Prayer Language

Discussion in 'Pneumatology' started by 4ndr3w, Aug 5, 2004.

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  1. Scot

    Scot Puritan Board Sophomore

    [quote:560f9a1893]But prophetic edification and encouragement is still revelation.[/quote:560f9a1893]

    I agree. God frequently repeats things over in scripture, sometimes word for word. If he still speaks today through further revelation, it also would be being recorded because it would be an addition to scripture.

  2. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [quote:d17d0a588c="Abd_Yesua_alMasih"]What about the prophets mentioned in the Bible which do not have recorded words? Not every prophecy in history has been recorded on paper. Remember Saul and the band of prophets? We dont have everything Nathan said either... that is to name just a bit.[/quote:d17d0a588c]

    While we do see from Scripture that God saw fit to record some prophets' words as binding on all men, and others He did not, there still is no distinction made on two different "types" or "natures" of prophecy per se. The unrecorded prophecies could have been new instructions from God just as well as the recorded ones - they would simply have been information that only partained to particular situations of the time.
  3. govols

    govols Puritan Board Junior

    Where is the handbook for the angelic prayer language?

    Is there a thesaurus? What is another word for thesaurus anyways? Why isn't phonics phonetically correct? :banghead:

    Sorry - I thought all angels could be understood by humans in their language. I thought "tongues" were known languages. Unbelievers present at Pentecost heard God's message proclaimed in the own dialects.
  4. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    This is way too simple:

    If there is more revelation, the Bible is insufficient. If the Bible is insufficient, it is imperfect. End of story. That does not mean that the Bible has errors, but that it NEEDS the new revelation (or else there would be none). This is exactly the situation with the OT. It was perfectly free from error, but not sufficient. In order to be perfect, it needed God's Final Word, Christ and the NT.

    Don't kid yourself, that is what it comes down to. If we want more than the Bible, we are telling God that His Bible is not enough.
  5. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    :ditto: Well said, Fred.
  6. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    What about calls to ministry, promptings to evangelize,etc? Is the Holy Spirit doing this and if so, how is it different from "prophecy"?
    Just asking.
  7. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    It's all in God's providence. He ordains and orders things, the means as well as the end, and He doesn't have to reveal all of those means to us in order to bring them about. As far as what we should do in regard to such things (e.g. callings), see [b:f61bd61f62]this thread[/b:f61bd61f62].
  8. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:f0fcbafc5e="turmeric"]What about calls to ministry, promptings to evangelize,etc? Is the Holy Spirit doing this and if so, how is it different from "prophecy"?
    Just asking.[/quote:f0fcbafc5e]

    It is like the difference between revelation and illumination.
  9. Abd_Yesua_alMasih

    Abd_Yesua_alMasih Puritan Board Junior

    I do not want to be appearing up here in support of prayer language so please dont ask any more questions about that.

    Me Died Blue said -[quote:fca4464bce]they would simply have been information that only partained to particular situations of the time.[/quote:fca4464bce]
    That is what I am saying modern 'prophecy' is like - nothing more than instructions to an individual or a small group.

    The Bible is still sufficient as it describes such things - ie kings going to ask the prophets for advice... etc... and Paul speaking of encouragement.

    Fred, what do you mean by "illumination"?
  10. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    You definitely want to make a distinction between:

    1) Prophecy as foretelling.

    2) "Prophesy" as preaching or forthtelling.

    3) The internal testimony of the Holy Spirit (i.e. promptings of the HS in our Spirit THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD) (Not - "Go down the street, take a left, and witness to the man on the corner", etc.).

    There are no more prophets today (John the baptist being the last OT prophet), there are no apostles today (uless you are REALLY old and are witness of the Resurrection) and there are ordinary offices which do not encompass supernatural direct revelation. Thus, there is no prophecy today other than that which is already contained in the Scripture. To believe otherwise would be to bind the conscience on something other than the Scriptures, and that immediately brings to bear the sufficiency of the Bible.
  11. Abd_Yesua_alMasih

    Abd_Yesua_alMasih Puritan Board Junior

    So if we started this again and forgot all I just said... so we start off with a clear slate...

    First off I will stop using the words prophecy and prophet.

    Secondly - I am curious about the idea of "illumination"?

    Thirdly here are some things I want to check out -

    When does something go from being Gods providence and him "opening doors for you" to revelation? For example when I was thinking of going to a distant university it was of course a big decision. One day I was praying about it while mum was doing some research into in on the computer. I asked God in prayer where I should go and said I would go where He showed me had the best subjects (ie middle eastern politics). Almost instantly mum called me down and told me a university on the other end of the Island had the subjects I had asked for. I made the decision to go and have no regreted it since. Is this God 'illuminating'?

