Cessationism vs. Continuationism

Apparently, the Grace to You blog has been seeing the same type of question that has happened in a few of the comments here.  There is a question among believers as to whether the gifts are operating in the same manner as they were in the apostolic era.  If any charismatic would be honest with themselves, they would have to say no.  Charismatics will always fight back with, “I know someone who was healed.”  Or, “I know a friend of my cousin who was healed.”  But rarely do you ever see verifiable and credible evidence that signs and wonders, or attesting miracles, are being performed today.

I know when I publish this I will hear from people who say the same statements I cited in the paragraph above.  But if you will be really honest with yourself, hearing of the great granny of your best friend’s cousin being healed isn’t the type of vague gift that was operable in the church in the apostolic era.  Do we see clear cut healings?  No.  (That’s not to say God in His mercy doesn’t heal.)  Do we see people being raised from the dead on the nightly news?  Do we hear about mass signs and wonders (of a strictly Biblical nature) being reported today?  No.  It’s always stories, but never out and out miracles.

Ephesians 2:18-22:

18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

What charismatics don’t understand is that Jesus is our cornerstone, the apostles the foundation, and the believers in Christ are the stones being built upon the the foundation laid by the apostles.  For the charismatics who claim they are apostles today I ask you:  Why would God need to relay the foundation?  There’s a conflict in logic here.  You can’t lay a foundation on top of the foundation that has been laid, nor on top of the stones already present within the church.  C. Peter Wagner and his “New Apostolic Reformation” would have you believe that God is either re-laying the foundation, or that God is laying a foundation on top of the stones that have already been laid.  It just won’t work.

Phil Johnson, Executive Director of Grace to You, addresses the debate of cessationism and continuationism.  I very rarely post someone else’s work in it’s entirety, but will do so this time.  I tried to post just a snippet, but it was all pertinent to the matter at hand.

Here is what he has to say:

Throughout our series on the Prosperity Gospel, a number of people have steered the comments toward thecessationism vs. continuationism debate. I asked Phil Johnson (GTY’s Executive Director) about the issue—here’s what he said…

If you believe any of the miraculous spiritual gifts were operative in the apostolic era only, and that some or all of those gifts gradually ceased before the end of the first century, you are a cessationist.

If you believe all the spiritual gifts described in the New Testament have continued unabated, unchanged, and unaltered since the initial outpouring of tongues at Pentecost, you are a continuationist.

It’s pretty hard to find a real continuationist. Absolute non-cessationists exist only at the bizarre fringe of the charismatic movement. They are the sort of people who like to declare one another “apostles,” claim (and inevitably abuse) all the apostolic prerogatives, sometimes invent fanciful stories about people raised from the dead, and twist and corrupt virtually every category of doctrine related to the gospel, the atonement, or Christian discipleship and self-denial.

But evangelical charismatics (especially the Reformed variety) do not really believe there are apostles today who have the same authority as the Apostles in the early church. Some may use the term apostle, but they invariably insist that the apostleship they recognize today is a lesser kind of apostleship than the office and gift that belonged to the apostles in the first century.

Now, think through the implications of that position: By arguing for a lesser kind of apostleship, they are actually conceding that the authentic, original New Testament gift of apostleship (Ephesians 4:11) has ceased. They have in effect embraced a kind of cessationism themselves.

Note: There is no more or less biblical warrant for this view than for any other kind of cessationism.

Nonetheless, every true evangelical holds to some form of cessationism. We all believe that the canon of Scripture is closed, right? We do not believe we should be seeking to add new inspired material to the New Testament canon. We hold to the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3)—delivered in the person of Christ, and through the teaching of His apostles, and inscripturated in the New Testament. We believe Scripture as we have it is complete. And those who do not believe that are not really evangelicals. They are cultists and false teachers, who would add to the Word of God.

But notice this: if you acknowledge that the canon is closed and the gift of apostleship has ceased, you have already conceded the heart of the cessationist argument.

That’s not all, though. Most leading “Reformed charismatics” go even further than that. They freely admit that all the charismatic gifts in operation today are of a lesser quality than the gifts we read about in the New Testament.

For example, in Wayne Grudem’s book The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today (Wheaton: Crossway, 1988)—probably the single most important and influential work written to defend modern prophecy—Grudem writes that “no responsible charismatic holds” the view that prophecy today is infallible and inerrant revelation from God (p. 111). He says charismatics are arguing for a “lesser kind of prophecy” (112), which is not on the same level as the inspired prophecies of the Old Testament prophets or the New Testament apostles—and which may even be (and very often is) fallible.

Grudem writes,

there is almost uniform testimony from all sections of the charismatic movement that [today’s] prophecy is impure, and will contain elements which are not to be obeyed or trusted.

Jack Deere, former Dallas Seminary prof-turned charismatic advocate, likewise admits in his book Surprised by the Power of the Holy Spirit (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993), that he has not seen anyone today performing miracles or possessing gifts of the same quality as the signs and wonders of the apostolic era. In fact, Deere argues vehemently throughout his book that modern charismatics do not even claim to have apostolic-quality gifts and miracle-working abilities. One of Deere’s main lines of defense against critics of the charismatic movement is his insistence that modern charismatic gifts are actually lesser gifts than those available in the apostolic era, and therefore, he suggests, they should not be held to apostolic standards.

Again, consider the implications of that claim: Deere and Grudem have, in effect, conceded the entire cessationist argument. They have admitted that they are themselves cessationists of sorts. They believe that the true apostolic gifts and miracles have ceased, and they are admitting that what they are claiming today is not the same as the charismata described in the New Testament.

In other words, modern charismatics have already adopted a cessationist position. When pressed on the issue, all honest charismatics are forced to admit that the “gifts” they receive today are of lesser quality than those of the apostolic era.

Contemporary tongues-speakers do not speak in understandable or translatable dialects, the way the apostles and their followers did at Pentecost. Charismatics who minister on the foreign mission-field are not typically able to preach the gospel miraculously in the tongues of their hearers. Charismatic missionaries have to go to language school like everyone else.

If all sides already acknowledge that there are no modern workers of signs and wonders who can really duplicate apostolic power, then we have no actual argument about the principle of cessationism, and therefore all the frantic demands for biblical and exegetical support for cessationism are superfluous. The real gist of our disagreement boils down only to a question of degree.

In a very helpful book, Satisfied by the Promise of the Spirit (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1996), Thomas Edgar writes,

The charismatic movement gained credence and initial acceptance by claiming their gifts were the same as those in Acts. For most people this is why they are credible today. Yet now one of their primary defenses is the claim that [the gifts] are not the same [as those in the New Testament.] Faced with the facts, they have had to revoke the very foundation of their original reason for existence. (p. 32)

As for biblical arguments, in Scripture itself, there is ample evidence that miracles were extraordinary, rare events, usually associated in some significant way with people who spoke inspired and infallible utterances. It is obvious from the biblical narrative that miracles were declining in frequency even before the apostolic era drew to a close. Scripture says the miracles were apostolic signs (2 Corinthians 12:12), and therefore by definition they pertained specifically and uniquely to the apostolic era.  (Online Source)

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89 Responses to Cessationism vs. Continuationism

  1. James says:

    Perhaps we should define the miraculous, first.

    It seems we’re saying that God no longer intervenes in the natural world in the following ways:
    a) He does not perform obvious (visible) miracles – such as the parting of the Red Sea
    b) He does not intervene in ways that could not also have occurred through natural processes. Illnesses do change course as the body has a remarkable ability to heal itself. However, no one has ever risen from the grave after being dead for a month.

    The problem is, isn’t much petitionary prayer a request of God to do just these things, that is, intervene in a way that may involve an interruption of natural events?

    • Chrystal says:

      The question is, does God still have apostles today and work signs, wonders, and attesting miracles through them like he did the apostles?

    • Mr PSb says:

      To add to what Chrystal is saying, has “Charismaniac Continualism” been the historic position of the Church? Miracles were NEVER common in the Bible, we just have a combined account as to when these miracles happened; people often feel that they were in some way normative. Apart from that, people often mistake Providence for Miracles. God primarily operates through Providence. However, the Bible warns that people will be carried away by these “gifts” and “manifestations” – which have not yielded any good fruit. Throughout Church history, there were always Charismatics who laid claims to miracles and manifestation and they were almost always condemned as heretical.

  2. Paul says:

    Yes I agree the question ought to be are there modern apostles today? I see no scripture that suggests that God has ceased to perform miracles today. In 1Corinthians 13 the things that were to pass away were tongues, prophecy and spiritual knowledge. ( whatever that particular gift actually was? ) The Lord does answer prayers today and does sometimes in his mercy heal the sick and we as faithful followers of Christ ought to ask him to do so. This certainly was the teaching and practice of the new testament church. Apostles are no more and ended with the apostalic age. They established the foundation of the church , wrote scripture and performed miracles as a sign of their apostleship.
    There are no more today and this I think is where you should ask about cessationism. We can only say with authority what has ceased from what the bible says has ceased and my understanding of this is that prophesy, tongues and spiritual knowledge are the three specific gifts that were to end when that which is perfect is come. ( in my understanding the scriptures themselves.)

    That would still leave discerning of spirits, healings, faith, words of wisdom and miracles. Also the ability to distinguish between different types of tongues would by default no longer exist as tongues passed away. That would leave five spiritual manafestations from 1Corinthians 11 that are still around today at least biblically. Where exactly these gifts are operating? I have no idea.

    • IWTT says:

      Paul,

      You say, Also the ability to distinguish between different types of tongues would by default no longer exist as tongues passed away.

      I have a small disagreement because tongues also meant “foreign language” according to my friend the Greek Professor. The question to me is this, if you are at a meeting in a foreign country and you are speaking in front of a group of people in your native tongue (language) and none of those people can speak (english for purposes of this post) the language you are using, but you have someone there who is interpreting what you are saying and telling them in their own language (tongue) would this not be an example of Tongues with Interpretation?

      Or if you all of a sudden speak their language without having any lessons in speaking their language and there is someone there who can actually, for real, interpret what you are saying because they understand their own tongue (language) would that not be an example of tongues and interpretation?

      The scriptures, especially Acts 2 mentions the word “hearing their own tongue (language). I think the problem is that the current trend in the pentecostal/charismatic church is that 99% of the gibberish we hear is attributed to being a language and in reality there is no one around who can actually interpret it because they themselves have no knowledge of the language. No one can actually prove it’s a language and no one can prove the so called interpretation.

