Bible Bite – Is Prophecy Redefined in 1 Corinthians 14?

Bible Bites Teeth

I started writing a comment reply to a question, but as the reply grew I figured that I didn’t want it to be lost in the comment archives, so I decided to make it a post unto itself.

The question was:

“Please help me! I agree with the definition of OT prophecy and agree that most/all modern prophets are false accordingly. I can and do argue and point people who declare themselves as prophets to the Deuteronomy and Ezekiel 13 passages. But often they counter with 1 Cor 14. Which seems to say everything that edifies, encourages or comforts is prophecy. Good grief, If that is the definition then virtually everything is prophetic. Music, poetry, compliments, corporal punishment etc. This is exactly how some are approaching and defining prophecy in these last days. I have been told “it it edifies? Receive it. If it does not? reject it” I know this is kooky but have not seen it addressed as yet in all the bubub, Bub. Any light would be appreciated.

Seeing that 1 Corinthians 14 was the scripture that was referenced, I’ll look at every single instance of the “prophet”, “prophecy” and “prophesy” in 1 Corinthians and see if Paul redefines the gift in any way when he’s writing to the church in Corinth (as always, my comments are indented and in italics):

1 Corinthians  14:3 – “On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation…”

So the effect of Biblical prophecy is upbuilding, encouragement and consolation.  No redefinition there.

1 Corinthians 14:4 -“The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church…”

This only mentions the effect of Biblical prophecy.  Again, no redefinition.

1 Corinthians 14:5 – “Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.”

Here Paul speaks of a general desire for the Corinthians to prophesy (which is better than tongues), not a suggestion that everyone actually can (1 Corinthians 12:30 suggests that not all can speak in tongues, and 1 Corinthians 14:23 suggests that if that occurred, it would actually be bad for the church).  Also note that the building up is again the effect of Biblical prophesy.  No redefinition.

1 Corinthians  14:6 – “Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching…”

This is a passing mention to the pointlessness of ecstatic speech, for it brings no benefit unless it has content.  Again, no redefinition of the term or concept.

1 Corinthians 14:22 – “Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers.” 

This is again, a passing mention of “prophecy”.  The passage follows the quote in 1 Corinthians 14:21, which is from Isaiah 28:11-12 (an oracle of judgment against Israel).  This is where we are told explicitly that one of the purposes for tongues was one of judgment (on the unbelief of Israel).  No redefinition.

1 Corinthians 14:23-25 – “If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.” 

This passage says that tongues performed by the whole church makes the whole church looks nuts, but prophesy performed by the whole church will convince an unbelieving Jew (“unbeliever”) or a unregenerate Gentile (“outsider”) that God is actually working through the church because Biblical prophesy will speak into the life of the person with the actual voice of God.  No redefinition, but this definitely fits well with a standing OT definition of prophesy.  No redefinition.

1 Corinthians 14:29-30 – “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent.” 

So this starts a section of how to prophesy properly (i.e. orderly), and commands the prophesies to be evaluated.  Some look at this and make a case for a difference between NT and OT prophesy on the basis of evaluation, but that’s simply absurd. 

The biblical test for prophets is found in the Old Testament, meaning that the test was most likely actually used and prophets were tested in the OT as well.  Call me crazy, but I’d take a wild stab in the dark and suggest that in the OT, there were a whole lot of people condemned as “false prophets” because they failed the test of authenticity.  (This is rocket science, I know…)

Test F(source)

It’s worth noting that the church in Corinth isn’t told how to test the prophecies, which would suggest that either the OT testing procedures and principles were still binding or there was some new oral tradition handed down to Corinth on NT testing procedures and principles that never made it into scripture and was lost in history.  If the former is true, the OT test is still binding today (since it was never rescinded) and the one we should currently use.  If the latter is true, nobody at all should ever prophesy since we don’t actually know, in any objective and biblical sense, how to test the prophecies.  People have proposed various “biblical” tests, but all the ones I’ve read are both arbitrary and unhelpfully vague.  Again, no redefinition.

1 Corinthians 14:31-33 – “For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”

Paul here continues the commands regarding orderly prophesy for the purpose or learning and encouragement.  Some people also make mileage out of the phrase “the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets”, suggesting that this wasn’t the case in the OT (citing passages like Jeremiah 20:9). 

This idea is also patently untrue, as there are plenty of easy example of OT prophets able to hold their tongue and wait their turn.  One that springs to mind is 1 Kings 22:13-23, where Micaiah actually gives a sarcastic prophesy to  Ahab in 22:15 before giving God’s real message to Ahab in 22:19-23.  It’s actually quite humorous how Ahab says to Micaiah in 22:16 “How many times shall I make you swear that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” Abab wasn’t happy about Micaiah’s sass, and Ahab’s response suggests that it wasn’t the first time this had happened to Ahab.

Van Damme Ahab(source – Me.  Yup.  This one is an original piece of Mennoknight art!)

Micaiah had a word from the Lord, but he didn’t blurt it out like he was out of control.  He could hold it in and give a sarcastic response before he delivered it to Ahab, which suggests that he had some control over when and where he delivered it.

Anyone wanna suggest that Micaiah wasn’t a *real* prophet?

1 Corinthians 14:37 – “If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.”

This is a passing mention of “prophet”, and Paul only supersedes any prophetic authority with his apostolic authority, so that no prophet can speak “thus saith the Lord” and overrule Paul.

1 Corinthians 14:39 – “So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.”

This is a passing mention of “prophesy” again.  Paul is giving strong correction to the prophets in Corinth and doesn’t want the church to become so skittish towards prophesy that they simply abandon it…but Paul doesn’t redefine it to be something less than Old Testament prophecy either.

And as for the second statement, “and do not forbid speaking in tongues”, I’m sure that a few thousand people would love to rub my face in that “clear meaning of scripture” and I have a simple response:  I don’t. 

I’m actually open to tongues and would welcome tongues in my church…I just want them to be Biblical tongues and not gibberish masquerading as Biblical tongues.  The definition of tongues (given in Acts 2:6-11) is the anvil on which all modern pretenders are smashed, and don’t forget that the definition includes the multiple purposes of tongues. 

If Jews aren’t in the service, then you cannot possibly have Biblical tongues in your service.

If your church is basically Gentile, like almost every church in North America, how do the tongues confirm the inclusion of the Gentiles into the church?  To whom is the confirmation aimed?  The Gentiles in the service (for whom the confirmation of inclusion was never intended in the first place) or the Jews who aren’t even there to hear it?

And if there aren’t any Jews there to hear the confirmation of inclusion of the Gentiles in the church, there also aren’t any Jews there to be judged for their unbelief and rejection of Christ as messiah.

Come to think of it, the one place where Biblical tongues could occur is the one place I’ve never heard of it happening: in a synagogue!

You like apples? How do you like them apples?

Apple(source)

So I think I’ve provided at least a somewhat serious response to the idea that Paul redefined “prophecy” and “prophet” in 1 Corinthians 14; Paul didn’t.  The understanding and definitions from the OT were still binding in Corinth, as were the OT tests for the authentication of a prophet.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “not the prophet of the Son nor the son of a prophet” Unger

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157 thoughts on “Bible Bite – Is Prophecy Redefined in 1 Corinthians 14?

  1. Not a word here to justify any cessationist view of prophecy.
    There were false prophets in OT times, there are false prophets today. These facts do not point to the lack of legitimacy of prophecy in either time period. And neither does the fact that some have tried to “redefine” prophecy to legitimize a false practice of it stand as evidence that NO prophecy is legitimate today.

    • Let’s assume that the gift of prophecy is still active in the church. At the very least, would we at be able to discern real from false by true vs failed prophecy? Using that test, I know of no prophet from the NAR, for instance, that would qualify. I don’t offer this as an “aha! Gotcha!”. It’s an honest question and observation. I don’t pretend to be well versed in this issue, and that’s why I’m here. What I would truly love to see is an open discussion between yourself and Menn0knight at an exegetical level. You are obviously solidly planted in your understanding of the continuation of all of the gifts. For the benefit of those of us who frequent blogs like this in order to gain some clarity on the issue, I would genuinely appreciate hearing your case.

      • Good thoughts Ed.

        I would agree. If the definition hasn’t changed, the it stands to reason that the OT tests would still apply.

        If everyone in the N.A.R. gets disqualified by those tests, then so be it.

        If every charismatic prophet fails, then so be it.

        If one passes, we actually should start listening to him/her with a serious ear.

    • Ok. You are completely missing the point. Nobody is disputing that there were false prophets in The OT or the NT. The point of the post is that prophesy in the OT and NT were identical.

      The problem isn’t the presence of false prophesy in the modern era; the problem is the absolutely total lack of true prophesy that holds to the biblical definition of “prophesy”.

