By Dr. Gus Gianello

Sean is a very kind guy, and if anything too forgiving.  This is particularly evident in his original posting “Charismatic Visions.” But I digress.

Let me tell you about myself, both now and then.  Now, I am a committed Scripturalist, having studied Gordon Clark and John Robbins extensively for decades.  John, I considered a long-distance friend, though we were not close friends.  He helped me a lot.  It is rare for me to disagree with Clark or Robbins, but I do on a few issues.  But on the issue of the centrality of Scripture I do not.

Then, I was converted (I think), when I was 17 and was part of the Dispensational, Charismatic, Arminian Jesus movement.  I rapidly became a “Charismatic of the Charismatics,” with apologies to the Apostle Paul.  I was an ardent, vociferous and belligerent follower of Hobart Freeman, the founder of the Radical Faith Movement, and believed I was a manifested son of God, who would set the groaning creation free.  No kidding.  I prophesied, cast out demons, laid hands on the sick, prayed for miracles, had words of knowledge, had revelatory dreams and visions.  I ran the whole gamut.  I prayed for $37,000.00 and got it.  I prayed for the rain to stop and got it.  Did I mention that I was called to be an apostolic assistant and a teacher by revelation?  All of this shows that I have the bona fides to comment on a topic that is not only deeply interesting to me, but very personal.

When I left the Charismatic movement in my pilgrimage I sought the advice of many people.  Could I be Charismatic and Reformed at the same time?  One of the worst pieces of advice I ever got was from James Montgomery Boice who assured me that you could be Charismatic and Reformed.  That piece of advice sent me down a path that delayed my deliverance from spiritual bondage.  You see, you cannot be Charismatic and Reformed. I am convinced that the Charismatic movement is a heresy.  You can no more be Charismatic and Reformed than you can be a Bible-believing Muslim.

Are there Charismatics who are Christians?  Without a doubt, but the point is they are inconsistent.  A consistent Charismatic must believe that the canon of Scripture is open, that there is nothing unique about Pentecost, that the church has never gone beyond its primitive state, and that Jesus Christ did not complete the atonement.  So, thank God, for inconsistent Charismatics, who are our brothers and sisters in the Lord.  But, all of this to say, that you have a duty to encourage them to leave the Charismatic movement.

In 30 Years a Watchtower Slave the author explains how that he was converted as a young man then floundered in the Jehovah’s Witnesses for thirty years before he realized he was in a cult.  Being regenerate does not guarantee that we will not be caught up in grave error.  If this were so, why would the apostles admonish us to test all things, to beware of false prophets, to carefully digest and use the Holy Scriptures?

So obviously, I do know what I am talking about, and I know this is a strong position to take, but it is not done out of hatred, but out of love.  I have friends who are still caught up in the movement.  Some of them think they are Christians, and most likely aren’t.  Others have died because they claimed their healing and gave up medication.  Yet others have gone mentally insane.  I lost my family, and my first wife divorced me because I was no longer Spirit filled.  She insisted that I submit to her because she was “anointed” and I was not.  The Charismatic movement is dangerous.

Why is it dangerous?  First, the Charismatic movement believes in an open canon.  They add to Scripture.  Many will say that they don’t, but the point is they should.  Prophecy, tongues and interpretations are revelations from God.  When I was at Faith Assembly someone would prophesy, and the next week, it was in writing, and we would be instructed to paste it into our Bibles.  You could not understand the Bible unless you heard and received God’s Word for today.  Why, I even prophesied over a couple that they should get married!  It was the Word of the Lord for them.

People do not realize how heretical the idea of an open canon is in its implications.  Scripture says in Daniel 9:24  “Seventy weeks are decreed as to your people and as to your holy city, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.”  One of the defining characteristics of Messiah’s work is the sealing up of vision and prophecy.

The early church prophesied–especially the apostles and prophets because the process of sealing was still taking place.  The sealing began with His ascension and pouring out of charismatic gifts, but ended with the inscripturation of the New Testament .  See: Acts, 1 Cor. 12:28, Eph. 4:9-13, 1 Cor. 13:8 with Heb. 1:1,2 and Rev. 22:18, 19.  Once it was all written down, there was nothing left to reveal.

The belief in continuing revelation shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose and mode of revelation.  Its purpose was to authenticate the apostolic ministry (see  2 Cor. 12:12) thereby establishing their authority to write Scripture (see 2 Pet. 3:15, 16).  The apostles were cognizant of the fact that they were writing Scripture.  The mode of revelation was that in every exercise of every charismatic gift it was Christ Himself in the believer who by His Spirit exercised His power.  See:  1 Cor. 12:6-7 with Eph. 4:7-11.  Revelation must have ceased, because there are no more apostles.  See: 1 Cor. 15:8.  Paul states, as do the other apostles, that one must have seen Christ personally, to be commissioned as an apostle.  Christ appeared to Paul last.  See:  Acts 1:20-22 with 1 Cor. 15:8.  One of the points of 1 Corinthians is that Paul proves his authority, thereby justifying his relationship to the church in Corinth.  How did early Christians know that they had a gift from the Spirit?  An apostle was involved.  See:  Rom. 1:11.  As the church matured Satan began to mimic the charismatic gifts, and Christians had to be warned to test every revelation to see if it was of God.  See:  1 Cor. 14:32-22; 1 Thess. 5:19-21; 1 Jn. 4:1.  There were even people cursing Christ, supposedly by the Holy Spirit!  See:  1 Cor. 12:3.

If the canon is open, then Pentecost is not unique.  Which means that the ascended Christ, keeps pouring out the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit, over and over.  See:  Acts 1:8 with 2:17, 18, and 2:33.  The pouring out of the Holy Spirit is a direct result of the atonement.  It is actually part of the work of atonement.  See:  Mat. 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16 with Jn. 7:37-39.  Forensically, He gives us His alien righteousness, but experientially He gives us His Holy Spirit whereby the inner man is changed.  See: Jn. 3:3-7 with Rom. 8:11 and 8:30.  Thus Christ could only have poured out the Spirit once, otherwise converts would have to speak in tongues before they could be regenerated.  This is exactly the heresy that is taught by consistent Pentecostals—like the United Pentecostal Church, also known as Oneness Pentecostals.  Then why do we read in the Book of Acts of multiple outpourings of the Holy Spirit, to the Ephesians disciples, and the Gentiles when preached to by Paul?  There were only Jews present on the day of Pentecost, it was necessary that Gentiles, and the disciples of John the Baptist also be incorporated into the Christian church.  See:  Acts 11:17, 18 with 19:3-5.  (These incidents actually prove the thesis that the primary reason for the existence of the Charismatic gifts was authentication of the apostolic mission.  In all cases where the Holy Spirit was poured out, and apostles were intimately involved.)

Pentecost must be unique because the atonement is unique and Pentecost is the result of the atonement.  See:  Heb. 9:25-28.  The supremacy of the New Testament to the Old Testament is partially based upon the uniqueness of Pentecost.  See:  Heb. 2:3-4.  If Pentecost is not unique, and must be continuously throughout history experienced by every single Christian, then there can still be apostles, and prophets and there can still be revelation.  Rev. 22: 18, 19 contradicts such a conclusion.  Just as the robe of Jesus at the cross was not patched but a whole robe, so charismatic gifts, apostles and prophets and revelation is a whole robe.  You can no more separate one from the other, than you can separate the Trinity.  If one of the three, remains to today, whether gifts, apostles or revelation, then that means that the other two are present as well.

Historically every single cult or sect that seeks gifts for today concludes by assuming that apostles and revelation are for today as well.  The Roman Pope is an apostolic office, they believe in visions and revelations, and they have added the Apocrypha to Scripture.  Romanists also believe that the revelations of the Magisterium interpret the Bible.  Therefore they have revelatory authority.  Mormons began by speaking in tongues and prophesying.  When the Mormon church matured they added prophets (Joseph Smith, Brigham Young) and apostles.  Joseph Smith had revealed to him the Book of Mormon.  Though the majority of Pentecostals have, even just barely, stayed with the pale of Christian orthodoxy, radical Pentecostals such as the United Pentecostals have gone further, basing their denial of the Trinity on revelation.  They are more consistent than their Pentecostal brethren, for they have concluded that since Pentecost happens over and over, you cannot be born again unless you speak in tongues.

Charismatics must also believe that the church is impotent without the gifts.  Its maturity beyond its primitive state they see as declension and corruption.  That is why the Charismatic movement, like many other cults is restorationist.  They see themselves as those “anointed” Christians who must restore the Church to its pristine and primitive glory.  The problem is, they say, we have lost the gifts.  This too is heretical.  See:  2 Tim. 3:16-17.  It means Scripture is not sufficient, so like every cult before and after them, they must deny that the Bible is enough.  The Romanists add tradition, the liberals add anti-supernaturalistic  rationalism, and Charismatics add revelation.  We lost the gifts because we no longer believe, not because their usefulness is ended.  They are caught up in a sinful perpetual seeking after God in defiance of Hebrews 4.  They do not rest in Christ’s righteousness but are always restless for more of God, when God has already given them everything.  See:  Col. 2:10.  That is why Charismatics do not understand the difference between pietism (Col 2:20-23) and piety—we rest in Christ not our own works.  We have the Spirit, justification, etc.  See:  2 Cor. 1:20.

Because they are “special” to the Charismatic all Christians are in two or more classes: the Spirit-filled who practice the “deeper life,” the Spirit-filled who are still only partially committed, and those who are just born-again.  Therefore they are elitist, as are all other cults.  God has given them something special.  This is in sinful defiance of Eph. 4 where we are told that we are one body.  The Local Church cult, built on the teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, do not believe you are part of the Body of Christ unless you go to their church.  The same is true of the Church of Christ, which is a restorationist movement.

When a Charismatic Christian(?) decides what church to go to, they don’t ask about doctrine, especially justification by faith alone, or Sola Scripture.  They ask; “Is the Holy Spirit there?”  They are what I call “Gnostic Junkies.”  They always hunger for that special knowledge which only comes from direct communication with God.  It’s easy to prove this.  With a straight face ask a Charismatic to find 3 Chronicles 17:17 which says, “God helps those who help themselves.”  Likely you’ll catch them searching their Bibles.

I end by pointing out that it probably seems like I have said nothing about Mark Driscoll.  I have actually said quite a bit.  I took the larger view, preferring to deal with the species “Mark Driscoll” rather that the man.  There are thousands of Mark Driscolls in the world.  There was the one called Hobart Freeman, there was the one called James Boice.  Then there are the Charismatic theologians—a genuine paradox if I ever heard one.  If revelation continues you can’t systematize into a theology, because you don’t have all the theological data.

The Driscolls are a dime a dozen.  What he does and claims is no more outrageous than William Branham who thought he was Elijah, or Smith Wigglesworth who punched people in the Spirit, or A.E Allen who prayed for “Holy Ghost” oil to appear on peoples foreheads.  He is somewhat unique in that he claims to be Reformed.  It is only a claim.  It is no more credible than the Pope, that antichrist, claiming to represent Christ’s church on earth.  That Driscoll sees pornographic visions about other people’s sex life probably indicates that he is demon-possessed with a spirit of uncleanness.  See:  Hosea 4:12, 5:4.  That he has “words of knowledge” speaks about his pride.  And it must be remembered that apostasy is not an act but a series of acts, a process of declension.  See:  1 Tim. 4:1-3.  Listening to seducing spirits takes time.  You are not taught false doctrine by them in a moment.

When I was a Charismatic I remember a friend telling me that Jesus appeared to her while she was showering.  He had a lustful look on his face.  See:  2 Cor. 11:4.  Do you really need to be convinced that that was demonic?  Mark Driscoll is just another deceiver trying to lead the elect astray.  Thank God that is not possible.

Explore posts in the same categories: Heresies

17 Comments on “Driscollism”

  1. Ryan Says:

    Great post. I’ve heard good things about you, Dr. Gianello, and I can see why.

