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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. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Our lack of CLEAR visions is a PROBLEM. Why so? What happens when an object is too far in the distance to be seen clearly? Inevitably our mind, in its effort to see and comprehend it better, will fill in some of the details. The result is conceptual idolatry. And we know that an idol-worshiper is NOT a mature believer. Therefore spiritual maturity MUST be understood as correlated to the clarity of our visions of God (Num 12:8). Which is precisely Paul's argument at 1Cor 13:

    "[In our immaturity] we know in part, and we prophesy in part..Then [in maturity] we shall see face to face."

    And I want to be perfectly clear on how to properly DEFINE an intimate relationship with the Father. Please be aware that 'fellowship with God' is an explicit NT theological category (1Cor 1:9; Phi 2:1; 3:10; 1Jn 1:3, 6). The following conversation will pave the way to an understanding:

    A man says to his comrade, “Guess what? I have recently been enjoying incredibly intimate fellowship with a woman. Indeed we are in love.” “Oh really? Tell me all about it! Is she beautiful?” “Well, I‟ve never actually seen her.” “No? Ok. In that case, I‟ll bet she has a wonderfully feminine voice.” “Well, honestly, I‟ve never actually heard her voice.” “No? How exactly do you know her, then?” “Well, actually she died 2,000 years ago nailed to a cross, but she left behind a book of laws and rules for me to obey.” “Wait a minute, I thought you boasted intimate fellowship with her!” “Yes I did. It‟s a spiritual relationship.”

    Sorry to burst that guys bubble, but what he just described was NOT fellowship. Fellowship between two parties (1Cor 1:9; Phi 2:1; 3:10; 1Jn 1:3, 6) can ONLY be defined as a mutual exchange of sensations more or less distinct (loud and clear). The broader the spectrum of sensations, the more intimate the fellowship. Even if the the Father WANTED to omit some components of that spectrum, it would backfire in the sense of cognitive idolatry whenever our mind instinctively fills in the missing details. Therefore He even needs us to eat and drink of Him, as at the Last Supper (but please don't assume this is happening in today's Eucharists unless you've been able to authenticate it).

    ANY type of sensory exchange with the Father counts as fellowship with Him. For example He might bless you with feelings of joy that are more or less distinct(loud and clear). Or feelings of peace that transcends all understanding. The more experience, the more maturity. The absence of experience from the Father defines the unsaved, reprobate state. It is literally impossible, then, for your statement to be farther off the mark:

     
  2. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Church history would boast a lot more sound doctrine if people simply checked themselves for logical consistency before jumping to an interpretation. For heaven's sake, it's such an EASY litmus test. Why don't people do it? I'll never understand it. And so we end up with insane doctrines in the church, such as Sola Scriptura.

    In your case, all you had to do was ask yourself: Do I believe that infants, the mentally handicapped, and pre-biblical saints can be saved? Yes. Therefore 2John 1:9 (if we are to be logically consistent) CANNOT be taken to mean that salvation is the acceptance of doctrine.

    What makes it so bad, is that I already GAVE you a counterexample - I said that John the baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit even from the mother's womb.

    Since your reading of 2 John 1:9 is at variance with your own beliefs, it is YOUR responsibility to find a different interpretation. The following translation suggests one possible alternative:

    Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

    This sounds like a description of Judas, that is, a description of AN ADULT WHO CAN UNDERSTAND TEACHING. It doesn't refer to infants and the mentally handicapped. It doesn't prove that salvation is acceptance of a doctrine. It merely confirms what I just posted, namely that, if you are saved as an adult, you WILL accept some doctrine in virtue of the Inward Witness.
     
  3. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    "The Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend" (Ex 34:11). See that word 'friend'? That's fellowship. That's intimacy. That's sensory experience.

    I want to make one final argument for the primacy of visions. While this argument might not be water-tight, I feel I've laid enough groundwork on this thread to warrant the conclusion. And I'll lay additional groundwork as the argument proceeds.

    What conclusion? Most Christians end prayers like this, "We pray all these things in Jesus' name". Except that's NOT what Jesus meant by 'prayer in my name' (John 16). That phrase is actually code-language (veiled language) for a face-to-face vision of the Father. Since Jesus confessed to using veiled language, I can't fault theologians for overlooking it.