      Where is the modern prophecy? Where are the people saying “thus saith the Lord”, speaking with 100% accuracy and with Gods total authority? Where are the charismatic churches that condemn a prophet as a false prophet on the basis of a single false prophecy? Where are the charismatic churches that discipline members for disobeying a prophesy? I have met thousands of charismatics, and dozens of charismatic leaders (i.e. Wayne Grudem, John Piper, John Bevere), and I haven’t met a single one who holds to an OT definition of prophesy as continuing into the NT and into this modern era. You haven’t either, have you? Be honest. If nobody explicitly holds to the definition of prophesy that is given in the bible, is that the continuation of prophecy?

  2. Hi Ed I have no more time for the NAR than you apparently do.
    It’s time to stop determining doctrine via experience and/or by extreme examples.
    The truth of the matter of NT prophecy is simple enough to determine by a simple reading of scripture. Accept what scripture says and discard those beliefs that a simple reading of scripture doesn’t support.
    I accept the continuing validity of the Spiritual gifts, including tongues and prophecy because:
    1) Scripture reveals their validity
    2) Scripture at no point indicates that those gifts will be withdrawn from the church after the “apostolic era”
    I’ve involved myself in too many vain duels-by-proof-texts to get involved in a discussion “an exegetical level” with someone who has chosen a viewpoint that is clearly inconsistent with scripture. I can only appeal to those not already entrenched in Cessationist doctrine to read scripture for themselves and to accept what IT says rather than look to commentators for their interpretations. And in that statement I would include myself as a “commentator”. I don’t desire anyone to heed my opinions about meaning of scripture. I just want people to go to scripture for themselves and judge all doctrine BY scripture instead of using parts of scripture to support favoured doctrines that we’ve picked up from others.
    All I have seen in this ongoing discussion is:
    1) an appeal to experience (or lack of it); the pointing to extreme examples of error (like the excesses of many charismatics) and
    2) the use of irrelevant, derogatory and inapplicable language, such as “ecstatic speech”, babbling, and gibberish”: which have all been used by the blog’s owner in reference to tongues to produce a negative emotive response. That language use merely projects the opinion and prejudice of the writer and has no connection to what SCRIPTURE actually says about tongues

    • I think I see what you’re saying. I have seen lots of blog discussions disintegrate into a waste of time. However, in the interest of one hoping to have latched on to a profitable exchange, I’m still trying to salvage something here. I echo Abby’s sentiments here – the statement that a simple reading of the text reveals such and such can be countered by the exact same argument, leaving the rest of us in the dark. Wouldn’t the best way of clearing things up be to, at an “exegetical” level, explain rationally which texts and what they mean?

      • Ed,
        Having people “explain” the meaning of” texts” is one of the major sources of false doctrine within the church. Too many people look to others to provide meaning instead of going to the text for themselves and trust the Holy Spirit to reveal meaning. According to scripture that’s one of His roles but that whole idea is resisted by those whose “authority” may be undermined by having people trust someone else (even God) to teach them Truth.
        Too often those in “positions of authority” tend to teach what they were taught by teachers before them. And at the “best”, those who DO check the teaching they receive will merely look up the “texts” quoted during a sermon.
        By all means, receive help from informed teaching, but never as a replacement of personal interaction with scripture and the Holy Spirit.

  3. “The problem isn’t the presence of false prophesy in the modern era; the problem is the absolutely total lack of true prophesy that holds to the biblical definition of “prophesy”.
    Where is the modern prophecy? Where are the people saying “thus saith the Lord”, speaking with 100% accuracy and with Gods total authority?”
    That is an expression of opinion based on your own lack of experience. Whether or not you, I or anyone else can’t point to a modern day example of true prophecy does not negate what scripture reveals. If scripture points to its validity then I will believe scripture and not experience.
    Theology should not be based on experience; instead experience ought to be shaped by the truth as revealed in scripture.

    • Sorry. This post will be out of sync as for whatever reason, there was no reply option after your last post. I hope you receive this. Anyway, was doing some thinking about the explaining from scripture, and remembered what Apollo did in Acts 18:28 -“demonstrating by the Scriptures…”- in other words, not just saying to his Jewish opponents, “Look, guys, just read the Scriptures – it’s all there in black and white.” You did say that one should avail oneself to instruction from teachers. Might I impose on you to teach from the Scriptures what you believe to be true? As I said before, I’m still trying to get as much mileage from this exchange as I can before it, like many, disintegrates. Ed

      • As your comment suggests, Apollos wasn’t addressing believers in Jesus. He was addressing people who most likely had a good knowledge of scripture but lacked the revelation available from the indwelling Holy Spirit.
        I have addressed the blog owner’s statements on tongues in other comments in which I address more NT references than the single passage he used.

  4. I am not trying to get in the middle of this conversation, but I have been following it with sincere curiosity and wanting to how the two views were presented. I was about to post a similar Q that Ed did, but he beat me to it. I do not mean to be disrespectful, but what I am seeing is Lyndon reading Scripture and teaching why he believes what he does from specific text, in context.

    One sinus, I am having a very difficult time understanding why you believe as such when all I am hearing is the general “the Bible says so….” With no supporting specific text as well as the vague “Paul says…” Without any specifics.

    You have asked people to read scripture for themselves and make their decision based on that, but having done that I fall in line with Lyndon’s viewpoint.

    I am no theologian or learned in the original languages, so Onesimus, what then, am I missing if as you claim a simple straightforward reading of the scripture should lead me to see what you are claiming?

    • Abby I’m not interested in presenting proof texts regarding the valid continuation of Spiritual gifts. Paul said a lot about the gifts and their use, (which can easily be found by anyone with the desire to do so) Where is the biblical evidence that all of that instruction was going to become unneeded because of the withdrawal of those gifts?
      I am supporting something that is clearly in scripture that Paul gave lengthy attention to – I have yet to see any genuine BIBLICAL evidence of the contrary view promoted by the cessationists. The best “argument” I’ve seen so far is: “where are the modern day examples?”
      So, what have you read in scripture that indicates that Spiritual gifts were going to cease after the “apostolic era”?

      • Sorry Abby, for butting into your conversation. I just am not getting a reply option after Onesimus’ responses, and I don’t want things to die yet. Onesimus, what you described the Jews as (familiar with the Scriptures but unenlightened) probably describes well believers on one side of this discussion. Both sides of this debate are scripturally literate, but if enlightenment is the issue, then one side is not. Then what Apollo did would certainly apply here.

      • I am not trying to be rude here, so please know that my “tone” is one of sincerity, but you have asked me (and Lyndon and Ed) for specifics while failing to give any yourself to support your view.

        I understand that you don’t want people believing as you do just because of what you say, you want others to be lead by Scripture and not “convinced”. I get that.

        What I still don’t understand is why you think we are merely asking for “proof texts”. We aren’t.

        You have come to a very strong conclusion and what we are asking, what we are sincerely wanting to know, is what specifics lead you to that viewpoint.

        When talking about Jesus I doubt (well, I hope) that you don’t just tell people you believe Jesus is the Son of God because it says so in the Bible without citing where in the Bible. You aren’t giving “proof texts”, but rather backing up why you believe as you do with specifics in scripture.

        We are just wanting to you back up why you believe the way you do from scripture. From that “argument” or “case” we can then go back to the scripture and see how it lines up. Without knowing specifically in scripture why you believe as you do we can not make an informed conclusion. That is all we are trying to figure out.

  5. Ed, I think you misunderstood me. Those Jews were not merely unenlightened, being unsaved they lacked the indwelling Holy Spirit and therefore His teaching role was missing. I was assuming that isn’t the case with (at least some) participants here.

    • Granted on all counts. However, it wouldn’t be wrong, would it, to instruct someone from the Scriptures because he IS a believer? In a round about way, we’re back to my original request – would you be willing to instruct from the Scriptures? I’d be more than willing to listen/learn. You be Apollos, and I’ll be a Berean. 🙂

      • Abby and Ed,
        I think I’ve given more than enough references to scripture in my various answers.
        There are references to tongues in Acts and in 1 Corinthians.
        What do they say? Is there any indication in those references that tongues would become redundant shortly after scripture was written (at the end of the “apostolic era”)?
        Likewise with prophecy and the other gifts of the Spirit. 1 Cor 12-14 gives more than enough information about them – and yet is there any indication that the information given about those gifts would be valid only until the end of the “apostolic era” (or any time between then and now)?
        Someone could just as well say that the new covenant is no longer valid because they can’t see anyone being saved today, but that would be a problem with their perception and/or their lack of personal experience and NOT a true reflection of the status of the new covenant. Likewise they could present a case against the new covenant by pointing out all of those who don’t fit their idea of what a saved person should be like.
        That kind of argument is exactly what is going on here with the case for cessationism.
        Does scripture present prophecy, tongues (and interpretation), healing, faith, miracles, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, as genuine gifts? Does scripture state that those gifts would be limited to an “apostolic period”? Or is there no indication that they would end in the early church’s foreseeable future?
        I see no such evidence of a time limit in scripture, but I see plenty about the reality of and the usage of Spiritual gifts including instruction of how they SHOULD be in use in fellowship gatherings.

        • Thanks for the exchange. The battery in my handheld is about done, so I shall bid you a good evening. I shall mull over all of the above in the morning.

