Science Examines “Speaking in Tongues”

scientist and beakerMost of my readers know that I support the Biblical practice of speaking in tongues, as practiced by the Apostles in the Book of Acts and described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, where he claims to speak in tongues more than all the Corinthians, expresses the desire that all of us would speak in tongues and emphatically states that we should “forbid not” speaking in tongues.  I do not believe that speaking in tongues is either a sign of salvation or the only initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but I do posit that it is a gift given by the Holy Spirit for the edification of the church that we are encouraged to seek and practice. 

I believe the Bible supports this practice,  but what would you say if neurologists studied the brains of their subjects while they spoke in tongues and verified the practice as legitimate? 

Recently, tongues led to one of the longest and most active blog posts in the history of “Word to the Wise”, leaking over to hundreds of more comments on another blog.  This practice is usually fodder for heated, theological debate, but now science has weighed in: The University of Pennsylvania published a scientific study of tongues-talkers, the New York Times and the London Times reported on this study, and, ABC News’ Nightline program also devoted a segment to this experiment.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania took brain images of five women while they spoke in tongues and found that their frontal lobes — the thinking, willful part of the brain through which people control what they do — were relatively quiet, as were the language centers. The regions involved in maintaining self-consciousness were active. The women were not in blind trances, and it was unclear which region was driving the behavior.

The images, appearing in the current issue of the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, pinpoint the most active areas of the brain. The images are the first of their kind taken during this spoken religious practice, which has roots in the Old and New Testaments and in Pentecostal churches established in the early 1900s. The women in the study were healthy, active churchgoers.

http://iglesiabiblica.us/BRAIN.jpgpentecostal brain

“The amazing thing was how the images supported people’s interpretation of what was happening,” said Dr. Andrew B. Newberg, leader of the study team, which included Donna Morgan, Nancy Wintering and Mark Waldman. “The way they describe it, and what they believe, is that God is talking through them,” he said.

Here is the original scientific paper on the study that everyone is citing (unfortunately, you have to pay to read the whole study).

If you want to read more on the theology of speaking in tongues, my view is the same of that of Pastor Jack Hayford, set forth in his book, “The Beauty of Spiritual Language“. my testimony is found here, and my fellow blogger, Schooley, linked to some more really interesting thoughts.

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152 Responses to Science Examines “Speaking in Tongues”

  1. Gregg says:

    Interesting posting, Jim. Out of curiosity does the article explain what other functions that center of the brain is associated with. I understand it says it does not work with language, so what does it relate to. For instance, does it relate to the artistic arena, the creative arena or stuff like that? Unfortunately, I am heading out to the field and do not have time to read and research the article.
    Thanks for the discussion,
    gregg

  2. Brad Ost says:

    Hi Albino

    I think you have good scriptural warrant for tongues. I think it’s always tough trying to support your position with science. I admit you couldn’t have known any of this because you’re not a subscriber to this journal. So you couldn’t have known what the whole article revealed.

    I got the study and read it.

    First, they say near the end of the short study they said “The study has a limited number of participants. .. while this complicates the statistical analysis, the number of subjects was sufficient to reveal statistically significant results.” Care to guess how many test subjects there were? 10,000? 5,000? 1,000?, 100? Try 5. Five. Now you wouldn’t think it was necessary but I had to take two courses on statistical analysis in the program I’m in now. You wouldn’t know it to look at them but librarians love to count and analyze. 5 test subjects and 4 dollars will get you a cup of Starbucks coffee, but nothing in any way statistically meaningful.

    Second, Donna Morgan, one of the coauthors of the study was also a participant in the study. Most participants don’t get to write out the results.

    Third, None of the authors is a neurologist. Newberg is a MD psychiatrist. Wintering doesn’t have a PHd or MD, she’s a clinical social worker. Mark Waldman is a BA who writes books about how biology and religion intersect. Morgan was a participant.

    The study says things like this,

    “It is not clear what what such a finding may represent from a physiological perspective”
    “This might be important”
    “Marginally increased activity measured in our study”
    ” Potential confounding problems with this study include the fact that the subjective sense reported during glossolalia is difficult to measure.”

    And finally I found these two sections just a paragraph apart.

    “Following the “singing” scan, the subject returned to the room to perform glossolalia. It began with the music playing and the person initially singing, and then relatively quickly entering into the glossolalia state.”

    and

    “Both conditions [the singing and the speaking in tongues] involved listening to music and singing, which was voluntary and performed while listening to gospel music. The glossolalia was perceived to be non-voluntary by the subjects.”

    Now which was it? Voluntary or non-voluntary. After the singing they came back in to perform the glossolalia. But if it was non-voluntary how did they perform it on cue, which all five of them did. Did God tell them beforehand that five minutes into the second part I’ll take over? Were we just really lucky that the first time around they all sang songs for 40 minutes and didn’t break into tongues, but during the second half of the experiment, the 30 minutes of tongues, they could, involuntarily, do it on cue?

    Like I said, Jim, I think there’s an excellent scriptural warrant for tongues occurring. But I think “studies” like this don’t help the cause.

  3. danielbalc says:

    I agree with Brad. Scripture doesn’t need “science” for it to be true. When i first read your post I thought to myself, “who in the world would submit themselves to this kind of testing?” As it turns out not many folks. I am certain that just as tehre are false prophesies there are false tongues. A group of 5 presumably from the same demographic possibly from the same church maybe even the same small group is hardly the type of group you can draw any conclusions from.

    The biggest problem with “science” is that it keeps reinventing itself. It keeps modifying and adapting. So much of the things we “know” scientifically we have just learned in the pat 100 years or so. From paleontology to biology we have very little concrete knowledge. Especially in the field of bio-chemistry and neurology. I think if we examine history we can conclude that sociology is probably a better measurement for why and how people think, act, talk etc. How else can the ridiculous rise in homosexuality be accounted for?

    not that I am classifying tongues as a sociological phenomenon, it’s scriptural, but then again so is homosexuality. It’s the prevalence and authenticity of each case that I think is impossible for us to try and tell “scientifically”. Therefore instead of trying to prove or disprove it’s genuineness we let scripture be the judge. Homosexuality is sin; speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit subject to the control of the recipient.

  4. I put the study on my blog kind of as a curiosity, sort of like the bearded lady at the circus. The study has many problems (some of which you listed), and doesn’t begin to prove the validity of speaking in tongues. As Carl texted me earlier today, quoting Billy Sunday, “If neurology disagrees with the Scripture, neurology can go to hell.” :-)

    I just thought this study would be an amusing curiosity.

  5. someone says:

    Seems like someone is changing their story.

    “what would you say if neurologists studied the brains of their subjects while they spoke in tongues and verified the practice as legitimate?”

    It doesn’t sound like you were presenting it as a bearded lady. You only said THAT after the study was intelligently shown to be illegitimate by Brad Ost.

    I wonder…how come you didn’t say, wow, I sure feel silly, but we all had a good laugh, and I learned something from it, namely to scrutinize stuff I initially agree with…?

    Judging from your evolution thread, you don’t give science that much credibility simply because it’s science. But when science seems to support your theology, you embraced it as being obviously correct.

    So let me get this straight. When science disagrees with you, it’s wrong, but when it agrees with you, you’re obviously right. Is that about right?

    I’m not sure you’ve got science in its proper place there. I’m not sure you’re handling it properly. If it were a hammer, you’d be smashing your thumb instead of driving in nails.

    Stand by what you said. Be consistent. If you are proven wrong, admit it. Or you can be the bearded lady I guess.

  6. Where would the nuance in the ironic humor of a post be if I said, “Ok, guys, this is a freak post…wink, wink…” You obviously don’t know me very well. If the idea of neurologists studying the brains of tongues-speaking people doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what would.

    You have me half right, just interject “Bible” instead of “you”. When scholarship disagrees with the Scripture, it is wrong. BIG difference there.

    So, yeah, you missed it on this one. But keep reading the blog and you will recognize subtle humor a little better.

    Speaking of standing up for my statements, you show great bravery by anonymously commenting…guess you’re ready to stand up and be counted, huh?

  7. LOL! ECHO IS BACK! Wow, Echo, I thought you had fallen off the face of the earth, there, but I see you are still with us as the mysterious “someone”. Your ip address gave you away, my friend.

    BTW, we have missed you in the blogosphere. As annoying as you could be sometimes, your point of view did make me think, and your blog was remarkably impressive in such a short period of time.

    Hmmm….first “Echo”, then “Gospelordeath”, then “someone”. Who will he be next time?

  8. RubeRad says:

    Scripture doesn’t need “science” for it to be true.

    Scripture “needs” scientific fact (and historical fact) in the sense that if the Bible is factually invalidated, then it is wrong, and not to be believed. If Adam, Abraham, Israel, Pharaoh, Moses, David, John, Jesus, Peter, Paul, etc. are not all actual historical figures whose words and deeds are accurately recorded in scripture, then the Bible is wrong. In particular, if Christ is not Resurrected, then our faith is in vain (I Cor 15).

    This is not to say that we need science to affirm all points of the Bible all the time, because as DBalc reminds us, science keeps modifying and adapting. So some of what science says may be wrong — the newer the science, the higher the possibility it is wrong. Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, each of their discoveries has been tested by time, and each new development refines the previous, while affirming the general correctness of the previous. (I.e. Newtonian physics is still virtually perfect for explaining all “ordinary” motions we experience, but Einstein’s Relativity is correct for objects moving near the speed of light).

    So when James Cameron claims historical/archaeological evidence of Jesus’ bones, the Bible “needs” science to show that his research is wrong. Because there are only two possibilities — Cameron’s science is wrong, or the Bible and Christianity are wrong. (Incidentally, I found this other Cameron product quite well-done)

    The biggest problem with “science” is that it keeps reinventing itself. It keeps modifying and adapting.

    That’s actually not a problem, that’s what’s good with science: it’s self-correcting. Physical truth (natural revelation) cannot be misinterpreted/suppressed forever. There is more out there that we don’t know, and our scientific understanding will always be making progress.

    The problem is when theologians (or Christians in general) “do” Christianity like science — always looking for new revelation, trying to make progress. Progress is the wrong goal. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, and Peter had it all figured out, and they wrote it down for us — inspired by the Holy Spirit, they wrote down exactly what we need to know. They enscripturated perfect doctrine, and past that point, the goal should not be progress, but doctrinal stasis.

    The catholic church made doctrinal progress in the middle ages, and the Reformation set it straight. Arminius forsook the young legacy of the Reformation, and made some progress. A few hundred years later Charles Finney took the ball and ran with it, making even more progress. And here we are today, with N.T. Wright championing a New Perspective on Paul.

  9. Agree some and disagree some. The Roman Catholic church trashed Biblical Christianity, no arguement there. Where I may differ with you, Rube, is that some of the reformers didn’t reform far enough. Luther kept the baby baptism and a lot of the pomp (vestments, robes) of the Roman Catholic system. He should have kept peeling back the onion, and he may have brought back the practice of the gifts of the Holy Spirit from the early church as well. And it’s interesting to note that each subsequent reformer, in general, was persecuted by the previous reformer and his followers.

    My argument has always been that we should seek to follow Paul’s instructions for worship in the church more and denominational dogmas less. Of course, there is where we have another dustup over how much we should culturally adapt the methods, even when the message stays the same (round and round the mulberry bush).

    I think it’s important to point out that not everyone agrees that Calvin’s Institutes were the final word on theology, but you are aware of that, right?

    My feeling on Charles Finney is that he was a soul winner who loved Jesus with all his heart who should have stayed out of systematic theology. He clearly was out of his element as a theologian. And now, in heaven, he is a just man made perfect.

    I’ll read the article on Paul after lunch.

  10. RubeRad says:

    Here’s a taste to whet your appetite:

    The meaning of “covenantal nomism” is that human obedience is not construed as the means of entering into God’s covenant. That cannot be earned; inclusion within the covenant body is by the grace of God. Rather, obedience is the means of maintaining one’s status within the covenant. And with its emphasis on divine grace and forgiveness, Judaism was never a religion of legalism…

    Protestants can no longer assume that Paul was up against a legalistic Judaism which taught that salvation was to be “merited” or “earned” by self-reliance. Nor were Paul’s opponents against faith, grace, and forgiveness. The sticking-point of the Judaizing controversy must be located elsewhere. If Paul was not protesting against legalism in Galatians and Romans, what is it he was up against? If Jews and Judaizing Christians also believed in faith and grace, to what did Paul object?

    If we use the language of the law court, it makes no sense whatsoever to say that the judge imputes, imparts, bequeaths, conveys or otherwise transfers his righteousness to either the plaintiff or the defendant. Righteousness is not an object, a substance or a gas which can be passed across the courtroom.

    Despite a long tradition to the contrary, the problem Paul addresses in Galatians is not the question of how precisely someone becomes a Christian, or attains to a relationship with God….

    The debate about justification, then, “wasn’t so much about soteriology as about ecclesiology; not so much about salvation as about the church.”

  11. msamudio says:

    Rube,

    You are playing into his hands…/

  12. Ok, just read the article. This guy swung and missed. Judaism IS a religion of legalism. Righteousness IS imputed to the believer. And all of his smoke and mirrors and many paragraphs of verbal contortionism do not negate direct statements by Paul in his letters.

    As I have appealed to Paul’s direct language when discussing the gifts of the Spirit, let’s take Paul’s words at face value…LET PAUL BE PAUL.

  13. msamudio says:

    Jim,

    Just curious…do you let “Paul be Paul” in Romans 9 or Ephesians 1 when it comes to unconditional election?

    Mike

  14. Crickets says:

    2 weeks and nothing but crickets…

  15. Nice to hear from you again, Echo, with yet another alias.

    Yes, Mike, I let Paul be Paul when it comes to election. I just don’t pretend to completely comprehend the tension between election and choice (and God not being willing that any should perish). Like I have explained so many times before, I consider people who claim to fully understand that concept to be self deluded.

  16. msamudio says:

    …..so you are now calling Paul “self-deluded”?

    I couldn’t have made this up…just letting “Albino be Albino”/

  17. No, my dear seminarian. I am calling people who claim to be able to reconcile completely God’s election with man’s free choice and His desire that none perish deluded. This would include people who form a “system of theology” that claims to have it all figured out, then spend as much time studying their own confessions and creeds as they do the Scripture.

    One of my great desires for you and your boys at Westminster, is that you would seek to be more like the Apostle Paul and less like John Calvin.

  18. msamudio says:

    …so now Paul is not only “self-deluded” he is the cause “irreconciliable” differences with other passages in Scripture.

    Again I am not making these things up, its right there in print nobody can “reconcile completely God’s election with man’s free choice…” Otherwise, if somebody could reconcile or articulate the harmony possessed within Scripture they are self-deluded?

    Albino J.O. Hayford…can you tell me who wrote the following passage:

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

    In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

    What a gracious God we have who saved wretched, sinful and rebellious people like us!

    BTW, my study habits include a greater amount of time in the Scriptures than anything else. Hence the series through the Gospel of John.

    FWIW, you would be surprised that a degree at Westminster includes very little reading of John Calvin and much more reading of the Apostle Paul. On percentage basis assigned reading of John Calvin is probably less than 1% (only a few chapters of the Institutes, in Ancient Church of all classes).

  19. Sigh…If you could fully understand the mind and plan of God, you would be God, Mike. Let me give you an example. Explain to me logically where God came from. Go. Explain to me logically how Jesus was 100% God and 100% man at the same time. Explain how God was born as a human. These are things we do not fully understand, but we accept by faith.

    In the same way, I do not pretend to understand logically the tension between God’s sovereignty and man’s free choice…both things are Biblical.

    My beef is with a system that pretends to logically explain it all.

    Glad to hear you are searching the Scriptures. Maybe all is not lost in our seminaries after all.

  20. msamudio says:

    Weren’t you just trying to logically explain tongues? :)

    You didn’t guess who wrote the passage.

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t think faith is meant to defy logic. There is nothing illogical about God, Christ’s two natures, or the incarnation. They are mysterious and in some aspect incomprehesible. Nonetheless, the Scripture provides enough data for us to formulate logical conclusions about the framework of these truths.

    Using your logic, you could say the same thing about justification which would lead to a denial of the Gospel. Surely an understanding of the Gospel can be formulated and understood logically without truly fathoming the full extent of its nature.

    We must confess that there are levels of understanding that our puny minds can attain and I agree we will never fathom all the glory, complexity and mystery of God, but we can know Him logically.

    All of the truths you mentioned are in this boat along with the doctrines of grace I would argue.

  21. “incomprehensible”…”mysterious”….now you’re making some progress

    I’m glad you claim to logically understand God. That tells me a lot about your theological grid.

  22. msamudio says:

    And your claim that God and the two natures of Christ are “illogical” tells me alot about yours…..

    Why don’t you just let Paul be Paul in Ephesians 1?

  23. Dude, Come on, man, be sincere with me here. Do you really claim to fully and logically understand how Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man at the same time? I believe it and preach it, but it is incomprehensible to a finite mind. So is the trinity. So is God’s omnipresence. So let’s dispense with this little charade already.

    I have dealt at length with my position regarding Calvin’s tulip on another thread.

  24. RubeRad says:

    I have never seen you (attempt to) reconcile Eph 1:3-14, or Rom 9, or John 15:16, or Matt 13:13-15, or Ex 4:21,7:3,10:1 etc with your closet 5-point classical Arminianism. Seriously, I cannot come up with an answer to the question “What does Albino believe is the right way to interpret these passages, in consistency with his motto of ‘forced love sucks'”. Maybe I have a faulty memory, in which case just point me to your previous answers. Do you take the standard Arminian lines of

    Eph 1: “Predestined” is merely “fore-recognized”?
    Rom 9: Paul is speaking of national Israel, not of individual election?
    John 15:16: ??
    Matt 13: Jesus doesn’t really intend to keep the non-elect in the dark, he’s just fulfilling prophecy?
    Ex: Pharaoh hardened his own heart first, and then God judged him with further hardening?

    If that is indeed how you interpret clear scripture, I’d have to say that you’re imposing an Arminian grid.

    Or maybe your “dealing at length” is along the lines of “man cannot hope to logically understand it all, incomprehensible, mysterious: don’t worry about understanding it — just believe it and preach it”, as we see here.

    Maybe the biggest difference between us is when we Calvinists see passages that are clear, and passages that are unclear, we try to explain the unclear ones — but you just shrug your shoulders. Would you be respect us more if you asked us “but what about ‘he does not will that any should perish'”, and instead of “imposing our theological grid”, we just said “I dunno. All I know is Rom. 9 is clear and obvious. The bible’s a mystery, dude. It’s not supposed to make sense.”

    Apparently God’s word is called “Revelation” for nothing.

  25. danielbalc says:

    SIGH How does the conversation ALWAYS denigrate to calvin/arminian? The context of this post has nothing to do with that debate and yet it keeps coming up time and time again. I just don’t get it.

