So…the last time we had this study (a month ago…) I MEANT to upload these notes:
And it was a really interesting night talking about tongues. And we covered A LOT of material…hence my crazy notes…but that was a month ago, and I really want to type up notes from last night’s study, so the bottom line is this: Every time the word “tongues” is used in Scripture it is referring to a real human language (even if it is unknown by you; xenoglossalia) NOT gibberish-people do not need to hear “tongues” as a sign and wonder so much as they need to hear the clear gospel message.
If you have questions, you can ask Pastor Joel! Findgracehere.org is our website!
Okay! Moving on to this week! We started our night discussing the book “Jesus Calling” . Pastor Joel explained the premise, the “Presence”, and explained how the book oozed affirmation. In groups we discussed “How do we hear from God?”, “Why do Christians desire to hear from God everyday?” and “What dangers (if any!) could result from this desire to hear from God.
It is interesting, we noted, that when we (or others) make up the response of God in their head-that it sounds a lot like them. Uh-oh. Though it is desirable to have God given answers to our specific personal questions, are we in fact making our own imagination God?
We then dove into a study on “prophecy”. We first looked in the Old Testament, when God gave the nation of Israel prophets to be his mouthpiece, and then looked at how to identify false prophets and prophecies (Joel gave us some examples of the most ridiculous ones of our time, and it is actually very sad that they get so many to believe and give so much into these lies!). From that we transitioned into the two Gospel-Centered camps of prophecy we have today: the Continuationists and the Cessationists.
Continuationists believe prophecy is communicating messages that originate from God but are to be evaluated by the church. The New Testament apostles are equivalent to the Old Testament prophets, and today prophecies are impressions given to believes by the Holy Spirit for the church. Cessationists believe that prophecy is a message FROM GOD, accepted as an absolute authoritative revelation. New Testament prophets are equivalent to Old Testament prophets, and prophecy CEASED after the completion of the New Testament (Ephesians 2:20).
We learned different scriptural arguments for each side, and Pastor Joel humbly noted that there are good, godly people on both sides of this fence and that this is not a battlefield we die on. We are on the same team here. The role of women play an interesting part in this discussion, as did the story from Acts about the prophet Agabus.
But Joel’s question that got me was this:
He feels that we undermine the sufficiency of Scripture when we rely on extra-biblical revelation-that we are ignoring the Holy Spirit and his job and delight to illuminate the Word to us!
So I ask you what I had to ask myself that night: Do you truly understand and believe that this book is living and breathing and that its author is present each time you open its pages? Do you look somewhere else (or to someone else) to answer your questions or to ease your distressed spirit? If so, you (we!) are missing out on an AMAZING experience, because Scripture is all-sufficient and the Holy Spirit will reveal truth, wisdom, and comfort to those who seek to know God.