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An Author is often thought of one who writes the script that is the direct and sole cause of all things that occur within the book. If the author wanted to write about an evil act that we would call one of the worst crimes and sins e.g. a husband murdering his wife, then it is the author that caused the wife to die not the husband. For the author mechanically controls each action and result and the action itself has no relationship with the result. For the author could control what the result is e.g. when the man throws the knife towards his wife’s chest the moment the knife touched the skin the knife shattered to a thousand pieces, not causing the wife to be pierced or to draw blood. The author can do as they please with the story, it does not have to follow within the story the knife pierced through her chest and she bled out.

To teach God is the author of sin is to teach God is the direct and sole cause of all things and eliminating all secondary causation, which comes under the title of occasionalism taught by Vincent Cheung. This is a sick and gross illustration of how God works for this would contradict Gods nature of goodness revealed in Scripture and it completely destroys any will man has. Arminians believe this is what all Calvinist do when they reject free well, falsely accusing us that we would be like mere puppets but this is another gross misunderstanding, for puppets are mechanically controlled in a way that its movements can be calculated through mathematics and physics. Man’s movements however, cannot be calculated for God uses a different type of causation a teleological causation, for the Calvinists believe in a will within man, they are able to think and reason but it is the Lord that causes man to think and reason the way he does. Man cannot think and reason on his own accord as free will teaches.

The Westminster confession I believe is explains this topic the best.
Chapter 3.1 God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass;[a] yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,[b] nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[c]
a. Rom 9:151811:33Eph 1:11Heb 6:17.
b. James 1:13171 John 1:5.
c. Prov 16:33Mat 17:12John 19:11Acts 2:234:27-28.

Is there a difference between God being the Author of Sin and God being the ultimate cause of sin?
Gordon H. Clark answers this in his book Religion, Reason and Revelation p.239
One is permitted to ask, however, whether the phrase “cause of sin” is the equivalent of the phrase author of sin.” Is the latter phrase used to deny Gods universal causality? Obviously not, for the same people affirm causality deny the authorship. They must have intended a difference. An illustration is close at hand. God is not the author of this book, as the Arminians would be the first to admit; but he is the ultimate cause of as the bible teaches. Yet I am the author. Authorship therefore is one kind of cause, but there are other kinds. The author of a book is its immediate cause; God is its ultimate cause.

Is God responsible for sin for being the ultimate cause of sin?
To answer this question it would be most helpful to understand what the term responsible means. Responsibility presupposes a higher authority that can reward or punish. With this definition in mind we can say God is not responsible nor sinful for he has no one to answer to, he is not responsible to anyone for his actions, the Father is above the law which means it is impossible for him to sin for sin is the breaking of Gods commandments, he can do as he pleases as the Scriptures continually testifies. Everything God does is good and holy, for he defines what is good and evil.

The Son however is responsible to the Father for the Father had the power to reward or punish his Son for the Son was under the Law and it was required for him to follow and keep the Law. The Father punished and rewarded the Son during his life on earth. He punished the Son for bearing the guilt of the sins of the world and he rewarded him with glory, honour and praise and now is sitting at the Fathers right hand side in heaven for Jesus kept the law perfectly and accomplished his purpose on earth so that all who believe in him will be saved and inherit his righteousness.

Perhaps it would do well if I gave Scriptural evidence that God indeed decrees and causes sin.

2 Chronicles 18: 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab the king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another.20 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ 21 And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ 22 Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets. The Lord has declared disaster concerning you.”

Man is responsible for sin not God, for man is the immediate cause of sin and answerable to God for his actions while God is the ultimate cause of sin.

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Gregorian name Day of Abib/Nisan in year 32 A.D Time of Day Events Scriptural References
Sunday 10 Day Jesus triumphant entry – Daniel prophesy fulfilled. Selection of paschal lamb for Passover.

Jesus visits the temple then departs to Bethany again for the night.

Zechariah 9:9;
Matthew 21:1-11;
John 12:19Mark 11:11
11 Night
Monday Day Jesus enters the temple and clears the temple of robbers. He healed the blind and lame within the temple.

Jesus cursed the fig tree on the way to Jerusalem

Mathew 21:12- 22;
Mark 11:12–19;
Luke 19:45-48;
John 2:13-17
12 Night
Tuesday Day Jesus goes to mount of Olives Matthew 21:23–24:51;
Mark 11:20–13:37;
Luke 20:1–21:36; John 12:20–38.
13 Night
Wednesday Day
14 Night Last Supper with 12 disciples

Betrayed at the garden of Gethsemane

Matthew 26:17–30;
Mark 14:12–26;
Luke 22:7–39;
John 13:1–17

Matthew 26:46–56;
Mark 14:43–52;
Luke 22:47–53;
John 18:2–12

Thursday Day Jesus trial, crucifixion, death and burial.

Perpetual sacrifice 9am and 3pm
Passover Lamb killed at twilight.

Matthew 27:1-54;
Mark 15:1-40;
Luke 23:1-48;
John 19:1-30
Friday 15 Day Sabbath high day John 19:31;
Matthew 28:1
16 Night Weekly Sabbath
Saturday Day
17 Night Jesus Rose before sunrise
Sunday Day Women found tomb empty Luke 24:1-12
18 Night
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I’ve written this for the benefit of my friends so that they may understand my thoughts and theological perspective on the topic.

Part 1
Personally I hate what many churches accept as appropriate that women are permitted to do and in recent times my church has come to accept women being able to publicly read the bible to the congregation and to lead the congregation in public prayer which I hate to be honest. Why do I hate seeing women read the bible and leading in prayer during corporate worship services?

As I’ve reflected on this question and spoken to people about it, I have realised my hatred comes purely from a theological perspective. This is also the case for many other teachings I disagree with and why I once decided to leave a church because I hate what is contrary to Gods word and I considered it to be an important doctrinal difference we had for me to decide to leave.

