No Gifts Required Thankyou!

Proving that Charismatic Gifts Have Ceased

Sword & Trowel 2011, no 2 by Dr Peter Masters
 Does the Bible teach definitively that the charismatic gifts have ceased? Can cessationism (the view that they have ended) be proved? Some say that the cessation of the gifts cannot be conclusively proved from Scripture.
   We believe, however, that the ceasing of revelatory and sign-gifts in the time of the apostles is very plainly taught in God’s Word, so plainly, in fact, that the opposite view has only seriously appeared in the last 100 years or so.
   The term cessationism comes from the great 17th-century confessions of faith, such as the Westminster and Baptist confessions. These both use the same word. Speaking about how God has revealed his will and committed it to the Scriptures, the confessions say, ‘Former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased’. This word does not actually come from the Bible, but the doctrine does.
   Not only has revelation been completed and ceased, but so have the signs that revelation is in progress. Here is a brief summary of six biblical proofs that the revelatory gifts have ceased (visions, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, and prophecies), and also the sign-gifts (healings and speaking in tongues). God still heals, of course, but in answer to prayer, and not through the hands of a gifted healer.
   The controversial passage of 1 Corinthians 13.8-10 will not be used in this article to prove the ending of the gifts. We will refer only to passages which we believe to be conclusive.

1. Not since the apostles

The first proof for the ending of revelatory and sign-gifts is that healings and wonders could only be done by apostles, and were their special authenticating signs. In 2 Corinthians 12.12 Paul says: ‘Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.’
   There were some people in the church at Corinth who challenged Paul’s apostleship. To defend himself he draws attention to his gift of healing and of working other miraculous signs, stating that only the apostles could do such things.
   An apostle was someone who had accompanied the Lord, seen him after his resurrection, and been personally commissioned by him. As a special witness of the resurrection he was given power to heal. He was also a person who would be shown ‘all truth’ by the Holy Spirit(John 14.26 and 16.13), and would either write or endorse inspired Scripture.
   Believers would need to know who the true apostles were in order to respect their unique authority. They would know them by their healings and other signs. People who did not belong to the band of apostles (which included two named assistants) could not do these things. If they had been able to do them, then no one would have been certain who were true apostles.
   In Acts 2.43 and 5.12 it is again made clear that all the miracles were performed ‘by the hands of the apostles’. This was exclusively their sign. Also, in Hebrews 2.3-4 the healing gifts are firmly linked to the apostles.
   Paul was an apostle by virtue of having seen the risen Lord, and having been directly commissioned by him. His lack of training by Christ was made good by his receiving special and unique revelations. He states that he was ‘one born out of due time’ (1 Corinthians 15.8),indicating that he was the only apostle outside the original band and therefore the last apostle. (Modern claims to apostleship do not match the biblical qualifications and are improper and wrong.)
   When people say that the ceasing of sign-gifts cannot be proved from Scripture, they forget that the book of Acts says specifically that healings and other wonders were exclusive to the apostles, who have now passed away.
   When the churches had grown and multiplied Peter went to Lydda, and then Joppa, famously healing Æneas and raising Dorcas from the dead. Entire communities were astonished, because none of the other believers in such places could do these things.
   When a lad fell out of a window in Troas, there was only one person present who could raise him up, and that was Paul. The charismatic idea that healings were performed by numerous Christians is simply not to be found in the New Testament. Only the apostles are recorded as having healed, together with two apostolic assistants or delegates, Stephen and Philip, and possibly Barnabas.
   The only time someone outside this group performed a healing was when the Lord told Ananias to heal Paul. There is no other healing apart from these in the early church. The Pentecostal/charismatic idea that healings took place constantly by Christians at large is not taught in the Bible. Thus the infallible record of Scripture shows the entire charismatic approach to healing to be a mistake based on a myth. The record proves that the healings and mighty deeds were restricted to a class of people who have passed away. 

2. The temporary purpose of tongues

The second proof that sign-gifts have ceased is about tongues-speaking. It is the biblical statement that tongues-speaking was given by God specifically as a sign for Jews, signalling to them that the new era of Messiah had arrived.
   In 1 Corinthians 14.21-22 Paul says,
‘In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not.’
   In other words, the gift of tongues was a miraculous proof to Jews who were resistant to believing in Christ, that the new age and a new church order had arrived. It was not for the benefit of Jews who had come to believe, but a sign of promise and warning to those who did not believe. It was not intended for Gentiles, but Jews.
   Paul quoted from Isaiah 28.11, a chapter in which Isaiah prophesies Christ’s coming. As a sign to Jews, Isaiah says Jewish people will be addressed by those with ‘stammering lips and another tongue’. Gentile languages will challenge them, a most belittling experience for Jewish people. At the same time it was a sign that the Messianic age would bring Gentiles into the church, and the Gospel would be preached in other languages.
   This would be a mark of the new age when God would pull down the flag of the Jewish church, and run up the flag of the Jewish-Gentile church of Jesus Christ. Unbelieving Jews, who resisted Christ and clung to the skirts of Moses, would find the    Word of God being preached to them in barbarian, Gentile languages.
   All this came to pass, beginning on the day of Pentecost. The Jews were duly called and warned, but tongues are not mentioned outside the Acts of the Apostles and 1 Corinthians 12-14, showing that they had accomplished their purpose of warning the Jews that the new era had arrived.
   This announcing of the church age was accomplished while the apostles lived, and the sign has been withdrawn. What passes for tongues-speaking today is not done in the presence of doubting Jews, and has nothing to do with the sign of the New Testament. The sign that the church age has come has served its purpose, and been surpassed by the reality.
   The Gospel is now preached in virtually every language in the world, and the sign that this would happen is long extinct. The purpose of tongues (according to Paul’s teaching) has been fulfilled, proving their discontinuation.

3. Tongues were real languages

The third proof of the cessation of the sign-gifts adds to the second, and it is this – that a gift of real languages was given on the day of Pentecost (and for a while afterwards), which has never been seen since that time. It should be obvious to us that the miraculous languages of the books of Acts and 1 Corinthians have never occurred since those days.
   Tongues-speaking of modern times is never any known human language, but only meaningless, disjointed speech. Nothing miraculous happens. In New Testament times the tongues-speaker was given by the Spirit the ability to speak in a real language which he had never learned, and people who had grown up with him were astonished.
   Jewish people would be present (as it was specifically a sign for them). On the day of Pentecost many Jews who lived in foreign regions heard their own languages spoken, and attested the genuineness of the speakers. After Pentecost the Spirit would give the miraculous gift of understanding to interpreters so that the authenticity of the language would be proved. Nothing like this has been seen since Bible times.
   Today those who advocate tongues-speaking point to 1 Corinthians 13.1 where Paul, speaking hypothetically, says that even if he spoke an angelic tongue, without love, it would amount to nothing. Desperately looking for a text, charismatic teachers take Paul’s words as a justification for ecstatic, non-linguistic tongues, but it is plain to any thinking person that this is a serious misuse of the verse.
   By describing literal languages, the Bible effectively warns us that these gifts have been withdrawn. They simply have not happened at any time in history, anywhere in the world, since the very early days of the church. What happens today is that people (who may be sincere Christians), in their desire to do what their leaders insist is right, seek to give utterance outside the rules of speech. However, they do not speak real languages, or even understand what they are saying.
   The cessation of the gifts is clearly taught in Scripture, by virtue of the fact that the very precise description of real languages given in Scripture cannot be applied to anything that has taken place since.[1]
   Since Bible times we have had glorious events of reformation and mighty revivals, when the Spirit of God has been pleased to work in exceptional power. Yet we have not one reported or recorded claim of anyone speaking a real language they had never learned. This is certain proof that the gift of biblical tongues has ceased.

