jueves, 31 de octubre de 2013

The Charismatic Gifts of the Spirit Throughout Church History ~ Pastor Joseph M. Gleason ~ Christ the King Anglican Church Omaha, Illinois, USA

Charismatic Church History Books to add to your library:
·   Charismatic Gifts in the Early Church, by Ronald A.N. Kydd (1984)
·   Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit, by Kilian McDonnell and George T. Montague (1991)
·   The Spirit and the Church: Antiquity, by Stanley M. Burgess (1984)
·   Scots Worthies, by John Howie (1996 reprint)
·   The Autobiography of Charles H. Spurgeon, by Charles Spurgeon (1899)
·   The Gift of Prophecy (revised edition – appendix 7), by Wayne Grudem (2000)

Charismatic Church History Websites to add to your favorites:
·   http://www.calvinistcorner.com   (Good detailed Charismatic info on John Knox and other Reformers)
·   http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=2476  (many excerpts from Grudem’s prophecy book)
·   http://www.biblelighthouse.com/forum  (My website - many discussions of Charismatic Church history on file)

Presentation Outline:
I.          Our modern Charismatic belief is that God connects physical actions and spiritual events.
A.    Numerous examples from Scripture support our views and practices.
B.     The current practice in our churches—
1.      We recognize the power of physical actions commanded by God.
2.      We also recognize that it is not a magic formula. . . . God is the ultimate gift-giver.
II.                The Early Church’s view and the Reformation Church’s view of this same phenomenon included baptism in water/Spirit.
A.    Numerous examples from Scripture support their views and practices.
B.     The ancient practice of baptism—
1.      They recognized the power of physical actions commanded by God.
2.      They also recognized that it is not a magic formula. . . . God is the ultimate gift-giver.
III.              The Early Church & the Reformation Church affirmed the present continuation of the Gifts of the Spirit today.
A.    Examples from the Early Church
B.     Examples from the Reformation Church and Beyond

I. Our modern Charismatic belief is that God connects physical actions and spiritual events.
Consider the many times in Scripture where God sovereignly chooses to link physical actions and spiritual results:
  • Elisha resurrects a boy by physically laying upon him (2 Kings 4:32-35).[1]
  • Naaman physically dips[2] in the Jordan at the command of Elisha, and at that moment, God regenerates both Naaman’s skin and heart (2 Kings 5:14-15).[3]
  • People receive the Holy Spirit when the apostles lay hands on them (Acts 8:17).[4]
  • Jesus sends Ananias to Saul, so that Saul will be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17-18)[5].
  • Taking communion bread/wine unworthily can result in sickness and death, and this judgment itself protects the Christian from being spiritually condemned (1 Cor. 11:27-32).[6]
  • Paul[7] and the elders[8] lay hands on Timothy, & he receives spiritual gifts (1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6).
  • James says that anointing people with oil is beneficial for both physical and spiritual healing (5:14-15).[9]
As Charismatic Christians, we recognize that physical actions (taking communion, laying-on of hands, anointing with oil, etc.) can be spiritual events, having great spiritual significance and consequence.
As Calvinist Christians, we recognize that God is 100% sovereign over everything, not just salvation alone.  He is also sovereign over the Gifts of the Spirit.  He chooses who receives which gifts[10], and He chooses the timing.  These physical actions are not “magical formulas” which let us control God.  There is power in the laying-on of hands, but God is still the one who gives the Spirit.  There is power in anointing with oil, but God is the true Healer.

II. The Early Church’s view and the Reformation Church’s view of this same phenomenon also included baptism in water/Spirit.
Consider these texts where God sovereignly chooses to connect physical actions and spiritual results:
  • Noah’s flood was a type of baptism,[11] resulting in the coming of the dove (signifying the Holy Spirit) carrying an olive leaf (signifying olive oil and the anointing of the Holy Spirit).[12]
  • Israel’s Red Sea crossing was a baptism,[13] leading to their Spiritual partaking of Christ.[14]
  • Naaman is baptized[15] in the Jordan at the command of Elisha, and at that moment, God regenerates both Naaman’s skin and heart (2 Kings 5:14-15).
  • At the baptism of Jesus, the Spirit comes down and rests upon him as a dove.  His water baptism and Spirit-empowering are two facets of a single baptism event (Mark 1:9-10).[16]
  • Jesus says that Spirit baptism is a facet of Christian water baptism (Matthew 28:19).[17]
  • At Pentecost, the apostle Peter said, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
  • Jesus sends Ananias to Saul, so that he can 1) receive his sight and 2) be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17).  When Ananias arrives, 1) Saul receives his sight and 2) he is baptized (Acts 9:18).[18]
  • Cornelius and other Gentiles receive Spirit/water baptism at a single event. The apostle Peter sees Spirit/water baptism as intimately and logically joined together (Acts 10:44-48).
As Charismatic Christians, they recognized that physical actions ordained by God (baptism, communion, laying-on of hands, anointing with oil, etc.) are spiritual events, with great spiritual significance and consequence.
As Calvinistic Christians, we also recognize that baptism is NOT a “magic formula”.  We cannot force a person to be Spirit-filled, merely by pouring water on him.  Neither can we force a person to be healed, merely by anointing him with oil. Nor can we force people to receive the charismatic gifts, just by laying hands on them.  There is real power in all of these God-ordained actions, but He remains in control.  God is the ultimate gift-giver.
Throughout the majority of history, the Church has believed that Spirit baptism and water baptism are Siamese twins.  They are two sides of a single coin.  There is only “one baptism” (Ephesians 5:5).  However, water baptism is NOT some magical formula which is under man’s control.  God can Spirit-empower someone during baptism if He chooses, just as He did with Jesus.  But man cannot force God to do so.  God remains Sovereign.
What about Mark 1:7-8?  The historic Church has not seen this text[19] as comparing John baptizing with water and Jesus not baptizing with water.  In fact, Jesus water-baptized more disciples than John did.[20]  Rather, Mark 1:7-8 contrasts John’s water baptism, which was not with the Spirit, and Christ’s water baptism, which was with it.[21]
Some of this may seem at odds with our modern views.  Do not most of us believe that Spirit-baptism often happens long after a person is saved and baptized?  Do not many teach a “second blessing” of the Spirit? Thankfully, our modern views may not have been considered strange in the Early Church.  They too believed that a person could be a Christian for a while before demonstrating the Charismatic gifts of the Spirit.  In a sense, the Church always agreed there is often a “second blessing” time, when the Spirit moves a person in a fresh, new way.
Yet, how can both be true?  How can the Church believe that Spirit baptism and water baptism are simultaneous events, and believe that all Christians have already been Spirit-baptized,[22] and yet also believe in a “second blessing” experience like many of us do today?  Are these views not contradictory?
The answer is simple:  The Early Church looked at Spirit baptism as a planting of a seed.  The Holy Spirit is present in the life of a Christian from day one.  The Spirit protects, leads, guides, and directs.  But over time, the “seed” sprouts, grows, and eventually produces fruit.  This “fruit” includes the Charismatic Gifts.  Something big is happening when the Gifts are brought to fruition.  The Early Church and the Reformation Church just would have been more likely to identify these gifts as the maturing manifestation of the Spirit, not always as the initial reception of the Spirit.[23]
With this theological/historical background in mind, let us take a look at numerous figures throughout the Early Church and the Reformation Church who explicitly advocated the continuing manifestation of the Spiritual Gifts.