I have not always felt this way on this particular subject however, most of my life I have not blinked an eye as I’ve listened to a women speak in church, I considered it normal and appropriate and they are able to read just as good as men if not better. It wasn’t until moving churches that I had even considered it to be wrong when I was once asked by an elder what my thoughts on it were, for session had been wrestling with this topic and some were for it and some were against it. I had no problem with it at the time but I was challenged that day against some of my thoughts, so I decided to test it and do my own research on the topic. After some time I became convinced that it was not appropriate for woman to participate in these things during a corporate worship service but I also realised I had applied the principle of woman not teaching or speaking further than anyone else that I knew of within the church. I understood singing to be a form of teaching and for a while I struggled to see what women were allowed and not allowed to do in relation to the singing part of the worship service.

For some time I thought it was inappropriate for women to be singing in the band as I considered it to be leading and teaching the congregation, so I had my wife (fiancé at the time) stop being a part of the band. This was not given up easily for her, there were many tears and arguments in the process. About a year later I decided to study this topic again with a friend and we came to the conclusion that where women stood and how loud they would sing is a circumstantial matter that could be seen as the difference between a woman singing in the pew (which has always been considered appropriate and never questioned) to a woman singing up the front in the band using a microphone if that was the only role they were to have. Many singers however choose the song, sometimes saying something before or in-between the songs and I did not see it appropriate for women to be choosing what to teach the congregation by the songs they select or giving a little spiel about the worship song. Nor do I see it appropriate for the church to sing songs written by women as that is another form of teaching the congregation. I brought up the discussion again with my wife and was happy if she returned to the band if she wished to so long as she doesn’t choose the songs the church is going to sing like she once use to and not saying anything else other than singing the song. My wife decided she would like to be a part of it again and accept those conditions because she enjoys it.

There are many ministries that I see woman a part of that I have no issue with as it does not go against biblical teaching and I believe they are a great blessing to have within the various ministry activities our church community does.

I have spoken to session about this topic after they made the change to allow women reading and praying within the service after many years of debating it themselves. I acknowledge they will never be able to please the whole congregation in the things they do but I do wish to present a theological argument that opposes their position and not for the sake of session as a whole as I have already challenged them and they refuse to accept my position bar a few who never departed from the truth to begin with but are within the minority of the session. But this is for you, my readers who wish to hear my thoughts and biblical reasons for them.

I have felt like I have bottled up my emotions on this topic most of the time, as it is still an issue within my church that I struggle with and it still affects me every time I see it happen. I have no interest in listening when it is a woman reading or leading in prayer in church, I often distract myself with my phone by doing other activities until it is over. Many times I feel like walking out but I’m still wrestling with the idea if that is appropriate. Sometimes it is hard to control our emotions but what we do have control of is our actions and it is ok to be angry but the bible says in your anger do not sin. So I am left struggling how to best deal with the emotions left inside me. I find that a lot of the time it not only affects me just during that part of worship but it distracts me from the sermon itself as I am not focused on the message of the sermon but busy in my thoughts as I deal with my anger within me about the church. I often leave church unsatisfied as a whole although the message could have been great, I feel down that the church has come to this and not just my church but all churches is slowly falling into more errors.

On the other hand I do realise there are more important doctrinal matters and I rejoice in those theological truths with the church where we are in unity. There is not a single church that I agree with completely, no church is perfect and this is not to say I have everything right either there are many doctrines that I am unsure of and have more study to do on the topic. This does mean I have to prioritise certain biblical truths and decide what biblical doctrines are ok to differ with others and those that are worth splitting over, as I have done so in the past. I believe I can still worship with my Christian brothers and sisters with our doctrinal differences on this subject but I did not feel the same when I left my old church on different matters that affected the gospel message which has a much higher priority of biblical truths than this one.

Part 2
I now wish to provide a theological argument for the reasons I believe it is wrong for women to speak in corporate worship service.

1 Corinthians 14:33b-35
As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

To Whom Does the Rule Apply?

Paul addresses his instructions in verses 34-35 to “your women” at Corinth. The word “your” is omitted by the Alexandrian family of manuscripts upon which most modern translations are based. This seems to leave the instructions addressed to “women” in general. But in order to complete the comparison with verse 33b, a specific reference to Corinthian women must be understood in 34-35.

However, it should not be imagined that the rules of verses 34-35 are special rules applicable only to the women of Corinth. Paul begins by appealing to what women do at all the other apostolic churches: “As in all the churches of the saints, your women are to …” Paul is appealing here to the rule that was recognized in the universal apostolic church, and simply telling the Corinthians that they needed to abide by it too.

Because Paul is stating a universal rule, we reject the view of Richard and Catherine C. Kroeger, in I Suffer Not a Woman (Baker, 1992), that Paul is merely addressing the local situation in Corinth, where women had supposedly brought the wild excesses of paganism into the church. The passage says nothing about that. Paul does deal with commotion in the previous section on spiritual gifts, but nowhere does he single out women as being especially unruly.

The expression “the saints” in verse 33 could refer generally to Christians (as in 1 Corinthians 1:2, and usually in Paul) or specifically to the original Jewish Christians (as in 1 Corinthians 16:1; cf. Ephesians 2:19). In this case, the word “all” indicates that the general meaning is intended, especially since there is no hint in the context that the more limited meaning is intended. An appeal merely to the practice of the churches of Judea would not mean much if the other churches in the Gentile world were allowed to follow a different practice.

Since Paul is stating a rule that was recognized throughout the apostolic church, it follows that he is not merely instituting a special rule for Corinth because of some special problem or circumstance there. Paul states that the rule is universal in the church, which can only mean that it was instituted by general apostolic direction and remains in force in the household of God built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.

When Does the Rule Apply?

The apostolic rule is that women must remain silent “in the churches” (verse 34). In verse 35 Paul explains that he is referring to what takes place “in church” as distinct from “at home.” This can only be a reference to the public assemblies of God’s people (verses 23, 26), which at a bare minimum would mean what we today call worship services.

The crucial distinction is between “in church” and “at home.” The point would seem to be that Christians gather publicly (as called together by the minister and elders) and privately (chiefly as families and their guests). In the public assembly, Paul says, it is shameful and out of character (that is, not being “in subjection”) for a woman to speak. But at home (and, by extension, in other private settings) women may speak (in the “gentle and quiet” manner that adorns a woman and is precious to God, 1 Peter 3:4-5—that is, in a gracious, feminine manner). This is presumably how Priscilla (with her husband, Aquila) instructed even the mighty preacher Apollos (Acts 18:26).