        • I’m putting my kids to bed. I’ll respond to this total smokescreen later tonight or tomorrow.

          For those reading, notice how Onesimus alludes to scripture by directing one to a while chapter bit cannot actually deliver any specifics?
          Onesimus, if you want some passages that point to cessationism, you can look at 2 Corinthians 12:12, or Hebrews 2:1-4, or 1 Timothy 5:23, or James 5:14-16 or 1 Corinthians 13:8-12. In 1 Corinthians, the perfect is the second coming.

          Have fun. Tear me apart.

        • No smoke screen, just an ongoing request for REAL biblical accountability for your views.

          You say: “, notice how Onesimus alludes to scripture by directing one to a while chapter bit cannot actually deliver any specifics?”

          I assume that those interested will have a bible of their own and will have the ability to read it. The specifics are contained within the chapter(s) which also put the “specifics” in their correct context. I could certainly “prove” almost anything I wanted to by quoting lists of out of context verses. I refuse to do that. THAT is the approach taken by every false teacher we are likely to come across and it is the foundation of the “word” based prosperity teachers who promote favourable verses and ignore the unfavourable.
          Your proof terxts for cessationism:
          2 Cor 12:12 “Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds”
          Nothing about the gifts ending – this is talking about signs that mark an apostle not that spiritual gifts will cease.
          Heberws 2:1-4 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
          Nothing about the gifts ending.
          1 Cor 13: 8-12 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.

          When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 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.

          Sorry, I wasn’t aware that I’d missed the second coming if as you say “the perfect is the second coming”.
          BTW, I have no desire or intention to “tear “you apart. It is my desire for you and others to be guided by what scripture actually says.

        • – No smokescreen? It would be more convincing if you actually engaged the stuff I said and didn’t just dance around the specific passages of scripture I refer you to.

          – Before I go on, did I give you a list of verses that were taken out of context?

          I didn’t even make any statements about them, except that they point towards cessationism (not that any of them say that the sign gifts of tongues, healing and prophecy will cease). You don’t even know what I meant by saying that they “point toward cessationism”.

          How can I be proof-texting if you don’t even know what I think those texts mean?

        • Those verses (whether taken out of context or in context) had absolutely nothing to do with cessationism and gave no support whatsoever to the ideas you’ve been expressing.
          UNLESS you create your own interpretation and ignore the actual words on the page.

        • Brave words for someone who doesn’t have a clue why I cited them.

          In unrelated news, can you explain what any single one of those passages means, or even what their context is?

  6. It should not be a matter of knowing what YOU THINK those verses mean. It’s a matter of considering WHAT the words ACTUALLY mean. Accepting the words on the page as written, not with a preferred meaning projected into them.

    • “ knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1

      • Erm, yes.

        Thanks for that totally unrelated point.

        You do know that 2 Peter 1:20 is not talking about hermeneutics but rather the origin of scripture, right? The very next verse (i.e. the verse in the immediate context) spells that out:

        “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:21.

        The whole “produced by the will of man” is a dead giveaway and just because the word “interpreted” is in the passage doesn’t mean that it’s talking about bible interpretation (hermeneutics).

        Since you keep talking about context, I find it interesting that the very first passage you directly quote is taken wildly out of context and misapplied.

        • Since you are projecting your will and what you think something should mean into scripture, then the verse I quoted is entirely relevant. It is not enough for you to accept the words of scripture at face value, you continually project your beliefs INTO scripture as can be seen by your selection of Cessationist “proof” texts – a few verses that have absolutely no relevance the issue despite what you choose to think.

        • As I said before, those references you provided CLEARLY do not address the issue of cessationism. If they are the “best” you can provide, then it makes the weakness of your stance even more evident.

          Please provide evidence supporting Cessationism that is as clear an unambiguous as Paul’s teaching on the existence and the value of the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians.

        • And I’m in the process of trying to get a thought through your skull: the passages that I’ve listed point toward cessationism.

          None of them are a single text that prove cessationism, since no cessationist that I know of suggests that there actually is any one text upon which cessationism stands or falls…kinda like the deity of Christ, the Trinity, the inspiration of scripture…

          …Oh wait. There isn’t ANY doctrine in Christian theology that is established on any one single text. That’s how cults operate.

          The passages do most certainly address the issue. You’re too busy contradicting your own words and trying to address questions that I’m not even asking to see where I’m headed with this all.

          Have a little patience and we’ll eventually get somewhere. I’ve got a few other posts in draft that would be helpful, but all my blogging time is spent addressing the flood of comments that you throw on here addressing issues I’m not even talking about and running away from addressing actual passages of scripture more specific than 3 chapters.

          I’ll try to get something done, which may mean that I’ll ignore your comments for a few days so that I can make progress.

    • Let’s try to get you to do a little actual dealing with the text of scripture that you talk so much about but don’t actually ever get to dealing with.

      I’ll be nice and take things slow, working through a single idea at a time.

      2 Corinthians 12:12 – What are the signs of an apostle?

      a. The signs that mark who is and who isn’t an apostle?

      b. The signs that mark who is and who isn’t a Christian?

      c. Cool stuff that happens in a worship service when God is “so there”?

      Please choose one of the three. No other answers are acceptable, nor necessary. This is actually ad simple a question as it appears. No tricks.

      • As I’ve said before, proof texts and dealing with isolated individual texts is fruitless, but to answer your question, the verse you quote relates to the identification of true apostles. But it is not saying that signs are only and CAN only be displayed by apostles. Neither is it saying they will only be evident WHEN there is an apostle around.
        1 Corinthians 12-14 make it evident that the gifts of the Spirit are intended to be used in fellowship gatherings and are NOT limited to certain “elite” individuals.
        But I clearly bypassed your rules by offering a logical answer rather than be limited to the loaded choices of answer your offered.

        • Okay. So if there are “signs of an apostle”, does that suggest that there are specific signs that had a specific purpose; that purpose being the demarcation of who is and who is not an apostle?

          Yes or no.

        • Okay.

          I initially asked you:

          “2 Corinthians 12:12 – What are the signs of an apostle?

          a. The signs that mark who is and who isn’t an apostle?

          b. The signs that mark who is and who isn’t a Christian?

          c. Cool stuff that happens in a worship service when God is ‘so there’?”

          You said “the verse you quote relates to the identification of true apostles”…meaning that you chose option (a). The signs of an apostle identify true apostles.

          I then asked “if there are ‘signs of an apostle’, does that suggest that there are specific signs that had a specific purpose; that purpose being the demarcation of who is and who is not an apostle?”

          That was a round about way of asking “if there are ‘signs of an apostle’, are there signs that identify true apostles?” (to which you previously said “yes”)

          You then said “NO.” and directed me to your previous comment.

          (You previous comment being that “But it is not saying that signs are only and CAN only be displayed by apostles. Neither is it saying they will only be evident WHEN there is an apostle around.”)

          But 2 Corinthians 12:12 only says “The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.”

          The passage wasn’t referring to “signs in general”, but a sub-category of signs; namely the “signs of a true apostle” (or at least, that’s surely what the words appear to say). The verse says nothing about whether or not signs (in general) can only be displayed by the apostles (and I do not hold to that idea and was never arguing that in the first place).

          The verse does seem to suggest that the signs of a true apostle will be evident only when they’re identifying a true apostle; hence they’re called “the signs of a true apostle”. Surely you can see that.

          What good are the signs that identify a true apostle if every Tom, Dick and Harry in the church can do them? Everyone and their dog would then be identified as a true apostle, right? Then “apostle” would be synonymous with “Christian”, would it not?

          I must not have been clear in what I was asking, so I’ll ask once more.

          Do the signs of a true apostle identify a true apostle or a common, run-of-the-mill Christian?

  7. Something Onesimus said yesterday has gotten me thinking. He said: “Having people “explain” the meaning of” texts” is one of the major sources of false doctrine within the church.” I think I know kind of where he’s going with this, but at the same time, that would seem to be describing fairly accurately what it is that a teacher does, ie explains the texts. Lyndon, you’ve been through the OT a time or two. If my memory serves me correctly, there is a passage somewhere that describes Moses or Joshua reading the book of the Law to the people, and the priests are among them “giving them the meaning of the words”. Does that ring any bells to you?

    • Yeah. Nehemiah 8:1-8.

      That is one of the passages in scripture where we get a model for modern preaching. The Bible is clear, but there is often a cultural/linguistic gap between the author and the readers that requires some work to cross.

      A good teacher/preacher will help his listeners cross that gap and get to the meaning of the scripture intended by the author. A good teacher/preacher is increasingly rare.