  26. msamudio says:

    Daniel,

    I think we (I) were (was) just trying to apply the Albino hermaneutic of letting Paul be Paul in other passages. He regularly makes this assertion and I was just wondering if there was some consistency in the hermaneutic.

    Didn’t mean to be a pest! However, I would have to say that there isn’t any consistency in the Albino hermanteutic.

    Albino,

    Saying the two natures of Christ is logical is not saying that you fully understand it. If something is illogical you probably shouldn’t believe it. An illogical statement is like saying you believe in square circles or round triangles. There is nothing illogical about God or the two natures of Christ. I think you know this, but you are just being sloppy in your definitions (I hope). :)

  27. Daniel….I know. Apparently, if you are a seminarian at Westiminster, every topic returns to Calvinism.

    Mike, I discussed this at length in my Arminian/Albninian thread, which you apparently didn’t read. I have no argument with the texts you mention. I do, however recognize some tension between those texts and other texts. This is why the merry-go-round between Calvinists and others never ends, because it turns into each firing their pet texts at the other. We could argue C vs. A forever and never have resolution.

    Let Paul be Paul. Apparently, that really annoyed you. Good. My assertion is that the Apostle Paul would probably not be comfortable in a church where tongues are forbidden, since he specifically commands us not to forbid them. He also did a lot of speaking in tongues himself, and encourages the Corinthians to do the same, so, again, Paul would probably not be altogether at home in your assemblies. That’s the point I’m making, and I’m sorry if it makes you squirm.

    Rube, Rube, Rube. Yes, of course, study and harmonize. All I am saying is that we can never fully know the mind of God or we would be Him. I posit that one of the areas that is almost impossible to reconcile is His sovereign choice and His gift to us of free choice. I see all kinds of tension between passages, tension that I believe is above my pay grade. The Gospel is for “whosoever will”, yet we were “chosen before the foundation of the earth.” Jesus wept over Jerusalem at their stubborness in not accepting His embrace. Why would he weep for them if they were not selected and elected. That would make Jesus bipolar.

    My approach, in my view, is a more honest one. I do not see a Calvinist Jesus in the Gospels, and I see MANY Scriptures that tell us to “choose” and not to “resist the Holy Spirit”, so I can’t drink the tulip koolaid. Can I explain in an airtight way every Calvinistic passage to everyone’s satisfaction? No. To me, that tension is part of what makes God, God.

    And Mike, for the love of all that is holy, stop asserting that Jesus being fully God and fully man at the same time is something you can logically comprehend. Do you really logically get how Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit? Again, explain the trinity, God’s omnipresence, God’s preexistence, etc. These things are beyond our human logic.

    As to hermeneutics, thanks for the condescending lecture, my young seminarian, but you’ve got a long way to go if you think you can explain away Paul’s commands for order in worship. I guess what you do is get your eraser out every time a supernatural gift or miracle appears, because that just isn’t logical.

    Save the condescension for your classmates.

  28. msamudio says:

    Albino Shaq! That name is well deserved since you just have your elbows violently swinging to clear the boards. Sorry I wasn’t trying to turn this into a C & A debate, but was just curious to see if your hermaneutic was consistent. I am not squirming…I totally agree that Paul encouraged tongue speaking in the church when there was an interpreter…only in the first century though.

    As for the incomprehensibilty of God I commend to you the posts in the following category: http://msamudio.wordpress.com/tag/gods-attributes/ Start with the simplicity of God and work your way up…if you dare.

    Of course I believe that Jesus being fully God and fully man is logical. Now if you asked the question “Mike, do you exhaustively understand all the details associated with Jesus being fully God and fully man?” My answer would be “no”.

    Apparently we are failing to communicate and hopefully I can steer this thread in a more proactive direction with the following analogy:

    Albino, if I asked you “can you logically understand the gospel of justification by faith alone?” I hope your answer would be “yes”. However, if I asked “Albino, can you fully fathom the cost that Jesus paid for your justification?” I hope your answer would be “no”. It is the same concept with our topics at hand. They are perfectly logical and sane conclusions that reasonable people can believe. It does not require some giant leap of faith. Faith is the assurance in things hoped for…delivered to us by eye witnesses and fully logical.

    I hope that this example demonstrates that there is a difference between understanding something logically and understanding something exhaustively. All of the doctrines that you have mentioned can be understood in the former but not the latter. If you don’t get this then I bet you will come down off the boards with elbows swinging. And you know what that is…a foul… five more of those mister and your on the bench.

  29. When I was known as “Albino Shaq” in Poway, I was not known for flying elbows, but for a sweet, consistent stroke on 3-point shots, and a propensity for running full court, even playing 2 on 2. But, then, you have the weather to do that.

  30. danielbalc says:

    Mike, I think the hermeneutic that leads to tongues today being wrong is inconsistent as much as i think Albino’s hermeneutic of “gift of free choice” is inconsistent.

    I love how you covered your back with “only in the first century though”.

    Why not be a “charismatic Calvinist”? Why can’t you acknowledge that the “support” for I Corinthians 14:39 being invalid is simply not there? I don’t think one must abandon their Calvinistic dogma to acknowledge that tongues is very much a spiritual gift that God gives the church UNTIL the second coming.

    BTW that’s why the conversation being at all ABOUT Calvinism simply doesn’t make sense.

    It’s a classic bait and switch tactic which doesn’t benefit the conversation at all.

  31. msamudio says:

    DBalc

    I can’t be a charismatic Calvinist or accept authenticity of tongues for today, because that would deny the sufficiency of Scripture and the revelation made known in Jesus Christ’s incarnation.

    The Scriptures are now all we need. New revelation, which the gift of tongues are, is no longer necessary.

    Mike

  32. Um, don’t mean to wake you from your nap, but Paul wrote his instructions on public worsship to the Corinthians many years after Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection. Oops. The same, sad cessationist exegisis. Sigh.

  33. RubeRad says:

    Guess what — Paul wrote his part of THE BIBLE well after Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection. Until the necessary revelation was available in the written form of scripture, special revelation through spiritual gifts were necessary for the formation of the church.

    (It is for this reason that I find credible the possibility that the Holy Spirit may well use the gift of tonuges (natural languages) to advance the gospel to a new culture, when that culture has no translation of the scriptures (or even perhaps written language!))

  34. Your conclusion (that once the canon was completed, spiritual gifts were no longer necessary) is NOT Biblical. I Cor. 13 does not refer to the Bible but the eternal state, and all lists of the gifts are jumbled together, what you would call charisma gifts with gifts like teaching and administration — when Paul lists them. Any effort to seperate them out is just a sad, pathetic hermeneutic.

    It’s just sad.

  35. msamudio says:

    Uh-oh :0 …what did I do? Excellent point though Rube!

    Well Albino, how do you know that your Bible is complete? How come Mohammed and Joseph Smith (and David Koresh and Jim Jones and Benny Hinn) are wrong?

    Your exegesis that extraordinary gifts of the spirit that provide new revelation from God have not ceased leaves you with a precarious defense against the false teachers listed above. How do you deal with this?

    And who said anything about 1 Cor 13?

    As for the incarnation see this: http://msamudio.wordpress.com/2007/08/04/lesson-3-john-114-18/

  36. How do we deal with false teachings/prophecies? Anything that does not line up with the Scripture gets thrown out. But we’ve been down this road before, haven’t we?

    You guys just say, “The Lord impressed upon my heart,” and don’t call it revelation.

    This is why Paul says that all prophecy must be judged.

  37. Thanks for lumping me in with all the freakburgers. I appreciate that. As I have said many times before, and you know this, the Bible is complete. It is the final authority by which we jusge all sermons, prophecies and teachings.

  38. danielbalc says:

    MS,

    I know we’ve been down this road before, this road of tongues stopping with the canon closing etc. And the linchpin that holds your argument together is the topic of “Revelation” specifically your understanding of Hebrews 1.

    I’m curious then with how you understand Ephesians 1:17, Was that a prayer of Paul’s specifically and exclusively reserved for the first century Ephesian church?

    Would we be wrong to pray a similar prayer for ourselves or others?

    Or is it that this prayer “that God may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” is only answered by an individual reading the Bible.

    What does it mean to have a “spirit of wisdom and revelation”?

    Is such a spirit active today?

    I’m not trying to argue, but rather understand your view.

    ON another blog a lot has been made about the “trajectory of the spirit” and from where I’m sitting I see the cessationist argument as being just that. “God gave us clues that show us that these gifts were only for the first century church we just need to map out those clues to see it.” Huh?

  39. Alex says:

    Albino,

    The best way to deal with things you don’t COMPLETELY understand is to just write it all off, right? That’s all that’s happening here.

    Mike,

    I have said this several times and I will continue to say it, that we as humans do not think the way God thinks. I constantly use the illustration of Peter standing on the boat and being called out onto the water by Jesus. I ask myself, “now if Peter was a very educated man I wonder if he would have actually stepped out on to that water?” I mean the truth is it’s physically impossible to walk on water. He should have never stepped out. It didn’t make any sense to think that he would actually be able to walk on water. This story is an illustration of God’s SUPERNATURAL abilities. Did God at sometime stop using His supernatural abilities? Of course Not. Let me remind you of what God said about Himself, “I change NOT.” Do you realize that you, Mike Samudio Jr., are a living miracle. The truth is many people wrote you off during your “hey day” because of what their “natural eyes” saw. I knew that only God could change your life, and he did. Praise God. Many people with faith were praying for you. It’s called faith for a reason.

    Now, are there false teachers and prophets today? Of course. That is exactly why Paul addreses the matter in the Bible. It wasn’t just for them at that time, it’s for now as well. I have talked to several people who have gone on missions trips to foreign coutries and EVERYTIME they have told me of SUPERNATURAL things taking place. I think that miracles happen alot more out on the missions field because they don’t have to hear other believers telling them ” Miracles don’t happen anymore they were only neccesary for the Bible.” Maybe it’s ignorance. Although I know you will never be able to limit God and what He does you can limit God in your own mind.

  40. msamudio says:

    Albino….so basically you are agreeing with my assumption that you believe the Bible is insufficient for your ministry and additional revelation is still needed. BTW, I never use the words you accuse me of.

    Daniel, I really don’t have time for a thorough examination of the passage you cited (maybe we can deal with the passage I cited above first). However, in order to avoid being accused of dodging the question my answer would be that Eph 1:17 is very similar to Col 2:2-3. The spirit of wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Him (interesting how you leave out those last four words) is referring to the Word of God. The Word of God, Jesus Christ, in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are made known in the canon of Scripture.

    Yes, this spirit is active when the word of God is being preached. For faith comes by hearing the word of Christ, which is the power of God for salvation.

    There is a fundamental difference here between us. I believe the Word of God, once for all handed down to the saints, is sufficient. You guys do not believe that…sorry Albino but all those other freaks believed the same thing you did about continued revelation and went off the reservation.

    Alex, I can agree with almost everything you said, however there is a fundamental difference in our understanding of what a miracle is. God saves people everyday it is supernatural, however this is in a different category than parting the red sea or being raised from the dead.

    I really cannot exegete experiences or word of mouth claims. The authority that governs my life comes from the Scriptures that were written by men who were authorized agents of revelation. They received their credentials through the performance of extraordinary miracles, which were God’s stamp of approval that they spoke for Him. Now if people are still doing miracles, such as these, they have every right to continue adding to the canon of our Scripture.

    Another major difference with the revelation that I consider to be authentic and the revelation that you my friends esteem, is very simple. The revelation from the Scripture is centered on Christ and points me to my need for Him in the Gospel. This other stuff that is called “revelation” is usually not centered on Christ but on man.

    When are you guys going to stop being distracted by this nonsense and start focusing on the true revelation that centers on Christ and His Gospel?

  41. Mike,

    Your post is filled with so many misconceptions and assumptions that it makes my head spin. Did you read any of the previous discussons of this topic? I feel like you’re not hearing anything I’m saying.

    Mike, the reason people go off the reservation is that they stop judging EVERYTHING by the Scriptures. If I use your logic, you do not believe the Scripture to be sufficient because you use the Westminster Confession and read other books written by men after the canon was completed. Do you see the logical fallacy here? The Bible is the judge of every book, every teaching, every sermon, every confession, and, yes, every prophecy. If I believe as you accuse me, I would not need to judge anything, because I would be adding daily to the canon. That is simply falacious. The Bible is the final judge. Am I communicating at all here, or do you just want to merrily continue misrepresenting me?

    I find your assertion that the writers of Scripture had to perform miracles to validate their writings as ludicrous. What about the Corinthians that practiced spiritual gifts. Was every one of them a writer of Scripture? Did every Corinthian believer who spoke in tongues or prophesied add to the canon? You really should think these things through a little bit.

    I agree that all true prophecies and gifts point to Jesus Christ, and are for the edification of the church.

    And why did Paul and the Corinthians get so distracted by “all that nonsense”?

    The bottom line, Mike, is that you have a basic bias against the supernatural that is based more on your prejudices, straw men (all the wacko preachers on tv), and a basic ingnorance of us and our ministry. I urge you to rethink your positions.

  42. danielbalc says:

    Mike,

    If I read you correctly you are saying that the “spirit of wisdom and revelation” in Ephesians 1:17 is “the Word of God” or “Jesus as described in the canon of Scripture”.

    So to paraphase the verse in the NMSV (New Mike Samudio Version)

    “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious father, may give you the word of Christ, in the knowledge of Him.”

    or perhaps you prefer…

    “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious father, may give you the scriptures, in the knowledge of Him.”

    So you’re saying Paul is praying for them to have Jesus so they can know Jesus?

    You’re intentionally trying to take anything “Spiritual” or “supernatural” out of the equation, or at least make it controlable by putting it on paper.

    You say you beleive in the scriptures completely, but you deny the Spirit that the scriptures teach.

    this is why no charismatic can take a cessationist too seriously.

    It’s sad too because you have a lot of knoweldge that could benefit a lot of people, but as long as you continue to contradict the scriptures in the name of adhering to the scriptures your ministry will be limited to say the least.

    (BT please don’t mistake my tone as fiery I’m not sure how to make it so I come across with the actual tone I would like to express which is more like one of concern and question than anger and frustration)

  43. msamudio says:

    Albino,

    Before we go much further can we address the misconception you believe exist in my 8/25 comment? I want to make sure that I understand what you are disagreeing with, since we have a tendency not to communicate very well unless we are very clear.

    It appears that one of the items is my understanding that miracles are required to authenticate revelation. If you read the Gospels, Acts or the Pentateuch carefully they are pregnant with this principle and if you do not have time to read all of that draw your attention to John 20:30-31. These verse explicitly state the purpose of signs and wonders…it is that we may believe. Hopefully you do not think John is ludicrous.

    I’ll wait for your response to address the unfinished business.

    Mike

  44. msamudio says:

    Dbalc,

    Please let me know if I am understanding you correctly, are you saying that Paul is saying all Christians should be receiving unmediated revelation from God? Is that how you interpret the passage?

    Also, just so we are crystal clear…are you saying the Scriptures are not “spiritual” or “supernatural”?

    These two things are really disturbing, however I will wait for your response to confirm that I am understanding you correctly.

    Let me just clarify that we have never had unmediated access to the incarnate Word of God. That is why the apostles were commissioned and the Scriptures produced to provide this wonderful revelation for subsequent generations.

    Mike

  45. danielbalc says:

    are you saying that Paul is saying all Christians should be receiving unmediated revelation from God?

    No

    are you saying the Scriptures are not “spiritual” or “supernatural”?

    No

    I’m saying there is a difference between the Spirit and the sword of the Spirit.

    Does “incarnate word of God” mean Jesus?

    We have never had unmediated access to Jesus?

    We need an mediator between us and Jesus?

    What are you saying Mike?

  46. msamudio says:

    Dbalc,

    The incarnate word of God is Jesus and His ministry here on earth that has now been inscripturated in the New Testament canon. We did not see, feel or hear Jesus in person, but come to know Him through the “mediated” or written Word. Jesus told the apostles about this in John 16:12-14 and His Word was fulfilled in the completion of the New Testament canon.

    I believe that the Spirit is still active today and we hear it and see it on Sunday morning. It is active in the preaching of the Word of Christ and in the Sacraments. Apart from this the Spirit no longer speaks. This is the difference between you and I, I guess.

  47. Wow, Mike. You are practically a deist. Your last coment explains much.

  48. msamudio says:

    Albino,

    On my previous comment to you I forgot to mention Hebrews 2:1-4:

    1Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2For since(A) the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and(B) every transgression or disobedience received a just(C) retribution, 3(D) how shall we escape if we(E) neglect such a great salvation? It was(F) declared at first by the Lord, and it was(G) attested to us(H) by those who heard, 4(I) while God also bore witness(J) by signs and wonders and various miracles and by(K) gifts of the Holy Spirit(L) distributed according to his will.

    Is the author of Hebrews ludicrous as well? He even says that gifts of the spirit are signs.

    I am not sure what you are talking about in your last comment…but it must be the last thing that I said. In what way do you disagree with it? I am also waiting to hear about your accusation on the misconceptions from the previous comments.

  49. msamudio says:

    Albino,

    I think I get it now and correct me if I am wrong, but if you think I am a diest with my previous comments …do you think the Scriptures are not “spiritual” or “supernatural”?

  50. danielbalc says:

    Mike,

    Again it sounds like when you read the Bible whenever you see “spirit” you replace it with “Bible”. This isn’t exactly unprecedented, I know I do that often when I see “Jerusalem” or “Israel” I automatically start thinking “Church” And though often this makes sense I admit that if I did this every time it would be hermeneuticly impossible. For instance (Acts 21:17).

    BUt in the case of replacing “Spirit” with “Bible”, well I think you may be in for a little bit more of a struggle i.e.

    John 3:5-8
    Romans 8:26-27
    I Corinthians 12:7 (Actually I kind of like it when you do this one… “To each one a manifestation of the Bible is given…”)
    I John 4:13
    Jude 19-20

    These are just a few of over 500 verses that talk about the spirit.

    And one of my personal favorites… Ephesians 6:17-18
    17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

    distinguish between the Spirit and the sword of the Spirit. seriously

  51. Echo_ohcE says:

    Albino,

    I don’t think you understand what a Deist is. That’s a good sign, because it shows that you yourself aren’t one. It is probably less than polite to accuse Mike of being a Deist, probably especially since you don’t understand what a Deist is.

    For those of you watching at home, a Deist thinks that God started up the universe, but has had no involvement since. The universe continues as it will on its own, and God is not active in it.

    When Mike said that the Spirit (who is a “he” Mike, not an “it”) works on Sundays, this is precisely the opposite of the Deistic position, which says that God only went to work one day in his life, and since then has been sipping margaritas on his throne, having nothing further to do with the creation.

    But Mike didn’t mean that the Spirit is only active on Sundays. He means that the Spirit USES the Word to nourish our faith. The Spirit is the author of the Word. He is the one who inspired the human authors to write what they wrote.

    But who is the Spirit, and what is his job, and what is the function of Scripture? I will give answers to these questions, and they will go on to be completely ignored by you, because you won’t understand them.

