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Have the "gifts of the spirit" ceased?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Rosell, May 13, 2004.

  1. Briguy

    Briguy <img src =/briguy.gif>

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    1 Corinthians 14:
    3] But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
    [4] He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
    [5] I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
    [6] Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

    [22] Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

    Verse 3 is obviously the best verse. Prophecy can’t mean predicting a future event because the future may or may not bring comfort. We are never promised an easy road as Christians. The gift is as verse 3 says. My guess is that you know many folks in your church who have this ability. They just do it and it comes natural to them. This is a wide spread gift in my opinion.

    Hope the verses helped at least you see where I am coming from.

    In Christ,
    Brian

    btw, predictive prophecy is very rare really. Not many different men did it. John wrote predictive events in Revelations but otherwise you don't see any of the other Apostles doing it. It seemed to be written in scripture in terms of huge events. Falling of Kingdoms, last days, etc... - not Grandma will get hit by a runaway cow and survive. (no disrespect intended toward those who believe this sort of thing. No disrespect intended towards cows or Grandmas either for that matter). I think of those big prophecies as miracles and not a gift of prophecy. The gift as used in this dispensation seems to be as in verse 3 above. Take care.
     
  2. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    No, debate such as this encourages me to dig further into the Word of God, as it should. Here is what I found:

    Quick Verse Greek Lexicon

    DHK
     
  3. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    It doesn't have to show up in the passage as you very well know. Otherwise you wouldn't be trying to squeeze resurrection into this passage where it doesn't fit.

    Yes, I believe that is correct.

    I didn't say that they could not function as nouns. Either way the phrase still refers to an unmentioned neuter object.

    Whatever way I say it, I know authoritatively that that particular expression refers to a neuter object. That is what is important.
    DHK
     
  4. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    I speak to God all the time. It is called prayer. Never does Paul suggest that one should pray in tongues. Tongues is not a selfish gift given for one person's edification. Was healing ever a gift given just for oneself??

    Paul specifically says in the verse that he would rather that they prophecy. That is not difficult to understand.
    He would rather that they prophesied. What is the sense of him saying that, and comparing prophecy in that way to tongues, if he is advocating them to speak in tongues. He is not advocating them to speak in tongues.
     
  5. music4Him

    music4Him New Member

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    Briguy,
    Well looks like we have another stale mate I did some more research and found this http://bible.crosswalk.com/Dictionaries/BakersEvangelicalDictionary/bed.cgi at crosswalk in the Baker's Evangelical Dictionary
    of Biblical Theology. Its a long read but very inlighting. (to me the last 7-8 paragraphs zero in on the either or debate of the gifts) I guess its just how you want to flip the quarter (so to speak) as to how one will believe on this issue. I still can't help but to believe the gifts are still here for today.
    BTW, like I said before...I was a baptist at one time so I know where you are comming from. Well if you get a chance to read the above link tell me what you think and if that is sound reasoning. [​IMG]

    Music4Him
     
  6. music4Him

    music4Him New Member

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    Oh BTW
    Brian,
    In my Strongs I have a different definition for prophecy, its prophetic and also prediction. But most of the other that go along with the word say fore telling.

    Also when you said this.....
    Future-telling is fortune-telling and is not for the modern Christian.
    one thought came to mind....fortune-tellers made money for telling their fortunes. Today don't they call them false prophets? :eek:

    Annnnnnnd...(sorry) *grin* :D there is also one more question? It says in the last FALSE PROPHETS will arise and seducing spirits...ect you know the verse. Well wouldn't be a good idea to have some true prophets running around too?

    Ok thats all...I think...for now? [​IMG]


    Music4Him
     
  7. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    Music4Him,
    If you look at the OT prophets you will find that they had two functions:
    1. to fore-tell future events.
    2. to forth-tell the truth.
    Forth-telling, or telling forth, i.e. preaching is what is contained in most of the prophetic books. Books like Zechariah and Daniel contain more prophecy than others. But if you read through a book like Jeremiah, you will find very little predictive prophecy in comparison to the amount of "preaching" that he does. Jeremiah was known as "the weeping prophet." He wept for his nation, and in particular for the city of Jerusalem and its people. He warned them, rebuked them, comforted them, and did all those things that a pastor would do. Because he knew (through his prophetic knowledge) what was going to happen to Judah, he advised them what to do. They got angry at him, persecuted him. Still he rebuked them and warned them, and told them to get right with God. Most of his ministry was not predictive. It was forth-telling God's Word, not necessarily fore-telling God's Word. I think that is what Briguy is trying to get across.
     
  8. Briguy

    Briguy <img src =/briguy.gif>

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    Hi M4H, I went to the link and there was the site but no words came up in the reading area so I wasn't sure where to go in the site. Anyway, I am non-denominational, not Baptist. I like to think I am just a Christian and not some kind of title anyway (i.e. Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran) - no, just plain old Christian works for me. Anyway, hopefully you understand by now that I only believe that Tongues, Int. of Tongues, Healing, and Miracles as gifts have passed away. I mean by "gifts" supernatural abilities given by the Holy Spirit, to edify the body. I have never seen in my 12.5 years of faith one example of one of those 4 gifts practiced as it was in the early church. Zippo, Never, Nada, Zilch, None. (oops, sorry, I guess I got carried away). Obviously, I believe I see the Bible clearly and so do not feel it is a coin toss. I think the greater weight in Biblical eveidence is on my side of the issue. I think you should at least consider that as you pray for God's understanding.

    Anyway, thanks for your good attitude and friendly posts. I love to discuss and debate God's Word, especially when it stays on a high moral level. Take care and have a great and blessed day,

    Your brother in Christ,
    Brian
     
  9. Link

    Link New Member

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    I wrote,
    quote:
    ***********************************************************************************
    Btw, you need to consider something else. Sometimes adjectives can be used as nouns. Let me give you an example.

    When the perfect comes, that which is in part shall be done away with.

    'Perfect' is really an adjective. The KJV says 'deliver us from evil.' Some other translations say 'deliver us from the evil one' with one in parenthesis. Is that an adjective functioning as a noun?
    ***********************************************************************************

    DHK replied
    *Yes, I believe that is correct. *

    If that is the case, then you have to abanon the grammatical argument you have presented. If teleios, in this verse, functions as a noun, then the issue is not one of trying to make an _adjective_ agree with an object. The issue is that you are trying to insist that two different words referring to related concepts must be of the same gender (like the 'comida' and 'queso' example in Spanish I gave before, which is relevant no matter what grammatical categories the words fall into.)

    honestly, your use of 'object' further convinces me that you don't know what you are talking about. It seems you are taking a blind stab in the dark, and acting as if you know what you are stabbing at. You are basing your doctrine on grammatical guesswork. The only reason I can see that youwould to believe your argument is because you were the one who happened to made the blind guess about Greek, and you seem insistant on sticking to your guns, no matter how unreasonable your argument may be.

