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Hi Nick

Thanks for your reply to my two questions. I shall check the websites mentioned. May I bounce a few ideas off you? Or perhaps ICI University can help? My first question asked for biblical evidence the miraculous gifts (ie tongues and healing) didn't cease with the completion of the NT. You quoted 1 Cor.13:8-12 and wrote,

>>These verses speak of a future time "Now...then," so that as I read "when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears" I understand that the perfect is not yet here evidenced by the fact that the imperfect is still here. (It will pass away when the future is here) By this I understand that the imperfect knowing in part and prophesying in part is still here, they haven't passed away.<<

Yes 'now' was when Paul wrote, the gifts were around. There are those who believe the 'then' is still future. And God continues to give revelation to our 'imperfect knowledge' and we "see...darkly" by prophets, tongues and signs. I'm not confident about that. The gift of tongues given to Jewish Christians were genuine languages [Ac.2:8] but today it's gibberish [do you agree?]. And it was a "sign for unbelievers" [1 Cor.14:22].

You might be aware; some say "that which is perfect" refers to the completion of the NT, the Greek doesn't refer to a person or spiritual maturity. They say God's Word is the best explanation Ps.119:11 2 Pet.1:3 Col.3:16. The imperfect gifts, providing a partial revelation of God's will ["we know in part"] and they were replaced by that which is perfect [Ps.19:7] at revealing God's will sufficiently [Ps.19:7-14 2 Tim.3:15-17]. Surely Scripture is a much more intimate 'face to face' revelation. So the gift of apostles ceased when the last apostle died and the gift of tongues ceased when the last tongues speaker died. Not the first time God gave miraculous endowments for a limited period [ie the Israelites in the Wilderness].


Logically, the church in her early years without the NT "understood as a child" [1 Cor.13:11] and needed special revelation. If tongues were permanent it would be evident all church history and the church couldn't function without them. But has God's complete revelation replaced it? [Rev.22:18-19] You wrote,

>>If the perfect were here, then we wouldn't have knowledge. Knowledge should pass away when the perfect is come.<<

I believe most of what we learn now about the Lord is taken into glory [Mt.13:11 Lk.1:77 Rom.1:28 1 Tim.2:4 2 Pet.3:18]. Also the "knowledge" mentioned in 1 Cor.13:8 better applies to the imperfect sign gifts which were for a limited time. It says, "For we know in part and we prophesy in part" [vs.9]. Or is it some other "knowledge" you are thinking about? You wrote,

>>So, as it is, we are left today in 2001 with the imperfect prophesying and imperfect knowledge. In the same way, so it is with the tongues. As long as the perfect is not here and the imperfect is still here, then so is tongues still here. When that which is perfect comes, then the tongues will be gone. Perfect love, perfection is not yet realized among us, is not here. The imperfect is.<<

I agree the imperfect gifts are contrasted with love in 1 Cor.13.1-7. But in 13:8-12 they appear to be contrasted with the complete revelation that God would send. If we depend on "imperfect prophesying" and "imperfect [gifts of] knowledge" then how can we be sure about anything? [Concerning knowledge, as far as I know anyone wanting 'knowledge' today about God must study the Bible. God does not give 'gifts of knowledge' without study].

So I have a few concerns. Note Heb.2:3-4, the 'signs and wonders' [tongues] 'confirmed' the 'great salvation'. Does this mean when a RC Priest speaks in tongues that God is "confirming" his doctrine - prayers to Mary, Mass, Penance, etc ? I've seen Christians rolling on the floor, no control, contrary to the 'fruit of the Holy Spirit' which is "self-control" [Gal.5:22-23]. Tongues are not a sign of a Spirit filled life, they're not mentioned in passages where a Spirit filled life is mentioned [Gal.5:22 Eph.5:18 6:20]. And it's not even unique to Christianity, it's known among pagan tribes, spiritists, certain Islamic cults and various others who don't regard it from the Holy Spirit.