III. The Early Church & the Reformation Church affirmed the continuation of the Gifts of the Spirit today.

Examples from the Early Church:
·         Justyn Martyr (~A.D. 150), in his famous Dialogue with Trypho, speaks of the fact that Jews continue to leave their communities in order to become Christians.  In this context, he makes the following comment:
[some] are also receiving gifts, each as he is worthy, illumined through the name of this Christ.  For one receives the spirit of understanding, another of counsel, another of strength, another of healing, another of foreknowledge, another of teaching, and another of the fear of God.[24]
·         Irenaeus (~A.D. 180) was the Bishop of Lyons.  In his famous work, Against Heresies, he said:
. . . for which cause also his [Christ's] true disciples having received grace from him use it in his name for the benefit of the rest of men, even as each has received the gift from him.  For some drive out demons with certainty and truth, so that often those who have themselves been cleansed from the evil spirits believe and are in the church, and some have foreknowledge of things to be, and visions and prophetic speech, and others cure the sick by the laying on of hands and make them whole, and even as we have said, the dead have been raised and remained with us for many years.  And why should I say more?  It is not possible to tell the number of the gifts which the church throughout the whole world, having received them from God in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, uses each day for the benefit of the heathen, deceiving none and making profit from none. For as it received freely from God, it ministers also freely. (Against Heresies, 2, 49:2) — Just as also we hear many brethren in the church who have gifts of prophecy, and who speak through the Spirit with all manner of tongues, and who bring the hidden things of men into the clearness for the common good and expound the mysteries of God. (Against Heresies, 5, 6:1)
·         Novatian (~A.D. 250) was a prominent Christian elder in third-century Rome.  In chapter 29 of his book Concerning the Trinity, he discusses the Holy Spirit and his gifts:
Indeed this is he who appoints prophets in the church, instructs teachers, directs tongues, brings into being powers and conditions of health, carries on extraordinary works, furnishes discernment of spirits, incorporates administrations in the church, establishes plans, brings together and arranges all other gifts there are of the charismata and by reason of this makes the Church of God everywhere perfect in everything and complete.
·         Tertullian (~A.D. 200) was a prolific Christian author in Carthage (North Africa).  He wrote:
Therefore, blessed ones whom the grace of God awaits, when you come up out of that most holy bath [baptism] . . . ask the Father, ask the Lord to make you subject to the riches of grace, the distribution of the gifts.(Concerning Baptism, 20:5)
He affirms the gifts of the Spirit.  And we need to remember the Early Church / Reformation Church the­olo­gy we dis­cussed earlier.  They viewed water/Spirit baptism as twins. Baptism was powerful, but not magic.
·         Origen (~A.D. 230) was a prolific writer in the Early Church.  He said, “Baptism is the principle and source of the Divine charisms.”  Like Tertullian, he believed the seed of Spirit baptism occurred at water baptism.  More to our point, this quote demonstrates that Origen believed in the continuing existence of the spiritual gifts. 
·         Cyprian (~A.D. 250) was a Bishop of Carthage.  Not only did he believe in the gifts, so did his contem­poraries.  Some fellow Christians responded to his letter, saying that he had prophesied to them:
For by your words you have both provided those things about which we have been taught the least and strengthened us to bear up under the sufferings which we are experiencing, being certain of the heavenly reward, the martyrs’ crown, and the kingdom of God as a result of the prophecy which you, being full of the Holy Spirit pledged to us in your letter.
·         Eusebius (~A.D. 350) was a pre-eminent Church historian.  He was explicitly charismatic.  He said, “the prophetic charisms must exist in the church until the final coming.”
·         Philoxenus (~A.D. 510) was a Syriac-speaking Persian who affirmed the continuation of the gifts, but said that they were only for serious Christians who obey Christ wholeheartedly.  In his letter to Patricius, he says:
Among the first believers, as soon as they were baptized they received the Spirit through baptism.  The operation of the Spirit appeared in them by all kinds of wonders. . . . Now again, the Holy Spirit is given by baptism to those who are baptized and they really receive it (the Spirit), like the first believers.  However in none of them does [the Spirit] manifest its work visibly.  Even though [the Spirit] is in them, it remains hidden there. Unless one leaves the world to enter the way of the rules of the spiritual life, observing all the commandments Jesus has given, walking with wisdom and perseverance in the narrow way of the Gospel, the work of the Spirit received in baptism does not reveal itself.

