Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pondering More Cessation

Sitting in Kuip's room, he's cramming Greek and I'm sitting easy. More exegesis to finish up for tomorrow. Looking into finishing more of my paper today and tonight. As promised, here's some of the rationale behind the purpose of tongues ceasing after 70 AD. Most of this will be very basic for some, and brand new for others (for all six of you that are reading this at the moment).

In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul quotes Isaiah 28:11, indicating that one of the many purposes of tongues was to show unbelieving Israel that they were being judges by God. How is this the case? They rejected the Messiah, choosing instead to look for a political leader who would overthrow the Romans. This culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Thus Paul uses the quote from Isaiah to prove that the gift of tongues is for the unbeliever, to show them God's judgment. In context from Isaiah, this is clearly talking about Israel. And while God has not totally cast off His chosen people (Romans 11:1-2), there is a definite replacement going on in the early Church age.

So what were the other purposes for tongues? Two are immediately discerned: 1) to proclaim the new message of the Gospel, and 2) also to verify the new Way that Christ had established. It could be argued either way that those purposes have passed as well, and I won't take time here to dig. It can be safely inferred that the most obvious purpose for tongues is no longer needed.

I probably won't be posting again on tongues until after my paper is done. At that point likely all I'll be doing is summarizing the conclusions from my paper. Kuiper and I will eventually be tag-teaming a series of blogs on Soulforce and a contrast of their interactions with Bob Jones and Cedarville. But first he's got some thoughts on purity that he's going to publish later on today.


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