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  #21  
Old 03-29-2008, 01:27 PM
Connie
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Yes, you are probably right about that, Jerry, they go too far into mysticism, in their zeal for personal experience of God. The same is true of Lloyd-Jones, who had experienced one of the revivals in Wales as a child, and once a person has experienced the supernatural power of God they tend to see those who have never experienced it as missing the whole point of the Christian life. Since I'm trying to undo the effects of the charismatic movement on myself, I have to think about the whole mystical thing too, because I've always been very attracted to it, and I'm sure that explains why I and many others ended up in the charismatic movement in the first place.

I'm finally convinced that the gifts of the Spirit are not for today, but it's hard to believe that personal experience of God and His power in some sense are not for today at all. Certainly we aren't to take our experiences as the basis for our doctrine or beliefs, since experiences can be counterfeited, but are we to give up on supernatural experiences and powers altogether as expressions of the Christian life? How do you understand what Jesus said here:

Joh*7:38
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Sounds pretty mystical in a way, wouldn't you say?
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  #22  
Old 03-29-2008, 01:42 PM
Connie
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I meant of course not that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not for today but the sign gifts, tongues which were a sign to unbelieving Jews, and the supernatural gifts that were the signs of the apostles. Certainly the Holy Spirit continues to equip members of the body of Christ with many gifts.
  #23  
Old 03-29-2008, 01:45 PM
jerry
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Jesus is saying He will quench that thirst within you and make you a channel to bring living waters to others. Living waters are flowing waters - life giving.

When you have had dry, barren times in your life spiritually, the living waters are real and powerful. After my Mom's funeral, I just felt so empty and was crying out to the Lord - and opened up His Word to the very next chapter I was reading in Isaiah and came across this promise:

Isaiah 41:17-18 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

Jesus quenches that thirst within - it is a spiritual promise fulfilled literally.

As far as power goes though, the Holy Spirit is still there to give us all the power we need to serve the Lord and live for Him each day. It is not manifestations and signs and wonders - but power and boldness for witnessing, strength to serve Him, peace of mind as we stay focussed on Him - all that we need every day when we walk closely by His side.
  #24  
Old 03-29-2008, 01:57 PM
Connie
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I agree, and you say it very nicely, but in a sense those experiences are all "mystical" and it's that kind of experience that is heightened in revival. In true revivals the power that comes is power of conviction of sin to a depth people had not ever before experienced it, power of repentance, power of conversion in some cases, power of assurance of salvation, then power of witness that is truly supernatural. Tozer and Murray and Lloyd Jones and Ravenhill hardly ever speak in terms of signs and wonders, but do speak in terms of this kind of experience, and emphasize holiness of life. I have been disappointed that they do occasionally allow for the signs and wonders such as tongues, because that's the doorway into the counterfeits that now dominate the charismatic churches, but they say very very little about that, just enough to create that doorway -- and I wish they hadn't. Too bad, because overall their message is about the kind of power you are talking about.

Last edited by Connie; 03-29-2008 at 02:00 PM.
  #25  
Old 03-29-2008, 06:13 PM
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Aloha Connie,

Re: some of your questions of 3/26/08:

Quote:
“I'm glad. Sometime I'd like to get to the bottom of just what a woman is permitted to do according to the Lord if you'd like to pursue that topic again. What if I started a blog to air my opinions about a lot of things? But that's off topic here.”

A Christian woman can do practically everything a Christian man can do. She can pray, worship, fellowship, sing, witness, write songs & poems, etc. What she can’t do is very clear in Scripture: A Christian woman is not to teach, nor usurpauthorityover a Christian man; and she cannot hold an office in God’s church - (bishop-elder-pastor {all the same office}, or deacon).

A single Christian woman in this age has to be especially careful, since “feminism” (derived from “Humanism”) is so prevalent, and has actually changed the scriptural status of women (in the Western world). The following is an example:

Acts 18:24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
Acts 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.


Notice: That Priscilla also (“they”) helped expound “the way of God more perfectly” (to a man – “an eloquent man”, who “was mighty in the scriptures”) - but she was with her husband – not alone!