  2. Denson Dube Says:

    I find some of the arguments advanced by Reformed against Charismatics rather shaky.
    (1) The miraculous is said to have been proof of the divine origin of apostolic teaching. Really? Is this not superstition? No amount of the miraculous will prove the divine origin of any teaching. A good Clarkian(Christian) should know that. 1+1=3 is the nonsense that it is even if accompanied by a clap of thunder or a spectacular healing or none of these things. Events require explanation/intepretation, they do not furnish it(Gordon Clark).
    A lot of what we call the Bible was inspired unaccompanied by the miraculous(perhaps most of the Bible?) I am not aware of the miracles performed by Isaiah, Micah, Obadiah, David etc to “prove” the divine origin of what they believed and taught. On the other hand, I am not aware of the writings/books of Elijah and Elisha since they performed so many miracles which would have served as “proof” for the divine origin of their writings, according to this theory. Further, if miracles are required to prove the divine origin of the word of God, then there should be miracles accompanying every instance of the preaching of the word, something a good Charismatic would be quite happy with. Accounts of miracles in the Bible require faith for one to accept them as true historic records. One never saw any of them happen. According to this theory, the records of those miracles would require miracles to authenticate them as true accounts and so on ad infinitum.
    Miracles are said to have been “proof” of apostolic authority. Really? Then why is Driscoll not an apostle, since he claims the miraculous too? Why in the one instance and not the other?

    (2) Cessation is built or seems to be pivoted on one passage of scripture, I Cor. 13:8 — a recipe for error. History, christian history is sometimes thrown in as proof that miracles ceased by lack of reports of such in the second century. But there is lack of sound doctrine also in the second century. Is this proof then that sound doctrine ceased too, with the apostles, and that we should not pursue sound beliefs?
    Sean, in his first post asked very crucial questions like, how the Charismatics can tell that Mr TBN’s money for blessing offer is not the real thing but Mr Driscoll’s visons of sexual encounters should be embraced?
    In the old testament, God spoke in various ways and performed signs and wonders. How did the saints then know that it was God speaking and that they were not just seeing things? How do we know that Abraham heard from God and wasn’t smoking something? Cessation, is an easy cope out from these difficult questions and a very poor substitute for hard thinking.
    If the old testament saints did not need cessation and they coped very well apparently, why can’t we do the same? Is a theory of cessation of truth necessary in order for one to reject false teaching? Perhaps it does, since one rejects everything in the process. But is this really sound thinking?
    If there are no more genuine miracles, then how do Christians recieve answers to their prayers? Is not every answer to prayer a divine act, a miracle? These answers to prayer may not be spectacular, but that is a question of scale rather than substance. I am not ready to give up answered prayer yet until the Lord comes back for me. Do we need cessation of the miraculous in order to detect and reject counterfeits? Does, the warning on false christs and false signs and wonders not require that there be the genuine that one distinguishes the false from? Is this not how the old testament saints, and the new testament saints lived? Is there need for discernment if everything out there is false anyway?

  3. Sean Gerety Says:

    Denson, if the miraculous gifts have not ceased than neither has the office of apostle. Further, if sound exegesis of 1 Cor 13:8ff were the only arguments it would be enough, but they’re not the only arguments by a long shot in favor of cessationism. I suggest you got to the TF site and pick up a copy of Budgen’s Charismatics and the Word of God. There are many other good resources, but I would start there. Your argument in favor of miracles as a result of answers to prayer misses the mark completely. It is miracles like raising the dead that you need to defend if you’re going to argue for continuationism since that is but one of the spectacular miracles we see performed at the hands of the apostles (the real ones) in Acts.

  4. Hugh McCann Says:

    Yea-ouch! I thought I’d been hard on Boice @ times, but yikes, Gus!

    He biffed it a few times, but c’mon, in the same league as Driscoll or Freeman or Wigglesworth*?!

    I’d put Boice in the hero category. At least, thus far.

    @ Gus & Pat: Also, this doesn’t appear to follow,

    A consistent Charismatic must believe that the canon of Scripture is open, that there is nothing unique about Pentecost, that the church has never gone beyond its primitive state, and that Jesus Christ did not complete the atonement.


    There was a time when the canon was open, yet Pentecost was unique, the church was yet in her ‘primitive state,’ and yet Christ HAD completed the atonement!

    You guys wouldn’t argue that ‘tween Pentecost and the canon’s close that Christ hadn’t completed the atonement… That idea ‘proves’ too much, imo. So why does a ‘consistent Charismatic’ (isn’t that an oxymoron?) necessarily need to believe that Christ’s atonement is incomplete, given his system?