The “at home” principle would apply when Christians have gathered together on the Lord’s Day (or at other times), but are not assembled formally. (By “formally” I am referring to the official or “stated” character of the meeting, not to the style of worship or the location of the meeting.)

With the wide variety of church meetings that we have today, it is not always easy to determine when the rule of silence applies. However, it is the responsibility of each session to apply that rule when appropriate—and of each woman to consider when it may be pleasing to God for her not to speak. We may be confident that if we sincerely and prayerfully seek to understand and apply biblical principles in these matters, God will lead us into his truth and bless us.

What Speaking Is Forbidden?

As we have already indicated, the speaking that is forbidden to women is public speaking, or speaking out, in the church assemblies. Speaking in general seems to be prohibited.

Praying (that is, leading in prayer) must be included in this speaking. Indeed, 1 Timothy 2:8 specifically states that “men” (in Greek, “males,” not “people”) are to “pray in every place [of worship], lifting up holy hands [that is, leading in prayer].”

Since singing is a form of “speaking” (Ephesians 5:19) and “teaching” (Colossians 3:16), it would also come within the scope of activity prohibited to women. This would rule out “special music” sung by women.

However, it is important to distinguish between an individual addressing the congregation and the congregation as a whole worshiping God audibly in the recitation of a prayer or the singing of a hymn. One aspect of such congregational speech is that the members of the congregation speak to one another (Ephesians 5:19), but in this case no individual teaching or leading is involved.

Would it be right for a minister to read a sermon or congregational prayer written out for him by a woman? Clearly not. Consider, then, whether it is right for him to lead the congregation in singing a song written out by a woman. As much as we may like the sentiments expressed by, say, Fanny Crosby, her words should not be given authority in the worship of the church. To sing her hymns in public worship is to make her a teacher, a worship leader, and a prayer leader in the church assembly.

Is there any way to escape the relentless logic of the rule of silence? Yes, says James B. Hurley, in Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective (Zondervan, 1981, pp. 185-94): the speaking prohibited to women in verses 34-35 is the judging of prophets mentioned briefly in passing way back in verse 29. And since prophecy has ceased, so has the judging of prophets, and thus this passage can now be ignored (pp. 185-94)!

However, verses 33b-36 form a distinct unit, not a continuation of the previous discussion of spiritual gifts. Thus, the previous discussion cannot be imposed on the passage to provide a limitation on its language.

Second, there is not the slightest hint in verses 33b-36 that the judging of prophets is in view. If Paul merely didn’t want women to judge prophets, why didn’t he simply say so?

Third, verses 34-35 are much too far from verse 29 to suppose that a reference there to evaluating prophets would control the subject matter of verses 34-35. Various kinds of speech are mentioned in verses 26-32; why should anyone think that verse 34 harks back to verse 29?

For these reasons, Hurley’s view must be rejected.

The only possible qualification that I can see in the rule of silence is that the verb “speak” has the nuance of “assert one’s views” or “express oneself.” The similar instruction in 1 Timothy 2:11-12 also requires women to remain silent, but more specifically prohibits teaching and other leading.

If this is so, it would be proper for a woman to give a personal testimony, report, announcement, or prayer request to the congregation, provided that it does not become exhortation, teaching, or leading in worship. (Whether such activity is appropriate in a worship service is a separate question.) The woman must be careful to remain “in subjection” (that is, not leading the assembly).

In the complexity of modern church activity, many questions will arise about how to apply Paul’s rule of silence. Some may think that it is more important to encourage participation than to abide by a seemingly out-of-date rule. So the question becomes, are we seeking to obey the Word of God or seeking to satisfy ourselves and placate others?


There is only one disagreement from the above source, if women prophets still exist today, I don’t believe they are permitted to prophesy in the church as this also consists of speaking which is very clearly prohibited. But what about 1 Corinthians 11:4-6 you may ask?

1 Corinthians 11:4-6
4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.

So what should we say about I Corinthians 11:5? It is important to remark, at this juncture, that, contrarily to the flawed hermeneutical method of the feminists (and modern conservatives), who proceed from a passage that is less clear to one that is clearer in comparing them and determining their respective meanings,7 we should instead move from the clear statements of I Corinthians 14:34-35 to less clear passages, such as I Corinthians 11:5. Bearing in mind, then, the unequivocal command of unqualified silence given in 14:34-35, we thus turn to a close consideration of I Corinthians 11:5, and seek to establish its meaning in the light of the former, clearer passage. Long ago, John Calvin and Charles Hodge in their commentaries on I Corinthians 11:5 offered us a logical and clear exegesis of the passage, precisely by following the above outlined hermeneutical principle. Again, we plead with both feminists and modern conservatives to listen to the fine exegeses of two of the most important theologians of the Christian church of all time. We will begin with Calvin:

It may seem, however, to be superfluous for Paul to forbid the woman to prophesy with her head uncovered, while elsewhere he wholly prohibits women from speaking in the Church (I Tim. 2:12). It would not, therefore, be allowable for them to prophesy even with a covering upon their head, and hence it follows that it is no purpose that he argues here as to covering. It may be replied, that the Apostle, by here condemning the one, does not commend the other. For when he reproves them for prophesying with their head uncovered, he at the same time does not give them permission to prophesy in some other way, but rather delays his condemnation of that vice to another passage, namely in chapter 14.

Charles Hodge agreed:

It was Paul’s manner to attend to one thing at a time. He is here [11:5] speaking of the propriety of women speaking in public unveiled, and therefore he says nothing about the propriety of their speaking in public in itself. When that subject comes up, he expresses his judgment in the clearest terms, 14, 34. In here disapproving of the one, says Calvin, he does not approve of the other.

