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#29154 - Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:28 PM Re: Is all revelation found in scripture *****  
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J Edwards wrote,
>>And where is your evidence? Where is your exegesis? You offer nothing, but personal opinion, not supported by the Greek text!<<

I don’t need to do any exegesis. There is no reason to suspect the translators got it wrong. I am not arguing for anything but what the passage says. If you think the translators missed something, the burden of proof is on you.

Let us look at the verses.
Hebrews 2
3. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
4. God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
5. For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
The verses say that the great salvation was first spoken by the Lord, and then confirmed by them that heard him with signs, wonders, divers, miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost. The verse says nothing about whether signs wonders and miracles continued in the church after this. However, we know from other scripture that gifts of the Spirit, including the working of miracles, continued on in churches like Corinth and Rome. Since Paul was a foundation-layer in Corinth, and his reader’s had heard the Gospel from him and his co-workers, it is clear that they were not among those who had seen the Lord before the ascension.

To read cessationism into this passage is eisegesis. It is also illogical.

Btw, if you argue that the signs and wonders ceased, wouldn’t you also have to conclude that the great salvation ceased, or that the preaching of great salvation ceased?
>>
Hebrews reveals the fact that there is a new and final revelation in Christ (Heb 1:1-2). After the age of the Apostles there was no need for miracles to confirm their word, as they were no longer around, et. al. <<

Hebrews 1 does not even indirectly support your conclusion. The new revelation here in God’s Son.

Hebrews 1:
1. God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3. Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Sure, the author contrasts God speaking times pasts by the prophets with God speaking through His Son. But does he say that there would be no more prophets after Christ? No. And if you interpret that way, you either have to reject other books of the canon, or reject this book, or both. If there were no more prophetic inspiration, why should we hold this book in such high regard?

Please sit down and look up references to ‘prophet’ in the book of Acts. Jesus had already died and risen in chapter 1. In chapter 1, he ascends. Then, in chapter 2, Peter says the verses about the Spirit being poured out, dreams, visions, and prophesying were being fulfilled. Later in Acts, we see prophets in the church like Agabus, Judas, and Silas.

So if you hold that Acts is inspired, then you should recognize that there were prophets in the days after Christ’s ascension. In fact, Ephesians 4 tells us that Christ ascended, and gave the gift of prophets to the church.

>>>You claim the author “rightly argued” and later you say of yourself, “I am no expert in this area.” However, let us look further at these additional claims you are making. <<<

One does not have to be an expert to see that prophecy was an accepted gift in the church before and after Montanus came around. I would suggest you read that Britannica article.

>>Bishop Apollinarius found the church at Ancyra which was torn in two by the movement. He opposed the "false prophesy" (Eusebius 5.16.5). Eusebius preserved fragments from the works of two anti- Montanists from the 2nd century. These fragments DO NOT support your claim of “no prophecy.” The summary of them is stated herein: <<

The quote I referred to came from Eusebius who wrote in the fourth century. His work contains excerpts from later periods as well. I do not have the time at the moment to look up the quote for you. It is on the web if you are interested. Maybe I can get it for you later. The quote about the debate with the Montanists may have been from the 300’s. Montanus had been dead for some time.

In my post I did say that Montanus prophesied in an ecstatic manner, apparently. Please go back and re-read what I wrote. Maybe you have misunderstood me.

>>Yes there were new revelatory gifts—false ones! Irenaeus, during the height of the Montanists controversy was inspired to write, Adversus Haereses. Ireneaus was against the movement, he was against these “new” revelations (Journal of Theological Studies New Series XX, 1969). <<

The idea that Ireneaus was talking about Montanists seems to me to be quite dubious speculation. What evidence does the source you cite give that these were Montanists. Ireneaus called the men ‘brethren’ and if they were Montanists, then Ireneaus apparently accepted them as genuine, perhaps orthodox, Christians. That is pretty ironic in a work against heresies of the day.

Even someone with a theological axe to grind, who assumes that such men were Montanists, should be careful where he grinds his axe. If Montanists, and not orthodox Christians, were casting out demons, raising the dead, prophesying, doing miracles, and all the other things Ireneaus said, then that casts the Montanists in a rather positive light.


>>In addition, there is a difference between no reference and a valid reference—I was speaking of the later. Of course there are references! Heresy always has its pulpit.<<

Here is where the circular reasoning comes in. And any reference to the presence of gifts of the Spirit during this period, even by a champion of orthodoxy, gets redefined or interpreted as invalid.

>> Although the mainstream church prevailed against Montanism within a few generations, inscriptions in the Tembris valley of northern Phrygia, dated between 249 and 279, openly proclaimed their allegiance to Montanism. This sect persisted into the 8th century. However, this was “all” condemned by the Church as heresy! <<

But the gift of prophecy was not condemned by the church. Many non-Montanist ‘orthodox’ Christians believed in prophecy during the second century.

Btw, Phrygia and the surrounding area was where Montanism emerged.

>>What you fail to understand is that “false tongues” were in many faiths, but were looked upon as truthful revelation. While God demonstrated the true gift of “tongues” in biblical times “false tongues” persisted for centuries before and after NT times.<<

False religions teach. There are false prophecies. These things are not really relevant to the discussion. I never argued that all manifestations of tongues were true.

>>It is indeed very sad that you are intertwined with this movement. Unfortunately, Charismatic doctrine and missionaries are very active in Indonesia. This is an indictment of the Reformed camp who are not more involved in missions to the extent they should be. However, as the scripture states; <<

This discussion is not about being in a movement. It is about believing what the Bible teaches. Here in Indonesia, indigeneous Charismatic churches and Reformed Churches are numerous, and the number of local ministers far outnumber the missionaries.

>>1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.<<

Amen. But if you reject manifestions of the gifts without trying them, you are not being in obedience either. A similar passage states,
I Thessalonians 5
19. Quench not the Spirit.
20. Despise not prophesyings.
21. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good

If you reject prophecies out of hand, without proving them, you are not obeying this passage. If you consider all prophecies from believers to be automatically false, you are despising prophesyings.

#29155 - Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:35 PM Re: Is all revelation found in scripture  
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Quote
Kalled2Preach stated,

If the gifts had ceased, or were even on their way out, why would this book have been accepted as true and part of the canon? Why weren't other prophecies which may have been written before Hebrews or before Revelation and didn't contradict what they already accepted as Scripture included?

I thought this was kind of obvious. We are discussing “new” revelation, however if it agrees with what they already accepted as Scripture—it would not be “new,” would it? Second, and more importantly, for something to have been accepted as canon in the early church it would have had to been attested to by apostolic authority.

The Book of Hebrews was in much contention for its acceptance into the canon and was among the Antilegomena (7 disputed books) and not the Homologoumena (20 accepted books). The earliest list of NT books of which we have definite knowledge was drawn up by the heretic Marcion about 140. It consisted of an (a) expurgated edition of Luke, and (b) 10 of the Pauline Epistles. The Church of course protested and it moved it to over a period of time to develop a correct canon (Luke 12:12; John 16:13). Metzger, states,

Quote
The Montanist heresy caused the Church to develop a mistrust of all recent writings of a prophetical nature. Not only did such a feeling tend to discredit several apocalypses that may have been, in various parts of the Church, on their way to establishing themselves, but even the Revelation of John was sometimes brought under a cloud of suspicion because of its usefulness in supporting the 'New Prophecy.'

Writing in about 96 AD, Clement emphasized the importance of apostolic authority, stating, "The apostles received the gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus the Christ was sent forth from God. So then Christ is from God, and the apostles from Christ. Both, therefore, came of the will of God in good order." Thus, later the Church used this as its test. Thus, if a valid “new” revelation, which did not violate what was considered true Scripture, but was not attested to by an Apostle, it was considered suspect and not included in the canon. The Church became extremely cautious and since the Apostles can no longer attest to any revelation—revelation is closed! There can be no new revelation.

Warfield draws upon much more Church history and surmises that the NTcanon was imposed by the apostles on the Church. Thus the canon was not only complete but also fully and finally accepted by the end of the first century. In an article originally published in 1892 Warfield writes, "In every case the principle on which a book was accepted, or doubts about it laid aside, was the historical tradition of apostolicity." However, "the principle of canonicity was not apostolic authorship, but imposition by the apostles as 'law.'" Warfield then further explains, “The authority of the apostles, as by divine appointment founders of the Church, was embodied in whatever books they imposed on the Church as law, not merely in those they themselves had written.” However, it is important to note that the Church did not originate the Bible. Its inspiration is divine, not ecclesiastical. It stands or falls because of its relationship to God, not to the Church. The Church never attempted to confer canonicity. The Church did not give authority to the canon, rather it simply recognized its authority.

For more details on this I would suggest reading, The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance by Metzger. Another book you may enjoy is THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS. The Highway has several good articles as well;

The Formation of the Canon of the New Testament

Brief History of Divine Revelation

What is the Word of God?


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#29156 - Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:07 PM Re: Is all revelation found in scripture [Re: Link]  
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Quote
Link wrote:

I don’t need to do any exegesis. There is no reason to suspect the translators got it wrong. I am not arguing for anything but what the passage says. If you think the translators missed something, the burden of proof is on you.

Let us look at the verses.
Hebrews 2
3. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
4. God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
5. For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.

The verses say that the great salvation was first spoken by the Lord, and then confirmed by them that heard him with signs, wonders, divers, miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost. The verse says nothing about whether signs wonders and miracles continued in the church after this. However, we know from other scripture that gifts of the Spirit, including the working of miracles, continued on in churches like Corinth and Rome. Since Paul was a foundation-layer in Corinth, and his reader’s had heard the Gospel from him and his co-workers, it is clear that they were not among those who had seen the Lord before the ascension.

To read cessationism into this passage is eisegesis. It is also illogical.

Btw, if you argue that the signs and wonders ceased, wouldn’t you also have to conclude that the great salvation ceased, or that the preaching of great salvation ceased?


Link,

The letter to the Hebrews is drawing a contrast between the message God spoke in times past through the prophets and in these last days through His Son. Chapter 2:1-2 makes a strong statement about "giving more earnest heed..." to this message because One superior to angels is here! Do not neglect this salvation! Verse 2 speaks about the role of the angels in the giving of the law and the punishment for breaking it. But now in verse 3 he's talking about so great a salvation which is quite a contrast to message given to Moses. Certainly something that we must not neglect. This salvation was first spoken about by the Lord and confirmed by those who heard him. (Note: "those who heard him" were the eye witnesses, the Apostles. The Apostles were witnesses of what Jesus said and did in His ministry, death, and resurrection and the writer to the Hebrews heard the gospel through them).

In verse 4 we read about God also bearing witness with signs, and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? These terms are used in the New Testament for special miracles that God used to demonstrate the authority of the Savior (Acts 2:22), as well as to certify the ministries of the apostles. By now you'd think that would be clear.

So after closer examination of these texts they actually support cessationism not your logic. So the burden of proof remains on you to show that the wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit were not just foundational to the church but an ongoing practice which we should expect to see in the church today. You also need to explain why church history doesn't support your view.



Quote
The theological error of believing that special, verbal revelation or quasi-revelation continued beyond the time of the apostles is made equally by Roman Catholics (imputing inspired authority to papal "interpretations" and unwritten tradition) and Charismatics (teaching tongues and prophecy as gifts to be expected throughout the life of the church). Both the office of Apostle and the gifts which accompanied the ministry of the apostles (cf. II Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3-4) were intended to be temporary, confined to the founding of the church. To be an Apostle, it was required to be a witness of the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:22; e.g. I Cor. 9:1) and to be commissioned directly by Him (Gal. 1:1), thus restricting the apostolic office to the first generation of the church. Paul indicated that he was the last of the apostles (I Cor. 15:7-9); his successor, Timothy, is never given that title. By the later New Testament epistles we have no further mention or discussion of revelatory gifts like tongues and prophecy, for with the completing (bringing to its end or "perfection") of that which was "partial" - namely, the process of revelation - the temporary revelatory gifts of tongues and prophecy had to "cease" (I Cor. 13:8-10).


The Scriptures provide a complete word of prophesy eliminating the need for continuing special revelation today. Once the apostolic foundation was laid (Ephesians 2:20), the prophetic apostolic office and the need for additional special revelation ceased.

Our dominant goal should be that we might "guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to" us. (2 Timothy 1:14)


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
#29157 - Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:56 PM Re: Is all revelation found in scripture [Re: Link]  
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Wes covered the Book of Hebrews sufficiently, so I will cover a little more history …

Quote
Link stated,

The idea that Ireneaus was talking about Montanists seems to me to be quite dubious speculation. What evidence does the source you cite give that these were Montanists. Ireneaus called the men ‘brethren’ and if they were Montanists, then Ireneaus apparently accepted them as genuine, perhaps orthodox, Christians. That is pretty ironic in a work against heresies of the day.

“Brethren” was a common term back then and not used exclusively by any of saying that they are saved (Acts 23:1, 5, 6). Was everyone without exception in Corinth as Christian? No, then why did Paul call them “Brethren”? Because it was a common term used in that day and time to address individuals, saved and unsaved; (2 Cor 11:26, etc.).

Montanism is a form of Gnosticism. The official title of Ireneaus’ Against Heresis is, The Detection and Overthrow of the Pretended but False Gnosis. A part of Ireneaus’ work contains elements disputing Montanism. Irenaeus, writes that Marcus was,

Quote
”a perfect adept in magical impostures....devotes himself especially to women, and those such as are well-bred, and elegantly attired, and of great wealth, whom he frequently seeks to draw after him” (Adversus Haereses, I.13.1, 3), seducing them with claims of miracles and prophecy and by love potions and philters. Such Gnostics assert that "they themselves know more than all others, and that they alone have imbibed the greatness of the knowledge of that power which is unspeakable. They also maintain that they have attained to a height above all power, and that therefore they are free in every respect to act as they please, having no one to fear in anything....Such are the words and deeds by which, in our own district of the Rhone, they have deluded many women, who have their consciences seared as with a hot iron (I.13.6, 7)

One of Ireneaus’ disciples, Hippolytus, stated, (The Refutation of All Heresies) the Montanists,

Quote
"do not judge whatever statements are made by them [Priscilla and Maximilla], according to reason; nor do they give heed unto those who are competent to decide; but they are heedlessly swept onwards, by the reliance which they place on these [women]. And they allege that they have learned something more through these, than from law, and prophets, and the Gospels. But they magnify these wretched women above the Apostles and every gift of Grace, so that some of them presume to assert that there is in them a something superior to Christ" (VIII.12).

Quote
Link stated,

If Montanists, and not orthodox Christians, were casting out demons, raising the dead, prophesying, doing miracles, and all the other things Ireneaus said, then that casts the Montanists in a rather positive light.

And so we are to believe that every demon cast out is cast out by a Christian? (Acts 19:13-15). Are we to believe that everyone who raises the dead is a Christian? (Rev 13:2-4). Are we to believe that everyone who prophesies is a Christian? (Acts 13:6). Are we to believe that everyone that does a miracle is a Christian? (Rev 19:20). As I already advised you we are to try the spirits to see if they are from God or not! (1 John 4:1). You have failed to realize that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). As the Scripture states, “But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons,” (1 Tim 4:1).

Scripture condemns your charismatic chaos. Hopefully God will give you repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#29158 - Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:12 AM Re: Is all revelation found in scripture [Re: Link]  

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Quote
Link said:
I don’t need to do any exegesis. There is no reason to suspect the translators got it wrong. I am not arguing for anything but what the passage says. If you think the translators missed something, the burden of proof is on you.


Exegesis is extracting the meaning from the passage, not a suspicion that the translators got it wrong. By "not arguing for anything but what the passage says" you are doing exegesis (at least a surface level form of it). Just thought I'd point that out in case you meant something different by saying you didn't need to do any exegesis. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />

#29159 - Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:20 AM When was Revelation Written?  
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In reply to:

Quote
My only question regarding this is that Revelation is thought to have been written after Hebrews (The Reformation Studt Bible says it was written around 95 AD and The HarperCollins Study Bible [NOT one of my more trusted resources, but the historical stuff seems fairly accurate] seems to favor a date, because they won't make a firm claim to a date, after 70 AD).


One of the best ways of dating a book of the scriptures is to let the book date itself. All orthodox Christians believe in the infalibility of the scriptures. Rev 17:9-10 gets us within 14 years of when Revelation was written, and it definitely puts it at a pre-70 AD date. The passage states there are 7 kings, five have fallen, and one is (at the time of writing). The 6th king is currently ruling. Verse 9 attaches these kings to seven mountains, which most everyone agrees refers to Rome. The ten Roman emperors from Julius Caesar are:
1. Julius Caesar (49-44 BC)
2. Augustus (27 BC - 14 AD)
3. Tiberius (14-37 AD)
4. Gaius (37-41 AD)
5. Claudius (41-54 AD)
6. Nero (54-68 AD)
7. Galba (68-69 AD)
8. Otho (69 AD)
9. Vitellius (69 AD)
10. Vespasian (69-79 AD)

Interestingly, the scriptures also tell us the 7th king will continue "for a short time" (unlike the previous 6). As the judgement of God and vindication of Christ drew near, Roman emperors didn't last very long, some less than a year before they were murdered. But there is no possible way to equate the "6th king" of Revelation with Domitian.

The next passage is Rev 11:1-2. According to this passage, the temple, at least in this vision, is still standing, but it predicts a trodding of the holy city by the Gentiles for 42 months. The time from when Rome declared war on Jerusalem to the fall of Jerusalem was almost exactly 42 months. This passage is strong evidence that Revelation was written at least 3 and a half years before 70 AD (still in the time of Nero).

There's more evidence, but my point is that whenever possible, I recommend letting an inspired book date itself rather than accepting some "expert's" opinion. Alot of these "experts" have an agenda of their own (like allowing for the continuation of the charismata) which influence their pronouncements.

-Robin

#29160 - Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:09 AM Re: Is all revelation found in scripture  
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Quote
Kalled2Preach said:
Exegesis is extracting the meaning from the passage, not a suspicion that the translators got it wrong. By "not arguing for anything but what the passage says" you are doing exegesis (at least a surface level form of it). Just thought I'd point that out in case you meant something different by saying you didn't need to do any exegesis. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />


Touche, Kalled2Preach. I wrote that early this morning, quickly before going off to work. What I had in mind to say before I typed it was that I did not need to do any exegesis of the Greek unless there was some reason to think the generally accepted translations were correct.

By the way, your title, called to preach, implies that God gives revelation outside of scripture, assuming you believe you have a special call to preach aside from something given to all believers in general.

#29161 - Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:15 AM Re: When was Revelation Written? [Re: Robin]  
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J Edwards

Your quote from Warfield argues strongly against those who would say that if there are modern prophecies today, they should be added to the canon.

J Edwards wrote,
>> In an article originally published in 1892 Warfield writes, "In every case the principle on which a book was accepted, or doubts about it laid aside, was the historical tradition of apostolicity." However, "the principle of canonicity was not apostolic authorship, but imposition by the apostles as 'law.'" Warfield then further explains, “The authority of the apostles, as by divine appointment founders of the Church, was embodied in whatever books they imposed on the Church as law, not merely in those they themselves had written.”<<

Since modern prophecies did not come from the 12 Paul, etc., they were not included in the canon. Neither were all the genuine prophecies spoken by the Christians in Corinth.

Of course, Warfield’s explanation here leaves out an explanation of how the church was to determine which books were given as ‘law.’ But that is another issue.

#29162 - Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:18 AM Re: When was Revelation Written? [Re: Link]  
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Wes wrote a description of the arguments of the beginning of the book of Hebrews, and then concluded:

>>So after closer examination of these texts they actually support cessationism not your logic. So the burden of proof remains on you to show that the wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit were not just foundational to the church but an ongoing practice which we should expect to see in the church today. You also need to explain why church history doesn't support your view.<<
Wes, go back and read what you wrote. There is nothing in what you wrote in that message that would support the conclusion you draw here that the text supports cessationism. Notice you pointed out that the law was given through angels. The author of Hebrews is contrasting the Revelation of Christ with the previous revelations of the prophets.
You overlook the obvious. There were 'New Testament prophets' who became prophets AFTER Christ ascended. Do you dispute this point? The book of Hebrews was written during a time when prophetic revelation was being given, after Christ had already died, rose, and ascended. Do you dispute this point? It is just plain illogical to argue that there would be no more prophetic revelation after Christ. Why would you believe the book of Hebrews, written after Christ came, to be inspired if prophetic inspiration ended after the book of Hebrews was written.
To all,
And now let us look at the issue of Ireneaus, the 2nd and/or 3rd century saint who wrote of prophecy and tongues in his own day. Ireneaus quotes are from the http://www.ccel.org/ website version.

Ireneaus wrote,
>>7. But we shall not be wrong if we affirm the same thing also concerning the substance of matter, that God produced it. For we have learned from the Scriptures that God holds the supremacy over all things. But whence or in what way He produced it, neither has Scripture anywhere declared; nor does it become us to conjecture, so as, in accordance with our own opinions, to form endless conjectures concerning God, but we should leave such knowledge in the hands of God Himself. In like manner, also, we must leave the cause why, while all things were made by God, certain of His creatures sinned and revolted from a state of submission to God, and others, indeed the great majority, persevered, and do still persevere, in [willing] subjection to Him who formed them, and also of what nature those are who sinned, and of what nature those who persevere,—[we must, I say, leave the cause of these things] to God and His Word, to whom alone He said, “Sit at my right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.”[1] But as for us, we still dwell upon the earth, and have not yet sat down upon His throne. For although the Spirit of the Saviour that is in Him “searcheth all things, even the deep things of God,”[1] yet as to us “there are diversities of gifts, differences of administrations, and diversities of operations;”[1] and we, while upon the earth, as Paul also declares, “know in part, and prophesy in part.”[1] Since, therefore, we know but in part, we ought to leave all sorts of [difficult] questions in the hands of Him who in some measure, [and that only,] bestows grace on us.
<<<
Ireneaus, who lived a couple of generations from the apostles, apparently did not think that that which is perfect has come and that that which is in part has been done away. Notice he wrote that ‘we’ prophesy in part.

Ireneaus opposed Montanism, but believed in the church had the gift and Spirit of prophecy,
From Against Heresies book three, emphasis mine.
>>Others, again (the Montanists), that they may set at nought the gift of the Spirit, which in the latter times has been, by the good pleasure of the Father, poured out upon the human race, do not admit that aspect [of the evangelical dispensation] presented by John’s Gospel, in which the Lord promised that He would send the Paraclete;[1] but set aside at once both the Gospel and the prophetic Spirit. Wretched men indeed! who wish to be pseudo-prophets, forsooth, but who set aside the gift of prophecy from the Church; acting like those (the Encratitæ)[1] who, on account of such as come in hypocrisy, hold themselves aloof from the communion of the brethren. We must conclude, moreover, that these men (the Montanists) can not admit the Apostle Paul either. For, in his Epistle to the Corinthians,[1] he speaks expressly of prophetical gifts, and recognises men and women prophesying in the Church. Sinning, therefore, in all these particulars, against the Spirit of God,[1] they fall into the irremissible sin. But those who are from Valentinus, being, on the other hand, altogether reckless, while they put forth their own compositions, boast that they possess more Gospels than there really are. Indeed, they have arrived at such a pitch of audacity, as to entitle their comparatively recent writing “the Gospel of Truth,” though it agrees in nothing with the Gospels of the Apostles, so that they have really no Gospel which is not full of blasphemy. For if what they have published is the Gospel of truth, and yet is totally unlike those which have been handed down to us from the apostles, any who please may learn, as is shown from the Scriptures themselves, that that which has been handed down from the apostles can no longer be reckoned the Gospel of truth.<<

We certainly cannot conclude from this that Ireneaus was a cessationist. He opposed the Montanists (if the comentator is correct) because they rejected scriptural teaching of the paraclete. He even accused them of the unpardonable sin. (I suppose he considered their teaching on the Holy Spirit to be blasphemy against Him.)
Ireneaus believed the gift of prophecy was for the church, and believe Montanist teaching undercut the doctrine of the Spirit, and the teaching of the gift of prophecy.

Ireneaus plainly states that prophecy and tongues were present in the CHURCH of his day.
>>For this reason does the apostle declare, “We speak wisdom among them that are perfect,”[1] terming those persons “perfect” who have received the Spirit of God, and who through the Spirit of God do speak in all languages, as he used Himself also to speak. In like manner we do also hear[1] many brethren in the Church, who possess prophetic gifts, and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light for the general benefit the hidden things of men, and declare the mysteries of God, whom also the apostle terms “spiritual,” they being spiritual because they partake of the Spirit, and not because their flesh has been stripped off and taken away, and because they have become purely spiritual. For if any one take away the substance 532 of flesh, that is, of the handiwork [of God], and understand that which is purely spiritual, such then would not be a spiritual man but would be the spirit of a man, or the Spirit of God. But when the spirit here blended with the soul is united to [God’s] handiwork, the man is rendered spiritual and perfect because of the outpouring of the Spirit, and this is he who was made in the image and likeness of God.<<

Ireneaus does speak of heretics he considered false prophets prophesying in different portions of this work. But here Ireneaus shows us that brethren in the church of his day were prophesying and speaking in tongues. There is no way to make a case that Ireneaus has a group of heretics prophesying in this verse. He is writing about the church.

If I am not mistaken, Ireneaus was way up in some Gaulish area in France, where he had been sent out as a missionary and became a bishop.

And who was Ireneaus? Ireneaus was a disciple of Polycarp, that martyr for the faith who was a disciple of the apostle John. This is two generations from the apostles. Ireneaus wrote this work to expose the Gnostic heresies of his day. As far as I know, Protestant and Catholic theologians all consider St. Ireneaus to be orthodox. It is clear from the quotes above that Ireneaus considered there to be true prophecy in the true church. Members of the church in his day exercised these gifts.

#29163 - Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:46 AM Re: Is all revelation found in scripture [Re: Link]  

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Link said:

Touche, Kalled2Preach. I wrote that early this morning, quickly before going off to work. What I had in mind to say before I typed it was that I did not need to do any exegesis of the Greek unless there was some reason to think the generally accepted translations were correct.


Good deal. Just thought I'd point that out to ya!

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By the way, your title, called to preach, implies that God gives revelation outside of scripture, assuming you believe you have a special call to preach aside from something given to all believers in general.


On the contrary, I realized my calling while reading Scripture. He didn't reveal it to me apart from or outside Scripture. I was reading the book of Jeremiah and things fell into place. Next thing I knew an internship opened up at my home church and then, right after that, I ended up at the church I am now by nothing other than divine providence. So my calling wasn't told to me outside of Scripture, the Spirit just opened my eyes to see what He had called me for, and no one on this site will deny that He works in that way. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

#29164 - Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:20 AM Re: When was Revelation Written? [Re: Link]  
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Since your other quotes from Ireanus do not include reference to ALL the gifts without exception you are just speculating as to their content. However, Ireneaus statement below, is worthy of consideration,

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Link Stated,

Ireneaus plainly states that prophecy and tongues were present in the CHURCH of his day.

>>For this reason does the apostle declare, “We speak wisdom among them that are perfect,”[1] terming those persons “perfect” who have received the Spirit of God, and who through the Spirit of God do speak in all languages, as he used Himself also to speak. In like manner we do also hear[1] many brethren in the Church, who possess prophetic gifts, and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light for the general benefit the hidden things of men, and declare the mysteries of God, whom also the apostle terms “spiritual,” they being spiritual because they partake of the Spirit, and not because their flesh has been stripped off and taken away, and because they have become purely spiritual..

Now putting aside Ireneaus’ false interpretation of Paul’s statement, “We speak wisdom among them that are perfect,” (for one is “perfect” in Christ without tongues, for not all spoke in tongues—1 Cor 12:30), why would Ireneaus need to defend this “doctrine” in Against Heresies?

Whom is he trying to appease? What was the purpose in his statement? (1) observe that Irenaeus does not say he spoke in tongues, (2) he does not categorize those close to him as having the gift, for he uses the plural we do also hear (the old Latin uses the perfect audivimus, we have heard), and of course point (3) because of Irenaeus' association with the Montanists. Remember, while Irenaeus was still a presbyter, he was sent to Rome with a letter for the bishop, Eleutherus. This was a letter written by a group of Montanists to try to persuade Eleutherus to have a kind attitude toward them. Robertson is right in saying, "His [Irenaeus’] rather vague statement may rest on some report as to the Montanists of Asia Minor…." From these things it is concluded that Irenaeus had at some past time heard of things like those in the Montanists circles. Thus, all this quote reveals is that the Montanists (a cult), condemned for heresy, spoke in other languages! I am not alone in the belief that tongues has ceased!

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  • During the first five hundred years of the church, the only people who claimed to have spoken in tongues were followers of Montanus, who was branded a heretic.
  • after the apostles tongue speaking was almost entirely isolated to the Gnostics and the Montantists. (Charismatic Chaos, John F. MacArthur, 1991, p. 234).
  • During the middle of the second century, however, two movements arose alongside or within the main body of Christians, presenting a major crisis in polity, theology, and the interpretation of the Old Testament, which did have glossolalia. The older movement was Gnosticism ... The other, a somewhat later reaction to the structural hardening of main-line Christianity, was Montanism. (The Charismatic Movement, 1975, Michael P. Hamilton, p 64)
  • History records that tongues did cease. Again, it is significant that tongues are mentioned only in the earliest books of the New Testament. Paul wrote at least twelve epistles after 1 Corinthians and never mentioned tongues again. Peter never mentioned tongues; James never mentioned tongues; John never mentioned tongues; neither did Jude. Tongues appeared only briefly in Acts and 1 Corinthians as the new message of the gospel was being spread. But once the church was established, tongues were gone. They stopped. The later books of the New Testament do not mention tongues again. Nor did anyone in the post-apostolic age. (Charismatic Chaos, John F. MacArthur, 1991, p. 232)

Pentecostals selectively quote history to give the impression that the people of God have always spoken in tongues. However, history reveals that the vast majority of movements that claimed supernatural endowments are considered even by today’s Pentecostals as cults.

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From Sola Scriptura to "Something More": Virtually every cult and false teaching ever spawned was begun on the premise that its leader or leaders had access to new revelation. Just about every false teacher from spiritualist Edgar Cayce to L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, has claimed revelation of some kind from God. All have abandoned the tenet of Sola Scriptura and embarked on a dangerous quest for something more. The charismatics' acceptance of modern "prophecy" represents a turn down a perilous road. The marker may read "Something More," but the road of new revelation is really a path to something less. It is filled with detours, dead ends, giant chuckholes—and very little else. Some charismatics are troubled about this problem. (Charismatic Chaos, John F. MacArthur, 1991, p. 81)

The Pentecostals want a few good men. We already have the Gnostics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons [Joseph Smith] , Catholics, Seventh-day Adventists [Ellen White], Christian Scientist [Mary Eddy], Worldwide church of God [Herbert Armstrong.] and now we desire you. Seeing ye are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, join today! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/igiveup.gif" alt="" />

PS: since you claim your hobbies are INTERNET discussion groups and writing books could you PLEASE use the markup code available here at the Highway. Since you have experience in this, I hope this is not too much to ask. Thank you.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#29165 - Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:13 PM Re: When was Revelation Written? [Re: Link]  
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Link said:

Wes, go back and read what you wrote. There is nothing in what you wrote in that message that would support the conclusion you draw here that the text supports cessationism.


On the contrary there is nothing in Hebrews 2:3-4 that supports the idea that ongoing miracles and revelations will remain the norm throughout church history nor that we are to expect ongoing revelations beyond the canon of Scripture. They are simply confirming the authority of the message and the messengers that is recorded here in Hebrews (the gospel and the prophet).

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Link asks:

There were 'New Testament prophets' who became prophets AFTER Christ ascended. Do you dispute this point?


The rest of the New Testament writings you are referring to that came after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ were from these “eye witnesses” who were His contemporaries and were given the ministry to write these things down for the establishment and instruction of the Christian Church. They were NOT adding to the finished work of Christ, they were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit explaining the gospel and giving direction to the churches.

The Apostle John stated precisely that when he wrote: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” (I John 1:1-5)

What we know of Christ is dependent upon the written word of the gospels by men like Matthew and Luke. Christ commissioned certain men to act as His authorized representatives, His apostles. He inspired them with His word (John 14:26), so they spoke for Him (Matt. 10:40)

A key work of the apostles was precisely that of revelation: their confessing Christ, testifying to Him, interpreting and applying His person and work for the church (Matt. 16:18; John 15:27; 16:13; Acts 1:8, 22; 4:33; 10:39-41; 13:31). They did not speak by flesh and blood or according to human instruction, but rather by revelation of the Father and Son (Matt. 16:17; Gal. 1:11-12), being taught of the Spirit (John 14:26). In virtue of this revelatory work, Christ builds His church upon the foundation of the apostles (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:20; cf. 3:5).

Apostolic revelation did not extend beyond the apostolic generation, the 'foundational days' of the church. Thus Jude in his day could speak of 'the faith' - meaning the teaching content of the Christian faith - as now 'once for all delivered to the saints' (v. 3). About this verse, F.F. Bruce comments: 'Therefore, all claims to convey an additional revelation... are false claims... whether these claims are embodied in books which aim at superseding or supplementing the Bible, or take the form of extra-Biblical traditions which are promulgated as dogmas by ecclesiastical authority.”

“The faith which has once for all been delivered to the saints” must be defined and circumscribed by God's revelation as it is found particularly in the written Word, from the law of Moses to apostolic deposit. The Christian faith is defined by all of Scripture, but only Scripture. From the Scriptures we may not add or subtract anything (Deut. 4:2; e.g. Rev. 22:18-19), lest our doctrine and conduct be governed by a defective standard.

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John MacArthur writes:

Scripture Is Sufficient

1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17--"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Scripture is sufficient to guide us in every good work.

2. Roman 15:4--Paul said, "Whatever things were written in earlier times were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope."

3. James 1:22, 25--"Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. But whosoever looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth in it, he being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." The Word is perfect and doers of the Word are blessed.

Scripture Is Effective

1. Hebrews 4:12--"The word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper that any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." That the Bible gives an accurate description of ourselves is a testimony that it is the Word of God.

2. Isaiah 55:11--God said regarding His word, "It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please." The Bible has the power to do what it claims it will do.

3. 1 Thessalonians 1:5--Paul said, "Our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit."

Let us stand faithfully and confidently on the inspired Word of God. Jesus said, "He that is of God heareth God's words; ye, therefore, hear them not, because ye are not of God" (John 8:47). Many people fall under that warning. A saved person can be distinguished from an unsaved person by whether he listens to the Word of God. Do you listen to God's Word?



Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
#29166 - Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:57 PM Re: When was Revelation Written? [Re: Wes]  
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I am sorry I am unfamiliar with the mark-down language.
I did find the quotes from Ireneaus that Eusebius compiled to show that in Ireneaus’ time, miracles were still occurring. This is taken from http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/Npnf2-01-10.htm#P2959_1385563

The author, Eusebius, is telling about the time of Eleutherus. The commentator who compiled the footnotes is apparently some time of cessationists. But eve he had to admit to the continuance of miracles in the first centuries church as we see in footnote 117.
********footnote follows.
117 Adv. Haer. II. 31. 2. The sentence as it stands in Eusebius is incomplete. Irenaeus is refuting the pretended miracles of Simon and Carpocrates. The passage runs as follows: "So far are they [i.e. Simon and Carpocrates] from being able to raise the dead as the Lord raised them and as the apostles did by means of prayer, and as has been frequently done in the brotherhood on account of some necessity-the entire Church in that locality entreating with much fasting and prayer [so that] the spirit of the dead man has returned, and he has been bestowed in answer to the prayer of the saints-that they do not even believe this can possibly be done, [and hold] that the resurrection from the dead is simply an acquaintance with that truth which they proclaim."This resurrection of the dead recorded by Irenaeus is very difficult to explain, as he is a truth-loving man, and we can hardly conceive of his uttering a direct falsehood. Even Augustine, "the iron man of truth," records such miracles, and so the early centuries are full of accounts of them. The Protestant method of drawing a line between the apostolic and post-apostolic ages in this matter of miracles is arbitrary, and based upon dogmatic, not historical grounds. The truth is, that no one can fix the point of time at which miracles ceased; at the same time it is easy to appreciate the difference between the apostolic age and the third, fourth, and following centuries in this regard. That they did cease at an early date in the history of the Church is clear enough. Upon post-apostolic miracles, see Schaff, Ch. Hist. II. p. 116 ff., J. H. Newman's Two Essays on Biblical and Eccles. Miracles, and J. B. Mozley's Bampton lectures On Miracles.

************Ireneaus quote follows, from book V of Eusbius Ecclesiastical History

Chapter VII. Even Down to Those Times Miracles Were Performed by the Faithful.

1 These things Irenaeus, in agreement with the accounts already given by us,115 records in the work which comprises five books, and to which he gave the title Refutation and Overthrow of the Knowledge Falsely So-called.116 In the second book of the same treatise he shows that manifestations of divine and miraculous power continued to his time in some of the churches.

2 He says:117

"But so far do they come short of raising the dead, as the Lord raised them, and the apostles through prayer. And oftentimes in the brotherhood, when, on account of some necessity, our entire Church has besought with fasting and much supplication, the spirit of the dead has returned,118 and the man has been restored through the prayers of the saints."

3 And again, after other remarks, he says:119

"If they will say that even the Lord did these things in mere appearance, we will refer them to the prophetic writings, and show from them that all things were beforehand spoken of him in this manner, and were strictly fulfilled; and that he alone is the Son of God. Wherefore his true disciples, receiving grace from him, perform such works in his Name for the benefit of other men, as each has received the gift from him.