      I don’t think tongues as a language has passed away, but our ability to understand the gifting has gone out the door along time ago and the pentecostal/charismatics take the portion of scripture, “whether I speak in the language of angels or…” and then thinks that the gibberish we hear is really a tongue but belongs to the angel world. I tyhink not.

      Blessings

  3. Doug says:

    A very good post, Chrystal-I am definitely in the ‘Cessationist’ camp. One example (of many) of miracles ending-God no longer sends an angel to stir up the waters of the pool which granted healing, does He? That ended during the Apostolic times, probably with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
    May God Bless you, Chrystal, and please have a good weekend.

  4. Plotinus says:

    Bear with me on this:

    So the author refers to “logic” and I’ll start there:

    1. Ad Ignoratium fallacy: He appeals to “ample evidence” of the signs and wonders in the New Testament. Uh–which evidence would that be? He/She assumes that we all operate under a factual framework for the early church miracles and the reference for contemporary miracles are only based on testimony and folklore. Not sure about the “logic” here since.
    2. Dissonance: Cessationism, I argue, is primarily a negotiation of internal cognitive negotiation of contradictory pieces of testimony. The “well I don’t see it” so “therefore it was for them.” An empiricist or psychologist will point to the cessationist or the continuist and have the same diagnosis.

    Logic cannot be a framework for how we negotiate signs and wonders, it can only be a framework for how we discuss it.

    Scripture twisting:
    1. I continually hear about “perversion of scripture” and “itchy ears” and “extra-revelations”–yet I find no scripture that speaks to an “end” or a “dispensation” of gifts. Notice this post is extremely limited in biblical reference. There is no reference of an “ordered” church.
    2. Why did Ephesus receive the “final” word on cessation? Only here does the cessationsist point to a “cease.” In 1:10 Paul speaks of ALL THINGS–the early church didn’t achieve that. Later in 1. he asks for their “revelation”–if it was complete, why ask? The author needs to also read the previous verses where Paul asks for “power”–why? At least 20 times Paul prays for their increase in a lot of things, clearly denoting they were not “complete.” Such a reach.

    Early Church:
    “1st century” Why? We have ZERO evidence of anything significant happening during this time period (post last epistle). The Romans don’t even speak of the Christians until 115. There was no “established church” The author here needs to go back to school and do some reading. Most of the church (by actual evidence) didn’t have any scripture (especially the gentiles), it WAS ALL miracles and TESTIMONY for the better part of 220 years. I applaud the work of our lord JESUS during this time. The spirit was needed as demonstration more than could be imagined.

    Finally, a “small voice” that assists in reading scripture or “cancer healed” are equally a “sign and wonder” and both are illogical, unscientific and unsubstantiated by evidence.

    My argument is simple: If you are a Christian (renewed, born again, transformed etc.), reformed or otherwise, you are NOT a cessationist. You believe in miracles.

    His “levels” argument is problematic at best. To suggest that it was “better then” speaking of apostles makes no logical, interpretive or contextual sense. Jesus did “more” YES. The rest, no reason to believe that, lest we are insane and building a foundation of insanity to protect ourselves.

    Scripture as the Word cannot be disordered and reconstructed to fit our dissonance. It cannot be manipulated by the hyper-charismatic or by the cessationist. Both have limited wisdom and ground their knowledge to fit their own paradigms. We test all things—-either with HIM (as a miracle) or without (of our own wisdom) –you get it.

    Chrystal:

    to answer the last question: I don’t know, but I do seek His Will. If I say no, I’m a cessationist who knows His Will and knows that all things are NOT possible. I know His dispensation and His power. I know exactly when they ceased, I know why they ceased, and I have an extra-biblical knowledge of His agenda.

    Oh–I don’t think any of these jokers that claim to be apostles actually are.

    James:

    Logically, you don’t know the answer to any of the questions you’ve asked. Neither do I. “naturalists” have more questions than answers. Cessation is typically the first step towards atheism. Cessation, I argue, is one of the first post-modern ideals in the Church. A seeker-sensitive way of framing an historical narrative to account for skepticism in Christianity. I find it ironic that most of the icons of cessationsism claim to be grounded in modern logic, when in reality they simply seek to be “inclusive” and “exploratory”—itchy ears. Postmodern critiques of beliefs, events and paradigms typically explain “this is how it was/is for them”–hmmmm.

  5. Frank says:

    Anyone who says they work “signs and wonders”, like Benny Hinn, are deceived and being deceived. The “Signs and Wonders'” that the apostles did was at the beginnings of the church , for obvious reasons.

    Paul said all these things “shall cease.” (1 Corinthians 13).

    God can and does heal through prayer if it is within His will. All of these so called “faith healers” cannot produce one real, documented healing. They can however produce millions of dollars if required by the I.R.S. ;)

  6. Marie says:

    I read this when he first ran it. Excellent, easy to understand explanation of the issue – I greatly appreciate his writing.

  7. shane says:

    “Most of the church (by actual evidence) didn’t have any scripture (especially the gentiles), it WAS ALL miracles and TESTIMONY for the better part of 220 years.”

    I find the comment above humorous. Maybe I misread it???

    No Scripture??????
    What do you think the letters(Epistles) to churches and individuals were? Were they not inspired by the Holy Spirit until one certain day when people decided they were inspired a couple of hundred years after they had been written? Plus they used the Septuagent as well as the letters written by the Apostles.

  8. IWTT says:

    8Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9For(O) we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but(P) when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

    8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of (S)prophecy, they will be done away; if there are (T)tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9For we (U)know in part and we prophesy in part; 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.

    Is Paul really speaking here that when scripture comes or since Jesus has already come, or is He speaking of the return of the King when He comes back for His Bride and we are in one place and there will be no need for these “gifts”?

    Think about this. Who is he speaking to, when is he speaking, and what he the real context of these verses?

    ————————————————————————————————————————————
    Matthew Henry shares, …..the extraordinary gifts on which the Corinthians valued themselves were of short continuance. They were only to edify the church on earth, and that but for a time, not during its whole continuance in this world; but in heaven would be all superseded, which yet is the very seat and element of love. Prophecy must fail, that is, either the prediction of things to come (which is its most common sense) or the interpretation of scripture by immediate inspiration. Tongues will cease, that is, the miraculous power of speaking languages without learning them. There will be but one language in heaven. There is no confusion of tongues in the region of perfect tranquility. And knowledge will vanish away. Not that, in the perfect state above, holy and happy souls shall be unknowing, ignorant: it is a very poor happiness that can consist with utter ignorance. The apostle is plainly speaking of miraculous gifts, and therefore of knowledge to be had out of the common way (see ch. 14:6), a knowledge of mysteries supernaturally communicated. Such knowledge was to vanish away. Some indeed understand it of common knowledge acquired by instruction, taught and learnt. This way of knowing is to vanish away, though the knowledge itself, once acquired, will not be lost. But it is plain that the apostle is here setting the grace of charity in opposition to supernatural gifts. And it is more valuable, because more durable; it shall last, when they shall be no more; it shall enter into heaven, where they will have no place, because they will be of no use, though, in a sense, even our common knowledge may be said to cease in heaven,… from Blue Letter Bible
    ——————————————————————————————————————————–
    Question, Where from these verses do we get the idea that because the scriptures are now available there is no need for the vocal gifts, tongues, interpretation and knwledge?

    Where from these verse do you get the idea that because Jesus has already been here (yes He is perfection) that these gifts have also ended?

    We tend to do scripture exegesis where we say let scripture interpret scripture, but then when do we look at the exegesis of church history? Does history prove these gifts have ended? And I mean the real thing!

  9. Mr PSb says:

    Phil Johnson did a sermon on the Charismatic Movement that’s a great supplement to the above article: http://defendingcontending.com/2009/09/09/sermon-of-the-week-the-charismatic-movement-by-phil-johnson/

    It was one on the best I’ve heard on the subject in quite a while.

  10. ian vincent says:

    The phrase in the article: “attesting miracles” is very good. Absolutely, in the last days miracles do not attest to anything, don’t prove anything about a person, bcos Jesus warned that false prophets shall perform great signs and wonders.

    But anyone who believes that God can’t or won’t answer prayer today needs to get a real job and stop impersonating being a man of God.

    I’ve heard Macarthur preach and and his preaching is dead. He has a very strong intellect and he uses that power, but it doesn’t even produce a sound logic.

    That said, he does make a good stand over many issues concerning apostasy in the church.

    • Chrystal says:

      No one said God doesn’t answer prayer.

    • IWTT says:

      “I’ve heard Macarthur preach and and his preaching is dead.” That’s strictly your opinion!

      I have heard MacArthur preach and his preaching is ALIVE!

      That’s my opinion…

    • unworthy1 says:

      If a man preaches God’s truth, from the bible, expounding God’s word, then how is that considered ‘dead’?!?!
      God has empowered MacArthur to preach/teach His truth, he has labored long in the word and expounds it truthfully and carefully. If you find his preaching ‘dead’, perhaps you need to check your own spiritual pulse.
      If say, the gift of tongues were still operable today, why is it missionaries must first study a foreign language before they venture to a foreign land to preach the Gospel? Why doesn’t God just gift them with the ability to speak the language which is foreign and unknown to them? If the gift of healing were still operable, why aren’t the ‘faith healers’ in hospitals, laying hands on the elderly, the young, any who are in misery?
      The greatest miracle God performs is that of saving a dead-in-sin sinner from what they deserve. When God re-births the lost soul, He has surely done a miraculous work!

    • jude newman says:

      John MacArthur gives good, sound preaching/teaching. I don’t see how you think it’s dead!! Maybe because he doesn;t entertain, amuse or tickle ears

    • Matthew says:

      I am no defender of man, but that statement about John MacArthur is an ignorant one.

  11. ian vincent says:

    Actually, whilst ‘experiential theology’ is wrong, the cessasionists are just as ‘experiential’ in their theology as the crazy matics are: they have not experienced the power of God, supernatural giftings, so, bcos these things are not within the orbit of their experience they assume that their lack of experience is the arbiter of truth, and it skews the way they interpret the Scriptures, and that, wrongly.