John W. Robbins, who in line with these great Reformed theologians of the past and against the views of both feminists and modern conservatives, has written one of the best and most consistent books in the last decades on the subject, comments and expands on Calvin:

The lesson in logic Calvin gives is extremely important: ‘By here condemning the one [speaking with uncovered head] he does not commend the other [speaking].’ If one were to say, it is wrong to go through a red light while speeding, he cannot be understood to say that it is right to speed. It is wrong both to speed and to ignore red lights. So it is with women speaking in church uncovered. Women speaking uncovered in church is wrong, and so is women speaking in church … I Corinthians 11, in which so many imagine Paul gives women permission to pray and prophesy in church meetings, contains no permission. Let those who say Paul gives permission there quote his words. Neither does 1 Corinthians prohibit women from praying and prophesying in church meetings. It is silent on the issue. The subject that Paul discusses in that chapter is not the roles of men and women in church, but the relative authority of men and women. After … he commands women, in chapter 14[:34-35], to be silent in the church meetings.


Another good article to read is “Can women lead in public prayer?” http://www.fpchurch.org.uk/about-us/what-we-contend-for/distinctions-between-male-and-female/can-women-lead-in-public-prayer/

Why Should Women Be Silent?

Our passage is rather abrupt (1 Cor 14:33b-34) and gives little explanation of why women are to remain silent in church. The answer lies in the nature of mankind as created male and female, especially now that sin is in the world. Paul hints at this when he says that women “must be in subjection, just as the Law also says.”

This reference to the Old Testament may have in view the account of the creation of woman (Genesis 2:20-23). There the subjection of women is implicit, according to 1 Corinthians 11:8-10 and 1 Timothy 2:11-15.

The man and the woman were created to function best as a closely knit partnership, led by the husband. But Satan was able to get Eve thinking independently, and deceived her into eating the forbidden fruit. Adam then ate in response to the urging of his wife. By maneuvering them into reversing the roles that God had created them for, Satan was able to lead them into sin (Genesis 3:1-6).

To correct this situation, God made the subjection of women explicit in Genesis 3:16, which is usually translated, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

The reference to “desire” is difficult to explicate, but the meaning of “he shall rule over you” is clear. The man rules, and therefore the woman is subject. Paul is probably referring to this verse in 1 Corinthians 14:34.

Note finally that whereas the Bible ordinarily speaks of wives being subject to their own husbands, Paul here speaks of women in general being subject to men in general (obviously in a restricted sense). Men should treat women with special kindness and consideration (compare 1 Timothy 5:1-2), and women should treat men with special respect—at least “in church,” but also, according to the situation, wherever the grace of God can bless our relationships.


The Bible teaches that women are not to speak in church. This is an apostolic rule that is based on the created order. The fact that our society is in rebellion against the biblical teaching regarding women does not make the Bible obsolete; it makes us who adopt the world’s values shameful and dishonoring to the Lord.


There can be much more said on the discussion but if you wish to look into this topic further I recommend reading the following articles that I collected my resources from.

May Women Speak in Church? – https://opc.org/new_horizons/9601a.html

Feminism and Women in the Church – http://www.cprf.co.uk/articles/feminismwomeninchurch.htm#.XJCCUiIzaUl

Can women lead in public prayer? –


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Some churches baptise infants and others do not, so who is doing the right thing? Should we baptise infants or should we not? Firstly we should explain what baptism is, below is the Heidelberg Catechism teaching of Baptism which will help us understand what it is before we get to the question who should receive it?

69. Q. How does holy baptism

signify and seal to you

that the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross

benefits you?

A. In this way:

Christ instituted this outward washing 1

and with it gave the promise that,

as surely as water washes away

the dirt from the body,

so certainly his blood and Spirit

wash away the impurity of my soul,

that is, all my sins. 2

1.Mt 28:19.

2.Mt 3:11Mk 16:16Jn 1:33Acts 2:38Rom 6:341 Pet 3:21.

70. Q. What does it mean

to be washed with Christ’s blood and Spirit?

A. To be washed with Christ’s blood means

to receive forgiveness of sins from God,

through grace,

because of Christ’s blood,

poured out for us

in his sacrifice on the cross. 1

To be washed with his Spirit means

to be renewed by the Holy Spirit

and sanctified to be members of Christ,

so that more and more

we become dead to sin

and lead a holy and blameless life. 2

1.Ezek 36:25Zech 13:1Eph 1:7Heb 12:241 Pet 1:2Rev 1:57:14.

2.Jn 3:5-8Rom 6:41 Cor 6:11Col 2:1112.

71. Q. Where has Christ promised

that he will wash us with his blood and Spirit

as surely as we are washed

with the water of baptism?

A. In the institution of baptism, where he says:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,

baptizing them in the name of the Father

and of the Son

and of the Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19).

Whoever believes and is baptized

will be saved,

but whoever does not believe

will be condemned (Mk 16:16).

This promise is repeated where Scripture calls baptism

the washing of rebirth and the washing away of sins

(Titus 3:5Acts 22:16).

72. Q. Does this outward washing with water

itself wash away sins?

A. No, only the blood of Jesus Christ

and the Holy Spirit

cleanse us from all sins. 1

1.Mt 3:111 Pet 3:211 Jn 1:7.
73. Q. Why then does the Holy Spirit call baptism

the washing of regeneration

and the washing away of sins?

A. God speaks in this way for a good reason.

He wants to teach us

that the blood and Spirit of Christ

remove our sins

just as water takes away

dirt from the body. 1

But, even more important,

he wants to assure us

by this divine pledge and sign

that we are

as truly cleansed from our sins spiritually

as we are bodily washed with water. 2

1.1 Cor 6:11Rev 1:57:14.

2.Mk 16:16Acts 2:38Rom 6:34Gal 3:27.

So far the Baptists (baptises adults only) and the Presbyterians (baptises infants and adults) agree with each other what has been said above. I will look at Q 74. at the end which is where there is disagreement upon believers. What is mentioned above is a sign of the New Covenant which I will explain more clearly below that the forgiveness of sins through Christ’s death and resurrection is the foundation of the New Covenant. If we are able to say water baptism represents the sign that we have received the New Covenant then it is clear to say  the heart of the debate between the two sides is who belongs in the New Covenant? When we are able to answer this question it should be clear who we are to baptise? Both sides agree this is the heart of the debate. If it can be proven from the bible that infants of believing parent/s are included in the New Covenant then we should be expected to baptise them. I say “infants of believing parents” because even the Christian Reformed Churches do not baptise infants whose parents do not believe in God because it cannot be proven whether these infants are included in the New Covenant but they do believe infants from godly parents are included in the New Covenant.