    Now for the argument. Every writer has a set of emphases. Turns out that John had visions as one of his emphases. The most obvious example is the Book of Revelation recording visions seen on the island of Patmos. No other NT writer handed us a book of visions. Also John's gospel recorded several additional vision-related verses not found elsewhere, such as John 5:37. He further attested that "everyone who sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life (Jn 6:40). Particularly relevant is John's recap of Isaiah's vision in the temple (Jn 12:40-41). When Isaiah saw God face to face in the temple, what was the IMMEDIATE EFFECT upon him?He suddenly realized that everyone around him was spiritually blind. That is to say, spiritual blindness is an inability to see God clearly. John summed it up like this:

    "Isaiah [spoke of blindness],because he saw Jesus's glory" (12:41).

    Elisha had already defined spiritual blindness for us. When his manservant was unable to see the armies of God, he prayed, "Open his eyes, that he may see." Let's be perfectly clear on what he's asking for. He's not asking for a special gift, something out-of-the-ordinary. He's just asking for ORDINARY SIGHT - simply the ability to see. He's implying that the NORMATIVE state of the believer is clear vision. Spiritual blindness is a HORRIBLE STATE FOR US TO BE IN. Equally noteworthy is the REMEDY for the blindness. Prayer. Elisha prayed for him.

    Here's another vision-related verse found only in John:

    "You shall see greater things that. I tell you the truth, you shall see the heavens open and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man' (Jn 1:51).

    That verse is forecasting, for the Twelve, and for others, a LIFESTYLE of seeing visions. Let's jump right into John 16, bearing in mind his emphasis on visions. Again, here Jesus confesses to using veiled language:

    "These things have I spoken unto you in riddles but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in riddles, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father [in visions!] (Jn 16:25).

    As John Gill observed, he's promising them the same eminence ascribed to Moses at Numbers 12:8, namely that God spoke to Moses in plain language and in clear visions, whereas immature prophets were often consigned to riddles and enigmas.

    Verses 23 to 27 bring the crucial thesis into focus. The intimation is that when we are standing face to face with the Father, it suddenly becomes awkward, even inappropriate, to route our petitions through the Son. It's like standing in a room with a man and his son, but instead of addressing the man directly, we speak only to his son, waiting for him to relay the message to his father. That's silly, isn't it? Why not just talk to the father directly, since he's right there in the same room with us? Which is precisely the whole point of the passage:

    "And in that day [of Pentecost] ye [apostles] shall ask me nothing [!!!!!]. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things have I spoken unto you in [riddles]: but the time cometh,when I shall no more speak unto you in [riddles], but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you. For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me (16:23-27).

    Verse 16 is illuminating as well, “Ye shall see me, because I go to the Father”. See the point? If not, allow me to explain. Suppose you see a vision of the Father on His throne, up close and personal, as though you were standing right in front of Him. In such proximity, who or what would you see seated at His right hand, in your peripheral vision? The Son! Stephen‟s experience drives the nail into the coffin, because it is a clear example of peripheral vision. He “looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). (The OT sometimes used the phrase “glory of God” for the human-like Figure who spoke to prophets face to face).

    Let‟s now back up two chapters to Jn 14:

    "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye [apostles will] see me" (14:19)

    Several evangelical scholars admit that both 14:19 and 16:16 refer to an ongoing vision of Christ for the Twelve. A few of them also read verses 14:21-23 in the same way.

    Jesus promised that prayers offered in His name - prayers addressed to the Father face to face - will always be granted. How could He guarantee this? Because at that level of illumination and inspiration, your prayers will spring from direct revelation, and thus will ALWAYS be granted.

    I'm not saying that the apostles enjoyed this degree of revelation every single moment of every day. But starting from Pentecost - probably the greatest revival in church history - they saw quite a bit of this sort of thing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
  4. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    Not extra biblical at all.

    1 Corinthians 14:I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.

    I will pray at home alone, and I will pray at church with understanding/supernatural interpretation. I will sing praises to God at home alone, and I will sign praises to God at church with the understanding/supernatural interpretation.

    Epheshians 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

    The chapter is on tongues, not our normal prayer life using our own language. This chapter also shows that the understanding comes supernaturally from the gift of interpretation of tongues.