    *(best charismatic name ever!)

  5. Hugh McCann Says:

    …the root and essence of Charismatic teaching is a belief that the canon is still open and that the atonement of Christ is not complete.


    Looking for your syllogism/ proof for THAT assertion, Pat.

  6. BTW, CanonWIRED will be releasing an interview with Mark Driscoll next Monday on precisely this subject.

    http://www.canonwired.com. Part I of that interview, on masculinity, is already up.

  7. Sean Gerety Says:

    Daniel, do you really think anyone here cares what Doug Wilson and his FV cult thinks about … well, anything?

  8. […] Driscollism (godshammer.wordpress.com) Share this:ShareTwitterEmailPrintFacebookStumbleUponDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted on Thursday, September 29th, 2011 at 1:51 pm and tagged with charismatic, Christianity, CSM, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, manifestations, mysticism, new calvinism, power, Prayer, seeking and posted in Q&A. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. « Mark Driscoll Explains the Warlock Thing Michael Horton: The Importance of Studying Theology » […]

  9. Denson Dube Says:

    “… if the miraculous gifts have not ceased than neither has the office of apostle.”
    Wrong. Miracles were not done by the Apostles only. Miracles preceeded the Apostles by centuries. Moses, Elijah and Elisha performed signs and wonders. Steven, Phillip, Ananias the disciple who prayed for Paul, the church at Corinth and Galatia and by implication, all the churches had miracles happening in their midst and Agabus prophesied about famine and the need to plan for it.
    The trouble is that reformed christians do not have a biblical view of miracles.

    Daniel was told explicitly that from the return from exile to Messiah the Prince would be 70 weeks (1 week =7)=70*7=490 years and that all vision and prophecy would be sealed. This means all vision and prophecy(the OT scriptures) would be fulfilled.(The Angel Gabriel was no cessationist.)

    Daniel would have known that 49 years was 7 sabbaths(1 sabbath=7),the number of years to the Jubilee and 490 years was ten Jubilees. The Law of the Jubilee is found in Leviticus 25:8-end. The captives were set free, possessions returned etc etc. The Jubilee that Daniel was told about was prophesied and further characterised by the prophet Isaiah in Chapter 61, a passage Jesus quoted in Luke 4:16-21 “and [he] began to say to them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears”.

    When Jesus started his public ministry, he proclaimed the arrival of the Kingdom of God. He went about casting out demons and healing all manner of sickness and disease and stopped funerals. Why? Because the Kingdom of God had come! The promised eternal Jubilee had come, deliverance to the captives, repentance and forgiveness of sin, the year of God’s favour. Satan and demons were subject to Him. This was the Deliverer, the promised King. God had fulfilled the promises He had made to the fathers by the prophets to send a delivere from sin and oppression of the enemy. Repent ye therefore and believe the Gospel, the apostles proclaimed.

    When John the Baptist sent from prison to know if Jesus was the Christ or whether they should look for another(Luke 7:19-23), Jesus performed miracles, healed the sick and then told those who were sent to tell John what they saw. This was no freak show of the supernatural. What Christ did was promised in the Old Testament as what the Messiah came to do, setting the captives free, and John would have known that this was the real deal. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, to set at liberty those that are bound, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour”.

    As Jesus confronted Pharisaic illogic, “Which is easier to say, your sins are forgiven or rise up and walk?”
    Therefore, miracles are about who Christ is. It is his ministry of deliverance from oppression of the enemy and sin by his death and ressurection. It is what Jesus came to do. People can rightly expect to receive forgiveness and deliverance from oppression upon faith in Jesus. That is what Jesus did.

    “The age of the apostles” is the usual dispensationalistic nonsense and so is this apostolic centered hermeneutic rather than a Christ centered hermeneutic.

  10. Sean Gerety Says:

    “… if the miraculous gifts have not ceased than neither has the office of apostle.”
    Wrong. Miracles were not done by the Apostles only. Miracles preceeded the Apostles by centuries. Moses, Elijah and Elisha performed signs and wonders. Steven, Phillip, Ananias the disciple who prayed for Paul, the church at Corinth and Galatia and by implication, all the churches had miracles happening in their midst and Agabus prophesied about famine and the need to plan for it.
    The trouble is that reformed christians do not have a biblical view of miracles.

