfect Law of Liberty. By our obedience to the Word, we are conforming to the image of Christ and we are loving Jesus. Jesus says if you love me, keep my commandments. Now, I am not discounting Paul meant that all things will be done away with when He sees the Lord face to face. But we also see another secondary meaning of the "perfect" in Scripture and that is in James 1. The Perfect Law of Liberty which is compared to a person looking in mirror/glass.

    When God's perfect law of liberty is complete (With the Bible), we will be able to see Jesus face to face by looking at the reflection of the glass/mirror of the Bible.

    Jesus says that the Scriptures testify of Him.
    Jesus is perfect, and so the Word is perfect, too.
    God magnifies His Word above His own name.
    Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.

    Your odd interpretation here is not what the Bible says. Paul is building up to say this:

    19 "...with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
    20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. " (1 Corinthians 14:19-20).
     
  11. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    @JAL

    No offense, but the rest of what you wrote (with Scripture) is not worth my time to dissect and pick a part as being a severely wrong interpretation of God's Word. My recent post to you will help any objective reader to be able to see that what you are saying is here is not in line with what the Bible actually says plainly.

    So lets agree to disagree, friend.

    I will not debate or discuss this topic with a person who seeks to go way beyond what the Bible actually says.

    Blessings to you in the Lord (even if we strongly disagree).

    With loving kindness to you in Christ,

    Sincerely,

    ~ Jason.
     
  12. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Your not getting the point that I made, but that's okay.

    May God bless you.
     
  13. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    What Charismatic teachers do you approve of?
    Do they speak in tongues without an interpreter?
    If so, then they are not using tongues in how they are supposed to properly be used according to 1 Corinthians 14.
     
  14. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    He gave them this epistle. He indicated it was NOT solid food. Scripture isn't solid food. Period. You can deny it all you want but the facts belie what you claim.

    That's a mere caricature of my argument.

    The passsage indicates that the clarity of revelation was due to his faithfulness (his maturity). God is no respecter of persons. Paul got the same clear revelation because he was mature. And if we were mature like them, so would we. Strange hermeneutic that makes God a respecter of persons.

    How does that not support what I just said? When maturity comes, then prophetic revelation achieves the level of face-to-face clarity.

    Precisely. He's trying to mature them in their experience of the gifts. Speaking tongues without an interpreter is symptomatic of immaturity.

    Exactly. Quantitative. Maturity is the fullness of what is in part, which can only mean maturation of knowledge, tongues, and prophecy.

    More to come...
     
  15. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    In fact, again, tongues were only the speaking of a real foreign language only. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). It is strange that most tongues speaking we see today is not the biblical version, and there are no other miracles being done on the level that we see in the early new church by any kind of public awareness. To our knowledge: Nobody's shadow is healing anybody. Nobody's clothes are being sent out to heal others. Nobody is able to speak so as to heal another of physical born deformities. Nobody today is raising the dead. Nobody on an entire island were healed of a sickness. Again, even Paul had shown towards the end of his life that he could no longer heal. Paul did not send a cloth of healing to Timothy along with his letter to him in regards to healing him of the infirmities of his stomach. Neither did Paul tell Timothy to visit a believer who was a gifted healer, (or that he was sending one to him), either. Paul instead told Timothy to drink a little wine with his water for the infirmities of his stomach instead.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  16. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Again, debating this with you is not worth my time if you are going to go way beyond what the text of the Bible actually says.

    May the Lord's peace be upon you (and lets agree to disagree).
     
  17. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Mark 16:20 says,
    "And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."

    The signs of miracles were a way to confirm the messenger that they were of GOD.
    It was a way to confirm God's Word as being authentic.
    Today, we do not need to keep re-authenticating God's Word.
    God's Word has already been confirmed in countless ways that is divine in origin.
     
  18. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Asking loaded questions is a common cessationist tactic. The written Word is of no comparison to the divine Word. Don't confuse the two. If the Bible is so sufficient as you allege, then I take it you'd be fine with the divine Word up and leaving this universe, abandoning us to the written Word as our only recourse and resource. That's insanity. Here's an example of the divine Word - as you know the prophet Abraham saw God face to face in visions, time and again:

    "After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: 'Do not be afraid, Abram" (Gen 15:1).

    This is what Paul meant when he said that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing from the Word of God. The bible didn't save you. The divine Word testified to your heart.

    As far as I can see, as long as the written Word points us to the divine Word of prophetic revelation, it's done its job. I have no interest in adding extraneous content to the canon.

    You're making too many inferences here. The written Word/Law is perfectly accurate. Yet it is only a shadow of the heavenly realities. It's perfect in its limited domain, but it's of no comparison to the divine Word.

    Actually I didn't focus much on tongues. You're the one harping on it.
     
  19. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Again, it is not worth my time debating this with you based on how you interpret Scripture.

    I am moving on from talking with you on this topic because I do not feel you are reading the Bible correctly.

    So lets agree to disagree.

    May God bless you.
     
  20. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member

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    You didn't answer my question. Do you think prophrecies are the word of God.
     
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