Quotes (938)

“If signs and wonders did still exist, do you think they would be given to people with bad theology? You think God would give Benny Hinn the power to do miracles to authenticate really bad theology? If those gifts existed, they would belong to the purest, most faithful, sound teachers of the word of God to authenticate their teaching–not to hair-brained people who spew out whatever comes into their head.”

John MacArthur

35 thoughts on “Quotes (938)

  1. Romans 10:29 “for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable” Psalm 105:15 “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”

    We need to be very careful about criticizing the anyone doing more for the Lord than we are. Remember, Job’s friends thought his theology and doctrine was out of line.

    My goodness people, we are about to replace a President whose only god is power with a man who believes that Jesus and satan are brothers and that he himself will one day be a god. Evangelicals and Pentecostals unite against the coming storm. Please brothers!!!! Can we just agree on the Apostles Creed here on earth and work out the rest in heaven? For those of you who don’t know it, you should.

    I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth;
    and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord,
    Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
    He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;
    He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.
    Amen.

  2. I like John MacArthur, I do, but I just do not agree with the cessationist belief. I am very much in agreement with him on his stance on Hinn as well. There is very little I disagree with MacAthur about except the gifts. Coming out of the “signs and wonders/prophetic” movement, I strongly believe that a lot being fueled by that is demonic. I truly believe satan knows people’s giftings, and he too can use them for his perversion. A lot of the stuff though I do think is highly fake and fabricated, like gold dust at Bethel’s church, Todd Bentley’s supposite healings (Dateline really proved that one), Hinn’s claims of course, John Crowder’s and Rick Joyner’s ridiculous claims of being transported through time, I don’t buy it. And IF those are true -I’m mostly referring to Crowder and Joyner’s claim- then its fueled by the demonic. The book of Jude goes into the workings of prophetic words etc by people in the last days. I wholeheartedly believe that God will work some stuff through people regarding signs etc., once the church has been shaken to the point of humilty and relying solely on Him, we aren’t there yet. But God will work it out in His way. Again, coming out of all that, is, it’s being used as a distraction from focusing on the true gospel of repentance and submission to Christ. In that movement it’s ALL about the signs and wonders, yeah Jesus is referenced, but hardly ever ever is humilty or repentance and brokeness over our sins ever mentioned. That movement is fueled by pride and false doctrines and twisting of scripture. I truly think those people need prayer. I believe awareness and speaking out about them needs to done, but with prayer for them as well…

  3. I encourage you both to listen to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCJ9v_-aJho&feature=g-vrec (it’s only about 10 min. long)

    It is an ex-faith healer who tells how they do it…how unbiblical it is and the dangers of it.

    @Rhonda Haynes,
    The issue of false gifts, false prophets and false miracles *is* a major issue in the church today. You can’t just dismiss all the wrong things that people claim and not bring them forward in warning to those who may follow along with them. You have people going off necessary medications because they believe they were healed when they weren’t.
    We need to stand up for our true faith and denounce all that are hurting the body of Christ (the false teachers/prophets).

  4. Katy I’ve seen those before. After coming out of this movement I did a ton of research. That is part of my ministry is warning people of the fallacy of the signs and wonders movement. Did you not read my former comment thoroughly? Why is this addressed towards me? I never defended these people. Just because I don’t agree with MacArthur’s claim that the gifts ceased after the apostle’s died, does not mean I’m for those people he speaks about. Again go back and read my last comment. Be blessed -S.

  5. This is a fantastic quote from the wisdom and Biblical focus of Pastor MacArthur. Regardless of anyone’s position on the ceasing of gifts or gifts being active, we should all agree that the unbiblical chaos of those we see on TV with healing ministries and deliverance ministries are swindlers and pursuing personal gain (2 Pet 2). MacArthur’s point is excellent…if these things were active today, they wouldn’t be performed by the false teachers, but by the faithful men of God. Amen, Pastor John.