    • Ed there are two parts to this issue. There are those who are always looking for someone else to explain the word to them and there are those who are always more than willing to do that explaining. It is the way the church has worked for far too long – having a congregation of the former being presided over by the latter.
      And through this process false teaching gets passed from generation to generation as a chain of teachers ends up passing on the teaching they have received from men. Rather than addressing scripture for themselves the teachers repeat beliefs they have picked from the teachers before them and pass on the doctrines of their denomination (or their theological heroes) instead of the truth that is actually revealed in scripture.
      For most of my 40 year Christian life I took the lazy route, trusting the teachers of my choice and parroting their words to others. I had a substantial arsenal of proof texts to draw on with which I could use to run rings around opponents. However, I eventually realised that those texts had been learned and memorised in the context of my favoured teachers’ use of them. My understanding of them was NEVER according to their scriptural context. It wasn’t until ten years ago when I finally put those teachings aside and addressed scripture PERSONALLY that I started to gain a genuinely clear understanding of God and His purposes. Sadly I discovered that the majority of what I’d been taught and had believed had absolutely NO scriptural validity.
      I came to find that scripture is mostly NOT hard to understand, as long as we don’t try to take short cuts. It takes patience and persistence to build foundations of understanding. Some things that seem difficult later become easier when we’ve learned more of the necessary background. The way I often describe it is to make a comparison with learning mathematics. We could never understand algebra if we haven’t learned the basics of arithmetic. A similar thing could be applied to understanding the bible. There are no shortcuts. Having someone else continually giving us THEIR answer will never give US the understanding we need. And having others giving us their answers often results in us following THEIR thoughts, their interpretations rather than a knowledge of what scripture is REALLY showing.

      • So,then,if I came to you as a new believer, would you refuse to teach me for fear of foisting your views on me? How else could a teacher teach? If we all study strictly on our own, would we all come to the same conclusions? And if such were the case, why the gift of teaching? How do you understand the reference from Nehemiah 8? And if you do explain your understanding, aren’t you (at least kind of) teaching? Sorry for the multiple questions, but one thought sort of leads to another. Rats, there’s another one – are you entirely without teachers in your Christian walk, or are there some you learn from?

        • A teacher approached by a new believer should teach that believer to take responsibility instead of leading them to become dependent.

          A teacher should never promote his own ideas above scripture but should always encourage a student to check things out for themselves – NOT merely check a few quoted texts but to consider ALL of scripture. There are no proof-text quick fixes, but THAT is the most common method of teaching, where a “qualified” person pushes certain ideas that he supports with a ” text”.
          Have you ever noted how many sermons start with a variation of: “today’s text is”…referring to a “text” that the preacher uses a springboard for his own views but rarely considers in context?

          Regarding those people in Nehemiah’s day, they had no convenient printed bible of their own, and didn’t have the indwelling Holy Spirit as their promised teacher

        • I openly encourage people to search the scriptures on their own, as well as test everything I say against the scripture. You mag have noticed that in our debate, I’m the one continually trying to get you to crack open a bible and actually work through some specific verses.

          So do all Christians have the promised Holy Spirit as their personal teachers? I’m assuming you are referring to 1 John 2:27, right?

      • All Christians have access to the teaching of the Holy Spirit, but not all want it or seek Him for it. Some even deny His continuing work within God’s people.

        “As for working through some spoeciifc verses” you are clearly not hearing (maybe not wanting to hear) what I’ve said so many times. I’m not interested in “working through verses”, especially not for the purpose of projecting meaning into those verses to support a point of view that is inconsistent with other parts of scripture.
        I also have no time for people “working through verses” so that they can “prove” that scripture doesn’t really mean what it is saying. As if there is some obscured meaning that needs to be dug out.

        Once again I’ll ask – where is the clear and unambiguous evidence in scripture that points to the validity of a cessationist outlook?
        I expect you will still fail to provide it because it doesn’t exist.

        On the other hand evidence for the reality and desirability of ongoing Spiritual gifts is more than abundant throughout the NT, in particular 1 Corinthians 12 to 14.

        • All I seem to do is keep repeating myself to you but you aren’t even making an effort to listen.

          Let’s phrase it in the way that you do: the clear and unambiguous evidence of the cessation of the sign gifts is found in the books of Exodus, Deuteronomy, Numbers, 1 & 2 Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Daniel, Zechariah, Malachi, Amos, Acts, Ephesians, Hebrews, all 4 Gospels, as well as 1 & 2 Corinthians. Those books make it clear as to what tongues and prophecy are, as well as what the healings performed by Jesus and the apostles looked like.

          Nobody is claiming to perform THAT sort of tongues, healing or prophecy, and every testimony that attempts to give examples of those fall laughably short of the clear meaning of scripture, when taken in it’s context.

          Hence, since there are no claims of those things happening, I don’t have a problem saying that they’re not happening.

          Yes, I know that’s both deceptive and fallacious argumentation. Its also all I’ve seen you offer.

          It’s also interesting how any interpretation other than your own is someone attempting to “‘prove’ that scripture doesn’t really mean what it is saying.”

          What church do you go to exactly? You’re starting to sound less evangelical the more you talk.

  8. Sorry Ed, missed you last question.
    I’ve had many teachers in my Christian life – most of them turned out to be promoting serious error. And I fell for their error because I trusted them and the biblical “proof” they gave with their use of isolated texts.
    There are now few teachers I respect, those who taught me NOT to rely on them. Those who taught me to rely on the WHOLE of scripture instead of favoured texts. Considering all of scripture takes time because it’s not as convenient as looking up a few recommended references.

  9. I do think I understand for the most part where you’re coming from, given the carnage left in the wake of many of the false teachers out there. So forgive me for sounding like a stuck record, but is the ministry of the teacher nothing more than that of an encourager? Why would God give a believer a special gift to do that?

    • What ought a Sunday School teacher do with a class full of teenagers who have been influenced by WofF teaching? Doesn’t the teacher have a responsibility to correct wrong presuppositions that will affect how the teen will perceive what he reads?

    • Ed, How should that teacher bring correction?
      By using the same non-biblical approach to scripture that the WOF people use, but using different proof texts?
      Sadly that is often the case – but it should not be. And sadly so many people are tossed to and fro from one doctrine to its opposite because of that switching of proof texts.
      A teacher SHOULD expose the error by focusing on context. WOF teaching and most other false teachings make complete sense if only the favourable parts of scripture are referenced and the unfavourable parts are re-interpreted to change their clearest and simplest meaning.
      But those false beliefs quickly fall apart when their proof texts are seen in their correct context.
      Regarding your other question, a teacher is not merely an encourager, a teacher is an equipper. Returning to my math analogy; a good math teacher isn’t the one who helps a student to success through giving them the answers to a test. A good teacher equips the student to work out the answers for themselves.
      .

      • The reason I ask these things is that while I’m hardly a studied teacher, there are those who I do teach to the best of my ability. To my knowledge, the word “teach”, as in what it is that a teacher does, is not defined biblically. I would assume then that the word is used in its common sense, although Lyndon can maybe clarify here. We had a teacher in high school who, as a rule, would give an assignment, inform us where in the text book to read, and then vacate to the teacher’s lounge. In my estimation, that teacher really didn’t teach. So I got to wondering. I’m guessing that you attend a church somewhere and sit under someone’s teaching. Surely that teacher/preacher explains the Word in the same kind of way that we see in the Nehemiah passage, doesn’t he?

  10. I’m sorry to interject once again, but Onesimus, it appears you are wanting what is not there. There is no single verse in the Bible that specifically says “Cessationism is it, folks!” however, nor is there a specific verse that clearly says “It’s Continuationism!”

    And because there is no single silver-bullet verse, it is our responsibility to read Scripture, yes-as a whole, and to glean the best we can and with as much care and prayer as possible to gain the Truth.

    Now, I believe that God is so big that even our best human efforts to fully understand these complex issues fall short, however, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek to grasp an understanding.

    I fear you think someone is trying to “trap” you in using Scripture, but what I see Lyndon attempting is to have an open dialogue about the Scripture that you seemingly so earnestly desire to understand.

    Since there is not a “silver bullet Scripture” we must then study Scripture and ask ourselves why signs were given, to whom were they given, in what context were they given and from that form a likely conclusion.

    That is what I see Lyndon trying to do, that is what I hear Ed asking you to do: identify the context of signs and wonders from Scripture.

    If signs and wonders were given to authenticate the messenger as one truly from God, then once that message was authenticated it would seem appropriate for those signs and wonders to cease. I have found it interesting that signs and wonders are not really discussed that often (relatively speaking), I have also found it interesting that the biggest “case” in support of their continuation appear to be found in 2 chapters in one book of the Bible. I fail to see, in the context of Scripture as a whole, how that is a responsible way to come to a theological conclusion.

    I relate this to the Trinity. There is no one single verse that talks about the “Trinity”, and defining the concept that is so readily accepted among Christians was a theological battle among the early church fathers. They had to “fight” and dig into Scripture and make their case for the Trinity and attempt to explain a very complex and mind boggling nature of God.

    No one is saying that we want to be lead and influenced by a fallible teacher, it is our own individual responsibility to know the Bible, but if we, as Christians, are charged to rightly handle the Word of God, that entails reading through (aka. “working through”, aka “walking through” etc) Scripture. We are encouraged to learn from wise teachers-not blindly, but testing what they say by Scripture. I don’t understand the offense of that request (to read through Scripture with Lyndon) to you.