    I realize that the apostles were not the only ones performing miracles, but you miss the point entirely and I’m starting to wonder if you even took the time to read my first post re Driscoll? As Clark argues in his commentary on Corinthians:

    “In 12:28, Paul lists the gifts apostolic authority and prophecy first. Does the Synod report wish to maintain that God has appointed some to be apostles in the tenth, fifteenth, and twentieth centuries? This would be good Romanism; but Protestants think otherwise. Surely the apostleship has ceased. Hence, the time of cessation that Paul implies is not the return of Christ, but the completion of the canon. (215)”

    The office of apostle is listed along with the miraculous gifts. If the latter continues until today, why not the former? Where is your argument?

    Again, what you need to do Denson is demonstrate that the miracles preformed by the hands of the apostles specifically, and others if that makes you happy, during the apostolic era, including the raising the dead continue.

    But, since you believe the miraculous gifts such as prophesy, tongues and new divinely inspired supernaturally revealed knowledge continue then do you believe in a closed canon? If so, why? If you accept the continuation of the extraordinary miracles performed at the foundation of the church when the church was in her infancy, and while the Apostles were alive, then you must also accept ongoing propositional revelation from God in addition to and apart from the Scriptures, right? If not, then why not? Also, don’t try and make knowledge spoken of by Paul in 1Cor. 12:8 as some sort of admixture of truth and falsehood; some encouraging word designed to give Charismatics the warm fuzzies when someone stands up in their congregations announcing in a solemn voice to an eager and hushed audience, “Thus saith the Lord…, ” then proceeds to pretend to speak a new word from God. I know this is exactly what happens because I’ve sat through many such instances in different Charismatic and Pentacostalist churches. As Clark notes; “It would be better to take “knowledge” as the apostolic process of revealing new knowledge. This was complete and revelation ceased.” Charismatics seem to want to cast their ongoing “thus saith the Lord” statements as something less, but why? If God has revealed a new word, then the Scriptures are not closed. Therefore, you need to show how the gift of knowledge that Paul says will cease when the completed thing has come, actually continues even until today.

  11. Denson Dube Says:

    As CS Lewis once observed, one must ask the right preliminary questions before plunging into the details on some matter, otherwise only nonsense is the result.(Well, something along those lines.) To debate on miracles, we need to understand what they are. I do not think we share the same view on their essential nature. I therefore reject your conclusions and dismiss your challenges as painfully misconstrued.

    To repeat, the reformed theory or theology/philosophy of miracles, at least what I am aware of, leaves much to be desired. CS Lewis, whose theology one must disagree with at almost every turn, to his credit, gave the issue of miracles some attention. Clark and reformed Christians in general seem to have contented themselves with nonsense: “Miracles and tongues were for the purpose of guaranteeing the divine origin of apostolic doctrine.”, as you quoted Clark. Clark’s statement could be straight from a Charismatic’s mouth and is plain irrational nonsense!

    The essential property or the purpose of a message is to convey truth to the mind. Truth is only and only a property of propositions. Historic incidents, deeds or ‘happenings’ can neither be true nor false. Pray, how then can historic incidents, which are neither true nor false, even if miraculous, be said to guarantee the truthfulness of propositions? In fact Clark’s statement does not even guarantee us that much (truth) as he says miracles only guarantee divine origin. Presumably, “divine origin” is coterminous with truth in Clark’s mind? If a message, divine or otherwise, needs an irrational miraculous endorsement, would it not only prove that the message is false? For, if the message is true, nothing further is needed. As Clark himself once wrote, truth is the first principle.

    Further, would one not need to know that miracles are also of divine origin, if one is to accept their “guaranteeing” function? And how is that knowledge obtained, without a message? (since this message would also require a miracle to guarantee its truthfulness, we are obviously in an endless loop.)
    If secessionism is undergirded by such irrationality, how is it better than heretical Charismania?