4. No instructions to appoint prophets

The fourth proof for the cessation of the sign-gifts is this: there are no New Testament instructions about appointing apostles, prophets, healers, or anything of the kind. This is a matter of tremendous significance, because God has given a detailed pattern for the church in the New Testament. It is true that some Christians do not believe that the Bible provides a blueprint for the church, but most people who are of baptistic, Bible-believing persuasion do.
   The apostle Paul commands us repeatedly to be the most careful imitators of him in our church polity and conduct, and the pastoral epistles set out how we should behave and function in the church of God. We are given the precise pattern for the church for all time.
   We have instructions that most carefully set out how to select preaching and ruling elders and deacons, but no instructions about the appointment of apostles (because they were not to be perpetuated), or on how to recognise or accredit a prophet (because revelatory gifts ended with the completion of the Bible). Nor are there instructions about appointing healers.
   This is not merely an argument from silence, but a proof that these offices and functions were not to continue. The instructions for all matters of church organisation are complete and detailed and all-sufficient for the church until Christ comes again. We disobey God’s perfect pattern if we make appointments in the church that he has not prescribed and commanded. We disobey Scripture.
   How can it be said that there is no certain scriptural proof that the gifts have ceased, when the pattern for the church gives no instructions for the continuation of inspired spokesmen and sign-workers? This is conclusive proof of cessation – unless we do not hold to the sufficiency of Scripture, and do not believe that God has given a pattern for his church.

5. Revelation is now complete

The fifth proof of the cessation of the revelatory and sign-gifts is that the Bible plainly teaches that revelation is now complete. There can be no new revelation after the time of the apostles. We have already noted that in John 14.26 and in John 16.13 the Lord Jesus Christ says twice to the disciples that the Holy Spirit, when he comes, will lead theminto all Truth.
   They would be the authors of New Testament books, and the authenticators of inspired New Testament books not from their own pens. Soon all the Truth would be revealed, and after the apostolic era there would be no more revelation of Scripture. The Word would be complete.
   How glad we are of that! What a state we would be in if people could pop up here, there and everywhere (as they do in the charismatic world) giving us new revelations. Who would know what was right, and what was true? But the Scripture is the final yardstick for everything, being complete and perfect, sufficient and trustworthy.
   Jude was able to speak about the faith which was ‘once delivered unto the saints’. His epistle was written possibly 25 years before the final book of the Bible, but late enough for all the main doctrines and church instructions to have been revealed. At this late stage of revelation he speaks of the faith once delivered, or better, once for all delivered. It is virtually complete; soon (from Jude’s standpoint) there will be no more revelation.
   The closing verses of the Bible warn that nothing must be added or taken from the words of the book of Revelation, but this clearly applies to the whole Bible, not just the last book. We know this because the warning closely echoes the one given by Moses in the first book of the ­Bible (the first five were originally one book), namely Deuteronomy 4.2, ‘Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it’ (words repeated by Moses inDeuteronomy 12.32).
   The completion of revelation is also proved by the fact that apostles and prophets are described as the foundation stage of the church.
   In Ephesians 2.20 the church is described as being – ‘built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets [that is –New Testament prophets], Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone’. A foundation is something completed and stable, while the building continues to be constructed.
   What about Joel’s prophecy, quoted by Peter on the day of Pentecost, saying that when the Spirit is poured out, all believers, male, female, old and young will prophesy? Is it not implied that this will go on literally until the Lord’s return? No, because our understanding of this prophecy must agree with the unassailable teaching of the Bible that revelation was soon completed, and then ceased.
   It is this completed revelation (especially the Gospel) that will be the witness of believers of all ages, male and female, through all the world, until the end. Believers will continue to see visions and dream dreams in the sense that they embrace, reflect upon, and proclaim the infallible ‘­visions and dreams’ given to them in the Bible. They will not ‘prophesy’ in the sense of receiving new revelation. They will also dream dreams of Gospel plans and conquests. In this sense the prophecy of Joel is still being fulfilled.
   The extraordinary manifestations such as tongues had clearly vanished by the time Peter wrote his two epistles, for he gives no hint whatsoever that these features of the early scene were still operating.
   As revelation was completed in the time of the apostles, we see that the task of apostles and prophets is over. And if the gifts of revelation are ended, then so are the authenticating signs of inspired penmen. We remember how Paul said, ‘Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in…signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds’ (2 Corinthians 12.12).
   How can it be said that there is no biblical proof of the withdrawal of revelatory gifts (and their confirming signs) when Scripture emphatically says that all revelation has been completed, like a foundation, at the beginning of the church age?

6. Scripture witnesses the end of gifts

The sixth proof of the ending of the sign-gifts is that Scripture shows that they were in the process of being withdrawn at that very time. Paul, for example, who possessed apostolic power to do signs and wonders and mighty deeds, could not, in the course of time, heal Timothy or Trophimus or Epaphroditus.
   We also see the withdrawing of the healing gifts in James 5, where James gives instructions about praying for the sick, and how the elders may lay hands upon the bedridden. It is obvious in this passage that there is no gifted healer in sight, only elders, who pray.
   Anointing is mentioned, but the Greek term for religious anointing is not used. The Greek uses a very practical word that means ‘rub down’ with oil, more like a remedy for bedsores. James effectively says, ‘Don’t be so heavenly-minded that you are of no earthly use, but take some physical relief for the suffering person.’
   What matters most is prayer. It is certain in the instructions of James that no gifted healer is brought in to command healing, or to give a healing touch. The laying on of hands of ordinary elders is a symbolic act, communicating the church’s love, care and responsibility.
   The passage of James contains four exhortations to pray, and it follows his teaching that we ought to say, ‘If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.’ We can and must pray for healing, but it may be God’s will that a sufferer should witness to God’s grace in the illness.
   The main point for us in this article is that there is no one possessing personal power to heal in James 5. Healing is by God in answer to prayer. The ongoing stance of the church is seen as praying for healing, remembering that some are called to live as ‘an example of suffering affliction, and of patience’ (James 5.10).
   The fact that James does not mention healing gifts shows unmistakably that the possession of healing power was withdrawn quite early in the course of the apostolic era.

Would a neutral reader assume Bible gifts were for every age?

   It has been suggested that if a new convert with no experience of church life were shut in a room with a Bible, it would never occur to that person that the charismatic gifts had ceased. The opposite is true. There are many people (we know some) who come from other faiths who have been converted to Christ by private Bible reading, and subsequently found their way into a church. From the Bible alone they received no expectation of a charismatic scene.
   Much more frequently – increasingly so as time passes – believers leave charismatic churches having realised that what takes place there is not what they find in the Bible.
   On reading Acts carefully, they discover that only the apostolic band healed, and feel they have been misled by the Pentecostal-charismatic notion that numerous people did so.
   Some wonder what the original significance or purpose of tongues was, and when they learn from Paul that they were specifically for Jews, they again feel misled by their teachers.
   They also feel mis-taught when it becomes obvious that tongues were real languages, a vastly more miraculous matter than incomprehensible sounds.
   Then, as soon as these believers appreciate the importance of the scriptural pattern for the church, the question sometimes arises in their minds – ‘Where are the Bible’s instructions for appointing apostles, prophets and healers today?’ They find there are none, and become even more critical of the teaching they have received.
   Then the question of the authority and sufficiency of Scripture intrudes, and they think, ‘Is not revelation complete? How, then, can modern prophecies be valid and inspired?’ It becomes obvious that all the ‘authoritative’ prophecies they have heard are a great mistake, and a delusion.
   Many thinking believers see for themselves that to charismatic people, Scripture is second in importance to human imagination and mysterious experiences.
   Finally, the more these friends study the Word, the more they see the evidence that the signs disappeared soon after their spectacular initial outpouring.
   None of this means that the Lord does not move his people to remember duties or truths, or urge them to do certain things, or warn them of imminent dangers. These are divine intimations, not revelations or gifts.
   In the history of the church, there are recorded instances of people having an intimation from God about some threatening event or person, but these are never revelations of doctrine. We find such things in times of severe persecution. For instance, up until Perestroika in Russia, we heard of very credible instances when God’s key servants were wonderfully delivered from arrest because the Lord impressed on someone not to go to some particular place. It was later discovered that a KGB-police ambush lay in wait for them. However, no recipient of such an intimation was given a regular gift, and certainly not an authoritative revelation of doctrinal truth. God can do all kinds of things to deliver and bless his people, but this is not in any way the reappearance of apostolic or prophetic gifts bestowed on individuals.

