Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cessationism

Just when I thought JND couldn't get any cooler, it turns out he wasn't a cessationist. From Notes and Jottings, pp 28 - 29:

People have forgotten that the Holy Ghost is come. All recognition of Him is so utterly gone. To my mind, the very principle of "the clergy" involves that; and if you look at 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, you will find you have now to watch that you do not mistake a demon for the Holy Ghost. (p 28)

The doctrine of Irvingism was that the Holy Ghost had come back again. But the Lord said, "that he may abide with you for ever." None of their apostles ever got the gifts. Gifts of healing I think nothing of, because if we had the faith, they would be seen now. I have seen them at Plymouth. (p 29)

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Martyn Lloyd-Jones uses JND in his non-cessationist book, the title of which I have forgotten!

Rodger Goertzen said...

^That sounds like a fascinating combination of elements. Just when I thought AssemblyQuest couldn't get any more unconventional...

clumsy ox said...

I am watching in awe

Anonymous said...

interesting.....do we need to rethink???

Rodger Goertzen said...

(Here is one instance of Dr. Jones quoting JND: https://icommendjoy.com/2008/05/06/martyn-lloyd-jones-daily-readings/)

Anonymous said...

I do believe however that most of what we're seeing out there today would be from The Counterfeiter

clumsy ox said...

@Anonymous, while I am definitely not cessationist, I've only ever seen one case that complied to 1 Corinthians 14:26-34. I think the "one at a time and no more than 2 or 3" (v. 27) alone would effectively shut down almost every meeting I've seen among those who practice tongues, etc.

Anonymous said...

Interesting Mark - Hey H. A. Ironside was not a cessationist either:
"There are commentators who insist that some of these gifts have absolutely disappeared, but I do not know of any Scripture portion that tells us that. I do not know of any passage that says that the age of miracles has passed and I would not dare to say that the sign gifts all ended with Paul’s imprisonment. I know from early church history that this is not true. As the early servants of God followed up the work of the apostles, gifts of healing and other signs were frequently demonstrated and marvelous help was given to the servants of God to preach in languages that they had never known before. Therefore I do not think it is correct to take the position that these sign gifts have necessarily disappeared from the church. I do, however, believe that many of the gifts are not often seen today, and I think there is good reason for that.

In 2 Corinthians 11:2 the apostle wrote, “I have espoused you… as a chaste virgin to Christ.” Paul was writing to a separated company, the affianced bride of the Lamb, and it was the delight of the blessed risen Lord to lavish upon her gift after gift. The Corinthians “[came] behind in no gift,” we are told in the first Epistle (1:7). However, it seems to me that we can see in the book of Acts that as time went on and the church began to drift a little, and as dissension and other things that grieved the Lord arose, there was more reserve on His part in bestowing gifts. That, I believe, explains the lack of many of these gifts today. The church has gotten so far away from what she should be and there is so much strife, division, worldliness, and carnality that the Lord no longer delights in lavishing His gifts as freely as He did in the beginning."
http://www.plymouthbrethren.org/article/5483
- Susan -

Anonymous said...

Question: is the above quotation from H. A. Ironside true? Are really the gifts given to the Church on the basis of its conduct on the earth?
I would have said that the gifts are given to the church on the basis of the victory of Christ on the cross and His ascension on high at the right hand of God. "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men."
They are not given on the basis of the responsibility of men, but on the basis of the victory of Christ.
However the way I exercise the gift I have been given depends on my responsibility. I may have a gift and exercise it very badly because of worldliness, carnalty, etc...
is it true that there are less gifts today because of the state of the church, or are they just not visible because of our infidelity?
(There is no lack of gifts, only a lack of fidelity and love...)
Clement

Anonymous said...

I don't know Clement

Back in Darby's day Sir Robert Anderson had this to say:
http://www.newble.co.uk/anderson/gifts.html

Today this warning needs to be heard!

Susan



clumsy ox said...

I don't believe spiritual gifts are dependent on conduct per se. Ephesians 4:7–16 talks about Christ giving gifts as He sees fit, 1 Corinthians 12:1–11 talks about the Holy Spirit giving gifts as He sees fit: neither on mentions our conduct. Indeed, the Corinthians were in a remarkably immoral state, and yet "came behind in no gift" (1 Corinthians 1:7).

I am not a Cessationist because Scripture says, "do not forbid the speaking with tongues" (1 Corinthians 14:39). I can't in good conscience do what Scripture explicitly forbids. At the same time, the preceding verses (vv. 26–38) lay out how miraculous gifts are to be used: two or at the most three are to speak (v. 27), only one at a time (v. 27), only with an interpreter (v. 28), and women are to be silent (v. 34). If one is speaking and another starts to speak, the first is to stop (v. 30). (Interesting it doesn't say the second is to wait for the first to finish.)

That's not my opinion, that's what Scripture says.