    The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. He is not a lesser deity however. He is the Creator of the universe, the Third Person of the Godhead. He is called the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ in the same verse in Romans 8. He is God-with-us right now. There is no physical presence of the Second Person of the Trinity. Yet Jesus said he would be with us always. So he is present with us now by his Spirit, namely the Holy Spirit. And yet Jesus said that it was he and his Father who would come and dwell with us who believe.

    Is Christ the incarnate Word of God? Yeah, sure, and the Spirit is the indwelling Word, dwelling in our hearts.

    What you guys don’t understand, and I know you don’t understand it, is that the function of the Holy Spirit is the same as the function of the Word, and the same as the function of signs and miracles and tongue speaking and prophesy. And in fact, ALL of God’s interaction with mankind serves the same purpose. Jesus said it best when he said:

    Joh 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

    The Spirit’s job is not to make us long for more of the Spirit. The Spirit’s job is not to make us long for miracles. The Spirit’s job is not to make us cry and have an emotional experience (emotions are not bad in themselves). The Spirit’s job is not to teach us about himself. The Spirit’s job is to point us to Christ, to testify to Christ. That is the function of all miracles. That is the function of the Scriptures. That is the function of tongues, of prophesies, of the many mighty acts of God. All tell the same story: salvation in Jesus Christ.

    The Scriptures give us the full story of the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ, so far as God allows us to have it. It is the fullness of the revelation about Jesus Christ.

    Why oh why in Paul’s day did they need tongues and prophesies and miracles, etc?

    Because all they had was the OLD TESTAMENT you boneheads! Where is the name “Jesus Christ” in the OT? With the possible exception of Joshua, nowhere! Thus they needed some proof that these men who were saying that the OT testified to Jesus Christ weren’t full of it.

    We do not need miracles as similar proof. We do not need inspired prophets who speak for God, whose very words are inspired, explaining how the OT points to Christ. What about all those prophets and tongue speakers? Why wasn’t what they said canonized?

    It was. We call it the NT.

    The content of the NT is the same as the content of the sermons and prophesies and interpreted tongues you would have heard in that day.

    Today, you hear nothing like that in YOUR church. You hear gibberish. No one interprets it. And it is not in a known tongue. There is no evidence whatsoever that anyone spoke the gibberish that is heard today, the nonsense that Mike spoke of earlier. No evidence at ALL.

    The only thing you MIGHT bring to bear is when Paul talks about the tongues of angels in 1 Cor 13:1. But he doesn’t say that he ever spoke in the tongues of angels – though he might have – he only says if he WERE to speak in the tongues of angels without love, it’s meaningless.

    His point is not that you should look longingly on the idea of speaking in the tongue of angels. In fact, that’s the OPPOSITE of what he’s saying. He’s saying that the tongue itself has no value. What has value is LOVE! The sign is meaningless. What it points to has value.

    2Co 12:3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise–whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows–
    2Co 12:4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.

    And anyway, what is heard in heaven cannot be repeated here. The tongues of angels are not permitted to be spoken here.

    How else would anyone utter the tongue of angels except by repeating what is said there, here? But such is not permitted.

    Paul’s point in 1 Cor 13:1 is that tongues have no value in themselves.

    YOU however think they do. YOU have uninterpreted tongues. And indeed, they cannot be interpreted, because they are not truly tongues, but the wild gibberish of people who are deceived, merely imitating the sounds they have heard others utter like a parrot or else simply making up their own as they feel like. The tongues that were spoken in the NT were tongues that some foreigner present could hear and understand.

    What happened in the NT was like this: someone is visiting your church from India. All of a sudden, someone in your church gets up and starts speaking Indian (Hindi I think it’s called). The Indian hears it, and marvels, because they hear the gospel preached to them clearly and in their own language. They are happy because they didn’t have to struggle to figure out what the English sermon being preached was all about.

    AND THAT INDIAN got up and told everyone what was said. THAT was how tongues work. If there is no Indian present who can interpret it, why bother speaking Hindi? You will be speaking into the air.

    You guys think that the babbling you do is the same as the NT tongues? Think again. You’ve deluded yourselves, deceived yourselves.

    But you may ask, what evil may come of it? Surely if it is a deception there is some evil in it.

    Yes, there is evil in it. A great evil. This I have explained before. It undermines the Scriptures and it undermines the gospel.

    You’re feeling blue, having a low-faith day, and you cry out to God to give you strength. You are feeling defeated in your spirit. You think perhaps some demon is near and is tormenting you. So what do you do? You begin to pray in tongues – a bizarre thing to be sure, since no one interprets it. You imagine that you are praying some kind of super effectual prayer, one that God will take extra special notice of, which makes no sense, because even you have no idea what you’re saying, so you aren’t the one saying it, if anything is even being said. Or perhaps you suppose that your heart is expressing itself purely, without the burden of thinking about what you are saying. You don’t have to articulate your feelings, you just begin babbling, and God will know what you are feeling. He will understand, because after all, the babble pouring forth from your mouth is a secret language of angels, and so God understands perfectly what you are saying, even if you do not. This is of course ridiculous, because though you think you are expressing yourself, you don’t even know what you’re saying. So how can you be expressing yourself? But you say you are expressing yourself miraculously by the gift of the Spirit. But do you really need the Holy Spirit to help you express yourself, to tell God how you are feeling? Surely God can read your mind and heart without such nonsense, can’t he?

    That the whole thing is utterly preposterous is abundantly evident to everyone on the planet but you poor saps who have been deceived by it all. But I will go on. When you feel down and out, you pray in tongues, which as I said is nothing but gibberish, and you suppose it is some kind of unspoken self expression, which of course makes the so-called words you are saying or babbling utterly superfluous; either that or it is self expression without words yet with words, but words that you don’t understand. That’s totally stupid and ridiculous. I can’t believe people believe this stuff. But anyway, you pray in tongues, and having thus empitied your soul of all of this emotion and feeling, you feel better.

    And of course, you think you are strengthened in your faith by this. After all, if you are speaking in tongues, the Spirit must still be with you. You are thus assured of God’s presence within you and are strengthened in your faith. But that’s stupid too, because you have only expressed your emotions without any words, at least not any words you have understood. You have not expressed your thoughts, but only your bare emotions, unarticulated, not understood, only half felt. Nonetheless you are somehow comforted, even though you had no idea what you said, but only felt it, because in feeling it, you imagine that you somehow feel God, when in reality you’re only feeling the emotions you’ve worked yourself into.

    So how does this undermine the gospel? Because you suppose that this nonsense nourishes your faith. You may not even realize it, but you are putting your trust in your own emotions. It is irrational, feminine and silly. No wonder you people hate seminaries and learning; your emotions play a much larger role in your life than rational thought. More like women than men. Is that a rude thing to say? Yeah, it sure is, but you wouldn’t let something like that bother you I’m sure. You’ve at least shown no concern to be polite to others, and for once you are at least hearing something that may be a little rude, but at least is true.

    They talk about the feminization of our culture, the anti-intellectual nature of our society, and I tell you that you tongue-speakers are children of our age. You are allowing your theology to turn you into unthinking but only feeling emotional beings, more like a woman than like a man, but I’ve known many women who think far more clearly than you, some even more clearly than most men.

    You have heard me say again and again that you put much stock in emotional experiences, and you usually respond with, “Oh, so Echo thinks crying is somehow evil. He’s so overly mannish. He’s such a homophobe-afraid-to-cry-in-public, unsensitive, etc.” Such a response is stupid. I recognize that we are emotional beings, but you people have turned your own emotions into a god and worshiped them.

    I say that you have so transformed your thinking that you have transformed even your idea of God. You have made your own emotions to be the evidence of God’s presence, and you have worshiped your tears and your babbling nonsense.

    Is there some evil in your babbling? Yeah, perhaps far greater than you know. I don’t envy you on judgment day. Far greater than the evil in your emotional nonsensical babbling that you wrongly attribute to the Spirit is the evil that comes forth from your lips clearly in a known tongue when you teach others to be like yourself.

    Woe, woe, woe.

    And by the way, when you say, “Let Paul be Paul”, what you mean is, “Let Paul be my interpretation of Paul.” You can’t even fully understand the Scriptures, which only makes sense because you don’t fully understand even what comes out of your own mouth half the time. You can’t have it both ways. Either it’s simple and clear to understand, perhaps with a little study, or it’s impossible to understand. Which is it?

    No, you are not consistent. You are a walking contradiction. Apparently to you logic is evil, though God made our minds to function that way. You would prefer to blindly feel your way through life with your emotions and contemplate and think little. You have never once given an honest interaction with anything anyone ever says that I have ever seen. All you give is half answers and nonsense, and cute little catch phrases that mean little, and which you probably heard at some confererence, and since they tugged at your emotions you remembered them.

    No, I don’t envy you on judgment day. Not at all.

  52. Echo vs. The Apostle Paul….round 2

  53. Welcome back, Echo. You made a lot more outrageous statements and assumptions about our church and the practice of gifts in our church. Have you ever attended my church? Wow, what ignorance. I will get back here to attempt to educate you later, but I”m exhausted, after a full weekend of ministry and a funeral. Enjoy seminary, my lad, and we will engage again later this week.

  54. msamudio says:

    Thanks for the correction Echo, the Spirit is a He and not an it.

  55. msamudio says:

    Dbalc,

    I thought we were talking about special revelation. You are referencing many passages that have to do with the Spirit regenerating us unto savlation. That is not what I thought we were discussing.

    Let’s just cut to the chase… are you saying the Holy Spirit gives you special revelation outside of the Scriptures? If so, what assurance do you have that the Scriptures are complete?

  56. Alex says:

    Mike, You really don’t listen do you? Daniel already said that revelation is NEVER outside of scripture. It must line up with the Word. It has to. If it doesn’t, it’s not of God. Why can’t you just at least understand that. You need to stop and listen to this next statement, God uses real life situations to bring to life His Word in our lives. The Word is not just a written word like, say, a history book. Let me remind you what the author of Hebrews says:
    Hebrews 4:12-13

    12For(J) the word of God is living and(K) active,(L) sharper than any(M) two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and(N) discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And(O) no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are(P) naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

    The canon is closed. No NEW revelation will be given but our relationships that we have with God are on an individual basis. People that have walked in faith alot longer than you and I have know God in a different way than you and I do. Please tell me you can at least agree with this point. The difference is FAITH.

    Mike and Mike (Echo), a piece of advice for you, wait until you are out of seminary before you think you know more than your elders(Albino) about faith. It’s like the kid that studies in the finest school to be a surgeon and as an intern is telling the surgeon who has performed surgery for the past 20 years how to perform surgery. The problem is the “kid” is well schooled(head knowledge) in the medical field but he hasn’t actually been a surgeon(applied knowledge) for 20 years himself.

  57. RubeRad says:

    So you’re saying that the revelation that there is modern, unwritten revelation, is not revealed except through modern, unwritten revelation which comes by experience? Think about that — experience = revelation?

    How about 20 years of experience being a Mormon Elder? Is his revelation better than the 18-year-old missionary knocking on your door?

    God understands exactly what revelation we need, and it’s all in the Book. You point the finger back at us, saying “Westminster! Calvin!”, but the difference is WE DON’T CALL IT REVELATION.

    Maybe this is the point: Alex (and probably others) say: “The canon is closed. No NEW revelation will be given“. OK, so you’re saying that your view on tongues/prophecy is that it is OLD Revelation? If it’s old, that’s because it’s already been revealed — and that’s no revelation. So if you’d just stop calling it “revelation”, you’d probably get these seminarians off your back. Of course, you’d also have to stop believing that it’s revelation…

  58. danielbalc says:

    Mike (S),

    I’m saying that the Holy Spirit illumines scriptures, shows us scriptures, leads us to scriptures.

    No, I haven’t even insinuated that we will receive some sort of extra-bibilcal revelation that equates to scripture worthy revelation.

    We can receive spiritual comfort, spiritual wisdom, spiritual knowledge even. None of these are at any point the same thing as “scripture worthy revelation”. and all would have to be judged according to the scriptures.

    I don’t know how you can read any of the New Testament and then propose that we must have a mediator between us and Jesus Christ.

    Unless of course you are defining that “mediator” as faith, but I wouldn’t call that a “mediator” but rather a channel.

    Go read Hebrews 10:19-23 or Hebrews 12:18-24

    There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. The idea that we must have something in between us and Jesus is so inherently Roman and quite clearly based upon the evil desires of the proud to be “like god” that I am shocked you would espouse it. This is what Luther fought so hard against. He started the ball rolling but now you’ve tried to stop it. I don’t know why.

    “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so somehow to to attain to the resurrection of the dead.”

    And what do you mean by saying “You are referencing many passages that have to do with the Spirit regenerating us unto salvation.”?

    I’m referencing scriptures that talk about the Spirit of God being active and involved in individuals lives. I’m trying to point out to you the lunacy of taking verses that say “Spirit” and replacing them with “Word” or “Scriptures”, which is what you keep seeming to do. You appear to be making efforts to restrict all activities of the Spirit of God to the reading of scriptures. That is why albino said you are “practically a deist” because a deist doesn’t believe that God is actively involved in his creation today.

  59. danielbalc says:

    Rube, The difference is between “scripture worthy revelation” (infallible)and revelation that is not scripture worthy (fallible).

    Clearly what was happening in Corinth was that they were receiving revelation from God that (gasp) was not scripture worthy. How do I know this? Read I Corinthians 14:26-33. Paul doesn’t say that their “hymn” “revelation” “word” “instruction” “tongue” or “interpretation” was either (a) false or (b) scripture worthy (by this I mean infallible; if it were then we would have it today wouldn’t we?) And yet he does not prohibit this practice but rather encourages it and prohibits the prohibition of it (vs 39 and 40).

    Why should this stop? because we have the scriptures now? But the scriptures are the very thing that tell us to do this, that seems contradictory doesn’t it?

    Here’s the thing, the instruction in verse 29 to “weigh carefully” what is said, is so much easier now that we have scriptures to defer to. Consequently, when I listen to what you, mike and mike have to say, I (and Jim and Alex and others) weigh it according the scriptures and find that you are simply wrong to try to exclude this practice that was given “for the common good” and edification of the church.

    You can disagree, we have for months, but please try to do so in a loving manner otherwise it’s as worthless as the above diatribe posted by echo.

  60. danielbalc says:

    Rube,

    It’s basically the same thing you do all the time when you read a theological book. you don’t read it believing it to be infallible, but rather you weight it according to the scriptures supposing that the author or authors have been inspired (in some way) by the Holy Spirit.

    Or when you listen to a sermon, don’t you weigh it? But don’t you also believe that the pastor is an instrument of God, a spokesman for the Almighty?

    So you do believe in “revelation” today, you just don’t call it that. OK. semantics. We’ll use the words the Bible used “revelation”, “prophecy” etc, you use “seminary class” “confession” “creed” etc.

    Get over the terms and acknowledge the scriptural relevancy of our position. That’s all we are asking.

  61. Alex says:

    Rube, I love how you get so fired up! You could have been a great linebacker with that kind of intensity!

    Mormonism????? Come on man, you’re killing me. I don’t feel the need to answer that ridiculous comment. The illustration I used with the intern and surgeon was just that, an illustration. Mormonism???

    Ok I guess I have to answer it. The revelation the Mormon Elder has gained from his experience is revelation of how to be a good little mormon. This should not be confused with the Revelation of God, the Bible. I’ll give you an example from my own life. As you know I was raised in the church pretty much all my life and as you can imagine I have heard and read many if not all of the Bible during my 27 years. The revelation of God was not revealed to me until about the age of 18. Does this mean I didn’t hear the Scriptures until then? Not the case. In my own personal life the revelation of who God is and how He is my Savior did not become real(or I was not yet convinced) in my life until the age of 18. The revelation of God was recorded many years prior to my existence but it was not revealed to me until that specific age. I can now say God is my provider and no one will convince me otherwise. Why? I have had an encounter with a LIVING GOD who has shown me, not just my parents or leaders of the church, but He showed me who He is.

    Faith is not learned like mathematics is learned. The Bible reveals all kinds of different aspects of the nature of God but there is too much of God for our little minds to be able to have a handle on. God is our healer, our comforter, our provider and our counselor just to name a few. I am convinced that God is our comforter not just because the Bible says so but because I have been comforted by Him. He is ALIVE. I am convinced of these things just like I’m convinced that speaking in tongues is real because IT LINES UP WITH HIS WRITTEN WORD. I’m not trying to convince you that barking down the isles or falling back into the arms of the “Holy Spirit Catchers” is biblical. Barking and falling have been judged against the Word and I’m still waiting to see those verses to support the practices that some churches follow.

    The Bible is full of examples of God performing miracles, healings, provisions and you say that was only for that period of time?? The Apostle Paul says that speaking in tongues is for the edification of the church and you say, I’ve never spoken in tongues so it must not be real?Please recognize that your arguments are not with me but with the Scriptures themselves.

    round and round goes the merry go round.

  62. msamudio says:

    Dbalc, I am totally lost as to what you are disagreeing with on if you are not talking about revelation. Please bear with me and elaborate.

    Alex, you are right I am confused about what Dbalc is talking about. I thought we were speaking of special revelation. He is talking about something else apparently. Nonetheless, I was quite amused and disturbed by your comments to me and Echo. There is something that you do not understand and are overlooking.

    Albino is a person who doesn’t know the difference between something being logical and ultimately incomprehensible. (Sorry Albino but that was pathetic, definitely not your best moment).

    As for your comments about not being old enough in the faith, lets clarify something. The views that you, Albino and Dbalc (apparently) espouse are the novel ideas. Our views (Echo and myself and I think Rube) are rooted and grounded in the historic creeds and confession of some men were faithful to Scripture and passionate (to the death) about their faith. I am sure that Albino will have something cute and clever (or brutish and rude) to say about this, but it is the truth.

    Step back and think a momemt about the side of the debate you are on. The reality of your comments, however is that they are uninformed and inaccurate. The Reformation was one of the greatest outpourings of the Spirit since Pentecost. It is much more comforting once you’ve examined the sources to know that you’re on the side that takes Christ and His gospel seriously. Let’s think about the origins of the charismatic movement. Do you even know the history of this sect of the Christian faith? Learning the truth about this would be a sobering event.

    Sorry didn’t mean to appeal to things such as these, but I was compelled to address your misconception of the facts.

  63. msamudio says:

    Not one of my best moments should have proof read before submitting the comment :)

    It should say, “grounded in the historic creeds and confession written by men who were faithful…”

  64. Mike, if you are referring to Calvin, he was faithful to “put to death” at the stake. Not his finest hour.

    The side of the debate that we are on, sadly for you, is the Apostle Paul’s side. Every time you start firing against the use of the gifts of the Spirit, you are firing at Paul. Every time you mock tongues as gibberish, you mock Paul. Every time you accuse us of adding to the canon by prophesying or exercising words of knowledge, you are firing at Paul. Our guide, Mike, is the Bible. Not creeds, confessions and denominational dogmas, which are not inspired.