    I realize I have alot yet to learn, and so if I speak in error please feel free to correct

    • Abby, there are no references at all (single or otherwise) about the withdrawal of spiritual gifts because those spiritual gifts have not been withdrawn by God. Any lack of them in someone’s experience is not because God has withdrawn them but because they have been neglected by the church (and individuals in the church).
      Instead of following the biblical pattern of fellowship in which each member participates and utilises the gifts God has given, churches today sit everyone in rows, staring at the back of the head of the person in front of them, and listening to a man (sometimes woman) at the front of the building.
      As for the message being authenticated – I’d have to ask authenticated to whom? To those alive two thousand years ago? And no one today needs that authentication?

      • You surely know how bad that argument is:

        “there are no references at all (single or otherwise) about the withdrawal of spiritual gifts because those spiritual gifts have not been withdrawn by God.”

        That’s suggesting that gifts that were given with specific purposes need to have it spelled out “oh, and once those purposes are fulfilled and those gifts are now purposeless, they’ll stop being around”.

        Only an idiot (to use a Biblical term, found in 1 Corinthians 14:16, 23,& 24 none the less) thinks that you hang on to stuff after it’s fulfilled it’s purpose, and you’re not an idiot.

        I mean, do you go over to a friends’ house and ask “so where are all your old broken microwaves you’ve had over the years? Which room has your dead microwave stash?”

        And if you did, would you be utterly shocked to find out that they’ve been thrown out?

        Of course not. You’re not an idiot.

      • Again, I’m not being rude here, but you ask alot of Qs and expect answers, yet you do not show the same respect when answers are asked of you.

        I was hopeful for a more informed position on the view of continuationism and am sorry to see a person who clings so tightly to this view unable (or unwilling) to give a defense. Then again, you don’t owe me a “defense”, it just would have been nice to hear an intelligent “case” for this view you hold.

        Among other things, what confuses me a bit, is that on your blog you aren’t afraid to cite and quote scripture to back up your position (Ie. your post on “anointings”) while asking readers the same kinds of Qs Lyndon is asking you.

        It is a shame you won’t do the same here in this conversation with Lyndon.

        • Abby,
          If you really want to hear answers from a thick skulled idiot, I have this to say.
          Scripture makes the reality of the miraculous and spiritual gifts clear. Scripture does not make it clear that they have been withdrawn. In fact there is nowhere at all in scripture that a withdrawal of them is indicated or hinted. It is not up to me to prove the scriptural status quo – it is up to the cessationists to prove the change.
          Also only a few minutes ago I became aware that the idea expressed in your earlier statement:
          “If signs and wonders were given to authenticate the messenger as one truly from God, then once that message was authenticated it would seem appropriate for those signs and wonders to cease.”
          is entirely based on a statement in Calvin’s commentaries. It is something you have been taught. It has absolutely no scriptural legitimacy.

      • “Among other things, what confuses me a bit, is that on your blog you aren’t afraid to cite and quote scripture to back up your position…”

        The difference is Abby, that is my blog and I’m responsible for supporting the views I express there. Here I am merely expecting THIS blog owner to be equally accountable on HIS blog. In my appeal to scripture here I could not be more specific with the references I’ve given. More than once I’ve cited 1 Corinthians 12 – 14 as evidence of the reality and importance of Spiritual gifts. And yet I’ve seen nothing offered to convince me (from scripture) that for some reason those gifts are no longer valid and are no longer available to the church.

      • Then your point in all of this is not to have an open dialogue but rather you are calling for accountability? If that is the case, why bother?

        However, I know from personal experience that Lyndon is more than willing (as he has tried to show you here) to go through Scripture to show why he has come to his theological viewpoints, yet when he tries to do that he is accused of merely using “proof texts”. He has gone through OT and NT examples to try to have an honest dialogue with you.

        I realize you have cited those 3 chapters in Corinthians, and that is all I have been able to glean from your position as you won’t elaborate specifically more than just telling me to read the Bible.

        It is not my desire to argue this, I was just making an observation.

        • Abbey,
          I have asked for biblical evidence I’ve received none. The references I was given didn’t even address the issue. I have given references that DO address the issue, references that a clear, precise and simple to understand, needing no reinterpretation to fit my viewpoint regarding the nature of spiritual gifts.
          In reply I’ve been called thick skulled, and an idiot.
          Thank you all for your time, your insults.

        • I’ve already directed you to this post where I walk through 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. I know you want me to drop that text so you can disprove whatever I say, so here’s your chance. I’ll give you 3 points to either agree with or rebut:

          a. According to 1 Corinthians 13:8-12, Tongues will rapidly cease in and of themselves.

          b. According to 1 Corinthians 13:8-12, Tongues will cease before prophecy and knowledge.

          c. According to 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 (and granting, for the sake of argument, that “the perfect” is the second coming), Tongues will therefore cease before the second coming.

          Feel free to bring an actual response to any of those three points. Saying “no it doesn’t” isn’t a response; that’s an inability to deal with what I’ve stated. The finer points of my exegetical support are in the post.

          And feel free to stop lying about what has and what has not been said.

        • Is that it? That’s your response?

          Have you even read the passage or my reflections on it?

          “The perfect” doesn’t even apply to tongues. It applies to knowledge and prophecy.

      • Onesimus, I always say I can learn something from anyone 😉 (sorry, I had to add some humor into this..it is feeling a bit too tense for my comfort ha!)

        I just have a couple points I’d like to address:
        The first, you said “Scripture makes the reality of the miraculous and spiritual gifts clear. Scripture does not make it clear that they have been withdrawn. In fact there is nowhere at all in scripture that a withdrawal of them is indicated or hinted. It is not up to me to prove the scriptural status quo – it is up to the cessationists to prove the change.”

        To a point I understand what you are trying to say, but also I have to ask…based on the “argument” that since it is not explicitly said that the signs and wonders gifts have been withdrawn, then what about Paul’s instruction about head coverings while praying, or women cutting their hair as stated in 1 Cor. 11? Those instructions are not explicitly withdrawn..so what then? (btw, I am not trying to start a discussion on head coverings..it is just the example I chose)

        The second thing I would like to address is this:
        You said “Also only a few minutes ago I became aware that the idea expressed in your earlier statement:
        “If signs and wonders were given to authenticate the messenger as one truly from God, then once that message was authenticated it would seem appropriate for those signs and wonders to cease.”
        is entirely based on a statement in Calvin’s commentaries. It is something you have been taught. It has absolutely no scriptural legitimacy.”

        Given the ease with which “tone” can be misconstrued in written form, I choose to give benefit of the doubt here. I do want to point out, however, that you have no idea what I have or have not been taught. You might be surprised I haven’t been “formally” taught anything on this subject matter, I haven’t been “formally” taught anything about cessationism/continuationism (I didn’t even know those terms prior to about a month ago!), or Calvin’s theology (vs Arminianism). You may be surprised that I cannot even recall having sat through a sermon on any of this. Any and all that I have learned on this subject matter is from my own personal study. Yes, I am a new student on this subject and I realize how great my ignorance is, but I will continue to study Scripture… and ask alot of Qs 😉

  11. If you will excuse the thickness of my skull and my idiocy, I’ll excuse the rudeness of your responses and I’ll get out of here. My prayer is that others who have contributed and/or read here will sincerely search the scriptures for themselves and see the truth of this issue.

    • Oh my goodness. I explicitly said “you’re not an idiot” (the “not” is important there), but rather that you were using an idiotic argument that is below you…because you’re not an idiot. I also said nothing about you having a thick skull. I said that I was “in the process of trying to get a thought through your skull” (notice the absence of “thick” in that statement?). I’m in the process of trying to get you to recognize something, but you (metaphorically) have your fingers shoved in your ears and are screaming at the top of your lungs.

      I’m trying to talk to you and you simply ignore me, re-state your generalizations that insinuate that everyone who doesn’t agree with you is twisting scripture/not reading it in context (when thus far, the only one taking scripture out of it’s literary, historical and grammatical context is you – 2 Peter 1:20? 1 John 2:27? Hello?), and now you’re pretending you’ve been insults in some cheap effort to score a pity point.

      You don’t want dialogue. You don’t want anything remotely close to correction or clarity. You obviously want something. What exactly is it?

      My tearful repentance?

      My agreement with whatever position it is that you haven’t even articulated yet?

      What exactly is it that you are here for?

      • I sincerely apologise.
        I was about to accuse you of editing your earlier comment because I was sure you had said those things, but fortunately I still had the email notification of your post so could see that I had been seriously mistaken about what you said. At worst the idea of “thick skull” was only implied in what you wrote.

  12. On my second visit here, reading through the comments… It reminds me of my youthful indulgence as a Christian trying to work out the “tea leaves” of Gods scripture with intellect rather than revelation from the Holy Spirit. Without the light from the in dwelling Holy Spirit you will be slowly bound to the hardness of the letter. And here is your slow death. The best gift to get a hold of is the Holy Spirit. Ask for Him to come into your heart and fill you each day to show you how to approach all you do and say. Rely on Him fully, let Him walk with you everywhere even in your dreams… Now He has not ceased. Any and all gifts come from the Holy Spirit. This IS the foundation of all spiritual giftings in the Old and New Testsment. His purpose? To glorify Jesus Christ. To baptize you in the revealing light of the Fathers truth, so you and I can be changed into Christ likeness, abiding fully through faith in the holiness of Jesus, living, thriving in His Benevolent Kingdom. Amen?!