    Now I move on to the story of Saint Augustines mother. She had a 'vision' telling her she could safely cross the sea to Rome - now there could be a dozen reasons for this that dont include revelation - but that is how she obviously saw it so does that make her a heretic on those grounds? Or am I missing the point somewhere?

    Sorry for all this... I am trying to work out my faith and am slowly working through all this issue by issue.
  12. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Don't feel bad about having pressing is a good thing to take to task those things that you do not see clear biblical reason for believing. I can definitely relate to you in terms of pressing on with hard questions regarding doctrines I'm investigating.
  13. 4ndr3w

    4ndr3w Puritan Board Freshman

    This may be getting off the "Prayer Language" topic a bit but is essentially a part of the theology taught by the person(s) I am speaking of in the original post.

    There was a little girl about 2.5 years old who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (a very nasty cancer). There were several in my former Sunday School class that had "visions" and "prophecies" about her being healed. One said that she saw her "in a field of flowers with long hair and wearing a wedding dress". Another said they believed they had "a word" that she would be healed. The parents, also believing this and perhaps out of desperation said, do not come visit or even pray for her if you do not believe that God WILL heal her. (I do not quote more directly as I would have to mention names and it is not my intention to slander.)

    Another situation was that a charismatic pastor had a heart attack and was hospitalized. Several devout members of his congregation went to pray earnestly for him at the hospital, praying as he had taught them. When he died, they prayed that God would resurrect their pastor and many were "shipwrecked" when God didn't resurrect him. I know one such person and (being female) my wife has been ministering to her.

    My point being that many are led to false hope and doctrine that "shipwreck" their faith. This is a direct result of a lack of Truth. Many of them believe they have to help God and lack an understanding of the Sovereignty of God, and even deny it.

    "[i:9730c8eaab]For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased"-- and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, [u:9730c8eaab]that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation[/u:9730c8eaab], [u:9730c8eaab]for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God[/u:9730c8eaab].
    But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." [/i:9730c8eaab]- 2Peter 1:16 - 2:3 (NASB)

    Now that's prophecy!

    Yes, perhaps for some the intention may not have been for exploitation... or was it? What was their intention... to give hope? Perhaps to edify themselves or to do God a favor? Oh, I could speak on this "favor" as sure as they "speak blessing" upon each other. I apologize if I sound bitter, I am not. I am only concerned for them and those being led astray.
  14. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Your point is well taken. I think a large part of the problem with such "revelations" is the emphasis on success stories. Let me illustrate using two scenarios (made up).

    Joe and Bob are walking down the street. They are out to witness to people. Each man sees a different guy across the street and they "feel" some compulsion to go and speak to that one about Christ. Both of them "hear" a voice in their head telling them, "GO! Today is the day of his salvation!"

    Joe speaks to one fellow, and right there and then that atheist professes faith in Christ. Bob gets a punch in the nose from his atheist. Joe's result "confirms" his belief that God actually gave him that command to go, and infallibly pointed out this fellow. Bob had the same message, felt the same certainty of "leading" when he went to talk to his "divinely appointed" target, but got a bloody nose for his trouble before he got two words out of his mouth.

    Was Joe right and Bob wrong? Is Joe more "spiritual" than Bob? Did Bob mix up the signal and pick the wrong guy? Did Bob get "backfeed" from the message meant only for Joe? Joe's story is spread far and wide. It becomes another "proof" that God gives special directions to those who are "tuned in" spiritually. Bob's story is explained away, and forgotten.

    Joe's story is an illustration of a common [i:26f330fa14]post-hoc[/i:26f330fa14] fallacy. "Things worked out, so God was obviously telling me what I thought he was telling me." Problem is, that conclusion does not follow. What if Joe's atheist-convert later falls away, goes back to atheism? Does Joe's assesment of his encounter change also? We need a "more sure word of prophecy" (2 Pet. 1:19) than this in which to have confidence. Joe and Bob both need a common rule to appeal to, that both have equal access to, without the subjective element.

    Can we acknowledge inexplicable urges, or special coincidence as evidence of God's action on our behalf? Yes! Because God is sovereign and in control, and he causes all things to come to pass. Joe and Bob can be sure that God wanted them to both be out spreading the gospel, because that is what God's Word says Christians should do. And it may have been the one atheist's day of salvation. Joe and Bob should both interpret the desire they had to go speak to those men as the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. The "voice" (if there was a voice) was the conviction of their own conscience that this or that one appeared to need the gospel. God used Joe's urgency as the vehicle for the saving Word to shine by the Spirit's illuminating power into one man's heart. God used Bob's willingness to suffer for well-doing to leave a man locked in sin's bondage, refusing to hear the Word that might otherwise have brought him salvation too. All in the sovereignty of God.