Examples from the Reformation Church and Beyond:
·         The 39 Articles of Religion (1514-1572), were established in 1563 and finalized in the Church of England in 1571. They are the historic defining statements of Anglican doctrine.[25] Article 35 enjoins Anglicans to regularly read a particular list of homilies, one of which (#16) is “Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost”.  This homily explicitly affirms the continuation of the Charismatic Gifts of the Spirit, and directly references 1 Corinthians 12.[26]
·         John Knox (1514-1572), was a Scottish preacher, central to the Protestant Reformation. In a biography of Knox, historian Jasper Ridley says Knox and other Protestants "expected their leaders to have the gift of prophecy." Ridley records several prophecies that came true. For example, Knox said as he was dying:
You have formerly been witnesses [he said] of the courage and constancy of Grange in the cause of the Lord; but now, alas, into what a gulf has he precipitated himself. I entreat you nor to refuse the request which I now make to you. Go, and tell him in my name that unless he is yet brought to repentance, he shall die miserably; for neither the craggy rock [the castle] in which he miserably trusts, nor the carnal prudence of that man [Lethington] whom he looks upon as a demi-god, nor the assistance of foreigners, as he falsely flatters himself, shall deliver them; but he shall be disgracefully dragged from his nest to punishment, and hung on a gallows in the face of the sun, unless he speedily amend his life, and flee to the mercy of God. The man's soul is dear to me, and I would not have it perish if I could save it.
Ridley then details the fulfillment of the predictions:
On August 3, Grange and his brother James . . . were hanged. Lethingron had died suddenly soon after the surrender of the castle: he probably committed suicide.
Thus two of his prophecies were fulfilled. All the chronicles state that when Grange met Drury in front of the castle walls to discuss the terms of surrender, he was unable to come out through the castle gate because it was blocked by the stones that had fallen after the English bombardment. He was therefore let down over the wall by a rope, or ladder. Knox had prophesied that Grange would be spewed out of the castle, not at the gate but over the wall. When Grange was hanged at the market cross of Edinburgh on a sunny afternoon, he was hanged facing towards the east; but before be died, his body swung round to face the west, so he was hanged, as Knox had foretold, in the face of the sun.
·         Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) was a Scottish pastor and theologian and one of the most influential delegates to the Westminster Assembly (1643-1649), which composed the Westminster Confession of Faith in London from 1643-1646. In a book he authored in 1648, Rutherford discussed "revelations and inspirations of the Spirit" at some length.  Among his words are these:
There is a revelation of some particular men, who have foretold things to come even since the ceasing of the Canon of the word, as John Husse, Wickeliefe, Luther, have foretold things to come, and they certainely fell out, and in our nation of Scotland, M. George Wishart foretold that Cardinall Beaton should not come out alive at the Gates of the Castle of Sr. Andrewes, but that he should dye a shamefull death, and he was hanged over the window that he did look out at, when he saw the man of God burnt, M. Knox prophecied of the hanging of the Lord of Grange, M. Ioh. Davidson uttered prophecies, knowne to many of the kingdome, diverse Holy and mortified preachers in England have done the like . . .
·         George Gillespie (1613—1648) was also a delegate to the Westminster Assembly, and one of its influential and prominent debaters. Gillespie wrote that several heroes of the Scottish Reformation such as John Knox and George Wishart were such extraordinary men as were more than ordinary pastors and teachers, even holy prophets receiving extraordinary revelations from God, and foretelling divers strange and remarkable things, which did accordingly come to pass. An excellent source for examples of remarkable cases of prophecy in the ministries of Scottish preachers is John Howie's book, Scots Worthies.
·         The Wesminster Confession of Faith (1646), is one of the preeminent Reformed Confessions.  In the first chapter of this confession (“Of the Holy Scripture”), paragraph 10 says:
The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.
Here "private spirits" are placed on the same level as "decrees of councils," "opinions of ancient writers," and "doctrines of men." All of these are to be subordinate to "the Holy Spirit speaking in Scripture." According to Byron Curtis, "...in mid-seventeenth-century England there was an established meaning to the phrase ‘private spirits' denoting personal revelations." Curtis shows significant evidence from literature close in time to the WCF, showing that the term "private spirits" was commonly understood to mean "personal revelations" that people received from the Holy Spirit.  The Westminster Divines affirmed the existence of these revelations.
·         The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, is probably the most famous Reformed Baptist confession.  In the first chapter of this confession (“Of the Holy Scripture”) paragraph 10 closely mimics the WCF:
The supreme judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.
·         Charles Spurgeon (~A.D. 1875) was a famous Reformed Baptist preacher.  In his autobiography, he said:
While preaching in the hall, on one occasion, I deliberately pointed to a man in the midst of the crowd, and said, 'There is a man sitting there, who is a shoemaker; he keeps his shop open on Sundays, it was open last Sabbath morning, he took ninepence, and there was fourpence profit out of it; his soul is sold to Satan for fourpence!' A city missionary, when going his rounds, met with this man, and seeing that he was reading one of my sermons, he asked the question, 'Do you know Mr. Spurgeon?' 'Yes,' replied the man, 'I have every reason to know him, I have been to hear him; and, under his preaching, by God's grace I have become a new creature in Christ Jesus. Shall I tell you how it happened? I went to the Music Hall, and took my seat in the middle of the place; Mr. Spurgeon looked at me as if he knew me, and in his sermon he pointed to me, and told the congregation that I was a shoemaker, and that I kept my shop open on Sundays; and I did, sir. I should not have minded that; but he also said that I took ninepence the Sunday before, and that there was fourpence profit out of it. I did take ninepence that day, and fourpence was just the profit; but how he should know that, I could not tell. Then it struck me that it was God who had spoken to my soul through him, so I shut up my shop the next Sunday. At first, I was afraid to go again to hear him, lest he should tell the people more about me; but afterwards I went, and the Lord met with me, and saved my soul' . . . I could tell as many as a dozen similar cases in which I pointed at somebody in the hall without having the slightest knowledge of the person, or any idea that what I said was right, except that I believed I was moved by the Spirit to say it; and so striking has been my description, that the persons have gone away, and said to their friends, 'Come, see a man that told me all things that ever I did; beyond a doubt, he must have been sent of God to my soul, or else he could not have described me so exactly.'