And to be perfectly clear – I believe that there are going to be some women (in glory), who are going to receive more honor and glory from the Lord than many a famous “pastor” or “evangelist”. {Those women who served the Lord during His ministry; and women like Fanny Crosby (who wrote 6,000 songs and poems to her Lord! I repeat - 6,000, NOT 600, or 60, BUT 6,000 songs and poems!) Show me the man who can match that!} Fanny Crosby became blind at a young age and served the Lord all of her life. She married a man (who was also blind) and they had a child who died in infancy. And yet she never complained or became bitter at her lot in life. If you read the words of some of her songs – they are the closest words to scripture that I have ever read. Praise God – some day I am going to meet this extraordinary woman!

And to be even more perfectly clear: I have been blessed beyond measure, in that God provided me with a wife (a companion & helpmate) who is in the “spirit” of Sarah and has the countenance of Ruth. In the 47 years we have been married and in the 50 years I have been a Christian, I have not seen nor have I met a more “selfless” woman devoted to her husband and her children – no not in all of Christendom!

Women can serve the Lord in many capacities – they just can’t “replace” men in God’s church.

Quote:
“I understood that, but you did remind me of all the men teachers I've admired who haven't helped me get free of these things but kept me confirmed in them, and these are men I STILL learn from and admire for the majority of their teaching.”
Christians must be very careful with their “admiration” and “respect of persons” (especially Christian men in authority) [Jude 1:16; Deuteronomy 1:17, 16:19; Proverbs 24:23; James 2:1, 9]. Those of us men (who are elders-pastors) should not elevate ourselves; nor are we to seek “vain-glory”; nor are we to seek to establish a reputation. We are to follow the example of our Lord [Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:]. We are here to serve the Lord - not reign over the brethren. I am real “leery” of the “modern” pastor or evangelist who names his work after himself; or promotes himself or his work; or seeks to have “dominion” over the brethren and their faith.

You will notice from my posts that I never refer to men (or any man) as an “authority”. My “final authority” (and only authority) is the “scripture of truth”. [Daniel 10:21] I want to know what God has to say because: “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.Matthew 4:4

In a past post I wrote:
Pastors/elders/teachers are not called of God to "interpret" the word of God for God's people (although a lot of that goes on today). 2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (the word "prophecy" means both "foretelling" and "forthtelling").
Elders/pastors/teachers are given to the church of God for the purpose of "feeding" (Primarily); "warning"; "admonishing"; "reproving"; and "rebuking". We should leave the interpretation of the scriptures up to the Holy Spirit.

To which you commented:

Quote:
“Doesn't "feeding" mean feeding us the word?”
I thought I was clear about what we are to feed the church with – since I was discussing the issue of pastors-elders-teachers “interpreting” the word of God for God’s people. The main purpose of a elder-pastor is to “feed the church of God” with the word of God. [Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2] NOT “interpret” the word of God for God’s people. The Holy Spirit is the Interpreter - that’s not my job!

Quote:
“But don't you believe that the Holy Spirit also speaks to us through the pastors and teachers He places in those positions? Their teaching WILL stick if the Holy Spirit applies it to us. I get what you are saying in general, but, for instance, Timothy was called as a preacher and pastor, and Paul exhorted him to "preach the word" besides reproving and rebuking and exhorting (2 Tim 4:2)."
I do not believe for one moment that “the Holy Spirit also speaks to us through the pastors and teachers.” We are not prophets [1 Peter 1:21]. God does not speak directly to Christians today as he did to his people Israel through the mouth of His prophets. We do not possess extraordinary powers. You make too much of us – we are easily replaced! We are as Paul said: [Acts 14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:]. The Holy Spirit does not speak to you through pastors and teachers – He speaks to you through His Holy Scriptures – not some man. [1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.]

I can not find a verse that says: “Timothy was called as a preacher and pastor” – “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” [2 Timothy 4:5]. The scriptures indicate that he was an “evangelist”. (The only other “evangelist” recorded in the scriptures was Philip – Acts 21:8).

Quote:
"When they preach the word they have to explain it, there's no getting around that as part of the job. If they are much in prayer over their preaching they will be guided by the Holy Spirit a lot more than a preacher who prays little and relies on his intellect, and unfortunately there are many of those. And we can only glean the truth for ourselves out of what is preached to us through the Holy Spirit guiding us personally too, of course.”

