• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.

Tithing/Speaking in Tongues

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by greekgal, Jun 10, 2002.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. cougan

    cougan Senior Member

    766
    +6
    Christian
    WHEN THAT WHICH IS PERFECT IS COME

    INTRODUCTION

    An analysis of 1 Cor. 13:8-13 is extremely important with regard to the subject of spiritual gifts since the passage clearly foretells their demise. Knowing the termination point for charismatic activity heavily depends on a proper understanding of these verses and the identification of "that which is perfect" (1 Cor. 13:10) in particular. Proponents of current charismatic claims must, of necessity, correlate the "perfect" with the end of earthly life. Yet, strangely, many exegetes of the passage who deny the genuineness of modern claims for spiritual gifts still see the reference point of the "perfect" as future to our time. Others see the passage as "ambiguous" at best.<1> In so doing, they overlook the usefulness of this passage in militating against the current Pentecostal persuasion. It is our hope that the following exegesis will show that, rather than being ambiguous, these verses are crucial and definitive for the question of the time-frame of the cessation of spiritual gifts.<2>


    SPIRITUAL GIFTS WERE TO CEASE

    Supernatural endowments from the Holy Spirit were foretold by Jesus (Mark 16:17-18) and described as fact in the New Testament (Mark 16:20; Acts 2:1-4,43; 8:6; 10:44-46; 14:3; Heb. 2:3-4; etc.). Each of these phenomena was called a "spiritual gift" (Rom. 1:11), and Paul specifies nine such gifts operating in the first-century church (1 Cor. 12:4-11). All of them were miraculous.<3>

    Paul then discusses further some of "the greater gifts" as he contrasts them with love as their superior (1 Cor. 12:31--13:7). He singles out tongues, prophecy, (inspired) knowledge and (supernatural) faith.<4> Three of these gifts (representing all of them) are further contrasted with the representative Christian virtues of faith, hope and love (1 Cor. 13:8-13). The contrast has to do with their duration. As long as this earth shall last, faith, hope and love will abide (1 Cor. 13:13) whereas spiritual gifts such as those producing "prophecies," "tongues" and "knowledge" would "cease" or "be done away" (1 Cor. 13:8). The termination of the gifts would be "when that which is perfect is come" (1 Cor. 13:10).


    WHAT "PERFECT" DOES NOT MEAN

    Some have supposed that Jesus is "the perfect" that will "come" at the end of time.<5> However, the Greek construction denies this possibility for the word "perfect" is neuter, which cannot refer to the mature Christ. The neuter terms "infant" ([@brefos]) or "child" ([@paidion]) were used for all youngsters, including Jesus (Luke 2:16-17). So the baby Jesus would naturally be called "the holy thing" (Luke 1:35; see also Matt. 1:20). But upon reaching puberty Jesus, like all others, was referred to in masculine terms. He is a person, not a thing -- a "he who," not a "that which." 1 John 1:1,3 is no exception because there the writer refers not to Jesus himself but to things about or "concerning" him that were "heard," "seen," "beheld" and "handled."<6>

    Others have thought Paul refers to a "perfect" state of existence which will "come" to us in heaven at the dawn of eternity. Thus, Adam Clarke, for example, refers to "the state of eternal blessedness."<7> Lenski refers to "the complete state" which is reached at "the Parousia of Christ."<8> And many others similarly interpret.<9> Even some brethren have either suggested or maintained this view.<10> However, heaven or eternity is not mentioned anywhere in this context. The chapter discusses Christian virtues and gifts in this world where poverty, suffering and evil abound (1 Cor. 13:1-8). It contrasts the temporary gifts with permanent characteristics as far as this life is concerned. The word "perfect" does not here or anywhere else in the Bible refer to the sinless, flawless state of heaven.

    Still others have affirmed that Christian maturity -- or love as its chief element -- is "that which is perfect." Among our brethren, Carroll Osburn has taken the former view and Jim McGuiggan the latter. These arguments ignore the immediate context (a contrast in duration -- 1 Cor. 13:8-13, rather than value -- 1 Cor. 13:1-7), and they also ignore the definitive statement of 1 Cor. 13:9-10 (a contrast in quantity).<11> Osburn goes all the way back to 1 Cor. 2:6 for the premise of his maturity argument, completely missing the point of 1 Cor. 13:9-10 in his unsuccessful attempt to define the contrast in terms of quality (maturity versus imperfection) rather than quantity (totality versus partiality).<12>

    McGuiggan argues long for "perfect" love but likewise misses the whole point. He asks why God would speak of completed revelation in connection with the cessation of gifts.<13> The answer is to be found in the purpose of the gifts in the first place -- confirmation of the Word while it was being delivered via inspired preaching! Both of these writers seem to think that spiritual gifts were for the purpose of maturation in love. But notice: (1) The gifts of prophecy and knowledge were for the purpose of providing information (1 Cor. 13:2; 14:3-6,19); (2) Tongues were for a sign to unbelievers (1 Cor. 14:22), not to mature the love of Christians; (3) The spiritual gifts of the Corinthians were contributing to personal immaturity, not maturity (1 Cor. 3:1; 14:20); (4) Spiritual gifts were needed because Christians were still "childish" in the level of knowledge (1 Cor. 13:11), not in attitude; (5) Paul was certainly mature but he still had spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 2:1-6) and spoke in tongues more than the Corinthians (1 Cor. 14:18); (6) People today are just as immature and unloving as ever (maybe more so), yet spiritual gifts have ceased! Why?

