Ask Your Preacher
I understand that all spiritual gifts are no longer needed and have ceased; I understand why. But a question came up with a Pentecostal friend that I need a little help with. What is the scripture that explains to us that God chooses to no longer speak to people directly? And what would be a good way to explain why He does not speak to people outside the Bible?
Trying To Help
Dear Trying To Help,
There are several places that you can go to explain this concept to your Pentecostal friend. Here are a few verses to show them:
- We are told that the Bible contains everything we need to know concerning life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). If the Bible tells us everything we need to know, we don’t need anything else.
- The Bible tells us that we shouldn’t add or subtract from God’s Word (Rev 22:18-19). A vision or prophecy given to an individual would do exactly that. If a “vision” says more than the Bible, we don’t need it, and if it says the same thing as the Bible, we don’t need it.
- Heb 1:1-2 says that God used to speak to mankind through many diverse methods, but today He has spoken to us through His Son. Jesus’ Word is now our only guide.
- Jude 1:3 says that we have the Word of God handed down “once and for all”. God has finished providing revelation to us.
- The silver bullet verses are 1 Cor 13:8-9, but it is a little lengthier discussion to handle all of the arguments in that verse. We recommend you read “Incomplete Understanding” for a complete breakdown of the 1 Cor 13:8-9 argument.
The long and the short of it is that prophecy was needed until the Bible was complete, but now that we have everything God wanted us to know, prophecy has ceased.
When was the first appointed elder in the Bible?
Age Before Beauty
Dear Age Before Beauty,
Elders have the oversight of local congregations, and in order to be an elder, a man must meet the qualifications outlined in 1 Tim 3:1-7 and Tit 1:5-9. The first recorded elders are mentioned in Acts 11:39-40, and they were elders in the Jerusalem church.
With no religious upbringing, I was baptized in 2008 according to Matthew 28:19 at a conservative evangelical church. I moved and attended an apostolic church. I was told I had to be re-baptized in Jesus' name because I was not saved. And then the whole tongues thing. I made the decision to leave because I could not embrace their doctrine of Oneness, Jesus' name only, speaking in tongues… forget all the holiness issues. How do you suppose the Lord looks upon me for leaving? Should I have stayed to be a light of truth? Thank you.
Fleet Of Foot
Dear Fleet Of Foot,
You can only do so much to help others, but in the end, it is more important that you seek the truth and be part of a faithful congregation than it is that you stay and try and be the lone voice for a church that isn’t interested in changing. Your own salvation comes first (Php 2:12). Furthermore, it isn’t like the congregation showed an interest in studying or changing. In such cases, God tells us not to “cast your pearls before swine” (Matt 7:6).
As far as the doctrinal issues, you may find the articles “Just Gibberish” and “Gifts That Stop Giving” useful for future reference, but you are right to not embrace the doctrines you mentioned. Christianity is meant to be simple. If we take what the Bible says and follow its pattern, we will have the truth. All the religious division is wrong and completely unnecessary. Read “Down With Denominationalism” for an in-depth look at how denominationalism has strayed from the Bible. All we have to do is follow the Bible like an instruction manual, and we will be fine. We congratulate you on your stand for the truth, and we would be happy to help you get in touch with a congregation that has your same love for truth. We know of many simple, honest, Bible-patterned congregations; e-mail us at email@example.com if we can be of service.
Why was the blind man not healed completely the first time Christ touched him in Mark 8:22-26?
Throughout the Bible, miracles were performed that involved some very unique circumstances, circumstances that leave us with unanswered questions. Elisha stretching out multiple times upon the body of a dead child in order to bring him back to life (2 Kgs 4:34) and Jacob setting different striped rods before the flock to bring forth different colored sheep (Gen 30:37-39) are just two other examples. God never tells us why there are such unique circumstances surrounding some miracles; some secrets belong to God (Deut 29:29).
Rev 21:4 says that there will be no tears, no sorrow, and no crying in heaven. How can this verse be true if a place like ever-burning hell exists? Also in Rev 21:8, it says the lake of fire is the "second death". Does that not imply that the people die?
In Matt 10:28, it says "destroy", not torment; I am confused because I have been taught on ever-burning hell my whole life, but I cannot ignore the Word of God.
There will be no pain in heaven because God will heal us. Heaven is a place where we show up with tears, and God wipes them away (Rev 21:4). There will be a great deal of pain that we bring with us to the feet of our Maker, but He is the Great Physician (Mk 2:17). We here at AYP have no idea how God will heal every wound and sorrow in heaven, but we also don’t know how skilled doctors repair hearts and arteries. If a surgeon on this earth can repair a body and make it whole, certainly God is capable of repairing our hearts and souls.
As far as hell being a place of eternal torment, the Bible says that it is. Mk 9:47-49 says that hell is a place where “the worm never dies and the fire is not quenched”. Jesus also told the story of a rich man that died and went to torments (Lk 16:22-23). In torments, the rich man was in constant, burning anguish without relief (Lk 16:24). Abraham told the rich man that he would remain in anguish and that there was a great gulf eternally fixed between those in Paradise and those in torment (Lk 16:25-26). Though some good brethren believe that hell is not an eternal location and that the wicked are destroyed at death, we don’t believe that this holds up to biblical scrutiny. Hell is a place of death and destruction – spiritual death and spiritual destruction. Hell is a place where people are forever destroyed and spiritually dead without hope of renewing their relationship with God.