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    Have Tongues Ceased?

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    Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  Hackmodford on January 11th 2012, 5:22 pm

    Hey guys. I've been reading an article (I've heard a theory similar to this before) and I think this makes the most sense to me. Mind giving me some other opinions.

    http://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/articles/1064006213.html


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    Re: Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  Hackmodford on January 14th 2012, 12:20 am

    No thoughts?

    What is "That thing which is perfect"?
    Does it really mean that tongues will cease? Or is he saying all these gifts just have a potential of failing you...

    A friend pointed out that in Acts when the apostles speak in the other languages they don't actually call it tongues and intact Peter quotes a verse from Joel that just said they would prophesy.

    So is tongues not miraculously speaking in another language?


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    Re: Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  mindspike on January 14th 2012, 2:12 am

    Much has been written about spiritual gifts, and much yet remains to study.

    In 1 Cor 13, Paul presents a much simpler lesson. Yes, he is addressing supernatural abilities he calls "prophecies", "tongues", and "knowledge". No, he is not warning of the cessation of these gifts within the church. Paul is addressing the presence of these gifts within the Corinthian church - who took them as evidence of spiritual superiority - and gently reminding the Corinthian believers that love, not gifts, is the measure of spiritual development.

    Pastor Dennis Kiszonas seems to be sincere in his study, if incomplete. He has taken a portion of the studies of Calvin and Easton to heart without understanding their reasoning - which is based on church history rather than Biblical study. These men taught the cessation of the necessity of spiritual gifts without denying the future possibility of their emergence.

    ============

    Consider this passage from the Asbury Bible Commentary:

    The eternity of love (13:8-13)

    Love is superior to all other attributes or achievements because it never fails (13:8a). Of the familiar Christian triad—faith, hope, and love—which comprehends Christian existence as a whole for the present, love is the greatest (v. 13), for it lasts forever. When the future age comes in its fullness, faith and hope will give way to sight (see Ro 4:14-22; 8:24-25). Then will remain only love, intimate, personal relationship with God (v. 12). All that is partial and imperfect will disappear when the age to come dawns in perfection (vv. 9-10). Just as the speech, the thoughts, and the reasoning of childhood are abandoned when one reaches adulthood, so the partial and indirect knowledge of the present will give way to full and intimate knowledge of God in the coming age (vv. 11-12). Spiritual gifts, which now mediate the life of God to the community, will no longer be necessary when I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (v. 12).

    Paul's lengthy “digression” on love prepares for ch. 14, providing the rationale for Paul's preference for prophecy over tongues. Spiritual gifts are meaningful only within a community in which love for others, not selfinterest, dominates. Love is not an end in itself. Its excellence resides in its ability to build up others (see 8:1). The effectiveness of prophecy as an instrument of love upbuilding the church is the basis for Paul's preference of it to tongues (14:3, 4, 5, 12, 17, 26).

    Ch. 13 is a forceful critique of arrogant Corinthian spirituality. Paul does not deny the genuineness of spiritual gifts, but he dismisses their value as evidence of spiritual superiority. Submission to the lordship of Christ, not inspiration, is the hallmark of spiritual people (12:1-3). Holy love, not gifts, is the one essential evidence of the Spirit-filled life (Ch. 13; 8:1; 16:14). Ch. 13 prepares for the central emphasis of ch. 14: Clear, intelligible communication, not confusion and chaos, is to characterize everything that is said and done when Christians gather together. Edification, not enthusiasm, is the criterion by which spiritual gifts should be measured. Others, not self, are to be the focus of Christian existence. In a word, the pursuit of love succinctly describes the Christian way of life (14:1).

    In recognizing love as the highest goal of the Christian life, Wesleyans have correctly caught the emphasis of 1 Co 13. Nevertheless, our emphasis on perfect love makes us especially vulnerable to ridicule when we fail to demonstrate it. Have we lived out our profession in dealing with tongues-speakers in our churches? Have we shown them patience and kindness (13:4)? Have we kept no record of wrongs (v. 5)? Have we given them the advantage of the doubt (v. 7)?
    <6>c. Comparison of tongues and prophecy (14:1-40)

    Ch. 14 explains Paul's preference for the gift of prophecy over tongues, based on his concern for love, defined here as edification (“building up”). His discussion of the two criteria essential for edification, intelligibility and order, decides the two major divisions of the chapter: 14:1-25 and 26-40.