    Here is an example of an 'object' - "to the store." 'Store' is the object of the preposition. An English 'object' like this might correspond to something like the Dative or some other case noun in Greek. I don't see where an 'object' comes into play.

    The word 'teleion' is the word in the passage that 'teleion' has to agree with. It is a word, not a blank to fill in with the word of your choice "Bible." What we need to look at here are the _concepts_ to understand what the perfect is.

    **I didn't say that they could not function as nouns. Either way the phrase still refers to an unmentioned neuter object. **

    This looks more like shoveling of nonsense- 'an unmentional neuter object.' If, in Spanish 'food' is feminine, and 'cheese' is 'feminine' then cheese can still be food- even in Spanish. If, in Hebrew, paired body parts take the feminine ending, then a a man, who is male, can still have hands.

    I don't know Greek, but I've studied a few languages with cases, and what you are saying about grammar soundslike pure bunk.

    I wrote,
    **Please read the chapter more carefully. Look at verse 28. If there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church and let him speak to himself and to God. **


    DHK responded,
    *I speak to God all the time. It is called prayer. Never does Paul suggest that one should pray in tongues.**

    Why do you directly contradict I Corinthians 14:28, which I gave you the reference for and even quoted a part of in my paraphrase above? You say that speaking to God is called prayer, and then said Paul never suggested that one should pray in tongues. But I JUST REFERRED YOU TO A VERSE IN WHICH PAUL TELLS SOMEONE TO SPEAK TO GOD IN TONGUES AND NOT TO SPEAK OUT IN TONGUES THE CONGREGATION!

    * Tongues is not a selfish gift given for one person's edification. Was healing ever a gift given just for oneself??*

    If you see this as a theological issue, you will have to take it up with God. I didn't write the Bible. I can't think of any examples in scripture of someone using a gift of healing to hela himself, but I wouldn't say that God wouldn't or couldn't allow such a thing.

    I wrote,
    *No he isn't. Why do you argue that Paul is saying the opposite of what he is saying?*

    DHK wrote,
    **Paul specifically says in the verse that he would rather that they prophecy. That is not difficult to understand.**

    Instead of sticking to your guns, when you are wrong, why don't you just admit it or concede the point. No one will think less of you if you do. In fact, we will appreciate a genuine display of humility.


    DHK
    **He would rather that they prophesied. What is the sense of him saying that, and comparing prophecy in that way to tongues, if he is advocating them to speak in tongues. He is not advocating them to speak in tongues.**

    Why do you keep digging the whole for yourself? Let's break wthis down.

    Paul says
    "I would that you all spake with tongues..."

    Yes or no. Did Paul tell the truth here or not. Did he want them to speak in tongues or not? Is the Bible right here or not?

    "...but rather that ye prophesied."

    Did Paul prefer them to prophesy than to speak with tongues?

    Paul said that he wanted them to speak with tongues because he wanted them to. He said he'd rather that they prophesy because he would rather have them prophesy than speak with tongues. The verse means what it says. There is no reason to argue that Paul meant something different from what he said.

    The passage continues on to say that he that prophesies is greater than he who speaks in tongues (except he interpret.) So Paul sees Paul as better.

    *All throughout Paul encourages them not to speak in tongues, but rather to prophecy. That is what he is doing here as well. *

    Throughout the epistle, Paul tries to get them to not speak in tongues IN THE CHURCH IF THERE IS NO INTERPRETATION. He tells the one who would speak in tongues without an itnerpreter to speak to himself and to God. So clearly if he commands this person to do this, Paul is okay with private prayer in tongues. Paul tells the one who speaks in tongues to pray that he may interpret. If there is interpretation, then the church is edified. So Paul is not trying to discourage tongues with interpretation. If he were he could have just told the tongues speakers to be quiet and just let everyone prophesy. But he doesn't do that.

    He does emphasize prophecy strongly in contrast to tongeus. Covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak in tongues, he says. So he is much more positive about prophesy than he is about tongues. But he is not negative toward tongues, and he does say he would that they all spoke with tongues, that he speaks in tongues more than them all, and he tells the one who speaks in tongues without intepretation to speak to himself and to God.

    **I didn't mean to suggest that all Charismatic churches believe that tongues is essential to salvation. I know they don't. Only some do.**

    Again, I don't think you are using your religious labels properly. I wouldn't say that there is no one out there who calls himself Charismatic who believes this. I could probably find someone who calls himself 'Baptist' who thinks aliens created the world. But this isn't a typical Baptist belief, and neither is the idea that tongues are necessary for salvation a typical Charismatic belief.

    You would be very hard pressed to find a Baptist who believed aliens created the world. You'd also be hardpressed to find someone in 'Oneness' circles who believes tongeus is necessary for salvation, who would be willing to be called by the label 'Charismatic.' You'd be hard pressed to find someone in typical 'Charismatic' circles who thought tongues was necessary for salvation. This isnt' a typical Charismatic belief.

    **But almost all put tongues (the least important gift in the list given in 1Cor.12:28) as the most important of the spiritual gifts. I find that ironic, and unscriptural. *

    I find the idea that tongues is the most important gift to be unscriptural as well. You could find many Charismatics who treat tongues as if it is on the top of the list of important gifts. I wouldn't say that all Charismatics believe this. Some would sayt hat prophesy is more important, and act like it, too.

    **The issue of pride is well dealt with in the 13th chapter in the midst of describing love.

    1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up

    1 Corinthians 14:37-38 If any man thinks himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him recognize the things which I write to you, that they are the commandment of the Lord.
    38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.
    --There is a good deal of pride that just oozes out of these verses in the Corinthian's attitude. They thought that they were it: prophets, spritual, etc. Paul rebuked them soundly saying that what he had written was right from God, as them command of God. He reinforces his statements to those who would not accept them as being ignorant. **

    Still, you are going out on a limb. Basically you are _guessing_ that the reason the Corinthians misused tongues was to show off. And we shouldn't treat guesses like doctrine. Paul told those who considered themselves spiritual or prohets who didn't want to listen that he was telling them the commandments of the Lord. If they were proud, they might not want to listen. But still that doesn't prove they were misusing the gifts just to show off. They might have misused the gifts out of ignorance of how they were to be used, but still a few of them might have been tempted to pride not to follow Paul's instructions because they liked their way better. Or maybe just a few were showing off, and the rest were following their lead in how to conduct the meeting, without understanding edification. There is no scriptural proof that the COrinthains were motivated by just showing off, and we can't base doctrine on guesswork.

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Some children like to show off. But many children act without thinking. Children lack some of the knowledge of adults. They are also immature in their understanding- the issue Paul deas with here. The Corinthians had a problem with their _ understanding_. They needed to understand about edification. Paul corrected this problem. There is no indication here that the Corinthian problem was with showing off. Maybe some of the Corinthians spoke in tongues to show off. It's possible. But I don't see where Paul states that this was the case.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    See the above verses. They thought that they were spiritual. Paul said that they were ignorant, if they did not adhere to the commands that he gave them, which were of the Lord.


    **Actually there is evidence that 1Corinthians isn't 1Corinthians at all, and that there were really four epistles in all written to the Corinthians in all, but that information is irrelevant to our discussion.**

    Sounds like one of those theories that people come up with, but I'd like to know (maybe in another thread) if there is any real evidence for it. Often, those theories have no real evidence. In a college Bible course, they taught almost as if it were fact that the ark was from 'southern ideology' (Judah) and that the tent of meeting was from 'northern ideology.' They also taught that Eli was from a Mushite priesthood, a descendant of Moses, rather than Aaron. Libs have all kinds of unsupported theories. I never saw any scriptural or historal support for what they said about these things.

    * What is important is the obvious break between chapter 14 and chapter 15. They both deal with different subjects, and have nothing to do with each other. You cannot impose the theme of chapter 15 into the context of chapter 14. That is not sound hermeneutics. *

    Where do you get your idea of 'sound hermeneutics? Btw, have you ever read about 'long thoughts' in the epistles? There are certain themes that Paul will bring up and deal with later, especially in longer works like I Corinthians and Romans.


    I wrote,

    *********************************
    Paul describes perfection that will cause him to know as he is known. (I recall that passage that says that know that we known Him, or are known of Him....) The coming of the perfect will be like someone maturing into adulthood. What is important is that we understand what Paul is saying here. Paul is allowed to use words which happen to come with certain grammatical gender forms, since he is using Greek. Related concepts can have words with different gender forms.
    **********************************

    DHK responded,
    *What are you saying here? Because Paul is using Greek he can take liberties with grammar. I don't think so.*

    No. I would ventur to say that what you are arguing for goes against 'universal grammar' as linguists call it. Human languages dont' function the way you are saying. For example, there is no language in which certain grammatical forms are used only at night, and completely different grammatical forms are used in the daytime. Language doesn't work that way. Languages that have gender markings just don't work the way you say. If they did, people wouldn't be able to communicate.

    Can you imagine how hard it would be to communicate if you had to use words with the same gender markings to refer to related concepts. "Doh! I can't call cheese food because cheese is masculine and food is feminine." Spanish speakers would not be able to ask for a lot of their favorite foods if what you are arguing for were true.
     
  10. Link

    Link New Member

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    Briguy,

    The Bible forbids going to fortune tellers if by fortune teller you mean a medium, necromancer, reader of omens, etc. Deuteronomy says not to go to these kind of people. Then, in the same passage, it says that the Lord will raise up a prophet.

    Sometimes prophets predict the future. It depends on what god wants to tell them. Sometimes God tells them things about the present, or even the past.

    In the Bible, people sometimes consulted prophets for the same kind of things one would consult a fortune teller. Saul went to Samuel to ask him where some lost donkeys were! And he felt it necessary to pay the prophet some money! Samuel didn't rebuke Saul for his question, and told him where his donkeys were. Was what Saul did 'unkosher?' I don't see any reason in teh bible to think God was dispelased with this.

    The main issue here is that mediums etc. either speak what they hear from demons or speak lies out of their own hearts. True prophets here from God.

    Briguy wrote,
    *Anyway, hopefully you understand by now that I only believe that Tongues, Int. of Tongues, Healing, and Miracles as gifts have passed away. I mean by "gifts" supernatural abilities given by the Holy Spirit, to edify the body. I have never seen in my 12.5 years of faith one example of one of those 4 gifts practiced as it was in the early church. Zippo, Never, Nada, Zilch, None. (oops, sorry, I guess I got carried away). *


    I believe I have seen manifestations of all four of the gifts you have listed. Let me ask you. If you did see these things, would you believe they existed?

    Btw, if you believed that God might do such things, you might have a better chance of seeing them.
     
  11. music4Him

    music4Him New Member

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    Thank you Link, I knew it was there I just didn't have time to look all the info up. [​IMG]

    Music4Him [​IMG]

    Brian
    If you would like and if DHK gives me the OK I will copy and paste that info from that website in here. But it mainly is a Theology write up and shows both veiws to how the gifts of the Spirit could be or could not be for today. It showes both my veiw, your veiw, DHK's veiw, and all of who has posted our beliefs. [​IMG]
     
  12. Briguy

    Briguy <img src =/briguy.gif>

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    Link, I would only believe if they were used the same way as they were with first Christians. Meaning at the will of the person with the gift, as other the other gifts were used then and are to this day.

    M4H, If you post it I will read it. It does sound interesting.

    Link, just to jump in with you and DHK. When Paul said if no Int. is present then to speak to yourself and God, I also believe that is just prayer. Paul just had said that speaking in an unknown language by itself makes your mind unfriutful and that is bad. Also, in 1 cor 12:7 Paul clearly says a "gift" is for the benefit of all, meaning the gathered body or assembly. He would not in 2 chapters later go against that. The very reason that a person who spoke in tongues needed an interpreter is because Tongues as a gift were for the entire assembly. Looked at as a whole ,prayer is the best way to explain what Paul was saying. Remember, tongues are always real languages and someone of that language would need to be present or speaking in the tongue makes no practical, logical sense.

    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  13. music4Him

    music4Him New Member

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    Baker's Evangelical Dictionary
    of Biblical Theology

    Prophet, Prophetess, Prophecy

    A prophet was an individual who received a call from God to be God's spokesperson, often connected with some crisis that was about to occur, and then announced God's message of judgment and/or deliverance to Israel and the nations. The importance of this office can be seen in the fact that the word "prophet" occurs over 300 times in the Old Testament and almost 125 times in the New Testament. The term "prophetess" appears 6 times in the Old Testament and 2 times in the New Testament.

    The Derivation and Meaning of "Prophet." The derivation and meaning of the word "prophet" has been a matter of controversy for several centuries now with no prospect of closure on this debate. Since most of the solutions to this enigma have been based on etymologies or terms in cognate languages, it is small wonder that no resolution has been forthcoming. Linguists are especially agreed that the most that etymologies can yield are only various suggestions. The only safe course in resolving the meaning of a word is to depend ultimately on usages in contexts.

    Early attempts to explain the meaning of prophet were based on trying to derive the noun from a verbal root. The older Gesenius Lexicon edited by Tregelles hypothecated that the noun "prophet" came from the verb naba [[;b"n], in which the original final letter, ayin, was softened into an aleph (naba [[;b"n]); this verb meant "to bubble up" or "boil forth." Hence the prophet was one who entered an ecstatic state of utterance, pouring forth words automatically under divine inspiration. Almost all scholars now reject such a suggestion because it remains unattested and cannot be demonstrated from known rules of philology.

    More recent suggestions have shifted to viewing the word as being denominative in form, as coming from a noun rather than a verb. If the noun nabi [ayib"n], "prophet, " is the original form, then the suggestion of W. F. Albright that the Akkadian verb nabu, "to call, " is helpful in suggesting that the passive meaning may well be "one who is called [by God]." If the verb is taken in its active form, the prophet is "an announcer [for God], " the meaning favored by König, Lindblom, and Westermann. However, there still exists the possibility that an unknown Semitic root exists that perhaps gives the real source from which the noun "prophet" is derived.

    However, in spite of the absence of any definitive consensus on the real meaning of the word "prophet" there are at least two classical texts that demonstrate the usage of this term and its meaning in the biblical texts. The first is Exodus 7:1-2 (cf. Exod 4:15-16): "Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh." What could be clearer? A prophet (nabi [ayib"n]) is one who receives a word from God, just as Moses acted in the place of God in passing on the divine revelations he received from the Lord to his brother Aaron, now functioning as a prophet. Moreover, a prophet is authorized to communicate this divine message to another. Thus Aaron was to function as Moses' mouthpiece.

    The second classical text is Numbers 12:6-8: "When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord." In the case of Moses, vis-ˆ-vis all other prophets, God would speak in direct conversation—"face to face." Other prophets would receive no less a revelation from God, but in their case the means God would use to communicate his word would be the less direct, somewhat enigmatic form of dreams and visions.

    Clearly, then, a prophet is an authorized spokesperson for God with a message that originated with God and was communicated through a number of means. When God spoke to these spokespersons, they had no choice but to deliver that word to those to whom God directed it.

    The Call of the Prophet. It is impossible to demonstrate from the text of Scripture that each person called to be a prophet received a specific call from God; however, that fact may be explained by the brevity of our records and by the fact that it was not the purpose of Scripture to record all such details. It is enough for us to know that in many cases there was such a definite call from God, as the testimonies of Elisha, Isaiah, Amos, Hosea, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel demonstrate.

    It is true, nevertheless, that there were many who "prophesied" who were not called to be prophets, but were called to be judges, leaders, or priests. Thus, Gideon delivered Israel from the hand of the Midianites, acting on rather detailed instructions from the Lord as to how he was to effect such a deliverance, much as a true prophet would receive revelation from God (Judges 7:2-8). David is specifically said to be a prophet in Acts 2:30, yet his primary call in life was to be king over Israel. And few prophets could rank or rate as high in esteem as Moses, but his call was primarily not to the office of prophet but to being a leader of God's people in the exodus (Exod 3:10). Therefore, we conclude that many more individuals "prophesied" than those who were specifically called to the office of prophet.

    It is true that Acts 3:24 speaks of "all the prophets from Samuel on, " making Samuel appear to be the first to prophesy. Samuel was not the first person to prophesy, however, for "Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied" (Jude 14). Enoch was well before Abraham's day, much less Samuel's. Psalm 105:14-15, in referring to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, urged, "do my prophets no harm." Many others could be included in this list of those who exercised this gift prior to the days of Samuel, including Moses, Aaron, Miriam (Exod 15:20), Eldad, Medad, the seventy elders (Num 11:24-29), Balaam (Num. 21-24), Deborah (Judges 4:4), and Minoah and his wife (Judges 13:3,10,21).

    The official institution of the office of prophet took place in Moses' day (Deut 18:15-22): After God had warned Israel about attempting to get supernatural information from bogus pagan sources (Deut 18:9-14), he announced that he would "raise up for [them] a prophet like [Moses] from among [their] own brothers" (v. 15). God would "put [his] words in [the prophet's] mouth and [the prophet] will tell [the people] everything [God] commanded him" (v. 18).

    In Deuteronomy 18:15-22 and Deuteronomy 13:1-5 God listed five certifying signs by which a true prophet of God could be recognized: (1) a prophet must be an Israelite, "from among [his] own brothers" (Deut 18:15) (Balaam is the exception that proves this rule); (2) he must speak in the name of the Lord ("If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name" [Deut 18:19]); (3) he must be able to predict the near as well as the distant future ("If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken" [Deut 18:22]); (4) he must be able to predict signs and wonders (Deut 13:2); and (5) his words must conform to the previous revelation that God has given (Deut 13:2-3).

    Elisha is one of the earliest individuals in Scripture to receive a specific call from God to be a prophet. Even though the call was mediated through Elijah, it was nonetheless divine in origin. In 1 Kings 19:15-16, God directed the disheartened Elijah to "Go back the way you came … and anoint Elisha the son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet." While the text does not indicate whether the oil of anointing was poured over the head of Elisha, it does note that Elijah found Elisha plowing in the field, whereupon Elijah "threw his cloak [the prophetic mantle] around [Elisha]" (v. 19) and as a result Elisha immediately left his oxen and ran after Elijah. Indeed, as Elisha later requested, a double portion of the Spirit that rested on Elijah fell on him (2 Kings 2:9-14). The miracle of the parting of the waters of the Jordan River, with the use of the mantle that had dropped from the ascending Elijah, was God's further attestation to both the validity and reality of that call of God.

    Isaiah describes how he felt when he saw the Lord on a throne in his temple (Isa 6:1-5). It was such an overwhelming experience that he was filled with the impropriety of his being in the presence of a holy God, much less being called to serve such a high and exalted Lord. However, the seraphim took a live coal from the altar and touched Isaiah's lips, thereby purging his sins and iniquities (vv. 6-7). This was followed by a voice that inquired, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" Isaiah's answer was immediate: "Here am I. Send me!" (v. 8). Even though this call does not come until we are six chapters into the book, it is not to be concluded, as some interpreters have complained, that this was not Isaiah's original call, for part of the call of God was in the desperate spiritual vacuum that had grown up in Israel. Isaiah 1-5 sets the backdrop against which the call of God to Isaiah was issued. Isaiah's call in chapter 6 involved the four significant elements: a theophany, the purification of the prophet's lips and heart, the commission to "Go!" and the content of the message he was to proclaim.

    Amos had not been unemployed, with no other option but to become a prophet. On the contrary, he was a most successful shepherd in Tekoa and a grower of sycamore-fig fruit (1:1; 7:14). It was the Lord who "took" him from tending the flock and the orchards and commanded him, "Go, prophesy to my people Israel" (7:15). In fact, Amos protested that he was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet (7:14); therefore, no one was to think that he merely fell into this occupation, or that he sought it as a career goal. He did not! It was the compelling call of God that forced him to leave what he was doing—and apparently doing with no small degree of success—and directed him to prophesy in the name of the Lord to a culture that had become sensate and sin-sick.