The damage of charismatic teaching

   Many charismatics are coming to see the enormous gap between the ­Bible and what they have been taught. Such doubters are often troubled by the fact that huge numbers of Catholics, who depend on Mary, the Mass, and works for salvation, are also able to speak in tongues and prophesy. Many also worship in exactly the same way as charismatic Protestants.
   Charismatic doubters may also hear that non-Christian cults also speak in tongues. You do not need to be a saved Christian to speak in charismatic-style tongues, because it is not a true gift of the Spirit.
   There are many sincere Christians in the charismatic movement, but we believe that the attempt to revive revelatory and sign-gifts is a very harmful mistake. We can see the harm in the emergence of huge sections of the movement in which the Gospel has virtually disappeared, buried under unbiblical extravagances.
   There are large charismatic groups that now deny the penal substitution of Christ, and some even deny the Trinity. (One of the world’s most famous charismatic preachers and authors denies the doctrine of the Trinity.)
   Worldly entertainment-style ­music dominates charismatic churches, even music of the most extreme and godless kind. The theatrical antics of money-grabbing charismatic leaders may be seen at any time on religious TV, and the prosperity-gospel heresy is seemingly everywhere.
   Numerous charlatans and rogues have built large followings, carrying out their supposed ‘healings’ at venues throughout the world. Even music-hall fortune-telling techniques are being presented as spiritual wonders, in once respected churches.
   The powerful current that constantly propels the charismatic constituency further and further from the Bible is evidence of a serious fundamental error, namely, the idea that the ­revelatory and sign-gifts are for all time. To experience them involves a twofold mistake: firstly, the downscaling of the gifts to something non-miraculous (eg: turning real languages into non-linguistic utterances); and secondly, the downgrading of Scripture, which must bow to imagined experiences of dreams, visions, ‘words from the Lord’, and similar revelations.
   There is harm done also to individual Christians whose faith is greatly diverted from the Lord and his Word, to phenomena and sensations.
  We sincerely pray that God will deliver those who are his true children from the accumulating harm of this wildly mistaken departure from Scripture.


[1]The unauthentic tongues-speakers of today do not even attempt to follow the Bible’s rules for the exercising of the gift in those days – that no more than two or three at most should speak in any service (1 Corinthians 14.27).
 

71 thoughts on “No Gifts Required Thankyou!

  1. [deleted by editor because I can’t stand the insane ramblings of this particular poster and this comment added nothing of value to the discussion on this thread]

  2. [deleted by editor because I can’t stand the insane ramblings of this particular poster and this comment added nothing of value to the discussion on this thread]

  3. [deleted by editor because I can’t stand the insane ramblings of this particular poster and this comment added nothing of value to the discussion on this thread]

  4. I dont agree with this article purely from the church history angle.

    Catholics throughout history have believed in the miraculous..

  5. This article is pretty well standard anti-charismatic polemic and I there are inconsistencies within it that are very easy to spot.

    I’d point them out….but maybe my insane ramblings will be deleted
    🙂

    lol so is it Greg or Ian who is teasing us? Just how insane were these ramblings?

    Good point Bones. Speaking of Catholics, has anyone here been to Lourdes?

  6. Just an anecdote, but I remember the first time I went to the Garden City Christian CHurch in Brisbane (now Hillsong). From what I understand it was Australia’s first mega church, and was famous because of healing. I remember being so surprised because they had a deaf ministry which was very unique back then. I was looking so forward to seeing miracles and wondered why none of the deaf people ever got healed and what they thought when they were reading the sign language about the healing altar calls.

    After decades of healing ministry, there really should be some good evidence in medical journals by now.

    (yeah I know, some will argue that doctors will cover up all the healings but I don’t buy that). If there were significant real dramatic provable unexplainable changes in conditions, universities would be all over it trying to get Nobel prizes for explaining how it’s done.

    Seriously, if there were blind people seeing and totally deaf people hearing, it would be written up somewhere – even if they explained it as some kind of spontaneous change in the brain due to thought processes.

    BUt if anyone has any information to the contrary, let me know. I’d love to have some websites I can direct people to.

  7. As Q points out, the errors in this post are so numerous it is hard to know where to begin.

    For instance, Jesus appointed 70 disciples who were not apostles and sent them out to preach, heal and bring deliverance to the villages around about, which is proof enough that you don’t have to be an apostle to operate the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit, which are the very gifts the writer is attacking.

    In fact, a decent reading of 1 Corinthians 12 will tell you that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit are given severally to every man to profit everyone, so the are clearly not reserved for apostles. They operate in the Church through whoever the Spirit wills.

    It will also inform you that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit belong, not to apostles, or to believers, or to any man, but to the Spirit, who decides, according to His own will, who to distribute them to and when and why.

    So as long as the Holy Spirit, who is God, and who changes not, is still with us, the gifts and manifestations are still with us, and He will decide when, how and who will be the beneficiary of His grace.

    On another subject, the writer declares that tongues was for the Jews only, which is a ridiculous fallacy. If he turned in his Bible to Acts 10 he would know that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles ‘in like manner’ as the Jews on the day of Pentecost, and the evidence of this was that they spoke in tongues and magnified God, just as the Jewish believers had.

    The Spirit was also poured out on Ephesian believers who had been baptised by John, who were then baptised i the name of Jesus, saved, and filled with the Spirit, and spoke in tongues.

    And, of course, right there in Acts 2 where it talks about the believers speaking in tongues, Peter reveals by the Holy Spirit, that this was the promise of the Spirit which would be ‘poured out on all flesh’.

    O gosh! There is so much we could say about this post!

    That will do for a start, and just about deals with the piece straight away, but the number of false premises displayed in the post are so large it will take a long time to get through them all.

    But, GtE, do you actually believe this stuff, or did you put it up to wind people up?

  8. You have got to be kidding me! This writer, Dr Peter Masters, is the Lead Minister at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London! And a Doctor!

    Is this what an earned doctorate gives you?

    No! Come on! At least the McArthurs and Pipers of this world give a reasonable argument, make you think carefully about things, and even display some good points about the charismatic controversies, but this exegesis is truly juvenile.

    I would be appalled if a first year Pentecostal student couldn’t pick this verbal carcass apart and give a decent autopsy in less than an hour.

  9. Q – I have had miracles and I have had to go to doctors – it is more about where I was in faith at the time, not God’s willingness to heal. Doctors are like the Law – the default position but better than the chaos of no law or doctors.