    • So I’m unregenerate?

      Well, don’t hold back your real opinion or anything.

      Don’t pretend that I’m saying that the working or gifting of the Spirit has ceased.

      Does the Spirit point to Christ? Sure.
      Does the Spirit give gifts? Sure

      Does the Spirit explain his work and gifts in the scripture?

      Yes.

      The same scripture that the Spirit wrote which instructs me about those things also instructs me about the specific details of his work. That same scripture tells me what prophecy is, what the apostolic gift of tongues was, and how Jesus and his apostles healed.

      It is the the Holy Spirit, speaking through the propositional statements of scripture, that forces me to believe what he says about his person and work, including what has changed since the initial decades of the church.

      It’s also ironic how you’re the one referring to the Bible as “tea leaves”.

      • “apostolic gift of tongues ”

        Apostolic gift?

        Surely a gift of the Spirit givem to many more people in scripture than just the apostles and defintley not a gift GIVEN by the apsotles.

        • I didn’t know what you meant by “apostolic gift of tongues” – it’s not a biblical term and its not a term that fits any biblical reference to tongues.

        • “Trinity” isn’t a biblical term either…then again neither is any English word at all, what with the Bible not being written in English and all.

          I use “apostolic” as shorthand for “of the nature and kind practiced by the apostles and their contemporaries”…kinda like the phrase “apostolic era”.

        • Which is why I would never use the term “Trinity” even though I believe in one God revealed in the three persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Non-biblical terminology can so easily take on a life of its own and become more the focus of attention than the things they were intended to encapsulate.
          But even after saying that I find no reason at all to describe tongues as an “apostolic gift”. There is nothing in scripture to make that connection. “Trinity” at least DOES describe a truth revealed in scripture.
          .

  13. Chris, the relevance of your “tea leave” analogy has clearly not been grasped. I recall a similar thing being said by CS Lewis who wrote of “fernseed and elephants” how someone so intent on examining the minutiae of fernseed couldn’t see the elephant standing right in front of him.
    In other words, in attempting to find meaning in every jot and tittle of scripture, they miss the very clear meaning of what is actually being said.
    Where things become worse on this blog is the fact that the whole process starts with an idea (cessationism) and then evidence is sought to support it: but not in the clear and simple meaning of what’s on the page, but trying to find a few specks of “fernseed” that can be reinterpreted to support it.

      • While I may have been mistaken about what you said about me, clearly I wasn’t mistaken about your rudeness or your practice of manipulating scripture to suit your own purposes.

        • You won’t accept what I say anyway – but that is very clearly what you have done to make 1 Cor. 13:8-12 fit your docntrine, even though it clearly refutes your doctrine

        • How can I not accept what you say if you’re actually unwilling to say anything at all?

          It is interesting how you are unwilling to answer a simple question about the plain reading of scripture.

          Again, did Paul say that “we tongues in part”?

        • THUD!
          THUD!!
          THUD!!!
          The sound of hitting my head against the wall.
          You are clearly more interested in supporting a preconceived doctrine by pulling scripture apart and putting it back together with a meaning you prefer than in addressing the text itself. Just because that section of scripture mentions tongues before prophecy, doesn’t mean that it will be withdrawn before prophecy. All will be made redundant in the future (when that which is perfect has come)- none have yet been made redundant by God.

        • You continue to manipulate. twist, and pull apart to avoid what the whole section of scripture is saying as you try to make it appear to support your false doctrine.

        • I’m sorry. My question must be too difficult. Can you quote the text of 1 Cor. 13:8-12? Any translation will suffice, though I’d prefer original languages if you don’t mind.

          Just quote it for me. That’s all. Copy and paste the text so we can all see it.

        • So no? You’re actually unable to even post the text of scripture?

          You cannot even DARE read it with me an point out where I’m wrong?

          Why are you so afraid of the Bible?

          If everything is as blatantly clear as you say, can you not just show me the text and straighten me out?

          I mean,PLEASE?

          If you call yourself a Christian, why are you doing everything possible to avoid the word of God?

        • “You’re actually unable to even post the text of scripture?”

          Don’t you have your own bible to refer to? Are you afraid to search the scriptures for yourself?

        • Clearly you have a bible – so why expect me to write it out again for you. Get your bible and read it.

          And maybe the seminary thing explains a lot. They do a good job of teaching people denominational tradition supported by handy proof texts but not so good a job of teaching them scripture and what it reveals about God, His purposes and His relationship with mankind.

        • Afraid of scripture because I won’t’ spend time typing out something that is readily available to you and other readers of these comments in their own bibles?
          Or are you just afraid of addressing your own bible because it’s too challenging to deal with the context it presents?
          You have your own bible, I’ve pointed out what that particular section of scripture says while avoiding the theological gymnastics you have attempted. Now I’ve had enough of your childish games.
          If others wish to continue their polite conversations I’ll try to reply to their comments and questions.

        • I just want to have the bible straighten me out. I want you to walk me through the text, but you seem to be allergic to that.

          If I posy the text, will you walk through it with me and show me where I’m wrong, from the text of scripture itself?

    • I understand. God is eternal, and likewise our search into the depths of His Truth will be an ongoing process. If one takes a position on one thing and hardens themselves there, it can take years to recover from a dead working faith. And in some cases never. The work of the Holy Spirit is unique in His Person to bring us in to the greater work of sanctification through faith in Christ. His working gifts that many practice in the Church are wonderful, but they are only the beginning of what faith and love can mature to deeper in ones walk. Speaking with the tongues of angels. In prayer I do this often. In worship I will do this also. I have experienced the Holy Spirit interpret tongues spoken in a service for me… The Holy Spirit profoundly speaks prophetically in my walk. In my dreams. Gods Providence in balance with scripture is our lives working out our testimony to His existence to those who are unsaved. The gifts have not changed, but how they are used can be twisted to mean less. The Holy Spirit grieved WILL depart leaving those to continue in falsehood or even hardness… There is controversy here, but do not take the gifts away from a God who desires to give them. As I stated earlier the Holy Spirit has not ceased, thus His works continue. It is the unbelieving church or the self seekers who spoil their purpose.

      • Lots of platitudes. Lost of experiences.

        No scriptural support or biblical orientation to much of what you say.

        I mean, your very first statement is utterly illogical – “God is eternal, and likewise our search into the depths of His Truth will be an ongoing process”.

        What? How in the world does God inherent infinitude mean that his specific and finite revelation in scripture is now, all of a sudden, actually infinite and one can never take a hard position on ANY issue?

        The only way that makes sense is if God has revealed EVERYTHING about himself in scripture, and Deuteronomy 29:29 suggests far differently, as does every usage of the word “mystery” in the NT.

        Rather, passages like 1 John 5:13 and John 20:30-31 suggest that the things that God has revealed have been revealed for a specific purpose and can be known with hard certainty.

        Your unbiblical spiritual gifts (like angelic tongues, which is never listed as a spiritual gift, no believer is ever told to expect and, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t exist) have deceived you into downplaying the word of God and following the “spiritual” meanderings in your experience and imagination.

        I mean, you admit that the gifts haven’t changed…so which earthly language did you have interpreted when you experienced the interpretation?

        French?
        German?
        Mongolian?
        Ebonics?

  14. Abby you said:
    “To a point I understand what you are trying to say, but also I have to ask…based on the “argument” that since it is not explicitly said that the signs and wonders gifts have been withdrawn, then what about Paul’s instruction about head coverings while praying, or women cutting their hair as stated in 1 Cor. 11? Those instructions are not explicitly withdrawn..so what then?”

    On that reasoning we could push aside anything we find in scripture according to our own choice, deciding it’s no longer relevant or applicable because it doesn’t comply with our experience or our view of the world around us.
    Maybe it’s only recent western culture and fashion that has led to the dismissal of head coverings and hair length, not a change in required practices. That’s not an issue I’d like to get into because its not one I’ve given much thought to – but when you think about it, until maybe the mid 20th century it’s something that wouldn’t have been an issue at all because the majority of women would have complied. But then fashion changed… … but does that mean the church’s requirements should also change?
    Abby, when you submit an idea that is almost word for word a quote of an idea from Calvin’s commentaries, it is almost certainly an idea that has been picked up from some who was passing on a teaching originating from Calvin’s commentaries. We all can pick up ideas without knowing their source; they can come to us even through casual conversation and don’t need to be part of formal teaching. That is why it is essential to check everything we believe by searching the scriptures (which doesn’t mean merely looking up a few “texts”).

    • “Abby, when you submit an idea that is almost word for word a quote of an idea from Calvin’s commentaries, it is almost certainly an idea that has been picked up from some who was passing on a teaching originating from Calvin’s commentaries”?

      What quote of Calvin exactly? From where?