    For somebody who talks so much about not adding to the canon, you seem to revere these confessions and creeds almost as much as the Bible….kind of scary…

    And, Mike, the origins of the charismatic movement were in the early church. Dead, lifeless traditions of men is what drew the church away from exercising spiritual gifts.

    And back to our discussion on “logic”, I still say you are not being straightforward if you claim to understand with a finite mind the incarnation, God’s pre-exististence, omniscience, omnipresence, and many other concepts. We accept these by faith.

    I urge you to rethink your theological grid and double-urge you to let the Bible speak for itself, without hamstrining it with all the baggage you bring to the table.

  65. Echo_ohcE says:

    Alex,

    If Albino is a surgeon, and I’m a med school student, what are you?

    At any rate, if a med school student sees a surgeon amputating someone’s arm because they have a runny nose, would you expect him to sit there stupidly and acquiesce to his superior wisdom and experience?

    Or if you sat and watched the one who was supposed to bring life bring only death, would you not mourn? Does the medical student have no right to an ethical opinion about abortion?

    “Doctor,” the med student would say, “you’re killing the little babies. You’re killing them, you monster.”

    Or perhaps he, since he has not graduated yet, nor done any intern work, should just be silent, and let the old brute go on slaughtering innocent children?

    You would presume that simple experience is the same as wisdom? What did Paul say to Timothy about not letting people despise his youth? And what about Paul letting Peter know a thing or two about the gospel, a story which he tells us about in Galatians? Certainly Peter was the senior man. He was with Jesus long before Paul. And yet Paul is the one who corrected Peter. And later Peter said that Paul’s writings were hard to understand.

    Your words have the appearance of wisdom, but are not wisdom. They would be, if Albino were in line with Scripture, and gave good solid answers that backed him up consistently.

    But the fact is, Albino is wrong. His views are out of accord with the PLAIN meaning of Scripture in a thousand places. What’s more, he teaches others his erroneous views.

    No sir, he is no elder of mine, of that you can be sure. But neither do I leave him bleeding by the side of the road either. And as you can see, Mike S, being the good Samaritan that he is, continues to sit by the man offering him medicine which he continues to refuse.

    I suppose you are appalled that people who are not pastors would speak this way to a pastor. You are right to be so appalled. And you would have been absolutely right to be appalled at Paul embarrassing Peter in front of people, calling him out for his anti-gospel behavior. And all Peter did was choose one table at dinner over the other.

    But though you would be appalled to see the rebuke, you would perhaps see that it is right.

  66. Echo_ohcE says:

    Alex,

    Actually, mathematics is a great illustration of how faith is learned. Most people today believe in mathematics, they trust that it is true stuff.

    In the same way, the believer believes that the Word of God is true, spoken by God, and God wouldn’t lie.

    Most people, however, don’t understand all there is to know about math.

    Most believers don’t understand all there is to know about the Scriptures either.

    However, most people, as they learn more about math, trust their math teachers that what they are telling them is true, and as they learn it, what they believe about it grows.

    In the same way, believers typically believe what their pastor tells them. As they listen, they learn. What they learn becomes part of what they believe about God, the Bible, etc.

    A 5th grader would properly be said to believe in the truth of mathematics. As such, you could say that if that 5th grader could comprehend Calculus, he would believe it. But alas, he can’t believe what he has not yet learned. But one day he probably will learn Calculus, and then he will believe it.

    So too we begin when we are children learning very basic things, such as the catechism. In time, we add to our understanding. The more we understand, the more things there are that we believe, the greater our faith, because there are more things to believe in. Faith and understanding go hand in hand, and learning.

    But in mathematics, if you are an anti-intellectual, and refuse to learn anything but basic math, you will be a believer in math, but you probably won’t get that nice cushy accountant job. You’ll probably have to be a janitor.

    So too it is by faith. We reformed have nice cushy jobs. We only want you to get a nice cushy job too. We want you to play golf all day and smoke cigars and get paid fabulously for it. But you don’t want to take our offer. You hate us for offering you such comforts, and refuse to lay aside your brooms. Sigh. If only you would learn Calculus, you could sit back with your feet up all day like us. But you are unwilling.

    I’ve no doubt that like most people, you probably simply hate math. I always hated math. I hated every minute of it. It was oh so tedious. Believing in it is one thing, but loving it is quite another. Truly it is a rare breed that loves math.

    And though I know I sound like a parent telling a child to eat their vegetables: math is good for you. Learn it.

    And Alex, I would say this. You won’t find satisfaction in the addition tables. Learning Calculus is hard, but it can be fun. There is great satisfaction in reformed Christianity, such as you have not yet tasted. No you haven’t. I have tasted what you are getting crammed down your throat. I know, you hate me for saying it. I have tasted it. You won’t be satisfied till you join us. That’s a promise. You may put it to the test if you like.

    6 months in a reformed church and you’d never go back. But you won’t test it, because you know it’s true.

  67. Echo_ohcE says:

    Albino,

    Calvin never put anyone to death. You are repeating a lie. This has been proven to you before. I know it has. That makes you a liar. Why do you need to tell a lie about Calvin putting someone to death in order to discredit him? Even if he did kill someone – which he didn’t – wouldn’t he be in good company with Moses, David, and your favorite, Paul? What on earth does this prove? You only make yourself a fool and a liar for no good purpose but to arouse suspicion to discredit theological ideas.

    Would it be fair play if I said that the leader of the charismatic movement in the US in the early days of the movement was later convicted of sodomy? Does this disprove your theological argument or make me look foolish? It makes me look foolish of course. But that’s ok. I’ll be happy to take after Paul and make myself a fool for your sake. Knucklehead.

  68. Echo_ohcE says:

    For anyone that’s interested, Bruce will be happy to give you a nice article, which cites good sources, that show that Calvin actually appealed to the local magistrate NOT to put the guy to death, but they did it anyway. It was the local government that killed the guy, not Calvin. They killed him for being a heretic, and a heretic he was, but Calvin was against it, and there is extant copies of this letter for proof.

    But of course, what’s all that academic mumbo jumbo when standing alongside an academic giant from Texas who knows more than the Calvinists about Calvin?

  69. Echo,

    You are a little bit out of control here, brother. You are now comparing me to someone who brings death and kills babies? And now, a liar, too? So when someone disagrees with the Westminster Chatechism, disagrees with your confessions, and (gasp) disagrees with John Calvin, we are evil?

    As to Servetus, he was wrong on the trinity but right on the money about baptizing infants. And, with all due respect to Bruce, I don’t think his article is the last word. And that makes me a liar? Echo, get a good night’s sleep and hit your textbooks. You’re losing it.

    Here’s a view you probably don’t get at Westminster about Calvin/Servetus

    ————————————————-

    Calvin — “If he comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight.”

    Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (Baker Book House, 1950), p. 371

    Calvin — “I hope that the verdict will call for the death penalty.”

    Walter Nigg, The Heretics (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1962), p. 328.

    “As an ‘obstinate heretic’ he had all his property confiscated without more ado. He was badly treated in prison. It is understandable, therefore, that Servetus was rude and insulting at his confrontation with Calvin. Unfortunately for him, at this time Calvin was fighting to maintain his weakening power in Geneva. Calvin’s opponents used Servetus as a pretext for attacking the Geneva Reformer’s theocratic government. It became a matter of prestige — always the sore point for any dictatorial regime — for Calvin to assert his power in this respect. He was forced to push the condemnation of Servetus with all the means at his command.”

    15. The Heretics, p. 326

    Let it be noted that the Calvinists of Geneva put half-green wood around the feet of Servetus and a wreath strewn with sulfur on his head. It took over thirty minutes to render him lifeless in such a fire, while the people of Geneva stood around to watch him suffer and slowly die! Just before this happened, the record shows:

    “Farel walked beside the condemned man, and kept up a constant barrage of words, in complete insensitivity to what Servetus might be feeling. All he had in mind was to extort from the prisoner an acknowledgement [sic] of his theological error — a shocking example of the soulless cure of souls. After some minutes of this, Servetus ceased making any reply and prayed quietly to himself. When they arrived at the place of execution, Farel announced to the watching crowd: ‘Here you see what power Satan possesses when he has a man in his power. This man is a scholar of distinction, and he perhaps believed he was acting rightly. But now Satan possesses him completely, as he might possess you, should you fall into his traps.’

    When the executioner began his work, Servetus whispered with trembling voice: ‘Oh God, Oh God!’ The thwarted Farel snapped at him: ‘Have you nothing else to say?’ This time Servetus replied to him: ‘What else might I do, but speak of God!’ Thereupon he was lifted onto the pyre and chained to the stake. A wreath strewn with sulfur was placed on his head. When the faggots were ignited, a piercing cry of horror broke from him. ‘Mercy, mercy!’ he cried. For more than half an hour the horrible agony continued, for the pyre had been made of half-green wood, which burned slowly. ‘Jesus, Son of the eternal God, have mercy on me,’ the tormented man cried from the midst of the flames ….”

    The Heretics, p. 327

    “Calvin had thus murdered his enemy, and there is nothing to suggest that he ever repented his crime [sic]. The next year he published a defence [sic] in which further insults were heaped upon his former adversary in most vindictive and intemperate language.”

    Michael Servetus Humanist and Martyr, p. 36

    “No event has more influenced history’s judgment of Calvin than the role he played in the capture and execution of the Spanish physician and amateur theologian Michael Servetus in 1553. This event has overshadowed everything else Calvin accomplished and continues to embarrass his modern admirers.”

    The Age of Reformation 1250-1550, pp. 368,369. Bolsec’s book in which he charges Calvin as he did is cited as Histoire de la vie, moeurs, actes, doctrine, constance et mort de Jean Calvin … pub. a Lyon en 1577, ed. M. Louis-Francois Chastel (Lyon, 1875), page 369.

  70. danielbalc says:

    Please get off the character debate of Calvin. it is irrelevant and means nothing to the conversation.

    The real question being debated (as always) is regarding “how the Holy Spirit works today”, and as an extension of that question, “are the gifts of the NT still in operation”?

    The fact is they cn only be discredited as real gifts if they are made out to be something they never were. i.e. some sort of scripture writing services. If that were the case then, then the arguments of the cessationist would be relevant. That wasn’t what was happening in any NT church, BUT if that is the case being practiced NOW (as in the Mormon “church”) Then we can discredit it.

    We (albino, Alex and myself) are not espousing “Scripture writing services” when we say that we believe in an active and involved Holy Spirit. And neither was Paul.

    Cessationist have the burden of proof to do one of two things…

    A) Show that the “prophecy” and “revelation” etc discussed by Paul as practiced in the Corinthian church was infallible.

    or

    B) Show that we who are currently practicing the “charismatic gifts” indeed beleive them to be infallible.

    It’s that simple.

    Mostly you guys try the “B” option but still fail over and over because all we have to do is say, “I don’t believe that” and your argument has no merit. You can tell someone until you’re blue in the face what they believe, but if they don’t believe it, they don’t believe it.

    I would really like to see an argument for A. Really like to.

    (Mike S, I realize that we still haven’t connected with our conversation. We are talking apples and oranges and it’s difficult to really see eye to eye through blog format so hopefully that answers some of your confusion as to what I am talking about.)

  71. Alex says:

    Echo,

    I want you to imagine you’re in class about to be lectured by one of your professors,

    “Class, today we will be learning what the Bible says about faith. Now before you say anything I understand you all are believers and have faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior. What we will be talking about is what is known as “Walking in Faith.” How do I “Walk in Faith” you may ask yourself? Well, the first lesson about faith is that we(humans) are a faithless people. We are a risk aversion people. We want to take the least amount of risk with the maximum amount of reward. As a matter of fact society is constantly coming up with safer ways of doing things, minimizing risk always. *Newsflash* God does not think like you think. The more we rely on our own knowledge the less we need faith. The more knowledgeable you are on a given subject the better educated decision you can make, right? Well, the truth is you will never have a “handle” on what faith is so get that out of your heads right now. Many people attack the subject of faith with the goal of conquering it. It’s not going to happen. The minute you think you COMPLETELY understand faith you have just limited God in YOUR personal mind. Now since me as your professor cannot fully understand God and His love, grace and mercy I wil do one simple thing, read you the Bible. Not just the New Testament but the Old testament as well. The Bible from cover to cover is full of stories about people who “Walked in Faith” from Abraham who placed his promised son on the altar to Joshua marching and praising around a city wall instead of drawing up battle plans to Daniel continuing to pray despite the threat of having his life taken to Peter stepping out of a boat because he knew it was Jesus calling him out to the water to Paul knowing he could be killed everytime he preached but preaching the life saving Gospel regardless. These are just SOME of the many stories in the Bible about having a relentless faith in a God that says “nothing is impossible”. Now you have a choice today, yes you actually have a say in where you go when you step out of this classroom today. You can a) hear the stories and say “Wow great stories. God sure is a faithful God, now I can sit back in my lounge chair because life’s good, I’m blessed and I live a very comfortable life.” or b) “God is so much bigger than I am. Walking in faith will require me to do things that absolutely make no sense to the human mind and since my view of life is so limited I will trust that God will be my guidance and strength.”

    Now I don’t like to speculate but can you imagine if Peter didn’t step out of that boat? I guess we can say he probably wouldn’t have known Jesus as well as he did. You see Peter was the only one that knew who Christ was when Jesus asked “Who do you say that I am? But wait, Jesus asked His disciples the question, you know the guys that walked hand in hand with Jesus himself, but only Peter knew that He was the Christ? Was Peter more special than the other disciples or did he just learn to “Walk in Faith.” Look around at your fellow classmates, some of you will decide to take this head knowledge that you have been given, these Words of God and will go on with your life always making decisions based solely on what your eyes see, only what makes sense to you and others of you will refuse to limit God and if He says go here and preach the word you will go, if He says give away that money instead of saving it, you will give it away.” Please understand that no matter how you decide to live your life you all have confessed with your mouth that Jesus Christ is your Savior so one will not be better than the other, it’s just some of you will know God in such a way that despite what others may say, you will chose to never limit what God can do with your life.”

  72. RubeRad says:

    I agree with dbalc that he and I have found some fresh meat that is worth investigating — let’s get off Calvin & Servetus.

    Rube, The difference is between “scripture worthy revelation” (infallible)and revelation that is not scripture worthy (fallible).

    If it’s not infallible, it’s not revelation. God cannot lie. If it’s fallible, it’s of man (let God be true, and all men liars).

    We can receive spiritual comfort, spiritual wisdom, spiritual knowledge even.

    None of which is “revelation”.

    Or when you listen to a sermon, don’t you weigh it? But don’t you also believe that the pastor is an instrument of God, a spokesman for the Almighty?

    Actually, my old pastor, who called himself a “mild cessationist”, believed that the gift of prophecy is active today, where prophecy is not “channeling of new special revelation”, but merely “proclamation of God’s Word (scripture) with Spirit-assisted force” — i.e. what happens (or should happen) every time a preacher mounts the pulpit.

  73. danielbalc says:

    If it’s not infallible, it’s not revelation.

    Wrong.

    Did you read I Corinthians 14? What makes you think the revelation they received was infallible?

  74. Sorry to jump in to this skirmish so late but perhaps by doing so I can help both sides understand where the disconnect is coming from.

    I believe Daniel and Rube have finally figured it out, it is a matter of different definitions.

    No one on the charismatic side of the fence is saying that the gift of prophecy or tongues is being used to ADD to the Scriptures. Prophecy is not NEW REVELATION.

    The canon is closed, no one in their right mind would argue otherwise.

    Everytime I have been around a prophectic word it has been a reinforcing of a certain scripture that is pertinent to a particular person at that time.

    Kind of like when you read a verse you have read many times before, but the Holy Spirit reveals to you a different way to look at said verse, one that you have never thought of before.

    It is not new revelation, it is the same verse just being read in a new more revealed light due to the work of the Holy Spirit.

    It seems that those in the reformed camp are very gun shy when comes to anything regarding the Spirit and His working in our lives. This is for good reason I am sure as there has been alot of abuse over the years and alot of lives hurt over the misuse of the Spirit.

    However, I would caution everyone to not throw the baby out with the bath water. The Spirit is active and alive and able to help believers today just as He was at Pentecost and in the early church. Do not let a few bad experiences convince you otherwise.

    -Matt

  75. Just to chime in on “infallible revelation”…why would Paul tell us to “let one speak and the others judge” if they were infallible? This is the point that many of our conservative brothers miss. We judge everything by the Scripture, but then I’m wearing out this refrain.

  76. danielbalc says:

    Matt,

    Kind of like when you read a verse you have read many times before, but the Holy Spirit reveals to you a different way to look at said verse, one that you have never thought of before.

    This cannot happen according to Rube and Mike. They might want to change the name of it to “illumination” or something, but if you call it “revelation” you’re out of bounds (sez them).

    This isn’t entirely bad, I don’t mind people being bothered at those who flippantly throw out “thus saith the Lord”. But as you said “throwing out the baby with the bathwater” or better yet “throwing out the scriptures” doesn’t make any more sense.

  77. danielbalc says:

    I’m glad that this (gasp) logic can be put out there for our cessationist brothers to see. I hope that they won’t respond emotionally by dismissing them as “unintelligent ramblings” and supposing us to be some sort of maniacs.

  78. Don’t fret — You’ll both soon be labeled “knuckleheads”, “brutes”, “sick men in need of medicine”, etc. Don’t you just love the internet?

    The irony in all of this is that, for those who know me and have sat under my ministry, I am hardly a raving charismatic caricature. I am frequently criticized for not promoting more emotional altar calls and not whipping up “television style” manifestations in our church. There is a segment of believers who actually believe that I am too conservative in my preaching and ministry style. But, since many of these bloggers don’t know me or have ever visited our church, they lean on assumptions about me, which really make me smile.

    In our church, everything we do is judged by the Scripture. We do not allow unquestioned prophetic words or any spiritual gift to be exercised without oversight and control. We promote the Scripure’s authority tirelessly. Often I read whole chapters of the Bible without much commentary to let the text sink in. I frequently exhort our people that the “fruit of the spirit” is “self control”, and “if you can’t control yourself, it isn’t the Holy Spirit.”

    I guess you just can’t win, but get hammered from all sides. I’ll still stick with Brother Paul and let the chips fall where they may.

  79. Alex says:

    Albino,
    I guess the part that gets me is that I know some of these people on a personal level. I was hearing the same teachings on Sunday mornings as they were. Now I sit back and wonder, how did they get on the other side of this argument? People that spoke in tongues themselves now denying it? It’s just sad for me.

    Like I said before the arguments they have are with the Scriptures, not with me.
    Hey, maybe they received some new revelation that says to ignore SEVERAL passages in the Bible. I don’t get it.

    I’m taking my Bible and going home.

  80. msamudio says:

    Charismatic friends,

    I think we are getting somewhere. With your view of modern day prophecy though, how do you explain this:

    1Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

    Or do you just ignore this one?

    And Albino do you really think the Apostle John and the Author to the Hebrews are ludicrous? Still would like to here a response.