    [deleted by editor because I can’t stand the insane ramblings of this particular poster and this comment added nothing of value to the discussion on this thread]

  10. [deleted by editor because I can’t stand the insane ramblings of this particular poster and this comment added nothing of value to the discussion on this thread]

  11. Masters,
    The term cessationism comes from the great 17th-century confessions of faith, such as the Westminster and Baptist confessions. These both use the same word. Speaking about how God has revealed his will and committed it to the Scriptures, the confessions say, ‘Former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased’. This word does not actually come from the Bible, but the doctrine does.

    What Masters does here is irresponsible for a respected leader.

    He uses the traditions over the scriptures. Nowhere, as he struggles to admit, does the scripture say that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit have ceased.

    He claims that the confessions say, ‘Former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased’. But this is not born out either by scripture or by the Westminster Confession. or not in the way Masters is implying.

    In fact, the scripture tells us that God formerly spoke to us by the prophets, but has, in these latter days, spoken to us by His Son [Hebrews 1:1-2]. In this way God has ceased speaking to us as in the former ways, but not in the way Masters suggests.

    Under the New Covenant God speaks to us by the Word and by the Spirit. Masters says, in effect, that God no longer speaks to us this way, if he is interpreting the Westminster Confession to mean that God has stopped speaking to us by His Son, as declared at Hebrews 1:1-2.

    This is a very deceptive thing to do on the face of it, because people of his congregation, which is substantial, and influential, will be looking to his leadership in this and will tend to believe what he says because of his education and position.

    What dos the Westminster Confession say?

    IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

    X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.

    Therefore, as far as the Confession is concerned, the Holy Spirit and the Word (Scripture) are the final arbitrators in any doctrinal issue, as has always been the case.

    The canon may be complete for the Church, but this in itself is not evidence that the words of scripture where it speaks of the outworking of the Holy Spirit, His gifts and manifestation, and the ay in which he operates through the Church have ended.

    Rather, it is evidence that the Holy Spirit remains in command of all that the Son has commanded for the operation of the Church in the times up until he comes again.

  12. [deleted by editor because I can’t stand the insane ramblings of this particular poster and this comment added nothing of value to the discussion on this thread]

  13. Ian, I suspect your comments will, by the end of the morning your time, be replaced by deletion comments, similar to those which moderated your first remarks, which I did not get to read, but, judging by what you have added here at 5.37 and 5.57 am, which I am able to read until they are extracted, Greg has a reasonably good point when he determines that they are not worth retaining.

    I have said on the other thread that your comments are not abusive, and hitherto they have not been, but it is plain to see that, since Greg has been less accommodating towards your contributions, you have become more aggressive in your content.

    Threatening the wrath of God on Greg is not only unbiblical, it is also ungodly and way out of order, even on a feisty site like this.

    You need to understand that Greg is in control of he posts he puts and he doesn’t have to put up with anything he considers obstructive to reasonable debate.

    I suggest to shorten your commentary, or break it up into palatable chunks, stay focused on the subject at hand, and cut down on the personal revelations so that people are better able to grasp what you want to say.

    May Greg have mercy on you!

  14. To return the the Westminster Confession, the opening paragraph states:

    I. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church; and afterwards for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which makes the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God’s revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.

    I do not believe they are saying that the gifts of the Spirit have ended, nor the manifestations, but that the way God spoke of old, that is in sundry ways and divers manners by the prophets, has been replaced by His speaking to us by His Son, as revealed in Hebrews 1:1-2:

    God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds…

    If Masters is correct in his claim, the Westminster Confession itself would be error, since there is no indication anywhere in scripture, which they hold to be the final word, to suggest the cessation of the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit.

    The Confession interprets God’s speaking to us by His Son in these latter days as being solely by Scripture. This in itself could be an ambiguity in the wrong hands, because, by Jesus’ own confession, He sent His Spirit to lead us, guide us into all truth and reveal His ways to us.

    Paul tells us that the Letter kills but the Spirit gives life. We cannot have the Scripture without the Spirit. This doesn’t mean we have additional revelation to that given in the canon, but that the Word must be revealed to us through the Spirit, and not as a hard, cold legal mechanism devoid of God’s love and Spirit.

    There is no evidence anywhere that God’s love is removed from us, nor that His compassion has been exited, rather that He remains Jehovah Rapha, the Lord our Healer, that He changes not, that He still lives and works through His Spirit in the Church today, and will do so until the Lord coms for the saints.

  15. Bones the Author of the article cites the Westminster Confession in his article.

    Steve:

    But, GtE, do you actually believe this stuff, or did you put it up to wind people up?

    A little from column ‘A’ and a little from Column ‘B’…I have had experiences where I seemingly had a word for the person I was praying for that had nothing to do with anything we were prayihng about or that I had been preaching on – now this has only ever happened once…and that was about 22 years ago, never since…I was praying for a young man who ahd come forward after my preaching for some prayer, I got the sense (and from memory not from anything he was saying) that he had to forgive his brother…and I told him so, he acknowledged that in fact this was what he had been struggling with all that past week.

    SO do I believe the gifts have ceased? Uhm…yep? But I am open to being wrong…I just doubt it. I don;t even tink the things that are said to have occured in the bible actually occured, so I’m a logn way behind someone like yourself Steve.

    I don;t belive tongues is valid as it is experieced and p[racticed in penetcostal churches of today…nobody can understand that gibberish.

    I’ve never ever ever ever ever seen nor had anyone verify a genuiine miracle…I have seen fake miracles adn people claim miracles where I know for a fact thast tere was a natural and even humanistic reason for what happened.

    I’m not closed off to miracles – but I do not accept the claims of anyone who can not verify every detail of the so called miracle…and to date none have done so.

    Do I post these things to wind people up? Oh, Steve! That you could think such a thing of me is indeed hurtful!

  16. This is probably closer to where I am:

    Does God Still Work Miracles Today?
    by Jack Wellman on June 3, 2011 · 46 comments · Print · Email

    Does God still perform miracles today? Are there still miraculous healings done in this age of the church? Can we still expect miraculous healings that Jesus and the apostles performed in the New Testament? What does the Bible say about miracles?

    Theology vs. History

    A major mistake that most people who read the Bible is that they read the book of Acts or the accounts of Jesus’ ministry in the New Testament and assume that these same miracles should still be occurring today. Jesus raised people from the dead, caste out demons, and healed the sick. So too did some of the apostles in the book of Acts. Paul raised one young man from the dead. Some were healed just by being in the shadow of a passing apostle.

    There is a decided difference in the Bible that few people seem to disseminate. That is there is a difference between theology and historical accounts. If you read the gospels or the book of Acts, you read of the history of Jesus’ ministry and the history of the early church through the apostles. There exists a difference between the gospels and the book of Acts and the letters in the New Testament of Paul, Peter, James, and the other general epistles. The book of Acts and the gospels are historical accounts and are more concerned with recording events of Jesus’ ministry and the history of the early church. Conversely, the general epistles are more concerned with theology. You can not read of an account in the book of Acts and assume that is the theology and that the things recorded should be still occurring today in the church.

    One example is that there have been no authenticated accounts in the modern day church where a man or woman of God has laid hands on a dead person and raised them to life. And people who lie to church leaders die instantly like Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira did for lying to the Holy Spirit and Peter when they withheld part of the money they had given to the church for land they had sold. Neither has anyone seen cloven tongues of fire over the heads of people who had received the Holy Spirit. No churches at present have members speaking in languages other than their own languages like they did in the book of Acts. These were one time occurrences that were used by God to establish the authenticity of the New Testament church. To use historical accounts of the gospels and the book of Acts is to misapply the intent of these books.