My second question was asking, where do the Scriptures say, I should seek a 'Baptism of the Spirit'? You wrote,


>>Mark, In consideration of the scriptures where Jesus commanded his disciples about waiting for the power from on high (the gift of which he had previously spoken) after which they would be his witnesses, it seems only reasonable to infer that he would have that be normative for me, the one for whom he prayed in John 17, right along with his prayer for them. His concern and desire that we would be one, that is, his disciples as well as you and I (if you're a believer), as they (he and the Father) were one gives credence to my heart and mind that he wants me to have that same witnessing power they were to have, since we rightly understand that we are included in that great band of followers of Jesus who were to obey what is called the great commission. To obey that commission, we too must wait until we have received this power from on high.<<

Thanks for that Nick. Yet the term 'baptism of the Holy Spirit' is not found in the Bible. One would expect pages describing this experience, yet it's never referred to by name. In fact, the word 'baptize' with reference to the Spirit is never used in re-counting the story of Pentecost, Samaria, Caesarea, Ephesus or anywhere else. This is amazing, for what's called 'normative'. Pastor Lindell says "H.S. baptism is commanded to the believer" Yet in the Bible I can't find a command, or even a suggestion to seek it.

In Acts 2 the pouring out of the Spirit, occurred at a set date by divine promise [Lk.24:49 Acts 1:4 2:1 -The verses you mentioned]. It was a divinely scheduled time and place for "the power from on high". But can there be a second Pentecost or incarnation? The Spirit is here now [Jn.14:16-17]. And in Acts there's no consistent pattern for the Spirit's out-pouring. If tongues are the normal experience why not for the 3,000 on Pentecost [Ac.2:41] , or the 5,000 [Ac.4:4] or those mentioned in Acts 8 . They all received the Spirit, but not tongues.

You seem to suggest there are those who "
wait" for the baptism [or 'power'] and those who don't but should. I can't find any distinction in Scripture between those who have had the baptism and those who haven't. And even 1 Cor.12:1-13 [the passage you quoted], it reads - "For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink" [vs13]. Not a baptism for a few. All true Christians are 'born of the Spirit' [Jn.3:5] 'anointed' of God [1 Cor.1:21-22] indwelt [1 Cor.6:19] and baptized [1 Cor.12:13]. There's no doubt the disciples were told to go to a certain location and wait for a certain day [verses you quote], but to expect that to be the normal procedure is questionable.

Thanks for Pastor Lindell's sermon notes. There are a few 'notes' I question. Perhaps you could forward him a copy of this. He might be interested and I would be interested in his comments. Sermon note number 5 -


>>5. The H.S. baptism infilling is a daily experience Acts 4:8 "being continually filled"<<

Pastor Lindell fails to realize the words 'baptism' and 'filling' are opposite in meaning. By baptism we are put into the element by filling the element is put into us. So the command in Eph.5:18 'be filled with the Spirit' is in the imperative present continues tense [It's NOT a command to be baptized]. The baptism was unique but the fullness was intended to be continues. Baptism can't be lost or repeated it occurs at the moment of belief [Rom.8:9] but the fullness can and needs repeating. It was unique and initiatory but the fullness was intended to be continual and permanent, normal experience - a command. Sermon number 3 -

>>3 H.S. baptism evidence is speaking in tongues Acts 2:4,<<

Lindell also says "baptism is a gift for everyone". Yet Christians were not exhorted to seek tongues but desire other spiritual gifts [1 Cor.14:5]. Tongues were not a sign of a Spirit filled life [Gal.5:22 Eph.5:18], and the Corinthians who "came behind in no Spiritual gift" were carnal - not spiritual [1 Cor.5:3]. Paul regards tongues as the least of the gifts, and in the church he says that even just 5 words with understanding is better than 10,000 in tongues [1 Cor.14:19]. Looking at 1 Cor.12:11 it appears tongues had nothing to do with the subjective attitude of the disciples but all to do with the sovereignty of God. And it appears from 1 Jn.4:12-21 that the real evidence for the Holy Spirit's power in the life of a Christian is not mystic or ecstatic but was in a word 'love' - not special experiences.

I look forward to any help or refection Pastor Lindell or you might have on my queries and concerns. I personally believe it better to base our experiences on the Word of God, not the other way around. If I'm wrong on these matters I would hope the University has the professionals who are able to explain why. If the truth matters, and our walk with the Lord [A faith worth defending is a faith worth believing], then I'm prepared to put in the time and study of these things in greater detail.

Sincerely
Mark

Josh McDowell "Christians do not depend on feelings or emotions but we place our faith in the trustworthiness of God and the promises of His Word".



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