    • jude newman says:

      How can you say cessationists have not experienced the power of God, How about the new birth, walking in the Spirit daily, reading the Word and having it illuminated by the Holy Spirit.. Do you interpret the Scriptures by your experience, I heard that sort of elitism in the charismatic church for years

  12. shane says:

    “Does history prove these gifts have ended? And I mean the real thing!”

    Probably so. At least in the modern pent/char church.

  13. Bud Press says:

    Question: When Benny Hinn (and others within the Word of Faith camp) go into foreign countries, why does he need/use an interpreter?

    Bud Press

    • IWTT says:

      Well maybe three reasons:

      1) He is speaking an unknown language which would be tongues and the interpretor is the “interpretation” of tongues (unknown language)… or

      2) We get back to the idea that tongues and Interpretation of tongues is no longer needed, because we can learn a foriegn language so thereby the ability to interpret for the masses… or

      3) The Gift isn’t being manifested as determined by the Holy Spirit…..

      Look to me, here is the deal, and this is just IMHO, I have come to a place where tongues could supernaturally occur. I don’t believe that the verses that are used to say that certain things have ceased to operate are really clear to us. It your interpreatation against mine.

      I personally believe that the Gift of Tongues would occur only one way, That being a person who is preaching to a group of people and he is speaking their language that he.she has never learned and they (the people) are able to understand the language. It was unlearned by the person speaking and in turn somebody had the “gift” to interpret not because is was so supernatural but because they really understood the language. I am, in my own way interpreting the word “gift” differently than supernatural. I have the “gift” of music…. you may have the gift of understanding mathematics….. other may have a “gift” of learning different languages (I know a young man who speaks 4 different languages, THAT IS A GIFT). So has the “gift” of tongues ceased? No. Has the “gift” of interpretation ceased? no.

      Can the Holy Spirit manifest the “gift” any time he wished,,, as the Spirit enabled them….? IMHO, yes.

      Now, the area of a “prayer language” is another thing and another topic that I for one have a hard time accepting as a “Gift of Tongues”.

  14. Bud Press says:

    All faith healers claim to have the gift of healing, which is the ability to heal through the power of God. As such, when they pray for, lay hands on, blow on, push, sling the spirit, and pronounce the sick and dying “healed,” it has to be very embarrassing when nothing happens.

    “Nothing happens” means when amputated arms and legs fail to grow out, when blind eyes remain without sight, when the dead aren’t raised from their coffins or cemetaries, and when people walk in and out of a “healing crusade” wearing their eyeglasses.

    It is sad and frustrating to see the sick and dying leave a healing crusade or service thinking they are healed, only to find out later that they they did not receive the “miracle” they so desperately sought.

    While the faith healers can CLAIM to have anything they want, the proof is in the peaches, so to say. But the peaches are rotten, because they never had the Biblical gift of healing in the first place.

    This article, “Todd Bentley: Miraculous Healings?” may be of interest:

    http://www.christianresearchservice.com/ToddBentley3.htm

    Bud Press

  15. Plotinus says:

    shane:

    You refer to a title of a letter as scripture (as the early church saw it). I’m not aware of the evidence that they received it as such and nor do I have scriptural basis to believe it. Only Peter refers (and it’s a big stretch) to his words and words of others as scripture. Do you have any historical, logical, or testimonial evidence that that those churches, or any, in the first 200 years believed them as “scripture?” I do believe in the canonization of scripture, but do I need to date that for you?

    While I believe they are, it doesn’t speak to any evidence of “completion”–they didn’t think so, nor is it in scripture.

    Chrystal: God answering a prayer for a safe journey is as significant scientifically, logically, emperically and psychologically as Him raising someone from the dead. While it doesn’t speak to “us” and “our” beliefs, it is however equally insane to the above frameworks.

    Bud:

    Benny Hinn speaks no more for my argument than does Hank Hennagraff. Both have been indicted as frauds and had claims of harassment against them. Straw Man at best. Neither speaks for me or my faith in the timeless, irrational/rational Christ of which I believe.

    A little miracle or little sign is NO different than a big one. It only is to parts of the Church, which is shameful and speaks nothing of scripture.

    Please don’t point to “bad apples” as basis for cessation, it only authors confusion and makes a mockery of Christ, who by that premise, needs “good” people to do his works. Silly.

    • Chrystal says:

      Yes, but when someone prays for a safe trip and all of their children are killed on the journey anyway (which I have known to happen), then that forces us to consider that one little annoying pebble in the bottom of charismatic’s shoes that they rarely ever talk about…. God’s will. I have heard time after time after time that we are never supposed to pray for God’s will, we are to command Him. If the result you wanted doesn’t come to pass, it’s your fault, you didn’t have enough faith. Sadly, those who have the “charismatic” type of faith risk shipwreck if something like that happens. Truthfully, anyone’s faith would be tried in a crisis like that. But we can’t disregard the truth that the tower in Siloam, so to speak, is going to fall on some Christians who served God and loved Him dearly. What do charismatics do with that possibility considering they teach that God wants only good things to happen to people? They disregard it and teach the opposite.

  16. Plotinus says:

    Chrystal: I 100% believe in Will. Agreed.

    It just doesn’t have anything to do with cessationsism

  17. Bud Press says:

    Plotinus:

    Please note that in my two posts (above), I asked a question, then made a statement. While neither post mentions “Cessationism,” both posts flow with the theme of this thread. So, what the heck are you talking about? :)

    Bud Press

  18. Bud Press says:

    Plotinus:

    In your January 30, 2010 at 11:11 pm post, you wrote, “Benny Hinn speaks no more for my argument than does Hank Hennagraff. Both have been indicted as frauds and had claims of harassment against them. Straw Man at best. Neither speaks for me or my faith in the timeless, irrational/rational Christ of which I believe.”

    What do you mean by “…irrational/rational Christ…” ?

    Bud Press

  19. shane says:

    1Cor14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

    Paul seems to embrace that his letters would be conscidered Scripture.

    Do I think miracles still occur today? yes I do. Do I think what is seen in the modern pent/char church is what was happening in the Bible? no I do not. Do I think that someone could speak in a language they do not know by the gifting of the Holy Spirit in order for them to spread the Gospel? yes I do. Do I think the babbling you see in the modern pent/char church is that particular gift? no I do not.
    From what I have studied about Montanism, it seems remarkably similar to the modern pent/char movement.

    “The New Testament writings fuctioned authoritatively from their beginning; yet, as with the Old Testament, the collection and distinction from other literature of the time were gradual processes spanning several countries.
    Authority was inherent in Jesus’ commission to the apostles (see Matt. 28:18), but it was not accepted without question by all (see 1Cor. 9:1-3). Not all books written by apostles were included in the canon (see 1Cor. 5:9; Col. 4:16). But by the late second century Irenaeus considered apostolicity the fundamental test of cannonical authenticity. Nonapostolic authors, like Mark, Luke, and James, were considered to have equal authority because of their association with and sanction by the apostles.
    When the apostolic writings were initially gathered is not known for sure. By the time of the writing of 2 Peter, several letters of Paul were known (see 2 Pet. 3:16). Letters were expensive to produce. Certainly, letters from apostles would have been welcome blessings for the young churches during a time when no official New Testament existed. The churches’ leadership was provided by the Spirit’s ministry through gifted people (see 1 Cor.14; Eph. 4:11-16). The apostles’ letters were to be read in the struggling churches during their worship meetings (see Col. 4:16). They would have been received as valuable directives. The letters of Paul were widely circulated and read by the beginning of the second century (see 1 Clement 47:1-3).
    Tradition has held that the decisive period in the history of the New Testament canon was A.D. 140-200, during which time the basic form of the canon developed. The reason for the canon’s fixture came largely as a result of the church’s need to counter the heresies of marcionism and montanism. The New Testament canon, in the majority, was completely accepted by the end of the second century.”David S. Dockery, 1997. The Doctrine of the Bible. Seminary Extension of the Southern Baptist Seminaries

  20. endlessnight says:

    I read the first three sentences then didn’t bother. I have 3 personal friends who have all been healed of genetic or life threatening diseases. One was healed of a heart condition that caused her to pass out from to much physical activity – i.e running hard for 40mins would cause her to black out for 10mins. Another friend had cancer of the ovaries that was healed radically and another mate had the roof of his mouth healed after a biking accident that sent a stick up into the roof of his mouth, to this day he runs his tongue over the scar to remind himself of the power God has to heal.

    So sorry, but I believe that God still chooses to work amazing miracles even today. My friend with the heart condition gave God a month to come through with a healing, my friend who had cancer miraculously healed had friends praying for her and my friend who had his mouth healed was prayed for by his mother

  21. Plotinus says:

    Excellent thread–and very important.

    Let me try to summarize:

    1. A lot of us are in agreement about “signs and wonders”–they exist (at some level) and we are skeptical (at the least) about current operation in said movements.
    2. Cessation makes the argument they “do not happen”–that’s it, no middle ground.

    Bud:

    1. Jesus is both rational/irrational. Why would I think otherwise?
    2. I spoke to the Benny H. thing.
    3. Sort of a moving target here. Cessation is either/or-“it was for then” but “it could happen now” creates a difficult point of stasis. In my opinion, if we agree on the latter, we are not cessationists. Benny H. is a straw man set up by most cessationists as evidence. I’m sure most of you wouldn’t gage democracy by a certain President or Politician, no matter how much favor they have.

    Shane:

    Please don’t throw up the red flags here, maybe more of a pink shade :):

    1. I think Dockery is close to 100 years off. I think it speaks to more of the Roman writings on the early church concerning the spread of documentation or scripture–but that’s for academic walls.
    2. Tertullian, the verdict is still out. He was a great apologist, especially against the Marcionites and gnostics in general. He even wrote most of his works during his montanist stint (I think he left it eventually).
    3. Tertullian saved lives as a montanist. He we the second, arguably the finest, defender within the Roman Empire, he even saved proto-orthodoxy Christians throughout the empire, as a Montanist.

    I will judge him by his fruit (as best as we can tell).

    I’m not sure Montanism is as bad as you think, which speaks of my view of the pent/chara movement (I like your phrase here).

    Oh, I think Tertullian was apostolacity first, just a thought.