      And which cessationists refer to that Calvin quote? Where?

      Now it’s your turn to back up what you are saying, unless you’d insinuate that all cessationists are subconsciously just zombies, following some obscure quote from Calvin…except that there were cessationists long before Calvin.

      *conspiracy theory fail*

  15. Onesimus, per your request I will try not to get into the first point. I just want to say that it would be fool’s reasoning to do as you suggest (“push aside anything we find in Scripture according to our own choice…”) Paul touches on that kind of reasoning when speaking of grace (paraphrasing: should sin abound because grace abounds? May it never be!).

    In everything we must always remember that we are charged to rightly handle of God, that is not a charge to take lightly.

    Would you also deny the historical relevance when Scripture was written when reading Scripture today? Does it make no difference the rampart lude behavior in Corinth when Paul wrote to the church there? Or the fact that a woman with no head covering would be seen as “available” akin to the prostitutes there?

    This is not to say we can pick and choose, or that the Truth of Scripture changes. Paul was charging them with modesty,to be set apart from the world, holy, to honor God. That charge does not go away.

    I could have long hair, a head covering….and (for the sake of ridiculousness here) wear a mini skirt to church. Would I still be following the command? Of course not.

    And as to the second part, do you find it so utterly impossible that I may have come to that view on my own? (Your response indicates that you do)

    The views I hold to today, which I won’t go into here as this is not the place for them, I came to “kicking and screaming”, if you will, because I was clinging to my human sensibilities and not submitting to the Word of God.

    To be honest, the views I am referring to had nothing to do with cess/cont…that issue was not even on the radar until more recently.

    And you and I do not disagree about taking Scripture as a whole, we have that common ground.

    • Abby, as to the second part, yes I do find it very unlikely that you came to that view (as worded in your earlier comment) by yourself, and impossible that you came to that view through study of scripture. It is something that is NOT there in scripture, and yet it has been in hundred’s of years of teaching influenced by Calvin’s work; spreading throughout the church over those centuries.

      • Onesimus, Well I honestly couldn’t tell you where I would have heard/read it (not the idea, mind you..but you seem more interested in how I wrote my sentence then the idea I was writing about)..unless….did someone sneak a commentary under my pillow??

        Stranger things have happened 😉

      • ” I do find it very unlikely that you came to that view (as worded in your earlier comment) by yourself, and impossible that you came to that view through study of scripture…”

        Wait a minute. I’ve been trying to get you to study scripture with me and you’ve done nothing but toss our broad-brushed generalizations about how I twist scripture (when I haven’t even said anything about the verse yet) and then run away! How can you honestly suggest that something isn’t in the Bible when you’re afraid to even look at the text of the Bible with me?

        *hypocrisy overload*

        Also, just for giggles, you’re a Montanist.

        Knowingly or not, you’re following the teachings of Montanus. He was an early church heretic who allowed for ecstatic speech and prophecy…You’ll try to deny it, as all Montanists do, but I’m wise to you and your deceitful Montanist ways.

        Your argument can easily be turned on your head as well, and it’s equally invalid since conspiracy theories are unfalsifiable and thereby useless to establish “proof” for anything.

      • Hi Abby, it’s surpriing how we can pick up ideas.

        I recall once that I “wrote” an amazing piece of music – a tune that came into my head out of nowhere. Quite a long time later I heard it being played on the radio – it was the theme from a movie I had never seen (and still haven’t seen almost 40 years later). Previously I had been convinced that the music had been my own, but clearly I must have heard it earlier.
        Doctrinal ideas are even easier to pick up without realising it, especially when we are in regular contact with churches, Christian blogs and all of the other means of sharing “theology”. Things stick in our head without us realising their source.
        Now the idea you expressed about the role of miracles and their role having been fulfilled was not a word for word quote of Calvin, but the idea expressed was 100% the same, just as would be the case if it was something that you had picked up in church or on a blog like this one.

        • Yes. Other cessationists in history were cessationists.

          The unifying thing between us cessationists is the scripture, not Calvin.

          You DO know that there are cessationists that are aggressively Arminian, right?

          Are they all parroting Calvin too?

          What about people who were cessationists before Calvin, like John Chrysostom?

        • I was addressing one statement given in a comment above, not the whole history of the cessationist error. I don’t care how many people through history were cessationists, neither (on the other hand) do I care how many have been Pentecostal/charismatic. My beliefs on this issue are not based on the beliefs of others or on experience or lack of experience; they are based on revelation clearly given in scripture.
          And there is nothing in scripture to unify cessationists; you are unified in a doctrine that has not a word of support in scripture as has been proven by your continued inability to provide that support.

        • You’re simply fabricating history and speaking out your blind adoption of a tradition that was stolen from pagans by a long line of false teachers.

          I can toss out nonsense statements that rile the emotions too. It’s as easy as simply not thinking.

          Text of 1 Cor. 13:8-12 please.

        • I didn’t say anything of the sort and you know it. You need to read a little more closely…

          I called my own statement “a nonsense statement”…and the pagans I was referring to were the Catholic mystics from which the modern Pentecostal movement traces its roots.

      • “…you’ve done nothing but toss our broad-brushed generalizations about how I twist scripture (when I haven’t even said anything about the verse yet)”

        Are you referring here to those verses you referred me to last week that I said had absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand? You reply suggested I couldn’t come to that conclusion because I didn’t know what you thought they meant.

        And that is one of the main points that I’ve been trying to address all along. If the text does not say something in its clear words on the page, then I don’t need to hear someone tell me what it “really” means or what they THINK it means. Too many “teachers” spend their time projecting their own meanings into verses of scripture and too few address what those verses actually say without the application of theological gymnastics.

  16. “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become a sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1). What do they say, “can’t see the tree for the forest”. That is your spiritual state. You say my experiences are null and void, no, my experiences are a testimony to the living word of God. They are the fruit of a life lived for Christ! Tongues of Angels, prayer language… It is a form of Tongues unlike the foreign languages you mention. — Gods Truth, so you say you know it all now, revealed in one sitting… Well Jesus says, faith is like a mustard seed plant, it grows and grows and grows, -to receive certain Truths from Gods Spirit you must have an expanded faith, you are not there yet! Your search needs to center on walking a sanctified life here, now. This is what matters. This is where Jesus’ Love must be generated from and lived, experienced….. “Be he Holy for I am Holy.”

    • *sigh*

      If you take 1 Cor. 13:1 at face value, why not 13:2-3? Since you are commenting here, you are obviously alive. So a surface reading of vs. 3 doesn’t apply to you? How come?

      How come a surface reading of vs. 1 does?

      If I can’t see the forest for the trees, you are claiming that the Sahara is a forest.

      There is no forest, hence I mysteriously cannot see it.

      Also, thanks for judging my spiritual state…as if you are a reliable judge of the heart of someone you’ve interacted with online a half dozen times.

      *sigh*

      • Attitude and the content of someone’s “speech” can give insight into someone’s spiritual state. “Out of the abundance of the heart…”

        Also whether there is evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in the way someone treats/addresses others is a good indication. For some reason, interaction via the internet seems to remove some of the restraint we would apply in face to face interaction and maybe reveals far more of ourselves than we suspect or hope.

      • The part relevant to the issue at hand, that tongues and prophecy will one day become redundant. This section of scripture ties that to a time when that which is perfect comes. That “perfect” has not yet come so the condition hasn’t been fulfilled.
        Just because tongues is mentioned here before prophecy does not indicate that it will pass away before prophecy. Trying to separate prophecy from the rest of the gifts as the only thing that is “in part” – is merely a case of desperate eisegesis in action; forcing an interpretation into the text that context does not suggest.
        Also it’s strange that Paul spends so much time detailing the nature and usage of those gifts and then (according to your interpretation) dismisses them with a word or two in the middle of his teaching.
        So much time detailing those gifts but not a single word to suggest that they will disappear within a century or less.

        • I only want the text. We can move on to a surface reading of the text once you take the first step.

          You need to build your understanding of the scripture on the scripture itself.

          None of what you said can stand up against a surface reading of the passage.

  17. Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 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.

    Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 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. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
    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. 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.
    For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 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. 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. 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? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

    The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”, nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honourable we bestow the greater honour, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honour to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together.

    Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
    And I will show you a still more excellent way.
    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
    Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
    So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love
    Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

    Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

    Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

    Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

    What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. 30 If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

    As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
    Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order.

  18. Cheeky? I gave you EXACLTY what you said you wanted by providing”only the text”.

    I pray that others will be able to read the biblical text without mentally cutting out the parts that are “inconvenient” to your cessationist view.

    • I asked you for a specific text (1 Cor. 13:8-12). You were completely cheeky.

      Why are you unable to provide the specific text I asked you for?

      Jesus and the apostles could cite specific texts and make specific applications without quoting 1/5 of a whole book.

      Why do you handle the Bible so utterly different than Christ?

      1 Cor. 13:8-12 please.

      You cannot honestly think your games are fooling me. The last thing in the world you want is to be faced with having to actually defend what you think the scripture means.