    Even if one were to grant Clark’s statement, there is no relief from further difficulties. Does not everyone need a guarantee of the divine origin of the message of the Bible? If not, why not? Were those to whom the apostles testified about the resurrection dumber or smarter than us or was there some other condition or qualification that they met that necessitated the “guaranteeing” of the divine origin of the message of the gospel to them by miracles, that 21st century Jo Blow does not meet? If it takes a miracle to “guarantee the divine origin” of the message of the gospel, why then don’t we see miracles at the preaching of every sermon? Does this view of miracles not imply Charismania?
    Evidently, not every inspired prophet or divine messenger in the bible brought their message accompanied by miracles to “guarantee” its divine origins.

    Truth is axiomatic. Nothing can be added to the truth nor need be. The truth is its own authority. God is truth. The miracles were therefore not authenticating the message as of divine origin.

    The miracles in the Bible were the fulfillment of a word spoken before, a promise made beforehand; and that is the correct way to understand miracles in the Bible. Jesus’ life and ministry was an interpretation of, the correct interpretation of or fulfillment of the law of jubilee(as well as many other shadows and types) as given in Leviticus 25, and as he quoted the passage in Isaiah 61.The pronouncement of the Kingdom of God, the miracles, healings and deliverance from demonic possession and oppression in his ministry was the fulfillment of the promised deliverance of the captives, proclamation of liberty to the oppressed prophesied in Isaiah 61. The miracles were not an arbitrary addition to the message. As Jesus said, “This generation requires a sign. No sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.” Those who rejected Jesus’ message did so because they did not believe what Moses wrote, for, “Moses wrote of me”. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Torah, Psalms and the prophets. He now lives in believers through the Holy Spirit given to the believer(upon belief of the Gospel)
    The apostles kept on saying, “these things were prophesied”.

    The cessation that the bible teaches is that of the kingdom of darkness, the dominance of Satan, sin, sickness and disease, through the work of Christ the redeemer. Luke 9:1- 2. Then he called his twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
    Luke 10:1-11, After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also …. and[told them] heal the sick that are therein and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you”

    17-20. And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lighting fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not that the spirits are subject to you but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

    It is at his name that devils cower and flee, because of the authority invested in that name in heaven and on earth, not because one is a super duper “saint” or “apostle”(unbiblical Roman Catholic notions of “saints”). Christ is seated on the throne even as we speak, ruling and reigning over all, everything being subject to him, for all power is given to him. The believer, in whom Christ dwells through faith only has to call upon that name and every devil scatters. That is the awesome power of the risen Christ and not the “Jesus meek and mild”, hugging little lambs, of popular religion.

    In conclusion, if miracles are as portrayed in the Bible, the sovereign acts of an omnipotent God, who does as he wills, and directs all things according to his pleasure, then miracles can no more cease than God can cease to be the omnipotent sovereign God who created all things and who does his own pleasure who is also our Saviour and Lord.

  12. Steve M Says:


    Incoherent rant. To your conclusion, I say, “not necessarily.” Your “then” is not a necessary consequence of your “if”. You and C S Lewis could both take logic lessons from Clark.

  13. Denson Dube Says:

    Steve M,
    What a brilliant argument. Have come to expect it from “reformed’ types.

  14. Steve M Says:

    Denson recognizes my brilliance. It’s a miracle!

  15. The whole point of miracles in the Bible is that they are signs that confirm the ministry of Jesus and the apostles. They were not necessary. Since the canon is closed there is no need for further confirmation. If miracles continue, then the door is wide open for the papists to reassert ongoing revelations in the form of “tradition”. And that’s exactly the same argument Charismatics use. Authority is in the charismatic ministry, not the Bible. Read the academic writings of Pentecostal and Charismatic scholars and it won’t take you long to see the similarities between the papists and the charismatics. It’s also why the charismatic movement has been openly embraced by Rome as a way to lead Protestants back to Rome.

  16. I should point as well that Clark’s lecture on the problem of pietism applies to Pentecostalism. Experiential religion is an outright denial of propositional truth as the center of Biblical Christianity. Empiricism can never lead to any true knowledge.

  17. Rick Phillips Says:

    I curious as to the basis for your statement that James Boice is a kind of Mark Driscoll. I can hardly think of two more fundamentally different people.

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