  22. Eli says:

    I like, and agree with what Pastor Jack Kelly say about tongues.

    http://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/another-question-on-tongues/#more-8805

    I am by no means a charasmatic, but I moved in those circles and attended a charasmatic church for years. and you’re right, when it comes to healing, it’s usually “i know somebody…” but let me share my own story. a couple of years ago, i had been experiencing a lot of pain in my chest and stomach area. This went on for weeks, and i was just afraid to go to the doctor for fear of what he’d find. one morning on the way to work, the pain was coming back, and I’d just had enough. right there in my car, i began to pray. I asked God to heal me, and to take the pain away. within 1 minute, I was completely pain free, and it has never bothered me again. to this day, I don’t know what was causing it. All I know is that for all intents and purposes, i was healed. was it a miracle, I don’t know. Was it a move of God, I don’t know. All I know is that I prayed for it to stop, and it did, immediatly. And has never returned. I believe that God does indeed still perform miracles, and does indeed still heal people. but the shennanigans of people like Benny Hinn make a mockery of what God does. and if it’s not God’s will, it won’t happen.

    Someone said, you can pray for a safe trip for someone, and everyone is killed in an accident. It’s all about God’s will.

  23. Jim says:

    As someone who’s read MacArthur’s “Charismatic Chaos” and a vigorous response to it by Jack Deere titled, “Surprised By The Power of the Spirit,” I have to side with Deere. IMO, he crushes MacArthur’s arguments with sound exegesis.

    In short, the cessationist view relies on making an argument from silence. One has to manufacture a way to dismiss the gifts for today.

  24. Stella Marie says:

    I don’t understand why all the cessionist arguments I have heard start with the apostles and gifts in the New Testament. These things were present in the Old Testament as well…….THE AUTHENTIC gifts, even “people being raised from the dead”, which for some reason, people have here listed as a gift??? OBVIOUSLY, the apostles were DISTINCT in their “abilities” tho’ I am STILL trying to find one scripture where they claimed the POSESSION of gifts, they were constantly attributing the speaking in tongues, miracles, ect., to the Lord Jesus Christ. These miracles did not start with the apostles, how can they end with them? I do not in any way condone or accept all this “phony balogny” stuff coming out of the Pent/Char movements…… But believe that the ttrue gifts are authentic works of God, not limited to the New Testament. Has anybody REALLy researched this past this present day and age? I am befuddled as to how you would start a teaching on gifts, based on the apostles anyway, why would you not start it with the Holy Spirit.????? And to say that something no longer exists because we no longer SEE IT is pure PRAGMATISM! It is obvious Matthew Henry did not accept this viewpoint. I have heard ample testimony from those who were a part of the “revivals” that they did not accept the cessasionist view. (not Azusa street) What about other great men of the faith? And what about missionaries??…I have heard several true missionaries testify to the fact that if you lived their life trying to do their work you would never discount any gift as not being relevant and current.

  25. shane says:

    If I had written down every “thus sayeth the Lord” I heard while in the pent/char movement, I would have several volumes of written material. Would this be considered to be inspired or Scripture? If it is truly God speaking through someone then it would be .

    The “thus sayeth the Lord” sayings were either some vague comment about some situation someone may be going through, some vague comment based on information that the ‘prophesier” already knew about someones situation, something about the great things God is going to do(which I don’t think I ever seen come to pass), and etc… Anyone that has been there knows what I am talking about.

    I have met people that were right/almost right about some personal things in my life. Does that make me believe that God is speaking to them? no it doesn’t. The things that are wrong and almost right are enough for me to discount them. It can be a powerful thing to have someone “read your mail” so to speak and know what is going on your life.

    It’s funny that everyone wants extra-Biblical experiences and revelation when the Bible is all we need to how to handle life. But if more people started to believe that, the pent/char movement may die out.
    2Tim3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    2Tim3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    As of right now, most people in the U.S. speak English. What would be the point in the Spirit having someone speak in a language other than English when everyone in the congregation speaks English?

    I have yet to find in the Bible where God made a believer fall out in the floor and expose themselves to those in the congregation. Nor have I found where drunkeness is promoted as a good thing.

    Not to mention, the people that ‘have more of the Spirit” seem awfully susceptible to people that teach heresy. You would think that they would be able to recognize heresy easier thant the people that “have less of the Spirit”.

    But I think this is a subject that will be argued until Jesus comes back(which is another issue that will be argued until Jesus comes back).

    I found this after I had left the pent/char movement and found that this guy left for many of the same reasons I did.

    http://www.davidcox.com.mx/library/P/Pohl,%20Alfred%20-%2017%20Reasons%20Why%20I%20Left%20the%20Tongues%20Movement.pdf

    • Eli says:

      “”But I think this is a subject that will be argued until Jesus comes back(which is another issue that will be argued until Jesus comes back).””

      LOL – so true! There is a plethora of arguments for/against every biblical issue. To the point that for myself, I’m just going to rely on the Word, and the Word alone (not feelings, or experiences, or my heart). So far, the Holy Spirit has been constant in leading me in the right directions. In Him alone I will trust.

      Chrystal, you do a good job. Keep up the good work!

  26. Bud Press says:

    Plotinus:

    Your ability to answer a question with a question and jump quickly to another topic is mind boggling.

    Bud Press

  27. Plotinus says:

    Bud:

    I guess you are referring to the rational thingy. I don’t see how “signs and wonders” are rational. I also dont’ see how arguing “signs and wonders” were part of a dispensation is any more rational. Neither meets a standard of reason/logic. Yet we are called, or at least advised to reason. Hope that explains my statement/question.

    Additionally, this debate is interesting to me because neither the current charismatic (such as myself-not the NAR type) nor the cessationist can meet the evidence standard they produce (the “i hold medical verification” or “miracles were only for the early church”).

    I posit the argument that our standards for “proof” have been sabotaged by modern frameworks, that even absent Christianity, are questionable and often misplaced.

    Jesus is neither modern nor postmodern. This is not a seeker-sensitive position, it’s simply grounded in what I believe is transformed/renewed “mindship.” We cannot be enslaved by any paradigm. This is not an abandonment of the Word or Scripture, but more of a guided/transformed reading.

    And yes Bud, I always have more questions than answers. I’m trying not to sound aloof, but it’s just who I am.

    Simply: If cessation were TRUE, I’m guessing that somewhere in the inerrant word of God, it would say it. Otherwise, I have more questions.

  28. Bud Press says:

    Shane wrote: …the people that ‘have more of the Spirit” seem awfully susceptible to people that teach heresy. You would think that they would be able to recognize heresy easier thant the people that “have less of the Spirit”.

    Excellent point!

    Bud Press

  29. Denise says:

    http://www.biblebb.com/files/combating_charismatic_theology.htm is helpful on this, as is MacArthur’s Charismatic Chaos.

    Quote:

    You see the purpose of the miracles is to verify the messengers. I want you to notice something significant: Most Biblically significant miracles happened in THREE BRIEF PERIODS of Bible history. If you drew a timeline representing about 4,000 years of Bible history–we could draw it along the length of this long wall, and then tick off every miracle that is recorded in Scripture, you would find the miracles clustered in three main groups:

    1. There was one era of miracles that covered the lifespan of Moses and Joshua.

    2. There was a second that spanned the ministries of Elijah and Elisha.

    3. The third, the greatest era of miracles that occurred during the time of Christ and the Apostles.

    End quote.

    Phil Johnson also defines “miracles” as well.

    Quote:

    Answers to our prayers usually come by means of providence, through acts of providence, not by miracles.

    Now, what is a miracle? Another definition: In a Biblical sense “a miracle is an extraordinary work of God that involves His immediate and unmistakable intervention in the physical realm in a way that contravenes natural processes.”

    End quote.

    Miracles/signs were to confirm the authority of the apostles in the NT and their message. Once confirmed, and once the churches were established and the Bible complete, there was no need. And note: those who did miracles/signs were either apostles or close partners of them. They were not widespread among everyone.

  30. Denise says:

    http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/CHAOS2.HTM John MacArthur states:

    Nothing in the Charismatic movement is as destructive as a failure to adhere to Scripture alone. It opens the movement to everything; worse of all–demonic lies, seduction from spirits, pumping demon doctrine through hypocritical liars (1 Tim 4). Once you have gone beyond the Word, you are in chaos and confusion.

    But after the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, when the Old Testament was completed, there was no more revelation. Four hundred years of silence. No prophet spoke God’s revelation. For four hundred years, no prophet spoke. Why? God was making a point, the revelation is complete, it is done. And no prophet existed for four hundred years. And God was punctuating the completion of the Old Testament Canon with silence and sending a message to us that said, “Revelation doesn’t go on all the time, it has an ending point.”

    The silence was finally broken and a prophet came. He was related to the Messiah and his name was John the Baptist, and God began to speak the New Testament revelation. And when the New Testament revelation was done–revelation was done. The last book was Revelation, penned by John in 96 AD, and it was over.

    And from then on God has been silent as to revelation. Just as the close of the Old Testament was followed by silence, the close of the New Testament has been followed by the utter absence of new revelation in any form. Since the Book of Revelation was written there has been no new written or verbal revelation from God. Scripture is the test of everything, it is the Christian’s only standard.

    “All Scripture, given by inspiration of God is profitable.” It is completely profitable. It is so profitable that the man of God is made perfect by it thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Right? And the Scripture is sufficient; we need nothing more than this. And once you introduce any more than this the chaos is irretrievable. That’s the tragedy of the Charismatic movement and that is why it is in chaos. That is why there are some people in the movement who are tearing their hair out because they can’t control what’s going on. But once you allow for additional revelation its gone, there’s no control. This Word is all that God wanted us to have “Once for all delivered.”

    • cherylu says:

      Denise,

      I am one that will have to disagree with you here on some things. You quote II Timothy 3:16-17. No argument against that Scripture. But I do disagree with the way you have interpreted it. Those of us that believe these gifts are still for today even if we may have never seen them and deplore the abuses of them we have seen in some circles like Mike A speaks of below, still understand the Bible to teach that they are for today. I don’t believe that in any way contradicts what the II Timothy 3 verses teach. After all, if they tell us these things are for today (and we are correct about that) then are they not part of what God has given us to help us today and we should be grateful for them?

      It seems to me that arguing that none of this is for today because Scripture is all that we need is rather akin to saying that since we now have the Bible we certainly don’t need to pray anymore! After all, it says that Scripture is sufficient!