    Albino you responded exactly how I thought you would…just curious have you ever read the Westminster Confession? What do you exactly disagree with in the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed?

  81. Alex says:

    Mike,
    the author of Hebrews is showing the supremecy of Christ in that passage. He’s greater than the prophets of Old and greater than the angels because He is what the prophets prophecied of.
    I say Amen!! I’ve read that verse many times and I ‘ve also read the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 14.

    The question you need to answer is this, are we living in the “Last Days?”

    And then go ahead and read the whole chapter of Acts 2 once again.

  82. msamudio says:

    Alex,

    That is precisely the point, God has spoken in Christ and fully disclosed all the revelation or spiritual information we need in Him. This revelation has been recorded in the Scriptures. Thus, they are complete comprising the full disclosure of God’s revelation. The full disclosure is Christ in whom all the treasures of wisdom of knowledge are found Col 2:1-3.

    Any additional modern day prophecy is basically saying that God’s disclosure in Christ was insufficent. However, we do not need to issue any addendum to it. It has been once for all handed down to the saints. And it came to completion at the death of the last Apostle and closing of the NT Canon.

    That is the point my friend you are dimishing the importance of the revelation made known in Christ.

  83. msamudio says:

    Alex,

    Are you saying that 1 Corinthians 14 negates or cancels out the author of Hebrews statement that God doesn’t speak through prophets any longer?

    These seem to be to contradictory statements. Do you think your interpretation does justice to both in resolving them? really?

    I think you are missing the point. The point is God’s revelation has reached its climax in Christ and like the author of Hebrews says He no longer needs to speak through the prophets.

    Your modern day prophecy/tongues are just a distraction from the true revelation of Christ. Stop going back to the shadows and enjoy the reality of the fullness found in Christ.

    Albino, I hope that we can resolve the previous discussion on the role of miracles. Based on your interpretation John and the author of Hebrews are ludicrous.

  84. Alex says:

    Mike,

    Are we living in the “last days”?

    Don’t ignore the question. Many people are anticipating your answer.

    So you believe that prophecy in and of itself was ONLY for “telling of the coming messiah”?

    I wonder what the Apostle Paul may have been reffering to when he told Timothy this:
    1Timothy 1: 18-20

    18Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, 19holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. 20Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.

    Sounds like prophecy in the New Testament was actually pretty personal.

  85. Echo_ohcE says:

    Albino,

    I recant my charge of lying from you. You are not a liar. Your sources are written by liars, but you have no way of knowing that of course. And anyway, your argument remains silly, because even if it could be proven that Calvin willfully ordered someone’s execution (though he was not a dictator of the city but believed in the separation of church and state, which is how you can always tell about those false “sources” that paint Calvin to be like a king giving orders from a throne); he’s still in good biblical company with the likes of David, Moses, Paul, etc.

    So how does proving that he murdered someone prove that his theological ideas are not biblical? Half the Bible was written by murderers if you count what was written by David, Moses and Paul!

    Oh, that David, he had that thing with Uriah. His writings are not valid. He’s a wicked king.

    If Calvin HAD murdered someone – which he hadn’t – does that make him somehow beneath you? Are you holier than him, less sinful? Are you actually looking down your nose at someone because they are a sinner?

    But the fact is, he wasn’t a dictator of the city, and didn’t order anyone’s execution, but sought to change the mind of the government.

    Don’t forget the well documented sodomy conviction of the founder of the American charismatic movement if you will continue to make use of such tactics.

  86. Echo_ohcE says:

    Albino,

    “Just to chime in on “infallible revelation”…why would Paul tell us to “let one speak and the others judge” if they were infallible? This is the point that many of our conservative brothers miss. We judge everything by the Scripture, but then I’m wearing out this refrain.”

    Because just like today, there were FAKERS! Yes, even way back then, there were people who stood up and said things that they claimed was prophesy, but actually was nothing more than their own imagination. They are called false prophets, and they have been around from the beginning.

    I John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

  87. msamudio says:

    Alex,

    Yes we are living in the last days. I did not think that was a disputable fact. I don’t get your point or see how this does anything but hurt your position.

    I believe the author of Hebrews meant what he said that in these last days God has spoken in His Son and will no longer speak through prophets. (can’t you let the author be the author? :))

    Everything you are appealing to has to be reconciled with this clear, explicit, and unequivocal didactic literature.

    In the Old Covenant, as is implied by the author of Hebrews, God did speak through prophets (and the urim and thummin). Moreover, between the period of the life of Jesus and the completion of the canon there was a transitional period where prophecy was also a common practice. However, once the NT canon was completed the role of prophets ceased as the author to Hebrews states, “God has now spoken in His Son.”

    I think the cessationist explanation of this passage is much more in harmony with the intent of the Scriptures. Your explanation is confusing and unable to adequately or accurately explain the verse. This is an insuperable issue for you my charismatic friend.

    You guys are just being distracted from the glorious truths already contained in God’s special revelation. You should spend more time seeking to know the revelation in God’s true Word than the other stuff that is centered on me (and how is my hair do).

  88. danielbalc says:

    You guys are just being distracted from the glorious truths already contained in God’s special revelation.

    Glorious truths? You mean like this one? …

    “Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” I Corinthians 1:7

    That is a glorious truth that I would hate to be distracted from. The truth that God has given the church spiritual gifts, he has detailed for us what they are and how they are to be used. Those gifts, these gifts, are rejected by you and your fellow cessationists. Furthermore you mock those who believe the scriptures and who do just what the Bible COMMANDS us to do…

    I Peter 4:7-11
    The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. 8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

    I don’t know what hermeneutic principle you employ to try and make these words irrelevant. I don’t know why you are so hesitant to acknowledge that God has given us gifts that are a manifestation of the Spirit within us and are used to build his Church and that these gifts are given until Christ returns.

    Nothing about this contradicts Hebrews 1:2 The Bible can’t contradict itself. It can’t say “spiritual gifts have ceased” and “you do not lack any spiritual gift”. That’s preposterous.

    It can say “Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the scriptures” and “The scriptures tell us that the Holy Spirit gives us gifts that build the church and point us to Christ.” It can, and it does.

  89. danielbalc says:

    BTW when you throw out comments like this

    You should spend more time seeking to know the revelation in God’s true Word than the other stuff that is centered on me (and how is my hair do).

    you are showing your clear bias against us personally instead of the scriptural foundation of our position.

    You demonstrate that your argument is entirely based on the assumption that charismatics are self centered. Whether true or not it shows that you’ve abandoned the debate from a logical and scriptural basis and resorted to good ol fashioned name-calling, finger pointing and stereotyping.

    No progress can be made using this method.

  90. Alex says:

    Mike,
    You said that you believe we are living in the last days. Great we agree. So how does this passage of SCRIPTURE fit into your theological grid?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Acts 2:16-18

    16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
    17″ ‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
    Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
    18Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.

  91. msamudio says:

    Alex,

    I am glad that you brought this passage up, because what is Peter referring to here? He is referring to the Pentecost event that was fulfilled just prior to him preaching a Christ-centered sermon. This is a narrative text that is recording an event that occurred in history. That is the problem with you guys…you take passages that are relevent for a specific period in redemtive history. Are you saying that this trumps the passage Hebrews? if not, what are you saying?

    Man, you are slippery one…how long will you stall tactics buy you enough time to avoid answering the clear words from Hebrews? Am I the only one that is answering questions here? I am still waiting for you to address the Hebrews passage teaching that God no longer speaks through prophets.

    As far as I know you guys just dismiss him since your elder Albino believes he was ludicrous.

  92. msamudio says:

    Dbalc,

    Your comments beg the question…how do you interpret those passages in light of Hebrews 1:1-2?

    You are right I should spare the sarcastic comments, because the things we are discussing are very serious. The fact of the matter is that they are dealing with issues that impact people’s lives in a major way.

    The primary issue is that those that continue to seek additional revelation feel a burden to “climb the ladder” in the sense to reach up into heaven. They are compelled to reach beyond what has already been revealed to something more. The sad part of this methodology is that they miss the point and are carrying an unnecassary burden. It is unnecessary because God has already come down in Christ and revealed all that it is that we need to know.

    If I (we) am (are) right then you are diminishing the sufficiency of the revelation we already possess in the Scriptures with your appeal to modern day prophecy/tongues.

    So again I ask the question why is Christ and the Scripture that record the fullness of His revelation insufficient for you?

  93. Your paassage in Hebrews shows Jesus to be greater than the prophets…just as Hebrews shows that Jesus is greater than Moses and the angels. But if we follow your logic, all the Corinthian believers were Scripture-writers…do you see the fallacy here? In your world, anyone exercising a gift of the Spirit is declaring the written Word to be insufficient. You are on thin ice there.

    And as to your bit about the gifts ceasing with the last Apostle’s death, where did you find that whopper? Wow… Did the gifts of teaching and administration cease too? If you think that only the supernatural ones ceased, why does Paul mix them all together in the two lists he gives us? Your separation is artificial.

    What you are missing is that the “revealed Word” is what instructs us to seek spiritual gifts and even encourages their practice. You don’t get to pick which part of the revealed Word you choose to obey, and I didn’t write Paul’s rules for public worship; he did.

    I really urge you to think these things through and not just swallow the theological matrix you are spoon-fed in seminary.

  94. msamudio says:

    This is really sad…all three of you are just towing the party line and ignoring what the author of Hebrews says:

    1Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

    So that’s it, Jesus was just a greater prophet? He is explaining here something much greater than that, Jesus was not only just a greater prophet but the Word incarnate who has made God known (John 1:18) in the fullest way (Col 2:9). Why can’t you guys be honest with the text?

    Albino is the apostle John ludicrous or not? Is the author of Hebrews ludicrous or not? Please answer the question.

    Why does Paul mix the gifts? I do not know. Does it matter? Stop being distracted from the full disclosure of God’s revelation.

    Since you refuse to deal with the passage, let me ask a few other questions:

    Is this other revelation you claim to receive also God’s Word? If not, what is it?

    Are those under the influence of this “modern day” spiritual gift of prophecy inspired?

    I bet I won’t get an answer to any of these.

  95. Alex says:

    Mike, you just don’t listen do you. I wish I could disguise myself as one of your proffesors so you would at least listen to what I’m actually saying. I’m making you accountable for what you’re saying. You’re not off the hook yet.

    You said: “….you take passages that are relevant for a specific period in redemptive history.”

    Let’s examine what you are saying. The passage of SCRIPTURE found in Acts 2 specifically states in the “Last Days” Let’s take another look:

    17′(U)AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says,
    ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND;
    AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY,
    AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS,
    AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS;
    18EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN,
    I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT
    And they shall prophesy.
    19’AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE
    AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW,
    BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.
    20’THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS
    AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD,
    BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.
    21’AND IT SHALL BE THAT (V)EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’

    and you already made it clear that we are still living in the “Last Days.” You seem to be a bit confused Mikey.

    Let the scriptures speak for themselves, believe me they don’t need your help.

  96. Mike,

    Why are you allowed to apply a verse in Hebrews dealing with the “last days” as pertinent for today, but able to dismiss a verse in Joel dealing with the “last days” as being only about a”specific time in redemptive history”?

    Nice selective use of Scripture. You and your cronies are a piece of work. Throw away the Calvinistic grid and enjoy ALL the Bible has to offer!

  97. Alex says:

    Mikey,

    Again I say AMEN to Hebrews 1. He is greater than the angels and prophets. Why is the author stating this? Because the angels and prophets spoke of the coming Messiah. The Message is greater than the messenger. You keep saying that you are the only one answering questions but I keep repeating the same answer to you hoping you will listen just once.

    “You’re no daisy! You’re no daisy at all. Poor soul, you were just too high strung.”
    (Bonus points for the name of that movie)

  98. danielbalc says:

    Is this other revelation you claim to receive also God’s Word?

    is the sermon that you will hear on Sunday morning “God’s Word”?

    If not, what is it?

    it’s God clarifying something to an individual or group. For instance, Philippians 3:15 “Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;”

    God reveals things to individuals. He calls this “revelation” (aforementioned Ephesians 3:17). He, the Holy Spirit does this. It’s not a matter of me reading the Bible to someone, or the Bible being heard, but it’s a matter of Jesus Christ choosing to reveal himself to someone (Matthew 11:27). He reveals.

    Are those under the influence of this “modern day” spiritual gift of prophecy inspired?

    (first of all why are you labeling it “modern day”? Why not call it “New Testament” or “last day’s”? stop approaching it from bias.)

    if by “inspired” you mean, II Peter 2:21 “carried along by the Holy Spirit” type of inspiration than no.

    If by “inspired” you mean “prompted by” or “brought to remembrance by” the Holy Spirit, than you are finally getting on track as to what this gift is.

    For example look no further than the Corinthian church who had men stand up and give a “prophecy” that was then judged by the elders of the church.

    perhaps they queried the same “are those words inspired? Are they the word of God?”

    They weighed it carefully.

    You however are unwilling to do this. You don’t weigh, you abandon. Thus you nullify the scriptures. You reject Paul’s instructions…

    I Thessaolonians 5:16-21 16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;

    DO NOT DESPISE PROPHETIC UTTERANCES, BUT EXAMINE EVERYTHING CAREFULLY

    It can’t be any clearer. NT prophecy was NOT infallible scripture writing as you imagine it to be.

    I bet I won’t get an answer to any of these.

    You lost your bet, what do I get?

  99. danielbalc says:

    I’m your huckleberry.

  100. Congratulations. This thread has now broken through the 100 post ceiling! I might try to redirect in the next few days.

    Mike, are teachers adding to the canon when they teach? How about Christian book writers?

    You admitted you “didn’t know” why Paul mixed all the gifts together in a wonderful jumble. That makes your “artificial parsing out” of the more miraculous gifts a mistake. Paul grouped them all together, not singling any out for elimination after the last apostle’s death (still no Bible for that whopper!).

    In the Corinthian church, Jesus Christ had already come, suffered, died, and risen from the dead. They already had the witness of Jesus Christ, but the prophesying and tongues-speaking continued, and was even encouraged. So the coming of Christ did not eliminate spiritual gifts. Keep trying.

    When people prophesy, they are no more adding to the canon than when people preach, teach, administrate, help, or exercise any other gift. The Bible is the final arbiter and judge of all of it. That’s why Paul says to let one speak “and the others judge”, because it’s not infallible. Why judge something that is infallible?

    Hope this helps.

    Spirit of the living God
    Fall afresh on me.

    Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me

    Spirit of the Living God
    Fall afresh on me.

    Amen.

  101. msamudio says:

    One at a time fellas…I will start with Alex,

    There is no contradiction with my view of Acts 2 and Hebrews 1. The prophesy of Joel was fulfilled during the period of the book of Acts. There is nothing that requires this to continue beyond that, especially when the author of Hebrews states that the time for God to speak through prophets has ended in the full revelation of Christ.

    You on the other hand must ignore Hebrews 1 in order to accept your interpretation of Acts 2 for continued special revelation through prophets.

    I keep repeating the question because your answer is seriously deficient to the passage. Alex focus like a laser beam and lets review it again:

    1Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

    Please pay special attention to “God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, BUT in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.” Everything after the BUT is demanding a certain conclusion be made about the previous way God spoke to His people. That conclusion is that old way is ceasing to be the way in the future.

    If you are honest with intent of this passage then you have to at least grant God has changed His methodology of providing revelation.

    Maybe this will also help:

    http://msamudio.wordpress.com/2006/08/19/the-nature-of-special-revelation-progressive/

    http://msamudio.wordpress.com/2006/10/19/why-its-sufficient/

    http://msamudio.wordpress.com/2006/10/26/a-precious-cornerstonecompleted-foundation/

    This is very serious, because if I am correct then you are belittling the importance of the incarnation in history and denying the sufficiency of the Scriptures.

    I would be the first one to concede to you that I am a stubborn and hard headed individual, but your commitment to propping up your theological interpretation is scary.

  102. msamudio says:

    I’ll be back for Dbalc and Albino…please bear with me.

  103. msamudio says:

    Alex I think my response to you is awaiting moderation from Albino…nonethless I am back and it is DBalc’s turn:

    First of all your understanding of NT prophecy does not align with Hebrews 1 as explained above to Alex. However, let’s carry your logic on for modern day prophecy being inspired once it receives a stamp of approval from the elders. If it does receive a stamp of approval from the elders, then I assume your answer is that it is inspired. If it is inspired by God then that means that it is also infallible and inerrant. And being qualified as God’s Word then it carries the authority that goes with it. Since it is God’s authoritative Word then it carries the same weight as Scripture. If it carries the same weight as Scripture then it could conceivable and should be added to the canon for the benefit of the rest of the Church.

    This is dangerous…we would be better off with the Roman view. At least the Roman view limits it to the Pope, however you are condoning the self-appointment of thousands of Pope’s who the elders of charismatic Churches.

    You cleverly avoided the first question by answering it with another question. And I will answer it. The proper preaching from the pulpit is the ordinary means that God has ordained to speak to His people. Hence, it is God’s Word. Let’s clarify this, however it is not adding anything new only proclaiming God’s truth that has already been revealed in the Scriptures. It also must be Christ-centered and thoroughly analyzing the text of Scripture. Not all preaching would fall under this definition. In fact I dread that most preaching done in America does not qualify as this.

    Thank you for this opportunity to clarify these points and I appreciate your courage to answer the questions. I will leave you with this admonition the Aposlte made before the end of his life:

    16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
    1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths

    The Scriptures are sufficient themselves to equip us for every good work. This modern day prophecy akin to heretical sects is not necessary. Two down one to go. Your next Albino.

  104. Your argument is not consistent, Mike. All teaching, preaching, prophesying, etc. is judged by the Word of God. — “Let one speak and the others judge”. — Were the Corinthians writing Scripture?

    You are saying that since the canon has been completed, no Holy Spirit gifts are necessary, when the Bible itself teaches us how to exercise these gifts. — “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God” — including I Corinthians 14, right?

    When your pastor preaches, exegeting and explaining the Word of God, his words are not infallible, right? Yet he is speaking with the power of the Holy Spirit. You can’t have it both ways here.

    I agree that the Scriptures are sufficient…no argument…but it is those very Scriptures that tell us of the need to use our spiritual gifts for the edification of the body.

    Your fallacy here is called a “false choice” in debate. You are suggesting that we must choose between the Bible and spiritual gifts. That’s a false choice.

    I urge you to be more like Paul and less like modern-day cessationists, who preach to those with “itching ears” who want to ignore the supernatural.

  105. msamudio says:

    Albino in response to your previous comment,

    Teachers are not adding to the canon. And they do not profess to be speaking special revelation either.

    Christian book writers are not adding to the canon (at least the sane ones don’t claim too). And they too do not profess to be writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

    Yes, I admit that Paul mixed the gifts, but this is not a problem for me. I am not artificial parsing out the gifts related to special revelation, the author of Hebrews is doing it for me. This is called the analogy of faith, we let Scripture interpret Scripture.