    Healings Still Occur

    There are literally hundreds of accounts of miraculous healings today among countless Christians but these are at the discretion of God alone. God miraculously heals some while choosing not to heal others for His divine purpose. No one would accuse the apostle Paul of having a weak faith, yet God refused to heal him after he asked three times. In God’s higher wisdom, He knows who and what to heal and what is best for the believer in choosing not to heal someone. Yes, miracles still happen, but they are not at the direction or discretion of believers but a decision of God alone. He does heal through petitions of prayers but there are times when His answer is no because He has a higher purpose in mind. Our sufferings and afflictions work out a purpose that we may not be able to understand at this time (Romans 8).

    Miracles Still Happen

    God is still in the business of miracles. I believe that the greatest miracle of all is that of converting a blind sinner to see their sin and to change the human heart; from one of serving the god of this world to seeing their own sin and the need of a Savior in Jesus Christ. The miracle of human conversion is actually greater than any healing miracle because this brings eternal life in Christ. A healing miracle is only temporary. The person healed will eventually die but the one that is born-again has inherent eternal life that can never be lost and that person can live with God for eternity, never to die again (John 3:16).

    Those who call themselves or are called by others as “faith healers” are not biblical in any sense. For one thing, God is the one who chooses to heal a person. Supposed faith healers have a win-win situation. If they “heal” a person, then they get the credit because they laid hands on them. If they are not able to heal someone, they usually say that the person lacked faith in God. Jesus never, ever failed to heal even one person on account of their lack of faith. Neither did any of the apostles neglect to have someone healed due to the person’s lack of faith in God. Those faith healers who attribute the inability of someone to be healed on their lack of faith ignore biblical theology. Faith is a gift of God and it is the faith that comes from God alone, freely, and not of our own selves. He might use the prayers of believers but He nowhere says in the general epistles in the New Testament that healing will always occur.

    Faith healers have been exposed as charlatans, some have their own “sick and infirmed” that they supposedly heal but many of these are the same people are known and used repeatedly by the fake faith healers. If a person comes to them that they do not know and they are not healed, then they can shatter this persons faith in themselves and can cause them to fall away from the faith in God on account of God’s inability to heal them. Faith healers have done more harm than good. True healing is a healing of a sinner’s heart; through repentance, brokenness, and a need for a Savior by realizing their own sinfulness.

    Receive Your Own Miracle

    If you are a born-again believer, then you have received the greatest miracle that any human could ever experience. It is a miracle in the sense that you were once an enemy of God, was blind but now can see, and were separated from God by your sin. Jesus took on God’s wrath in your place. God sent the Holy Spirit to reveal Who Jesus is. He turned the heart of stone into a heart of flesh. You now have eternal life and can never, ever be lost (John 10:28-29). The fact is that this is the greatest miracle of all and one that supersedes all of the miracles of healing or being raised from the dead that have ever been written in the Bible.

    .

    Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/does-god-still-work-miracles-today/#ixzz2KXZrihyN

  17. Bones,
    Who cares what the westminster confession says.

    Dr Masters begins his teaching with an extract form the Westminster Confession, which I pointed out in my critique. To reiterate, he says:

    The term cessationism comes from the great 17th-century confessions of faith, such as the Westminster and Baptist confessions. These both use the same word. Speaking about how God has revealed his will and committed it to the Scriptures, the confessions say, ‘Former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased’. This word does not actually come from the Bible, but the doctrine does.

    So clearly he cares about it, and it is the main thrust of his argument.

    I say that either his interpretation of the Westminster Confession is wrong, or they are both wrong, because the reference to Hebrews 1:1-2 cannot be interpreted as the cessation of gifts, but rather the end of the Old Testament prophecies and the commencement of the ministry of the Son, who now speaks to us through His Word and by His Spirit.

    I would prefer to think that the Westminster Confession is referring to the end of the Old Testament prophets than think they mean the end of the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit as Dr Masters claims.

  18. If the miraculous, spiritual gift of SALVATION exists, then i’m sure that it is easier for God to
    Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons etc.
    Or perhaps these are all just a part of the whole SALVATION package?
    So, the miraculous, spiritual gift of SALVATION still exists, and so must it’s counterparts.
    So if there is no SALVATION (along with the spiritual gifts it contains), then eat drink today you live and tomorrow you die.

  19. I am entirely skeptical of miracles – entirely – I don;t belive they happen adn I believe that whre they do happen there are either natural explanations or there will have been fraudulent manufacturing.

    Having said this – I have found a film produced by a supposed skeptic which leds in an entirely different direction – I have posted it on a new thread. The Finger of God…I am certain that this too will be proven at some time to have been fraudulently produced.

  20. Greg – slow down man – your typing is worse than mine, what you drinkin’ or thinkin’ bro? Now I know you regard me as stark raving bonkers – sorry sunshine – certified sane and not able to be hypnotised – literally impossible – IQ last I checked sub-genius – aced Mensa tests and had highest IQ at my HIgh School – the Headmaster could not work out why I was so rebellious and why I was not a nerdy swot like my perfect prefect older brother and sisters.

    But being considered demonized and or mad does rather place me in rather exalted company, to wit, they said of Jesus:

    20. And many of them said that, “He is possessed (has a demon) and [carries on like] (goes on like) a lunatic. Why do you listen to him?”

    And of Paul:
    24 Suddenly, Festus shouted, “Paul, you are insane. Too much study has made you crazy!”

    And let’s not get into Michael despising David for DANCING NAKED BEFORE THE LORD – and Elijah went naked for 3yrs and they thought him insane…oh well…imagine how Noah got on – its just a good thing that we are not in a time like the days of Noah, eh guys?

  21. Oh by the way, you entirely skeptical bloke you, I have begun to track down some evidence for you, but due to your apparent need to put your fingers in the wounds, so to speak, who knows, like Thomas, you could end up going far and truly be Greg the Explorer instead of Grog the Exploder, or Expunger! My wife tells me I can be so annoying – but at least I am consistent – and I do not have anything to do with masonic sex cults like Mormonism.

  22. The Westminster Confession is a statement of a certain type of Christian belief.

    The confession is a systematic exposition of Calvinist orthodoxy (which neo-orthodox scholars refer to as “scholastic Calvinism”),[citation needed] influenced by Puritan and covenant theology.
    It includes doctrines common to most of Christendom such as the Trinity and Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, and it contains doctrines specific to Protestantism such as sola scriptura and sola fide. Its more controversial features include double predestination (held alongside freedom of choice), the covenant of works with Adam, the Puritan doctrine that assurance of salvation is not a necessary consequence of faith, a minimalist conception of worship, and a strict sabbatarianism.

    Even more controversially, it states that the Pope is the Antichrist, that the Roman Catholic mass is a form of idolatry, that the civil magistrates have divine authority to punish heresy, and rules out marriage with non-Christians. These formulations were repudiated by the various bodies which adopted the confession (for instance, the Church of Scotland, though its ministers are still free to adhere to the full confession and some do), but the confession remains part of the official doctrine of some other Presbyterian churches. For example, the Presbyterian Church of Australia holds to the Westminster Confession of Faith as its standard, subordinate to the Word of God, and read in the light of a declaratory statement.[2]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Confession_of_Faith

    It’s not my belief. I’ll settle with the Apostles Creed.

  23. “I am entirely skeptical of miracles – entirely”

    Come on Greg

    Reinhard Bonnke raised people from the dead.

    (But not the ones killed at his crusades. He didn’t want to know about them. One father put his daughter who had been crushed to death at his crusade on his car so he could resurrect her)

  24. The Westmonster confession sounds like a load of old bollocks – like Calvinism – some of the most deeply spiritual and “engaged” people I have ever met have been Catholics – God is not about what you know but who you are and who you know and who knows you.