    And Monica? And other event's like hers? All we can do is read her relation and interpretation of events through the grid of Scripture. I know this much--she didn't have an infallible dream sent by God, comparable to Paul's inspired vision of the Macedonian (Acts 16:9). God may have indeed allowed her to dream a soothing, peace-inducing dream that bolstered her confidence to make a difficult journey, but an infallible word of prophetic vision it was not. Someone else may have had (and probably [b:26f330fa14]did[/b:26f330fa14] have!) virtually the same experience or dream and was shipwrecked and/or died on his or her voyage. Her interpretaion of the event (if we are reading her description correctly in our own century) doesn't make her a heretic, any more than people claiming the same or similar things today. It would make her wrong, if she so thought. But it would also make her not uncommon to her time, believing common teachings (even in the church); and show her both human and devout.
  15. strangerpilgrim

    strangerpilgrim Puritan Board Freshman

    Craig! Hi! Just a note: reading this thread and Aussie friend is nearby. She informs me many Australian Christians would be horrified to read you use the work "crikey" as it is short of "Christ's blood" and is considered tremendously blasphemous by many.

    Just thought you'd like to know as an FYI. Love your wife's quote.
  16. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

  17. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior

    Good to see you again, Fraser....

    Remember, the Canon is closed now....God spoke first through the OT Prophets/oral tradition then through the NT Apostles' teaching. After the Apostles died-out, God preserved His Word by closing the Canon; instituted church government, ordaining Pastors, elders, deacons to rightly handle the Word and sacraments. The Biblical mode of discernment is to compare everything with written Scripture (Apostle's teaching.) Like it or not, God's Word and ways are orderly and protected under His rules of government (Timothy; Titus.) We don't see a "lone-Christian" anywhere in Scripture, out there doing their thing -- receiving revelations, etc. (A better question about the gifts is: WHAT did the gifts in Acts point to? At a time when the NT was incomplete, they pointed to validating the Apostles' teaching.)

    There is a fail-safe method of examining anybody's claim to additional "revelation"....Benny Hinn continues to assert that Jesus came into his bedroom to give him a word, Etc. How can personal-experience claims be refuted? (Especially, the ones that aren't goofy?)

    The only way to go is to test the "spirits" with Scripture.

    Jesus said a "wicked and perverse generation looks for signs."


  18. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior


    Here's what's with this...

    First, "illumination" is always in reference to our deeper-more mature understanding of Scripture. As we read/study, God (the Holy Spirit) imparts to the believer insight about the Text, and sometimes includes personal application (but not always.) Think of a dark room - there is furniture already in turn-on the light, then you can see the chair (that was already there). God's Truth is already set-in-stone...yet, we struggle to gain insight (by turning the light on.) Christ IS the light, Btw. So studying information about Christ (somehow) gives us deeper understanding. It is the Gospel (not the Law) that promotes sanctification -- maturity --- godliness, Etc. (Much more can be said, of course.)

    Secondly, things like your school experience happen to all of us. (I've had so many wierd things like that ...) It's not sound judgment to depend on "coincidences" to "read" God's will. That's like using magic, superstition, or Ouiji-board style interpretating of God. Things get out of hand...before long, we're interpreting Scripture through the lens of our sensual feelings, rather than the opposite - confusing our desires with God's will. We can never trust our feelings, ever! We are idol-factories.

    Rather, the harder thing, is to be a diligent learner of Scripture--the whole counsel of God--gradually, learning sound "horse-sense" or wisdom from which to make decisions in life. This takes time, patience, discipline, thinking, headaches, struggle, frustration, personal confrontation of our own wickedness, repentence, obedience. Learning (submitting) under the care of God ordained pastors/elders/teachers is the Biblical model. God gives us the liberty and responsibility to make decisions -- based upon Scriptural wisdom. A combination of our accounting to Biblical authorities - and our own maturity can then provide the best sources for us to refer to.

    I mean, there's evil out there, too. Just because things lined up for you doesn't mean God is "directing" you. Theologically, the word "revelation" should be used carefully...there is "general revelation" and "special revelation." Neither of these comport to personal, subjective experiences per se' - though general revelation touches on it.

    This is traveling deeper in the catagory of "Providence."

    Maybe Matt or Fred will unpack more on this?

  19. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    Yeah but doesn't Barth say the Bible becomes the Word of God when it speaks to us??? :scholar:

    :::runs away before he is burned at the stake:::

  20. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    Probably shouldn't say, "bloody" or "bugger" either. Heheheh.
  21. lwadkins

    lwadkins Puritan Board Junior

    hmmm, live and learn I guess ;)
  22. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior


    We love anybody who hated Schlieremacher! Besides, Barth had his good moments. :cool:

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