    Therefore, it is probable that this verse is saying I will PRAY in tongues, and I will pray with the understanding meaning supernatural interpretation. I will SING PRAISES in tongues, and I will praise God with the supernatural interpretation. IOW, Paul wants those who have only their prayer language they use alone of Mark 16:17 to pray for the interpretation. Otherwise they pray well, but their minds are not edified - only their spirit is edified. And if they were in church, definitely pray for the interpretation for others - the profit of all. The gift of interpretation would be able to interpret either the prayer language (sign) not just the (gift) of diverse kinds of tongues. That is what happened on the Day of Pentecost. Though the 120 were praising God in the lesser sign of tongues of the individual of Mark 16, the devout Jews were given the interpretation of the higher gifts for corporate use of 1 Corinthians 12. That is the difference.

    ALL WHO BELIEVE - lesser signs - Individual prayer and praise TO God
    Mark 16:16-18 - receive all signs

    CORPORATE - higher gifts - FROM God, for the profit of all
    1 Corinthians 12 The Spirit passes out these as He wills, at least one, but you can pray for more.

    The sign authorities, and the corporate authorities each includes a form of speaking in tongues, the difference being the sign is individual prayer and praise language; the gift is diverse kinds of tongues from God being interpreted as v6. by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
  5. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    @Jason0047

    I want to comment on Steven's post:

    That's a beautiful summary. He's just shown you that, whatever you might imagine to be the 'norm', ALL the evidence in Acts contradicts it. It is therefore incumbent upon you to postulate a different norm.

    What's the norm? Earlier I demonstrated that Acts emphasizes the Spirit of prophecy for inspired-speech (witnessing). That gift isn't necessarily received at the time of the new birth. If anything, the norm would be subsequence. On the other hand, since Pentecost was probably the greatest revival in history, I wouldn't be totally shocked if some people, in those days, received it at conversion.

    Inasmuch as Cornelius' household was comprised of believers (Acts 10:2), there too the Spirit of prophecy fell subsequent to conversion. And as Howard Ervin astutely observed of Acts 19, the QUESTION, Did you receive the Spirit when you believed, is to be understood in terms of the sequel, "The Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in languages and prophesied" - which is not the sort of thing expected at initial conversion. Even Howard Ervin himself, despite being a staunch Pentecostal, speculated that Acts possibly focuses on the Spirit of prophecy.

    As I recall, you've talked about a New Covenant. If you believe such was in effect,wouldn't all believers receive the Spirit of regeneration at conversion? Certainly. There would be no need for exceptions. Give God some credit after all (He's actually a bit more professional, on-point, and on-time than you give Him credit for). Personally I hold to a version of Covenant Theology in the Reformed sense but I'm just extrapolating YOUR views. Acts isn't emphasizing regeneration. From the day of Pentecost onward, Acts emphasized primarily Joel's promised Spirit of prophecy, which is not necessarily received at salvation, in neither the NT nor the OT.
     
  6. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Thanks.
    I find the same thing true of Jesus' healing ministry.
    There is no formula.

    If we just look at healing the blind, we see Jesus being directed differently each time.
    This is the critical point. Jesus LOOKED to SEE what the Father was doing and joined with Him.

    - One time he spat in the eyes and laid hands on him.
    - Another time he spat in the dirt to make mud and applied it.
    - He prayed for another. (no spit)
    - He prayed twice for one who saw men like trees walking around. (interview technique)
    - Two blind men were asked, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
    Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”.

    There is no formula, except to follow God's leading.
    This is why the accusation against todays healing ministries is wrong.
    The critics assume that those in the ministry have the power to heal.
    In reality only God can heal. Even Jesus did not have healing ability beyond what God was doing through him. He was showing us how it is done. God the Father was healing people through Jesus' humanity not his deity which had been set aside.

    Philippians 2:6-7
    Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
    7 rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
  7. JAL

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    I agree, but I just wanted to add my (humble) opinion that, while it is true we cannot specify an exact formula, for example we cannot force God's hand to send us a revival, I think we can form a reasonable theory as to best practices. I earlier mentioned James Shelton's scholarly book on redaction criticism, "Mighty and Word and Deed, the Role of the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts". He observed, for example, that:
    (1) Luke wrote 25% of the NT
    (2) Luke wrote more about prayer than anyone.
    (3) Luke seems to insinuate that prayer preceded every Spirit-endowment in Acts (notably the outpouring on Pentecost as the primary paradigm for all future generations of believers).
    (4) Luke was the only writer to record that Jesus received the Spirit via prayer.
    (5) Luke was the only writer to record that an angel came to strengthen Jesus during His tribulation, in response to His prayers (Lk 22:43)
    (6) Luke was the only writer to record Christ's statement, "How much more will the Heavenly Father give the Spirit to those who ask Him" (Lk 11:13) - and the context indicates He was teaching us how to pray DAILY.
    (7) Luke was the only writer to record that Christ's Transfiguration was in response to prayer (and personally I regard such outpourings of the divine Light-quanta as an outpouring of the Third Person).