    If prophecy is special revelation from God and is inspired (as Dbalc conceded) then it should be infallible. I suspect that the gift of prophecy spoken of in 1 Cor 14 is much different than modern forms of this. As Echo said it was probably much more like the preaching we have today (except they did not have the written text). I grant that I cannot prove this, but I suspect it was nothing like what you modern advocates of this gift claim it to be. You guys use this as a tool to try to discern the secret will of God about your life. And I suspect that this is not the original use that this gift was designed for. I base my suspicions on Scripture itself:

    29″The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

    You guys have a hunger to acquire the secret will of God and appeal to your modern day gift of prophecy as the means to satisfy this hunger.

    I will have to respond to your last comment later, I’ll be back.

  106. msamudio says:

    Albino in response to your last comment,

    My argument is not inconsistent…I am not arguing that the Corinthians were writing Scripture. I am arguing that they were endowed with a spiritual gift that provided special revelation. This special revelation was necessary, because the New Testament Scrpture were not yet complete. However, once the canon was completed the necessity for this gift ceased. Stop knocking down a straw man.

    When my Pastor or any Pastor properly preaching God’s Word from the pulpit it is as if God were speaking since they are proclaiming God’s Word from the Scripture. This is not tips for successful living, dare to be a Daniel (no offense DBalc) or political or social exhortations from the pulpit.

    This is way different from prophet Fred or Beatrice claiming to reveal the secret will of God about whether we should build a new building or send this or that missionary to China.

    Albino, you are saying that the Bible is not sufficient. You are claiming that additional revelation should be spoken through a modern spiritual gift of prophecy. This is a serious injury to the sufficiency of the Scriptures.

    There is no false choice…the author of Hebrews makes this choice for me.

    I ask you to consider who is satisfying the desires of itching ear with the claim to reveal the secret will of God to good meaning Christians.

    Now my friends I have dealt with all of your arguments…please be diligent in dealing with mine.

  107. msamudio says:

    Hey Poker Dude,

    Sorry I forgot you, but I do not know you…please read these and let me know what you think:

    http://msamudio.wordpress.com/why-orthodox-christians-are-converting-to-mormonism/

    http://msamudio.wordpress.com/why-orthodox-christians-are-converting-to-mormonism/why-orthodox-christians-are-conerting-to-mormonism-chapter-3/

    I hope that you will reconsider your position and your statements.

  108. Echo_ohcE says:

    Albino,

    You said: But if we follow your logic, all the Corinthian believers were Scripture-writers…do you see the fallacy here? In your world, anyone exercising a gift of the Spirit is declaring the written Word to be insufficient.

    Indeed, the written Word that they had in New Testament times, in the church at Corinth at the time of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, was insufficient.

    I say again that the Old Testament is insufficient.

    A bible that has 65 books or 64 is insufficient. Without Revelation it’s insufficient. Without Jude it’s insufficient.

    The Corinthians didn’t have the 27 books of the NT. What they had was insufficient. Thus they had prophesies and INTERPRETED tongues, which made up the difference.

  109. Echo_ohcE says:

    Albino,

    “I really urge you to think these things through and not just swallow the theological matrix you are spoon-fed in seminary.”

    Are you serious?

    We’ll be in heaven 10,000 years before I even consider letting you forget this one. I’ll be quoting it to you everyday. And everyday, you’ll laugh and confess that it was you who were spoon fed and never thought anything through, while seminary is a place that fosters THINKING, not spoon feeding.

    But of course, having never thought much for yourself, and never had any seminary education, you would of course not know that. So I forgive you. But I will tease you for millennia in heaven. Beware.

  110. Echo_ohcE says:

    Albino,

    Why on earth would anyone NOT want to experience the miraculous power of God through miracles and speaking in tongues and dazzling prophesies? Why would anyone NOT want glitz and glamor and excitement? These are the things that appeal to our flesh, after all, so if we are sinful, then these are the things we would seek.

    The author (or orator, because some smart scholars think that this is actually a prophetic sermon written down) to the Hebrews scolds the Jewish Christians for wanting to return to the glitz and glamor of the Temple and all that that entails. This is our natural inclination. Why do you think there are mega-churches? It is because a big stage, and big lights, and big screens and fancy instruments and big cheesy grins and beautiful people on stage in beautiful clothes and holding microphones and singing beautiful music – this appeals to us. We like it. That’s why people pay money to go to the theater, or the opera.

    You accuse us of sin for not falsely seeking after glitz. Even if it was true glitz, true miraculous signs, then you would be far more likely to accuse us of putting too much stock in the signs, rather than to Christ to whom they pointed.

    The sinful thing to do is not to simply say that there are no miracles and leave it at that, making up some long song and dance about how that’s impossible. That’s not generally how the sinful nature works. It’d be very wierd if that was what was going on. The tendency of the flesh is to go after what is seen (signs) than what is unseen (faith).

    Nope, we’re not just a bunch of dried up fuddy duddies like you suppose. That’s not how sin works.

  111. What I mean by being spoon fed in seminary is that you are only being taught one perspective. How many guests have been invited to share their non-cessationist, Pauline perspective? That’s what I mean.

    And yes, it’s true that I didn’t attend seminary, but I attended a Lutheran parochial school, a fundamentalist Baptist junior high, a charismatic high school, then attended an evangelical, though cessationist, liberal, arts Christian college. While in college, I attended Pastor John Piper’s church, Bethlehem Baptist, in Minineapolis, at least once a month, which gave me an appreciation for some of the Reformed doctrines, although Pastor Piper is not a cessationist.

    No, sorry, your uneducated stooge label doesn’t fit me, but nice try.

  112. Ok, now I think we’re getting somewhere.

    You are saying what I suspected that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were only to “tide us over” until the Scriptures were completed. Mike took it a step further and said that the gifts of the Spirit were removed from the Christian community as the last living Apostle took his last breath.

    There are many problems with this view.

    1
    Who gets to pick which gifts disappear and which gifts remain? Paul mixes them all together in his teachings, so who goes through and decides which ones to eliminate?

    2
    If you say “all of them”, that’s a non starter, since you fellas obviously still believe that the Holy Spirit gifts us with preaching, teaching, administration, helps, etc.

    3
    You still have not given me a convincing text that clearly states that once the Scriputres are completed, no more gifts of the Spirit are necessary. The Hebrews text does not mention the Bible, but Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ had already come when Paul and the Corinthians were practicing the gifts of the Spirit.

    4
    Again, you are setting up a false choice between the Bible and the gifts. The Bible urges us to seek the gifts, and then tells us how to use them. The Bible even commands us not to forbid specifically speaking in tongues. So telling us that we can’t have both is a classic false choice.

    ——————————–

    Ok, for you cessationists, here’s your homework. Show me, in the Bible, where Paul separates the gifts into the categories that you have, then show me where Paul tells us which ones will be eliminated (and don’t even think about using 1 Cor. 13). Then show me a clear verse that tells us that all the Holy Spirit gifts will end with the death of the apostles, then follow up with another clear text showing us that the Bible and the Holy Spirit gifts can’t work together. Good luck.

    Let’s immitate Paul more, and our seminary profs less.

    Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

  113. msamudio says:

    Albino,

    You didn’t listen (read a little more carefully) I didn’t pick the gifts that ceased, the author of Hebrews did. Please be diligent in responding to what I said. Have another cup of coffee and read it again.

    And before I am accused of being hypocritical, I apologize Dbalc, I misread your comments on inspiration. However, this make it even more difficult to call “prophecy”. Prophecy is special revelation from God, which is inspired. If you are claiming that Prophecy is uninspired then it is not prophecy.

  114. Cite for me the text in Hebrews that lists the gifts that ceased.

  115. I need the gifts to be listed specifically, just like Paul did.

  116. msamudio says:

    Albino,

    Your kidding right! See my last comments to Alex. And please deal with the texts cited.

    (BTW, I have a nice gift for you. However, it is not scheduled to be posted for another five weeks. Actual exegesis on a text, I will ping it back to this thread when I post it. )

  117. Echo_ohcE says:

    Albino,

    Well, I didn’t say it, but uneducated stooge does fit nicely. You went to a Lutheran and Baptist school growing up, yet you are none of those, so how much good did it do you? You went to an Evangelical college, and you didn’t agree with them either. You went to Piper’s church, learned nothing from him.

    So it seems for all your supposed “education”, you have never listened to what anyone has ever said to you and decided to blaze your own trail. Although, I suppose someone taught you to speak in tongues, and to believe the other things you do, and so whoever that is, you obviously listened to them. That is your only teacher, and since what you learned from him or her has many flaws in it, not the least of which has barred you from listening to reasoned explanation of the Scriptures, I think “uneducated stooge” fits just swell.

  118. Echo_ohcE says:

    Pastor,

    You said: “You still have not given me a convincing text that clearly states that once the Scriputres are completed, no more gifts of the Spirit are necessary. The Hebrews text does not mention the Bible, but Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ had already come when Paul and the Corinthians were practicing the gifts of the Spirit.”

    There is no such text. This in and of itself doesn’t make us wrong. Once again I’ll sound the old refrain: there is no such text that says we ought to serve communion to women. In fact, elsewhere you quoted a text that said a MAN ought to examine himself prior to taking communion. Think about that. Nowhere are women included in taking communion in the Scriptures. At least it’s not clear. So tell me again that there must necessarily always be a baby talk verse that says, “Albino, here’s what you should believe.”

    Now in the case of serving communion to women, there is a good biblical case to be made for it. But one day, someone might come along and start saying that the Bible doesn’t say it should be done, and they will claim that they never did throughout the history of the early church, but that women were only served communion in the last one hundred years or so. Then they’ll stop giving communion to women, and they, like you, will persist in their error obstinately, telling me that I have to show them a clear text that speaks to them in baby talk.

    Had you been to seminary, you might understand that there is more to the Bible than a simple set of propositional statements and commands. But I digress.

    Let’s start here. What is the PURPOSE of speaking in tongues? You tell me, and use Scripture for your answer. And DON’T just quote it, child, explain the text when you quote it, so that everyone will be impressed with how little you needed that education that you never got, and so that you will be justified in not submitting to anything anyone has ever tried to tell you, except that one who taught you to speak in “tongues”.

  119. Echo_ohcE says:

    Pastor,

    Hebrews 1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

    This does not constitute a simple proof text for cessation. There is no such single text. But this is probably the closest thing you’ll get to it, along with 1 Cor 13, but that’s so highly disputed…

    Anyway, this passage is very, very clear. Once upon a time, it says, God spoke to us this way, now, however, he has spoken (once and for all) this way.

    Ok, I know your objection is that tongues and prophesy continued after Jesus ascended, yes I know, just hold on.

    Now, Jesus was the fullness of God’s self revelation. With his self revelation in Jesus, God’s self revelation is complete. Now all that can be known about God in this life, on this side of glory, has been revealed. Jesus is God communicated to us on our level. He is God’s self revelation made flesh, which is why he is called the Word become flesh by John. Surely you can agree to all of this.

    When you reply, let me know that you agreed with this.

    Ok, so, now we got that down pat. If Jesus is the fullness of God’s self revelation, then there is no more revealing to be done, no further act of God to be accomplished other than what he has done through Christ. And when I say revelatory act I mean redemptively significant acts such as the parting of the Red Sea, or Jesus’ death and resurrection.

    I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking that he wasn’t done acting yet at that point, because there was still Pentecost, and there was still the matter of the canon. I know that. I’m not a moron. God’s self revelation was once and for all spoken to humanity in Jesus Christ. He is the Word, the full Word, made flesh. He is not part of the Word, he is the entire Word, and he became flesh. Read John 1:1-18, and see if you disagree. No one has ever seen God, John says, but Jesus Christ has made God known. That’s what it says. God has revealed himself in the person of Jesus Christ.

    Once God had thus spoken, there was no need for God to speak anymore. All the speaking up until that point had merely been preparation for us to receive that Word in the flesh. All the OT has one point: Christ is coming. It was laying a foundation to help us understand what was going to be said to the whole world.

    Once Jesus had come, there is no need for any more revelation. All that can be said was said already.

    But now there was still a problem. God had indeed spoken fully, once and for all to the world, but he had spoken in a complex language, and we, for all our sinfulness, needed help to understand what he said by what he did.

    So we needed a couple of things. We needed a written, inspired, inerrant account of what God did when he finally spoke once and for all. That was done in the gospels. Then we needed a written, inspired, inerrant interpretation of those events for us. That was done in the rest of the New Testament.

    The last Word was the Christ event. But we still needed God to explain that event to us, that we might understand it properly.

    Without the account of the events, and without the inspired interpretation/explanation of the events, the Scriptures remained insufficient.

    The OT was insufficient because it had no account of the Christ event, and no explanation of the Christ event.

    Here is the purpose of prophesy in the NT church and of interpreted tongues, which is the same as prophesy. These gifts spoke of the Christ event, and then proceeded to interpret the Christ event. One of these sermons is the book of Hebrews. Ask a scholar, which I am not. But the Greek makes it quite plain that this was a speech. The first 12 chapters or so are ONE SENTENCE! It was not made to be broken up into paragraphs. It was meant to be heard out loud all in one sitting. Perhaps you know enough about Greek to recognize that this kind of thing can be discerned from the text.

    But anyway, the point of prophesy and tongues is to bring us inspired, inerrant revelation about the Christ event, along with interrpretations of what these events mean.

    But you see, now these functions are fulfilled by the books of the NT.

    See, I know you don’t share this view of the apostles, but they were men chosen by Christ himself not just to speak on his behalf, but also to act on his behalf. They had to be chosen by Christ himself. They could not bestow this power on someone who came after them, like the Popes would have us believe. Only Jesus can grant someone a power of attourney for himself. If I grant you this power, you can’t pass it on to someone else. I have to grant it myself.

    So you see, when the apostles wrote and acted they did so in a special way on Christ’s behalf with his authority. They had a special authority in order to accomplish the laying of the foundation of the church. But that special authority was only needed for the foundation, which included the writing of the canon.

    Eph 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.

    Here is where those foundational gifts are separated out. Here it says that the apostles and the prophets served the function of laying the foundation.

    Now, where you and I might differ here is that I call tongues a form of prophesy, so I find it to be included.

    That’s because I see tongues, once interpreted, as being exactly the same kind of thing as prophesy. Only there is the additional miraculous nature of it, such that foreigners can hear prophesy in their own native tongue, that they might understand it better.

    This is what happened with tongues at Pentecost. The point of tongues is the same as prophesy, but it is for the sake of those present who need to hear it in their own tongue. Imagine how special and loved by God that would have made them feel!

    But once the foundation was laid, namely the laying down of the canon, the spread of the gospel, the building/planting of churches, there was no more any need for apostles, nor prophesies, nor tongues.

    Now there is the preaching of the Word by the ordained seminary graduate, and the sacraments.

  120. msamudio says:

    Why wait? I don’t think you’ll read it anyway. Here is your gift Albino. I think it complements Echo’s comments with a more detailed review of John 1:18.

    http://msamudio.wordpress.com/how-has-god-the-son-explained-the-father-john-118-sneak-peak/

  121. Echo,

    “prophecy” is a noun
    “prophesy” is a verb

    But you were just testing me, right?

    Still no explanation for why Paul mixed all the gifts together, and who gets to pick which ones to phase out. Your Ephesians text addresses offices but not the spiritual gifts for all believers mentioned in Paul’s order for worship, so you’re still stuck.

    And still no cogent explanation for the Holy Spirit gifts evaporating when the last writer of Scripture took his last breath. I’d like to say, “nice try”, but it really wasn’t.

    I’ve got to decide if these threads are really worth the time and effort. They seem more and more unfruitful every day.

  122. I mentioned all the experiences in different groups to illustrate that I have not been exposed to only one teaching my whole life. I do think we all have a lot to learn from the whole body of Christ. I loved my profs at Northwestern, but they were wrong on cessation.

  123. By the way, Echo, I don’t mind good-natured joking and teasing on this blog, but some of your name-calling doesn’t seem good-natured at all. Although I don’t edit opinions, I may have to begin editing some of your unsults.

  124. Echo_ohcE says:

    Albino,

    Thanks for the spelling correction. You can tell I don’t use the word much.

    Anyway, what I don’t understand is why you’re making a distinction between the gift of propheCy and the office of prophet. If you have the gift, you are necessarily in the office. If you’re in the office, it can only be because you have the gift.

    So, ok, Paul does blend them all together at points. But here they are separated. They are properly all included in one list because the emphasis is on the Spirit, what he was doing. These gifts all flow from the one Spirit. But the gifts aren’t always the same. They’re not the same for every member of the body. The eye shouldn’t long to be an ear.

    The apostles and prophets are still members of the one body of Christ. They came and went and served their function well. But not all of these gifts are still given to us. They were given to them, and that was the work of the Spirit, even as other gifts are given to us, and that is the work of the Spirit. You have different gifts than the little old lady in the back pew. You preach, she sits there and makes everyone happy that she comes at her age. Different gifts. But it would be improper for her to want to preach, and it would be improper for you to sit in the pew when you’re supposed to be preaching.

    What I don’t understand is why if cessationism is true, does that somehow mean that the gifts can’t appear all together in a list?

    Here’s a list of some things I do. I go to church, I go to class, and I go to movies. I do all these things. Obviously not at the same time, but that wasn’t the point of the list. Can’t I put them all together since I am the one who does these things?

    For myself, I don’t think that tongues or prophesy evaporated with the last breath of the last apostle. I think they faded gradually. I think they faded gradually so that people just sort of got used to it slowly and then one day it was gone and no one really realized it. For one thing, the canon might have been completed, but that doesn’t mean that you could go down to the corner bookstore and pick up a copy. I think they stayed as long as they were needed, and then the need for them began to wane, and thus the Spirit’s giving of them began to wane, commeasurate with the need.

    But the fact is, we don’t really know exactly what happened, because history doesn’t record it unfortunately. What we DO know, however, is probably more than is generally admitted.

    We do know that something like Pentecostalism (yes, there are differences) was condemned as a heresy in the 2nd century. It was called Montanism. So obviously by then the belief of continuing prophecy was not widely held in the church.

    And it may be this very thing that made people stop and think about it. As I said, more than likely it just faded, and over time people didn’t realize it. Well, then something like Montanism comes along, and everyone scratches their heads and wonders, well, why not? So they had to wrestle with this stuff, and wrestle they did, and it was eventually condemned as a heresy. So the truth is plain that by the second century, the church at large did not believe that prophecy continued.

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

    I personally believe that most likely, this was something that no one really thought much about until this heresy came along. That forced the church to think it through, search the Scriptures, etc. Heresies can be very helpful that way, forcing people to think about things they haven’t before. That’s why a study of church history and the history of theology is so valuable. Because people have been wracking their brains over this stuff, searching the Scriptures, and trying to figure it all out for thousands of years. We’ll never get it all figured out. But some things have been answered.