      I agree 100% that He has given us the revelation about things like doctrine he wants us to have in Scripture. However, that is certainly different then some of the prophecy recorded in the New Testament like the one that told folks there was going to be a great famine. Because of the prophecy, people prepared ahead of time for it. Is there no use for that type of thing in our world today? I certainly think there is.

    • Denise says:

      Cherylu,

      You just disagreed with John MacArthur, whom I was quoting. He’s done his homework and is skilled at exegeting Scripture and faithfully preaching the Word.

      Scripture IS sufficient and God is not giving any new revelation.

      I come from the Charismatic movement and its not of God. It has a low view of Scripture and a low view of God and a high view of man. Its deception. God holds His name and His Word above everything else. Why don’t you?

  31. Mike A says:

    First let me say that I LOVE this site. I appreciate the fact that people can disagree and still be respectful of one another. With that said…

    I am an A/G (Assemblies of God) pastor. And only for a short while at this point. I have never been healed of a cold nor know anyone who has. I have prayed for those who soon passed away from cancer as opposed to being “healed”- it was their time (IMHO). I have “heard” of people being healed in other countries etc, but never, never witnessed it.

    I do not believe that God is a short order cook – there only to take my order and then deliver it to me in just the way I wanted. I do know that God can and does do what please Him – in whatever way pleases Him. I do think there are many charlatans disguised as preachers who give charismatic people a very bad name…such is life. I have sought the Lord on such matters and even thought about leaving my denomination. I have pondered whether I truly believe that God does still heal people, that He does still perform miracles. In doing that I have come to 2 conclusions:

    1. Blessed are those who believe thought they have never seen
    2. The greatest miracle occurs when 1 person truly repents of their sin and is truly transformed into a child of God.

    If I ever see a sign, wonder or miracle, it will be a bonus to the joy I have in the Lord! I believe in miracles. I may never personally “experience” a miracle, sign or wonder, but I believe because they are recorded in the bible. John MacArthur is a wonderful expositor who does a great job arguing his position…..his intellect far exceeds my own. We disagree…but that is ok. I think the scripture plainly speaks the gifts will end at his second coming….but that is my take.

    We will never be in 100% agreement with each other. I agree that these bums (WOF crowd pleasing preachers) who call themselves charismatic or Pentecostal give me a bad rap but I will not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Once again, I love the site and it is good to talk these things out. Maybe you will change my mind…or maybe I will change yours!

  32. shane says:

    I am not trying to make light of a terrible situation but, maybe some of the modern “miracle workers” should go to Haiti and heal people. Or maybe they could multiply the food supply to feed everyone. Or maybe they could bring the dead back to life.

  33. Plotinus says:

    I think Denise demonstrates the cessation and orthodox dispensation argument in a nutshell. The three (I’ve read 4 as well) dispensations of “signs and wonders” are typical suggestions by McArthur and like. What I find interesting is that it takes an extra-biblical “revelation” or “insight” to come to these conclusions. One that steps outside of scripture, and for the most part, outside of the “sola” guidelines they provide.

    Jesus, the apostles and various early church writers never spoke of the dispensation. They were quite familiar with linear time and prophesied quite frequently. I find it interesting that these were not spoke of directly, but were left to us to determine.

    Mixing burdens is common in cessation, it’s the “miracles don’t happen” and the “prove it” generally follows. Sadly, ALL of us are Christians, who by definition, believe in a “miraculous” transormation (even by Denise’s standards).

    As McArthur points out, and several “berean” types, they place demonic manifestations upon the “NAR” or “crazy-matic” behaviors. Again, by Denise’s definition, this a “miracle”–how easy we assign power to the devil and we are left to fend him off with paper.

    • Denise says:

      Scripture is sufficient itself for ALL things pertaining to life and godliness. It alone is infallible and inerrant. Its sad to see so many who profess Christ Jesus to have an incredibly low view of Scripture and God.

      Ps. 138:2… You have exalted above all things Your name and Your word.

      Is. 8: 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.

  34. Bud Press says:

    Cessation-Messation…

    When I entered the military, I was asked if I was Catholic, Protestant, or atheist. “I am a Christian,” I replied.

    During a discussion over the phone, I was asked if my race was black, white, red, or yellow. I replied with, “I am human.”

    When asked if I attended either a Baptist, Methodist, or Pentecostal church, I replied with, “I attend a Christian church.”

    During the elections, I was asked if I am democrat, republican, or independent. “I am an American,” I replied.

    Two years ago, a popular “leader” within the Word of Faith/NAR movement told me I was a Cessationist. I replied with, “What is that?”

    It is easy to get caught up in and sidelined with titles, and even identified as such, which always takes away from the original intent and the originality of the individual.

    Cessation-Messation. What a mess, indeed…

    Bud Press

  35. IWTT says:

    Mike,

    Love the post,
    Thanks

    Healing miracles have been mentioned and I would like to take a side trip here for just a moment, if I may. This was something my dad told me about.

    He was an Administrator for a group called PMA (Pacific Missionary Aviation). They worked mainly in the Micronesian Islands and provided air travel for those in medical need to Guam. About two times a year, my dad would go and take local doctors from where they lived to help provide medical care. After one of his trips, when he got back, he was very excited and this is what he relayed to us.

    They had to go to a village that was up in the mountains to provide medical help to the local people. He had taken a very close friend of theirs along who is a doctor. It took several hours to get to their destination on a very bumpy , pot holed, dirt road, traveling in the back of a small pick up. When they finally got there they set up the little medical clinic and began to see many of the people. They would provide medical care and pray with each person they saw.

    One of the patients that came to the clinic was a young lady and she was diagnosed with a case of leperosy. It was in a moderate stage and needed to be cared for. The doctor that treated her prayed with her and asked the Lord to have mercy and heal her. The next morning she came back to the clinic and the leperosy was totally gone. The doctor checked her over and claimed that this was a true miracle healing because the young girl was totaly healed at it wasn’t because of the medical attention she got. He stated that this could not have healed over night due to the medical attention she got. Needless to say there was much praising and some salvations occured out of it. It was very exciting that day on the Island.

    Just thought I’d share soemthing that I felt was a true miracle of the Lord that brought testamony to Him and wouldn’t you know it would be in a remote village on a small Island with no hoopla, shaking, kicking in the face, nor angels appearing, but out of the love of people meeting the needs of other people and showing the love of the Father to them.

  36. Grackle says:

    Dear brothers and sisters,

    Phil Johnson did not make any sense to me. There is a difference between the 12 foundational apostles and the charism of apostles in 1 Cor 12:28. Ditto for miracles in general versus the charismata.

    Basically the charismata have a distinct context. [1] Paul defined them as “the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Cor 12:7). [2] He additionally defined them as ‘functionalities’ using the analogy of a human body (12:12-28). [3] He dealt with the charismatic issue in the context of ‘liturgical matters’ beginning with the Lord’s Table (1 Cor 11:17,18,33, 14:6,149,23,26). So the charismata are explicitly associated with the Holy Spirit in the liturgy of the Church. They are not miracles that happen anytime and anywhere.

    But the 12 began their ministry (inc healing) BEFORE the Spirit was given, even BEFORE the Cross. Their apostleship was therefore not that of the charism in 12:28. So you cannot read their cessation into the charismata and vice versa. They are different.

    The nature of the charismata is relatively immaterial. The real issue in the Cessationist-Continuationist debate is one word: COMMANDMENTS. For a practice to be ‘Scripturally Christian’ it needs to be explicitly based on the commandments received by 11 men BEFORE Christ ascended. The Commission specified commandments “I have COMMANDED (past tense) you.” Paul was quite explicit that the charismatic instructions had this origin, (1 Cor 14:37). Was it not so, the Twelve would have condemned Paul. That is also why there was a warning (14:38) aka Lk 6:46, for failure to comply would have thrown the confession of Christ’s Lordship into question.

    The Continuationist assertion is that the gifts are clearly commanded but ceasing them is not. Because Christ’s commandments are true, the charismata they support must be true. Somewhere out there in the midst of the confusion and charismania, there have to be the real thing. All these problems have their reasons that some day may be clear to us.

  37. Bill Fawcett says:

    Mike A.,

    Welcome from a fellow A/Ger. Old School.

    Something that has really encouraged me in praying for healing has been the scripturally-based teaching called “Why Healing is For Today” by Dr. Michael Brown.

    [audio src="http://askdrbrown.org/media/albums/ICN/SpiritualGrowth/Why%20Healing%20is%20For%20Today.mp3" /]

    -Bill Fawcett

  38. Stella Marie says:

    It may be true that the “miracles” were confined to two or three timeframes as you wrote, I would have to study further on that, however prohecies were not limited in this way, they occur all throughout the Old Testament, not limited to just the prophets either, at one point even a donkey spoke the word of God……..

    Also, if Scripture is TOTALLY “sufficient” in the manner which it seems to be interpreted here, The Holy Spirit would only be defined in that scruipture as an interpreter of that said scripture, he would have no other purpose, or maybe there would be no need for the minsitry of the Holy Spirit in ANY form since the WRITTEN WORD is ALL sufficient????

    What is NAR?????

  39. shane says:

    Has anyone that has been commenting that believes the gifts that the Apostles had are still functional today, ever used said gifts?

    I mean commanded someone to be healed and they were(real paralysis healed, severed limbs regrown, etc… truly verifyable not just pain relieved), raised the dead, spoke in a true language they did not know to spread the Gospel(not gibberish in a prayer meeting or service) I mean the truly Holy Spirit given ability to speak another language to an unreached people group, has anyone ever been able to interpret a language that they did not know(not the kind that goes on in a prayer meeting or service) I mean the truly Holy Spirit given ability to understand a different language used by a different people group while spreading the Gospel? Has anyone ever been able to work miracles? Has anyones shadow healed people? If so, can you provide proof?

    There seems to be a lack of real proof that anyone acutally has these gifts. If there was someone that was truly working these types of miracles today, it would make the news.

    Don’t say that you know somebody, or you heard about such and such that done this or that, have you personally done any of those on a regular basis?

    And when somebody in a pent/char service gives out a message(tongues and interpretation, pents/chars should know what I am talking about) in a service then shouldn’t we be able to write that down and call it Scripture? Afterall the Bible is God’s word written down as the writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

  40. Mike A says:

    Thank you for the kind words!