    I am not a cessationist because I cannot restrict God’s hand from performing miracles as He sees fit, but I do not believe any of these gifts would be normative for today. The frequency of the “performance” of these gifts in pentecostal/charismatic churches in suburban USA today is a clear indication of the congregation’s pursuit of experientialism rather than the working of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn’t move to provide an experience for man or to glorify man, but to convict man of sin and glorify Christ (John 16).

    In the love of Christ,
    -atg

  6. God tests hearts (minds), has been from Moses, will through the Tribulation. Our duty as believers is to constantly be taking inventory; have we in some way rejected the new wine that Christ is, and settled for old wine (Luke 5:39) in our walk?

    Deuteronomy 13:1-5
    If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘ Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.

    2 Thessalonians 2:8-12
    Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

  7. FYI – cessationism, rightly understood, is NOT the perspective that God no longer performs miracles (rightly understood); it means men are no longer given by God the ability to perform miracles.

  8. I’m one to believe that the Apostolic gifts have ceased and I base that on by the time we get to the book of revelation, there are no more healings or so called major miracles occurring anymore. I’m not saying miracles don’t occur in our day, I believe they do. But I beleive they are very rare where the word of God is copious and people have heard the gospel not just once but many times.

    I have listened to testimonies of people in other countries where the word of God is stymied for the most part. Being very circumspect while listening to their testimonies, I have to believe that some of the “visions they have of Jesus or dreams are real”. Usually they are in Muslim countries where the gospel is shut out but NOT the HOLY SPIRIT.

    The Greatest miracle is when God saved me and the next greatest miracle to be performed is for people whom I love to be saved. I don’t LOOK for all these miracles that can save no one but just pump up man’s ego. that’s the GREATEST MIRACLE and that tops way beyond all the circus acts.

  9. Manfred that was the definition I was referring to, if case that was directed towards me.

    Linda I agree 100% with your comment, I couldn’t have said it better.

    Be blessed. -S.

  10. Expanding briefly on Manfred’s comment on cessationism:

    1. Cornelius had a vision before he received the Holy Spirit. That was a miraculous work of God independent of a spiritual gift (people who haven’t received the Spirit don’t have spiritual gifts). Many other examples could be cited (Nebuchadnezzar, Balaam’s donkey, etc). So cessationists should be entirely comfortable with the concept of miracles taking place even after a related spiritual gift has ceased.
    2. Everyone is a cessationist of some kind or another, because no one goes out looking for manna in the morning. We ALL believe that God works at different times in different ways, and that He isn’t generally doing some things that He used to do. It isn’t that He couldn’t, it’s that He gave manna at a particular time for a particular reason which is no longer operative. Cessationists believe that this is true of particular spiritual gifts, as well. It is not that we believe the Spirit has ceased working, or that He could not work in exactly the same way, but that He only gave some gifts for a particular time and a particular reason, which is no longer operative.

  11. I agree in principle with what he is saying. Too many people think they are walking in the power of Holy Spirit on an anointing level equal to Jesus. Yet their walk with God no where approaches Jesus’s walk with the Father for many reasons.

    MacArthur said:
    ” If those gifts existed, they would belong to the purest, most faithful, sound teachers of the word of God to authenticate their teaching–not to hair-brained people who spew out whatever comes into their head.”

    So what I am wondering is when the purest, most faithful, and sound teachers of the word have their teaching authenticated through signs and wonders. Will he then admit that they (genuine signs and wonders) do still exist if one is willing to walk as Jesus walked? Or will he stick to a hair-brained teaching he is spewing out of his mouth?

  12. I understand where MacArthur is coming from, and I agree with him to a point, but I don’t think we should make having a “perfect” theology the litmus test for the legitimacy of signs and wonders. God can use whomever He wishes to display His power and glory, and He will sometimes use those who have very little knowledge of the Bible and sound doctrine. Those in other countries who lack access to the Word of God, and whose “theology” might not be entirely sound, are often used powerfully by God. Anyone who doubts this should read about the persecuted church in China (particularly the story of Brother Yun, as told in the book The Heavenly Man).