    And Albino, I would ask you one more question. How come no one adds anything to the Bible? Who had the authority to write the Bible in the first place? Obviously THAT gift isn’t given anymore. Whatever you want to call that gift, call it inspiration if you like, the Holy Spirit is no longer inspiring Scripture, no longer adding to the canon. But in the NT era, some were given the gift to write inspired Scripture, and we still have it today. But now that gift is no longer present. is that gift part of Paul’s jumbled list?

    I know it’s a lot to respond to here. I’m sorry for being so frustrated. But what gets me so frustrated so as to resort to name calling is having so many arguments that I think are good that go completely unanswered. Please respond point by point, and I won’t have to take drastic measures to get your attention. If you can’t answer point by point right now, that’s fine. Just don’t simply ignore it, because then it just looks like you’re irrationally clutching onto ideas that you suspect are wrong, but just don’t care.

  125. Echo_ohcE says:

    And by the way, can’t you say that the foundational gifts (prophecy, tongues, etc) are in some ways given to us, even though they might not be practiced right now? Because can’t you say that we are still benefitting from what the Spirit did then, since we have a church to belong to, and we have a Bible to read? Aren’t those the results of the work of the apostles and prophets? Weren’t those gifts given to the whole church when they were given just to those men who had them at that time?

    When the Spirit gave Paul to the church, didn’t he also give him to you too, because don’t you still read his writings?

    So this is how I would qualify the notion of cessation. The results, the fruit of those gifts are still present, even if there isn’t anyone now who possesses those gifts. We aren’t missing out anymore than the little old lady in your church isn’t missing out not being gifted to preach. After all, she has you to preach to her. We have paul to be an apostle to us through his writings, and Peter and John and the rest. They are still apostles to us through their writings.

  126. msamudio says:

    Echo I wish that Albino would read the arguments, he might just learn something. Amen to your last comment.

    I just thought I would address a previous comment that was made about prophecy being judged. I don’t think that there has ever been a time when prophecy was not judged:

    15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— 16just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17And the LORD said to me,’They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 21And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

    Dbalc or Albino or Alex, what happens when the edlers (Popes) rule that the prophet was not speaking God’s Word. I am not adovcating that we reinstitute the punishments in place during the theocratic period. However, I hope it isn’t taken lightly. Also, how do you know if it is not from the Lord if it is not addressed in Scriputre? Urim and thummin?

  127. Ok, I think we are nearing the point in our discussion where we are finally understanding each other, even if we don’t agree — at all.

    Let me work backwards. Mike; Paul expected some words of prophecy within the congregation to be in error. That’s why he said, “Let one speak, and the others judge.” If someone makes a mistake (just like they do in preaching and teaching), I bring it to their attention. If it is a BIG mistake, I have to stop the service and correct it, just as I would if someone preached or taught something out of line with the Bible. Because of this, I encourage people to say, “I believe the Lord would say to us…” or “I feel like the Lord has a word for us” — that way it’s much easier to correct and judge than if someone stands up and says, “Thus saith the Lord…” Does this help? But I would defintely draw a distinction between the office of prophet and the gift of prophecy. Otherwise, Paul would be saying to the Corinthians, “I want all you guys to desire to be prophets.”

    I will write later with some examples.

    Echo,

    You assert that the gifts of the Holy Spirit gradually faded away until we looked around and said, “Hey, they’re not here anymore.”

    Again, you need some Bible for that assertion. The Bible says to follow the apostle’s teaching, and part of that teaching is Paul’s order for public worship in Corinthians. Those that followed Paul’s teaching should have kept teaching, not only the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but also urging people to seek them, like Paul did. Any gradual elimination of the gifts, in my view, was due to the church getting away from the Bible and into tradition (and I have given you a few more examples of that on Rube’s blog). “Hey, these things faded out…they must not be for us.” instead of “Hey, we need to get back to the Biblical teaching of the apostles here and do what Paul told Timothy, “Fan into flame your gift…”

    You seem not to understand why it is important to point out that Paul mixes the gifts all together in a big, beautiful soup. The reason this is important is that cessationists go through and pick out the gifts they think ceased (kind of like I pick out olives out of a house salad). My assertion is that this is an arbitrary act and not one that Paul would agree with. If you still believe that the gifts of teaching, administration and helps are in operation, you’ve got to believe in the others as well.

    I have taken great pains to express that the gifts and the Bible are not mutually exclusive. The Bible teaches them, encourages us to seek them, and shows us the proper order for using them. You say they don’t exist. I disagree.

    I will address your other points later. Thank you for helping me bring this back to a more cordial exchange. Pray for our church services today and I will pray for yours.

    Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

  128. msamudio says:

    Albino,

    How do you distinguish between the gift of prophecy and the office of prophet? So, basically you are allowing “presumptuous” (Deut 18) prophecies to take place in the service? Am I understanding you correctly?

    As for the picking and choosing the gifts? You still have not addressed my response that this selection is made by Hebrews, not us? I would re-read Echo’s comments on this and if you have time read my post on John 1:18 that I linked.

    May our worship be done in “spirit and truth” and be glorifying to God today.

  129. Clearly, everyone who prophesies is not a prophet. Otherwise the Corinthian church would have been full of prophets and Paul would be urging us all to be prophets.

    I’ll address the rest later.

    Praying for your service this morning.

  130. msamudio says:

    Albino, clearly all women who conceive are pregnant…this I get. What you just said up there is NOT clear to me?

    I see why we are failing to communicate.

  131. Echo_ohcE says:

    Albino,

    You said: “You assert that the gifts of the Holy Spirit gradually faded away until we looked around and said, “Hey, they’re not here anymore.” Again, you need some Bible for that assertion.”

    Echo: No, I don’t need Bible to support my assertion, because as I said, it was my opinion. That means it is not a biblically established fact. What IS a biblically established fact is that they ceased and would cease. What is NOT a biblically established fact was what that ceasing looked like historically in the church. About that very specific thing I gave my opinion, which is little more than speculation. The fact of cessation is one thing, the “how it came about” question is another.

    If you want to say that my only reason for saying that tongues and prophecies have ceased is that they did in fact cease, and therefore it must have been a good thing that they ceased – ok, then your speculative argument that they might have ceased because the church got too wrapped up in tradition and got away from the Scriptures would be relevant and important, though it would still be only speculation, like my description of how I thought they sort of faded away slowly.

    It is a true fact that tongues and prophecy ceased, and that the church declared the Montanists to be heretics. So it is true that they did in fact cease, and someone who thought that they shouldn’t have ceased was declared a heretic. Those are facts.

    Why they ceased and whether or not the church was in error is another matter, but those are facts.

    Now, let me explain to you how you ought to be reacting to this bit about the Montanists. Let’s say that at some point in the second century, the church declared Presbyterianism (rule by elders, rather than, say, a bishop) to be heresy. Let’s say that the whole church was unanimous in this, and they declared some strange little sect to be heretics, and thus Presbyterianism died out from the second century all the way up to the 19th century, when it was revived.

    If that were the case, you had better believe that I, a Presbyterian, would be looking quite closely at those ancient heretics. I’d have to give some sort of explanation as to why I don’t believe what they believed, and how they were different, and what the church actually said, etc. I’d definitely look into that and figure that out. Otherwise, I just look silly like someone who is partaking in the resurrection of some ancient and already condemned heresy of the church (whether that’s what I am is another matter, but that’s surely how I would look).

    As such, I marvel that your only response is to say that the early church was simply wrong in declaring the Montanists to be heretics. Your response is that the church – the whole church – just got away from the Bible and got into tradition. That’s your answer. Your answer is that they should have been speaking in tongues, prophesying, etc, for the last 2000 years, but they didn’t, because they were ashamed of miracles, or too wrapped up in tradition or something.

    But don’t you see? If these men were being sinful, why wouldn’t they want to make use of legitimate miracles in order to build their power base by bringing people into the church? Nothing drew crowds like Jesus healing the sick. They didn’t know or care who he was, but they were glad to be healed of their diseases. Miracles will draw people. So why would the early church want to get rid of the miraculous gifts? What is the motive? What is the sin? If it is unbelief that you would like to cite, then why wouldn’t they falsely reproduce these miracles in larger quantities in order to ensnare people? Why didn’t they do THAT if they really just didn’t believe? If they didn’t believe in miracles, how could they believe Christ rose from the dead? And if they didn’t believe Christ rose from the dead, what were they doing in the church? Do you really think that everyone in the whole church who had any authority whatsoever denied miracles were taking place because they didn’t believe in miracles? That would mean that the entire church didn’t believe in the resurrection. They couldn’t have.

    But no, they DID believe in miracles, they DID believe in the resurrection of the dead, which is why the Nicene Creed, written 200 years after the Montanists were condemned, STILL talked about Christ’s resurrection. And not only that, but they added an article about the Holy Spirit to boot. You would think that if they didn’t believe in miracles, they wouldn’t have been able to confess these things consistently.

    Or surely you don’t think that they just wrote those things in the Nicene Creed to placate the people, to humor them do you? Then why not allow tongues and such to continue to humor the people?

    You see, the more I chew on it, the less I buy it. No, I see no good reason to say that the early church simply got away from the Bible and were consumed with tradition, and that’s why they convicted the Montanists as heretics, and that’s why they did away with tongues and prophecy. I see no good reason for that to have taken place at all. it makes no sense.

    And I don’t know why you should think it’s true except that you want it to be true. You have not one shred, not one tiny little shred of evidence that it is true, other than YOUR beliefs. You say you have Scripture, but you don’t. What you have is Scripture how YOU interpret it. What you have is YOUR ideas, YOUR theology. So where is your evidence? If you have no evidence, where is the discussion of motive? Why would they have done away with it if it should have been going on? Did no one read 1 Corinthians for the last 2000 years? Did God simply put up with a rebellious church for some reason? Was the Spirit…quenched for 2000 years?

    I don’t believe such a thing can happen. I look at the accounts of Pentecost, and I see a Holy Spirit who is doing what he wants to do. I don’t see ANY reason to believe that human beings would be capable of destroying these gifts to the church for 2000 years.

    But what would you say if this were really true? Would you say that there was no church for 2000 years, because the church that existed was just a shadow of what it should have been – indeed, what YOU are now? Or perhaps you would say that these gifts aren’t essential to the church? If they aren’t essential, why do we need them? If they didn’t need them for 2000 years, why do we need them now? Were they spiritually starving to death, while you are feasting? Why would God do that?

    Apparently the church did survive for 2000 years without these gifts. How? Why? You need to say SOMETHING about that. I’m sure I won’t agree with whatever you say, but you’ve still got to say it.

    But anyway, don’t get me wrong. My argument for cessation doesn’t hinge on these things, though these things are valid, and you need to have an answer for them. But no, Scripture itself makes it all quite clear.

    You said: “You seem not to understand why it is important to point out that Paul mixes the gifts all together in a big, beautiful soup. The reason this is important is that cessationists go through and pick out the gifts they think ceased (kind of like I pick out olives out of a house salad). My assertion is that this is an arbitrary act and not one that Paul would agree with. If you still believe that the gifts of teaching, administration and helps are in operation, you’ve got to believe in the others as well.”

    Echo: Ok, I understand that you think that when we pick and choose these gifts, as you say, that our choice is arbitrary. I can and will prove otherwise. But this doesn’t in any way answer my question.

    My question is not: “Why do you think I’m wrong,” but, “Why do you think you’re right?” You can’t be right just by asserting that I am wrong. So let me now tell you exactly what my question is: why on EARTH do you think that Paul putting all the gifts of the one Holy Spirit in ONE list means that some of them cannot cease?

    Your claim about this list is arbitrary. There is nothing in this list that would suggest this. There is nothing that says that these gifts will last till Christ’s second return. There is nothing that says of the list that if one of them is present, so must the others be, and that this is true for all time. So why on EARTH do you think that it means that, simply because all these gifts are in one list? You are reading an AWFUL lot into the makeup of a list.

    As I said, I can make a list of things I do, but I don’t necessarily do them at the same time: go to the movies, go to church, go to class, drive my car, pick my nose, read a blog.

    In fact, the nature of this list means that I CAN’T do all of these things at the same time, yet there they are in a list.

    Your interpretation of the fact of this list is extremely fallacious. You’re just making stuff up about what lists have to mean.

    But anyway, our singling out of certain gifts is NOT at ALL arbitrary.

    Eph 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

    There are the gifts, SINGLED OUT BY PAUL HIMSELF in Scripture, the Word of GOD.

    Now, if you want to argue that this verse doesn’t mean that these two gifts are used by God as the foundation, and the foundation only of the church, by all means, let’s discuss how to interpret this verse like intelligent men.

    But you cannot think that you will have any credibility at ALL if you continue to say that our “choice” is “arbitrary”, plucking out gifts like someone would pluck things out of a salad as a matter of taste.

    You may say that this verse has nothing to do with gifts, but speaks only of offices. Ok, fine, I disagree. I think it’s talking about GIFTS. Then my choice of THESE gifts as being the ones that cease is no longer arbitrary, but based on my understanding of this verse (as well as others). You do not have the right to disagree with how I interpret this verse and then declare me arbitrary, as if I made it up myself. Say that I don’t understand this verse if you like, but you are no longer being honest or honorable to discuss cessation as being arbitrary.

    Now I don’t know if this is the list you’re talking about or not, but here it is.

    1Co 12:3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
    1Co 12:4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
    1Co 12:5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
    1Co 12:6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
    1Co 12:7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
    1Co 12:8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
    1Co 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
    1Co 12:10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
    1Co 12:11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
    1Co 12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
    1Co 12:13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
    1Co 12:14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
    1Co 12:15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
    1Co 12:16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
    1Co 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?
    1Co 12:18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.

    The point of this list is to say that though not everyone gets the same gifts, it is still the same Lord, the same Spirit. What about this passage indicates that some of them cannot cease? In fact, the fact that different people get different gifts is part of the passage, and so the whole point of the passage is a diversity of gifts, but one body, one Spirit. So in this passage, if some of these gifts have ceased, there’s no problem, because not everyone gets the same gifts anyway.

    Aren’t we still part of the one body with the apostles Paul and Peter and the rest? Aren’t they a part of the one body of Christ, since there are not two bodies, but only one body? Aren’t we part of that one body? So doesn’t this passage allow for the interpretation that Paul and Peter are part of the same body as me, and the Spirit simply gave them different gifts than he did to me?

    So how on earth does this list prove cessation wrong? Have I missed something you’d like to point out? Perhaps it was the verse that came just before or just after that you’d like to draw my attention to?

    This passage is perfectly reconcilable to cessation, at least how I’ve interpreted it here. But show me how my interpretation is wrong.

    You said: “I have taken great pains to express that the gifts and the Bible are not mutually exclusive. The Bible teaches them, encourages us to seek them, and shows us the proper order for using them. You say they don’t exist. I disagree”

    Echo: Right. The Bible does teach them. And Paul did encourage the Corinthians to seek them. But you are not a Corinthian. You’re a Texan. If what Paul said were applicable to you in the exact same way, a smart guy like you should be able to prove it. Not all the commands in Scripture are addressed to us in the same way. For example, the OT is still Scripture, still the Word of God, but you don’t perform animal sacrifices or stone your children for disobedience, even though those things are commanded in the Word of God, and I’m sure your conscience is clear about that. And I’m sure you can explain to me why that is.

    But what you have never done is explain why I have to receive and seek the same gifts as the Corinthians. In fact, they and I are different. They may be mouths while I am a foot. They may be an eye, but I am an ear. Perhaps the apostles built the foundation, and I will build the roof.

    But anyway, I don’t say that these gifts don’t exist. That’s not what they say. I’m not a Deist who simply doesn’t believe in miracles. Nor do I think that miracles COULD happen then, but CANNOT happen now. That’s not what I think. What I think the Bible teaches us is that the SPIRIT did it THEN, but he doesn’t do it NOW.

    In the same way, I think the Spirit inspired Scripture then, but he doesn’t do so now. There’s nothing wrong with thinking that, is there? There’s proof right there that we can all agree on that clearly demonstrates that the Spirit gives different gifts at different times, and doesn’t always behave in the same way.

    it’s funny how you guys always want to insist that we are putting the Spirit in a box (as if that were possible), restricting what he can and cannot do. In reality, however, we are merely observing what he has said he would do, and we are observing what he is doing, and we are reporting our findings. Meanwhile, you guys are the ones who insist that if he acted that way then, he must act this way now. Now who’s putting him in a box, or trying to?

  132. Scronnie says:

    1 Thess 5:20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.

    God commands us to not look down on prophecies because there is a natural tendency for rational people to do that. When someone says God is speaking, we tend to despise it and say it is only another human opinion. Also, when prophets do strange things it seems a little crazy. Agabus bound himself with Paul’s belt and used that as an illustration that Paul would be bound when he went to Jerusalem. A prophet in the Old Testament commanded a man to hit him as another illustration. Isaiah walked through the streets naked as an illustration of how God would carry His people away naked as captives. When God sent a prophet to anoint Jehu as king, “Then Jehu came out to the servants of his master, and one said to him, ‘Is all well? Why did this madman come to you?’ And he said to them, “You know the man and his babble” (2Kings 9:11). This illustrates the normal attitude of humans to “speak evil of whatever they do not know” (Jude 10). (Jude, however, was speaking of false teachers.)
    We should not despise prophecies, but on the other hand Paul tells us not to be gullible in receiving just anything. He says we should “test all things” and “hold fast what is good.” How can we test all things? What is the standard? Since the Old Testament prophets had been tried and tested, it seems to me that they should be the standard. And since the Apostles had been tried and tested with signs, wonders and the personal teaching of Christ Himself, and were proven to be in accord with the Old Testament prophets, they too should be the standard. Anything that contradicts what the prophets and apostles said and taught should be rejected.

    Some claim that the gift of prophecy ceased when the canon was completed. The first Reformers, however, knew of no such doctrine. John Knox made several prophesies that were shortly fulfilled. See my tract on that where I document from The Life of John Knox by Thomas M’Crie.

    “Being conveyed to the pulpit [in his old age], and summoning up the remainder of his strength, he thundered the vengeance of Heaven against that cruel murderer and false traitor, the King of France, and desired Le Croc, the French ambassador, to tell his master, that sentence was pronounced against him in Scotland, that the divine vengeance would never depart from him, nor from his house, if repentance did not ensue; but his name would remain an execration to posterity, and none proceeding from his loins would enjoy that kingdom in peace.”

    That prophecy was fulfilled two years later. This was just one example of several in the ministry of John Knox. His son-in-law, John Welch also prophesied, as did scores of the Scottish Covenanters. (Read The Scots Worthies.) Current denials of the gifts of the Spirit are due to the humanist enlightenment. Man’s intelligence is supposedly more enlightened than to believe such things. The Scripture used to prove that the gifts have ceased is 1 Corinthians 13:8-10.

    “Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”

    They say “that which is perfect” is the completion of the New Testament. Did knowledge pass away with the completion of the New Testament? It says, “whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.” Paul says two verses later, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” Do we now see face to face? Do we now know just as we are known? That seems like heaven to me. Only when we arrive with new bodies will we “put away childish things.”

