I Corinthians-- Tongues and Prophecy Continue

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Link, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. Link

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    There is good scriptural evidence from I Corinthians that tongues and prophecy will continue.
    The following is from I Corinthians 13.
    8 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. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
    11 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. 12 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.
    (NKJV)
    Here we see something about the timing of the coming of the perfect. We see that when it happens, Paul will experience.
    What is Paul like before the coming of the perfect in comparison to after it?
    1. His speech is like a child's.
    2. His understanding is like a child's.
    What is Paul like after the coming of the perfect.
    - He is like a man who has put away childish things.
    Before the coming of the perfect, we see as in a mirror, dimly. But after the coming of the perfect, we see face to face.
    Some people teach that the perfect, in this passage, is the completion of the New Testament canon. However, this does not fit the context. Did Paul experience the completion of the canon? Did the completion of the canon make Paul's understanding before the completion of the canon seem childish? No. Paul was dead when the canon was completed. Besides, it makes little sense to say that Paul's understanding of God was childish before the completion of the canon, BECAUSE MUCH OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CANON CONTAINS PAUL'S UNDERSTANDING OF DOCTRINE.
    That's like saying if we gathered together a 'canon' of kindergarteners understanding of astrophysics, we would have an adult understanding of it.
    Clearly, the perfect must be something that Paul will experience. It must be something so great that even Paul's knowledge of spiritual things at the time of his writing I Corinthians will seem childish in comparison. It is something that will cause believers not to know in part, but to know as we are known. Paul is awaiting a great transformation to take place, something so great it will make even the understanding he had at that time seem childish.
    Let us consider something John wrote that awaits us in the future.
    I John 3:2
    Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
    In the future, we will be manifested as sons of God. We will be made like Christ. Christ was incredibly powerful after His resurrection. He was able to appear and disappear. He ascended into heaven. We will be made like Jesus.
    Paul wrote of this in Romans, describing it as the manifestations of the sons of God.
    Romans 8
    19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
    20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
    21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
    Now, the creation is in the bondage of corruption, waiting for something to happen. The sons of God are going to be manifested.
    Jesus also spoke of those who were resurrected as the children of God.
    Luke 20:36 nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
    In I Corinthians 13, Paul looks forward to the coming of the perfect. Repeatedly, Paul looks forward to the return of Christ and the resurrection in his writings.
    Notice something about the order of the way things are discussed in I Corinthians 13 in the list below. Sometimes, Paul will make reference to a number of things in an epistle, only to explain them in greater detail later in the epistle.
    I Corinthians 13:8 tongues and prophecy------------------> I Corinthians 14 tongues and prophecy
    I Corinthians 13:10 that which is perfect ------------------> I Corinthians 15 the state of the believer in the resurrection
    It makes much more sense to interpret 'the perfect' to refer to something Paul explains in greater detail later in his epistle rather than to read into it 'New Testament canon' with no evidence to support this idea.
    In chapter 15, Paul argues that Christians will be raised from the dead. He compares the body of a believer to a seed of grain that is has to be planted. This is in line with the concept of 'perfect' because 'teleos' in Greek refers to what is mature or complete. In our death, we will be like a seed of grain that looks dried up and dead. But in the resurrection, we will be something complete, mature, 'perfect' as King James English puts it.
    Paul writes of the resurrection in I Corinthians 15:22.
    15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
    (NKJV)
    Here, we see Paul teaches that the resurrection will occur at Christ's coming. It makes sense that believers will experience 'the perfect' at the coming of the Lord, at the resurrection. As John teaches, we will be like Jesus. Is there anything else that a believer can experience that can better be described with the word 'perfect'?
    Doesn't it make sense that if we are perfect, that our knowledge in this life will seem childish, and so will our speech? Even Paul's great knowledge will seem childish to him when the perfect comes, when he becomes like Jesus in a greater way, when he is manifested as a son of God at the resurrection.
    Considering all these facts, let us look at a statement of Paul made in the opening of the letter of I Corinthians. First of all, notice who Paul addresses the letter to.
    I Corinthians 1:2
    To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
    (NKJV)
    He addresses it to the church at Corinth, and to us, too.
    Now, notice what he tells them about spiritual gifts.
    I Corinthians 1:4-7
    4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    (NKJV)
    Notice in verse 7, that Paul did not want the Corinthians to come short in any spiritual gift while they were waiting for the Lord Jesus to be revealed from heaven. What spiritual gifts did he have in mind? Well, he wanted them to lack NO spiritual gift. And Paul would later explain the gifts he was thinking about in chapters 12 through 14. Speaking in tongues was among those spiritual gifts. So was prophecy. Paul did not want them to lack any of these gifts.
    What was the time frame during which Paul did not want them to lack the spiritual gifts? While they were waiting for the revealing of Christ. It would seem here, that Paul believed Jesus could come back during his initial readers' lifetimes. There is no talk here of gifts ceasing before the Lord's return.
    It makes sense to interpret 'the perfect' in chapter 13 in line with the principles Paul teaches throughout the epistle. While waiting for Jesus to come back, Paul did not want the churches to lack any spiritual gifts. When we see Jesus, we will be made like him. I Corinthians 15:52 teaches that we will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. When we are changed, we will experience those things Paul describes. We will know as we are known. Paul himself will consider his great understanding of the mysteries of God to be as childish compared to what he will be like after the resurrection. The resurrection is something that Paul himself will experience.
    So clearly, it makes sense to consider the coming of the perfect to be the very thing Paul talks about earlier and later in his epistle, and not something does not mention at all in the context of the book. Paul talks about the coming of the Lord and the resurrection that will accompany it. Clearly, this is something Paul looks forward to in his epistles. It is something that will transform him and make him 'perfect' or complete and mature, and something that will make us perfect also.
    Even so come now, Lord Jesus.


    Copyright 2007 Paul L. Hudson, Jr.
     
  2. BobRyan

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    I have argued this point on the 1Cor12, 1Cor 14 thread as well.

    1Cor 14 "Desire earnestly spiritual gifts - especially that you may prophesy".1Cor 14:1

    It is a scripture that a great many Christian groups accept. And to be fair - it is also true that there are other Christian groups that reject this text.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. Link

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    Reposting to recover lost formatting--Part 1

    There is good scriptural evidence from I Corinthians that tongues and prophecy will continue.

    The following is from I Corinthians 13.
    8 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. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
    11 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. 12 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.
    (NKJV)

    Here we see something about the timing of the coming of the perfect. We see that when it happens, Paul will experience.

    What is Paul like before the coming of the perfect in comparison to after it?
    1. His speech is like a child's.
    2. His understanding is like a child's.

    What is Paul like after the coming of the perfect.
    - He is like a man who has put away childish things.

    Before the coming of the perfect, we see as in a mirror, dimly. But after the coming of the perfect, we see face to face.

    Some people teach that the perfect, in this passage, is the completion of the New Testament canon. However, this does not fit the context. Did Paul experience the completion of the canon? Did the completion of the canon make Paul's understanding before the completion of the canon seem childish? No. Paul was dead when the canon was completed. Besides, it makes little sense to say that Paul's understanding of God was childish before the completion of the canon, BECAUSE MUCH OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CANON CONTAINS PAUL'S UNDERSTANDING OF DOCTRINE.

    That's like saying if we gathered together a 'canon' of kindergarteners understanding of astrophysics, we would have an adult understanding of it.

    Clearly, the perfect must be something that Paul will experience. It must be something so great that even Paul's knowledge of spiritual things at the time of his writing I Corinthians will seem childish in comparison. It is something that will cause believers not to know in part, but to know as we are known. Paul is awaiting a great transformation to take place, something so great it will make even the understanding he had at that time seem childish.

    Let us consider something John wrote that awaits us in the future.

    I John 3:2
    Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

    In the future, we will be manifested as sons of God. We will be made like Christ. Christ was incredibly powerful after His resurrection. He was able to appear and disappear. He ascended into heaven. We will be made like Jesus.

    Paul wrote of this in Romans, describing it as the manifestations of the sons of God.

    Romans 8
    19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
    20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
    21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

    Now, the creation is in the bondage of corruption, waiting for something to happen. The sons of God are going to be manifested.

    Jesus also spoke of those who were resurrected as the children of God.

    Luke 20:36 nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

    In I Corinthians 13, Paul looks forward to the coming of the perfect. Repeatedly, Paul looks forward to the return of Christ and the resurrection in his writings.

    Notice something about the order of the way things are discussed in I Corinthians 13 in the list below. Sometimes, Paul will make reference to a number of things in an epistle, only to explain them in greater detail later in the epistle.

    I Corinthians 13:8 tongues and prophecy------------------> I Corinthians 14 tongues and prophecy
    I Corinthians 13:10 that which is perfect ------------------> I Corinthians 15 the state of the believer in the resurrection

    It makes much more sense to interpret 'the perfect' to refer to something Paul explains in greater detail later in his epistle rather than to read into it 'New Testament canon' with no evidence to support this idea.

    In chapter 15, Paul argues that Christians will be raised from the dead. He compares the body of a believer to a seed of grain that is has to be planted. This is in line with the concept of 'perfect' because 'teleos' in Greek refers to what is mature or complete. In our death, we will be like a seed of grain that looks dried up and dead. But in the resurrection, we will be something complete, mature, 'perfect' as King James English puts it.

    Paul writes of the resurrection in I Corinthians 15:22.

    15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
    (NKJV)

    Here, we see Paul teaches that the resurrection will occur at Christ's coming. It makes sense that believers will experience 'the perfect' at the coming of the Lord, at the resurrection. As John teaches, we will be like Jesus. Is there anything else that a believer can experience that can better be described with the word 'perfect'?


    Copyright 2007 Paul L. Hudson, Jr.
     
  4. Link

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    Repost to restore formatting--Part 2

    Doesn't it make sense that if we are perfect, that our knowledge in this life will seem childish, and so will our speech? Even Paul's great knowledge will seem childish to him when the perfect comes, when he becomes like Jesus in a greater way, when he is manifested as a son of God at the resurrection.

    Considering all these facts, let us look at a statement of Paul made in the opening of the letter of I Corinthians. First of all, notice who Paul addresses the letter to.

    I Corinthians 1:2
    To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
    (NKJV)

    He addresses it to the church at Corinth, and to us, too.

    Now, notice what he tells them about spiritual gifts.
    I Corinthians 1:4-7
    4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    (NKJV)

    Notice in verse 7, that Paul did not want the Corinthians to come short in any spiritual gift while they were waiting for the Lord Jesus to be revealed from heaven. What spiritual gifts did he have in mind? Well, he wanted them to lack NO spiritual gift. And Paul would later explain the gifts he was thinking about in chapters 12 through 14. Speaking in tongues was among those spiritual gifts. So was prophecy. Paul did not want them to lack any of these gifts.

    What was the time frame during which Paul did not want them to lack the spiritual gifts? While they were waiting for the revealing of Christ. It would seem here, that Paul believed Jesus could come back during his initial readers' lifetimes. There is no talk here of gifts ceasing before the Lord's return.

    It makes sense to interpret 'the perfect' in chapter 13 in line with the principles Paul teaches throughout the epistle. While waiting for Jesus to come back, Paul did not want the churches to lack any spiritual gifts. When we see Jesus, we will be made like him. I Corinthians 15:52 teaches that we will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. When we are changed, we will experience those things Paul describes. We will know as we are known. Paul himself will consider his great understanding of the mysteries of God to be as childish compared to what he will be like after the resurrection. The resurrection is something that Paul himself will experience.

    So clearly, it makes sense to consider the coming of the perfect to be the very thing Paul talks about earlier and later in his epistle, and not something does not mention at all in the context of the book. Paul talks about the coming of the Lord and the resurrection that will accompany it. Clearly, this is something Paul looks forward to in his epistles. It is something that will transform him and make him 'perfect' or complete and mature, and something that will make us perfect also.

    Even so come now, Lord Jesus.

    Copyright 2007 Paul L. Hudson, Jr.
     
  5. Eric B

    Eric B
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    It's true that "the perfect" always referred to the Second Coming of Christ. That's why I always wondered bow the Fundamentalists and Campbellists alike, here, could so boldly claim that the NT Canon is what ended the gifts. The best argument they have is that the gifts would no longer be needed to verify the apostles' teaching once the written canon was available. But the scriptures do not say that; not even speaking of a "canon". And it would take many more generations before the completed canon was compiled and settled, as the Catholics and Orthodox here point out.

    However, the cessationists strongest point, IMO, is as mman said in one of the other threads; that we cannot speak a foreign language without learning it (this was the otiginal "tongues" of the 120 in Acts). And we can't do healings. We have a large charismatic movement claiming to do all of this, but it is all basicaly feigned, however cleverly.

    So a preteristic coming of Christ at the destruction of the Temple in AD70 would be another explanation. (Josephus may have mentioned an actual visible appearance of Christ in there, and others speculate that there may have been a rapture of the saints as well). It would have been something in the lifetimes of that generation as Christ said, and as something they would have actually been "pressing towards", it could also explain the perseverance scriptures, and solve the whole OSAS debate.

    But it still raises many more questions; (like how God could allow the entire Church to miss this event for all those centuries; what we are to look forward to, if anything other than the next life, etc); however, it is just interesting how many of these tired old debates here it would seem to answer.
     
  6. DQuixote

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    Tired old debates. Amen. They just go on and on. They went on and on and on before the internet, but since its advent there has been an explosion of tired old debates. Over and over and over (repeat that 99 times) they go on. Nothing gets solved, no one is swayed. Black & white or technicolor, they just drone on and on and on (repeat that 99 times). No one wins. No one loses. Witnessing precisely to the love, grace, sufficiency of Our Lord may be 10% of the posts. The rest are anguished moaning, egregious diatribe, insult added to injury over and over and over (repeat that 99 times). (p.s.: If God wants someone to speak another language without learning it, they will. If He wants someone to prophesy something future, then they will. We don't need to wonder about it. He'll take care of it. One thing for sure, whatever He authorizes won't violate scripture.)

    There is none righteous, no, not one. The Perfect is come. He imparteth His Righteousness to us. When we stand before God we stand there clothed in His Righteousness ~ perfect and holy, lacking nothing. When do we stand before God? 24/7/365 until that glorious "day" when time is no more. WOW!

    Here's one of the 10%: Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. May I be prepared 25/8/367 to pass it on ~~ and follow through.

    :praying: :praying: :praying:
     
    #6 DQuixote, Jul 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2007
  7. DHK

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    To say that the "perfect" always referred to the second coming is far off base. In fact the most common view apart from "the completion of the Bible" is "the eternal state." However there have been many that have believed that "the perfect" refers to the Word of God. It is not a novel concept. One thing to keep in mind is that the word perfect has only recently changed meanings, much like the KJV words "conversation" or "prevent" both of which now mean behavior and precede respectively. The word perfect means complete. It is also used in the neuter gender. it is the Greek word teleion. It in no way could ever refer to Christ, a masculine noun. The "Word" was completed by the end of the first century.
    Who is the author of the Scriptures? Is it Paul? No, it is God. We must learn to look at things from God's point of view. It was God that said when that which is complete is come, then that which is "temporary" or in part shall pass away. In God's eyes, the Bible was completed by 98 A.D. when the Book of Revelation was finisthed. At that time the entire canon was complete. God did not need the endorsement of any Catholic council, or any other group of men. God's revelation to mankind had been complete. "It is the Lord's doing and marvellous in our sight."
    Thus when the canon was completed that which was in part (the temporary gifts mentioned in 13:8) were done away with--tongues, prophecy and revelatory knowledge. There was no more need for them. God's revelation had now been completed.

    From chapter 12 to 14 Paul is specifically speaking of spiritual gifts (not in chapter 15). He says in the beginning of chapter 12 "Now I would not have you ignorant brethren of spiritual gifts." How much plainer can it get. And then he spends three chapters on this topic. From 13:8 to the end of chapter 14 he speaks specifically of "revelation." Thus to insert any other subject in there is out of context. He is not speaking of the resurrection, the second coming of Christ, the eternal state. He is speaking of the revelation of God, the Word of God. That is what the context is. Tongues, prophecy, and knowledge were forms of communication from God to man. In chapter 14 he gives the benefit of prophecy over tongues. Needless to say the chapter is still speaking of two gifts which are both forms of revelation from God to man. Throughout these verses he is speaking of revelation, God's revelation. That is the context. Thus "that which is perfect," is the perfect word of God. It is the perfected or completed Word of God. It cannot be anything else. Context doesnt' allow it.

    Look at it from another point of view from the context that it is in.
    Paul draws a comparison. There are three types of gifts.
    There are some gifts that are eternal or permanent. They will last forever; never cease.
    There are some gifts which are semi-permanent.
    And there are some gifts which are temporary only lasting a short period of time. These are the divisions Paul has made in chapter 13.
    First look at the permanent gifts.
    Verse 8: Compared to tongues, prophecy and knowledge, love will never cease. Love is a permanent gift. It will go on forever it will never cease.
    Verse 13: Compared to Faith, Hope, and love, the greatest of these is Love. Love is the greatest of all gifts.
    Thus the only permanent gift is love. It alone stands above all others. It alone will last for all eternity.

    Now the semi-permanent gifts. In verse 13 he mentions faith, hope and love.
    When will faith and hope end?
    The Bible says we walk by faith and not by sight. When Jesus comes we will no longer need faith, for we shall see him as he is. He is the object of our faith. Thus faith ends at the rapture. Faith will only last up until the time of the Resurrection or the time when we see Christ. At the time there will be no need for faith. We walk by faith and not by sight.

    What about Hope?
    Romans 8:24-25 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
    --Hope that is seen is not hope. When Christ comes we will see him. He is our hope. Thus at the coming of Christ, hope also will end. Both hope and faith will cease at the coming of Christ.

    This leaves the three gifts mentioned in 1Cor.13:8: tongues, prophecy and (revelatory) knowledge. They will end sometime before faith and hope. When will that be? The obvious answer is at the end of the apostolic age when the Bible is completed. And historically that is when they did cease. They ceased not only because the canon of Scripture was completed but because they were signs:

    1. They were signs of an apostle (and their close associates)

    2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

    Hebrews 2:3-4 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
    4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
    --The gifts of the Holy Spirit were primarily sign gifts that were given to the Apostles to verify their authenticity as apostles as well as their message as being from God.

    2. If you study 1Cor.14:21,22 you find that tongues in particular is a sign to the Jews that the message of the gospel was from God to them. If they refused to believe it then judgement was coming. Paul quotes directly from Isaiah 28:11,12 to demonstrate this to them. Tongues was a sign.

    It was a sign to the first century Jews, which was fulfilled in 70 A.D.
    The sign gifts were to cease at the completion of canon of Scripture.
    The gifts were a sign to indicate the authenticity of an apostle, for there were many false teachers out there.

    But now those signs are no longer needed. The Apostles have died. We know who they were. They passed off the scene 2,000 years ago.
    The canon of Scripture has been completed. Jesus said plainly: An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but there shall no sign be given them but the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the whale so shall the son of man spend three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The sign that we have now is the gospel. We need no other sign.
    The gifts were a sign to the first century Jews, who if they refused to believe would know that judgement would come. Judgement came. The Temple was destroyed by Titus in 70 A.D.

    The context, historical and otherwise cannot be ignored.
     
  8. Eric B

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    Nice try (he's talking about "knowledge/communication", so what is "perfect" has to be a form of communication, namely the written canon), but 13:12 single handedly demolishes that argument. First, right in your own verse, 10, he says "that which is in part shall be done away". Now what is "in part"? Knowledge? Yes, but is it really a written canon that is the "perfection" that solves this? No, as verse 12 gives us the familiar statement "For now we see through a glass darkly, but then, face to face; now I see in part; but then shall I know even as I am known". "Then" refers to "when that which is perfect is come" two verses earlier! But how many times do we read something in the written canon, and still have all sorts of questions, and come away confessing to ourselves, and to other questioners "but we still see in a glass darkly, but in Heaven, we will know, when we "see Him face to face". How about when people ask us exactly how the Trinity can be, the solution to Calvinism vs. Arminianism, and the rest of these debates we can't ever seem to resolve, and everything else about God's nature, attributes, eternity, etc? (The written Word itself even confesses not being able to contain all of Jesus' works! John 21:25)
    So "That [knowledge] which is perfect" is clearly speaking of the resurrection. That's the real context! And the fact that these chapters lead up to his discussion of the resurrection in ch.15 also supports that point.
     
  9. DHK

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    Why should it demolish my argument. It all fits in very nicely.
    No. It is the spiritual gifts. They were only temporary--in part. They only had a temporary purpose. When the Word of God was fnished "compleleted" then those gifts (13:8) were done away with. They were "in part" temporary. They didn't have a permanent status. As I explained in my post, they were the temporary gifts.
    Absolutely!
    The Word of God is likened to a mirror in more than one place. Paul uses it in another place in Corinthians and James uses it in James 1:

    James 1:23-25 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

    The glass is a mirror. The person who only hears but does not obey is likened to a man who looks into a mirror, turns away, and then forgets if he has combed his hair. What good does it do to even have a mirror? But blessed is the one who hears and does the will of God.

    When any one of us read the Word of God, any part of the Word of God, God illumines our hearts. The Word speaks to us. It is like a mirror reflecting back who we are. It convicts us of our sin. Paul only had the OT, the Bible in part. The spiritual gifts made up some of the other parts in that temporary period of time until the Bible was complete. Paul looked forward to the day when God's revelation would be complete and he would be able to look into the full revelation of God and it would reflect back with great convicting power his sin, himself, as it ought to do to us today.
    We look into the NT and we see face to face as it were. Jesus Christ is revealed to us through His Word (Heb.1:1,2).
    Paul saw in a glass darkly because he only had the OT. When the NT was complete he would see Christ much more brightly then he was revealed in the OT.
    This is lame. The resurrection is as much part of the context (being in chapter 15) as the Lord's Table is a part of the context (being in the end of chapter 11). It is a ridiculous argument.
    1Cor.7:1 is a key verse. It shows us that Paul is writing back to the Corinthians answering different questions. Chapters 12-14 answers questions about the spiritual gifts and chapter 15 answers questions on the resurrection. The two chapters are totally unrelated. Why not relate chapter six as well which deals with law suits? :rolleyes:
     
  10. BobRyan

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    Question. How much of the Bible "should" be ignored for ecumenism?

    On the other hand it is true that Christians "should" be able to maintain a Christ-like Christian spirit toward others EVEN if doctrinal differences exist -- it is also true that the expected Christ-like spirit is typically lacking in the case of a very few who post at times.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. BobRyan

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    Good points. But you left out Eph 4:1-11 that also argues in favor of your view that spiritual gifts were to continue on until the 2nd coming.

    And of course as the unbiased objective reader can easily see - many Christian churches fully accept that Bible truth today.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. BobRyan

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    Indeed as was already pointed out on the "1cor12 and 1cor 14" thread - the spiritual gifts message of Paul in 1Cor 12 and 1Cor 14 is LONG AFTER all NT Bible writers already had been given THEIR prophetic gift.

    In addition NO NT author ever stated "scripture is not perfect yet - but some day in the future scripture will be perfect".


    It is an argument from the failure and decline of the church over the centuries in terms of drifting from it's purity at the start. That is exactly what Christ predicted in Rev 3 as He pictured the last-day church to be the church of "Laodicea".

    However the failings of church institutions can not be blamed on God as though this was His "intent". Nor do the failings of man provide justification for "bending the doctrine of scripture" to FIT the backsliding of man.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. Eric B

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    Which included knowledge. I focused on knowledge there, because that seemed to be the connection you were making. They had knowledge in part, and the completelion of the Nt would be knowledge in full.
    And I forgot to address again, even if "in God's time" it was finished when the last book was written, what good would that be to the Christians when they would not all have the entire completed canon available to them for some time to come? If the gifts were to impart knowledge to them, until the canon came, then what did they have between the time the canon was completely written, and completely circulated?
    So you don't believe that we still see in a glass darkly, not knowing all we shall know in Heaven, and all that?
    Most everyone else, including Baptists believe that we still see in a glass darkly.
    Even you mentioned the need for "faith" still, because we don't see God as He is.
    To try to pair this with James 1 to justify denying we still see darkly is really stretching it. When James wrote, the NT canon was not complete, and the OT was still "the Bible" to them. That was the "Law" they were to look at as a mirror. It was what showed us our sin and pointed towards Christ. And James does not tell them in the future they will be able to look in the mirror "when all is perfect and we shall see in full". "Face to face" doesn't refer to seeing our own faces. "Knowing, as I am known" doesn't mean knowing one's self, but rather seeing Someone else, as that being sees him. Clearly James' "mirror" and Paul's "seeing face to face" were separate things. You cannot always paste together two unrelated scriptures just because similar language is used. That in fact, is some others' tactic here.
     
    #13 Eric B, Jul 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2007
  14. BobRyan

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    This appears to be an argument in favor of 1Cor 12 and 1Cor 14 and the continuation of spiritual gifts as defined by God in those chapters --
     
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    I can see why some would say that it is the eternal state, the delivering up of the kingdom to God, perhaps the same thing as Christ becoming all in all. But since Paul describes the transformation that will happen to the believer at the resurrection, this seems to me to be a more reasonable interpretation. He was looking forward to the hope of the resurrection ever since he became a Christian.

    This is a strawman argument. No one is saying that 'telion' refers to Christ in this passage. The 'coming of Christ' would be a 'nueter' concept in English. When people make arguments like this, it indicates to me that they are not scholars of the Greek language (I am not.) I asked a Greek scholar about this and he was able to show me examples from scripture of where pronouns do not always match in gender to what they refer to. But that is beside the point.

    Paul is talking about the coming of the perfect. No one says that 'perfect' means Christ. I do believe 'the perfect' that Paul is talking about occurs at or after the coming of Christ. But that does not mean that I am saying that 'the perfect' in this passage refers to Christ, and it certainly does not mean that 'the perfect' has to agree with Christ. What you are arguing is grammatical nonsense. You can get away with it with some people just because you are talking about a language with grammatical features they are unfamiliar with.

    >
    The "Word" was completed by the end of the first century.
    >

    The faith had been delivered before it was written down in scripture. Paul had the revelation of the mystery. It had not been completely recorded as scripture at that time, but he had the revelation of it.

    Jude says to contend for 'the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.' The faith had already been delivered, in the past, once for all. Yet, Jude continues on to write more lines of inspired scripture according to this verse, and, if many commentators are correct, other books like Revelation and possible some of the epistles of John, were not yet completed.

    The 'word' was complete before the canon was complete. The apostles had the revelation and delivered it orally. So this argument about the word being complete after the last 'amen' was penned in Revelation does not hold water.

    Plus, you have to deal with the two witnesses prophesying in the end of time, and Babylon having the blood of prophets in it. Ephesians 4:11 teaches that prophets are given until the church comes to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

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    God used people to write scripture. Paul clearly shows that when the perfect comes, his own understanding, speech, and knowledge will change. He does not say that he will be dead in the grave.

    13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
    13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    And it does not make sense that if Paul's revelation of the 'faith that was once for all delivered to the saints' were so childish, that if it were written down, the deceased apostle Paul would suddenly become like a man in his knowledge and understanding.

    Your interpretation does not fit the context, and your statements do not even fit the historical record. There are references to spiritual gifts in history after this timeframe. The gift of prophecy was still widely accepted in the middle of the second century and until much later.

    Paul speaks of love in chapter 13. He is still finishing up this theme through the end of the chapter. That is 'another subject' and it is clearly in context. Chapters 12 through 14 deal with the issue of 'spiritual gifts', with a useful lesson on the importance of love in the middle of it. Spiritual gifts must be used with love.

    Paul does not limit his discussion to 'revelation' in chapter 14. He mentions other spiritual gifts and practices like singing psalms, having a doctrine (teaching), and prayer. Paul does mention 'revelation' twice in chapter 14, but in verse 26, he lists it as a separate category of spiritual gift expression than tongues and interpretation. Later in the chapter, he mentions 'revelation' in regard to the ministry of prophecy. So your line of reasoning does not stand up to a close study of scripture.

    When the perfect comes, it will replace 'in part.' Now prophecy and knowledge are 'in part.' When the perfect come, prophecy, knowledge, understanding and speech will be made complete. Paul's knowledge will be made complete. Paul's understanding will be made completed. And presumably, so will ours. So the perfect not only effects revelation, it also effects speech, and knowledge. The state of the believer at the coming of the perfect is something that will make Paul's life and ministry seem childish by comparison.

    Paul does not teach that prophecy and tongues will end before faith and hope. So there is nothing to back your argument up with. It is just your own theory.

    Sure, miracles were signs of apostles, but not only apostles. Old Testament prophets did miracles. Two members of the seven worked miracles. Some 'regular' church people did miracles.

    I Corinthians
    12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

    I know of two interpretations of this passage. One is that the signs of the apostle were the sufferings or the perserverence in these sufferings, and that these signs of an apostle were accompanied by the supernatural signs.

    The other is that supternatural signs are signs of an apostle. Just use some logic. Scripture shows that non-apostles did miracles, too. So if supernatural signs are signs of an apostle, then it stands to reason that if someone is an apostle, he will do signs. It does not stand to reason that if someone does signs, he is an apostle. So if you think there are no apostles, it does not stand to reason that there will be no more signs.

    And since Ephesians 4 teaches that apostles are given to the church till the church reaches the full measure of the stature of Christ, there is still a while left to go.

    When the Gospel was first preached among the Hebrews, it was confirmed by signs and wonders. Let us look here for a Biblical pattern of how God can operate when the Gospel is introduced among a new people group, particularly Israelites. Even among the Gentiles, according to Romans 15, Paul did signs and wonders when he proclaimed the Gospel of Christ.

    What is really illogical is to say, "If those people did signs and wonders, then that means no one else ever will."

    I have read some people try to take this verse, and irrationally argue that since the past tense is used saying that these men did signs and wonders, that signs and wonders will not be done again. I notice that salvation was spoken and confirmed --past tenses. If the word was 'spoken' in the past, does that mean it will not be spoken in modern times? Of course not.

    In fact, the apostle Paul told us to immitate him. He did not tell us to think that if he did something, no one else would ever be able to do it again in the future.

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    The scripture never teaches that this was the 'primary' purpose of spiritual gifts. It is clear that this was not the primary reason Paul had in mind for spiritual gifts in I Corinthians 12. In this chapter, these gifts, including healing, miracles, tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophecy, were all given to edify the church.

    The point Paul draws out of this is that tongues is a sign for them that believe not. He then gives an illustration of an unbeliever or unlearned (he does not specify the person is a Jew) who hears all speak in tongues in church and responds in unbelief.

    So we see the principle Paul draws out. Paul quotes a verse about God 'speaking' to Israel through the voice of men of other languages. Their captors shouted at them to march, etc. in a foreign, non-Hebrew tongue. Even though God 'spoke' to the through other languages, they did not believe. Therefore, tongues is a sign to them that believe not. They can read the scripture that says that even though God speaks through men of other tongues, this people will not believe, and see it confirmed in their own lives. They see it in their own lives when they respond to tongues with unbelief.

    Stick with Paul's argument in context.

    Furthermore, if you believe tongues was a sign for the Jews, there are still Jews today, so there is no reason to think tongues has ceased. In fact, the Jews are still in a time period where many Jews are blind to the Gospel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. God is still dealing with the Jews. God did not suddenly stop dealing with Israel in 70 AD like a lot of the people who promote this theory you are talking about believe.

    And, if you want to try to create a convoluted argument means that tongues was a sign of 70 AD, that still is not an argument that tongues have ceased. Tongues functions as a SIGN to unbelievers. But tongues has another function. To the church, with interpretation, it serves for EDIFICATION. So it has two roles. One is as a sign. The other is for edificaiton. This is clear from I Corinthians 14.

    I don't follow your reasoning in including the Gospel quote, unless you are trying to say that anyone who seeks a sign is evil and adulterous. Are you saying that it is evil and adulterous to seek the 'sign' of the Gospel. (I don't see where scripture calls the Gospel a 'sign' per se.)

    It is also not logical to say that anyone who seeks a sign is evil and adulterous. An evil and adulterous generation sought a sign to be done, but holy and righteous apostles also sought signs to be done in Acts 4. If the evil and adulterous seek a sign, it does not logically follow that all who seek a sign are evil and adulterous.

    The passage in I Corinthians says nothing about the destruction of the temple. Your interpretation is just plain eisegesis, reading ideas into the text.

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  18. BobRyan

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    good points.

    As Paul tells Christians in scripture post-cross, post-pentecost and POST all Bible writers getting "their" spiritual gifts -- "Desire earnestly spiritual gifts especially that you may prophesy" 1Cor 14:1

    Pretty hard to ignore.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  19. BobRyan

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    Since the "1Cor12 and 1Cor14" thread is basically the same topic as this thread --

    While I do not think that DHK means to imply what the unbiased and objective reader may well perceive him to imply in his statement above about those outside of my denomination that also affirm the key points of 1Cor 12 and 1Cor 14 regarding both the continuation of spiritual gifts and the impartial distribution of spiritual gifts... I do believe his approach to this point is "instructive" in better understanding his position - and so LINK it might be helpful in your discussion here.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     

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