Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

All quotations from the Scriptures will be from the Authorised Version - the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures.

Please see Sermons & Articles down the left hand column of the Blog about why the Authorised Version is the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures

and why we reject the many perversions of the Scriptures, including those so beloved of many neo-evangelicals at present such as ESV & NKJV.

Beware of the Errors in The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible! 
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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Errors of the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement Part 4

These posts stem from a series of fifteen studies conducted, in our Youth Fellowship meetings, at the request of the young people who attend, dealing with the errors of the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement

Study 1 - Introduction
Study 2 - The Infilling of the Spirit

Study Four - The Cessation of New Testament Supernatural Gifts - Part one
While no one can deny that these supernatural gifts existed in the early New Testament Church, it is also undeniable that the Scriptures clearly teach that these gifts were to cease. Church history also clearly illustrates this to be the case.

1. Scripture teaches the cessation of these gifts. It is important to examine both the usage of these gifts in the Scriptures and the teaching of the Scriptures as to their future use.

[1] The dispersal of these gifts was limited to the Apostles and their immediate successors. The evidence of Scripture clearly points to the ability to perform these gifts being limited to the Apostles, their immediate successors or associates. Furthermore, while some of the successors/associates of the Apostles were able to exercise some of these gifts, they were not able to bestow their use upon others.

Philip is a classic example of this when preaching in Samaria. His preaching, and the exercise of these gifts, was met with considerable success, Acts 8:5-8: Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.

However, it was only when news of this reached Jerusalem, and the Apostles Peter and John were sent to Samaria, that the new converts in Samaria received the Holy Ghost. The bestowal of these gifts could only happen by the authority of the Apostles, Acts 8:14-17: Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Philip had the authority to exercise some of these gifts in his own ministry but not the authority to dispense them to others. That authority clearly belonged solely to the Apostles. It was only after the Apostles had laid hands on these new converts that they received these gifts. Simon, the false professor in Samaria, could see the immediate difference and so much wanted that ability that he was willing to pay Peter and John for this apostolic power.

[2] These gifts are called 'the signs of an apostle', in 2 Corinthians 12:12: Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. In every recorded instance of these New Testament gifts being dispersed among new converts they are done so through the direct agency of an Apostle, Romans 15:18,19: For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed. Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

As the times of the Apostles came to a close, and each one of them passed on to glory, we would then reasonably expect that these gifts would have died out in the New Testament Church. The ability to pass them on is no longer present. This is exactly what happened.

We must never think that there was ongoing, wholesale, dispersal and use of these gifts in the early New Testament Church. This was simply not the case.

[3] These gifts belonged to the time of the infancy/immaturity of the New Testament church. As the Church matured the time came when these gifts ceased and disappeared from the Church. Paul states that the time will come when the supernatural gifts of prophecy, tongues, and [words of] knowledge will vanish away, or be abolished, 1 Corinthians 13:8-13: Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

The time when 'prophecies', 'tongues' and 'knowldge' will cease is described as when that which is 'perfect is come', in v10 and is likened to a child reaching adulthood.

The question to be asked is: what is meant by that which is perfect? Two answers are given:
A. The cessationist argument says that it refers to the completion of the canon.
B. Others insist that this cannot be so, and that it refers to glorification. They argue that 'when that which is perfect is come' we no longer know in part and prophecy in part, but then shall we know even as we are known. Thus that which is perfect must be glorification.

But can the premise that it means glorification be maintained? That which is 'perfect' cannot refer to the day of Christ and glorification. The word 'perfect' means 'mature' or 'adultlike', it is the opposite of 'childish' v11. This is easily provable as the word 'perfect' is translated 'men' in 1 Corinthians 14:20.

i. It is a mistaken interpretation of v12 to say that it means glorification. If that were so then Paul is saying that when glorified he would know things as God knows them - a kind of omniscience. That is impossible. The interpretation that produces this conclusion is therefore wrong.

ii. The teaching of v13 argues against this understanding. This verse places the coming of that which is perfect in the present age. Faith, hope and charity remain after the passing away of the gifts mentioned in v8. This cannot refer to the day of Christ as 'Hope' will, at the coming of Christ, pass away having given place to sight, cf. Romans 8:24: For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? Therefore these gifts that are to pass away must do so in this present age and not in a future one.

iii. To accept that this teaches glorification involves a contradiction. To argue that this means the day of Christ, teaches that this apostolic gift of knowledge ceases, v8, with the coming of Christ; yet at the same time the believer will gain a knowledge far more superior and full than anything they have known before, v12. This simply doesn't make sense.

iv. To hold this line is to deny other Scriptures. According to this view until the coming of Christ we must see through a glass darkly, everything must be a 'riddle'. Is this the teaching of the rest of Scripture? Cf. 1 Corinthians 2:9,10: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God; 2 Peter 1:19: We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. The language of these verses is hardly suggesting a riddle.

4. That which is 'perfect', in 1 Corinthians 13:10, is the Word of God. The same Greek word translated here as 'perfect', is also translated as 'perfect' in James 1:25: But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. It is clearly seen to be here speaking about the Word of God. Consistency would argue as much!

God's perfect or complete Word is the mirror in which we see ourselves face to face. The laver in the Tabernacle in Old Testament times was a wonderful type of the Word of God. It was made from the looking glasses of the Israelitish women, Exodus 38:8: And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

This perfect law of liberty is said to be a mirror, James 1:23,24: For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

'Through a glass, darkly' is a reference then to the incomplete canon of Scripture. Note the teaching of Numbers 12:6-8 in this respect: And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

Incomplete revelation and the 'dark' are connected in these verses. Scripture interprets Scripture and seeing through a glass darkly refers to the incomplete canon of Scripture. This darkness would give way to light with the eventual completion of Scripture and with it the cessation of these supernatural gifts. 

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