    There seems to be a presupposition, a prejudice, a despising of prophecy that is based on the enlightenment. I know of so-called Reformed men who know nothing of the heritage from which they came. What do they do with the fulfilled prophecies of the reformer Savonarola? They probably have not even read about them. How about Columba (600 AD) and his 50 miracles and prophecies? Do they just deny them? On what basis? PREJUDICE AND UNBELIEF! Despise not prophesies!

    Proposition: How can we prove all things?

    There are three areas I would like us to consider.
    1. How to know a false prophet.
    2. How prophets are still human.
    3. How the prophet still has self-control.

    I. How Can We Recognize False Prophets?

    God tells us through Moses in Dt. 18

    20 ‘But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 “And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’–22 “when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

    False prophets can sometimes make a true prophecy; but not 100% of the time. True prophets never miss. Thus we have Edgar Casey, Jean Dixon, and many others who dazzle the people and tickle their fancies. But when they miss, they just dismiss it and forget it. The same is true with all the prophecy books and their misses. They rake in the money and the people just forget.

    In front of the congregation, a traveling prophet told a sick man that he would be healed and he died. The pastor was left with the dilemma of how to explain this to the people. He told them that the promise was conditioned on faith and the man who died did not believe. The fact is the prophet was false, according to Moses. “You shall not be afraid of him.”

    Prophecy is not learned or conjured up. It comes from God. God initiates it. God has no trouble communicating when He wants to. Only the pagans like the prophets of Baal need to work themselves into a frenzy to hear from God. Anyone that says, “I missed God that time” is not a prophet of God according to Moses.

    I hear both non-charismatic and charismatic people say, “God told me this” or “God told me that.” These people seem to hear from God more than the prophet Elijah did! It strikes me as blasphemous. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God. “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Our Reformed forefathers would not dare to make such statements.

    II. The Human Aspect of Prophets

    According to Peter, the Old Testament prophets did not always clearly understand what they were saying.

    Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow (1 Pet 1:10-11).

    Paul said the mystery had been hidden from the ages but is now revealed through Christ and His apostles (Col 1:26). Psalm 102:18 says it would be written for the generation to come. Prophets spoke in enigmas, visions, and dreams. God spoke to Moses plainly and face to face, but to the prophets in riddles (Numbers 12).

    When Agabus told Paul he would be taken captive at Jerusalem, his friends begged him not to go. Prophecy can be mis-interpreted by jumping to unfounded conclusions. Paul responded that he was not only willing for captivity, but also to lay down his life.

    III. How The Prophet Has Self-control

    True prophets do not work themselves up into “Dervish” frenzies. They do not conjure up or work up a message from God. They simply pray as Elijah a short fervent prayer. Prophecy does not come by the will of man. Holy men of God speak as they are moved by the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:21).

    Someone said, “I could not control myself. I just had to speak…” But Paul says, “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” (1 Cor 14:32).

    When the High Priest prophesied that someone must die for the nation, he was probably not even aware that he was prophesying. He willfully spoke out of what he saw in his own mind. God made him see it and he spoke.

    When Saul lay naked all night prophesying, he was not out of control. His carnal nature added that part. The First Great Awakening in Kentucky witnessed people falling and barking like dogs. Why? Like Saul, it was their own rebelliousness added to the powerful sense of God’s Presence. God did not do it. They did. God does not possess men like demons do.

    Conclusion:
    1Co 14:39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.

    It is up to God to speak through us. He does it when He wants to and not when we “confure” it. But we can pray for inspiration and the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ. Several times God has inspired me to speak things that came to pass – usually through dreams and sometimes not. But I have no control over that. We must submit to the sovereign will of God and not be seeking thrills.

    Everything, like the prophets of old, must be related to the covenant. One can prophesy like King Saul and not have any character at all.

    Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Mat 7:22-23)!

  133. msamudio says:

    Scronnie,

    Interesting comment, it’s wrong…but it was definitely articulate, thoughful and intentional in trying to appeal to Scripture. Nonetheless, it is wrong and justice would be done if you took some time review previous comments on this thread.

    The following will help you to see how you are truly missing the point:

    http://msamudio.wordpress.com/how-has-god-the-son-explained-the-father-john-118-sneak-peak/

    First, before I forget Kentucky was still in the hands of the French during the First Great Awakening. Do you mean the Second Great Awakening?

    Your first paragraph is denying the sufficiency of Scripture and hopefully the link will help explain how you are denying this.

    Your second point appealing to John Knox, that was interesting, however it is irrelevant. This argument must be settled from the Scriptures not Church history.

    Your third point doesn’t not apply to my position or Echo’s for that matter. I have not appealed to this text to prove my position. See the link.

    I agree that Deuteronomy 18 provides the prescription for determining false prophecy. However, this is irrelevant if your previous points cannot withstand the case from Scripture. I also agree that people abuse the phrase “God told me”.

    Your point on the human aspects of prophecy does not take into account the nature of special revelation. It is progressive and is also addressed in previous comments.

    Your point on the prophet having self-control is probably right for the most part. However, you conveniently left out Daniel and John who indicate in their writings that they were not in control. Again this is not relevant if your first point is refuted.

    Your conclusion is wrong. However, you do bring up a good point about the covenant. This is a more salient point that should be discussed further and it would support my position and not yours. Again if you read the link this may help clarify your confusion.

    I have a question for you now, if you believe God is still providing special revelation what assurance do you have that your Bible is complete? Isn’t your revelation just as authoritative as the Scriptures? If not, why not is God’s word now not as accurate or authoritative as before?

  134. Echo_ohcE says:

    Scronnie,

    I also completely disagree with just about everything you said, though I too respect the manner in which you said it. Your comments at least appear to be the result of an intelligent mind, and I find that refreshing. Your arguments are logically valid.

    However, there are a couple of points I’d like to raise.

    First, your claim that the old Scottish covenanters or whatever, including John Knox, totally believed in continuing prophecy lacks sufficient evidence. For one thing, what you quoted John Knox as saying sounds more like a curse to me. Do you really think that when a minister tells a king that if he keeps killing the people of God that God is going to be mad actually constitutes prophecy? That’s just a minister who understands something about Scripture, and something about the role of kings. There is no prophecy taking place here, just a law sermon.

    But anyway, let’s talk about the Westminster Confession of Faith. A confession of faith is nothing more than a belief statement, and the WCF happens to be fairly elaborate. Now if you know your history, you’ll know that ALL the protestant churches in England adopted the WCF. ALL of them. The Irish, the Scottish, the Anglicans, everybody. It was even ratified by Parliament.

    And here is the very first thing it says:

    “Chapt 1.1. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing: which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.”

    “which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.”

    Just where do you suppose the term “cessation” came from? Where do we get our ideas about Scripture being sufficient, and therefore the other ways in which God previously spoke to us are now unnecessary? It’s all right here.

    And this was written in the 1640’s, and presbyterians have been singing the same tune ever since.

    So while you may think that none of us know our history, and you may laugh at us for not understanding ourselves and call us all enlightenment philosophers, we actually have a document that says what they believed in clear and uncompromising terms on this issue, and we still use it as our confession of faith. So Presbyterians have been officially cessationists for almost 400 years now.

    Perhaps it is you who does not understand us. Perhaps you’re misinterpreting what some have said. And anyway, whatever John Knox believed or said or did is quite irrelevant, because obviously we don’t agree with him if he said what you claim.

    And there is another thing. I myself was raised in the Assembly of God, and so I once believed in speaking in tongues and prophecies and all of that. (Though I must admit that the whole being slain in the Spirit thing never took root in my heart, thank God.) So after I am dead, you could find something I said or did in my former life, and quote me, and then claim that no one knows what they’re talking about when they say that Echo was a cessationist, because he clearly wasn’t.

    So, in order to really demonstrate that John Knox believed in continuing prophecy, you need to show that this was later in his life. Furthermore, you’ll have to demonstrate that this section of the Confession that I’ve quoted doesn’t mean what I say it does. You’ll need to prove that. The burden of proof is on you.

    Here’s why the burden of proof is on you. It’s my confession, and I’ve just told you what it means, and the language very clearly indicates that. It means that the former ways of God speaking to us have now ceased, and that’s why we needed the Word of God, the Bible, in written form. Now we can be assured that we have the same Word as the early church, because the Word has persisted. That’s what it means. It’s incredibly obvious that that’s what it means.

    So if you want to tell me and all the other reformed Christians out there that we don’t understand our own Confession and history, then fine, interpret it for us, explain it to us. Meanwhile I will rest confidently knowing that our Confession says what it says.

    And oh, by the way, you’ll also need to demonstrate why I need to agree with John Knox in everything. And I’ll remind you that we don’t use a biography of Knox as our confession, but the Westminster Confession of Faith. That’s what we believe. We don’t follow John Knox. And the Confession is merely what we believe the Bible teaches. Everyone has something similar, even if it’s only in their head. Everyone has a way of understanding what the Bible says. We have written it down and have kept it, and we still believe it.

    You’ve got a LOT of work to do if you want to prove to anyone that the Reformers were continuationists, when we’ve got their belief statement that clearly declares quite the opposite.

  135. Scronnie says:

    Read the Scots Worthies and you will see umpteen cases of the gift of prophecy manifested. The Covenanters lived before the Enlightenment. You current Presbys are children of it.

  136. Alex says:

    Scronnie,

    I love it. Good argument, but you’re wrong. A classic Mike and Echo response. Sure sounds like Mike and Echo believe that after the confessions were in writing the cannon was closed. Having a discussion with “Frick and Frak” is like “Trying to play cards with my brothers kid’s or something.” It’s not worth the effort anymore.

  137. msamudio says:

    Alex,

    I really do not understand your repeated assertion that we treat the confession higher than Scripture. Repeated assertions do not prove a point, they are merely a propaganda technique. I have no clue why or how you can make this repeated assertion, it has nothing to do with the arguments that are being presented.

    It seems that you really do not take the faith (your beliefs) very serious at all and you just try to be dismissive of our arguments. The fact is that we take our faith very seriously, as a matter of life and death to be honest. Thus, I find it extremely disingenous of you to be so condescending. (I hope I am wrong on this and you were just having a bad day)

    At least Scronnie has tried to provide a reasonable response and that is something that we can work with as brothers in the Lord. We can respond to points and hopefully receive responses back and refine each others faith in the process. Unfortunately, you are not in the same league as him. And although I love you as a brother, I must say I am extremely disappointed in you as a Christian.

    As your brother in the Lord I strongly urge you to examine closely what is being said. This is not just something to waste our time with, it is an important concern we are addressing. If you are wrong, you are doing great injury to others understanding of the sufficiency of Scripture, God’s divine and holy word. Moreover, you could be committing an egregious transgression towards the importance of our God’s revelation in His Son.

  138. msamudio says:

    Scronnie,

    That is a serious accusation that you are making and again I would disagree that we are not children of the enlightment. I could easily say to you that you are a child of the gnostics, enthusiasts, revivalist and romanists with your position on miracles and continued special revelation.

    Although I know that he is undergoing a character assasination on this blog, John Calvin was pre-enlightenment and holds the same position on Hebrews 1 as modern Reformed people:

    http://msamudio.wordpress.com/2006/10/19/why-its-sufficient/

    Furthermore, you can appeal to claims of supposed miracles and prophecies. This, however begs the question and demands a response from you to our points from Scripture. Besides this is our only rule for faith and practice, right?

    Your last comment again does not hold water with the facts.

    I have responded to your points, now please respond to my previous points and questions. Moreover, can you tell me if your prophecy qualifies as this:

    103How sweet are your words to my taste,
    sweeter than honey to my mouth!
    104Through your precepts I get understanding;
    therefore I hate every false way.
    105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light to my path.

  139. danielbalc says:

    I have been quite sick and haven’t had time or desire to catch up with this conversation, nevertheless I noticed two things that jumped out at me and I would like to throw them out

    here…

    First of all Echo said on Sep 2nd…

    For myself, I don’t think that tongues or prophesy evaporated with the last breath of the last apostle. I think they faded gradually. I think they faded gradually so that people just sort of got used to it slowly and then one day it was gone and no one really realized it. For one thing, the canon might have been completed, but that doesn’t mean that you could go down to the corner bookstore and pick up a copy. I think they stayed as long as they were needed, and then the need for them began to wane, and thus the Spirit’s giving of them began to wane, commeasurate with the need.

    I would like to know if echo sees a similar circumstance happening with something like say, the doctrine of justification by faith, which some how got lost (faded gradually) and perverted until Martin Luther came around some 1500 years later. Though I don’t think this was “commeasurate with the need” but rather a result of sinful disobedience, I think the same sin that stopped teaching JBF also stop teaching Charismatic gifts.

    In fact John Calvin agreed when commenting on the abundance of spiritual gifts in Paul’s day and the lack in his own, “Today we see our own slender resources, our poverty in fact; but this is undoubtedly the punishment we deserve, as the reward for our own ingratitude. For God’s riches are not exhausted, nor has his liberality grown less; but we are not worthy of his largess, or capable of receiving all that he generously gives.” (The first epistle of Paul the apostle to the Corinthians, page 305.)

    I also feel like commenting on this MikeS quote…

    I really do not understand your repeated assertion that we treat the confession higher than Scripture. Repeated assertions do not prove a point, they are merely a propaganda technique. I have no clue why or how you can make this repeated assertion, it has nothing to do with the arguments that are being presented.

    Don’t you see that is exactly how we feel about your condescension and crass misrepresentations of our understandings? You guys constantly assert that we are advocating scripture worthy revelation and an open canon while we constantly deny that. yet you never stop. But when Alex says pretty much the same thing you get on him? Gee wiz pot, stop calling the kettle black.

  140. Alex says:

    Mike,

    First of all, There is no argument between you and I here. It’s just you trying to take on the Bible. Once again, good luck.

    Fact: The Bible does not contradict itself.

    Just because you and I do not COMPLETELY understand God’s word we must not pretend that we do or even that we ever will. Case in point, you seem to think that Hebrews 1 and Acts 2 somehow don’t “jive.” After explaining what the author of Hebrews was getting at IN CONTEXT in Hebrews 1 it clearly does not contradict what Peter said in Acts 2. The way you interpret Hebrews, you say that The gift of procphecy is no longer needed or is no longer used contradicts what Peter and Paul say about the gifts and it’s usefulness for the church. That my friend is a problem.

    Fact: We are living in the “last days”

    We both agree on this as well. What you are failing to see is how you are DISMISSING verses in the Bible, specifically Acts 2 (Peter reiterating Joels prophecy) and 1 Corinthians. You have broken the rules Mike. You can’t believe we are living in the “last days” and DISMISS Acts 2 and 1Corinthians. You can’t do it. Now I know some really intelligent people have told you how to interpret Hebrews 1 but remember they have a carnal mind just like you and I.

    I leave you with this: 1Corinthians 1:25-31

    25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

    26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”[d]

  141. msamudio says:

    Alex,

    Wow! Are you for real? I must say that I was really dumbfounded when I read your response, because I have no clue how you could conclude that I believe Hebrews 1 and Acts 2 contradict each other. This is not true and after thinking about I have concluded this response was a result of three possibilities:

    1. You haven’t read any of the material offered that actually articulates my position. And why you have chosen to make this statement is beyond me if this is true.

    2. You have only chosen to read selective sections and were not able to understand or grasp the ideas that were being conveyed. Since you didn’t fully comprehend what was being said your presuppositions about my position are what you think my position actually is.

    3. You have read the material completely and you are not being honest with the arguments presented. If this is true then you are intentionally twisting what has been presented.

    I cannot think of any other options than these three and regardless of which one is correct it goes to further substantiate my previous comment to you. Please, if I am missing something here by all means point it out and I will apologize immediately. However, the reasonable conclusions as to the motivation of your comment are not looking very good at all.

    With that said, I agree with both the statements of fact in your comments. I just do not agree with the conclusions you make with these facts. This is the problem with the way you approach the Bible.

    Why did you make this statement Alex? It does not make any sense at all.

    Now your opening comments are just a poor attempt to be cute and clever. The fact is that we both have two different positions. How do you know that your position is correct and the biblical position? Did God tell you? I am really curious, because you have yet to address any of the material that I have presented in a responsible way.

    I fear that I will never get a thoughtful response, because you have no desire to change your position whether it is biblical or not. The fact is that this is all that you have known all your life. You are so invested with this way at looking at the Scriptures it we be an extremely painful thing to face the truth of it if it is wrong.

    What is your authority in this life Alex? If it is the Scriptures then let us reason together and grind through the material to arrive at the true position of the Scriptures. Believe me I know how difficult this is (to admit you are wrong and submit to Scripture), but if the Scriptures are our only rule for faith and practice we must acquiesce and bend our stiff-necked and callous hearts to it. Are you willing to embark on this journey together?

  142. msamudio says:

    Dbalc,

    Welcome back. I am thankful that you are recovering and your health is being restored. (I was actually wondering how these things end, since I have never persevered myself).

    If I have misrepresented your position, I apologize. However, I don’t think I have done this and if so it was not intentional. I think it is either a function of not having my own questions about your position answered. Or it is a result of you not understanding my position thoroughly.

    Let me try to clarify this in a clear and concise manner for time sake. I am not advocating that you want or desire to add anything to Scripture. However, I am advocating that you do not understand that nature of special revelation (God speaking). The nature of special revelation is progressive. It starts small with Gen 3:15, grows with Noah (Gen 6), grows with the Patriarchs (Gal 3:8), a large portion disclosed through Moses, grows with the Prophets and finds its culmination in Christ (New Testament). This culmination was so complete and sufficient that there is no longer any need for further special revelation (God speaking). Read the previous links for a fuller explanation.

    The above is my main argument against your position. On a secondary level I am trying to extract for you guys what your understanding of this other “prophecy” is relative to special revelation. If God is still speaking and God can only speak infallibly then we can only conclude that it should be equivalent to Scripture. I admit I still do not understand you guys clearly on this and would like further clarification. However, all I get is repeated assertions from some of you and rabbit trails from others.

    Again I am glad you are back, because out of everyone I believe you probably take this the most seriously and for that I appreciate.

  143. Echo_ohcE says:

    Yeah, assertions and rabbit trails and accusations. That’s all you’ll ever get Mike.

  144. Alex says:

    Thanks for your time Mike.

  145. msamudio says:

    …so I guess I wasn’t missing anything Alex?

  146. [...] consequences of this Word becoming flesh and exegeting the Father in great detail.  Otherwise, we may fall into the trap of diminishing the sufficiency of this revelation. Thus, we have attempted to be responsible and diligent in our exegesis of the passage setting the [...]

  147. [...] by the Spirit provides a more accurate explanation of what occurs.  Or are we to believe in this “latter-day saint”  mentality that denies the existence of the Spirit within the Church for extended periods of time? [...]

  148. [...] This is the crux of the disagreement between cessationists (i.e. confessional Protestants) and non-cessationists (i.e. Charismatic’s, Roman Catholics and Mormons), which we will attempt to parse out equitably [...]

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