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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. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member

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    Oh Dear. Have you read the Old Testament? You will find many cases of false prophets. For isntance the prophets of BAAL. Many prophetd today give prophecied that don't comr true, therefore they are false prophets. Many I have heard and also read about are just trite nonsense. Those that forecast the future are usually wrong and even if they get some correct that are no different from the pagan oracles. They often got them right, but like that at Delphi, have spectacular failures.
     
  2. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    I didn't get your point here. Was there an objection to my point of view?
     
  3. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    So there's no way to recognize true prophecy, huh? Too bad. I guess I'll have to throw away my Bible.

    OR - alternatively - I could look for a simple, common-sense criterion for distinguishing true prophecy from false prophecy. (You'd think that theologians would have already done this given 2,000 years time to get the job done but, unfortunately...)
     
  4. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I think the tendency is to set the bar too high in our expectations and understanding of what NT prophecy is for today and how it works.

    I see several related gifts that work together to guide us, inform us, comfort and encourage us. It seems that most people expect a Mt. Sinai smoke and thunder demonstration.

    In practice, it can be as simple as God telling me to talk to a specific person. He doesn't even tell me what to say. It becomes apparent when I obey His voice.

    How do we measure such things?
     
  5. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    How do we measure? Conscience. Our proper authority isn't Sola Scriptura but Sola Conscience. If your conscience directed you to deliver the message, and if you were honest with your audience about your degree of certainty (i.e. you didn't pretend to have 100% certainty if you only felt, say, 70% sure), then you acted rightly.

    By that same token, if the recipient's conscience directed him to pay you no heed, he acted rightly as well. All that God can expect of us, at any moment, is that we walk in good conscience.

    But maybe that wasn't your question. After all, our conscience is influenced by Bible-study, mentors, past experiences, and so on. Maybe what you're asking is how best to educate our conscience. To that I would say, what we need most is the loudening of God's voice (i.e. an increase of direct revelation). Prayer, praise, and worship seem to constitute our best avenue in that regard. But to a limited extent, sources such as the written Word can, indirectly, amplify the divine Voice as well.
     
  6. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    The certainty factor is a spectrum. I typically will not testify that God "spoke" to me unless I have 100 percent certainty. (what you would call conscience, I suppose) And this is in telling others about what happened. I would never tell the person that God asked me to talk to that God sent me to talk to them. I just go talk to them. I don't need any more authority than I already have at that moment. And I think it would be an abuse of "power" to play the God card in order to get them to listen to me. I assume God has already paved the way and I am there to help in any way I can. And they may even blow me off. But I know God will use it, since he sent me. The light will come on later. No worries.

    Other times and in listening to those God sends to talk to me, there are times when "God's voice" is more subtle. The still small voice or the "Was that God, or the pizza?" voice. But, I'm not sure how that diminishes the conscience aspect. In fact, the conscience aspect may be a bigger factor in that case. Since the "voice" was less audible, I have to rely MORE on "gut", or conscience.

    And often a "prophet" is only given a puzzle piece. Even they have no idea what it means. The meaning is for the recipient. And it may not be meaningful right away. Puzzles, after all, need to be put together from many pieces. And when five different people give you puzzle pieces that make a clear picture when put together, that is a powerful and significant thing.
     
  7. Bible Highlighter

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

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  8. Bible Highlighter

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

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    Catholics claim holy traditions are just as on equal authority as Holy Scripture. What makes your extra biblical source reliable as being on par with the Bible? That's the problem. There is no real way to confirm these outside sources as being true and or as miraculous as the Holy Scriptures.

    There are tons of evidences that back up God's Word (Which proves it to be divine in origin):

    Love Branch: Evidences for the Word of God

    I guarantee you that whatever outside biblical source or transmission you received on there being 5 tongues cannot be verified in it being divine in origin in the same way the Bible is.

    Hence, why I will trust in the Bible alone.
     
  9. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Sola Scriptura is a contradiction because, in actual practice, it isn't Sola. Let's see why.

    Sola Scriptura claims that Scripture is our only final authority - the only fully reliable basis - for our religious beliefs. Yet in point of fact we drew some of our most important religious conclusions preexegetically, such as:
    (1) Is Jesus Lord and God?
    (2) Did He die for my sins?
    (3) Am I saved by accepting Him as my Lord
    (4) Is the Bible inspired?