    The bottom line, I think, is that God looks at the heart. If our heart is right towards Him, and we are truly His, and truly seeking Him, then He will honor that. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be discerning, and watch out for false signs and wonders (for those certainly exist in abundance, and I do agree Benny Hinn is a sad example of them), but it does mean we shouldn’t automatically dismiss a miracle simply because the person associated with it doesn’t have the “proper” theology. Look at the fruit of their lives instead.

  13. I believe we are misinterpreting what MacArthur meant when he said, ‘If those gifts existed, they would belong to the purest, most faithful, sound teachers of the word of God to authenticate their teaching–not to hair-brained people who spew out whatever comes into their head.”
    He was referring to the false teachers/wolves who claim to have powers for tongues, signs and wonders as opposed to those who truly are men of God; for instance, Paul Washer or Voddie Baucham, or men of old such as Charles Spurgeon or Thomas Watson. There is no record of a Charles Spurgeon or a Jonathan Edwards ever speaking in tongues or healing the sick.

    God will not use someone who is unregenerate to perform signs and wonders, however, Satan will. MacArthur is dismissing men like Hinn as having the power and ability to do such things. It isn’t as though there are a ‘super’ class of Christians, as some may believe MacArthur is insinuating, if you are born from above, God can do as He pleases for His own purposes. Even the unregenerate are used by God for His purposes, but that does not mean they are empowered by Him with abilities to do Spirit-empowered works.

  14. wordsofaforeinger actually you said it better than I. I simply extrapolated from you. If I’m understanding you correctly the concern is the fact that the Holy Spirit is being put in a Straightjacket. Bona fide believers are beginning to be painted with the broad brush as (mystical) and stigmatized by their very own brothers and sisters while they’re trying to protect the Church from the false teachers who have stigmatized the true workings of the Holy Spirit in a Christians life and in the body of Christ. That’s exactly how Satan works. It’s a double-edged sword really.

    “If the Holy Spirit were taken away from the New Testament church, ninety percent of what they did would come to a halt. But if the Holy Spirit were taken away from today’s church, only ten percent of what it does would cease”.– A.W. Tozer

  15. Good point…a person’s bad theology (not just a little off theology) should make us cautious when they claim to have signs and wonders in their ministry…

  16. Linda yes, that is what I meant. Yknow I have to add that I take no joy in pointing out the fallacy in these ministries. In honesty it is a burden that I have told the Lord how hard it is to bear. People misunderstood the heart to not see people fall away and instead interpret it as being “unloving” or Pharisee. Speaking of MacArthur, but he even has a book out called Charismatic Chaos, GREAT read. But unless one has been deeply in this movement and have come out to see what it really is, it’s hard to make an exact assesement. Someone on the comments mentioned to look at fruit of their lives, well Bob Jones having woman undress in front of him so he could “better hear from the Lord” in his prophesies, to me is not fruitful. Todd Bentley and him abandoning his wife and children and marrying another, again, no fruit. Rick Joyner and his Knights Malta and his rants on Joel’s Army and how “there will be blood shed one day in the civil war of the believers”, no fruit. Or John Crowder and his simulated “drunken glory” and disciples snorting pretend “holy spirit cocaine lines” off of the bible, again, no fruit. (I’d be curious on what MacAthur would have to say about Crowder’s ministry) And lets not forget Benny Hinn, who has said publicly that he goes to Katherine Kulhman’s grave to “suck up her anointing”. And then there are those manifestations, a complete EXACTNESS of the Indian Kundalini spirit, but they claim it’s the “holy spirit”, but yet show no reverential fear nor any conviction, something the Holy Spirit is meant to do…

    I have grieved over this, I take no joy -again- in speaking of these things. I’ve lost friends who are still in the movement, friends who think speaking out is wrong, I have suffered great persecution from this. And while it is hard to endure, I do it for Christ, to speak Truth, just as MacArthur speaks out, we all should. And on this side of it, I’ve seen the ugly too, I see no grace or heart to want to pray for these false teachers whatsoever, just pure condemnation. And yes, it is angering, especially seeing a lot of the kids in Crowder’s ministry, but its also very very sad to see these kids being lead astray from the Truth. Someone mentioned that is was all fake, some is yea, but some, well a lot IS demonic but with Christian terminology. It’s heartbreaking.