    My position is one that God heals, but it is not always His will to heal. Justin Peters (http://justinpeters.org) sums it up well. My wife, like him, has Cerebral Palsy (although her case is even more mild than Justin’s) as well as a kidney disease she was born with. Neither have been healed…so though I believe God can heal, in her case he has chosen not to do so thus far. We do not place out faith in what we see, but in what we know His word says. We will worship God reagrdless with all of our heart, soul , mind and strength. We will make mistakes, but God will forgive. God may one day heal my wife – He may not. His perfect will be done.

  41. Gordon says:

    I note from above John MacArthur is regarded as something of an authority in this subject matter. I haven’t read that much of John MacArthur and not for some considerable time but, if his exposition of 1 Corinthians 14 is anything to go by, I have read more than I need to. The first rule of biblical exegesis is that the text means what the author intended and should not be interpreted through our own pre-suppositions – in MacArthur’s case the cessation of spiritual gifts.

    In Acts 2 Luke uses both ‘glossa’ and ‘dialectos’ in reference to the mention of tongues. In 1 Cor 12 Paul identifies ‘glossa’ as a gift of the Holy Spirit; and in chapter 13 v 1 he describes tongues (glossa) as languages of men or angels then goes on in chapter 14 to give instruction on their proper use in private and in the church. The proper approach to the abuse of spiritual gifts is to teach their proper use, not to advocate their non-use (Concerning spiritual gifts, I would not have you ignorant 12.1).

    In Charismatic chaos MacArthur would have us believe that tongues in chapter 14 should be understood as ‘gibberish’!

    In that case let’s substitute MacArthur’s word ‘gibberish’ in every place where Paul uses ‘glossa’ to describe tongues in chapter 14. Here are some examples:
    v 2 Anyone who speaks gibberish does not speak to men but to God.
    v4 he who speaks in gibberish edifies himself
    v5 5 I would like every one of you to speak gibberish
    v 18 I thank God I speak gibberish more than any of you.
    v 26 When you come together everyone has a hymn, a prayer, a word of instruction, a revelation, gibberish or interpretation.
    v 27 If anyone speaks in gibberish, two, or at most three should speak one at a time and someone must interpret!
    Exactly how do you interpret gibberish?

    So does the text mean what Paul intends by way of correction and instruction for proper use, or should we heed John MacArthur’s bizarre interpretation?

    I rest my case, I will be sticking with Paul.

    • unworthy1 says:

      In Acts 2:4, the word ‘tongues’ is translated glōssa meaning ‘the language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations’. Acts 2:6 verifies this, ‘Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.’
      The meaning is the same in 1 Cor. 12:10, and other passages as well. To speak in ‘tongues’ is to speak a language foreign to the one who exercises this gift. If this gift were still in operation today, why is it missionaries must first study and learn foreign languages before setting off on their mission field?
      Also, why is it those who claim this gift abuse it? For instance, step into any AG/Pent. church, and everyone seems to have this gift…BUT, where is the one who interprets? The bible clearly says one MUST interpret what is being said, 1 Cor. 14:27, ‘If any man speak in an [unknown] tongue, [let it be] by two, or at the most [by] three, and [that] by course; and let one interpret.’ vs. 28, ‘But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.’
      In MacArthur’s defense, take note of his distinguishing between the legit ‘tongues’ and the illegit ‘tongue’, as Paul sarcastically points out in 1 Cor. 14, i.e., vs. 4-‘He that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.’Here Paul uses the phrase ‘unknown tongue’, instead of the word ‘tongues’ which we find in Acts 2, as well as other places. Paul is making a distinction between the legit and the phony; much like today, many professed this gift and uttered ‘unknown languages’, or gibberish. Paul clearly points out why the phonies claimed this gift…edifying ‘self’. All MUST be done to build up others, for the glory of God. Is that what takes place today? NO! What many profess today is exactly what Paul scolded the Corinthians for, misuse of gifts that they really did not possess.
      As for the cessation of this gift, I know of no one who legitimately has spoken in ‘tongues’, nor has there been any documented, legitimate cases since the book of Acts.

      ‘Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.’ 1 Cor. 13:8 There definitely is a cessation of certain gifts; why is it no one desires the gift of charity? Where is the boasting and bragging of claiming and excersizing this gift? Could it be that the gift of charity does not edify ‘self’, like, say, tongues, or healing? What gain is there in charity? There is a motive in claiming certain gifts, that’s why the gift of charity NEVER gets a mention.

    • Gordon says:

      Unworthy wrote:
      In MacArthur’s defense, take note of his distinguishing between the legit ‘tongues’ and the illegit ‘tongue’, as Paul sarcastically points out in 1 Cor. 14, i.e., vs. 4-’He that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.’Here Paul uses the phrase ‘unknown tongue’, instead of the word ‘tongues’ which we find in Acts 2, as well as other places. Paul is making a distinction between the legit and the phony; much like today, many professed this gift and uttered ‘unknown languages’, or gibberish.

      You make the same mistake as John MacArthur by adding to scripture and misrepresenting Paul. Please note that Paul did not use the word ‘unknown’, he simply used ‘glossa’. ‘Unknown’ is a translator’s insertion/qualification which cannot be attributed to Paul. And where do you get the idea Paul is being sarcastic? To edify is to build up, he would never have said that a phoney tongue builds anyone up, but both edifying oneself and edifying the church are necessary and commendable goals.

  42. cherylu says:

    Denise,

    This is in reference to your last comment to me. It is so far back up the thread that I thought it better to comment here then back up there.

    First of all, I think you need to know that I came out of the charismatic movement too. Like you, I believe thaty there is much deception and even demonic influence there. However, I still do not believe that the Bible teaches that all of these things have come to an end.

    I know John McCarthur believes and teaches that. However, not everyone agrees with John McCarthur! He is a man too–subject to mistake like the rest of us. I could be wrong about this–on the other hand so could you!

    And I just don’t agree with the belief that the type of prophecy I referred to from the New Testament has no place today. By the way, that same type of prophetic word was also seen in the Old Testament too. To use the example I gave above, there is no way in reading the Bible that we would know that a great famine was coming so we could prepare for it ahead of time. That requires a specific word from the God. Now maybe you don’t think that type of thing is necessary for us anymore. Maybe necessary isn’t even the right word. I think “helpful” might be better. However, God certainly thought the folks back then needed that type of thing. Have we changed so much today that we no longer do? Because we have the Bible now, that means we are automatically just to sit and wait and be taken totally unaware by a bad situation like the type God warned people about in the past ahead of time?? If God loved the folks enough then to warn them ahead of time, don’t you think He loves us enough today to possibly do the same thing?

    I think this is sort of a comparing apples and oranges type thing here. I don’t believe there is going to be any new revelation that reveals new doctrine–a mistake that the charismatic folks seem to make with great regularity. I think He has given all of the doctrine He intends to give us–the “faith once delivered to the saints”. But to me that is a totally different thing then the type of words I have been speaking about here.

    I agree that the charismatic movement lifts their words above the Scripture. I have seen it over and over again myself and I deplore it. But that doesn’t mean that any true word that the Lord gave today would or should be elevated above the Scripture. Any prophecy given needs to be tested by Scriputre and if it doesn’t agree or adds a new doctrine it needs to be tossed out the door as false in a hurry!

    Please don’t let all of the abuse you saw automatically close your eyes to the possibility that God still does operate this way today–just not the way we have both seen it done in what I refer to as the hyper charismatic movement.

  43. cherylu says:

    Denise,

    Reading back to your first comment on this thread, I see that it is not only prophecy, “new revelation” as I believe you have called it, that you believe has ceased. You also stated that you believe miracles have ceased.

    I am wondering if you read the testimony just passed on by IWTT about the girl that was healed over night of leprosy? What do you make of that?

  44. Plotinus says:

    Shane:

    Please establish “proof” for me. A skeptic/atheist will ask the exact questions regarding miracles. They will also ask you (as a Christian) to provide “proof” that Jesus was God, or had any magic powers. They will ask you for “proof” that there is a difference between believing in Jesus versus the toothfairy.

    I think you should be careful here. Cessation is a stepping stone, and a tool used quite wisely, by atheists.

    Additionally, I would ask you for “proof” that “proof” is a reasonable standard for which we are to exist. That is, a necessary condition for our survival. I can only speak of “testimony” to the validity of science, to its findings. Science, as with Chrisitanity, is a closed school. About 1000 people on this planet can replicate micro-evolution testing. Half of that can explain it’s relationship to quantum physics. And only about 5 people can even discuss neuro-conscienceness in relation to cellular macro-evolution (and those 5 don’t agree)–the rest are forced to “believe” their “stories” and literature. NO standard of “proof.”

    I’m going to assume that you mean “scientific” evidence as a framework. Unfortuneatly, under this paradigm, a Christian could never provide proof. If a limb, under lab scrutiny, would regenerate and become something that it wasn’t before–science would not attest this as a miracle, only unexplainable. They would also ascribe “healing” as unecessary. It happens all the time, it’s called quantum physics. You’ve essentially created an either or fallacy with your requirements.

    To answer your question (based on my narratvie)—yes, yes, no, yes,no, yes (polish), yes, no and finally YES–on that issue, I received one scientific possiblity out of two specialists and they provided a theory. When forced (by a court of law) to provide that theory, they refused and said “we just don’t know.”

    To you, that is not “proof” just unexplainable. So provide me with a scenerio that would fit your demands.

  45. unworthy1 says:

    Gordon, you still overlooked Paul’s singular ‘tongue’, he distinguishes between the false and the true by using ‘tongue’ and ‘tongues’. As for making a mistake, I disagree. Paul is teaching against misusing, or counterfeit tongue. He points out in 1 Cor. 14 the reason behind the counterfeit, it is for self-edification. You may lash out at MacArthur all day long, I happen to agree with his teaching.
    Are you stating the gift of tongues hasn’t ceased? If so, would you kindly answer my questions from my previous post…
    If this gift were still in operation today, why is it missionaries must first study and learn foreign languages before setting off on their mission field?
    Also, why is it those who claim this gift abuse it? For instance, step into any AG/Pent. church, and everyone seems to have this gift…BUT, where is the one who interprets? The bible clearly says one MUST interpret what is being said, 1 Cor. 14:27, ‘If any man speak in an [unknown] tongue, [let it be] by two, or at the most [by] three, and [that] by course; and let one interpret.’ vs. 28, ‘But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.’