4 For some of them drive out demons effectually and truly, so that those who have been cleansed from evil spirits frequently believe and unite with the Church. Others have a foreknowledge of future events, and visions, and prophetic revelations. Still others heal the sick by the laying on of hands, and restore them to health. And, as we have said, even dead persons have been raised, and remained with us many years.

5 But why should we say more? It is not possible to recount the number of gifts which the Church, throughout all the world, has received from God in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and exercises every day for the benefit of the heathen, never deceiving any nor doing it for money. For as she has received freely from God, freely also does she minister."120

6 And in another place the same author writes:121

"As also we hear that many brethren in the Church possess prophetic gifts, and speak, through the Spirit, with all kinds of tongues, and bring to light the secret things of men for their good, and declare the mysteries of God."

So much in regard to the fact that various gifts remained among those who were worthy even until that time.

#29167 - Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:12 PM Re: When was Revelation Written? [Re: Link]  
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Eusebius offers us further evidence that the church in Montanus' day did not reject the gift of prophecy, but rather Montanus manner of prophesying. (They may have rejected the content and the political manuevering as well, but that is not addressed in this quote.)

From Eusebius Ecclesiastical History http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/Npnf2-01-10.htm#P3144_1454364
Book V chapter XVI

Eusebius quotes Zoticus of Otrous, who writes concerning Montanism,

"...a recent convert, Montanus by name, through his unquenchable desire for leadership,236 gave the adversary opportunity against him. And he became beside himself, and being suddenly in a sort of frenzy and ecstasy, he raved, and began to babble and utter strange things, prophesying in a manner contrary to the constant custom of the Church handed down by tradition from the beginning."


We see here that Zoticus believed that prophecy continued to his own age, since the custom related to how to exercise the gift continued into his own day. It is clear that Eusebius, a historian close to the time, believed these gifts were exercised in the second century, although he may not have witnessed them in his own day.


The footnote at the end of this section reads http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/footnote/fn31.htm#P3166_1473499. Emphasis mine.


237 The fault found by the Church with Montanus' prophecy was rather because of its form than because of its substance. It was admitted that the prophecies contained much that was true, but the soberer sense of the Church at large objected decidedly to the frenzied ecstasy in which they were delivered. That a change had come over the Church in this respect since the apostolic age is perfectly clear. In Paul's time the speaking with tongues, which involved a similar kind of ecstasy, was very common; so, too, at the time the Didache was written the prophets spoke in an ecstasy (en pneumati, which can mean nothing else; cf. Harnack's edition, p. 122 sq.). But the early enthusiasm of the Church had largely passed away by the middle of the second century; and though there were still prophets (Justin, for instance, and even Clement of Alexandria knew of them), they were not in general characterized by the same ecstatic and frenzied utterance that marked their predecessors. To say that there were none such at this time would be rash; but it is plain that they had become so decidedly the exception that the revival by the Montanists of the old method on a large scale and in its extremest form could appear to the Church at large only a decided innovation. Prophecy in itself was nothing strange to them, but prophecy in this form they were not accustomed to, and did not realize that it was but a revival of the ancient form (cf. the words of our author, who is evidently quite ignorant of that form). That they should be shocked at it is not to be wondered at, and that they should, in that age, when all such manifestations were looked upon as supernatural in their origin, regard these prophets as under the influence of Satan, is no more surprising. There was no other alternative in their minds. Either the prophecies were from God or from Satan; not their content mainly, but the manner in which they were delivered aroused the suspicion of the bishops and other leaders of the Church. Add to that the fact that these prophets claimed supremacy over the constituted Church authorities, claimed that the Church must be guided by the revelations vouchsafed to women and apparently half-crazy enthusiasts and fanatics, and it will be seen at once that there was nothing left for the leaders of the Church but to condemn the movement, and pronounce its prophecy a fraud and a work of the Evil One. That all prophecy should, as a consequence, fall into discredit was natural. Clement (Strom. I. 17) gives the speaking in an ecstasy as one of the marks of a false prophet,-Montanism had evidently brought the Church to distinct consciousness on that point,-while Origen, some decades later, is no longer acquainted with prophets, and denies that they existed even in the time of Celsus (see Contra Cels.VII. 11).

#29168 - Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:36 PM Re: When was Revelation Written? [Re: Link]  
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One Christian used the argument that prophecy continued in the church, but ceased with the Montanists as an argument against them.

Also from Book V of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical history from the same web site….

Chapter XVII. Miltiades and His Works.

1 In this work he mentions a writer, Miltiades, stating that he also wrote a certain book against the above-mentioned heresy. After quoting some of their words, he adds:


"Having found these things in a certain work of theirs in opposition to the work of the brother Alcibiades,260 in which he shows that a prophet ought not to speak in ecstasy,261 I made an abridgment."


2 A little further on in the same work he gives a list of those who prophesied under the new covenant, among whom he enumerates a certain Ammia262 and Quadratus,263 saying:


"But the false prophet falls into an ecstasy, in which he is without shame or fear. Beginning with purposed ignorance, he passes on, as has been stated, to involuntary madness of soul.


3 They cannot show that one of the old or one of the new prophets was thus carried away in spirit. Neither can they boast of Agabus,264 or Judas,265 or Silas,266 or the daughters of Philip,267 or Ammia in Philadelphia, or Quadratus, or any others not belonging to them."


4 And again after a little he says: "For if after Quadratus and Ammia in Philadelphia, as they assert, the women with Montanus received the prophetic gift, let them show who among them received it from Montanus and the women. For the apostle thought it necessary that the prophetic gift should continue in all the Church until the final coming. But they cannot show it, though this is the fourteenth year since the death of Maximilla."

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