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Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual Gifts’

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.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Don’t Put God in a Box

by Erik Raymond

When you read the NT you see the demonstration and description of miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. Right away on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) the people are speaking in tongues. Not long after we see the dead raised, lame healed, and people transported. It is a powerful outbreaking of the Holy Spirit in an arresting way.

When you read these things (and their corresponding descriptions, instructions, and warnings) a Christian must ask if these so-called miraculous gifts are operative today (i.e. the gifts of tongues, healing, & prophecy). Do we today see the same types of things happening as we did in the early chapters of Acts?

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Twisting of Scripture

The proper method of interpretation would be to exegete a scripture text. This means that a person would extract or draw out of a text of scripture the meaning of the text in its historical-grammatical setting. In other words exegesis is the critical interpretation of your text. The opposite of this view would be eisegesis. This method does not seek to extract from the text the meaning of the authors of the text, but this method seeks to read into the text a meaning that is foreign or does not exist in the text. This later method is erroneous and should never be used by those who interpret scripture.

Nevertheless when Charismatics come to a text of scripture they bring their preconceived biases with them and literally always read into the text something that the text never states. Today we are going to examine several texts of scripture and I will show how Charismatics usually interpret them and then give you a correct interpretation; one that is drawn out of the text itself instead of read into it.

Every time Charismatics see the terms ‘Spirit’ or ‘Power’ in the text it seems that all they can think of is spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, healing, miracles, and so forth. They never bother to try and interpret these terms in light of what the authors intended meanings were. This is because Charismatics are biased towards a certain view when they come to the text. Therefore they almost always read that bias into the text.

Let’s examine one scripture that is always misinterpreted by Charismatics concerning spiritual gifts.

 

Rom 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;

 

Immediately when a Charismatic reads this text all they see is the term ‘spiritual gift’ and automatically think that Paul is speaking of giving the Romans some kind of supernatural gift that they can use. Yet if Paul is not telling the Romans this, then what is he saying? Let’s interpret the term ‘spiritual gift’ in light of the rest of the verse.

By using the words “For I long to see you” Paul says that he has a deep seated affection to see them in order to make them more confirmed in Christ. In other words he was desirous to see them in order that he might impart unto them a certain spiritual gift so that they might be rooted and established in the faith. This is not the spiritual gifts that are listed in 1 Corinthians 12, as supposed by Charismatics. Gifts of miracles, healing and tongues do not establish us in the faith. This was Paul’s desire that he might establish them in the things of God.

The ‘spiritual gift’ of which Paul thus speaks then is the preaching of the gospel which he planned to do as soon as he came. We can see that his intent towards them was to come and preach to them the gospel of God which he was separated unto. As he is closing this letter he explains this to them.

 

Rom 15:29 And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.

 

Paul even tells them in the very next verse of chapter 1 why he wants to come to them so “That I may be comforted together by the mutual faith, both of you and me.” From this it appears that he desired to be among them to exercise the office of the ministry, to establish them in the gospel and to confirm their hopes. He expected that the preaching of the gospel would be the means of confirming them in the faith; and he desired to be the means of doing it.

So you see when we rightly interpret this scripture we will not get the interpretation of a Charismatic. But before I close I want to examine one more scripture. Let’s read it:

 

2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

In this verse Charismatics are big on taking the words ‘denying the power thereof ‘ to mean that someone denies the gifts of the Spirit. Yet this is far from what the Apostle Paul’s intended meaning was. Let us examine the text in light of the surrounding text of scripture.

In this chapter we see the Apostle Paul describing how men will be in these last days since the coming of Christ. Men will be lovers of selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unholy, and so much more. Nevertheless men will still go around patting one another on the back commending themselves and thinking more highly of themselves than they ought. The scripture states that they will have a form of godliness or they appear outwardly religious, but inwardly they do not have any experience with the gospel or allow it to exert any influence on their lives.

So the power they deny is not speaking in tongues or miracles, but they deny the gospel’s power to save and influence them in their daily lives.

Again we see that the Charismatic interpretation of this verse has no validity. Charismatics just twist scripture to their own harm. They have no proper knowledge of the things of God because of their biases.

written by Hershel Lee Harvell Jr.