    Linda you are so correct in bringing up the Muslims who are being brought to Christ supernaturally, now THOSE are miracles. Not this junk that is being done in these movements. I agree in miracles 100%, but God does them on His terms not ours..

    Anyway, I digress. I am not interested in going into a definition debate -hence the cessationist- or anything like that. I believe we, for the most part, are on the same mind set here, no need to spark up debates where none are needed. Be blessed everyone and God bless. (pardon my bad grammar but my IPhone screen has turn blurred and I can’t see well)
    -S.

  17. Hi all,

    Although I rarely agree with MacArthur, I think that he is spot on about much (but not all) of the Charsimatic/ Pentecostal movement. The so-called signs and wonders allegedly being performed by the likes of Benny Hinn and other Word of Faith people are simply not happening. The movement is chaotic and is creating confusion among many genuine Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians.

    Remember, I’m saying this as a liberal Christian. When I first read MacArthur’s book called Charismatic Chaos, I thought he was exaggerating and misrepresenting the bulk of the movement. Now I am not so sure. I have seen plenty of wierd things in this movement and I hope they are not representative of Pentecostalism, Charismaticsim and Third Waveism, but , alas, I suspect that these wierd things are becoming ever more common.

    Shalom,
    John Arthur

  18. “Remember, I’m saying this as a liberal Christian.”
    Hello John:
    Would you please define “liberal Christian?”
    Thanks, Rev-

  19. Hi Rev. Limiter,

    Yes, I know that liberal Christianity can be fairly broadly defined ranging from the conservative Neo-0rthordoxy of Brunner, Barth, and Bonhoeffer on the one hand down to John shelby Spong and the Jesus seminar foks at the other end of the liberal spectrum. I am just going to briefly describe my views on the bible, not on other topics.

    Basically, I think I am closer to Barth at this stage of my thinking, though I have some difficulties with how much of the gospel story and the bible is legend and how much it is historical. I see Jesus as the Word of God and the bible as an essentially reliable witness to Jesus. Though Barth talks about the 3 fold form of the One Word of God.

    I also know that the word Evangelical is variously defined including those who believe in the verbal inspiration of the scriptures and their inerrancy in the original manuscripts to those who hold to thjngs like intentional inerrancy, essentialist infallibilty, and Christocentric infallibilty.

    Furthermore, theology is a spectrum and a continuum and the lines get pretty blurred the closer to the centre you get. Basically, Evangelicals hold to the supreme authority of the bible with Jesus Christ as Lord. Many liberals at the more conservative end of the liberal spectrum hold to the sureme authoity of Jesus (like Evangelicals) but see the bible as a fallible human witness to divine revelation, though many (including myself) see it as essentially reliable.

    This is just the topic of the bible and is a very brief but inadaquate summary. Perhaps I should say that I am a neo-orthodox liberal or even a neo-orthodox evangelical. I use both historico-critical methods and historico-grammatical methods of biblical hermeneutics to try and understand the bible in its original contexts and what the words are saying and see Jesus Christ is the centre of the bible and use a Christocentric approach as well as the above two methods to bring a unifying framework to the bible while , at the same time, appreciating is diversity.

    I hope this helps to clarify my basic approach.

    Shalom,
    John Arthur

  20. John:
    I appreciate your comment.
    Men such as Tillich, Brunner, Barth and others in this camp are indeed classic liberals who embrace a false Christianity like the folks with the Jesus Seminar as they deny the inerrancy of scripture. Either you believe that the whole of Christianity is bound up in the bible (and is able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus 2 Timothy 3:15 b ESV) or you don’t.
    You state: “I see Jesus as the Word of God and the bible as an ‘essentially’ reliable witness to Jesus.”
    How could The Lord Jesus have made the statement in Jn. 17:17 if it were not so? Verses such as John 16:13 and John 14:6 are just two of many pointing to the veracity of scripture!
    Here is an interesting article that you might enjoy.
    Rev-

    http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Liberalism.html

    P.S.
    I feel that MacArthur is one of the premier teachers of our time. Hopefully the day will come when you’ll feel the same!

