"Prophesying can either be foretelling or forthtelling"
This is the most blatent of all of the cessationist errors (and the impetus for this entire site). For in
studying it, it is not difficult to see that cessationists have an
agenda, and that they are scared of something--there may be
psychological factors involved with their trying to believe the above statement.
often say: "Prophesying can be either fortelling or forthtelling." When
questioned about the above statement, they say that prophesying is
either predicting the future (fortelling), or proclaiming God's truth
(forthtelling) with passion (it is surprising how many times they say
"with passion" as if passion had anything to do with anything).
However, what they really mean is that whenever they preach a message
that they think God laid on their hearts, they are actually
Prophesying is Preaching?
There is a reason that cessationists are
determined to prove that prophesying is preaching. The reason is that
there are enough references to believers prophesying that it is obvious
(even to cessationists) that prophesying is for the church-age.
Therefore, cessationists have contrived the idea that when a Bible
writer mentions "prophesying" he means "speaking for God." In other
words, anyone who preaches or evangelizes can be said to be prophesying
(supposedly forthtelling--speaking for God), This way cessationists do
not have to regret their inability to prophesy when they read verses
such as those found in the books of Romans and Hebrews (below):
then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,
whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith"
Rom. 12: 6
"But if all prophesy, and there come in one that
believeth not, or one unlearned , he is convinced of all, he is judged
by all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so
falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in
you of a truth" 1 Cor. 14: 24-25
Cessationists say that in
both of the above occasions, the scriptures can be obeyed by one who
merely "preaches" the word with conviction (for some reason they like
to add "with conviction"), a message that God laid on his heart. What
this means is that there are cessationist prophets (How?).
Cessationists can claim to be prophesying any time they speak or
preach. In fact, according to their definition, any encyclopedia
salesman can be said to be prophesying while he is giving a
sales-pitch, because he is actually speaking (forthtelling) for the
book distributor who pays him.
Cessationists believe in
modern-day prophesyings (if it is simply "preaching" that they call
"prophesying"). Pentecostals believe in modern-day prophesyings (or
prophecies--note that "prophesying" is the act of speaking forth a
"prophecy"). Since niether group believes that prophesying has ceased;
we just have to find out what prophesying is. However, when it is seen
that "prophesying" is only miraculous prophetic speech; that is, not
"preaching," it will be too late for cessationists to change their
minds and say that prophesying has already died out--for with their
statement (that prophesying can either be fortelling or forthtelling)
they are already committed to the cause that prophesying is for today.
there are cessationist prophets today. For they actually believe in
supernatural revelations as they say things like the following:
"God really put this sermon on my heart" (when they write a sermon)"
"God just gave me that" (when they remember something good to say during their sermon)
"God gave me that song" (when they write a song)
"I have a real peace about it" (when they decide to buy a house)
"I have a feeling we should pray for so and so"
what reason, then, do they decide that Biblical (real) prophecy is not
for us today? It needs to be realized that in the book of Ephesians;
Paul, speaking of the church-age, mentions that the office of prophet
is to exist alongside of pastors and teachers. This is a clear
indication that prophets are the ones who prophesy, and are needed
because pastors and teachers cannot fill that role in the church. From
Eph. 4: 11 (and others) below, we can deduce that "apostles" start the
church, "pastors" pastor the church, "evangelists" evangelize,
"teachers" teach, and "prophets" prophesy.
"And he gave some,
apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors
and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the
ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" Eph. 4: 11-12
cessationists make their statement defining "prophesying" they do so
with an agenda in mind. To show that they have an agenda, notice that
they never say: "teaching is either teaching or forthtelling"
"preaching is either preaching or forthtelling" "Evangelizing is either
evangelizing or forthtelling" Why, do you suppose that they single out
prophecy to say that it can be forthtelling (speaking for God). That is
because their agenda is to show that prophetic speech is not here; but
that prophesying means to simply speak for God.
It is no
secret that the ones who claim that tongues, dreams, and visions have
ceased, are the same ones who also say that prophecy can be simply
preaching (and thus all prophetic speech is non-existent). The issue is
not "what" the message will be (whether a teaching or preaching, or
evangelistic message), but "where" it comes from. As mentioned in a
previous chapter: "teachers teach using the previously revealed word"
Evangelists, evangelise using the previously revealed word pastors
preach, using the previously revealed word but prophets do not prophecy
the previously revealed word. Their message comes from divine
revelation--directly from God's Spirit.
The cessationist idea is that if "A" is equal to "C," and "B" is equal to "C," then suddenly, "B" is also equal to "A"
A=C (A) "prophet" = (C) mouthpiece for God
B=C ( B) "pastor" = (C) mouthpiece for God
B=A (B) "pastor = (A) "prophet"
illustration is made clearer by the story of a simple fry-cook wanting
to get the same pay as a high-priced, trained saute chef. The
fry-cook's reasoning is as follows:
A=C (A) High priced Saute chef = (C) a cook
B=C (B) minimum wage fry cook = (C) a cook
B=A (B) minimum wage fry cook = (A) High salaried saute chef
order to bolster their argument, cessationists have come up with every
conceivable Hebrew and Greek etymology for the word "prophesy." What
they are hoping to do is show that prophesying can mean, "one who
speaks for another (for God). But that is not the point. The issue, as
mentioned earlier, is not who they are speaking for but where the
message that they speak comes from (from the already revealed word, or
as direct revelation from God's Holy Spirit). It really does not matter
whether the message is predicting the future, or just speaking; but is
it supernatural (prophetic) or not? Notice there are words such as the
list below that may be called "forthtelling;" but that does not mean
that the speaker will be "prophesying."
talk, teach, proclaim, revealed, declared, testifying, reasoning,
explained, refuted, proving, commanded, suggested, exhort, tell,
discuss, says, warning, and etc.
Prophesying is Always Miraculous
In looking at all of the
New Test. occurances of the word family of "prophecy;" it is overly
obvious that on every occasion (except the 2 written below) of someone
"prophesying" it is always miraculous. The two exceptions are:
Matt. 7: 22 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not
prophesied [as prophets, not "preached in thy name" ] in thy name? and
in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful
works [ the Greek word for "works" here is "dynamis" which is always
translated as "miracles"]?"
2) Acts 21: 9 "And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy."
two verses above are not overly obvious that prophetic speech is meant
by "prophesy;" but for anyone who sees that all other references to
"prophesying" is miraculous, it would be hard to deny.
differnce between "prophesying" and "teaching, or preaching" is seen in
Paul's words to women speaking during the church service in 1 Cor. For
he states that women are not to preach or teach men in the church, as
they are to be silent; but they may prophesy (as "prophesy" is
different from "preaching") in the church. This is because
"prophesying" is a spiritual speech that all may do (at the right time)
"But every woman that prayeth [out loud] or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head" 1 Cor. 11: 5
#9 was the impetus for this entire book, as it is too silly to go
unchallenged. This entire site (not just this section) exists to refute
Copyright 2006 - 2007. Peter Kwiatkowski. All rights
reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain