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Cessationism or Continuationism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Mikey, Mar 31, 2019.

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  1. Cessationism

    15 vote(s)
    68.2%
  2. Continuationism

    7 vote(s)
    31.8%
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  1. Mikey

    Mikey Active Member

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    Continuationism is the belief that all the spiritual gifts, including healings, tongues, and miracles, are still in operation today, just as they were in the days of the early church. A continuationist believes that the spiritual gifts have “continued” unabated since the Day of Pentecost and that today’s church has access to all the spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible.

    Argument for and against?
     
  2. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    I am a partial cessationalist. I hold only two gifts of the Spirit have been done away by being replaced by their perfect (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). And the gift of language where God speaks and is interpreted in a different language than the believer became inoperative by reason of the two gifts which were done away by being replaced by their perfect. That the Apostle Paul prophecied of his death being "face to face" (1 Corinthians 13:12; 2 Corinthians 5:8) when that time had come.
     
  3. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Well as heard one Old Line Primitive Baptist preachers say I believe in Divine Healing NOT Divine Healers!... Brother Glen:)
     
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  4. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    The purpose of the sign and wonder gifts was to authenticate those speaking (and writing) the inspired word of God. Since that foundation has been laid, and the New Testament closed, the sign and wonder gifts have ceased.
     
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  5. MartyF

    MartyF Well-Known Member

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    Hmm.

    Before I vote, what is the Biblical basis for Cessationism?

    I’m not sure if one or the other is the right answer. Which one is “God will give whatever spiritual gifts he wants?”
     
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  6. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Marty, I think there is more than one point to consider. First, Cessationists will point to 1 Corinthians 13:8, "Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away." Second, tongues and interpretation of tongues were always in the form of a known language, not in supposed angel-speak. Third, when the Bible gives examples of Jesus and the Apostles healing, the healings were never for things like a sore throat, hay fever, or toenail fungus. We read of things like opening the eyes of the blind, restoring a withered hand, and stopping a hemorrhage. When you compare the sign gifts of that period to today, there is no comparison. We do not see the biblical example of healing taking place. We do not see unknown human languages being interpreted. Since we have the written canon of scripture there is no longer any need for additional divine revelation (word of knowledge). When we do hear of these things taking place we are often told they are occurring in some tribal area on the dark continent or some other place where they cannot be verified. Anecdotal experience is no basis for a doctrine.
     
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  7. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Isaiah 8:20. ‘To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’

    What I mean by the word, Cessationism, is this:

    1. I do not believe that all miracles have ceased today. Every time someone is saved it is a miracle of God’s power and grace, and He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. However, I do not believe that there are ‘workers of miracles’ (1 Cor. 12:10) today.

    2. I believe that God sometimes heals today according to His will. I have some experience of this which I am happy to relate if anyone is interested. I think many people have testimonies of God healing in answer to prayer. However, I do not believe that there are miraculous ‘gifts of healing’ (1 Cor. 12:9) today.

    3. I believe in prophetic ministry today. I believe that preaching is prophetic in that it ‘tells forth’ the words of God. What I do not believe remains today is the gift of ‘foretelling’- seeing the future. I do not believe that anyone can bind the conscience of a Christian by anything outside the Bible.

    What I understand as Cessationism is the belief that certain gifts which were given to the church were never intended to be continued indefinitely but were for the infancy of the Church. A parallel to this is God’s dealings with Israel in the wilderness. They received miraculous supplies of manna, water and quail; their feet did not swell and their shoes did not wear out. The day they crossed into Canaan, the manna ceased (Joshua 5:12) and the other items are not mentioned again, so I assume they did as well. I believe that the same principle applies in the N.T. Certain gifts were supplied to the infant church which were discontinued when it reached maturity.

    If we look at the list of gifts listed in Eph 4:11, we see that the first gift is Apostles. I believe that there are no Apostles today. If you agree with me then you are a Cessationist because you agree that at least one of the gifts has now ceased. The qualifications for an apostle are listed in Acts 1:22- he must have seen the risen Christ. Therefore Paul asks, “Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?” (1 Cor 9:1). Later he describes himself as the last apostle (1 Cor 15:8). Therefore we conclude that there are no apostles today- not even C. J. Mahaney.

    For my Biblical reasoning on this, read Cessationism. Have the Sign Gifts Ceased? of which this post is an extract.
     
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  8. Lodic

    Lodic Well-Known Member

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    As we know, the Gifts of the Spirit are covered in 1 Cor 12 and 1 Cor 14. As I understand it, the usual argument for Cessationism is from 1 Cor 13:8 where gifts of prophecy will be done away, tongues will cease, and knowledge will be done away. I believe that Paul means that whatever events were prophesied, spoken in tongues about, and special knowledge of will come to pass, not that the gifts themselves will pass away. Obviously, Love is superior to all the gifts Paul spoke of, but then he picks up on the subject of the gifts in what we know as 1 Cor 14. He specifically tells us to "pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy."

    Having said all that, I will be the first to admit that the way the gifts are supposedly used in many churches doesn't seem to be Biblical.
     
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  9. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    1 Corinthians 13:8 is where Paul uses carefully the voices of the verbs to demonstrate that something will terminate "knowlege" and "prophecy" but tongues will cease of itself and will cease prior to what terminates "knowlege" and "prophecy". We know that because in verse 9-10 tongues is dropped from the discussion of what comes to terminate "knowlege" and "prophecy." Furthermore, verses 11-12 uses two analogies that demonstrate tongues has already ceased prior to that which is "perfect" (neuter gender - not Christ) is come.

    The first analogy is of physical growth where talking like a child (babbling) has been put way prior to being considered reaching maturity.

    In the second analogy the brass mirror is inferior revelation of yourself compared to being able to see yourself by your own eyes.

    In both analogies maturity and clearer revelation characterize the arrival of "that" which is "perfect."

    It is during the period Paul describes as "now" (the apostolic age) where this immature revelation exists but "then" is when this mature revelation arrives where "knowledge" and "prophecy" is no longer needed. With the absence of matured or completed written revelation concerning the proper worship service, Paul dealt with the worship service using the principles of love (12:31;14:1) in keeping with loves characteristics (ch. 13:1-8). Hence, "now" in the apostolic age where no mature written revelation existed as final authority Paul uses the characteristics of love to provide guiding principles to determine the proper use of gifts in the worship service and then claims that this present writing is God's Word to them (1 Cor. 14:37-38). Remember, in these characteristics of love is not only the principle that love "vaunteth not itself" that love is inclusive of both faith and hope (beleiveth all things, hope all things" within the boundaries of truth). So, love/charity abideth now and will continue abide "then" when that which is incomplete (partial revelation) is brought to completeness (finished written revelation) as charity "abideth forever" both "now" and "then."

    The term "knowledge" must be interpreted with "prophecy" as these were both revelatory gifts necessary for the edification of the early churches because they were without any written revelation dealing with New Testament Christianity.

    Secondly, revelatory gifts and sign gifts must be intepreted according to their divine purpose revealed in scripture (1 Cor. 14:19-22). In specific, tongues were designed for "this people" or the Jewish people (Isa. 28:11-15) as a sign that the Messiah had come, not designed for use in church but on the missionary field where Paul went to the "Jew first" in the dispersia where their home tongues were different than Hebrew, and so Paul spoke in tongues more than them all with regard to RIGHT BIBLICAL PURPOSE.

    Thirdly, Isaiah 8:16-20 is prophetic of the completion of Biblical revelation. This is a Messanic prophecy inclusive of apostolic signs and wonders involved in bringing about this completed revelation. This is what Jesus is talking about in John 15-17. This is what Peter is talking about in 1 Peter. 1:15-21; This is what Paul is talking about not only in 1 Cor. 12:8-13 but in 2 Tim. 3:16-17; and what John identifies as completed by his last book which is the "testimony" of Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:3) sealed (Rev. 22:17-19) as a completed revelation extending from the time of the last living apostle (now) to (then) the New heaven and earth.

    Finally, the Biblical gift of tongues is known human dialects (Acts 2:3-11) not designed for believers (1 Cor. 14:21) but for learned unbelievers (Jews).

    What is practiced today is nothing other than what is practiced by the 12 apostles in the Mormon church, practiced by Hindu's and nearly all other world religions - ecstatic utterances.
     
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  10. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    How do you deduce that conlusion? When vs 9-10 can be understood to explain the meaning of v.8. Add to this it can be understood to be in the time the Apostle Paul is present with the Lord in v.12 (2 Corinthians 5:8).
     
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  11. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    Because Paul drops "tongues" and deals only with "knowledge" and "prophecy" in verses 9-10. Remember in verse 8 Paul says something will come that will stop "knowledge" and "prophecy" but Paul uses the middle voice to show that tongues is not stopped by something else (like "that" which is perfect) but stops itself.

    Yes, taken by itself it could be interpreted that way. However, in context I think it does not mean that for several contextual reasons:

    1. Verses 9-10 does not refer to the coming of Christ as Paul uses a neuter noun not a masculine noun.

    2. Verses 11-12 are devoted to two analogies to support his conclusions in verses 9-10. The first analogy has to do with putting away childish things and he specifically addresses speaking like a child which is put away before being regarded mature.

    3. Both "knowledge" and "prophecy" are revelatory gifts needed in lieu of no New Testament revelation at present but would be done away with a completed revelation.

    4. Charity is inclusive of "hope" and "faith" and charity "never faileth" so there is no time either "now" or "then" when charity ceases.

    5. The analogy of the brass mirror in verse 12 is analogous the statement by God to Moses who said he spoke face to face with Moses not as with former prophets which he conveyed things "darkly" or indirectly. The completed written word of God is a direct message from God immediatley available to every individual reading it, whereas "knowledge" and "prophecy" are limited to certain Christians which need to be first tested (1 Cor. 12:29-30; 14:26-29) and then the message is indirectly relayed.

    6. Isaiah 8:16-20 is completed with the last living apostle or the "now" age as the "testimony" (Isa. 8:16; Rev. 1:3) of Christ which completes the Old and New Testaments.
     
  12. MB

    MB Well-Known Member

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    I don't speak in tongues or heal anyone. However scripture does not say that these things have ceased. Only men make this claim. I believe if these gifts were needed we would have them. Miracles however still happen everyday. If anyone has never seen a miracle it's because they refuse to admit it.

    The name it and claim it bunch is nothing more than wishful thinking.
     
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  13. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Your argument fails to understand operation of tongues is contingent upon the two speaking gifts being done away. As the value of tongues (1 Corinthians 14:6) is the same as those two gifts prior to them being made singularly perfect verses 9 & 10. Note James 1:17. The two gifts which were in part became perfect when they were replaced by the already perfect law of liberty (James 1:25) with the giving of the final written revelation of Christ (Revelation 1:1) with its seal that no other prophecy (Revelation 19:10) is to be added to the hearing of it (Revelation 22:18), making it the close of the spoken or written revelation of Christ (Luke 24:44) until the end.
     
  14. Lodic

    Lodic Well-Known Member

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    Going back to 1 Corinthians 14, we are encouraged to desire spiritual gifts. Paul does not exclude any, but he does place a higher value on prophecy. Romans 12:6-8 exhorts us to the gifts that we have. I don't see any passages that tell us any of the gifts no longer apply. As a comparison, we know specifically when God gave manna to the Israelites (Exodus 16), and when it stopped (Joshua 5). In my view, the passage in Isaiah 8 has nothing to do with the Gifts of the Spirit. Since there doesn't seem to be any passages that show the Gifts have ceased, I believe they are still for today. Having said that, you are right that a lot of what is practiced today is not Biblical. However, that is not true of all that is practiced today.
     
  15. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    You do agree that Isaiah 8:12-18 is a Messanic Prophecy correct? Compare it with Hebrews 2:4-13. Carefully look at Isaiah 8:16-18 and compare it to Hebrews 2:4 and 13.

    Now, look at 2 Cor. 12:12 and ask yourself how can these things be the "signs of an apostle" if they were common to New Testament Christians?

    In Acts 2-6 none but the apostles exercised sign gifts. Acts 6-28 none but those upon whom the apostles laid their hands exercised sign gifts. They laid their hands upon the seven Deacons and then we read about them possessing sign gifts in Acts 6-8. They laid their hands upon the Samaritan Christians and imparted sign gifs (Acts 8:14-17). In Acts 19:6 Paul laid his hands upon certain disciples and imparted sign gifts to them. Paul laid his hands upon Timothy and imparted to him sign gifts (2 Tim.1:6).

    In their task for completing the Biblical canon of scripture God says "his disciples" were given to Israel for "signs and wonders" - Isa. 8:18/Heb. 2:4

    The entire New Testament was written by Apostles or those directly underneath them or by those replacing dead apostles.

    As the apostles died out and as the New Testament scriptures were being more completed we hear less and less of sign gifts. Ultimately we read that Paul left some of his friends sick and could not heal them. Only the apostles were capable of passing on sign gifts by laying on of their hands. The last living apostle died somewhere about 100-110 A.D. Hence, it is probable that some of those upon whom the last living apostles layed their hands lived to 150-160 A.D.

    Since that time there has been no self-proclaimed prophet that has been able to pass the Biblical tests of a prophet and there are no so-called prophets today that have not failed the Biblical tests of a prophet. The so-called "tongue" speaking today is nothing more than what has characterized false religions since the first century - ecstatic utterances.

    In 1 Cor. 14:20-22 Paul quotes scripture to give the Biblical purpose for the gift of tongues and he is quoting from Isaiah 28:12-15. He explicitly tells you it was given as a "sign" and it was not given for "believers" or the "unlearned" but to "this people" or those unbeleivers learned in the Scriptures. It is was given to them as a sign that their Messiah had come and if they reject that sign destruction would come upon them. In AD 70 destruction came upon them for rejecting this "sign" that their Messiah had come. Thus, in AD 70 the Biblical purpose for tongues was completed. This is why Paul uses the middle voice for the cessation of tongues in 1 Cor. 13:8 as it would die out of itself because its Biblical purpose would be completed - 1 Cor. 14:20-22.

    Every single modern day prophet from 1905 to the present day has failed the Biblical tests of a prophet - every single solitary one!
     
    #15 The Biblicist, Apr 2, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  16. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    God is not the author of confusion! Signs and wonders are given to CONFIRM that person is speaking on God's behalf. The Charismatic movement is nothing but CONFUSION and they preach "another gospel" and the greatest denomination among them (United Pentecostalism) rejects the doctrine of God and perverts the doctrine of Christ. Benny Hinn, is the most popular and generally recognized leader among them until recently, his books are purchased by all of them and he will join in with Roman Catholics partaking the blasphemous Mass while they all speak in tongues.

    You must remember that Christ specifically warns of latter day miracle and sign movement (Mt. 24:24-25) and which Paul uses the exact terms for that movement which are descriptive of apostolic signs and wonders EXCEPT FOR ONE WORD - "Lying". He is not saying are false miracles, but their purpose is exactly opposite to God's purpose for signs and wonders. God's purpose is that they confirm that his servants speak TRUTH whereas the power behind this movement uses them to deceive people into thinking what they speak is truth when in fact they are LYING signs and wonders because they confirm ERROR as truth.

    Modern Charismania is a bastion of SERIOUS ERRORS and every single self-proclaimed prophet that has been among them until the present day have been shown to be false prophets.

    So, if these miracle workers are preaching ERROR then what spirit is the source of this ERROR? Not the Holy Spirit but "the spirit of error."
     
  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I would hold to the sign gifts of healing, tongues, prophecy as not be valid for today, but God still grants spiritual gifts, and God still heals today, just no faith healers!
     
  18. Lodic

    Lodic Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I do not agree that this is a Messianic Prophecy. I Isaiah pronouncing judgment on Damascus and Samaria. In Isaiah 8:8, the prophet bestows the name of Immanuel on Judah as the object of God's care. I say that because I don't see a connection with the Messiah in this passage, nor do I see a connection with the Hebrews passage you refer to. Rather, the Hebrews passage speaks of how God demonstrated that Jesus was the Messiah.

    The absence of the other gifts in Acts does not mean they were no longer used. Especially considering how the early part of Acts preceded Paul's letters to the Romans and Corinthians, where more is made of all the gifts.

    The gifts were never intended for only the Apostles. 1 Cor 12:1 states "concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware." He goes on to say that "to each one is given manifestation of the Spirit" (v. 7). At the end of the chapter, he tells us to "earnestly desire the greater gifts". In 1 Cor 14:5, Paul wishes that all would prophesy.

    Agreed. I don't get what bearing that has on this discussion.

    While tongues was given for a sign as you say, this does not mean that the purpose for tongues was finished with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Tongues still serves the same purpose today.

    Was there something significant about 1905? How would you know that every single modern day prophet has failed? That is a bit of a generalization, but I do agree that quite a few modern day prophets have failed the Biblical "prophet" test.
     
  19. Lodic

    Lodic Well-Known Member

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    Agreed on a couple of points. Obviously, He is not the author of confusion. I regard Benny Hinn as a charlatan. As Mama would say, "let's not throw out the baby with the bath water". Sure, many do pervert the gospel, and even try to make it a requirement to speak in tongues, etc. That doesn't mean that the gifts of the Spirit are not for today, but it clearly shows that these gifts are not understood.

    Matthew 24:24-25 specifically warns against false prophets who would show great signs and wonders. I don't believe this speaks of the gifts of the Spirit, but of lying wonders similar to Pharoah's magicians.

    Those that are teaching and preaching error are not preaching according to the Holy Spirit. Those that are teaching according to Scripture are, by definition, teaching according to the Holy Spirit. A major problem that we "Continuationalists" have is the great number of guys like Benny Hinn who obviously pervert this teaching.
     
  20. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    Just because a text has a near historical application does not mean it does not have a future prophetic application. Several verses in this context is quoted and applied to Jesus Christ and the apostles. For example Isaiah 8:14-16 is partially quoted throughout the new testament as a reference to Jesus Christ (e.g. 1 Pet. 2:8) and so is Isaiah 8:18 (Hebrews 2:13). The whole passage is encapsulated within a Mesanic prophecy (Isa. 7:14, 9:5).




    The book of Acts covers the entire period between AD 33 to AD. 62 and the founding of all the churches we have epistles to including Corinthians. So, the nature of tongues on Pentecost is the nature of Biblical tongues and three times Luke makes it clear they are known human dialects. Paul gives us the Divine purpose for them as a Jewish "sign." The Corinthians are abusing them and the passage is misinterpreted by every Charismatic I have ever read and I have read all leading advocates.

    That is not the issue. The issue is that they are the defining signs of an apostle (2 Cor. 12:12) and all others receive them from the Holy Spirit through the laying on of apostolic hands (Acts 6; 8; 19; 2 Tim. 1:6; etc.).


    Who founded this church? An apostle! How long was he there and how many times did he return? They received these gifts from the Holy Spirit THROUGH apostolic laying on of hands. The seven deacons received such gifts through the laying on of apostolic hands. The Samaritans received such gifts through the laying on of apostolic hands. The 12 disciples at Ephesians received these gifts through the laying on of apostolic hands. Timothy received his gifts through the laying on of apostlic hands.


    Because Isaiah 8:16-18 predicts those given sign gifts "my disciples" will complete the Bibical cannon. The Old Testament is commonly summarized as "the law" and the New Testament is written by those who were commissioned to give TESTIMONY for Jesus Christ and that last living apostle writing the last book of the Bible calls it "the TESTIMONY of Jesus Christ." These sign gifts were given to the apostles and to New Testament Christans through the laying on of their hands UNTIL "that which is perfect" or complete revelation arrived and then we no longer "talk like a child" but childish things were put way and its purpose as a "sign" gift (tongues) to Israel was fulfilled and the destruction predicted for refusing that sing came to pass.


    First, what we have today is not Biblical tongues but the common religious variety of ecsatic utterances. There is no evidence, and I have searched this high and low for 40 years, of anyone using it as a missionary gift speaking in known languages previously unknown without training on the mission field. I am aware of some claims for that but those making that claim are absolute heretics with regard to major erroneous doctrines and a false gospel.


    It is really easy to demonstrate they are all false prophets! First EVERY well known publicized prophet in the early Pentecostal movement, immerged charismatic movement and their latter day rain movement have proven to be false prophets. The FOUNDERS of these diverse Pentecostal denominations prove to be led by the "spirit of error" and so their movement and power is derived from the very same source OR THEY WOULD COME OUT OF SUCH HERESY AND DENOUNCE THEIR MOST FAMOUS HERETICAL PROPHETS BUT THEY DO NOT.
     
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