    Getting Christians to love one another was neither the sole purpose of the Lord's dealings with his people nor of Paul's letter to the Corinthians. Beginning with 1 Cor. 7:1 Paul answers questions which they had raised. In 1 Cor. 12--14 it was his aim to give information (1 Cor. 12:1) regarding the purpose, diversification, estimation, regulation, and (in 1 Cor. 13:8-13) termination of spiritual gifts. Nowhere does Paul so much as hint that supernatural gifts were given to the church because Christians were unable to love each other! He wants them to have love and gifts (1 Cor. 12:31; 14:1).


    WHAT "PERFECT" DOES MEAN

    The Greek word translated "perfect" ([@teleios]) means "having attained the end or purpose, complete."<14> It may be applied to people with the meaning of "full-grown, mature, adult,"<15> being "perfect and entire, lacking in nothing" (James 1:4). Or it may refer to the finality of anything which has been "brought to its end, finished."<16> In contrast to the oft-heard statement that "nothing in this world is perfect," let us notice how the New Testament uses this Greek word in some of its 20 occurrences.

    Christians are expected to be "perfect" (and can be) in the sense of full-grown or mature: we are to be "perfect" or "full-grown" like the Father (Matt. 5:48) in loving both friends and enemies (Matt. 5:44-47; cf. Luke 6:36), in commitment to Christ (Matt. 19:21), in spiritual discernment (1 Cor. 2:6, 14), in attitude (1 Cor. 14:20), in knowledge of the way of salvation (Phil. 3:15), in union with Christ (Col. 1:28), in remaining true to God's will (Col. 4:12), and in being able to distinguish between good and evil (Heb. 5:14). One does not have to reach heaven before having this kind of perfection. Paul and others were already "perfect" (Phil. 3:15), though not sinless. Likewise, God's system of salvation has perfection (wholeness, completion) in its earthly processes. For example, his gifts to us are complete (James 1:17); patience or steadfastness has its "perfect" (complete) work in our lives (James 1:4); and faith is perfected or completed (the verb form here) by our works (James 2:22). Therefore, some things here in this world are "perfect" in the Biblical meaning of that word.

    Our question, though, relates to 1 Cor. 13:10. What is contemplated here as becoming complete? Paul only gave us the article ("the") within adjective ("perfect"), but left the noun which they modify unstated. However, we need not search for some elusive antecedent and try to build a case from other contexts.<17> The answer is to be found in 1 Cor. 13:9, since 1 Cor. 13:9 and 1 Cor. 13:10 go together as one sentence. They present a contrast between something that is incomplete or "in part" ([@ek] [@merous]) now, but will be complete ([@teleion]) later. The identification of the "perfect" is stated precisely in the words "we know in part, and we prophecy in part" (1 Cor. 13:9). Paul's subject was the receiving and dispensing of divine knowledge -- the proclamation of the New Testament faith by inspiration!

    In 1 Cor. 13:9 the verbs "know" and "prophesy" are both modified by the adverbial expression [@ek] [@merous] ("in part"). But in 1 Cor. 13:10 those verbs and their modifiers are brought together and replaced by the single substantive expression to [@ek] [@merous] ("that which is in part"). Whatever is partial in 1 Cor. 13:9 is "that" which is partial in 1 Cor. 13:10. "Prophecy" and "knowledge" (1 Cor. 13:2 and 1 Cor. 13:8) as feminine nouns need not correspond to the neuter expressions of 1 Cor. 13:10 because 1 Cor. 13:9 has changed them to verbs! This makes a difference.<18> And since to [@teleion] ("the perfect") is the counterpart to [@to] [@ek] [@merous] ("that which is in part"), it is absolutely clear that the "perfect" also refers to those same verbs -- describing the completion of inspired preaching and the consequent cessation of the spiritual gifts which enabled and confirmed that preaching. Jesus had told the apostles that the Holy Spirit would guide them into "all the truth" (John 16:13). But at the time of Paul's letter the truth had not been fully received and proclaimed. However, the time was not far away -- within the lifetime of those apostles -- that revelation would draw to a close. Finally, "that which is perfect" had come when the apostle John laid down his pen and finished "the words of the prophecy" (Rev. 22:18-21).
     
  2. cougan

    cougan Senior Member

    766
    +6
    Christian
    AN ILLUSTRATION FROM PAUL'S LIFE

    In 1 Cor. 13:11 Paul utilizes an analogy (the only illustration in this context) to emphasize the contrast between infancy and maturity. Sometimes proponents of current charismatic activity claim that having spiritual gifts is a mark of Christian maturity. Nothing could be further from the truth. The church in Corinth had more in the way of spiritual gifts than any other as far as we have record. Yet, it was a church plagued by factions, lawsuits, fornication, skepticism and drunkenness at the Lord's table! 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!

    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. 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). 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). 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). The formerly infant church discarded the spiritual gifts.


    MIRROR DARKLY -- FACE TO FACE

    Many have misunderstood the meaning of "that which is perfect" because of misunderstanding the "mirror darkly" -- "face to face" contrast of 1 Cor. 13:12. It is not a new illustration,<19> but rather Paul's explanation (in figurative terms) of the illustration he just gave (notice the "for"). So many see the afterlife in this verse, but it is not here. The "then" (when we shall see face to face) is not "at the final end" or "evidently in heaven," as two brethren (and others) have suggested.<20>

    To see in a mirror was a figurative expression which meant "to receive revelation from God." "Mirror" in Hebrew is the same word as "vision." In contrast to other prophets who had to depend on the "dark speeches" of a vision or a dream, Moses experienced a mouth-to-mouth (clear) understanding of God's will (Num. 12:6-8). The rabbis of the Midrash said the prophets saw God in clouded mirrors whereas Moses saw him in a clear one. So also Paul says that while revelation is still incomplete "we see in a mirror darkly." The mirror is clouded or obscure -- literally, "in an enigma." But later, when all spiritual knowledge and prophecy were to be finished, the image would be "face to face." It is not necessarily the mirror that is done away but the obscurity.