  21. John,
    I am curious, how can you believe in and know who Christ is if you do not believe the word of God is authoritative and divinely inspired from Genesis to Revelation? What do you do with this verse 2Timothy 3:16 ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness’ or this from 2Peter 1:20-21 ‘ But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.’

    You also say ‘Many liberals at the more conservative end of the liberal spectrum hold to the sureme authoity of Jesus (like Evangelicals) but see the bible as a fallible human witness to divine revelation, though many (including myself) see it as essentially reliable.’ How can one say they believe Christ is the supreme authority and yet deny the authority of Scripture? On what do you base such a belief and what is your source? You cannot say the Bible because either it is wholly authoritative, divinely inspired, and all the born again believer needs or you toss it out as just another book written by a bunch of old men. Picking parts of the Bible and calling if valid while throwing out the rest is pointless, this is man-made religion that picks and chooses what suits man, but not God.

    There is another problem with labeling, for instance, liberal Christians and evangelicals, the Bible calls believers ‘slaves’, ‘disciples’, ‘friend of Christ’, ‘brethren’. There is no such thing as a liberal Christian, when God re-births a sinner, you give up all rights to what you want, what you desire, what you think is best…’deny self’. If you are not completely surrendered to Christ and His right to complete authority over you, then you are on dangerous ground.
    The Lord Jesus commanded in Luke 14:33, ” So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” Dr. MacArthur comments on this, ‘The original language in verse 33, “give up,” apotasso, say good-bye to. That’s exactly what it means, to say good-bye to. In what sense? Well, it’s not calling for socialism, it’s not calling for you to sell your house, sell your car, sell all your possessions in your house and go out on the street and beg. That’s not what it’s saying. What it’s calling for is this. You become a steward of everything and an owner of nothing. What you’re saying is, I don’t have any relationships that aren’t subordinated to your Lordship. I don’t have any self-interests that aren’t subordinated to your Lordship.’

    We also see this stern warning from the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 6, ‘You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.’ Commentary from Albert Barnes states ‘ We are purchased; we belong to God; we are his by redemption; by a precious price paid; and we are bound, therefore, to devote ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, as he directs, to the glory of his
    name, not to the gratification of the flesh’. Dying to self is essential for the follower of Christ.

  22. Hi rev. Limiter and Unworthy1,

    Wow! The topic of the original post is the quote from John MacArthur, not my views on the Scriptures. I only responded because rev. Limiter asked me what I mean by Liberal Christian. I did not expect a serve from Unworthy1.

    I appreciated Rev. Limiter’s response and the article he refers to but I disagree with it. The passages quoted do not prove that the bible is referred to when Jesus says “Your (God;s) word is Truth”,

    And Unworthy 1, you do not read 2 Tim. 3 16-17 in its immediate and broader context. You assume that “all scripture” refers to the whole bible when the whole bible had not then been written. Nothing suggests that the whole bible is the Word of God or that it is inerrant. God-breathed means God’s Spirit , wind or breath is somehow upon the Scritpures (probably OT). The human authors are genuine human authors with their fallibilty. The God-breathing does not overthrow their fallibilty.

    The bible does not have to be inerrant to have truth in it. Newspapers often have stories that are, in essence, true but which may sometimes contain errors. Does this mean we throw the whole story out as having no truth? So the bible, written by fallible human beings, contains some errors but this does not mean that it is not, in essence, true..

    The labels Liberal, Neo-orthodox and Evangelical are describing factual theological positions and are not intended to be descriptions of NT words used for Christians. Just because the bible does not mention something doesn’t mean it does not exist.