Let me explain a few essential details about the New Covenant that the bible teaches which will be helpful in our studies to decide who to baptise.

Firstly, it was created by Jesus through his blood which was poured out through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. (This is the Lords supper, the bread represents Jesus body and the wine represents his blood)

Hebrews 9: 11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

As God made the Old Covenant with Moses he also gave them the law which is everything that Moses taught the Israelites which had 613 commandments including the 10 commandments that most people are familiar with. These commandments guided the Israelites in how they should live, obey and please God. The New Covenant also came with commandments as a guide for Christians to live, obey and please God but this does not come under the law of Moses but it goes under the law of Christ. The law of Christ is different to the law of Moses, for Jesus Christ changed it when he made a new covenant and done away with of the old covenant.

Hebrews 8:13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete (outdated) and growing old is ready to vanish away.

When Jesus created the New Covenant he decided to keep, change and get rid of some of the laws found in the Old Covenant. We no longer have to follow the Jewish feasts and festivals, we don’t have to follow the laws that specifically related to Israel and we don’t need to keep the 7th day holy known as the Sabbath which is the 4th commandment within the 10 commandments. All of these commandments in the New Covenant we say is under the Law of Christ which is everything Jesus and the Apostles taught.

The New Covenant is an everlasting covenant or promise as taught in Hebrews 13:20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

It is clear this is the New Covenant spoken of that is everlasting because it links it with the blood of Jesus which is the same covenant, no other covenant was made with Jesus blood.

Everyone who enters the New Covenant WILL BE SAVED.
Hebrews 8: 7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said:

“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will FORGIVE their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”

13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

Notice that it says ALL will know the Lord in the New Covenant compared to the Old Covenant where there were many who DID NOT know the Lord but rejected God. ALL WHO KNOW THE LORD WILL HAVE THEIR SINS FORGIVEN. If we look at John 10 we can see clearly the link between the two passages.

John 10: 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again ….
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

Jesus is the Shepherd and his followers are the sheep (Christians), John tells us the sheep (Christians) knows the Shepherd (Jesus) and that Jesus died only for his sheep not others (vs 25 tells us not everyone is classified as HIS sheep, which means this passage teaches us Jesus did not die for everyone). Jesus does not lose anyone he died for, his sheep receive eternal life.

Remember that the New Covenant described in Hebrews 13 says the New Covenant is designed to forgive those who know the Lord of their sins which we just discovered are the sheep from John 10.

I believe we have covered the essential details of the New Covenant, now getting back to the question of who should we baptise we will look at the answer from those who support infant baptism.

74. Q. Should infants, too, be baptized?
A. Yes.

Infants as well as adults

belong to God’s covenant and congregation. 1

Through Christ’s blood

the redemption from sin

and the Holy Spirit, who works faith,

are promised to them

no less than to adults. 2

Therefore, by baptism, as sign of the covenant,

they must be incorporated into the Christian church

and distinguished from the children of unbelievers. 3

This was done in the old covenant by circumcision, 4

in place of which baptism was instituted

in the new covenant. 5

1.Gen 17:7Mt 19:14.

2.Ps 22:10Is 44:1-3Acts 2:383916:31.

3.Acts 10:471 Cor 7:14.

4.Gen 17:9-14.

5.Col 2:11-13.

Here are some Questions to consider in response to the Question and Answer above with my own response to them which may be helpful:

Are all infants born from believing parents saved? Both parties believe they are not because we have Jacob and Esau who were born from Isaac and Rebekah who were both believers and yet Jacob was saved but Esau was not as seen in Romans 9. Which means some infants of believing parents are saved and some are not, the only way we can know is if they are able to confess with their mouth Jesus is Lord and are living the way God wants them to. If we knew which infants were saved and which ones were not we would all happily accept infants that will be saved to be baptised. But since we do not I believe it is only appropriate to wait until they are able to show this sign and follow the formula the bible gives us which is “repent and be baptised” and not “be baptised then repent”.

Can one be in the New Covenant and then be removed from it due to unbelief? No John 10 and Hebrews 13 teach us that the New Covenant saves ALL who are in it because of Christ’s death and resurrection and that Jesus doesn’t lose any who he died for. No one can enter the New Covenant if Jesus is not going to save them and no one can leave the New Covenant if Jesus wants to save them.

Are unbelievers who have received water baptism in the New Covenant? No water baptism is only a sign but not the reality, not all who receive the sign receives the reality.

Does baptism replace circumcision? No, circumcision of the heart replaces circumcision of the flesh. Colossians 2: 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
This is the only place where you see circumcision and baptism used in the same sentence to describe the same symbol. However, it is not a circumcision of the flesh but of the heart it speaks of, we cannot circumcise our heart it is only God who can do that which is why it says it is made without hands.

Were there infants where whole households were baptised? None of the examples given in the bible tell us how many in the family or how old is each member, those who support infant baptism can only assume and insert that there was an infant within these households. But each passage suggests that there was no infant there because they were ALL able to believe which infants cannot show us this.

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24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”

This is one of the greatest prophesies recorded in the bible and it is greatly debated what it teaches. A key point to unlocking this prophecy is determining what is “Seventy weeks”, also known as seventy sevens in some translations but the ESV is more accurate translating it to weeks. If translated literally we have 70 x 7 days = 490 days but this is obviously a problem because history has shown this to be a false timeline. Each day represents a year so a week would represent 7 years, this is not foreign in the bible for we see in Ezekiel 4:4-6 and Numbers 14:34 a prophetic day represented a year. But each of those examples it was clear to us because it told us to interpret it that way but we don’t have that in Daniel 9 and we cant just interpret it the way we like so is there anything else that can help us to confirm a day equals a year here?

Daniel 12: 11 And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days.12 Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days.