“But obviously we don't all have the same degree of understanding of the scripture so these passages surely can't be meaning that we don't need any help from others who know more.”
Most of what you say is true, BUT, after reading several of your posts I sense that you may be looking to men or other Christian women for knowledge, discernment, understanding and wisdom. You can gain knowledge from others (the mind – intellect); and you can even get a little bit of discernment from those who have prayerfully studied the scriptures [Ezekiel 44:23], BUT, real spiritual understanding and wisdom comes from God. [1 Corinthians 2:1-6].

In closing, I urge you to look more to the Holy Spirit for your understanding and less to men, especially when it comes to very serious spiritual issues. It is far better not to commit to some things that may be “questionable”, than to “commit” to something that may not be true. After all none of us has a monopoly on the truth.
  #26  
Old 03-29-2008, 08:44 PM
jerry
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You lost me a little there. God gave teachers to the church - that involves using men to teach others the Word of God - and of course, to a certain extent, that is going to involve interpretation of the Bible being taught. There is no way someone can teach or preach the Word without putting it into their words and explaining it. Though we must put everything taught to us under the light of the Word of God, search the Scriptures daily to see whether those things being taught are in line with it or not.
  #27  
Old 03-30-2008, 01:06 AM
Connie
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I don't think you have to have extraordinary powers for God to speak through you. You don't even need to know that God is speaking through you in any particular way. But if a preacher is guided by the Holy Spirit he is bound to say many things to many people that they recognize as coming from the Lord to their particular spiritual condition.

Overall I agree with you, George, that I need to spend more time in the word alone.
  #28  
Old 03-30-2008, 04:15 AM
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Aloha brother Jerry,
you said:

Quote:
You lost me a little there. God gave teachers to the church - that involves using men to teach others the Word of God - and of course, to a certain extent, that is going to involve interpretation of the Bible being taught. There is no way someone can teach or preach the Word without putting it into their words and explaining it. Though we must put everything taught to us under the light of the Word of God, search the Scriptures daily to see whether those things being taught are in line with it or not.
"You lost me a little there"? What is there that is so hard to understand? God calls men to " preach the word" [2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine]. NOT their private opinions as to what they "think" the word "means".

In addition to being commanded to "preach the word", we are to "teach" the word also. [Acts 18:11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.]

It's all very simple really - We are called to preach & teach the word of God. We are not called to "Interpret" it for the brethren. There's a big difference between the two approaches. Teaching & Preaching the word of God emphasizes the Scriptures (the power of God's words). "Interpreting" the word for the brethren emphasizes men's opinions, suppositions, theories, premises, and assumptions (accentuating man's words). In these days of apostasy there is far more "interpreting" going on than preaching & teaching the word of God.

God didn't give "interpreters" to the church - He gave pastors and teachers.
  #29  
Old 03-30-2008, 06:04 AM
jerry
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I agree - however, there is always going to be an element of interpretation (in the sense of putting the Bible into our own words) when you explain the Bible to others. Of course, we need to do our best to make sure our understanding and explanations line up with God's Word - and is not just opinion.
  #30  
Old 03-30-2008, 12:07 PM
Connie
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If everybody always got exactly the same thing out of the Bible you could say it's just a matter of preaching and teaching what's actually there, but in reality there are always differences of understanding from one reader to the next, one preacher to the next, at least on some parts of scripture, so teaching always involves a degree of interpretation. Even those God calls to be pastors and teachers disagree with each other on some points. That's why I read so many different commentators -- most usually agree on the meaning of a passage but on some parts of the Bible there can be a lot of disagreement, and I sometimes end up agreeing with the views of the minority. But I believe the Proverb "There is safety in many counsellors." It's good advice to read the Bible itself as your foundation, but I don't think it's good advice to trust yourself to read it on your own without also learning how others understand it, especially God-appointed preachers and teachers.

When someone here posts a lot of scripture to support a point it's obvious they understand that scripture a certain way that supports that point, although someone else may understand it somewhat differently. In other words they are interpreting scripture. It can't be helped. We won't know the perfect meaning of all of scripture until we are with the Lord.
 

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