    All Christians pick parts of the bible and choose some parts over others. Look at the texts Dispensationalists emphasize in their disputes with Covenant theologians and they are often different from those that Covenant theologians emphasize. Similarly with disputes between Calvinists and Arminians.

    I am not wiritng any more on this as it in not germane to the original quote which is about Benny Hinn and those like him who claim to performs miracles but they teach things that are often false. You may, and do, think that I believe in a false gospel but I do not claim to perform miracles. So please stick to the topic and don’t take advantage of my genuine response to Rev. Limiter to give me a serve.

    Shalom,
    John Arthur

  23. unworthy1:

    I agree with you, but could not have made the point as well as you did. The notion of separating Christianity into sects of liberal Christians, social justice Christians, emergent Christians, evangelical Chrisitians, conservative Christians, and so forth, in order to justify one holding a particular political (or scriptural) position that is not biblical is not an honest or true view of Christianity. Jesus didn’t come to justify politcal platforms through the twisting of scripture. The ultimate goal of being born into the body of Christ is …we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ..” Eph 4:13

  24. I do not wish to hijack this thread, but I do feel it necessary to respond concerning the authority of the word of God concerning 2 Timothy 3:16 and John Arthur’s response – “You assume that “all scripture” refers to the whole bible when the whole bible had not then been written. Nothing suggests that the whole bible is the Word of God or that it is inerrant. God-breathed means God’s Spirit , wind or breath is somehow upon the Scritpures (probably OT). The human authors are genuine human authors with their fallibilty. The God-breathing does not overthrow their fallibilty.”

    As for the meaning of ‘all scripture’ and what was yet to be written, if the books written after Paul’s epistle to Timothy are divinely inspired, wouldn’t it stand to reason that they are included in the phrase ‘all scipture’? After all, doesn’t God know the ending from the beginning? Do we throw out the book of Revelation because it was written after Paul’s epistles? Certainly not, this kind of logic is irrational. Again, this seems to be an excuse to throw out the legitimacy of the authority of every word of God, from Genesis to Revelation. Also, the differing views on secondary issues, such as baptism and eschatology, do NOT take away from the authority of God’s word.
    As for the fallibility of the human authors, that has nothing to do with what they were given from God. Matthew Henry comments, ‘The Bible is a sure guide to eternal life. The prophets and apostles did not speak from themselves, but delivered what they received of God.’
    So we need to look at ‘God breathed’ or ‘inspired'; which is theopneustos in the orginal language meaning ‘divinely breathed in: – given by inspiration of God’. It is made up of two root words, ‘theos’ which means ‘a deity, especially the supreme Divinity'; and ‘pneo’ meaning ‘divinely breathed in, given by inspiration of God’ {all definitions are from Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries}. Does man’s fallibility hinder God’s divine power? Can God not move and inspire men to speak words He gives? Isn’t this exactly what our Lord meant in Matthew 10:19-20, “But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”
    John Gill’s commentary states concerning all of scripture as being of God, ‘That is, all holy Scripture; for of that only the apostle is speaking; and he means the whole of it; not only the books of the Old Testament, but of the New, the greatest part of which was now written; for this second epistle to Timothy is by some thought to be the last of Paul’s epistles; and this also will hold good of what was to be written; for all is inspired by God, or breathed by him: the Scriptures are the breath of God, the word of God and not men; they are “written by the Spirit”, as the Syriac version renders it; or “by the Spirit of God”, as the Ethiopic version.’
    As for 2 Peter 1:20-21, ‘men were moved by the Holy Spirit’, again I refer to commentary from John Gill ‘who illuminated their minds, gave them a knowledge of divine things, and a foresight of future ones; dictated to them what they should say or write; and moved upon them strongly, and by a secret and powerful impulse stirred them up to deliver what they did, in the name and fear of God: which shows the authority of the Scriptures, that they are the word of God, and not of men; and as such should be attended to, and received with all affection and reverence; and that the Spirit is the best interpreter of them, who first dictated them; and that they are to be the rule of our faith and practice; nor are we to expect any other, until the second coming of Christ.’