This verse is referring to the same event in Daniel 9 but gives us 1290 days for the second half of the week where the . The Jewish calendar has 360 days in a year, so 3.5 years is equal to 1260 days, so we have an extra 30 days after the final 7 years. The 30 day period is known as the reclamation period and the other 45 days making up the 1335 days is known as the restoration period. Information on this can be found here.  https://prewrathministries.org/239-2/

So we see that the nation of Israel has 490 years to accomplish the following tasks:
  • Finish transgression
  • Put an end to sin
  • Atone for wickedness
  • Bring everlasting righteousness
  • Seal up vision and prophecy
  • Anoint the most holy
The 70 “sevens” would begin, Gabriel said, with the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. This decree was the fourth of four decrees made by Persian rulers in reference to the Jews. The first was Cyrus’ decree in 538 B.C. (2 Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; 5:13). The second was the decree of Darius I (522-486) in 520 B.C. (Ezra 6:1, 6-12). This decree actually was a confirmation of the first decree. The third was the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus (464-424) in 458 B.C. (Ezra 7:11-26). The first two decrees pertain to the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem and the third relates to finances for animal sacrifices at the temple. These three say nothing about the rebuilding of the city itself. Since an unwalled city was no threat to a military power, a religious temple could be rebuilt without jeopardizing the military authority of those granting permission to rebuild it. No one of these three decrees, then, was the decree that formed the beginning of the 70 sevens.

The fourth decree was also by Artaxerxes Longimanus, issued on March 5, 444 B.C. (Neh. 2:1-8). On that occasion Artaxerxes granted the Jews permission to rebuild Jerusalem’s city walls. This decree is the one referred to in Daniel 9:25.

If Daniel is accurate, we need to begin counting 483 years from March 5, 444 B.C. When 483 years expired, we should expect to see The Messiah. The 483 years from the fourth decree by Artaxerxes expired on March 30, 33 A.D., the very day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, as prophesied by Zecheriah (Zech. 9:9), to present himself as Messiah to Israel.

Now, for those with a sharp eye, you might recognize that 444 B.C. to 33 A.D. does not equal 483 years. By simple math, 444 + 33 = 477. So it seems either Daniel was off in his math, Jesus rode into Jerusalem too soon, or this prophecy has nothing to do with Jesus. But wait. We must realize the Jewish calendar used a year of 360 days, whereas the Gregorian calendar of today uses a year of 365 days. A simple adjustment for this difference resolves this seeming discrepancy.

These dates are often heavily debated with people coming up with different timelines but I believe this to be the clearest example given in my research. We can confirm the date Jesus entered into Jerusalem by looking at the Scriptures. I will go backwards from Christs resurrection. We know that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week on 16th Nisan which is Sunday (Mark 16:1-8). Jesus died on 14th Nisan which is the day the Israelite’s are to celebrate the Passover Friday and A.D. 33 3rd April falls on the Friday which is also the day . We are told in John 12:1 six days before the Passover Jesus went to Bethany and verse 12 tells us the next day he entered Jerusalem, which means Jesus did not enter Jerusalem on Sunday although it is famously known as Palm Sunday and we celebrate it in today society on the Sunday. With such information we can now affirm the date Jesus arrived in Jerusalem in the above diagram being Monday 30th March is correct.

Resource: https://radicaltruth.net/index.php/learn/radical-truth-christianity/144-palm-sunday-prophecy-fulfilled

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Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

This passage tells us prophesy, tongues and knowledge will pass away when the perfect or completion comes, all Christians agree at this point but they differ at the timing when these gifts will cease for there are two main thoughts as to what the perfect or completion is referring to. One interpretation that is most common in the reformed churches is the cessationist view which teaches that these gifts will cease at the closing of Scripture. The other view is known as continuationism which teaches these gifts will come to a close at the return of Christ as is the topic discussed in chapter 15 which is believed to be one long continued thought process from chapter 12. Until recently I believed the cessationist view was correct for some years and even wrote on the topic, but I also don’t fully agree with the other side being the continuationist camp either and I don’t want to be placed in the same camp as the false Pentecostal churches out there.

Looking at the context of the text I will demonstrate why the perfect/completeness refers to the second coming and not the closing of the canon of Scripture.

Paul speaks of a variety of spiritual gifts but all from the same spirit (v.4, 5), the gifts have been apportioned to each one individually as God has willed (v11) and not all receive the same gifts but differ so that they may complement each other as we work together as a unit like the hand and eye working together although performing different roles but each working together towards the same common goal, namely building the kingdom of God.

Continuing from the last chapter it speaks about the more excellent way that chapter 12 spoke of at the end. The more excellent way is love for if whatever we do, we do not have love then it is of no worth to our religion. Love will never cease for the highest commandment we receive from the Lord is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and the second one being to love our neighbour as our self (Luke 10:27), in keeping these two commands we can do no wrong. As for prophesies, tongues and knowledge they will cease when the perfect/completeness comes. These three gifts are only temporary because there will come a time when there will be no need for them, it uses many illustrations to help us understand. Looking into a mirror dimly meaning we cannot see the full picture clearly compared to seeing face to face meaning all has been revealed and we now understand Gods prophesies laid out before us just like he knows us fully.

We cannot know God fully as he knows us fully as some people interpret “then I shall know fully” whether it be through the completion of the bible or the return of Christ, which both camps make the mistake of doing. It is impossible to know God fully because God is infinite and we do not become omniscient as he is, he is incomprehensible and we will continuously be growing in knowledge of him throughout eternity. “Now these three remain” is referring to the time that the perfect/completeness has come which is why cessationists (including me when I affirmed that position) use this verse to question the continuationist how does hope continue when Christ returns, for who hopes for what they have already received (Rom 8:24)?

I would say if we take a historic premillennial position of the end times as I believe to be the most biblical position then when Christ returns there is a literal 1000 year millennium and not all of Scripture has been fulfilled until after God has judged the living and the dead and the elect are living in the new heaven and earth with the wicked in the lake of fire. So our hope remains until all is fulfilled in Scripture and Christ’s return is not the end of it but very close. However this is not most continuationist response which is where I would differ with most, I believe it is my consistency and harmonisation of this doctrine and my eschatology views that I’m able to answer this question without getting into other problems.