    No less direct was God's call on Hosea. The first three chapters of his book reveal how his own personal story mirrored the desperate state of affairs that northern Israel found herself in and how deeply offended God, Israel's spiritual husband, was at all that had happened. Just as resolute as God was in his call of Hosea, so too was Hosea in his resolve to love his wife Gomer even after she had forsaken him for other lovers. After bearing three children to Hosea, whose very names were as symbolic as the message and love of this man for his estranged wife, Hosea wooed back his wife again as God would ultimately his people Israel.

    Jeremiah's call came even before he was formed in the womb (1:5a)! In that prenatal period, God set Jeremiah apart and "appointed [him] as a prophet to the nations." The Lord himself would "put [his] words in [Jeremiah's] mouth" (1:9) and make him like a "fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land" (1:18). In retrospect, Jeremiah felt overpowered and powerfully constrained by the Lord. This divine constraint is one of the most characteristic elements in God's calling of his prophets.

    Ezekial, like Isaiah, was given a vision of the greatness of God and his glory. The whole scene of the throne, with the spectacular radiance of the glory of God, was to assure Ezekiel that nothing less than the personal presence of God could be expected to go with him wherever he went. The throne of God was situated on wheels that were solid and thus able to go in any direction his servant Ezekiel went.

    Even though the prophets professed strong feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness (Isa 6:5; Jer 1:6), they nevertheless could not resist the strong divine compulsion they were under (Jer 15:20; Ezek 1:3; 3:14; 8:1). Their "accreditation" came from God (1 Sam 3:20 — "all Israel … recognized that Samuel was attested [or better still: was accredited] as a prophet of the Lord" ).

    The Terminology of Prophecy. The most common term for prophet (occurring over three hundred times in the Old Testament) is nabi [ayib"n]. The feminine form of this noun, nab"a(h) [h'ayibn], is used six times of women who performed the same task of receiving and proclaiming the message given by God. These women include Miriam, Aaron and Moses' sister (Exod 15:20); Deborah (Judges 4:4); the prophet Isaiah's wife (Isa 8:3); and Huldah, the one who interpreted the Book of the Law discovered in the temple during the days of Josiah (2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chron 34:22). There were false prophetesses just as there were false prophets. The prophetess Noadiah was among those who tried to intimidate Nehemiah (Neh 6:14).

    Another general designation for these servants of God is "man of God, " appearing over seventy-six times. Nearly half of these references (36) are used of Elisha, fifteen of the unnamed prophet in 1 Kings 13, and the other twenty-five are scattered: five refer to Moses, four to Samuel, seven to Elijah, three to David, two to Shemaiah, and five to unnamed individuals. Another general name for the prophets in Scripture is "My servants." This title is first used of Moses in Joshua 1:1, but it appears with a fair degree of frequency in Kings, Ezra, and Nehemiah.

    The prophets are also given figurative names. Haggai is uniquely called the "Lord's messenger" (1:13), while Ezekiel is called a "Shepherd" (chap. 34) and a "Watchman" (chap. 33).

    The oldest term, however, is the participial form of the verb "to see, " ro'eh [h,aor]. Apparently this was the older name for a prophet, for 1 Samuel 9:9 notes in an aside, "(Formerly in Israel, if a man went to inquire of God, he would say, ‘Come, let us go to the seer, ' because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)" The term is used in six out of a total of thirteen times in the Old Testament to refer to Samuel, with the only occurrence in the prophetic books proper coming in Isaiah 30:10—"They say to the seers, ‘See no more visions!'" In 2 Kings 17:13 seer is used in parallelism with prophet, thus also showing the equation of the two terms.

    Another participial form of the verb "to have a vision" or "to see a vision" is hozeh [h,z'j]. This word can also be translated "seer" or "visionary." It appears sixteen times in the Old Testament. The priest Amaziah called Amos a hozeh [h,z'j], "seer" (Amos 7:12). The name is also applied to David's seer, Gad (2 Sam 24:11), and to Hanani and his son Jehu (2 Chron 16:7; 19:2). Only in 1 Chronicles 29:29 are the three terms, roeh, nabi [ayib"n], and hoeh used together while referring to Samuel, Nathan, and Gad respectively.

    A roeh, then, was one who was given divine insight into the past, present, and future so that he could see everything from lost items to the great events of the last days. A nabi [ayib"n] was one who was called of God to announce the divine message, while a hozeh [h,z'j] was given messages mainly in visions.

    The Prophetic Activity. It is of more than just passing interest to learn how the prophets received their messages from God and how they delivered them to their intended recipients.

    The prophets were neither especially precocious savants who could render wise counsel at will nor were they mere automatons through whom God spoke as they remained in a zombie-like trance. They were mere mortals with differing abilities and with the human capacity to make mistakes. Thus, when the prophet Nathan was asked for his own human opinion as to whether David should build the temple for God, he enthusiastically urged the King to do so. But Nathan spoke as a mere mortal; God had to instruct him to return and give a divine answer to the question prefaced with the prophetic formula of divine authority: "This is what the Lord says!"

    Oftentimes a prophet knew only a portion of the divine will. For example, Samuel knew that he was to anoint one of Jesse's sons, but he did not know which one (1 Sam. 16). His guess was that it would be one of the older sons, but it was only after David, Jesse's youngest son, stood before him that he knew that he had been looking at external appearances while God looked on the heart of the one who was to be anointed as king.

    How did God communicate his word to his prophets? In rare cases, God spoke in an audible voice that could be heard by anyone who might have been in the vicinity. Such was Samuel's experience when he heard his name being called out in the middle of the night (1 Sam 3:3-9). Moses spoke directly with God on Mount Sinai (Exod 19:3-24). Elijah would later come to this same cave, where God would converse with his thoroughly disheartened servant (1 Kings 19:9-18).

    More frequently, the prophet received a direct message from God with no audible voice. Instead, there must have been an internal voice by which the consciousness of the prophet suddenly was so heightened that he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that what he said or what he was to do was exactly what God wanted done in that situation. In 1 Kings 13:20-22, a prophet suddenly rebuked the man of God from Judah with a word that he said an angel had given to him. The fact that what he said came to pass validated his claim that it was from God, even though that same prophet had previously lied to the man he now rebuked in the name of the Lord.

    So accurate was this type of communication by a man of God that "Time and again Elisha warned the [Israelite] king so that he was on his guard in such places" (2 Kings 6:10). When the enraged Syrian king demanded to know where the leak was in his organization, the answer was, "None of us [is on the side of the king of Israel] … , but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom" (v. 12).

    God also communicated with his prophets in a third way: by opening the prophet's eyes so that he could see realities that ordinarily would be hidden. Thus, just as the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam's donkey so that she saw what Balaam at first could not see (Num 22:31), so God opened the eyes of the prophet Elisha's servant so that he could see the angelic armies of the Lord that surrounded Samaria were indeed greater in number than the Syrian armies (2 Kings 6:15-17).

    The fourth way that God communicated with his prophets was the extensive use of visions, dreams, and elaborate imagery. God's word was sometimes clothed in symbolic imagery that left a firm imprint on the mind of the prophet and his listeners. Some of the images were explained in the very same context. For example, the head of gold on Daniel's image was the nation Babylon with its king Nebuchadnezzar while the stone that grew to fill the whole earth was the kingdom of God (Dan 2:37-39). In other instances, the imagery was drawn from revelation that had already been given to God's people. Thus the Book of Revelation makes extensive use of such Old Testament symbols as the tree of life (Rev 2:7; 22:2; cf. Gen 2:9; 3:24); the key of David (Rev 3:7; cf. Isa 22:22); and the four horseman (Rev 6:1-8; cf. Zech 1:8-11). Some symbols, however, are deliberately left unexplained; hence the partial enigmatic quality of prophecy.

    The visions God gave did not come at any special time. Some came while the prophet was awake; others came while the prophet was awakened from his sleep or was sleeping. In some cases the prophet was transported in a vision to places far distant from the locale where he was (Ezek 8:1-3; 11:24). Yet the prophet always retained the ability to distinguish between his own dreams and those that were given by God.

    The fifth and final way that God revealed his message to his prophet was through the use of symbolic actions. Scripture is replete with examples of such activity, which can best be described as outdoor theater, pantomimes, or parables in action. The prophet Micah went about naked as a sign that Samaria would go into captivity (Micah 1:8). Jeremiah wore a yoke in a downtown area to warn Judah that they would shortly be going into exile to Babylon (Jer 27:2-13). Ezekiel was the strangest of them all. He set up a sandbox siege of Jerusalem to portray the city's pending plight (Eze 4:1-3), then laid on his left side for 390 days and on his right side 40 days with meager siege rations to warn the people what was ahead of them for not repenting of their sin (vv. 4-17).

    In all these ways, God wanted his prophets to receive his message and the people to remember what he had said. In delivering these messages, often the prophet would deliver a brief word of rebuke or encouragement, or present a specific order that was to be carried out.

    At other times, the prophets were available to answer direct questions, such as the time when the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom came to Elisha as an embarrassed delegation to ask how they could extricate themselves out of the military mess that they had managed to get themselves into (2 Kings 3:11-19). Often such answers were followed by longer rejoinders that called for some type of believing or confessing response; more often than not, however, the response was one of unbelief. One outstanding case of unbelief was the instance of the ungodly aide to the king who refused to believe God's miraculous provision of grain in the midst of a frightening siege (2 Kings 7:1-20). He lived only long enough to see the prophecy fulfilled as he died in the stampede for the miraculously provided food.

    The Interpretation of Prophecy. Biblical prophecy is more than "fore-telling": two-thirds of its inscripturated form involves "forth-telling, " that is, setting the truth, justice, mercy, and righteousness of God against the backdrop of every form of denial of the same. Thus, to speak prophetically was to speak boldly against every form of moral, ethical, political, economic, and religious disenfranchisement observed in a culture that was intent on building its own pyramid of values vis-a-vis God's established system of truth and ethics.

    However, prediction was by no means absent from the prophetic message. The prophets were conscious of contributing to the ongoing plan of God's ancient, but constantly renewed promise. They announced God's coming kingdom and the awful day of the Lord when God's wrath would be poured out on all ungodliness. In the meantime, before that eschatological moment, there would be a number of divine in-breakings on the historical scene in which the fall of cities such as Samaria, Damascus, Nineveh, Jerusalem, and Babylon would serve as harbingers or foreshadowings of God's final intrusion into the historical scene at the end of history. Thus each minijudgment on the nations or empires of past and present history were earnests and downpayments on God's final day of coming onto the historic scene to end it in one severe judgment and blast of victory. So said all the prophets. And in so saying they exhibited the fact that all their messages were organically related to each other; they were progressively building on one another. And, being focused distinctly on God, they were preeminently theocentric in their organization.

    Therefore, the predictive sections of biblical prophecy exhibit certain key characteristics: (1) they are not isolated sayings, but are organically related to the whole of prophecy; (2) they plainly foretell things to come rather than being clothed in such abstruse terminology that they could be proven true even if the opposite of what they appear to say happens; (3) they are designed to be predictions and are not accidental or unwitting predictions; (4) they are written and published before the event, so that it could not be said that it was a matter of human sagacity that determined this would take place; (5) they are fulfilled in accordance with the original utterance, unless expressly attached to a condition; and (6) they do not work out their own fulfillment, but stand as a verbal witness until the event takes place.

    History, then, is the final interpreter of prophecy, as Jesus said, "I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe" (John 14:29). Moreover, in addition to leaving the details of fulfillment to be disclosed when the historical process uncovers them, it is to be noted as well that it is not the interpreter who is to receive the plaudits of humans, but Jesus; prophecy points to him. Jesus taught: "I am telling you now before it happens, that when it does happen you will believe that I am He" (John 13:19).

    Prophecies may be placed in several categories, based on their fulfillment: unconditional prophecies, conditional prophecies, and sequentially fulfilled prophecies. The first category is the simplest and most straightforward. Included in this category are the divine promises relating to God's covenant with his people Israel and our salvation. Examples are the covenants made with Abraham and David and the new covenant. However, God's covenant with the seasons (Gen 8:21-22) and his promise of a new heaven and a new earth are also unconditional prophecies. They are unconditional because they rely upon God's faithfulness for their implementation and not on our obedience or response.

    The best way to demonstrate this one-sided obligation is to point to Genesis 15:12-19, where God told Abraham to cut animals in half and form an aisle down the middle so that the person obligating himself could walk down the aisle outlined by the pieces. In this case, however, only the Lord, here depicted as a smoking fire pot with a blazing torch, moved between the pieces; Abraham did not go between the cut animals. Therefore, God would perform what he promised regardless of what Abraham did or did not do.

    Most of the prophecies in the Bible fall into the conditional category in that they pose alternative prospects, depending on whether Israel, the individual, or the nation to whom they were addressed, obeyed and responded to the conditions set forth in them. Two controlling passages that governed much of Old Testament predictions were Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. There God promised blessing if Israel obeyed, but punishment if they disobeyed.

    Alternative outcomes were predicted for individuals, depending on whether they responded in belief or not. For example, Jeremiah laid before King Zedekiah two possible scenarios (Jer 38:17-19), and he did the same for the people of Judah (Jer 42:10-16).

    The clearest statement of this principle of conditional fulfillment can be found in Jeremiah 18:7-10. Here it is announced as a principle that relates to any nation or political entity. It read: "If at any time I announce that a nation or a kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it." It is this principle that explains why the prophet Jonah was so reluctant to announce God's imminent judgment on Nineveh. He feared that the message of the threatened judgment might be heeded by the Ninevites, resulting in their repentance, in which case the threatened judgment would be rescinded by God to the great dismay of the aggrieved prophet. It must be carefully noted, however, that not all conditional prophecies have an expressed condition attached to them, just as was the case in the prophecy of Jonah. The conditions are known from the context or from the progress of revelation. The fact that the prophecies were not given with the obligation only resting on God is another sign that such prophecies fell in the conditional category rather than the unconditional one.

    One other rather limited number of prophecies must be noted here. In actuality, they are a subcategory of the conditional type: the sequentially fulfilled type. Ezekiel 26:7-14 is an excellent example of this third category. This prophecy warned that many nations would come up against Tyre; however, the focus of the prophecy was on Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of the mainland city of Tyre on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Suddenly, in the midst of the prediction, there is a sudden switch from the third-person masculine pronoun "he" and "his" to the third-person masculine plural "they." Some have contended that since Nebuchadnezzar was frustrated because he was unable to capture the people of Tyre, who merely moved from the mainland city of Tyre to an island one-half mile off-shore, that this was an indication that the prophecy was unfulfilled. But it is not an example of an unfulfilled prophecy, for it was fulfilled sequentially. After the Babylonian nation worked its destruction of the mainland city in the 580s b.c., Alexander the Great came along in the 330s b.c. and finished the rest of the prophecy by throwing the "stones, timber, and rubble" of the city that Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed "into the sea" in order to build a causeway from the mainland out into the Mediterranean Sea to the island city and capture the city. The prophecy was fulfilled, but it was fulfilled sequentially.

    New Testament Prophecy. Old Testament prophecy came to an end with Malachi, approximately four hundred years before the time of Christ. No formal declaration was made that prophecy had ceased; it was only as time went on that the people began to realize that divine revelation had been absent for a period more protracted than ever before. Three times in the book of 1 Maccabees, written during the events of the revolt against the Syrian Antiochus Epiphanes in days following 168 b.c., the fact that there was no prophet in Israel was noted with sadness (4:46; 9:27; 14:41).

    Suddenly, Jesus Christ, the greatest of all the prophets, and the one anticipated in Deuteronomy 18:15-19, appeared on the scene. The title "prophet" is applied to him about a dozen times in the Gospels. His forerunner, John the Baptist, was considered by Jesus to be the last of the prophets who prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah. In fact, John the Baptist formed the natural dividing point between the Old Testament prophets and those who were to come in the New Testament, as Matthew quoted Jesus as saying of John, "For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John" (Matt 11:13).

    What was the nature of prophecy in the New Testament? Were the New Testament prophets as absolutely authoritative as their predecessors?

    Many interpreters divide the New Testament prophetic phenomena into two classes: (1) the authoritative prophecies demonstrated by the apostles and their associates who functioned much as the Old Testament prophets did; and (2) a type of prophetic activity that made no claims to being the very word of God, but which was for the "strengthening, encouragement and comfort" of believers (1 Cor 14:3). It is this second type of prophetic activity in the New Testament that has drawn so much current interest, especially if the argument also holds that this gift of prophecy is still operative in the church today.

    Usually the case for sustaining the argument that the New Testament apostles are linked with the Old Testament prophets as authoritative recipients of the word of God is made by noting that the Book of Hebrews avoids applying the word "prophet" to Jesus, but uses instead the word "apostle" (3:1—"fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess").

    What about this other type of Christian prophecy where believers, who prophesy, do not regard themselves as the bearers of the very words of God? Did not the apostle Paul teach in 1 Corinthians 13:8-9 that "where there are prophecies, they will cease… For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears." When would that cessation of prophecy take place? After the early church had matured? Or after the completion of the canon of Scripture? Probably neither of these suggested termination points answers the completion of the perfection process. Perfection cannot be expected before Christ's second coming. Thus, the believer's present, fragmentary knowledge, based as it is on the modes of knowledge now available to us, will come to an end.

    How long, then, will prophecy last? The argument at this point now shifts to Ephesians 2:20—the church is "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets" (also see Eph 3:5). If the apostle Paul refers here to two different functions or gifts—the apostles and the prophets of the New Testament era—then the gift of prophecy was so foundational in building the Christian church that it does not continue to our day; its foundational work has been completed. But if, as others contend, the expression "apostles and prophets" refers to one and the same group in a type of figure of speech called a hendiadys, where two distinct words connected by a conjunction are used to express one complex notion ("apostles-who-are-also-prophets"), then the gift may still be operative today. However, no Greek examples of two plural nouns in this type of construction have yet been attested even though the construction is known in other combinations of words.

    Two answers are given, therefore, to the question of the termination of New Testament prophecy by modern interpreters. All agree that classical Old Testament prophecy and apostolic prophecy that delivered to us God's authoritative Scriptures have ceased. Others feel, however, that a secondary type of Christian prophecy continues today in the tradition of the New Testament prophet Agabus (Acts 11:28; 21:10) and the prophets of 1 Corinthians 12-14. This second group is subordinate to the teaching of the apostles and subject to the criticism and judgment of the body as two or three individuals prophesy in the regular meetings of the church.

    Walter C. Kaiser, Jr
     
  14. Briguy

    Briguy <img src =/briguy.gif>

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    M4H, mostly that confirms what I have been saying. With the completed Bible things changed and prophecy became all forth-telling for the edification of the believer. Thanks for the cut and paste.

    Link, still waiting for your reply.

    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  15. music4Him

    music4Him New Member

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    Not so Brian, It talks about both ends of the debate.

    Last paragraph.
    "Two answers are given, therefore, to the question of the termination of New Testament prophecy by modern interpreters. All agree that classical Old Testament prophecy and apostolic prophecy that delivered to us God's authoritative Scriptures have ceased. Others feel, however, that a secondary type of Christian prophecy continues today in the tradition of the New Testament prophet Agabus (Acts 11:28; 21:10) and the prophets of 1 Corinthians 12-14. This second group is subordinate to the teaching of the apostles and subject to the criticism and judgment of the body as two or three individuals prophesy in the regular meetings of the church."
     
  16. atestring

    atestring New Member

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    Is this the most poplar subject on the Baptistboard? This subject stirs lots of interest. I personlaly think that those that write post slamming the gifts of the Spirit are really hungry or they would just ignore the subject.
     