    Whatever your BASIS ('authority') was for accept the Bible as inspired, it is a higher authority than the Bible, because, for you (and for me), it DICTATED our decision to reject or accept Scripture, and presumably our decision to accept or reject competing documents as well (such as the Quran).

    What was YOUR basis ('authority')? Why do YOU accept Scripture as inspired? The following statements are false:
    (1) God is my highest authority.
    (2) The Bible is my highest authority.
    (3) Tradition is my highest authority.

    With some reflection, I think you'll find it logically insescapable that:
    (4) Conscience is my highest authority, defined as feelings of certainty as to what is morally right or wrong for me to do or believe at any given moment.

    Why so? Because the Father would be EVIL if He dishonored the authority of conscience. Suppose a father tells his son to clean his room every day of the week. The son FEELS CERTAIN that this means every weekday (five days) although it turns out his father meant 7 days. He's acting in good conscience. After the first week, what should the father do? Give him a sound beating? That wold be evil. It is evil to fault a child for acting in good conscience. We cannot fault a person for doing what is right to the best of his knowledge. Rather, we should fault him for doing what is wrong to the best of his knowledge.

    Conscience (feeliings of certainty) is WHY you accepted the Bible as inspired. Calvin formalized this conclusion as the Inward Witness of the Holy Spirit, a doctrine that has been almost unanimously accepted by evangelical and Reformed theologians. As an act of DIRECT REVELATION - when the gospel was preached to you as a sinner - the Holy Spirit 'convicted' (convinced) you of the foundational beliefs (e.g. the Bible is inspired), thus causing you to FEEL CERTAIN on these issues. Calvin explicitly defined the Inward Witness as feelings of certainty.

    However, Calvin - and all of evangelicalism - have FAILED to acknowledge the obvious corollary, namely that conscience (feelings of certainty) is our only final authority on ALL matters.

    Accordingly, when God wants to speak to you, the divine Voice MUST influence your conscience. Otherwise you'd have every right to disobey the Voice. And since the divine Voice always influences conscience, DIRECT REVELATION is, indirectly, a final authority on a par with conscience.

    A feeling of certainty is FULLY authoritative when the level of certainty is 100%. You'll find that your conscience demands higher levels of certainty on decisions potentially harmful to others.
     
  10. Bible Highlighter

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

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    Here is the thing. The Bible tells us to test the spirits to see if they are of GOD or not.
    Can you get the spirit that you are communicating with to confess that Jesus Christ has come into the flesh. Also, in the OT, if a prophecy did not come true, that prophet was to be killed. Very serious stuff there. Can you say that the prophecies that you do always come true 100% of the time? Also, again, why is it that everyone can speak in unknown tongues that are not real languages that are interpreted like the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14? This is just one of the many reasons why the Continuationism view is hard to believe.

    The basis for our faith is the Bible.
    For faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God.
    The Bible in my view does not support the idea that the gifts are in full operation today. This, coupled with church history, and life experience today shows us that the gifts are not in full operation, too.

    People are merely seeing what they want to see.
     
  11. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    And what's the test? Consider 1 John 2:26:

    "I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray."

    Ok, clear enough. He's trying to protect them from false doctrine. What's his proposed shield? Is it exegesis? Is it seminary? He tells us in the next verse:

    "As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him" (verse 27).

    Jesus didn't tell the apostles to rely on seminary and exegesis for doctrine. Rather, as John recorded, a revelatory anointing would 'guide them into all truth'. Now here at verse 27, John applies the same language to his OWN disciples.

    How does one KNOW himself taught of this anointing? 100% certainty is a common-sense standard.

    Don't put the cart before the horse. How do we even know that Jesus Christ came in the flesh? We know it by direct revelation - the Inward Witness as discussed in the previous post. Therefore your concern, while understandable, isn't a challenge to MY position.
    Prophecies that I do? I'm not a prophet, and I've never prophesied. But we all should aspire to be prophets (1Cor 14:1).

    Sorry I'm just not much-focused on the tongues-aspect of the debate at the moment. I'm more concerned with the alleged cessation of apostles and prophets.
     
  12. Bible Highlighter

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

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    1 John 4:3 says that one of the tests is that the spirit will confess that Jesus is come in the flesh. If they do not pass this test, then they are a spirit of antichrist.