    ==============

    Or further consider the opinions of Matthew Henry:

    From its longer continuance and duration: Charity never faileth. It is a permanent and perpetual grace, lasting as eternity; whereas the extraordinary gifts on which the Corinthians valued themselves were of short continuance. They were only to edify the church on earth, and that but for a time, not during its whole continuance in this world; but in heaven would be all superseded, which yet is the very seat and element of love. Prophecy must fail, that is, either the prediction of things to come (which is its most common sense) or the interpretation of scripture by immediate inspiration. Tongues will cease, that is, the miraculous power of speaking languages without learning them. There will be but one language in heaven. There is no confusion of tongues in the region of perfect tranquility. And knowledge will vanish away. Not that, in the perfect state above, holy and happy souls shall be unknowing, ignorant: it is a very poor happiness that can consist with utter ignorance. The apostle is plainly speaking of miraculous gifts, and therefore of knowledge to be had out of the common way (see 1 Cor. 14:6), a knowledge of mysteries supernaturally communicated. Such knowledge was to vanish away. Some indeed understand it of common knowledge acquired by instruction, taught and learnt. This way of knowing is to vanish away, though the knowledge itself, once acquired, will not be lost. But it is plain that the apostle is here setting the grace of charity in opposition to supernatural gifts. And it is more valuable, because more durable; it shall last, when they shall be no more; it shall enter into heaven, where they will have no place, because they will be of no use, though, in a sense, even our common knowledge may be said to cease in heaven, by reason of the improvement that will then be made in it. The light of a candle is perfectly obscured by the sun shining in its strength.

    ==============

    Does this help your study?


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    Re: Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  Hackmodford on January 15th 2012, 3:15 am

    Heres another good article on the subject.
    http://lionandlambministry.com/index.php/component/content/article/251-when-did-water-baptism-and-the-sign-gifts-cease


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    Re: Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  mindspike on January 15th 2012, 9:49 pm

    The Lion and Lamb site makes exactly the same argument as the first article, in exactly the same way.

    There are a few logical holes in their arguments, however.

    1) The reasoning states that because spiritual gifts such as tongues are not referenced after a given point in time that these gifts ceased to operate. This is an inductive fallacy. At no point does Paul or any other New Testament writer, nor any church father for that matter, state plainly that spiritual gifts have ceased.

    2) The language of the arguments is misused. For example, the arguments assume that ministry directed toward the Jews has ceased, but Paul's language in his letters and Luke's language in Acts assumes that this ministry is ongoing. This is a deductive fallacy.

    3) The reasoning compares the miracles of the Apostles to the miracles of the Prophets and the Patriarchs. All three were a limited group of people personally appointed by God and capable of performing miracles. This is subject to both False Analogy and False Continuum fallacies.

    4) Water baptism is either a sacrament or an ordinance (according to your church), but it is not a sign.

    I could go on, but I think it best just to say that this issue is not one that is relevant to the question of salvation. If one chooses to believe that these spiritual gifts have ceased, or that they still operate, neither doctrine is heretical, although since they are opposed, one is of necessity incorrect.


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    Re: Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  Hackmodford on January 15th 2012, 10:27 pm

    H do you explain Paul not healing his comrades? And can you provide scripture regarding #2?

    Also I find the fact that Paul fails to mention the gifts in his later epistles and the fact that he didn't heal his comrades ontop of the absence of these gifts in historical accounts most convincing...

    Regarding water baptism that's a whole other subject that should be in a different thread IMHO. I don't necessarily agree with LLM on that...


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    Re: Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  mindspike on January 16th 2012, 5:16 pm

    Scripture regarding the ongoing ministry to the Jews? How about the close of Acts, the very verses that have been cited as closing the ministry to the Jews...
    Acts 28 (NIV) wrote:
    17 Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. 19 The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people. 20 For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.”

    21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of our people who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. 22 But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.”

    23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus. 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet:

    26 “‘Go to this people and say,
    “You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
    27 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
    Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
    and turn, and I would heal them.’

    28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” 29 After he said this, the Jews left, arguing vigorously among themselves.

    30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!

    Isaiah's prophecy (v26-27) states clearly that ministry to the Jews will not only continue to exist, but be continuously ineffective for the nation as a whole. This is an ongoing prophecy, in continuous fulfillment. Luke's record in v30-31 in all-inclusive of Gentiles and Jews both. Additionally, the language in Paul's letters (both those written during and after the events of Acts) is addressed to both Jewish and Gentile believers. Consequently, ministry to the Jewish nation, God's "sign" people, is ongoing and without interruption. (Corrected inductive argument.)

    As for mentioning spiritual gifts... Paul wrote to the Corinthians about gifts in order to correct them as to the value of the gifts, not to instruct them as to the use of gifts. The fact that Paul doesn't address the issue in other letters means that he has no reason to do so, not that the gifts are not present. (Corrected deductive argument.)