    The Pope is no more the antichrist than Pat Robertson – but he does stand as a vicar – and I understand the concept, but do not agree with the application betimes, in that framework.

    Paul said to pray on behalf of all me everywhere – why, because most do not know how to pray, so those who do, need to pray FOR them, on their behalf, in their place – VICARIOUSLY even.

    Look at the genesis of Mormonism Bones – actually the South Park episode on the matter, like the one on Scientology, is about as good an explanation as you could find. JW, SDA and the above were all started by high level Freemasons as pseudo Christian cults. One of most surreptitiously perfidious of these pseudo-Christian cults and sects is the Slavation Army, but that would take quite a long explanation so in will just leave it with you thinking I am crazy – again. But ask yourself why William Booth was buried in unsanctified ground in the first secular cemetary in Europe and why they have a ‘Rothschild’ for an emblem?

    They got rid of all the unlicensed booze in London and when the supplicants gravitated back to it, as they always do, there was plenty of tax for the Crown and many imbued with the Protestant work ethic and off to settle the Empire. Now I am being skeptical.

    Meanwhile the Crown were pumping Opium from their fields in Burma into China, just like now they are pumping heroin into South Central LA and Gorky Park and more Russians are dying from OD now than were dying in the Afghan war….and so it goes on.

    Bones, you have not answered my very reasonable question – do you concede that the 1% have more than enough to make the 99% healthy, wealthy and wise, but it is not their intention, ambition or desire to do so, but rather the opposite?

    Greg lost his job with a major charity. Why? Why are the tithe burglars and offering bucket bandits going into overdrive? The middle income and working class who do MOST of the charity are BROKE and getting BROKER cos the rich young foolers are lawfully sucking the system dry. I guess that they have to pay for their student loans somehow…

    Soon the Nazis will unveil their master stroke – blaming Israel for all the ills in the world, and Israel will become the pariah and scape goat until Mariah (Jesus) comes. Whatever you do, do not join in – it is a trap and you will give your authority to the Beast.

    Babylon is founded upon agreements, but the Kingdom’s one sure foundation Stone is the Covenant of Christ.

    Whoever tries to lift this burdensome stone shall be crushed.

    Salvation is not a burden, it is a blessing. Did you get that? Anyone?

  25. Paul said to pray on behalf of all me everywhere – why, because most do not know how to pray, so those who do, need to pray FOR them, on their behalf, in their place – VICARIOUSLY even

    Not a Freud-ian slip – just typo – i of course meant ALL MEN, but Greg will probably conclude it is all me…..sigh….

  26. People trampled to death in evangelical meeting? How sad for her dad – no loving parent ever wants to bury their child under any circumstances!

    Bonke and the Bakers and other ardent missionaries would do better to expose American hegemony in Africa, and the development of diseases and engineering of famines and wars to depopulate Africa and plunder the resource thereof.

  27. Wow, there have been a lot of posts and articles recently. I find the topic of whether healings, miracles, etc are valid really worth talking about but it would probably take me too long to debate that long article about cessation.

    So, I’ll just pop in and say that I really loved that youtube about the guy who lost weight and did yoga and stuff that i THINK Greg posted somewhere..

    Great effort by that bloke.

  28. Yes they are equal opportunity cynics – and they get it wrong with Jesus but not with religions which pretend to follow the Lord, which is why the religious folks hold Jesus up to ridicule as they have no power and largely walk in the vanity of their own minds. Their witness is largely wishy-washy and inconsequential.

    So, what about the money Bones? Do you put yours out to usury?

  29. Don’t really understand the big question for bones, Ian.

    You could say the same about the Catholic Church, some huge Buddhist guys, Arab sheiks too.

  30. Yoga? Kundalini Yoga? You are shitting me? You have done an Alpha course? That ends with a release of Kundalini energy – how are your Chakras Greg?

  31. No Q, you do not understand – the wealth of the three R’s, the Royals, Rothschild and Rockefeller nexus – is such that they own the lion’s share – Bill Gates is just one of their boys. The Arabs will be dealt with soon, as will their wealth – the game is still monopoly – as practiced by J P More-gain. The prize is the world. And the Catholic Church is well in on he action too – I should have included them – but all you have done is to affirm my notion that the only reason why the poor do not have enough, and largely why we even have poor to begin with, is the rich take too much and use their God given talents to screw their neighbor instead of living them.

    Most of the major Corporations of the world are run by the same sorry crew – the same faces and names keep popping up.

    Money is a nation without borders, parochialism or patriots – its all about political POWER and prestige – and being exalted.

  32. Alpha course and kundalini???? Yoga?

    Reminds me of Barry Smith saying some martial artists were out to beat him up and he bound them in the name of Jesus and they couldn’t do their karate chops!…

    lol I loved that guy. There’s something about Kiwis!

    Barry Smith, Ray Bloomfield and our own Ian. Love me!

  33. Ian, if you redistributed the wealth tomorrow – e.g everyon had 100 grand. there’d be rich and poor within a year. And within 10 you’d have widespread poverty.

    Heck, I even know rich Christian jewellers…..

  34. btw I’m with Steve on this Peter Masters article. He should be pretty embarrassed by it. It would take too long to go through it and pull it to pieces.

    But I’ll make a point – as I like to do….!

    He makes no one definitive statement proving his case, but instead comes up with a series of points which would make someone think that considering all of them…..his conclusion is right.

    It’s like the way Christians come up with a whole series of points and then make dogmatic conclusion that masturbation, or oral sex in marriage, or one glass of wine is sin. No definites scriptural statements to people come up with 7 reasons why and hope that all of them put together amount to something.

    …..now don’t start!

  35. Now that I’ve offended everyone….I’ll see you all around.

    btw Bones. did you watch the All Stars game? Pretty good eh?
    Some good skill on display there – well basically by the indigenous guys!

    Hope your city is getting back to some kind of normality

  36. Now we know why Steve made the move to Europe – must have had inside knowledge. He’s going to have to do some back-tracking and sweet talking because of his previous posts, but its not as if he hasnt changed denominations before.

  37. Who will be “Peter the Roman” then? The penultimate Pope is passing the baton of the Beast.

    How many of you understand anything about Jewish mysticism? How many of you have Jewish friends who are Torah, Talmud, Zoah believers?

    As I have said, they are not at all like Christians in any sense and they still think Jesus was made and made no sense (well He did speak in parables deliberately so that they would not get it. and to this day, there are so many who simply do not get it either).

    Have you studied Eastern mysticism Q? What Kundalini is all about? Hinduism was derived from the religion of Babylon/Sumeria – the Brahmans were Indo/Aryans, just like the genesis of the Germans and Hebrews (“Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite” – to wit, you are what we call down under, mongrels) and the population of Europe is predominantly Indo/Aryans mingled with the Hebraic peoples – Israel still likes the form of the young men of Assyria.

    Old Barry Smith was kicked about by smartarses all his life, but he had some light on certain subjects. Q I have had an ex-League playing junky with a nasty run away from me and I did not raise a finger – I put on Christ in my indignation – actually more is the point, He rose up in indignation and clothed me. This guy could have wiped the floor with me.

    As for the footy, the indigenous game is a great morale booster for brown people and helps to make things ALL WHITE in their neighborhood – but don;t you just love Jonathan Thurston’s silky skills – the guy is a flippin’ League genius and Maori/Aboriginal to boot. They only problem with League of course is corruption, as in any sport, especially in OZ – look at the Sonny Boy Muslim fight.