    "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." (1 John 4:3).
     
  13. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    No, as I showed in post #375, the basis of our beliefs is conscience (vis a vis the Inward Witness). The church was built on direct revelation, not on exegesis.

    And Paul teaches by EXAMPLE. Who is Paul's favorite example of saving faith? He appeals to Abraham,in both Romans and Galatians and, in both epistles, he appealed to Gen 15 - it's an appeal to the divine Word, not the written Word:

    "The [divine] Word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision [speaking promises]...Abraham believed [the spoken promises], and he credited to him as righteousness" (Gen 15).

    The Voice, speaking promises, aroused feelings of certainty (faith) in Abraham. THAT'S Paul's paradigm for all believers. Hearing the voice is the key. In Galatians, Paul appealed to this passage precisely because the Galatians had fallen into the same error as you - they had become law-centric,they were focusing too heavily on the written Word. Hence Paul said (and it's important to interpret the Greek here literally, like the KJV does)

    " Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by the hearing of faith?Are you so foolish?...Does God grant you His Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or though the hearing of faith? Consider Abraham..." (Gal 3).

    Verse 6 ('Consider Abraham') is a crucial point. Paul's no fool. He's here defining the paradigm for all believers, all generations. According to Galatians 3, all of us are under the Abrahmic covenenant and not even Mosaic law managed to interrupt it in the slightest. As Calvin noted of that crucial Vers 6, Paul is pointing us back to Abraham's experience at Gen 15 as the proof of his two claims:
    (1) His claim that the Spirit is received through the hearing of faith.
    (2) His claim that miracles are received through the hearing of faith.

    What miracles? Let's go back to Gen 15. Abraham was in a quandary. He wanted a son, but his wife was past the age of child-bearing. He needed a miracle here. There was no other recourse. In that vision, the Voice began speaking promises to him - including the promise of a son. Again, this aroused in him feelings of certainty (faith) regarding the impending blessing, because, 'Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God'. This idea of SPOKEN PROMISES was fundamental to the OT saints' understanding of what it means to 'Inquire of the Lord'.

    Since we're already knee deep in Galatians 3, let's continue a bit. In that chapter, Paul defines the Abrahamic covneant as PROMISSORY in nature (spoken promises). The literal rendering of Gal 3:16 is, 'The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed'. Paul realized it can be encapsulated both in terms of a single Promise (Christ as our Provider and our all-in-all) OR in terms of the (potentially) unlimited number of promises (such as a son for his barren wife) available from our Provider. Thus he resorts to both the singular 'promise' (and singular 'covenant') and the plural 'promises' (or plural 'covenants' is valid too). Israel's New Covenant is nothing more than a byproduct (one small promise) of a MUCH larger institution (the Abrahamic covenant).

    Precisely how big is the Abrahamic covenant in redemptive economy? It is - EVERYTHING, according to verse 3:16. As considerable scholarship attests, it seems to construe the Abrahamic covenant as the Father-Son covenant. In what sense? When the Father spoke a major covenantal promise to Abraham, He simultaneously spoke that same promise to Christ. "The promises were spoken to Abraham and to [Christ] his seed" (3:16).

    Let's see how this Promissory covenant changed YOUR life. When the gospel was preached to you, the Inward Witness began speaking promises to you. Thus your saving faith came from hearing spoken promises. He told you the following:
    (1) I will give you eternal pardon of your sins, in Christ.
    (2) I will take you to my heavenly city forever.
    (3) I will be your Friend and Helper even in this life.
    (4) You can pray to me for help at any time, and I will hear you.

    Now, admittedly, not being a prophet, you didn't hear the voice as clearly as Abraham heard it at Gen 15. Nonetheless, that's what He told you.

    Gal 3:5 is Paul's recap of the Abrahamic paradigm for all believers, all generations. It's a charismatic paradigm. Either that is indeed what Paul intended or, here again, cessationism is painting God as the most incompetent instructor ever, misleading us in every way.

    To recap. The Covenant provides for an unlimited number of promises, both the major ones such as Joel's promise, or the individualistic ones that apply to YOU alone (for example if you were asking the Lord for a job). As Christians, our job is to WAIT UPON THE LORD in prayer, waiting for Him to speak, confirm, and fullfil promises. Example:

    "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about" (Acts 1:4).