I have been to many meetings where people were speaking in tongues, but I can think of only once when 1 Corinthians 14 was obeyed: a man stood up and spoke in Spanish, another man stood up and interpreted what he said. It wasn't very exciting, but it was obedient.

In every other case, I have seen what 1 Corinthians 14 condemns as "disorder" (vv. 23 & 33).

My experience is not the final test of truth, but I am responsible to judge what I see in the light of Scripture, and those meetings were flagrantly disobedient to the Word of God. My conclusion is that I wasn't seeing spiritual gifts at all, but fleshly energy and excitement.

We are not called to walk by sight, but by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). Regardless of our views of spiritual gifts, seeking signs can hardly be called "walking by faith" (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:22; 14:22, ).

Robert Thomson said...

I would have thought that on the basis of the statement in 1 Corinthians ch. 13:8 that we should all be cessationists!

If chapter 12 teaches that the purpose of all gift is edification, chapter 14 teaches that edification can only come through understanding. Those who had the gift of speaking in tongues are instructed in v.5 that they were to commence self-regulation of their gift. They were expected to reach a stage where the man with the gift would interpret the tongue himself - 'he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret'. Those gifted men are also instructed to make it a matter of prayer that they will be given the ability to self-interpret the tongue v.13 It was in this way that tongues would cease. A man who can speak Spanish and English would not stand before an English speaking audience and speak in Spanish, then interpret into English - he would simply address the audience in English!The tongue would cease!

I submit that verses 26-38 are interim instructions given until those who had the gift of tongues found the necessary ability to self-interpret.

Anonymous said...

Dennett, The Step I have taken, on 1 Cor 14:

Few, I suppose, would dispute that such was the order in the primitive Church; but it is a common argument—I have used it myself to get out of the difficulty; and if you recollect, you used it when we last met and talked over the subject—that all gifts ceased with the apostolic age, and hence that these directions as to gifts have no force at the present time. I have already in part anticipated this objection by showing the perpetual application of the Scriptures in 1 Corinthians; but I would complete my answer to it by two considerations. The first is, that if this objection were demonstrably true (which it is not), it would by no means affect the principle of the gathering; for it would still be our duty to be gathered on scriptural ground, and to leave room for the exercise of gifts when the Spirit’s power in their manifestation might be restored to us; or, if they should never be restored, still to meet around our Lord in adoration and praise, submissive to His will in our deprivation. The second consideration is, that surely it does not follow because all gifts have been withdrawn, as is contended, that we are at liberty to cloak, to cover up, our real condition of weakness by the substitution of a human arrangement; that because the Lord has so chastened us, we are at liberty to do what is right in our own eyes, and set up ministers and church-officers according to the desire of our own hearts. If we are, the parallel between the Church and the state of Israel at the close of the Judges is too striking not to suggest that this very contention proves the same decay and corruption. No, dear brother, we cannot suppose for one moment that this liberty is ours; and: the very fact that it is asserted, only shows that the very belief in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the assembly on earth is fast dying out of the minds of believers, if indeed in very many cases it is not already dead.


I'm surprised !!

Rodger Goertzen said...

"But not only does the Lord now assert and maintain His power over every spiritual foe, but He can arrest and determine every bodily afflictionwhich befalls any of His people. He is head over all things to the church which is His body. And He often does. I believe the miracles which were done by the Apostles in the Acts were directly from the Lord. No doubt many of them were called for on account of the state of transition in which the saints then were, but that is not the point. It may at one time have been more, according to His purpose to manifest this His power in a miraculous way than at another; but the main fact remains that the Lord, even since His rejection from the earth, and renunciation of all administration therein, in virtue of His waiting position, still can and does-use His power with reference to the bodies of saints. He has the keys of Hades and of death. We know that He chastens in the church after this manner. " For this cause (says the Apostle) many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.". The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and for this end such were to be prayed over and anointed with oil, in the name of the Lord. Thus it is evident that the Lord has full control over the bodies of the saints, according as He wills, though in the government here on earth they may suffer, because in the scene of it."

The Present Testimony, Volume 15, pgs. 146-147

Susan said...

"it is never promised that miraculous works should continue. But in Eph. 4 gifts are not spoken of as coming from the Holy Ghost, but you get what are edification-gifts there, and they will endure "till we all come," etc., and that is never said of miraculous gifts such as tongues and healing. You never find the apostles healing any of their own friends who were sick: "Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick." This very Timothy was to use a little wine for his often infirmities. But when it was a testimony to the Lord, you get all these miracles wrought; but where it was not for that, you do not find them at all. In Eph. 4 the gifts are spoken of as coming from Christ, because it was not merely power; for a person, as to the gifts that are lost, might have power and not exercise it at all, not speaking with tongues for example. There was positive action of the Holy Ghost, and not allowed to be used. But where Christ gives; He gives what will endure "till we all come," etc." J. N. Darby