    But even the great game – cricket – has been attended by corruption – ask Hansie Cronje or Christopher Martyn Jenkins – when you get to glory – ah but then it will not matter – you will be so in awe of the Love of God and the Person of Jesus and so over this world – besides, what is sonwe in the flesh is reaped in the flesh, not in the Spirit.

    By the way Bones, that testimony was Bonkers – I hope you do not put em in the same money grubbing group? Q – my wife and I give most of what I earn – we live quite simply and not at all extravagantly – I grow my own veges and mow my own lawn.

    I know that it is the love OF money which is the antithesis of the LOVE OF GOD – and that if I seek first the kingdom, and all His righteousness, that God will take care of our need as we take care of the needs of others. We can and should all do more to help and Jesus told us that the poor would always be with us (I guess because there would always be Rich Young Lawyers and Leaders sucking up more than their share) so we would never want for opportunity to help.

    The world system of Mammon and usury will persist until the Lord returns, but we are supposed to be in it and not of it.

    When the Lord had me pray over filthy rich Goldman Sachs quisling Hank Paulson and the TAARP vote, the revulsion He showed me concerning so-called Christian Paulson was palpable – I felt God’s wrath against unrighteousness – as I also about that time when praying for an old friend who had recently been divorced.

    One last quip – remember how Homosexuality is an abandonment judgment of God (Roms 1 – because they did not acknowledge God as creator, He abandoned them to their lusts)? Well Paul also added an exhaustive list of sins which all deserve death – so the bottom line is that all sin is deserving of death and I think God through Paul headlined homos and then listed the others so that the others would stumble at homos, and this is the ‘bottom’ line. LOL.

  38. Remember always that in heaven, their is a maximium reward rate of one denarius.

    18. For He shall reveal the wrath of God from heaven against all the abomination and calumny of human beings, those who are heavily seized by abomination.*
    19. Because the knowledge of God was revealed in them, for God revealed it to them.
    20. For the holy attributes* of God were visible from the foundations of the universe [all the way] to His creations, also His Power and His Divinity* to [the end of] the universe, so that they did not have to lose their soul.*
    21. Because they did know God, but* they did not regard Him as God or acknowledge Him, except they became enveloped in their own pretensions, and their heart grew darker so as it would not understand.
    22. And as they thought to themselves that they were wise, they became shallow,
    23. And they exchanged the glory of God that is immutable, with the likeness of human visage that is mutable, and in the likeness of birds and of the four-legged and the lowly creepers.*
    24. Because of that God ABANDONED them to the defiling lusts of their heart, to enthrall their bodies in idolatry
    25. And they exchanged God’s truth for lies, and they worshipped nature more than its Creator,* and [for Whom belong] glory and blessings to [the end of] the universe, of all the universes, amen.
    26. Because of that God ABANDONED them to venereal diseases. For their women exchanged their natural virtue for that which is unworthy of their nature.
    27. And likewise their males ABANDONED the female’s natural virtues AND EXHIBITED THEIR DEPRAVED LUSTS one for the other, and males acted shamefully against males, and they received wages worthy of oblivion in their beings.
    28. And as they did not judge themselves [worthy] of acknowledging God, God ABANDONED them to experience depravity, to do that which is not Lawful.
    29. Whereas they are full of abominations, adultery, bitterness, evildoing, cheating, envy, murder, corruption, treachery and evil intentions,
    30. And scandal, false accusation; and they are haters of God, arrogant, fault finders,* character assassins,* disobedient to their parents,
    31. And they possess neither integrity,* nor love, nor peacefulness, nor kindness.
    32. They that know the judgment of God, that those who are thus occupied are deserving* of Death, not only they do them, except they also associate themselves with those that do these things.

    *1:18 Lit. Ar. idiom retained: “The truly corrupt.”
    *1:20.1 Lit. Ar. id.: “Holiness.”
    *1:20.2 Lit. Ar. id.: “Godhead.”
    *1:20.3 Lit. Ar. id. expression: “So their spirit would not escape out.”
    *1:21 Lit. Ar. id. figure of speech: “And not.”
    *1:23 Lit. Ar. id. construction: “Creepers on the ground.”
    *1:25 Lit. Ar. id. construction: “And they feared and ministered to the creatures well from that to their Creator.”
    *1:30.1 Lit. Ar. id. expression: “Finders of evil.”
    *1:30.2 Lit. Ar. id. figure of speech: “Detractors of opinion,” or “opinionated detractors.”
    *1:32 Lit. Ar. id. figure of speech: “To death responsible.”

  39. Lust is the genesis of poverty but Love is the genesis of charity.

    Jesus asks us as disciples to be divested of the world, to invest in the poor, and to follow Him to have the treasures of heaven, which are laid up for us in God.

    He does not tell us to put our money in the Church, to wit “heaven”, but rather to exchange our mammon based values for heaven’s values – lest OUR values burn our flesh as if by fire, in the last days.

    He also said use unrighteous mammon to make friends and affluence people….off topic I know but that is for the folks who are getting fleeced by the ravening wolves…

    By the way, I believe that Rosh Hashanah 2008 was the deadly wound to the head of the beast from which it would seem to “miraculously” recover, but it is in effect dead while living – I expect the whole thing to go belly up about late 2015. Then you and me and we will find out all we need to know about poverty and lack and looking after our neighbors…

  40. I wonder if there is some sort of simbolism around the fact that Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignatoin on shrove Tuesday – the day before Lent begins – and that the likelyhood is that a new Pope will be announced around Easter time?

  41. My word, Ian! In an attempt to forge companionship and equity, I tried to read through one of your comments out of curiosity, and curious it was.

    I have to declare that by the time I reached the end of the comment I had forgotten what you started with.

    You began with the pope, morphed inextricably into Jewish mysticism, parables, Eastern mysticism, European demography, Barry Smith, rugby league, rugby union, Aboriginals, Maoris, corruption in sport, cricket, Bone’s testimony, you and your wife’s financial frugality, vegetables, the love of money, Goldman Sachs, divorce, homosexuality, sin, death and the bottom line.

    Do you think aloud or something?

    Do you actually work out what subject your are going to focus on before you write, or do you get tripped by a word or phrase into another completely unconnected subject as you write?

    Because I have to tell you, what you wrote in that passage, which I randomly selected, was, as a comment taken on its own merits and in its own context, so filled with mixed ideas and references that it was impossible to follow your train of thought to any conclusion.

    This is what confuses people, not the depth of meaning of what you are saying, but the mishmash of ideas compacted into a long, rambling exercise in whatever your thought process contrives.

    We all handle this in different ways. I have to admit I cannot always give attention to deciphering your logic every time you add a rambling comment like this.

    Greg has obviously determined that it is pointless even allowing your thoughts to be a distraction to the thread, so his response is censorship.

    I would prefer to have you contribute, but you will have to discipline yourself and write on on concisely presented subject, and try to stay focused so we can understand where you are going with your comments and ideas.

  42. Look, Ian, probably the best example of concise writing is wazza. I don’t always agree with him, as you know, but I invariably always understand what he is saying.

    It makes life simpler for everyone.

  43. @Steve. Ian and I are obviously into the Steam of Consciousness school of commenting. lol

    If they ever make a movie about signposts Robin Williams would have to play Ian.

    But imagine if we had to put tags on top of our posts. Ian sure covers a lot of subjects there. Incredible.

    And yes Ian, Thurston is brilliant!

    I love Ian’s posts because I have a soft spot for eccentrics and really quirky people.

  44. “is wazza. I don’t always agree with him, as you know”

    @Steve. I give you the Understatement of 2013 Award!!! Well done.