    "Face to face" expresses the clarity of our understanding. Jacob (Gen. 32:20), Moses (Exo. 33:11; Deut. 34:10) and the Israelites (Deut. 5:4-5) were said to have encountered God "face to face." It was not meant literally, for God said, "My face shall not be seen" (Deut. 34:23). So also Paul (1 Cor. 13:12) refers not to seeing the face of God or Jesus in heaven (1 John 3:2; Rev. 22:4), but rather to the here and now as "with unveiled face" we behold "as in a mirror the glory of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18). God has revealed himself "to give the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6). And we "receive with meekness the implanted word" (James 1:21) when we look into the "mirror" (James 1:23) of "the perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25). That mirror reflects "face to face" now that God's Word is finished.


    KNOW FULLY AS FULLY KNOWN

    The second part of 1 Cor. 13:12 is also a commonly misunderstood statement. Here again, some think "then" points to eternity as the time when spiritual gifts will no longer be needed. Others who deny current charismatic activity still see heaven in the statement because they conceive of this as "merely another illustration" that Paul is using.<21> This supposed contrast between earth and heaven has been promoted in response to the Greek construction and to translations later than the King James which insert a word such as "fully" into the statement. So, for example, the American Standard Version reads: "Now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known." The argument is that this must point to heaven since we can never know fully in this life.

    The argument is wrong, but the ASV rendering is valid. Paul used two different Greek words for knowing. The reference to the present uses the ordinary word [@ginosko], whereas the "I shall know" uses the intensified word [@epiginosko]. This latter word means to know "thoroughly ... accurately ... well" or "exactly" or "completely."<22> The word speaks of thorough knowledge but does not imply flawless understanding. There is no warrant to picture here a scene when this world shall have drawn to a close and the faithful are all in heaven receiving full and satisfying answers to all perplexing questions.<23>

    Let us notice how the word [@epiginosko] is used in the New Testament for the here and now: We can "know fully" false prophets (Matt. 7:16), the certainty of Bible teaching (Luke 1:3-4), the ordinance of God (Rom. 1:32), the things Paul wrote (1 Cor. 14:37), the grace of God (Col. 1:6), the truth (1 Tim. 4:3), and the way of righteousness (2 Pet. 2:21). And with the noun form of the word we are told that we can have a thorough knowledge of both God and Jesus (2 Pet. 1:2). All of these passages tell us that Christians are able to "know fully" right now in this life!

    But someone might say that Paul seems to be saying, "I shall know perfectly as God knows me," or, "I shall recognize God as he knows me." These renderings, by Williams and Knox respectively, are unwarranted translations. Paul said nothing about knowing anything as well as God knew him, much less that he was going to know God that well. Such an idea was the Devil's lie to Eve (Gen. 3:5) but nowhere promised by God!

    Paul made no allusion to some greater knowledge to be gained in heaven. He simply wrote in contrast to the era of spiritual gifts when revelation was still incomplete and he only knew "in part." Yet, he looked forward to the day (if he should live that long) when he would know all of God's revealed truth. He would then be able to know it "fully" or "well" just as Paul already was "fully known" or "well known" (same word, [@epiginosko]) by others (1 Cor. 13:12; 2 Cor. 1:14; 6:9). The claim that one cannot "know fully" in this life is without scriptural basis and out of harmony with the usage of that word in the New Testament.


    FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE REMAIN

    When Paul reaches his concluding statement in 1 Cor. 13:13, he draws a contrast between the temporary and the permanent as far as this life is concerned. Whereas spiritual gifts such as prophecies, tongues and knowledge would be done away (1 Cor. 13:8), inner Christian qualities such as faith, hope and love would "abide" (1 Cor. 13:13). Paul does not say how long they will remain. Something might "abide" ([@meno]) an hour (Matt. 26:38,40), a day (Acts 21:7), or perhaps two years (Acts 28:30) or many more. It might be just for a little while (Rev. 17:10) or until Christ returns (John 21:22-23). Paul was going to abide for some time (Phil. 1:25) but later "depart and be with Christ" (Phil. 1:23).

    Paul does not say that faith, hope and love will all be eternal, and neither should we. The New English Bible presumes too much when it introduces the verse, "There are three things that last forever." Faith looks forward to fulfillment. It is "the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen" (Heb. 11:11. While we live in this world, "we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7). Faith is a characteristic of this age. It is "unto the saving of the soul" (Heb. 10:39). Likewise, hope is limited to earthly existence. It involves steadfastness (Rom. 15:4), waiting (Gal. 5:5), expectation (Phil. 1:20), looking (Titus 2:13) and laying hold (Heb. 6:18) "unto the end" (Heb. 3:6; 6:11). But it will not exist in heaven because "hope that is seen is not hope" (Rom. 8:24). So now "we hope for that which we see not" (Rom. 8:25).