  17. Link

    Link New Member

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    **Link, I would only believe if they were used the same way as they were with first Christians. Meaning at the will of the person with the gift, as other the other gifts were used then and are to this day.**

    Certainly the will of the person doing the miracle is involved. But there are otehr factors. Jesus could not do many mighty mriacles in Nazareth because of their unbelief. Also, Paul once declaired a man healed when he percieved the man had the faith to be healed. It wasn't purely a matter of Paul using supernatural powers. He percieved faith, and knew that he could pronounce that Jesus healed the man.

    The aposltes, in Acts 4, prayed that God would stretch out His hand to do signs and wonders for the sake of Jesus. Jesus had already sent the 12 out with power to raise the dead and do miracles. They had done them before. But apparently doing miracles wasn't purely a matter of their own will. They felt it necessary to pray to God to grant the miracles, and then a lot of them started happening.

    Also, Paul did miracles as we can see in Acts. But when he was in Ephesus, God saw fit to do extrordinary miracles through Paul's hands. Apparently, this was more than normal, and Luke recognizes that God granted that these miracles be done. Apparently, miracles were not just purely a factor of the miracle-workers will, like superman flying or using his x-ray vision. Even once when Christ was ministering, Luke points out, the power of the Lord was present to heal the sick. The apostles had to work in conjunction with the working of the Spirit as well.


    *Link, just to jump in with you and DHK. When Paul said if no Int. is present then to speak to yourself and God, I also believe that is just prayer.*

    Does that seem to go against the plain sense of the text? In verse 26, we see that the 'speaking' in question is speaking in tongues:

    I Cor. 14:
    27. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
    28. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.


    Compare this to the contrast Paul makes earlier in the chapter:

    18. I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
    19. Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

    Notice the contrast. Paul prays in tongues more than all the Corinthians. YET, in the church, he'd rather speak with his understanding. The implication seems to be that Paul speaks in tongeus a lot outside of church meetings.


    *Paul just had said that speaking in an unknown language by itself makes your mind unfriutful and that is bad. *

    I don't see that at all. Paul encourages doing both-- praying with the Spirit and with understanding. But the person who prays in a tongu without inteprertation 'giveth thanks well.' THe problem is the other person isn't edified. But the thanksgiving is still good thanksgiving.

    If it were bad to pray with one's spirit, why would it build someone up to do this?

    *Also, in 1 cor 12:7 Paul clearly says a "gift" is for the benefit of all, meaning the gathered body or assembly. He would not in 2 chapters later go against that.*

    The gifts are given to profit the whoel body. But sometimes some of the gifts in the list can profit one individual in certain cases. There are plenty of examples of a prophet giving a prophecy to one person in the Bible. There is even a 'personal prophecy' in the New Testament. It is also possible for one person to heal another through God's grace and the gift of healing, even if it does not occur in a church meeting. But as a whole, we all prophet from these gifts. Isn't it possible that a person with a gift of healing might be allowed to use the gift on himself? Think of this in terms of the first century if you must. I can't think of any example of it, but such things could occur. Prophecies and words of knowledge are revelation gifts listed in I Corinthians 12. Paul recieved personal revelations of the third heaven which he could not reveal to other people. Even though the revelatory gifts are for the whole body, in this case, Paul got something he was not to share with others.

    But Paul is a part of the body, and if his revelation helped build him up, then it did help one small part of the larger body. Couldn't the same be the case with tongues without inteprretation? It does help build up a part of the body, one small part. Therefore it is better if the tongue is interpreted to build up the whole. But that does not make it wrong for the gift to be used to build up one individual, just not as good. And it is innappropriate for someone to use the gift of tongues just to build himself up in a church meeting without interpretation. He distracts the church and takes up valuable time that should be used for mutual edification.

    *Remember, tongues are always real languages and someone of that language would need to be present or speaking in the tongue makes no practical, logical sense.*

    paul says if a man speaks in tongues, no one understands him. How could this be true if someoen present udnerstands what he says in tongues, without the gift of interpretation?
     
  18. Briguy

    Briguy <img src =/briguy.gif>

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    M4H, You are right. The part you highlighted does disagree with me. I think the post is pretty much right in the middle of the issue now that I think on it more. I still am right (he he), but my statement was not.

    Link, read in 1 Corinth 14:

    7] And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
    [8] For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
    [9] So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
    [10] There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
    [11] Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
    [12] Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
    [13] Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
    [14] For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

    Are you somehow concluding that these verses are being said in a positive light? This is a strict rebuke, a chewing out of sorts, like the Lakers probably got after the game last night. Verse 14 literally says: "If I pray in gibberish it is worthless to me because I am not able to understand what I am even saying." When you don't understand what is being said you are throwing your words to the air, not to God in the air, just up in the air like grass taken by the wind. That is why the example of the battle cry is used. If soldiers don't recognize the notes played the horn being played is worthless. The text here is clear that gibberish produces unfruitful results.

    You brought up verses 18,19. Paul is rebuking the Corinth church here. He is saying this to people who either are abusing the real gift of Tongues or faking the have the gift. He says "Hey listen friends I do the real gift ofTongues all the time but what big deal is that. I would rather I speak just a few words that you understand then talk all day in a language none of you know. You and your audience need to know what is being said or it is a waste of time". That is the point here.

    v.27 and 28. Something interesting here. You would keep silent if no interpreter is present. Hmmm - how would you know until after you spoke? The point is that Tongues and Int. of Tongues were obvious supernatural gifts and they, as an assembly knew who had what gifts. It was not hodgepodge and hope someone interprets, they knew who could. The interpretation gift could not be faked the the speaking in tongues gift. Those two gifts are simply being able to speek in foreign languages you never learned and being able to interpret foreign languages you never learned. That is all they are, nothing more or less. If me and you spoke differently languages we could not communicate without someone who knew both languages. Our conversation would be pointless if we didn't understand eachother. That is one of Pauls main points in the 14th chapter.

    In Christ,
    Brian

    btw, You said Jesus could not do miracles because of someones unbelief???? Link, I can't believe you buy into that. This is Jesus whom ALL things were made. He created the world but CAN'T HEAL A BROKEN FINGER? (or broken whatever) that is beyond logic to me. He healed not because he chose not to.
     
  19. tamborine lady

    tamborine lady Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Atestring said: Is this the most poplar subject on the Baptistboard? This subject stirs lots of interest. I personlaly think that those that write post slamming the gifts of the Spirit are really hungry or they would just ignore the subject.

    I think you are probably right. Then of course we know too that people are afraid of things they don't understand.

    But then that's just MOHO.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Working for Jesus,

    Tam
     
  20. Briguy

    Briguy <img src =/briguy.gif>

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    I haven't seen anybody slam the "Gifts" on this thread. What am I missing?

    Tam, that post was beneath you, unless of course you were kidding, which then you can ignore this.

    In Our Lord,
    Brian
     
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