  25. John:
    Just read your comment and although you want to stop the discussion, I feel it’s important for me to add a final thought. Believing it the totality of scripture is mandatory to being a TRUE Christian. Things you can’t understand or difficult sayings you wrestle with must be believed by faith (as ultimately everything in the Christian life!) As I said in a previous comment, either you believe that the whole of Christianity is bound up in the bible ‘and is able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus’ or you don’t. You can’t pick or choose what verses are in or out!
    I ask that you look carefully at the truths below. Do you hold these to be infallible as substantiated by scripture?
    Jesus Christ is the Only Way to Eternal Salvation With God the Father, We Are Saved by Grace Through Faith – Not by Works, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, The Incarnation of Jesus Christ, The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ From the Grave, The Ascension of Jesus Christ, The Doctrine of the Trinity, The Holy Bible is the Inspired and Infallible Word of God, Regeneration by the Holy Spirit, The Doctrine of Hell and The 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ Back to our Earth.
    If you have a problem with any or all of these, I sincerely suggest “that you examine yourself to see if you are of the faith.” I am in no way judging you but by your former statements it gives me great cause for concern. I would be happy to supply any scripture references for the above if you would like.

  26. Amen I agree wholeheartedly with you unworthy and Alan

    And I don’t wanna hijack this thread neither but I believe it is essential to share the truth in hopes that people will realize that GOD is Sovereign LORD~

    The issue of man’s involvement with Scripture is moot. That’s implying that God is not capable of writing nor is God capable of preserving what He wants through imperfect men?” If people can get a dumb dog to sit, what makes us think an all-powerful God can’t get a man to write just what He wants him to?” —human involvement is irrelevant. If God (inspires it) and he did-2Timothy 3:16– then it doesn’t matter if men or monkeys did the writing; they’ll still write exactly what God intends.
    Another way of stating it: God can’t err; the Bible is God’s Word; therefore, the Bible can’t err, even if men are involved.

    Jesus backed up the Scriptures as true from Genesis to Revelation when he rose from the dead. Surely, if HE staked His whole life on the word of God as Final Authority in HIS life, I can stake my whole life on the word of God as final Authority in my life as well.

    Sure the word of God was the O.T. at the time since the N.T. had not been written yet.. With respect to the New Testament, Jesus promised His apostles that “the Holy Spirit shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26), and that “the Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). Therefore, during the first century, the apostles who had been with Christ, had witnessed His resurrection and had received these promises gradually wrote down the Gospels and Epistles which now comprise the New Testament. These were readily received and recognized by the early Christians as inspired Scriptures. The apostles claimed that these writings were divinely inspired and authoritative, and true Christians have always accepted them as such.

    We know that the Author of Scripture is the Holy Spirit. Even in Hebrews he reaches all the way back into the Old Testament that validates the New Testament. Heb.10:15 “The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

    2Pe 1:21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

  27. John Arthur:

    Your assertion that Paul’s use of the phrase “all scripture” means that only the Old Testament is God-breathed, I would urge you to read the words of Peter, who most explicitly said that Paul’s words were Scripture. 2nd Peter 3:15-16–15 Our beloved brother PAUL…has written to you, 16 as also in ALL HIS EPISTLES…which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also THE REST OF the Scriptures.

  28. Excellent, fourpointer. It is also very clear from the Greek in II Timothy 3 as well. To understand, we have to look back at the prior verse, verse 15. “And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

    The term “holy Scriptures” (Greek, hiera grammata) is a hapax legomenon (appearing only once in the NT), but was common in Jewish usage, referring to the Old Testament. Paul uniquely abandoned his normal term (graphe, Scripture) for a specific term referring to only the OT in verse 15. Then, he draws a contrast in 16 by saying ALL graphe / Scripture is inspired.

    Any reader of Koine Greek would know Paul is not just talking about the OT or those Scriptures already written, in II Tim. 3:16. He intentionally used inclusive language to refer to all Scriptures.

