They ceased to be [1 Corinthians ]. When the apostles died, those marvelous things they were able to do died with them: raising the dead , and all the other glorious things that we read of the apostles in the New Testament. It was natural, therefore—now listen to this—it was natural, therefore, that there should appear a man of aesthetic piety, of rigorous devotion and zeal, who gave himself and announced himself as a man in whom those apostolic miracles, and gifts, and revelations should be renewed and revived.
It was just as natural as the day follows the night.
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When those apostolic gifts, those supernatural gifts, passed away with the apostles, I am saying that it was just natural that there should appear at least a man who purported to have in him, renewed and revived, those marvelous gifts of the Holy Spirit, possessed by the apostles. So, in about AD, there appeared in a Phrygian village, a self-styled prophet by the name of Montanus. And he had with him two prophetesses, Maximilla and Priscilla. And he held forth that he was the continuation and that he possessed those same endowments of the apostles.
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And he came with ecstasies and with trances. And he said that he gave the new and further revelation from God, and that what he spake superseded the words of the apostles, for he had and he possessed a later revelation. And so powerful was the montanistic movement, Montanism, that it swept Tertullian himself away; and Tertullian became a Montanist.
Montanus said that as he sat in trances and in ecstasies, that there came revelations to him by the Holy Spirit; and these were the latest pronouncements of the Lord for His churches. Of course that created a violent reaction among the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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And two things came out of the vigorous repudiation of Montanism. One: the churches forever and forever declared that the canon was sealed; that it was forever concluded and finished. And in placing the Book of the Revelation at the last, and in quoting from the last words of the Revelation, they applied those words to all that had been written heretofore:.
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of this prophecy…If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him plagues that are written in this book:.
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book. God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things that are written in the book. The churches of the Lord way back yonder in AD and the years followed; are there any more visions from heaven? Are there any more Scriptures? Are there any more revelations from God?
There are no other revelations from God. The canon is closed! The canon is complete! The Bible is finished. And there are no more Bible texts to be written, there are no more Bible books to be added to the canon, for the revelation is complete and forever. That was the first thing that happened in Montanism. All right, the second thing that happened as they waged this fierce warfare against Montanism, second: the churches of Jesus Christ in that long ago said that there is no promise in the Word of God that the supernatural powers of the apostles would be continued—that the supernatural miracles would be continued in His churches after the days of the apostles.
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There is no power given, and there is no power promised continuing in the churches of Christ, that we shall raise the dead, that we can speak and these who are turning to corruption shall live again; and the other marvelous and supernatural powers of the apostles. Do we have that power today?
And those early churches, in their battle against Montanus, they said concerning the holy, and divine, and supernatural miracles of those first apostles, that they were attestations of the truth of the message that they delivered, and they were not promised to be continued in the life of the churches beyond. This arose immediately after the death of the apostles. We have the same thing today, exactly today. I have had people come to my house in my study, and tell me those things.
And of course, the vain hope and the vain grasping of the people of God, some of them, for those supernatural, miraculous powers possessed by the early apostles leads to nothing but frustration, and defeat, and vanity, and spiritual pride. What we must do is to learn what it is God purposes in the revelation of His word, and in the preaching of His gospel, and in His elective program and commission for us who live in this age and these who follow us if the Lord tarries, unto the end of the work of God and the purposes of God in His churches in the earth. Well, I am two-thirds through.
And I thought I would finish this morning. And the Lord give us understanding as we open our hearts to the heavenly truth of what God would have us do, and would have us to expect from His Holy Spirit in our day and in our life. Now on the first note of the first stanza, as we sing our hymn of appeal, somebody you give himself to Jesus [Romans ]. Somebody today to make a confession of his faith in the Lord; somebody to put his life in the fellowship of this dear church; a couple you, a family, or one somebody you, on the first note of the first stanza, while we sing this hymn, you come and stand by me.
Immediately, as you stand up, decide for our Lord, and come, make it now, while we stand and while we sing.
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Two thousand years of experience in the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit of God John , 26, , Study of Holy Spirit touches every point of theology, doctrine. Never a time when they did not confess the deity of Holy Spirit Matthew , Revelation Early fathers had no occasion to defend or define the deity of Holy Spirit. Early fathers looked upon Holy Spirit as author of all the Scriptures. Attacks against the Trinity tore churches apart. People of God gathered together to spell out what the Bible teaches. Arian controversy brought about writing of Nicean Creed.
Heresy of Macedonius brought about addition to Nicean Creed. Cessation of extraordinary, miraculous gifts. Expand Full Outline. Remember Me. Confirm Password. Username or Email. The Abiding Presence of the Holy Spirit. Flowers from the Garden of the Precious Blood. The Wife Desired. Customers who viewed this product bought.
Glories of the Holy Ghost. Prisoner of Love. On the Fewness of the Saved. Can't subscribe you right now. Try later. Jesus sends his Holy Spirit to us in order, among other purposes, to banish from our life on earth that which constitutes one of the great pains of our present existence. There are few things so hard for a man to bear as loneliness and isolation. Man is not made to live alone. In a world which is ever hostile to Christ and will always hate his followers as it hated him, the Christian necessarily suffers from a certain measure of ostracism.
Moreover, the Christian has to bear the loneliness that, with the advance of years, is the common lot of mortals. How frequently the pathos of this abandonment shows in the eyes of the aged whose contemporaries have vanished year by year. Jesus has provided for the comfort of lonely hearts. When it comes to a human creature, neither to love nor to be loved by anyone, then existence has turned to dust and ashes.
The disciples of Christ need never experience this dread starvation, this withering of their powers of affection, seeing that they may, by grace, possess within themselves in the closest intimacy a Person who, by the Word of Truth [Jesus], has been declared to be preeminently a consoler John — a Person who may be loved without limits and who repays every mark of affection by more than the hundredfold in warmth and tenderness.
The Holy Spirit has not only an infinite capacity for friendship — He has, as well, an infinite power to make his friendship effective for the consolation and comfort of those he loves. In the great trails of life, notably in the bereavement caused by the death of those dearest to us, how impotent we find the well-meaning efforts of our friends to touch our grief with healing.