Paul says for us to earnestly desire spiritual things (gifts), especially prophesy but remember in chapter 12 not all will be given the gift of prophesying so there is nothing wrong if we cannot, we are not disobeying Gods commands. It then goes on to tell us the purpose of tongues and prophesy and so that there is no chaos within the church, we are instructed how to use these gifts wisely as we gather together so that all things are done decently and in order (v.40) and we are not to forbid speaking in tongues. If cessationism is correct then speaking in tongues today would be false and would need to be rebuked but then they are confronted with this verse that tells them not to, why would they not stop something that is wrong? I do however agree with them when they say that the charismatics are not speaking in tongues that is described to us in the bible. Most Pentecostal churches do not understand tongues correctly, it isn’t gibberish language which they would claim it as angelic language for who can understand it? Tongues can’t be taught when it is a gift from the Spirit, it is an actual foreign language that you speak that you have not been trained in and the purpose was for the unbelievers so that they could hear the gospel message in their own tongue so that the gospel could be spread to all nations. I have not heard of anyone being able to do this but my experience doesn’t mean there is no one who can speak tongues today.

The purpose of prophesying is for the believers and the Greek word translated “prophesying” or “prophecy” in 1 Corinthians means to “speak forth” or declare the divine will, to interpret the purposes of God, or to make known in any way the truth of God which is designed to influence people. Many people misunderstand the gift of prophecy to be the ability to predict the future. While knowing something about the future may sometimes have been an aspect of the gift of prophecy, it was primarily a gift of proclamation (“forth-telling”), not prediction (“fore-telling”).

Not all prophecies is to be part of the bible for, in Acts 21:9 it says “He (Philip the evangelist) had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied.” We do not here the things they prophesied about. Therefore it is possible for prophecy to exist today without adding to the bible, we are still to test prophecy in the Scripture whether they are in line with it.

1 Thessalonians 5: 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.

1 John 4: Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

If they are not in line with Scripture then they are a false prophet and we should not listen to them and under the Old Covenant they were to be put to death.

Deuteronomy 18  20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or[f] who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

Paul goes on to argue that if the dead have not been raised then neither has Christ, our faith is meaningless and we remain in our sins (v.16). We are to be most pitied of all people if our religion is not true (v.19) but Christ has been raised and he will put all things under his feet and rule over all (v23, 25). This is referring to the perfect/completion coming when God shall establish his kingdom that he has promised that we look forward to. When Christ returns he will raise up all who called upon his name and he will sow them a heavenly body not like the natural body that was weak and perished but one that is imperishable, that does not see decay. But notice the chapter does not go on to say we are in the new heavens and earth in fact it doesn’t really mention the events after we are raised with Christ but we can look elsewhere in the Scriptures and see that this is the beginning of the millennium hence hope still remains with us during the millennium.

From the flow of the context I cannot see how the canon of scripture is what is in Pauls mind in chapter 13 but I believe it is in relation to eschatology – the second coming where Christ will set up his earthly kingdom. 1 Corinthians 1 says so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. It appears that the spiritual gifts is given to all of us believers until the end when Christ Jesus shall return and we remain guiltless before him because we have remained in him. Also how can these gifts continue if they will be fulfilled at Christs return? What is the need of tongues if we can all speak the same language and understand one another? What is the purpose of prophesy if we can ask God questions face to face? What is the purpose trying to study the Scriptures for knowledge when we shall know without any more false beliefs? All has been fulfilled including healing for we will be in our immortal bodies, even though chapter 13 doesn’t mention healing, it is still a valid argument to show healing is still needed today but won’t be when Christ returns.

That is one thing I struggled to understand how cessationists would teach that healings have ceased from this passage but the passage mentions none of the sorts, it would need to look elsewhere to support such teaching. The bible certainly gives us enough detail on healings that can help us judge and compare todays ‘healings’ with the healings performed in the bible but that is not my main focus for this blog so I will not go into it here.

Recently in the forum Gordon H. Clark discussions on fb there was an extensive discussion/ debate on the topic of these gifts whether they had ceased yet or not. One thing Gordon H. Clark was well known for was his teaching on Scripturalism which rejects knowledge through empiricism which is the philosophical teaching that all knowledge comes through experience or the senses. Having held to this teaching taught by Clark I began to question how I knew the bible is finished, if the bible mentions from this passage it will come to a close then how do I know when it came to a close? for it may mention the former but it does not mention the latter.  Most people appeal to history which is a judgement through the senses which cannot be epistemologically known and is insufficient proof that the bible has come to a close, however I have heard someone claim it as their axiom but even their axiom didn’t derive from Scripture so this also has to be flawed. Perhaps the bible isn’t closed yet, this would mean the gifts have not ceased yet, where does the bible say there can’t be anything else added to Gods word? Many appeal to Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,” but how does one go from this book to any other book? That is a big logical leap to say no one can add to this book to no one can add another book as the word of God.

The accusation continuationists get from the cessationist camp is that if prophesy continues they deny the sufficiency of the bible. Vincent Cheung reformed in soteriology and a non-cessationist also has come across this accusation as he vehemently denies the cessationist view, although I do not agree with everything Vincent Cheung says on this topic I do like what he has written where I have quoted him below:

Let us summarize your points. The cessationist argument is based on the sufficiency of Scripture. You claim that a sufficient Bible should render prophecy unnecessary, and if a prophecy only repeats or applies what the Bible says, then it is not prophecy in the biblical sense, but only a reminder of what the Bible says. This is a familiar argument, and therefore I will not repeat all the details. You mention that the Bible says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). This is a significant passage for the doctrine, but your inference is false.