    Thus while we have no exact formula that will guarantee results or dictate results, nonetheless it's reasonable to theorize that - generally speaking - prayer, praise, and worship probably constitute the best posture for receiving divine blessings. Also we can look to other related verses such as Mat 7:11 and 17:21 for further corroboration.

    Cheers!
     
  8. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Although I feel that I defended authoritative conscience well enough on this thread, I did want to tie up one loose end.

    Namely I want to allay one concern. Some will worry, "If a church leader doesn't have the written Word as the only final authority, how will he proceed? Must he admit anyone into his church doors and into co-leadership? Jehovah's Witnesses? Mormons? Must he tolerate all doctrines?

    Understandably all advocates of Sola Scriptura will feel tremendous trepidation at this specter, given that evangelicalism, especially for the last five centuries, has brainwashed us all to believe that Sola Scriptura is a do-or-die axiom, that the church simply cannot survive without it.

    What's my answer? What's the prognosis for church leaders, if they recant that silly axiom? Business as usual! Why so? Because a leader's conscience will simply CONTINUE to force him to draw the line SOMEWHERE. Consider the situation today:
    (1) A leader cannot expect everyone in his congregation to agree with him on every doctrine.
    (2) Therefore he tries to draw a line in good conscience, i.e. he makes a decision as to which doctrines are too egregiously in error to tolerate. (When excommunicating someone, however, he should nonetheless have enough humility to concede that he himself, being a fallible exegete, might be the one in the wrong).

    Take me for example. I simply cannot pray or fellowship with a Mormon in good conscience. The last time I admitted one of their door-to-door evangelists into my apartment, I found myself getting sick to my stomach (literally felt inclined to vomit) after just a few minutes of conversation.

    Business as usual.
     
  9. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I agree.
    There is a level of predictability within the unpredictable nature of these things.
    And your post reminded me of this often overlooked instance.

    Acts 4:31
    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
     
  10. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

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    I felt the same way after reading only 2 pages of the book, Strange Fire. Such hatred is unnatural, almost demonic!
     
  11. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    That's good.
    Your post reminded me of this scripture below.
    Oftentimes evangelicals will quote verse nine as proof that we cannot know (see) the eternal things. But verse ten tells us that THESE are the things God HAS revealed to us by his Spirit. Verse eleven goes on to tell us that God's Spirit within us gives us access to these things.

    1 Corinthians 2:9-11
    However, as it is written:
    “What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
    and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—
    10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
    The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
    11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them?
    In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
     
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  12. Jonathan Mathews

    Jonathan Mathews Well-Known Member

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    Tongues and Prophesy will not cease until Jesus returns. I am a testimony to that. I speak in tongues and there is interpretation.
     
  13. JIMINZ

    JIMINZ Well-Known Member

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    Just because the use of Tongues is used out of order, does not mean it is an evidence of it being Ceased.
     
  14. JIMINZ

    JIMINZ Well-Known Member

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    For everything you have mentioned there is causation, reasons not just Cessation.
     
  15. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member

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    Experience doesn't trump scripture
     
  16. JIMINZ

    JIMINZ Well-Known Member

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    Scripture? ......Which one? :scratch:
    But I do have experience! :tutu: :amen: :clap:
     
  17. Jonathan Mathews

    Jonathan Mathews Well-Known Member

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    Experience trumps your misinterpretation of Scripture
     
  18. JIMINZ

    JIMINZ Well-Known Member

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    Could you say that in English?
     
  19. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member

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    All of scripture, but your experience may be no different from the experience of nuslims and hindus. Thye have prophrecy and tongues. Mohammed had prophecy, even the apostate king Saul prophecied.
     
  20. NBB

    NBB Well-Known Member

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    Don't think like macarthur that says pentecostals are attributing doings of the devil to the holy spirit please, for one that is incorrect because of the true experiences of pentecostals, and 2 that is dangerous.
     
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