    The epistles do not record miracles. This is not the same as recording the absence or failure of miracles. Simply because Paul is accompanied by companion in need of healing is not evidence that Paul no long possesses or exercises the gift of healing. Remember that Paul himself suffered a "thorn in the flesh" for which he and the other Apostles continually requested healing.

    Spiritual gifts of healing, tongues, prophecy, and others are in fact recorded in both secular and church history. Instances of these gifts continue to be recorded.

    For additional teaching on modern miracles and the continuance of spiritual gifts, I suggest listening to the audio selections at Safe Harbor Lighthouse.
    http://safeharborlighthouse.org/when-jesus-heals/


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    Re: Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  WhiteBoy on January 16th 2012, 5:35 pm

    I have not had a chance to read all of the article yet, let alone the replies, so it's probably best if I not reply yet. I will go ahead and say that in the context of the passage quoted, I take it as those gifts will cease at the end of time, but love will endure.

    I do think that "tongues" as is often used today is likely not what it was back then. It was super-naturally speaking in another language that you did not know. The times it's mentioned are Day of Pentecost when Jews spoke in tongues, but also Samaritans, and Gentiles. If it had only happened on the Day of Pentecost with the Jews, they would have likely claimed a unique, better salvation than that of non-Jews.

    I tend to think that the gift still exists, and have heard trustworthy stories of missionaries having it... temporarily. (I.e. it's not something that happens every Sunday, for example.)

    Anyway, there are my initial thoughts on the topic and based on the part of the article I've been able to read so far. Forgive me if this has already been covered in the thread here or if I'm going on a different tangent than where the thread ended up going.... I just have a few minutes right now.


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    Re: Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  Hackmodford on January 16th 2012, 5:52 pm

    On a side note I've been personally enjoying this debate on youtube.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxxovNEWrxA


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    Re: Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  Paeter on January 17th 2012, 7:48 pm

    Some great responses here. Not sure I could add anything useful.

    Although not a direct response to the question of "have tongues ceased", these are my current thoughts on the concept of "tongues" today:

    http://spiritblade.blogspot.com/2009/07/in-search-of-truth-1st-corinthians-1420.html





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    Re: Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  WhiteBoy on January 18th 2012, 1:03 am

    I am just now catching up a bit on this thread. Sounds like Mindspike and I were on the same page. About all I will add is in the same vein as this:

    Simply because Paul is accompanied by companion in need of healing is not evidence that Paul no long possesses or exercises the gift of healing. Remember that Paul himself suffered a "thorn in the flesh" for which he and the other Apostles continually requested healing.

    As was pointed out, just because Paul did not heal him does not mean the gift was now extinct. Remember firstly that all healing -- all health -- comes from God. Even Jesus did not heal every sick person with whom He came in contact. In John 5, He healed a paralytic by the Pool of Bethesda among many others who are also in need of healing. It is not always God's will for people to be healed, and it is not our place to question God's wisdom in healing some and not others.


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    Re: Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  Hackmodford on January 18th 2012, 9:17 am

    In scripture it always says that they healed EVERYONE. Please show me where this did not happen.


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    Re: Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  mindspike on January 18th 2012, 12:09 pm

    I suspect you are referencing Acts 5.

    Acts 5 (NIV) wrote:12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

    When studying scripture, some very important things must be accounted for:
    1) the type of scriptural record
    2) the purpose of the scriptural record
    3) the language of the scriptural record
    4) the context of the scriptural record

    This is:
    1) a historical account
    2) designed to faithfully recount events, without establishing doctrine
    3) is past-tense Greek journalism
    4) is written during the period of the early church, while eyewitnesses to the events recounted were readily available to the audience

    This means that the reference in Acts 5 does not establish the ministry and doctrine of the Apostles as primarily of healing or signs, but that these things occurred during this time period. It also means that at this particular point in time all those who came were healed, without precluding the healing of other people, by the other Apostles or church leaders (Acts 6:Cool, in other places.

    Peter addresses the issue of timing in his very first sermon.

    Acts 2 (NIV) wrote: 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

    17 “‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
    Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
    18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.
    19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
    20 The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
    21 And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

    The implication is that from the time of Pentecost until the return of Christ, these things will be ongoing and generally distributed. It is important to remember here that "prophesy" refers to "proclaiming truth", not "predicting the future". It is also important to remember that Joel' prophecy is is poetry, not journalism.

    What Peter is saying (and what Paul later teaches) is that from now on, miracles and other gifts which had until now been the mark of Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles will be distributed amongst the people of God in general, without being required as evidence of salvation or used as a measure of spiritual favor or development.


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    Re: Have Tongues Ceased?

    Post  mindspike on January 18th 2012, 12:11 pm

    Daggum emoticons. That reference is to Acts chapter six, verse eight.


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