    And so the 120 waited in prayer for the outpouring. The church has been far too preoccupied with things like missions, ministries, evangelism, and politics. We have lost sight of our top priority.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  14. Bible Highlighter

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

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    If we also say that all of the gifts are in operation, then we must acknowledge that there are more prophetic future visions or prophetic future foretelling that needs to be added to the Bible. But Revelation 22:18 says,

    "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:" (Revelation 22:18).

    But men have lost their voice from adding to the Bible (Which is a plague not within the pages of Revelation but another part of the Bible):

    Bible Corrector Loses Voice on Ankerberg Show
    Bible Correctors lose Voice
     
  15. Bible Highlighter

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

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    3 "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
    4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?"
    (Hebrews 2:3-4).

    Notice that the author appeals to his readers to remember the time when Jesus spoke, his message was proclaimed by the apostles, and God validated their message by the miraculous gifts. All of this points backwards to a time when that had happened in their past. If those sign gifts were still ongoing in the church, there is no conceivable way to understand these verses. Again, the argument is simply: “Don’t walk away from the gospel, because remember the time when Jesus spoke, and then his followers spoke, and they had the miracles to back it up!”

    Source:
    Why I am a cessationist
    (Not all beliefs or views made by this author or website may be shared by me; I am merely agreeing with their point here on Cessationism).
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  16. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Non-sequitur. Historically there were lots of prophesies that never got added to the Bible.

    The books of the NT were canonized largely to preserve the writings of Christ's contemporaries. Since those guys are all dead now, no one is in any hurry to add material to the canon. I attended charismatic churches for 12 years and never met anyone - nor even heard of anyone - who wanted to enlarge the canon. And even if such a person arose, so what? How many Christians would take him seriously? None that I know of.

    The way you adduce that verse is so out of context from the original passage. But I'm sure you've been warned about it before.
     
  17. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    It's past tense because he's reflecting back on his audience's former induction into the Kingdom. That's all we can glean there. Don't put words in his mouth.

    What was that you said about not adding to the words of the writer?
     
  18. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Let's investigate a few important questions.
    (1) What is the foundation?
    (2) Who lays it down?
    (3) How many times can it be laid?

    The Greek phrase for 'foundation of apostles and prophets' can mean EITHER
    (1) that the apostles and prophets themselves are the foundation
    (2) OR that the foundation is something laid down BY them.

    Here's what Paul actually said on the matter:

    "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1Cor 3:11).

    Interesting. The foundation is here said to be Christ, not 'the gift of apostleship'.

    Who lays it down? "According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation" (verse 10).

    Thus the apostles and prophets LAY DOWN the foundation. Why? He just told you why! Because no one wants to live in a building whose foundation was laid down by a NOVICE. If that were God's will, it would make Him an IRRESPONSIBLE LEADER. Rather, he insists that the foundation be laid down by men of the highest expertise (apostles and prophets).

    What does it mean exactly that Christ is the foundation, laid down by the apostles? If I had to speculate, I would guess it refers to an OUTPOURING of Christ. It's an endument of power (for instance the ability to confer giftings via the laying of hands), but such work must be done with proper RESTRAINT and WISDOM - with apostolic/prophetic expertise.

    Moving on to question #3, How many times can it be laid? Paul claimed:

    "It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation" Rom 15:20).

    Therefore the foundation is REGIONAL. It needs to be laid afresh in EVERY REGION.

    Cessationists equivocate on this issue. They'll say: "The apostles and the prophets were the foundation" (who are all dead now?). So now our building has lost its foundation? No wonder it has crumbled into ruins. The church is a mess today. Then they will reply, 'No we still have the foundation. They laid down the foundation once-for-all'

    Well, which is it? Are the apostles and prophets the foundation? Or the ones who lay it down? Make up your mind, please, cessationists. I can't debate with you if you're a moving target.
     
  19. Bible Highlighter

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

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    The Bible has to be our foundation (1 Timothy 3:16).
    Without it, we have nothing to stand upon (2 Corinthians 1:24).
    For faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

    "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1).
     
  20. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    The Bible is your foundation? I'll ask you again, what's your basis for believing that the Bible is inspired?
    Whatever it is - THAT'S your foundation.
     
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