Without question, the Charismatic gifts of the Spirit have operated throughout all of Church history.  2000 years!

[1] “When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the LORD. And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.”
[2] Literally “is baptized”, according to the Septuagint (LXX) manuscripts.
[3] “So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, ‘Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel . . .’”
[4] Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
[5] “And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.”
[6] “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. . . . he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”
[7] “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (2 Timothy 1:6)
[8] “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.” (1 Timothy 4:14)
[9] “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
[10] “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” (1 Corinthians 12:11)
[11] ". . . in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us — baptism . . ." (1 Peter 3:20-21)
[12] “Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth.” (Genesis 8:11)
[13] “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea . . .” (1 Corinthians 10:1-2)
[14] “For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4)
[15] Literally “is baptized”, according to the Septuagint (LXX) manuscripts.
[16] “It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.”
[17] The Great Commission:  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of . . . the Holy Spirit . . ." 
[18] Compare with Acts 22:16.
[19] “And [John the Baptist] preached, saying, ‘There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’”
[20] “. . . the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John” (John 4:1)
[21] Pentecost marked the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  So those baptized prior to Pentecost had to wait until Pentecost to receive the fullness of the Spirit.  But now that Pentecost has come, all Christians have been Spirit baptized (1 Cor. 12:13).
[22] “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body . . . and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Cor. 12:13)
[23] Pentecost is an obvious exception.  Since that was the inauguration of the Spirit’s full outpouring upon the Church , many people received the fullness of the Spirit and the charismatic gifts of the Spirit simultaneously on that day.
[24] Compare to Isaiah 11:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.
[25] The 39 Articles are not only Charismatic; they are also Calvinistic.  Articles IX and X affirm total depravity, and Article XVII explicitly affirms predestination.  Thus, since the protestant Reformation, it may be said that the Anglican Church is the original “Reformed Charismatic” church!
[26] With 77 million members worldwide, the Anglican Church is the largest protestant denomination on earth.  And the vast majority of it continues to be Charismatic.

Signs and wonders: the charismatic power of early Christianity


When we teach about the early church, we frequently omit the story of spiritual gifts.

