Monthly Archives: January 2016

Floppy Disk Friday

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Jesus,

What other allegiances do I have, besides you?

Reveal them to me and root them out of me.

Let my heart desire only you,

and my thoughts be fixed on you only.

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A Short Thought on Tongues & Prophecy

The other day I was thinking about the spiritual, or charismatic, gifts of speaking in tongues and prophesying.

Human-Diagram-of-The-Tongue-Anatomy-photo

It was because of something I read or watched. I can’t remember which it was, but the speaker was denigrating the gift of tongues as an extreme and even heretical thing to do (like MacArthur’s “Strange Fire” book & conference). In all likeliness it was something my senior pastor gave me to read/listen to, as he loves MacArther and similar guys.

But I realized that, for all the ranting against tongues from a certain segment of ultra-conservative Reformed Christians (who are still brothers and sisters in Christ), there seems to be very little spoken about or against prophecy today.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a whole lot of false prophets in the Church today, whether on TV or the internet, and their “prophecies” are easily seen as false because they don’t come to pass (blood moons, anyone?), though sadly they still deceive a great many people.

But beyond that, I wonder if the reason prophecy doesn’t get the same vehemence that tongues do is because all genuine Christ-followers at some point in their lives experience a “word from the Lord” or receive an intuition from Him or knowledge that they couldn’t’ve otherwise have had. And while they may not call it a “prophetic” word, they cannot deny that it came from God.

Rembrandt,  Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem

Rembrandt, Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem

Secondarily (though possibly foremost in the minds of said cessationist Christians), maybe it’s because tongues are mysterious, and messy, and not controllable in the same way “words from God” are. And if there’s one thing we know, it’s that we humans love control, order, and certainty.

While I do have a Pentecostal past, my own current denomination (Christian and Missionary Alliance) has a “seek not, forbid not” policy regarding these two charismatic gifts of the Spirit, but Paul himself is pretty clear when he says “Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy... Now I would like all of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy” (1 Cor. 14: 1, 5). And there’s nothing in the biblical record or Church history that suggests that this imperative was not meant for all believers of all time, regardless of what some would like to wish.

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The Plain Meaning

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Stolen with thanks from Tim Fall’s blog.

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Fire, Light, and Food: A List of Biblical Images for the Word of God

The Bible is full of imagery, and a lot of imagery about itself, the word(s) of God.*

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One of the reasons why is because the imagery points to an invisible reality behind the words of God. They are not mere words, but there is a spiritual element to them. They are powerful and transformative. So when the author of Hebrews says “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires,” the author means that as we read the Bible it does something to us that a normal book can’t in the same way.

TheRapier

This is probably not an exhaustive list, but I haven’t seen any others like it. What invisible reality do you think some of the images point to?

Images that have to do with Judgement/Destruction

Fire – Jeremiah 23:29; 20:9; 5:14

Hammer – Jeremiah 23:29**

Sword – Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6: 17; Revelation 1:16; 2:16; 19:15; Hosea 6:5; Isaiah 49:2

Mirror – James 1:25

Detail shot of hammer forging hot iron at anvil

Images that have to do with Life/Growth/Riches:

Nourishing Food – Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Hebrews 5:12-14; Isaiah 55:1-3; Jeremiah 3:15; 23:28;  1 Timothy 4:6

Light – Psalm 119:105, 130; Proverbs 6:23; 2 Peter 1:19

Honey – Psalm 119:103; Proverbs 24:13-14; Psalm 19:10

Milk – 1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:12-14

Water – Ephesians. 5:25b-26; John 15:3

Seed – 1 Peter 1:23; Luke 8:11

Worker’s Tool – 2 Timothy 2:15

Midwife – James 1:18

God’s Breath – 2 Timothy 3:16

Silver, Gold & Jewels – Psalm 119:72, 127; 19:10; Proverbs 8:10, 11; 3:14-15

Honey-comb

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*I’m not distinguishing between logos and rhema for the purposes of this post.

**fire and a hammer can also be used for growth – we burn forests so new growth can happen, and demolish old buildings for new.

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Floppy Disk Friday

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“Speaking recklessly is like the thrusts of a sword, but the words of the wise bring healing.” Proverbs 12:18

Heavenly Father, let my words be wise and bring healing. Help me to be quick to listen and slow to speak, that I may say a pertinent word in a timely manner that will bring life and hope instead of foolishness and dismay.

Teach me Your words, Holy Spirit, and to only speak them.

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