    • Chrystal says:

      Good points.

      I also wonder why this gift would be necessary in American churches or meetings where everyone speaks English. Additionally, in meetings where there are foreigners, why do they speak through a translator? Something is wrong with this picture.

    • cherylu says:

      Can you tell me why you believe self edification is wrong? It basically means to build ourselves up in the faith. Is that not something we are supposed to do?

      It seems to me that Paul is speaking about 2 different things here–tongues when used in the church that need an interpreter and tongues used when you are by yourself. After all, he is thankful that he speaks in tongues more than any of them but says he would rather speak 5 words with his understanding when in a church. He also says he will sing and pray with the spirit which he has equated with tongues and he will sing and pray with his mind.

    • Gordon says:

      Dear Unworthy, you are being careless in your use of scripture. Remember my point in my first post that the first rule of exegesis is that scripture means what the writer intended, not what you and I might like it to mean. However, your insertion of ‘unknown’ in brackets is a tacit acknowledgement that Paul did not use the term

      Now you make a false distinction between tongue and tongues which makes no sense when read within the context of the passage as a whole. (Another rule of exegesis by the way is to read scripture in context) You say that the (unknown) tongue is counterfeit. How then can a counterfeit build the believer up? By the way you seem to miss the point that being built up is a good thing because it leads to spiritual maturity. 1 Samuel 30:7 David strengthened himself in the Lord. That is what edifying oneself is all about. I made the same mistake when I used to be a cessationist and failed to appreciate that the Holy Spirit only gives good gifts. A counterfeit would have exactly the opposite effect, i.e. to cause the believer to fall into deception. You may say that is the point that Paul is making, yet only a verse or so before he says that anyone speaking in an (unknown) tongue does not speak to man but to God? Do you think God appreciates people speaking to him in counterfeit tongues. Then you state that anyone who speaks in an (unknown) tongue, two or three at most, must have an interpreter? How can the counterfeit be interpreted?

      I was a cessationist for 30 years. I have been a charismatic for 33 years and yes I believe the Holy Spirit’s gift of tongues is for today. Yes, I agree there is abuse in the church today and yes I agree that scripture is the final authority. As a pastor I tried to ensure that any revelation, tongue or prophecy, whether private or public, was weighed against the authority of scripture.

      There is an unhealthy thread running through this discussion which goes something like this. ‘My charismatic experience was bad, therefore all charismatics are deceived. My charismatic church was crazy, therefore all charismatic churches are crazy’. That is of the same order of logic as, ‘My cow eats grass, therefore all cows eat grass’. The church at Corinth would certainly have qualified for inclusion among the crazy bunch but this was a church planted by Paul and he doesn’t disown them, rather he seeks to bring order where there is disorder. Chapter 14 is about order in the church and in private devotion.

      By the way someone else has answered your question about ‘why do missionaries have to learn foreign languages’. I agree with their answer that you have used a straw man argument. I do know of instances where a person having hands laid on them began speaking in a tongue which was unknown to the speaker but known to the person laying on hands but, whereas I have that first-hand from the relevant ministry by the time it gets to you it becomes second-hand and I couldn’t expect you to receive it.

      I also have first-hand experience of remarkable, medically verifiable healings within my own congregation and the credit for that goes to the Lord.

      Unfortunately, there is a lot of hurt expressed in this thread by some ex-charismatics. The way to deal with that is not to slander all charismatics but to seek healing and forgiveness towards those who have sinned against them.

      Best wishes,

      Gordon

  46. unworthy1 says:

    MacArthur is not alone on his view of cessation, from Vine’s expository dictionary…There is no evidence of the continuance of this gift after apostolic times nor indeed in the later times of the Apostles themselves; this provides confirmation of the fulfillment in this way of 1Cr 13:8, that this gift would cease in the churches, just as would “prophecies” and “knowledge” in the sense of knowledge received by immediate supernatural power (cp. 1Cr 14:6). The completion of the Holy Scriptures has provided the churches with all that is necessary for individual and collective guidance, instruction, and edification.

    1 Cor. 13:8 clearly states the gift of tongues would cease, yet, those who insist otherwise overlook this passage.

  47. shane says:

    @plontius

    “I think you should be careful here. Cessation is a stepping stone, and a tool used quite wisely, by atheists. ”
    Now you are calling me an atheist wanna be??

    I have never said I deny that God still heals. I do not believe anyone has the gifts of an Apostle. No one alive today has the authority that the Apostles had.

    And I believe if you go back up somewhere in this thread you will see that I stated that I believe these things can happen.
    “Do I think miracles still occur today? yes I do. Do I think what is seen in the modern pent/char church is what was happening in the Bible? no I do not. Do I think that someone could speak in a language they do not know by the gifting of the Holy Spirit in order for them to spread the Gospel? yes I do. Do I think the babbling you see in the modern pent/char church is that particular gift? no I do not.”

    These are not the everyday run of the mill happenings.

    Base on your string of yes’ and no’s. I think you answered yes to this question. I am having a hard time determing which yes goes where and which no goes where.
    “And when somebody in a pent/char service gives out a message(tongues and interpretation, pents/chars should know what I am talking about) in a service then shouldn’t we be able to write that down and call it Scripture?”

    If you believe that would be considered Scripture then you have opened yourself up to much deception.

    Also as far as proof. I would like to know what the said “miracle worker’ teaches. A lot of these modern “prophets” and “apostles” have heretical beliefs. Just because a “miracle” has taken place you cannot attribute it to God.

    @bill fawcett
    “I have a friend who worked for Bonnke and met Daniel Ekechuk.”
    I would be sceptical of what “miracle” Bonnke claims to have “worked”.

    http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/rbonnke.html

    http://www.powertostand.com/Word%20Faith/bonnke.htm

    http://www.letusreason.org/popteac13.htm

    http://www.cephasministry.com/evangelists_bonnke.html

    http://www.forgottenword.org/raised.html

    Please don’t say that Todd Bentley is a man of God.
    Can God heal people inspite of these men? yes

  48. shane says:

    I guess since I am now on my way to becoming an atheist, could someone tell me what I must do to be saved? If I do manage to accomplish the steps necessary to be saved, can I lose it or forfeit it?

    must I be water baptized?
    must I speak in tongues?
    must I do works to earn or keep my salvation?
    must I live a perfectly sinless life?

  49. Bill Fawcett says:

    >If this gift were still in operation today, why is it missionaries must first study and learn foreign languages before setting off on their mission field?

    Oh, come on, you can surely do better than that lame straw-man argument. Show me in the bible where missionaries EVER utilized the gift of tounges rather than learning languages before being sent off to distant lands. You cant, and that’s why why you just said is completely insane.

  50. cherylu says:

    unworthy1,

    You make the statement, “1 Cor. 13:8 clearly states the gift of tongues would cease, yet, those who insist otherwise overlook this passage.”

    It is not correct that we overlook this passage, we believe the context of this verse shows it to be when Jesus returns that these things will cease and not before. It is that our interpretation of the passage is different than yours.

  51. shane says:

    Also I will say that I am very skeptical of the pent/char movement. I grew up in it.
    I find that the majority of its view on salvation is greatly flawed.
    It is not up to the believer to keep up their faith or live up to some Finney-esk standard.
    I thank God for giving me the faith to believe. It is a faith that will never fade away.
    I find the constant talk about spiritual warfare and the Spirit to be a little troubling.
    I think I heard more of that than what Jesus has done for His children.
    I thank God that I don’t need some type of mystical experience to increase my “faith”.
    I thank God that I don’t have to go to the altar and “get saved” over and over again every week like so many in the movement.
    I thank God that he let me see the truth about the hucksters such as Benny Hinn, Jessie Duplanits, Todd Bentley, TBN, the “Lakeland Revival”, the “Toronto Revival”, the “Brownsville Revival”, William Branham, Kathryn Kuhlman, the pastors that taught me that staying saved is like holding onto a greased pig, and etc…

    Could someone show me in the Bible where being slain in the Spirit is(especially where it says that believer will expose themselves to the congregation when they fall out)?
    Drunk in the Spirit?
    Non stop laughter?

    “A. G. Garr and his wife were sent from Azusa Street as missionaries to Calcutta, India, where they managed to start a small revival. Speaking in tongues in India did not enable them to speak the native language, Bengali. Garr significantly contributed to early Pentecostalism through his later work in redefining the “biblical evidence” doctrine and changing the doctrine from a belief that speaking in tongues was explicitly for evangelism to a belief that speaking in tongues was a gift for “spiritual empowerment”.[4]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azusa_Street_Revival

    They needed only to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit and they would be miraculously empowered to speak whatever language was necessary. This was a teaching Parham would steadfastly maintain throughout the rest of his life, despite ever mounting evidence that this was not substantiated by later events.
    Synan, V. (2001). The century of the Holy Spirit : 100 years of Pentecostal and charismatic renewal, 1901-2001 (44). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

    But who were the missionaries and how did they fare? At least four different categories of people ventured abroad. The first was made up of persons who had been called, yet, due to their feelings concerning the urgency of the hour and confidence they had received the necessary languages through Spirit baptism, spent little or no time in gathering financial resources. Their savings or the offerings given by fellow believers probably helped them on their journey. Neither did they study the history and culture of the different peoples they hoped to convert. Ministerial credentials, legal recognition, and mission theory took a backseat to the individual guidance of the Holy Spirit. In numerous cases, their overall impact proved short-lived and disappointing. Disillusionment crept in as harsh realities defied their best efforts. Attempts to evangelize frequently ran aground without awareness of the culture and language, dependable financial assistance to cover their personal expenses or to rent halls for holding services, and without a long-term strategy to achieve success in their new environments. Many returned home heartbroken.
    In the second category, hardy souls survived by learning the language, adjusting to different cultural contexts, and adapting to the challenges that confronted them. Even when they discovered that speaking in tongues represented prayer in the Spirit instead of linguistic expertise, they accepted the transition in meaning since they shared in the experience of tongues that had enflamed the disciples with zeal on the Day of Pentecost. They wrote letters to friends and churches to obtain prayer and financial support and worked to train converts for leadership posts in the emerging churches.
    Synan, V. (2001). The century of the Holy Spirit : 100 years of Pentecostal and charismatic renewal, 1901-2001 (81). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

    http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bstudy/spiritualgifts/ch18.htm

    Here is another article on tongues but, I am sure that what this guy is teaching is not true ; )

    • Bill Fawcett says:

      >I thank God that he let me see the truth about the hucksters such as Benny Hinn, Jessie Duplanits, Todd Bentley, TBN, the “Lakeland Revival”, the “Toronto Revival”, the “Brownsville Revival”, William Branham, Kathryn Kuhlman…

      I think the conversation is taking a wrong turn. I’m not even familiar with any substanative charges of “hucksterism” concerning the bulk of the Brownsville Revival, but it really is a red herring. To all the abuses, I say “Let God be true and every man a liar.”