Paul was speaking to Timothy, not to you. Of course, it applies to all of us by extension. The principle applies to all of Scripture and anything that is Scripture, so it is correct to affirm it for our Christian Bible. However, Paul referred to whatever “Scripture” that Timothy had. You cannot make this identical to what you have now — you have more. You mention that Second Timothy is considered one of the later New Testament documents, but this is irrelevant. To use Paul’s statement this way in order to make the “Scripture” in this verse identical to the complete Christian Bible, this must not only be the final document, but it must be the final sentence in Scripture. Moreover, for the “Scripture” in this verse to be identical to what we have, Timothy must have had access to the Christian Bible in its complete form. Unless this was the case, it would be irrelevant even if this is the final sentence of the final document in the Bible. Timothy at least did not have access to Second Timothy while Paul was writing it! In fact, it is likely that Paul had in mind only what Timothy could access in his infancy, since the verse before says, “From infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

My point is that the Scripture was already sufficient way before 2 Timothy 3:16-17, but since it was not finished, God continued to write. This is why the sufficiency and the finality of Scripture are two different doctrines. The Christian Bible is not only sufficient to equip us for every good work, but it is more than sufficient for this. Scripture was sufficient before it was complete. If the cessationist uses the sufficiency of Scripture to undermine the continuation of prophecy, he must first use the sufficiency of Scripture to undermine all the Scripture that was produced after Timothy’s infancy — this would include Second Timothy itself. Therefore, to use the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture against the continuation of prophecy is first a repudiation of Scripture. Before any debate about the continuation of anything, the argument would first prevent both the completion and the collection of Scripture. When you do that, from the Christian perspective, you are finished. It is over for you. You are anti-gospel. You are the counter-Christian heretic. Save yourself before you pretend to be a theologian and criticize other people.

The cessationist makes at least three attacks against Scripture in this one argument that supposedly defends Scripture. First, contrary to the Bible’s own claim, he declares that the Bible was never sufficient until completion. Second, because the Bible indeed declares itself sufficient before completion, but the cessationist claims that anything that is beyond sufficient is unnecessary, and not in the same class as biblical prophecy, he declares that all portions of Scripture produced after what Timothy had in his infancy are unnecessary and uninspired. Third, because he claims that prophecy that repeats the information contained in Scripture as in a different or lower class than the prophecy of Scripture, or even not prophecy at all, he declares that all portions of Scripture that repeat the words or ideas that were already contained in previous portions of Scripture are unnecessary and uninspired. Any one of these offenses, if made clear to a cessationist, and if he refuses to repent, is a sufficient basis for excommunication.

We affirm again that we believe in the sufficiency of Scripture. The Bible is sufficient for defining and teaching doctrine, for correction, counseling, training, and equipping us for every good work. Therefore, in principle, it is not “necessary” for God to teach anyone doctrine or provide anyone direction by what we call supernatural revelation. If a person has perfect knowledge of Scripture and perfect obedience to Scripture, then in principle this person’s life would please God, and he would never commit sin. We agree that no one has perfect knowledge or perfect obedience, but the point is that Scripture is sufficient, so that there is no excuse for ignorance or disobedience. It is possible for a person to go through life and make his decisions based on the Bible alone. He might never receive a prophecy and still make the right decisions. In this sense, the Bible is sufficient and other things are unnecessary, but the fact that these things are unnecessary does not mean that they are wrong or that they have ceased.

Sean Gerety also made a similar accusation on the Gordon H. Clark Discussions group saying that we deny the bible alone as the word of God. My first thoughts are like yeah so what because God will continue to speak to us when we are in heaven and when we can see him face to face, not all that is to be known about him is contained in Scripture and even Scripture testifies to this. Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways.  I certainly believe the bible is God’s word but I don’t like the usage of the term alone added for the reason I just gave. But perhaps what is meant is we can only know it to be Gods word epistemologically if it is in the bible, this I would agree with. However in heaven I believe the situation would be different for we can ask God any question directly and having his spoken word as proof and not necessarily having it written.

In the book of Revelation we are told there are two witnesses to come (Rev 11:1-14) to prophesy for three and a half years and being able to perform signs and wonders described like those performed by Elijah and Moses who also happened to appear at the Mount of Transfiguration (Mat 17:4), so it is very plausible that it is literally them returning for a short time. During this time I see no problem if these two witnesses added to the bible revealing more of Gods words and performing signs and wonders demonstrating to us they have authority from God to prophesy.

I don’t believe one can consistently be a premil and be a cessationist for this passage would undermine the cessationist doctrine if the premillennial eshatology is correct because prophesy is yet to come from these two witnesses. Hence why a lot of cessationist affirm the Amillennial postion but I believe that system of thought perverts many biblical texts that I’m not going to discuss here as it is not my focus. Also this interpretation of Revelation 11:1-14 destroys the argument cessationists make using Hebrews 1:1,2 at an attempt to say no more prophets exist today.

Hebrews 1:1,2  Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

It is impossible to logically infer cessationism from this text, because there is nothing in this text to stop new revelations and miracles. The text says, “God spoke by the prophets, then he spoke by his Son.” From this, the cessationists inferred, “Therefore, God has ceased to speak.” But this is not the logically necessary inference. I can just as easily infer, “God will continue to speak by his Son,” or “God will return to speak through the prophets instead,” or “God will continue to speak by the apostles,” or “God will now speak by the prophets, by his Son, and by the apostles,” or “God will now speak to all his people by direct revelation,” or “God will now speak by his Spirit.” There is an infinite number of possibilities. Indeed, after Jesus ascended to the right hand of God, his disciples continued to prophesy, heal the sick, perform signs and wonders, and even write Scripture. Since the entire New Testament was written by the disciples of Jesus, and not Jesus himself, the cessationist use of Hebrews 1 results in the rejection of the entire New Testament, including the words of Jesus. The cessationist use of Hebrews 1 results in the rejection of Hebrews 1 itself.

Some people believe there is no more to be added to the bible simply because they haven’t seen anything added for 2000 years and assume if he hasn’t done so by now then he has no more to add. But this is also stupid reasoning because we know God has waited hundreds of years in the past before revealing himself again so what’s wrong with God withholding even longer this time?

Having said all of this there is some things I agree with cessationism and there are some things I agree with continuationism but I believe both get this topic wrong and Vincent Cheung also affirms this but I don’t agree with his position either which he has named it expansionism. It appears the he believes healing is part of the gospel and so he believes cessationism is the worst heresy there is but I do not believe that to be true I believe he doesn’t represent them correctly at all times and he has a misunderstanding of an aspect of the gospel.

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