    Since faith and hope have a "temporary character" and are "ascribed by Paul to this present era,"<24> there is no contrast here between earth and heaven. The contrast has to do with the temporary and the permanent during the Christian age. Spiritual gifts were to be abolished, whereas faith, hope and love continue on to the end. Finally, love alone of these three qualities goes on into eternity, for "God is love" (1 John 4:16) and "love never faileth" (1 Cor. 13:8). Nothing, including death, "shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:39).


    CONCLUSION

    The purpose of miracles was to dispense God's revelation to man and to confirm it as genuine (Heb. 2:3-4). As certain men "spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21), they were also "clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). Therefore, they went forth and preached, "the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that followed" (Mark 16:20). As long as inspiration continued, so did the "signs and wonders" (Acts 14:3). But when one was finished, so was the other. If spiritual gifts are still with us, revelation is not yet complete. But it was foretold that as a result of the cross (the fountain opened for sin -- Zech. 13:1), both prophets and demons would pass away (Zech. 13:2). However, false miracles would still be performed as "lies" designed "to deceive" (Zech. 13:3-4), causing Christians to be led astray (Matt. 24:24).

    Let us therefore understand that once miracles were performed and attested by credible witnesses (John 21:24; 1 John 1:1-4; 2 Pet. 1:16-21), they stand as evidence for all time. They are "written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye may have life in his name". (John 20:31). Since the passing away of the age of miracles was foretold by Paul (1 Cor. 13:8) and fulfilled by the completion of the written record (1 Cor. 13:9-10), it is up to us to accept that record "once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3). So let us not look for the things of childhood but the things of manhood, not the dark but the clear, not the partial but the total, not the temporary but the permanent, not spiritual gifts but faith, hope and love.
     
  3. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    Cougan,

    So how do you explain all the miracles and healings and gifts that still take place in many churches today?

    Are you gonna say that they are ALL faked? Or that these preachers or pastors or Christians are demonised when the gifts manifest thru them?

    There are tons and tons of evidences of healings and gifts of the Holy Spirit in operation over the centuries recorded and documented out there that back up what scripture teaches.

    Are you gonna write all that off as nonsense? Granted yes, there are the fakes and con artists, but according to your theology then, every or any Christian who has been used by God in these gifts or who have been healed must be operating under some other ungodly power.

    IOW how do you reconcile the tons of evidence out there? And I'm talking about those that cause people to look to Jesus even more.
     
  4. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

    +218
    Atheist
    Private
    Hi Andrew, If this happens at some so called rapture as is so commonly taught from the traditional dispensationalist view, I believe you need to provide scriptural evidence to back up your claim.&nbsp; In my post #33 I explained the fulfillment of prohecies and certain gifts that came to completetion which included the Parousia of Christ in AD70.&nbsp; Those were the last days of the OC age....&nbsp; when you are rferring to last days we are living in I would have to ask the question, last days of what? As for God's dealings with men by the power of His HolySpirit, at various times in His dealings with men, God has delegated the use of His power ("Holy Spirit") to men. However, this has never been in the form of a "blank cheque", as it were, enabling them to do what they wished;(as is so&nbsp;commonly seen today),&nbsp;always the use of this Holy Spirit has been for a specific purpose. When it was accomplished, the gift of the Holy Spirit was withdrawn. We must remember that God's spirit acts in a way which forwards the purpose which is in His mind. His purpose often allows short-term suffering in the lives of men in order to bring about His long-term purpose, so it is to be expected that His Holy Spirit would not necessarily be used to alleviate human suffering in this life. Any such relief it does achieve will be for a higher purpose of expressing God's mind to us.

    &nbsp;
     
  5. coolhandluke

    coolhandluke *a princess*

    551
    +9
    Calvinist
    i do think tithing is important, but, me having no job and no money of my own, i don't get the oppurtunity to give money to my church very often. tithing isn't just about the money, you should tithe with your time also.

    speaking is tongues. well, the holy spirit gives different gifts to different people. the bible makes it very clear that not everyone is going to have the gift of tongues, or prophecy, or anything else.

    -katie
     
  6. 9-iron

    9-iron Football Fan

    +145
    Non-Denom
    Single
    :D What really cracks me up is people who say we should stop praying in tongues because the gift has ceased!!!!!!&nbsp; Think about it!!!!!!:help:
     
  7. SavedByGrace3

    SavedByGrace3 Whoever calls on the name of Jesus will be saved Supporter

    +1,247
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Others
    The "perfect way" disussed in 1 Cor 12:31 and Chapter 13 refers to the more excellent way to get the best gifts to operate.

    Chapter 12:31 is the natural beginning of Chapter 13 as confirmed by Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament:

    "Poor division of chapters here. This verse belongs with chapter 1Co 13:1-13."

    1Co 12:
    31 But desire earnestly the greater gifts. And moreover a most excellent way show I unto you.


    The word for "desire" here is the same word used for zeal, covet, and jealous. Zeal is one way to get the gifts to operate. Paul is about to show them a better way than zeal to get the best(actually any) gifts to operate.

    Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament confirms this:

    And a still more excellent way (kai eti kath' huperbole&#772;n hodon). In order to gain the greater gifts. “I show you a way par excellence,”&nbsp;


    Chapter 13 is a discussion on why love (faith driven by compassion) is a better driving element than coveting (or zeal) when you want to get the gifts to manifest. He is not talking about love being better than gifts... he is saying love is better than coveting.

    He continues and explains that gifts which are manifested by love rather than by coveting do not fail. He is not saying that gifts will cease. He is saying the limited, immature, and sporadic manifestation of gifts will cease when love is the driving factor in the manifestation.
     