      Please, try to prove cessationism from the bible, not from your educated or uneducated observations.

      If you state that no missionaries today use tounges as a translation device when sent out as proof of cessation, then show me in the bible where any ever did BEFORE your alleged cessation. You can’t, because there are no biblical examples.

      I should not have supplied a contemporary example of someone being raised from the dead, because you were prepared to discredit ANY example. Again, it matters little what MANS experience is today, it only matters what God’s word says. And BTW, if you have studied both Bentley and Bonnke, the only real common ground they share is both are continuists. The same could be said of Mormons, and yet we don’t (reasonably) say that continuists are in error because Mormons are continuists.

      You see the fact that you may have been hurt in a charismatic church does not prove that continuism is wrong. A bad response would be for me to supply examples of someone hurt in a cessationsit church as proof that cessation is wrong. Nonsense.

      I repent if being sucked into the vortex of fleshly reasoning. Sola Scriptura!

      -Bill

  52. Bill Fawcett says:

    Shane,

    I’ve never been accused of defending Bentley. Ever.

    http://beyondgrace.blogspot.com/search/label/Todd%20Bentley

    You are so silly.

  53. Grackle says:

    Unworthy,
    I don’t think we continuationists overlooked 1 Cor 13:8, the question is not whether tongues will cease, but when and how. If we looked at Paul’s state of mind in the same letter (1:7) he could not have mean the “completion of Scripture”. For the early Christians the “Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ” was the event to end all ignorance about both God (Jer 31:34) and man (1 Jn 3:2). Very likely Paul’s 13:12 is connected to that “Revelation”. Note that John said, “not yet know” in one of the last epistles and then jumping to the “when he appears” as the specific point to end this ignorance. When will tongues cease? When he appears.

    How? “We shall be like him”. Christ knows all languages. Therefore he cannot speak in an unknown tongue! When we attain to his stature, we would have his mind fully. At that point, the ability to know and understand all languages would in fact make tongues impossible. The idea of language itself would radically change. When the Universal church is gathered together, is it not reasonable to expect that we can communicate freely no matter our origin?

    This view of cessation is more plausible than the Cessationist one. The Cessationist view has God purposefully abolished the gifts and therefore makes God to have (a) forgotten the Great Commission, (b) abolished the functionalities of Christ’s Body (1 Cor 12:12-28) (c) done ‘violence’ to his own commandment in 1 Cor 14:39, (d) contradicted his word (Rom 11:29), and (e) changed his nature (Jas 1:17)! Yet another– abolished the apostolic Liturgy (Jn 4:23-24, 1 Cor 14:15, Phi 3:3). Scary!

  54. Grackle says:

    Unworthy,

    I am sorry, I seemed to have left your first part undone.

    Remember I said one should not confuse the 12 with the charism of 12:28? In the same way, we should not confuse their work with ‘prophecies’ and ‘knowledge’ of the charismata. What matters in the context of what you were saying is doctrine. Somehow at the back of all our minds is the idea that doctrines we received came ‘charismatically’. We imagine the apostles as receiving and inventing doctrines as they went along after the Ascension. This is wrong.

    “Do not be called “teacher”, for ONE is your teacher- even the Christ”(Matt 23:10, Jn 13:13).

    Covenantally speaking, every teaching had to come directly from Jesus Christ. When God, or anyone, cuts a covenant, the parties must be present ‘face-to-face’. Such were the covenants with Adam, Noah, Abraham, and the Sinaitic Covenant. God was personally present in each case. Only then can they have sufficient weight as Divine Covenants. This nature means charismatic visions would be of insufficient weight to amend a covenant. For any change, or annulment, the parties must again meet face-to-face.

    So we have this New Covenant. Our Moseses, the 11 men, received from God the Son ‘face-to-face’. They received items specific to the NC ‘forty days’ Acts 1:3. At the close, the Son said “(insert Matt 28:20 here)”. Note carefully the ‘all I have commanded you’ part. See the past tense? The Son virtually said, “I am done giving the commandments”. Need the apostles invent anything subsequently? No. All doctrines, theology, promises, and commandments needed were given by that day. The apostles were fully equipped with what doctrines needed to be transmitted to the Church from the Commission’s start. So Jude, even before the canon was completed could speak of the faith “once and for all” entrusted the saints. So Paul could tell the Ephesians, “I have given you the FULL counsel of God”.

    So the ‘prophecies’ and ‘knowledge’ of the charismata were never considered to have the same authority as what Christ gave ‘face-to-face’. Making the early church to be dependent upon charismata for faith is incorrect. They were build solidly only on the teachings directly from Christ (Lk 6:46-49). Macarthur’s assertion is faulty.

  55. shane says:

    (b) abolished the functionalities of Christ’s Body (1 Cor 12:12-28)
    which the pent/char do. they teach that everyone should be a particular body part(everyone should speak in tongues)

    (c) done ‘violence’ to his own commandment in 1 Cor 14:39,
    1Cor14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
    1Cor14:39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
    1Cor14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
    If someone follows the rules that Paul has layed down about tongues then we are to forbid them becuase it is probably the real deal. In verse 38 Paul is saying that if someone ignores the rules he has given about tongues then that person should be ignored. I have never seen tongues used in a pent/char church the way that Paul says they should be used in chapter 14

    (d) contradicted his word (Rom 11:29),
    Rom11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
    Rom11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
    Rom11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
    in the context of salvation and election

    (e) changed his nature (Jas 1:17)
    Jas1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
    Jas1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
    see:
    Eph2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Eph2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    Rom10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    John4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
    John4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    If you are a true born again believer you worship God in the Spirit. You do not worship with an outward appearance as the Jews did while under the Law.
    Rom2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    1Cor14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
    1Cor14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
    1Cor14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
    Everything we do must be done with our understanding. Not just spacing out in the “spirit” and not knowing what we are doing. Without understanding with our minds what we do is useless.
    (remember 1Cor14:37,38)

    Phi3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.(see Romans 2:29)

    Scary!

    Yes it is scary to take Scripture out of context.

  56. shane says:

    “If someone follows the rules that Paul has layed down about tongues then we are to forbid ”

    should read “not to forbid”

  57. shane says:

    “I think the conversation is taking a wrong turn. I’m not even familiar with any substanative charges of “hucksterism” concerning the bulk of the Brownsville Revival, but it really is a red herring. To all the abuses, I say “Let God be true and every man a liar.””

    I threw that in because most people in that movement, myself included at one time, followed these people blindly. Maybe I shouldn’t have thrown that in there???

    people seem to miss the part where I say that I think the true gift could be used today.

    I don’t think there is anyone that could be considered an Apostle of the type of the twelve or Paul.
    Acts1:21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
    Acts1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection
    Seems there is a qualification to someone being a true Apostle.

    It is just I don’t think what I see in the modern pent/char church is the real deal. Especially because the gift of tongues is exalted over all other gifts. It also seems that most people in the pent/char church interpret Scripture around the gift of tongues. Jesus usually ends up taking a back seat to Spritiual gifts.

    I guess my own personal observations and experiences after years in that movement are irrelevant.
    I will try and separate them from the discussion.

    “I should not have supplied a contemporary example of someone being raised from the dead, because you were prepared to discredit ANY example.”

    Sorry. I am just leary of these types that hold massive healing crussades and claim all of these “miracles” that happen like they are a dime a dozen and these guys that are always claiming that God is doing something new.(Jude,2Tim3:1-5) Just because a “miracle” might occur in these guys ministries doesn’t mean that they are truly a man of God. There are many pagan religions that have “miracles” happen in them as well. I think Deu13:1-3 would back that up.

    • Bill Fawcett says:

      Shane,

      We are likely on the same page on a lot of things.

      As t the question of modern day Apostles, there are continuists that also believe in the current day OFFICE of the Apostle, and there are continuists that do not believe in the current day OFFICE if the Apostle, for the very reasons you stated.

      That is two different discussions.

      I happen to fall in the camp that there is no current office of the apostle. This is also the position of the Assemblies of God (US), which can hardly be considered cessationist. See:

      http://ag.org/top/beliefs/position_papers/4195_apostles_prophets.pdf

    • Denise says:

      Agreed Shane. How would such folks be able to distinguish between “true” and false ones?

      2Thes. 2: 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the WORK OF SATAN displayed in all kinds of COUNTERFEIT MIRCLES, SIGNS, AND WONDERS,

      Mat 7:22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not PROPHESY IN YOUR NAME, and cast CAST OUT DEMONS in your name, and do many MIGHTY WORKS in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I NEVER KNEW YOU; depart from me, YOU WORKERS OF LAWLESSNESS.’

      Rev 13:13 It performs GREAT SIGNS, even MAKING FIRE COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN to earth in front of people,14 and by the SIGNS that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.

      Rev 16:14 For they are DEMONIC SPIRITS, PERFORMING SIGNS, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.

      How can you tell the difference between what is supposedly from God and what is from Satan? What’s your standard to test and KNOW what is of Christ? If you can’t know, then you will be deceived (if you aren’t already).

  58. unworthy1 says:

    No matter what your argument, I must stay in MacArthur’s camp. He is the only one whom I’ve read that gives a clear biblical defense for cessation. For those who disagree, it is best to just agree to disagree, rather than let things get out of hand. There is no point continuing to argue, I agree with this post by Chrystal, and I am a cessationist. I have no regrets about it.
    Grace and peace to all

  59. shane says:

    I just thought about something. How come when a message given out in “tongues” is interpreted, it almost always in King James English?

    Is the Sprit partial to KJE?

  60. shane says:

    As far as this discussion goes. I think I will now bow out before I say too many things I will regret.

    I might have to do a post on my blog about the security of the believer. that should strike up some interesting comments.

    Peace out!

    Eph1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
    Eph1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
    Eph1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

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