Cessationism is the belief that the miracles of Jesus’ lifetime and the apostolic period happened solely to attest to the authority and inspiration of the apostolic writings, and that miracles and extraordinary spiritual gifts ceased after the writing of the apostolic documents was concluded.
As writers such as ex-Dallas Seminary professor Jack Deere have argued, this is a position with no biblical foundation. But it also has a problem with the historical record. That record shows clearly that the early church was quite active in the charismatic gifts at least through 200 AD. There was a decline in the 3rd century, and then again it became active.
Sadly, many writers and teachers who are not cessationist continue to give the impression that miracles and extraordinary gifts were phenomena limited to the apostolic period. The way the early church is usually taught, we hear much about martyrdom and persecution; much about Gnostics and Arians and doctrinal disputes; much about how bishops and clergy roles evolved, and how the apostolic tradition was passed down and the canon of the New Testament evolved.
We hear how Tertullian scoffed at those who tried to translate the gospel into the categories of Greek philosophy; how Origen of Alexandria nearly single-handedly invented the systematic study of the Bible; how Irenaeus defended the faith against a host of heresies and spoke of the Work of Christ in illuminating new ways; how Cyprian insisted on the unity of the church and its necessity for salvation.
What we don’t usually hear is how these same august teachers and bishops from the 100s and 200s AD and beyond – Tertullian, Cyprian, Irenaeus, and many more – talked about miracles of healing, prophecy, and exorcism as everyday occurrences in the church. Tertullian is typical when he says “God everywhere manifests signs of his own power – to his own people for their comfort, to strangers for a testimony unto them” (Tertullian, A Treatise on the Soul).
In other words, we are usually not told that the early Christian church was acharismatic church. I use this term in its technical sense: the community of Christians in the 100s and 200s continued to experience the charismata, the spiritual gifts, described by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians.
The 19th-century church historian Adolf Harnack, in his Mission and Expansion of Christianity, explored this seldom-seen side of the early church. From the mouth of the influential bishop of Carthage, Cyprian, for example, we hear this:
In Christianity there is conferred (upon pure chastity, upon a pure mind, upon pure speech) the gift of healing the sick by rendering poisonous potions harmless, [143] by restoring the deranged to health, and thus purifying them from ignominious pains, by commanding peace for the hostile, rest for the violent, and gentleness for the unruly, by forcing – under stress of threats and invective – a confession from unclean and roving spirits who have come to dwell within mankind, by roughly ordering them out, and stretching them out with struggles, howls, and groans, as their sufferings on the rack, by lashing them with scourges, and burning them with fire. This is what goes on, though no one sees it; the punishments are hidden, but the penalty is open. Thus what we have already begun to be, that is, the Spirit we have received, comes into its kingdom. (Harnack, 142-3)
Harnack’s list
Harnack goes on to categorize the charismatic activities of the 2nd- and 3rd-century church – and the list is impressive:
(1) God speaks to the missionaries in visions, dreams, and ecstasy, revealing to them affairs of moment and also trifles, controlling their plans, pointing out the roads on which they are to travel, the cities where they are to stay, and the persons whom they are to visit. Visions occur especially after a martyr?dom, the dead martyr appearing to his friends during the weeks that immediately follow his death, as in the case of Potamiaena (Eus., H.E., vi. 5), or of Cyprian, or of many others.
It was by means of dreams that Arnobius (Jerome, Chron., p. 326) and others were converted. Even in the middle of the third century, the two great bishops Dionysius and Cyprian’ were both visionaries. . . .
(2) At the missionary addresses of the apostles or evangelist, or at the services of the churches which they founded, sudden movements of rapture are experienced, many of them being simultaneous seizures; these are either full of terror and dismay, convulsing the whole spiritual life, or exultant outbursts of a joy that sees heaven opened to its eyes. The simple question, “What must I do to be saved?” also bursts upon the mind with an elemental force.
(3) Some are inspired who have power to clothe their experience in words-prophets to explain the past, to interpret and to fathom the present, and to foretell the future. Their prophecies relate to the general course of history, but also to the fortunes of individuals, to what individuals are to do or leave undone.
(4) Brethren are inspired with the impulse to improvise prayers and hymns and psalms.
(5) Others are so filled with the Spirit that they lose con?sciousness and break out in stammering speech and cries, or in unintelligible utterances – which can be interpreted, however, by those who have the gift.
(6) Into the hands of others, again, the Spirit slips a pen, either in an ecstasy or in exalted moments of spiritual tension; they not merely speak but write as they are bidden.
(7) Sick persons are brought and healed by the missionaries, or by brethren who have been but recently awakened; wild paroxysms of terror before God’s presence are also soothed, and in the name of Jesus demons are cast out.
(8) The Spirit impels men to an immense variety of extraordinary actions – to symbolic actions which are meant to reveal some mystery or to give some directions for life, as well as to deeds of heroism.
(9) Some perceive the presence of the Spirit with every sense; they see its brilliant light, they hear its voice, they smell the fragrance of immortality and taste its sweetness. Nay more; they see celestial persons with their own eyes, see them and also hear them; they peer into what is hidden or distant or to come; they are even rapt into the world to come, into heaven itself, where they listen to “words that cannot be uttered.”
Burgess’s timeline
In the twenty-first century, Pentecostal scholar Stanley M. Burgess updated and deepend Harnack’s testimony on this matter. For his The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (Zondervan, 2002), Burgess created an absorbing 8-page timeline summarizing his three-volume study, The Holy Spirit: Ancient Christian TraditionsEastern Christian Traditions; and Medieval Roman Catholic and Reformation Traditions. Like Harnack’s list, Burgess’s timeline shows that the early centuries are full of charismatic phenomena.
Here are just a few high points noted by Burgess, supporting his claim that the Holy Spirit has empowered ordinary Christians through the centuries – with jaw-dropping results:
1st century
Writers of the Didache and the Shepherd of Hermas [two inspirational books used widely in the early church] witness so much charismatic activity they find it necessary to distinguish between true and false prophets. At about the same time, the writer of Pseudo-Barnabas suggests prophetic ministry is normative in the church.
2nd century
[Christian apologist] Justin Martyr argues that God has withdrawn the Spirit of prophecy and miracles from the Jews and has transferred it to the church as proof of her continued divine favor.
Irenaeus of Lyon describes the gifts of prophecy, discernment of spirits, and exorcism in his Gallic church, and even mentions that individuals have been raised from the dead. He warns against certain false Gnostics who fabricate spiritual gifts to win favor with the na?ve.
3rd century
Origen of Alexandria says healings, exorcisms, and validating signs and wonders continue to be experienced in the church. Just as miracles and wonders added to the credibility of 1st-century apostles, so they continue to draw unbelievers into the Christian fold.”
4th century
Augustine [of Hippo], in The City of God, reports contemporary divine healings and other miracles. These he links directly to the conversion of pagans.
Harnack’s list and Burgess’s timeline suggest something important: The church has rarely lacked for witnesses, from the widest variety of camps, who have proclaimed that the Holy Spirit is alive, well, and gifting believers in his church.
Though diverse in many ways, these witnesses of past centuries join in claiming for the church the same “promise of the Father” Jesus held out to his Apostles: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-5).

AUN HAY ESPERANZA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! En Puerto Rico: Colegio cristiano marcha en contra del Día de Halloween


En repudio al Día de Halloween, estudiantes, padres y maestros del Colegio Jesucristo Rey de Reyes en Guaynabo marcharon hoy por las calles para celebrar el Día de la Esperanza.  

"¡Halloween! ¡NO!… ¡Halloween! ¡NO!… ¡Halloween! ¡NO! Somos cristianos, hijos de Dios, ¡Halloween! ¡No, no, no, no, no!", era uno de los estribillos que cantaban los manifestantes, al ritmo de unos tambores. 

Los alumnos llevaban globos y pancartas con frases alusivas a la esperanza. 

Esta institución cristiana, que dirige el Reverendo Pedro Arroyo Mulero, lleva 10 años realizando esta Marcha de la esperanza. El colegio ofrece un nivel escolar de kínder a duodécimo grado.