    Wazza is not only concise but very polite considering he’s on the Dark Side. (Or maybe Kaos is a better term) lol

  45. @Greg

    There’s a whole stack of posts above not related to the topic, such as the Pope resigning and references to Get Smart. Are you going to delete them? If you set the rules you have to be consistent. otherwise people will think you’re censoring people’s opinions you don’t like, rather than trying to streamline this site.

  46. All I will delete are those bits that are pesonally abusive – its not about being off topic – its the abuse – so stick with the new order of things adn all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well

  47. I can write concisely, but this is more like chatting. Blame my dyslexic, eclectic childhood – I could not read until about 10 and could not see the blackboard until 11. I had to rely on memory, being about 55% blind. And yes, I would LOVE a miracle for my eyes and I have had a foretaste of it…

    Even though I skip from one quip to another, they are linked. Being artistic I see in patterns – I see links. I also know that the time is short and we will not have this forum for much longer, so i am trying to get as much out there as possible before it is shut down. Probably vain and futile but there is always Q’s of people looking for inspiration and this is my MO – make people think, make people link. I may sound like a scatter-brain and slightly crazy (?) but if you tasted my home cooking you would realise that I am merely a repressed genius.

    I dream of the Sunshine Coast, a fishing rod in one hand and a cold Carlton in the other…but obligation to destiny and to Christ constrains me. Go the Maroons!

  48. For what it’s worth…. I think it’s fair enough for the person who posts an article to have moderating rights. That’s the way things usually work.

    And if a person deletes too much and then raises suspicions that they can’t take the heat or whatever, then that’s their call.

    My personal feeling is that if I posted an article and someone was extremely abusive in a comment, then by leaving it there there would be evidence of the person’s unreasonableness.

    But in the end, I’m okay with the poster having the right to delete.
    If my Get Smart reference was deleted, it wouldn’t bother me.

    Anyway, there was no malice meant whatsoever meant in calling them Kaos. Besides, one of us would have to be Get Smart and another would have to be the guy who always hid in vending machines and stuff.

  49. @Roundhouse. You mentioned my history of abuse. There was a time back there when I said really severe things to Greg and also to Bones. And at the time I thought they were completely justified.
    as we all tend to do…

    But, we got over that, and both of them have graciously not even brought that up – so, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t. To me those episodes are over, and have no bearing on any discussion now. Clean slate so to speak.

    Maybe if someone gets deleted, that can ask why, then rephrase, or then just realize that “if it don’t fit, don’t force it just relax and let it go”

    I’ve learned a lot through arguing with my wife….

  50. Sunshine Coast would be good Ian – no earthquakes there.

    (unless you’ve had a vision to the contrary…:)

    And you’d be closer to your soul-mate Bones!

  51. Q, our wife is so often our humbling thorn in the flesh, and we theirs too! WE thought we were signing up for a Mary and got a Michael instead.

    Funny thing is that so often they imagine that they know us better than anyone and yet deny our divinity in the process – it is no longer I which lives.

    In the eclectic post above, containing elements of all the other posts on this site, I mentioned how that there is a whole list of sins which follow on from Paul mentioning male/male or female/female sexual promiscuity. Some of these might seem moderate or innocuous but they are all mentioned in the same breath as being deserving of death, and in the very next chapter,
    Paul says:

    1. Because of this, the Spirit is not speaking through you, O, human being, as you judge your companion, for against that which you judge, you shall also revert.
    2. And we know that the judgment of God will be heavy against those who revert [to that same condition.]
    3. What do you suppose then, O, human being, that you should judge those who revert thus, while you are also going back to the same thing, do you think you will run away from the judgment of God?
    4. Or is it His generosity, forbearance and the bounty that he gives you, that you resent, not knowing that it is God’s purpose to bless you?*
    (Lit. Ar. id. construction: “Or against the wealth of His fulfillment and against the extension of His spirit and against the wealth that he gives you that you [hold in] contempt, and you do not know that the fulfillment of God is to bring you to blessings?”)

  52. @Q

    “You mentioned my history of abuse…..I’d appreciate it if you didn’t.”

    I only used you as an example to show that I am not alone in using abusive language here. Every one of us has done it more than once. None of us are proud of it, and all of us would wish we’d never said it. Yet I am being singled out and having what I say censored (apart from Ian, who it appears just has the unfortunate position of being almost completely incoherent). And to be clear, I have never used a foul swear word, unlike Greg and Bones (and Ian), and I have used the exact same words towards others here that I have seen used by them towards me, you and Steve on many occasions. I jut don’t understand why I alone are being censored.

  53. Yeah, what I am saying is that last year …is so last year.

    Ian, is completely coherent to me. He just throws in a lot of stuff.
    Have a glass of wine and you’ll understand him better….

    Okay, i’ll stay out of it. I don’t know the posts so I don’t know.

    but as for foul swear words….that is irrelevant because some take the position that those words are acceptable. That’s their call.

    Maybe if you ask Greg nicely, he’ll give and example and explain why it’s unacceptable. Obviously if you really don’t know, then you won’t understand how to escape moderation.

    But that’s the nature of a referee. Not many games when people don’t have a beef with the ref.

    All I can say is….it’s not the end of the world.
    Just try again.

    As for anything that’s been said to me….it’s all forgotten.

    as far as east is from west.

    “Love keeps no records of wrongs” (well at least it says that in one of the funky translations”

  54. Wow – STOP PRESS – Pope retires on Shrove Tuesday – will this be the fulfillment of prophecy? Will Angelo Scola become Peter the Roman?

    Nah, I did not swear, just called Greg “Greggery Peccary”, an endangered porcine species. It was a character developed by Frank Zappa – the original Greggery worked for Big Swifty and Associates, trend merchants. It was just my obscure and warped sense of humour – and I said Julia Gillard is a lesbian satanist witch – which is the word on the streets in Sydney – that she was or is the top-ranking satanist in Sydney. Satanists in Sydney, You are kidding, right? Mafia in Sydney? Never!

    And I slipped in that Kevin Rudd was there to set you up for Gillard. God gives nations leaders after their own hearts,this is plainly obvious.

    Anyway, the very important development is who will replace Ratzinger and what will this mean to all you Catholics out there? The Church will split right down the middle into ecumenical traditional and those who are perhaps more discerning of the times. The key thing to remember is that the the world leader to come will fool just about everyone initially, so simply look for the candidate most likely – the one you would least suspect – the man of good who will make himself the Man of God and Man of Peace.

    I am looking toward the future, not living in the past, and I make no bones about it!.

  55. It’ll be interesting what the new pope calls himself. There have been five who named themselves Sixtus.

    The next will be Sixtus the Sixth.

    Eyes will love that one!

    Stay tuned!

  56. Greg or Ian? LOL.

    What about Scherer (Ashkenaz German for Sheep Shearer – note the SS) from Brazil? I’ll bet 666 dollars on the pale horse from Brazil, or maybe there is a dark horse yet to show.

    The retirement was announced 2:11:13 – or 11:02:13.

    Has anyone looked into the Papal prophecy, that this Pope to come will be known as Peter the Roman and will be the 112th Pope since of the prophecy – 112th – 11:2 or 2:11 – nice synchronicity. And of course 2+11=13. The announcement of the new (last?) Pope on Easter? Who planned that?

    Will this be the first time the Papacy has had a Brazillian? LOL.

    Probably named Pope Gregory Peter or Peter Gregory. LOL.

  57. The nice gay guy who is Ratzinger’s right hand has announced Scherer as the “dark horse” – hmmm, that sounds awfully familiar…almost revelatory…

  58. Sorry – fact check – the “dark horse” is in fact the Filipino Pony – but my money is on Scherer.

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