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Jon Ruthven

This paper was written by Jon Ruthven.

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Jon Ruthven is a Professor of Systematic Theology at Regent University School of Divinity, Virginia Beach, Virginia.


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Articles > Charismatic Theology > On the Cessation of Charismata

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9. Philippians 1:5-10 "Christ who has begun a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. What work? sharing in God's grace (and imitating Paul, 3:17; 4:9--necessarily including the charismata (cf. Mt 28:20 "teaching them all that I have commanded you") in defending and confirming--a word in this context speaking of charismata, signs and wonders). And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and perception (charismata of revelation), so that y u may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until (eis) the day of Christ."

10. Colossians 1:9-12 "We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all Spiritual wisdom and understanding (revelatory gifts)... being strengthened with all power... (necessarily involving charismatic power) to build spiritual maturity, looking toward (though already provisionally experiencing) the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. Indeed we have already been brought into that kingdom."

11. 1 Thessalonians 1:5-8 In view of the rabbi-disciple model in # 10, above (see "Jesus as Rabbi: A Mimesis Christology," http://home.regent.edu/ruthven/disciple. html) the normative transmission of the gospel in "word and deed" in this passage. "our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power (en dunamei), with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.... You became imitators of us and of the Lord . . . . And so (it follows) you yourselves became models to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia." The pattern of the gospel's normative pattern of transmission in the miraculous power of the Spirit was carried over into a third generation--two away from Paul, i.e., those upon whom apostolic hands would not be laid! All with the goal of building Christian maturity until the end of this age.

12. 1 Thessalonians 5:11-23 In a strong eschatological context of the parousia Paul encourages believers to continue edifying each other in love: "Do not put out the Spirit's fire [paralleled with]; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test them and heed the good ones, in view of the goal of being blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you will be faithful to preserve you (using these charismata, cf. 1 Cor 1:4-81 etc.)."

13. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 "For which--in an ongoing process toward the goal [that You win be counted worthy at the coming of Christ] we constantly pray for you that our God will count you worthy and may fulfill your every good purpose and every work of faith in power (en dunamei), so that the name of our Lord Jesus might be glorified in you and you in him."

14. 1 Peter 1:5 "Through faith you are being shielded by God's power (en dunamei), until (eis) a salvation ready to be revealed at the last time."

15. 1 Peter 4:7-12 "The end of all things [the goal and context of this warning] is near.... Each one should use whatever spiritual gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks--as the oracles of God." Most commentators see this as a reference to NT prophecy. The parenesis is given against the approaching end, with the understanding that prophecy is to be operative up until that point.

16. 1 John 2:26-28 As an antidote to false prophets, John encourages the gift of prophecy: "Dear children, this is the last hour ... But all of you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth . As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need any one to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit-just as it has taught you, remain in him . . . . continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming." This passage is strikingly parallel to the promise of the Paraclete to the apostles (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13f). Here the promise is to the general readers!

17. Jude 18-21 [As Jesus prophesied] "In the last times... there will be those who follow their own human desires, and who do not have the Spirit. By contrast, you, beloved, during these same "last times," edify yourselves in your most holy faith by praying in the Spirit." "Praying in the Spirit" = praying in response to the direct leading of the Spirit--a revelatory process, or, as in 1, Cor 14:4,14,15, in glossolalic prayer ("one who "prays in the Spirit" edifies himself).

Each of these passages, then, continues the pattern of Jesus' commissions to his disciples to demonstrate articulate the Kingdom in the power of the Spirit--to the 12, the 70 (72), the 120--as archetypes of "all of the Lord's people" (including the readers of these verses) whom Moses wished would all be filled with the Spirit of prophecy (Num 11:29; cf., Isa 59:21; Joel 2:28-30; 1 Cor 14:1,5,39).

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