  8. SavedByGrace3

    SavedByGrace3 Whoever calls on the name of Jesus will be saved Supporter

    +1,247
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Others
    I first had the experience in Pittsburgh in 1971. Actually, I prophesied before I ever prayed in tongues.... which is also scriptural(Acts 19.6). At the time, I had no preacher, no one to tell me what was going on. I did not even go to church at the time. It was in the midst of the Jesus movement. I just saw&nbsp;the&nbsp;experience&nbsp;in the book of Acts, and wanted they way they got it! I knelt down next to my bed fully expecting to speak in tongues... out came prophesying!

    "I have loved you with a great love..."

    There&nbsp;was a burning in my chest, and a feeling of joy and peace... almost dizzying!&nbsp;I have been doing it ever since. Aside from meditation in the Word, it is the singe most significant and important devotional exercise I have.

    I cannot imagine a spiritual/prayer&nbsp;life without it.
     
  9. SavedByGrace3

    SavedByGrace3 Whoever calls on the name of Jesus will be saved Supporter

    +1,247
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Others
    &nbsp;

    Cougan

    I enjoy your writing. Did you compose this yourself?

    I do not agree with all that you write... but you are a very good writer.

    Hobie
     
  10. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

    +218
    Atheist
    Private
    9Iron, Tongues means languages, so when you pray to God in some unknown language, do you know what you are&nbsp;saying?&nbsp; Does God understand english? If that is the case why don't you just pray in english?&nbsp;Or whatever other language you can speak!&nbsp; Tongues was a sign for the unbeliever not the believer!&nbsp; If you pray in tongues (or another language) who is to be benefitted by your prayers?&nbsp; Think about it! &nbsp;

    &nbsp;
     
  11. eldermike

    eldermike Pray Supporter

    +578
    Baptist
    Married
    US-Republican
    Cougan,

    Very well done. We could have an intresting conversation about this word "perfect". I actually believe Paul was talking about the NT. I enjoyed reading your post.

    Blessings
     
  12. 9-iron

    9-iron Football Fan

    +145
    Non-Denom
    Single
    9Iron, Tongues means languages, so when you pray to God in some unknown language, do you know what you are&nbsp;saying?&nbsp; Does God understand english? If that is the case why don't you just pray in english?&nbsp;Or whatever other language you can speak!&nbsp; Tongues was a sign for the unbeliever not the believer!&nbsp; If you pray in tongues (or another language) who is to be benefitted by your prayers?&nbsp; <B>Think about it!</B>&nbsp;&nbsp;

    &nbsp;

    Didn't Paul say he prayed in the tongues of men and of angels. Do you think Paul understood what he was praying when he prayed in the tongues of Angels?????

    Jude 20:&nbsp;&nbsp;You, however beloved, as you build yourselves upon your most holy faith and&nbsp;pray in the Holy Spirit.

    I can't recall the exact scripture (I am at work, so someone can help me), but in Romans the Word says the Spirit offers up groaning and intercession that we can't express ourselves.&nbsp;

    If you pray in tongues (or another language) who is to be benefitted by your prayers?&nbsp; <B>Think about it!</B>&nbsp;&nbsp;

    There are times when I have been in intercession for someone and I have felt the Holy Spirit move me into my prayer language of tongues. I don't know word for word what I am praying,&nbsp;but just as in the reference above I know there is a purpose behind the prayer. Just because I don't understand what I am praying doesn't mean GOD doesn't understand what I am praying.

    I Corinthians14 "For whoever speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God; no one catches the meaning; he is uttering secrets of the Spirit.


    &nbsp;
     
  13. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

    +218
    Atheist
    Private

    Hi 9,
    Tongues represent a sign. Tongues are not given for the believers edification. In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul admonishes teaching and preaching instead over speaking in tongues (foreign languages). "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: &nbsp;for no man understandeth him"&nbsp;*(satire) (1 Corinthians 14:2). Is Paul saying here that the use of tongues must be just devotional? No. Paul states that he who speaks in tongues is not really speaking for communication, he is not really speaking to edify. He is speaking to God, because only God understands what he is saying. This is *sarcastic speech or satire.&nbsp;Paul was saying to keep quiet. Speak to God, then, but leave it out of the Church. There is no example in the Scripture where a gift of the Holy Spirit is given for a personal benefit or personal edification. A gift is for the service of the Church. Therefore, the view that tongue speaking represents a special anointing, a second blessing, is not supported in the Word of God.


    Blessings brother......
     
  14. 9-iron

    9-iron Football Fan

    +145
    Non-Denom
    Single
    &nbsp;There is no example in the Scripture where a gift of the Holy Spirit is given for a personal benefit or personal edification.

    1 Corinthians 14:4&nbsp; "He who speaks in tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church"

    For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: &nbsp;for no man understandeth him"

    Did Jesus not say we would worship in Spirit and Truth?? Is God not a Spirit????&nbsp;&nbsp;The operation of tongues in not in the mind,&nbsp;but through the spirit..There are many references to walking in the Spirit in the new Testament. There is never a suggestion of humanism or emotionalism in normal operation of this gift.&nbsp;Tongues are intended for personal worship &amp; prayer,&nbsp;therefore if used in corporate seating, it must be interpreted...

    99%&nbsp;when I pray in tongues I am alone.&nbsp;The gift&nbsp;is totally Godward, not manward.&nbsp;I&nbsp;remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit as to when to operate in this gift. So, I want to know&nbsp;how you explain what is happening during my personal prayer times when I am led to pray in tongues....

    Bottom line is we could add another 20 pages debating the issue, it seems we are both set&nbsp;in what we believe, so I will let you have the last post on the issue and leave it at that!!!! I will say that I will speak blessings over you and pray that the Lord will use you to spread the gospel. We are however on the same team....Blessings
     
  15. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    Franklin,

    I can see that you are a cessationist and preterist.
    I wont dicuss preterism with you cos it's beyond the scope of this thread and the administrators of this site have created a special section from preterism arguments in the spirituality section. They dont seem to support preterism becos it goes against the Niceen Creed or something which maintains that Jesus is to come again.

    As for cessation of gifts, as I've said, perfect simply cannot mean the NT. The passage itself tells us what it means. I come from a church where the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still in manifestation. I know of people who have been healed, speak in tongues, prophesied accurately, give exact Word of Knowledge etc. The tons of evidence out there agree with the Word. As for cessationist, they have to write everything off as demonic or something.
     
  16. cougan

    cougan Senior Member

    766
    +6
    Christian
    Hobie and elder Mike thanks for the comments. I have written several papers on bibical issues, however the ones I posted are not mine. I usually indicate that I am posting an article if it is'nt mine. I failed to do that this time. However I completely agree with anything that that I post on this board. These articles were written by 2 different men that are very wise in the scriptures. I found their articles perfect for this discussion and pasted them in here. I will post one more that deals with the purpose of the spirital gifts in another post.

    &nbsp;

    I would like to see this evidence you say exist of people being healed over the years. This is one thing that no one ever shows proof of. One time a man said he would pay someone a million dollars to see a GENIUNE MIRCLE. Guess what he still has his money today. We live in a time where most people have access to cam corder. Yet you will not find anyone who will produce a video clip that is untampered that shows a visible miracle. When you see a so called&nbsp;Miracle on TV its always something that you can not confirm. They will say you are healed from you cancer or you can walk now or hear now. Yes some of these people will even beleive in their mind so strongly&nbsp;that they are healed that they may experince a headache go away or that maybe they seem to be able to walk better at that moment. Never underestimate the power of the mind. I have heard stories of women wanting to have childeren so bad that they would think that they were with child and their body would go through all the motions. Their montly cycle would stop and their bellys would bulge. But when they would go get their sonagram done and discover they had no baby and they realized it they say that their bellys will suddenly go down. I could go on but I think you get the point. Now I tell you Andrew if you can produce for me a video of someone with a withered hand being healed or someone haveing something cut off like an ear and it being put back on or someone with some sort of horrid skin disease that is visual being removed or anything of a visual nature I will will start preaching miracles and tongue speaking imeadiatly. This of course will not happen because none exist. If there was such a great miracle recorded on tape it would be posted all over the news for all to see.&nbsp; You misunderstand the purpose for the miraculous gifts. Please consider this article in the next post.
    <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
     
  17. cougan

    cougan Senior Member

    766
    +6
    Christian
    INTRODUCTION

    Paul, the author of 1 Corinthians, writes to the "church of God which is at Corinth," and "to all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place." The occasion was: (1) the coming of those of the household of Chloe who informed him of some bad problems at Corinth; and (2) to answer a letter which the apostle had received from the church asking certain questions (1 Cor. 1:13; 7:1).


    NECESSARY FOR THE INFANT CHURCH

    Paul writes to the church about miraculous spiritual gifts in 1 Cor. 12--14. In the apostolic age -- that period from the establishment of the church until the death of the last apostle -- miraculous measures of the Holy Spirit were received by many members of the church enabling them to exercise supernatural powers such as the healing of the sick, speaking in tongues, prophesying, knowledge directly infused -- nine gifts in all (1 Cor. 12:4-11). In the absence of a written record of God's will for the infant church, such gifts were necessary. These temporary powers continued unto the completion of the New Testament (1 Cor. 13:8-13; 12:28-30; James 1:22-25).

    The prophets predicted the exercise of these miraculous gifts (Joel 2:28), and numerous instances of the exercise of these gifts are recorded in the New Testament (Acts 8:14-17). Their purpose was served, and they were removed by the close of the apostolic age. These gifts confirmed the preaching of the word (Mark 16:20; Heb. 2:1-4); gave confidence to new converts (Acts 5:1-11); and supplied edification for the early church until the New Testament was completed.

    Many in the church in Corinth possessed gifts. Instead of using them as God intended, some in that congregation were abusing their powers for personal glory. Envy and jealousy arose over their exercise; those able to speak in tongues regarded themselves as superior to those who prophesied; and, an unseemly state of affairs existed. It was Paul's purpose to show that these gifts were bestowed by the Holy Spirit; they were for the good of the whole church, and not simply or solely for the benefit of those who exercised them; and that each member, however lowly his gift might be regarded, filled a necessary and important place in the church. This great principle is needed among us today. There is no occasion for envy, jealousy and pride in the Lord's work today. There is a place for us all. We should seek to fill our places and discharge our responsibilities worthily.

    Inasmuch as miraculous powers were transmitted through the laying on of the apostles' hands (Acts 8), and since the baptismal measure of the Spirit was limited to that period also, the exercise of these gifts ended with the apostolic age. The "most excellent way" (1 Cor. 12:31), did not include the exercise of these gifts. They were temporary, peculiar to the age of the apostles, and ended before the close of the first century of the Christian era.

    The nine gifts which Paul lists in 1 Cor. 12:4-11 were, (1) word of wisdom; (2) word of knowledge; (3) faith; (4) gifts of healing; (5) working of miracles; (6) prophecy; (7) discerning of spirits; (8) tongues; and, (9) interpretation of tongues. These were essential in the early church, in the absence of a written record, to carry on the Lord's work.