    John Arthur, I’ve written extensively about the meaning of “inspiration” and the process of inscripturation on my blog under the Bibliology category, if you are interested. You are sort of correct: God-breathing does not eliminate human fallibility, because humans were not inspired, their work was. They were entirely fallible — not so what they wrote. Note particularly my articles on “The Scriptures — Moved by the Spirit” in reference to this question of human influences on the writing (four sub-articles and then a summary article). But it goes into some depth, is from a very conservative perspective, and draws heavily on God’s sovereign working in giving the Scriptures, so you’ve been warned. :)

  29. Hi all,

    I wasn’t going to revisit the question of inspiration and inerrancy. However, I have changed my mind. I am coming to the conclusion that all scripture is “God-breathed” and, therefore, true, trustworthy and reliable in the now missing original manuscripts.

    I think my problem began 18 years ago when I entered an Evangelical Seminary only to be taught historical critical techniques of biblical hermeneutics. This is at the root of my gradual departure from a Four point version of Calvinism and slow drift into a Neo-Anabaptist neo-orthodoxy and then Liberalism.

    Although I am a pacifist, I think that my adoption of the contemplative spirituality of the Quakers and their concept of continuing revelation was a grave mistake. Jesus Christ is the supreme and final revelation to humanity and the NT is the definitive and trustworthy witness to Christ. There is no continuing revelation, but only further illumination by the Holy Spirit to what is already revealed in God’s Word.

    The sudden death of my younger brother on the footpath just over three weeks ago has caused me to ponder hard and to seek God as he has revealed himself supremely in the Jesus of the God -breathed Scriptures.

    Many thanks on your comments and responses to my view of being a Liberal Christian. I now consider myself an Evangelical again and a 4 point Calvinist. I have to rework everything that I have believed since entering Seminary in the light of the fully trustworthy biblical witness, with Jesus as my Saviour and Lord.

    Shalom,
    John Arthur

  30. When I was in the prison ministry I did see subtle signs of The Holy Spirits Work in various ways with the inmates as well as my llife,If I had preached “signs and wonders’ and caused trouble within the system I would have never been let back in for Bible studys.
    I rate simple things but yet very important to me and my family at that time such as someone who paid my electric bill when it was cut off a miracle,,or just my old car lasting without major repairs,having new unspected cleaning contracts that help me pay the rent and eat,see Gods word doesn’t promise us wealth or health or a good llife but does promise us that he would be with us in our worst times which I experienced.
    Once I had a great job,big house,new cars,and a piece of the good life then lost everything due to losing an IRS tax case then camp Fed for a few months, halfway house and probation for several years. Well after losing alll your stuff thats when The Lord sees what your reallly made of and if your faith is as you proclaimed in the past when you had it all, looking and talking Christian and going to church sometimes and even a few bucks in the church offering to make you feel good.We all are going to have test in our lives some more severe than others for some reason maybe bad health,job loss, or worst but I know for sure that Gods Word prevails, the Universe is held up with His Word Of Truth!
    I seen hundred of inmates accept Jesus simple salvation message surely not with a fancy sermon that everyone forgets after they leave church,but His teaching which is as basic as you can get from there comes the changed lives and hearts.
    Never did any inmate ever roll on the floor,jerk around,yell in tongues,act insane/act stupid,or make animal noises! so if The Lord didn,t use it in various prisons but yet is in selected churches and TV preachers it surely is a Lie! and nothing but emotions.

  31. Bobby, thank you for stopping by. It is always a blessing to hear how the Lord is using others in different parts of the harvest fields that are white and ready to be harvested. The prison ministry is not an easy one. I was involved with one for a short time when I was in Bible College. It was an area I was not comfortable with, but the Lord grants strength to others who can just like He does with those who carry a cross or do street preaching.

    You are right about the work of the Holy Spirit. Much of what passes for biblical teaching and theology is actually doctrines of demons that is leading people astray from the truth.

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