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miércoles, 30 de octubre de 2013

Respuesta a la Sra. Jaqueline Quiñones de Valentin, quien se hace llamar Apostol, a un mensaje privado por Facebook

Efesios 4:11-15:
 11 Y El dio a algunos el ser apóstoles, a otros profetas, a otros evangelistas, a otros pastores y maestros, 12 a fin de capacitar a los santos para la obra del ministerio, para la edificación del cuerpo de Cristo;13 hasta que todos lleguemos a la unidad de la fe y del conocimiento pleno del Hijo de Dios, a la condición de un hombre maduro, a la medida de la estatura de la plenitud de Cristo; 14 para que ya no seamos niños, sacudidos por las olas y llevados de aquí para allá por todo viento de doctrina, por la astucia de los hombres, por las artimañas engañosas del error; 15 sino que hablando la verdad en amor, crezcamos en todos los aspectos en aquel que es la cabeza, es decir, Cristo, 16 de quien todo el cuerpo (estando bien ajustado y unido por la cohesión que las coyunturas proveen), conforme al funcionamiento adecuado de cada miembro, produce el crecimiento del cuerpo para su propia edificación en amor. 
Mateo 18:15-17:
15 Por tanto, si tu hermano pecare contra ti, ve y repréndele estando tú y él solos; si te oyere, has ganado a tu hermano. 16 Mas si no te oyere, toma aún contigo uno o dos, para que en boca de dos o tres testigos conste toda palabra. 17 Y si no los oyere a ellos, dilo a la iglesia, y si no oyere a la iglesia, tenle por gentil y publicano.
Nota al calce: Favor de leer el siguiente estudio antes de leer esta respuesta:
Dedicado a todos aquellos que dicen tener un ministerio y tienen el manto equivocado y por ende entran en cualquier viento de doctrina que se les presenta por modismos:
Este pasado lunes, 29 de octubre de 2013, vi un perfil de una persona en Facebook que una vez me pidió un consejo en torno a una foto de ella, y de verdad, que no vi nada en ella que me hiciera pensar si era profeta o algo pero ante Dios que no vi nada (lo que vi me lo guardo por amor y respeto). Esta persona hablo de Yeshua, y por amor y respeto, por privado le pregunte porque Yeshua y no Jesus. Su contestación fue la siguiente:
Por que jesus se llama un particular , y YESHUA es el nombre del todopoderoso buen dia mi santo.
Esta respuesta me preocupo de manera grandísima, primero porque la persona que me lo dijo se que ama a Dios, y segundo, porque, ¿y que paso con todos esos convertidos que mencionaron a Jesus antes de surgir el susodicho nombre hebreo, una cosa que es una moda en la iglesia? Es decir, ¿los que creemos en Jesus estamos creyendo a un particular, y no a Quien le fue dada toda autoridad, riquezas, gloria, dominio y poder? Notemos también como escribió jesus en minúsculas, algo que es un nombre. ¿En que están entrando los que están enseñando esto ahora de los nombres hebreos? Algo de preocupar.
Entre en una conversación sana con la persona, de la cual tengo todo el record en nuestro Facebook y de lo cual tome una foto, e inclusive le llame por teléfono, y ella mostro preocupación, porque dice que la presencia de Dios en esa congregación es fuertísima (Claro, eso pasa cuando tienes intercesores y adoras de verdad, pero eso pasa en cualquier sitio que eso pasa, no importa sea bautista, pentecostal, metodista o lo que sea), pero a la vez me dio a mostrar algo en ese momento que fue preocupación por la verdad, y eso lo admiro, aunque luego me bloqueo, al parecer por todo esto o por ordenes de la Sra. Quiñones de Valentin, lo cual no dudo, debido a lo que mostro luego.
Al otro dia en el Facebook recibo este privado de la Sra. Jaqueline Quiñones de Valentin, con su firma de “apóstol” al final, el cual lee asi:
Estracto De Dios
Me parece que es una falta de respeto hablarle a un miembro de una iglesia de su Apostol! deje de estar hablando de otros ministros a sus ovejas! Lo que usted no entienda es mejor que se mantenga callado. Me parece que es una falta de etica y de respeto hablar de un ungido y enviado de Dios! Si dije enviado Apostol Luis A Valentin...Es Apostol primeramente escojido y enviado Por EL gran YO SOY y segundo fue ungido como Apostol, por el Apostol Domench!! y varios ministros presente ese dia. Que a estas alturas halla gente que aun no entiendan ciertas cosas en relacion con lo de Dios y su nombre, OKKK! Pues, Dios solo revela sus secretos a sus amigos! Por ende EL Apostol Luis Valentin es amigo de Dios el y Dios son uno, y ni usted ni nadie puede ni podra decir lo contrario, ni usted ni nadie en Manati ni en Puerto Rico nos ha extendido la mano para nada! Por tanto mantenganse en sus iglesitas predicando lo que a ustedes le paresca, nosotros predicaremos lo que Dios nos da a nosotros para nuestros miembros, ya que son nuestra responsabilidad y no la de nadie mas! Ocupese de su congregacion al fin y al cabo cada cual dara cuentas a Dios por lo que Dios le entrego, si es que fue Dios quien los coloco. Gracias Dios somos un ministerio estable que lleva 16 a~os con cedes en India, Africa Santo Domingo y en un pal de semanas en la ciudad de NY, luego Miami Florida OSEA SOMOS ENVIADOS! Mi esposo Luis A Valentin sus hijas e hijo somos una familia Apostoliica le guste a quien no le guste! Le aconsejo que Pastore a sus ovejas, nosotros seguiremos capacitando discipulos para que no perescan por falta del conocimiento ni de la sabiduria del Eterno. Apostol Jacqueline Qui~ones
