Posts Tagged ‘Speaking in Tongues’

Is the Existence of the NT Canon Incompatible with Claims of New Revelation?

January 12, 2016 1 comment

By Michael Kruger

“God has spoken to me.”

There are few statements that will shut down debate more quickly than this one. If Christians disagree over a doctrine, a practice, or an idea, then the trump card is always “God has spoken to me” about that. End of discussion.

But, the history of the church (not to mention the Scriptures themselves) demonstrates that such claims of private, direct revelation are highly problematic. Of course, this doesn’t mean that God doesn’t speak to people. The Scripture is packed with examples of this. But, these were typically individuals with a unique calling (e.g., prophet or apostle), or who functioned at unique times in redemptive history (e.g., the early church in Acts).

After the first century was over, and the apostles had died, the church largely rejected the idea that any ol’ person could step forward and claim to have direct revelation from God. This reality is probably best exemplified in the early Christian debate over Montanism.

Montanism was a second-century movement whose leader Montanus claimed to receive direct revelation from God. In addition, two of his “prophetesses,” Priscilla and Maximilla also claimed to receive such revelation. Such revelations were often accompanied by strange behavior. When Montanus had these revelations, “[He] became obsessed, and suddenly fell into frenzy and convulsions. He began to be ecstatic and to speak and to talk strangely” (Hist. Eccl. 5.16.7).




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Are there still apostles in the church today?

August 10, 2015 3 comments

At the outset, we should note that by “apostles” we do not simply mean “sent ones” in the general sense. Rather, we are speaking of those select individuals directly appointed and authorized by Jesus Christ to be His immediate representatives on earth. In this sense, we are speaking of “capital A” apostles – such as the Twelve and the apostle Paul.

It is these type of “apostles” that Paul speaks of in Ephesians 2:20; 3:5; 4:11 and in 1 Corinthians 12:29–30. This is important because, especially in Ephesians 4 and in 1 Corinthians 12–14, Paul references apostleship within the context of the charismatic gifts. If “apostleship” has ceased, it gives us grounds to consider the possibility that other offices/gifts have ceased as well. If the apostles were unique, and the period in which they ministered was unique, then it follows that the gifts that characterized the apostolic age were also unique.

The question then is an important one, underscoring the basic principle of the cessationist paradigm – namely, the uniqueness of the apostolic age and the subsequent cessation of certain aspects of that age.




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Appendix on James 5:14-16 Pt 3-Edward Irving and the Pentecostals

Arthur PinkThird, rather more than a century ago, a certain Edward Irving, founder of the “Catholic Apostolic Church,” propounded the theory that the supernatural gifts which existed in the early Church had been lost through the unbelief and carnality of its members, and that if there was a return to primitive order and purity, they would again be available. Accordingly he appointed “apostles,” and “prophets” and “evangelists.” They claimed to speak in tongues, prophesy, interpret and work miracles. There is little doubt in our mind that this movement was inspired by Satan, and probably a certain amount of abnormal phenomena attended it, though much of it was explainable as issuing from a state of high nervous tension and hysteria. Irving’s theory, with some modifications and some additions has been popularized and promulgated by the more recent so-called ‘Pentecostal movement,” where a species of unintelligible jabbering and auto-suggestion cum mesmerism is styled “speaking in tongues,” and “faith healing.” Many of their devotees and dupes attempt to carry out James 5:14, 15, but with very meager and unsatisfactory results.

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?

Calling things that aren’t as though they were (1)

In Charismatic circles today one hears much about being able to speak things into existence. Charismatics quote from Proverbs, probably more than any other single book. Yet they do not take what they quote and interpret it in context. One of their favorite verses from this book is Proverbs 18:21, which says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (2)

Charismatics believe that one can speak life or death with the tongue. In other words whatever you say will come to pass. I was once rebuked by a Charismatic Pastor for saying that a certain person was not saved. This Pastor told me that I am never to say that a person is not saved, or say that someone is sick, or say that I am in debt. The reason this Pastor gave for not saying these things is that if we make statements such as these, then these circumstances will not change. We are to always speak the opposite about everything we talk about. Yet this is nonsense. If I say that someone is well and they are really sick, then who will pray for them? Or If I say that someone is saved and they are really lost, then who will pray for them? I can confess all I want to that my car is red, but every time I walk outside and look at it, that car will still be black.

The idea behind these Charismatic statements is called the power of positive thinking. This is a philosophy that has been forced into Christianity and has nothing to do with faith. Faith and the power of positive thinking are just as opposite to one another as oil is to water. They do not mix. God has always called on us to place our faith in him; no matter how discouraging the circumstances appear to be. We are not to confess the opposite, in order to change the circumstances, but are to pray that God’s will be done in the midst of them. The circumstances may be there in order to change us.

This much said, I will go to my main scripture that Charismatics rip from context. When Charismatics pray, preach or speak about changing the circumstances around them, they always use these words, “We are to call things that aren’t as though they were.” They speak as if they are God and have the power to create. (3)   But the only place in scripture that even contains such words is in Romans 4:17. In this chapter, however, Paul is not claiming that we are able to call things into existence. Yet Charismatics never interpret this in light of the context of scripture. They are to busy ripping scripture from the context and making it say what they want it to.

Let’s examine this scripture and see what it is saying:

Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

In this scripture we see that it is God who is able to call things which be not as though they were. God can call Abraham the father of many nations before he ever is the father of many nations. God can call people his people before they are ever his people and only God can call something out of nothing.

So we see that the Charismatic belief that you can name it and claim it or speak positive confessions is a man made philosophy that has nothing to do with Christianity. God has called us to believe in him, to trust in him, to put all our confidence in the one who can call things which be not as though they were.

Written by Hershel Lee Harvell Jr.

(1) This article is my weekly article entitled “Today’s Pentecostal-Charismatic-False-Heretical Teachings”, but I am going to start naming them by the topic being discussed for that day; in order that they will not all be entitled the same thing. This will allow one to easily search out a topic.

(2) Most interpret Proverbs as being absolute principles or principles, if followed, will always produce the result of the Proverb. Yet Proverbs are not to be interpreted as absolutes. Proverbs are wise sayings and should be followed, but nevertheless God is still sovereign and can do as he pleases. For instance, I can train up my children in the way they should go and when they get old they can still depart from it, even though the scripture states that “when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The reason he can depart from it is because God may not have chosen him to salvation, just as he did not choose Esau. So Proverbs are good principles that are to be followed, but nevertheless, they may not always produce the result of the Proverb.

(3) Some Charismatics are claiming to be little gods. We will address this in a later post.