    Love was to be the motivating factor in all their activities. Even those who exercised miraculous gifts must be motivated by love (1 Cor. 13). Paul writes, "Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy" (1 Cor. 14:1). Paul uses two verbs that are significant in understanding this passage. The verb "follow after" (literally, pursue) indicates a never-terminating action, while "to desire" stresses the intensity rather than the continuity of the action. Love is to be followed with persistence, but it is also right to desire gifts. Of these Paul places prophecy first, which is greater than the gift of tongues. Several comparisons between speaking in tongues and prophesying follow, each one pointing out the weaknesses and limitations of the speaking in tongues as practiced at Corinth.

    There is a contrast between "follow after" and "desire;" The former refers to something indispensable, the latter to a faculty which is desirable. Thus love which is to be followed ([@diokein]) is that which is able to abide while the spiritual gifts are to be desired ([@zeloun]), yet were only temporary in the church.


    COMPARATIVE VALUE OF GIFTS

    "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries" (1 Cor. 14:2). Paul now begins his comparison between prophecy and tongues. What value is to be attached to the gift of tongues? Not as much in comparison with prophecy. The reason is advanced by "for" ([@gar]). The man who speaks in an "unknown tongue" ([@glossa] means a language which one is able to speak by the power of the Holy Spirit which he has not studied) speaks not unto men but unto God. The people who do not know the language will not understand; but of course God will know it. "No man understandeth" means no one would understand unless an interpreter were present to interpret (1 Cor. 14:27-38). In fact the speaker himself might be able to act as an interpreter (1 Cor. 14:5, 13). But if there is no one to interpret, the audience would not understand the language which they did not know. Such a speaker would, therefore, speak only unto God, for God alone would understand him.


    EDIFICATION OF THE CHURCH

    "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort" (1 Cor. 14:3). In contrast to the unknown tongue, prophecy serves the purposes of edification, exhortation, and comfort. The person prophesying, that is, one speaking forth for God an inspired utterance, speaks in the language of the people present so that they can easily understand. Paul sets forth the contents of the prophetic utterance and at the same time indicates the purpose for which the contents are intended.

    "Edification" ([@oikodomen]) in the Biblical sense of the term is the presentation of divine truth which builds and strengthens faith and spiritual life. It thus indicates all true instruction which indoctrinates and builds one up. Edification enables the hearers to know and inwardly grasp the divine truth, to assimilate and to make it their own.

    "Exhortation" ([@paraklesis]) means "admonition, encouragement." It denotes an encouragement addressed to the will, an energetic impulse capable of effecting an awakening or advancement in Christian fidelity.

    "Comfort" ([@paramuthia]) deals with the Christian's condition in this hostile and evil world where he must endure persecution and affliction of every kind. Comfort and consolation tends to lead him to understand the nature of what he must endure and to enable him to hold out cheerfully and valiantly to the end. It has been suggested that "edification" relates mainly to faith, "exhortation" emphasizes love, and "comfort" points to hope.

    Paul thus shows that since prophecy is understood by men, it builds up the church as a whole. It is thus evident that in the intrinsic nature of the two gifts (prophecy and tongues), prophecy is superior.

    "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church" (1 Cor. 14:4). Speaking in tongues is restricted and more limited than prophecy. When the tongues are used without an interpreter, their ability to edify is restricted to the speaker himself, whereas the gift of prophecy benefits the church. While both edify, the range of edification is different. The gift of prophecy is far wider and so it is the greater gift.

    "I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying" (1 Cor. 14:5).

    The conclusion of 1 Cor. 14:1-4 is that the gift of tongues is a good thing; but prophecy is superior to it, unless by interpretation the discourse in a tongue be translated so that all can understand it. Paul does not reject tongues, he desired that they should abound; but he desired still more earnestly the development of the gift of prophecy. Those who spoke in tongues spoke under the supernatural influence of the Spirit and those who prophesied spoke under the supernatural influence of the Spirit; the difference was in the language used. The most important thing was that the people be able to understand the message. This passage shows that the gift of interpretation, although distinct from that of tongues, might be possessed by the same person.


    CONVINCING AND TEACHING UNBELIEVERS

    "Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe" (1 Cor. 14:22). Speaking in unknown languages was to reach the unbelieving nations and thus teach them the gospel. For people to hear strangers speak in their own tongue, never having studied it, as was done on Pentecost, attracted attention, convinced the people that the power of God was with them, and prepared them to hear and believe the truth. But prophesying was a sign to them that believe. This was instructing them in the truths of the gospel, in a language they understood, which would help and profit the believers.


    CONFIRMATION OF THE WORD

    The signs or miracles of Christ were not only for the benefit of the people, but also were proofs of the deity of Christ.

    "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (John 20:30-31)

    Jesus said, "But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me" (John 5:36). And again, "I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me" (John 10:25). Nicodemus said, "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him" (John 3:2).

    When Jesus healed the palsied man it was seen that God was with him and that Christ had the power to forgive sins:

    "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion" (Mark 2:10-12).

    Paul teaches that tongues were a "sign" to unbelievers and prophesying was a "sign" to believers. The "signs" were to confirm the word.

    "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; 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; 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. (Heb. 2:1-4)

    The word has been confirmed and is sufficient to give man all that he needs for salvation. Paul taught on "tongues" that they were useful in the church when edifying (1 Cor. 14:5). It is thus clearly demonstrated that the chief end of spiritual gifts in the early church was the "edification" of the brethren. Tongues (the ability to speak in languages they had not studied) served a very helpful purpose in evangelizing among unbelievers.