      Everyone has their own version of what the “surface reading” is, and you are no different. You assume your interpretation and run like a madman from having to back it up.

  19. Why should I be required to quote your chosen proof text out of its context? I provided the section of scripture that I have continually referred to, of which your tiny selection is an isolated part. So your text is there in its total context – which is NOT about the withdrawal of gifts, but about the continued validity and correct use of them. Partially summed up in the closing words “So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order.”

    • Hang on a second. Do you just reference a single text there as a proof text?

      HA!

      You cannot even be consistent with yourself.

      So now we finally see the truth: you have an account entire theology built up on one single verse: 1 Corinthians 14:39.

      You apparently haven’t read anything else…like those hundreds of passages that consistent define terms like “prophecy”, “tongues”, or exemplify what healing looked like, etc. You have taken your current experience, pasted back onto scripture in an act of willful eisegesis, found that the Bible teaches every idea you already believe.

      • I’m quite sure I‘ve never referred to my experience or to the experiences of others with regard to spiritual gifts. I’ve been focusing on what scripture says about them.
        On the other hand, I’ve yet to see any of your articles refuting the validity of continuing spiritual gifts that has NOT been experience based; whether it is the assumed lack of evidence of gifts today (as you perceive they ought to be) or to the non-biblical foolishness of the charismanic extremists. Your arguments START with experience and then you grasp for scriptural straws to support your arguments and come up empty handed.

        • I haven’t written anything that is based on experience. Please feel free to actually cite anything I’ve written along those lines.

          I’ve addressed the text of scripture, walked through the passages in question, and delivered support for my position.

          You haven’t done any of those things yet.

          I’m beginning to realize that you never will…which tells me where your theology comes from:

          Your own experience, imagination, and misunderstandings of the text of scripture.

          Good thing we’re not talking about eschatology.

          For that matter, good thing we’re not talking about the deity of Christ!

        • Your whole defence of cessationism has been based on experience. You continually use the experiences claimed by charismatics as your “evidence” that genuine gifts are no longer available because what those charismatics are doing doesn’t match your idea of what spiritual gifts ought to be like.
          I’ll let you into a secret. I reject what those Charismanics are up to as well. Most of what they claim as spiritual experiences has no biblical basis whatsoever, and most of those experiences don’t even fit the type of gifts Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians.
          I’ve looked through several threads that you have written on this topic, and they are mostly based on ridiculing extreme charismatics and their unholy antics.
          IF the example of those charismatics was the thing that should shape our beliefs then you’d have a solid unshakable case. BUT our faith and doctrine should not be based on what others do; it should be based on the truth of God revealed through scripture.
          Despite you claim to have addressed the text of scripture, I have not seen you addressing any part of scripture that has clear reference to whether Spiritual gifts continue or not, apart from verse or two in 1 Corinthians, a verse that refers to the withdrawal of gifts that will occur when that which is perfect has come. Even you admit that the perfect has not yet come.

        • And you completely ignore the actual content of what I write.

          1 Corinthians 13:8-12 says that tongues will cease at a different time than prophecy and knowledge (those cease at the coming of “the perfect”, but 1 Cor. 13:8-12 says that is not when tongues will cease). You continue to ignore the words of scripture here. The definition of tongues, which I’ve already established from scripture, tells you what they are and I simply ask you WHERE they are.

          The conditional statements in 1 Cor. 14 are conditional statements, not definitional. A statement saying “if I have a car” is not the same as dying “I have a car”, hence Paul addresses the concept of praying in tongues as part of a hypothetical argument.

          Paul never says that tongues is a prayer language. You can say he does but need to do more than assert something. The fact that the word “accord” is in scripture does not mean that Jesus drove a Honda.

          Tongues is always and only an earthly language. You may claim to have spoken in tongues (and I have too…there’s my little secret), but the Bible says that we’re both misinterpreting our experiences.

          You have never prayed in tongues because nobody has.

          Have you ever spoken any earthly language spontaneously?

        • YOU say that tongues is withdrawn before prophecy. Scripture doesn’t.
          I’ve given very clear and categorical statements from Paul that link tongues to prayer.
          Close your eyes and continue ignoring them for as long as you want, but your choice to ignore them doesn’t really make them go away.

        • Yes it does.

          Prophecy and knowledge will “pass away”. Tongues will “cease”. Two different verbs in 2 different forms. Even your English Bible translates it with 2 different verbs.

          Knowledge and prophesy is “in part” (1 Cor. 13:9) but those two partial things will pass away when the perfect comes in 1 Cor. 13:10. Tongues isn’t mentioned in 1 Cor. 13:9-10 as part of what will “pass away” (same verb used in 13:8 in reference to prophecy and knowledge but not tongues).

          Where am I wrong there?

          Where does Paul speak about tongues in 13:9-10? Where is the word “tongues”?

          Why is tongues listed in 13:8 along with knowledge and prophecy but not mentioned in 13:9-10?

          Did Paul forget?

          The text of scripture is clear.

          Show me where, in specific, I am wrong.

        • Surely those straws you are desperately trying to clutch so tightly must be uncomfortable in your hand.

          If you stop projecting your required meaning into scripture you might actually discover the truth.

        • No.

          No smoke screens.

          No crying.

          No changing the subject.

          Tell me what the text of 1 Cor. 13:8-12 says.

          Show me where I’m wrong.

          Stop running from the Scripture.

        • I’ve given you the whole text you refer to in its complete context but you continue to focus on one or two words taken in isolation, trying to manipulate them to “prove” what you want scripture to say.
          Your approach is no less in error than that of the charismanics you have loved to use as your primary “evidence”. They also can “prove” what they do – even their worst excesses – through the twisting of a word or two of scripture.

  20. If you want to follow a religion created out of “specific texts” of your own choosing that’s up to you.
    I choose to be informed by the whole of scripture, considered in context – not by individual man-made “verse” divisions.

      • I saw your ridiculous “other comment”. You seem to have quickly blinded yourself to the three whole chapters I quoted in the previous comment – maybe because they pull the foundations from under your whole doctrine.

        I sincerely hope that other readers coming here would not be so willingly blind to the obvious.

        • blah blah blah.

          Talk is cheap. You haven’t done anything but post 3 chapters of scripture and given me an assumption:

          ***Your understanding of the text of scripture is synonymous with the text of scripture.***

          Where in those chapters do I have get an understanding that tongues is a prayer language?

          Where in those chapters do I have get an understanding that tongues is ecstatic speech?

          Where in those chapters do I have get an understanding that prophecy is fallible?

          Where in those chapters do I have get an understanding that healing is temporary or performed on psychosomatic “illness”?

          What DO you believe about charismatic stuff? I don’t even know. You haven’t said anything at all about what you DO believe.

          I doubt you actually could articulate your own position on your own theology.

        • I believe that the Spiritual gifts described in 1 Corinthians have NOT been withdrawn by God. That belief is one informed by scripture alone and not by the claimed experiences of charismatics, Pentecostals or any other group.
          Paul took time to write about the gifts and their use during Christian fellowship, but he did not say they would be withdrawn again within the following century or even subsequent centuries. The only indication of the timing of a future withdrawal of gifts is linked to when the perfect has come, and that is something that has not yet occurred.
          You ask “Where in those chapters do I have get an understanding that tongues is a prayer language?”

          What does scripture say? What does it say in the very same chapters that I posted?
          “For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God;”
          And
          “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also”
          Clearly, according to those chapters tongues CAN be used for prayer.
          You ask “Where in those chapters do I have get an understanding that tongues is ecstatic speech?”
          I don’t recall I’ve ever said anything about “ecstatic speech”, and that’s maybe because its terminology I reject, it’s terminology more often used by those trying to ridicule the idea of tongues. I don’t ever recall it being a term used by any Pentecostals or charismatics I’ve met.
          You also ask: “Where in those chapters do I get an understanding that prophecy is fallible?”
          I don’t recall ever suggesting that prophecy is fallible. I know the extreme Charismanic view makes excuses for the failure of their prophecies – but just in case you haven’t caught on yet, my views aren’t based on the errors believed by others. My beliefs are based on scripture not experience or the beliefs of others. Scripture reveals the validity of prophecy so THAT is what I believe.
          You also ask: “Where in those chapters do I have get an understanding that healing is temporary or performed on psychosomatic “illness”?
          Do we have to continue with your straw man arguments?
          OK. My beliefs are not based on what others may or may not practice or believe. My beliefs are based on what scripture says. Scripture does not tell us that healings or the Spiritual gift of healings will be withdrawn and become redundant. The fact that many make false claims of healing should not in any way affect beliefs that are based on scripture.

  21. Pingback: A Little Authentic Fire Announcement | Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely…

  22. I have always read the passage 1cor 13:8-10 (when the perfect comes) as referring to the completion of scripture canon, not just the rapture. I am not sure, however, if this understanding is correct.

    • I would take “the perfect” to be the second coming…it seems like the most reasonable understanding of the passage.

      I don’t see how “the perfect” being “the Scripture” really makes sense of either the context or the flow of the argument. We can explore that in greater detail if you’d like…

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