De verdad, ¿esta persona dice ser Apostol? ¿Con ese carácter que parece una neófita en Cristo? ¿Con tanta bajeza, humillación, y sobre todo, faltas de respeto? ¿Y violando el mandato bíblico de Mateo 18 de primero preguntar y luego ver que paso en la conversación? Pero vamos con calma y poco a poco definamos las preocupaciones que tengo antes de nada.
¿Qué es un Apostol?
Para esta respuesta, recomendamos que vean estos 2 videos (mas de 1 hora de duración):
Apóstol: Es una persona que ha sido llamada a las misiones, es decir, a abrir iglesias y supervisarlas y entrenar pastores para que pastoreen las iglesias que él levanta. Están constantemente en la calle de sitio en sitio en las iglesias que dan cobertura. Pueden estar pastoreando a la misma vez, pero no necesariamente. Puede ser lo que comúnmente se ha llamado un Misionero, aunque va mas allá, ya que el Apóstol enseña y tiene dones de milagros y sanidades que siguen su ministerio. Un ejemplo bíblico de una Apóstol mujer es Junías, cuyo nombre en español es Juana (Romanos 16:7). Juan Calvino y John Wesley fueron Apóstoles de sus épocas. Tres buenos ejemplos modernos de Apóstoles son Sergio Enríquez, de Guatemala y Sonny Arguinzoni, de Estados Unidos y lo fue Luis M. Ortiz, de Puerto Rico.
De acuerdo a esta definición, si la Sra. Quiñones no ha sido enviada a estar físicamente en un sitio levantando las obras que ella dijo levantar, y decir que su esposo el Sr. Luis Valentin fue enviado, entonces, por la Palabra de Dios esto les descalifica como Apostoles, aunque entendamos, esto no es su llamado, sino su actual ministerio, porque del llamado al ministerio hay un largo trecho. Entendiendo la definición, entendemos que un Apostol es lo que la iglesia ha llamado misionero por los años, lo cual, no es un termino bíblico. Apostol es el termino bíblico correcto. Pero el Apostol no es de oficina ni de celular, sino es un ministerio itinerante, va de aquí para alla levantando obras, el o ella mismo o misma, físicamente, en el sitio. El ejemplo bíblico es Pablo, aparte de Pedro, que fueron enviados por Cristo a hacer lo mismo, y, según la historia, fueron y levantaron las iglesias físicamente. No es estar detrás de un escritorio, lo cual es mas similar al Obispo, es decir, un Pastor Supervisor de iglesias. El ministerio apostólico va mucho mas alla.
El dominio propio: Caracteristica clave para ejercer cualquier ministerio:
Vemos en la respuesta de la Sra. Quiñones de Valentin algo de arrogancia y prepotencia, al hablar tan despectivamente como “iglesitas” y otros epítetos los cuales demuestran o falta de madurez, o falta de carácter. La Palabra de Dios es clara hablando en torno a las características de un ministro:
1ª Timoteo 3: 1-7:
Palabra fiel: Si alguno anhela obispado, buena obra desea. 2 Pero es necesario que el obispo sea irreprensible, marido de una sola mujer, sobrio, prudente, decoroso, hospedador, apto para enseñar; 3 no dado al vino, no pendenciero, no codicioso de ganancias deshonestas, sino amable, apacible, no avaro; 4 que gobierne bien su casa, que tenga a sus hijos en sujeción con toda honestidad 5 (pues el que no sabe gobernar su propia casa, ¿cómo cuidará de la iglesia de Dios?); 6 no un neófito, no sea que envaneciéndose caiga en la condenación del diablo. 7 También es necesario que tenga buen testimonio de los de afuera, para que no caiga en descrédito y en lazo del diablo.
Bueno, irreprensible significa que no se pueda reprender. Prudente significa que lo tome con calma cuando habla a alguien. Pendenciero es que no sea vacilante, es decir, que no diga algo y no lo haga, neófito es alguien nuevo en Cristo y para esto no es tener muchos años en el evangelio porque gente de tiempo en las iglesias legalistas y religiosas están y nunca hacen nada (esos son los mismos que celan los que Dios levanta en poco tiempo), y de buen testimonio, es decir, ¿con este mensaje que esta señora me envio, tendrá buen testimonio luego de esto? Esto nos deja ver que hay una falta fuerte en el carácter de esta señora, lo cual puede hacer que ella caiga en descredito ante los inconversos, esto evitando que almas sean salvadas, por ende, dificultando la 2ª Venida de Cristo y el Arrebatamiento de la iglesia, como lo establece Mateo 24:14.
Los ministros somos llamados a tener dominio propio, si podemos airarnos, pero no pecar, y cuando se insulta se peca. Y esto es un grave insulto lo que esta señora me hizo, no porque me lo hizo a mi, que soy nadie, lo mas despreciable en Cristo, lo mas bajo en el mundo, PERO porque se lo hizo a un prójimo, le desprecio, no solo a un prójimo, sino a varias congregaciones que Dios levanto a través de este prójimo que le habla, porque les llamo “iglesitas” y “ovejas” con un claro sentido de prepotencia y menosprecio a otros. Eso es falta de domino propio y fruto de la carne. Favor de leer Galatas 5:18-24 para poder entender que es fruto de la carne y fruto del espíritu.
Mi respuesta a la Sra. Quiñones de Valentin:
Sra. Jaqueline Quiñones de Valentin, entienda algo, usted es una dama, una mujer casada, madre de varios hijos, y una persona que aunque por este privado que me envio dudo de sus capacidades ministeriales por su falta de dominio propio, esta al frente de una congregación.
Mi preocupación es genuina, porque el cuerpo de Cristo esta entrando en unos modismos, unas modas, que repiten como el loro, el papagayo, la cotorra, el perico, todo lo que cualquiera viene a decir, y le llaman “revelación”, o como el termino griego dice RHEMA. Le voy a citar en torno a esto lo que un tremendo maestro de la Palabra de hoy dia dijo una vez, que su nombre es Kenneth Copeland:
Si usted recibe una revelación y esta no esta de acuerdo a lo que esta escrito en la Palabra de Dios (es decir, la Biblia), tome la revelación y échela por la letrina.
Esta postura de descalificar el nombre de Jesus es algo preocupante en la iglesia de Cristo, PERO no es tan preocupante como lo que voy a expresar, y es menospreciar el trabajo de otros en Cristo. Eso ya lo expuse claramente en el estudio Apostolitis Aguda V: Los Neo-judaizantes o los Galatas de Hoy, el cual expuse al principio del estudio. Algo que es claramente un atentando a violentar el principio de salvación por gracia expuesto en Efesios 2:8-9.
Si dije a la persona que aun visita su iglesia porque no se ha hecho miembro de esa congregación (¡como si fueramos clubes sociales con tarjetas y todo!), pues estoy en mi derecho de hacerlo porque ella no es “su oveja” ni mucho menos “su discipula” y es una persona que me consulto en el pasado cosas y tengo derecho a cuestionar el porque de las cosas que me salen en el perfil. Y espero nunca sea su discipula en actitudes porque es digno de no admirar eso, y seria muy feo que usted tenga discípulos o discípulas hablando tan peyorativamente a otras personas. Eso no es de Dios, asi se lo digo.
Lo próximo es que le voy a hablar un poquito de mi persona: No se si sabia, pero en el 2006 deje TODO en la isla, un excelente empleo como Gerente de Contabilidad de una empresa muy conocida la cual para ese entonces tenia el 65% del mercado de la varilla en la isla, con una Maestria en Contabilidad y un Bachillerato (Licenciatura) en lo mismo de la UMET, del cual me gradue con 3.69, un puntito para Magna Cum Laude, es decir, Cum Laude, pasando mi examen de CPA del primer cantazo (revalida mas mala que la de medico) en el 2004. No solo eso, becado TOTALMENTE para hacer un Doctorado en Divinidad en Vision State University, el cual termine, y Dios me dio el privilegio de hacer un PhD en Consejeria Cristiana Pastoral con DOXA en la isla en Cupey. Tenia en ese entonces una tremenda oferta de empleo de una compañía de seguridad de la isla para ser su Contralor, ganando casi US$90,000 al año y no acepte la oferta para responder al llamado a dejar mi nación, mi isla e irme sin conocer a nadie a una nación desconocida para mi, la cual no tenia ni idea de que era, que solo había visitado como turista. Asi me fui, a levantar “iglesitas” como usted le llamo, y a pastorear “ovejitas”, como usted llamo. Pero le informo algo también: Fui ordenado al ministerio apostólico, NO UNGIDO SINO ORDENADO como muestra que debe ser en Hechos 13:1-3, en el 2009, por un caballero que hoy dia no tiene nada, pero en conjunto con una tremenda mujer de Dios, lo cual hace la unción y la ordenación valida. Y al profetico ORDENADO TAMBIEN ahora en el 2013. Pero sabe, todo esto lo tengo por estiércol, es decir, por caca de vaca. Eso no importa, lo importante es la unción. Y eso es lo que a Dios gracias doy que nos ha entregado, ver milagros a lo loco como creación de muelas, pies puestos al mismo tamaño, en fin, y vidas entregadas a Cristo. Como usted me dijo, si, en un momento de mi vida pastoreamos ovejitas y predicamos en “iglesitas”, pero con orgullo lo hice, y feliz de ver gente salvándose a tutiplén, como decimos los boricuas, porque si, lo soy igualito a usted, asi que no esta hablando con cualquier loquito, ¿entendio, Sra. Quiñones de Valentin? Espero asi haya sido. Eso quiere decir que si el Espiritu Santo me usa de tal manera, me hace amigo de Jesucristo a la vez, ¿no cree Sra. Quiñones de Valentin, porque, como El confiaría Su Santisima y Apreciada Presencia si no fuera Su amigo? No se, pero yo no confio nada en personas que no son amigas mias, un parecer nada mas.
Asi que le aconsejo en el nombre de Jesus EN ESPAÑOL PORQUE EN CRISTO NO HAY JUDIOS NI GENTILES NI AUN HOMBRE O MUJER, ES DECIR, DECIMOS LAS COSAS EN NUESTRO IDIOMA (Galatas 3:28) que para la próxima respire profundo, se calme y piense antes de escribir, porque esto es una falta de carácter y no solo eso, sino que denota una falta de dominio propio de su parte, algo esencial para el ministerio.
A los pies de Jesucristo
Profeta/Apostol Dr. Jose A. Quintero, CPA
DD, PhD: Christian Pastoral Counseling
MBA/BBA: Accounting
Pd. Me preocupo grandemente el ver eso que su esposo es uno con Cristo. Yo creía que la Trinidad solo son 3 personas, ¿o me equivoco? ¿O es eso una nueva “revelación” mas de las que han recibido? Esa no la vi hasta que un amigo mio Pastor y Profeta de Republica Dominicana me la dejo ver.
Yes, I’m being sarcastic on that last statement I just made and I did it to lighten things up and no, I'm not mad at you, but I'm ALWAYS MAD at who used you to write this embarassing letter :)…