    Today we are edified through the word. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 says:

    "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

    Thus, all the signs, including tongues and miracles of the apostolic time, having served their purpose, have ceased (cf. 1 Cor. 13:8-13).


    PUNISHMENT AND WARNING

    It is sometimes alleged that the purpose of miracles was just to eliminate suffering, but such a view does not take into account all that is said on this subject. It is obvious that the miracles of healing did relieve suffering, but there were other miracles that brought punishment. For example, when Paul and Barnabas were preaching to Sergius Paulus in Paphos they were opposed by a sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus.

    "Then Saul (who is also called Paul), filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, and said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord." (Acts 13:9-12).

    It is obvious that this type of miracle is not happening today. Where are the people who can strike others blind? One cannot then say that the only purpose of miracles was to eliminate suffering.

    Even though Paul had the power to perform miracles, yet he had a thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7) which the Lord would not remove. Paul left Trophimus at Miletus sick (2 Tim. 4:20) and so did not perform a miracle on Trophimus. He instructed Timothy to drink no longer water (1 Tim. 5:23) but a little wine for his stomach. So the purpose of these miracles was not just for the relief of suffering, but the real purpose behind the miracles was to confirm the deity of Christ and to confirm the word which was spoken by the apostles.
     
  18. cougan

    cougan Senior Member

    766
    +6
    Christian
    CONCLUSION

    Today, if someone wants a miracle, then read him the miracles of the New Testament. These miracles which are recorded were to confirm the word. Instead of people's testifying what the Lord has done for them they need to read an account of conversion in the Book of Acts where there is no error in the account. Jesus and the apostles do not need to come back to the earth and do their work all over; that work has been finished and confirmed. We are not able to perform the miracles that they did because it is not necessary for us to have inspired men; we have an inspired book -- the Bible. It is not necessary for us to write off and get a paper on how to learn to speak in tongues. In the first place, we do not have the gift of tongues available today and in the next place, the gift was not received by reading a "how-to-do-it" paper on tongues. In the third place, the tongues of the New Testament were real languages, not nonsense syllables which are uttered today which cannot be interpreted because there is no interpretation.

    In Eph. 4:11-13 Paul taught that God gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers "for" ([@pros]) the perfecting of the saints, "unto" ([@eis]) the work of the ministry, the edifying of the body of Christ. He also tells us how long these were to last: namely, "till" ([@mechri], preposition of time) we come in the unity of the faith -- the faith -- the system of faith (Jude 1:3).
     
  19. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    +21
    Non-Denom
    Cougan said: "I would like to see this evidence you say exist of people being healed over the years."

    Firstly, Cougan, there are tons of documented healings out there written in books and all. I could point them out to you but I think you'll probably say that all these people (preachers, pastors, evangelists, Christians in general) are just telling fables. And publishers themselves have bought into the worldwide scam.

    There's quite a well-known recent video of a man raised from the dead by Reinhardt Bonke ministries. But I guess you'd say they paid actors to do it and wrote scripts of lies.

    I could point you to my church's website testimonies too, and encourage you to call long distance and talk to the Pastor and ask him for medical proof. But I'm not sure if you are up to it.

    Secondly, nobody goes to church with a video cam in hand looking around for miracles in progress. It's a move of the Holy Spirit that happens as and when he pleases. Speaking of this, Charles and Francis Hunter did say that they have some healings recorded on TV. I'm sure others have too. But I'm just wonderin if you'll just say "Hmmm I wonder how much they paid these actors."

    But just to satisfy your curiosity, Here's one from my church's testimonies website. This old woman was healed of a stroke.
    http://www.newcreation.org.sg/ourlordtestimonies.html

    Well, you can always e-mail the church, interview the family, get their medical records, call up the Pstor to verify etc.
     
  20. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

    +218
    Atheist
    Private
    I am not discussing preterism with you I am simply laying out for you evidence that IMHO is Biblical; you can put any kind of label on it that you like.&nbsp; "Cessationist" is a new one on me to say the least!&nbsp; I guess these days when someone points out&nbsp;biblical truths of the&nbsp;scripture that has nothing to do with traditionalism people become very skeptical and afraid to make the necessary changes in their views because it might be to painful for them to accept, especially when the Biblical evidence is presented right before their very eyes. &nbsp;




    As for everything you are referring to in your quote and by reading some of the statements by cougan, there is plenty of scriptural evidence that he and I have both provided for you to see.&nbsp; I would say that maybe you need to take your group out to some of the hospitals in your area and start healing all the sick people that are lying in their beds.&nbsp; And as for all the foreign languages&nbsp;(tongues) you claim everyone is speaking in your church, I hope your congregation is&nbsp;following the scriptures where Paul says you need to have interpreters present or everyone who is speaking in all those&nbsp;unknown tongues needs to stop speaking!&nbsp; Is your church following these rules of the scripture? Like Paul says in (1Cor13:1) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.&nbsp;&nbsp;In other words like Paul is saying, you are making a lot of noise&nbsp;if no one knows what anyone is saying.&nbsp; It sounds like to me that you need to carfully read&nbsp;and ponder 1Cor12, 13, 14 for further study to see what Paul is really teaching about spiritual gifts and how all this relates&nbsp;for us today.&nbsp; And that is not preterism that is Biblical teaching. &nbsp;
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...