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My Full Preterist Response to John MacArthur’s (“Strange Fire” – Cessationist) v. Michael Brown’s (“Authentic Fire” – Charismatic) Part 7 – Argument #5 The “Greater Works” of John 14:12 & Interaction with Matt Waymeyer – Professor at The Master’s Seminary

In his book Authentic Fire (pp. 188-190) Charismatic Dr. Michael Brown believes since “whoever believes in me” is a universal term in other contexts (cf. Jn. 6:35; 7:38; 11:25; 12:44, 46), this must be the case here in John 14:12.  Therefore, he concludes that believers (prior to a Christ’s return which he assumes is future) can ask God in prayer and expect Him to give them the gifts of miracles, healing, tongues, knowledge, prophecy, etc…

My Response

Since most of Dr. Brown’s arguments in his book concern the miraculous gifts lasting throughout the eschatological “already and not yet” or until the Second Coming arrives, I will give attention to John 14:2-3, 23 along with v. 12.  There are also some implications on the audience of the Apostles and their leadership in directing the NT Cannon and them being infallibly guided by the Holy Spirit (not every believer) on the time frame of fulfillment of Christ’s coming, that must too be examined (cf. Jn. 14:26; Jn. 16:13).

While Pastor MacArthur has not responded to ANY of Dr. Brown’s arguments (even though Brown’s book is specifically addressed to him), this is the ONLY argument (on Jn. 14:12) The Master’s Seminary has sought to address in Dr. Brown’s book, Authentic Fire.[1]  And of course Brown points this out – how they have only attempted to address 3% of his arguments on the “Sola Scriptura” cessation issue.[2]  I have reached out repeatedly to The Master’s University and Seminary to have a symposium to discuss Brown’s 4-5 main arguments for the continuance of the sign gifts (which I too once used as a former Charismatic).  So far NO ONE has returned my calls – in spite of promises from secretaries that someone from the seminary would.

Since many have enjoyed an article I did on John 14 demonstrating the betrothal/wedding and temple imagery connected to Jesus’ Second Coming, I will begin with some of that material by way of introduction and then address verse 12 interacting with Brown and Waymeyer.

Introductory meditations on John 14 and wedding / temple imagery

Jewish weddings began with the groom presenting the father and his potential bride with a ketubah or covenant which would include the dowry price etc…  The man would pour his potential wife a cup of wine (which represented a blood or oneness covenant) and if she drank from it, she agreed to become his wife – to become one with him (cf. John 6; Matt. 26:17-30).

After this, the groom would announce that he was “going to prepare a place” for her and would “come again when it was ready” (cf. John 14:2-3). The Church is “bought” (dowry) with the price of Christ’s blood.[3]  The Holy Spirit’s power and presence with the early church was also a down payment or earnest guaranteeing the inheritance or promise of Christ’s return and that full redemption would come in that first century generation (Lk. 21:27-32).

The groom would have already gotten his father’s permission to build a room or honeymoon suite onto his father’s house where he would then consummate his love for his bride. When the groom was asked when the wedding would take place, he replied that “only his father knows the time” (cf. Matt. 24:36; Acts 1:6-7).

I also should note that before the betrothal period it was customary for both the bride and groom to be baptized (a ritual called mikvah).  Jesus of course was baptized in order to fulfill the law, and by one of His groomsmen at that – John the Baptist (cf. Matt. 3:13-17; Jn. 3:29-30).

During this betrothal period (which could last up to a year or two), the groom would have up to two groomsmen which would help facilitate and mediate issues between the groom and bride (in the NT I believe John the Baptist [the friend of the Bridegroom] and the Apostle Paul [betrothing the Church to Christ] fulfill these roles between Christ and the Church (cf. Jn. 3:29-30; 2 Cor. 11:2).

In the Jewish betrothal period/covenant, fornication was very serious and grounds for divorce (Matthew’s gospel being primarily written to Jews adds this material on divorce and re-marriage [along with Joseph wanting to “divorce” Marry] while the others do not – cf. Matt. 1:19; Matt. 5:31-32).

Once the room/honeymoon chamber was ready and built onto the father’s home, the groom and his friends would come for the bride – blowing a trumpet (Matt. 24:30-31/1 Thess. 4:16-17/1 Cor. 15:52; Rev. 10:6-7; 11:15-19).

The bride and her bridesmaids had their oil and lamps next to their beds in order to be ready for this event (cf. Matt. 25:1-13).

Once at the “room” of the father’s house, the couple would then engage in a seven-day honeymoon period and the feast would follow. The sheet with the blood of the bride would be hung outside the room proving she was a virgin and that the marriage was officially consummated.

Jehovah’s Betrothal/Marriage to Israel

Some debate if at mount Sinai, God betrothed or married Israel as a covenant people to Himself. When Israel split, the imagery became God being betrothed or married to two sisters. God would “divorce” the ten northern tribes through the Assyrian invasion/judgment, with the promise that He would one day again “betroth” her to Himself in the “last days” in the “desert.” He remained betrothed or married to Jerusalem – the other sister (for through her salvation and Messiah would come).

John the Baptist (the last of the OT prophets) was the groomsman whom in the desert was calling Israel to repentance and pointing her to the way of her Messiah/Groom.  Jesus’s blood inaugurated the NC and in drinking that wine, the Church agreed to be united to Him as His bride. The work and power of the Holy Spirit within the believer was the agent for the “building” up process of the “rooms” – which were within the spiritual realm (i.e. of God’s people).

In John 4, we are told that Jesus “must” go through Samaria, but why?  This is in order to fulfill OT prophecy concerning Israel’s last day’s betrothal process for the scattered Ten Northern Tribes that had been sown in the land of the Gentiles through the Assyrian captivity.  Jacob meeting his bride at the same well as Jacob was typological of Christ beginning his betrothal process for the Samaritans (pictured through the woman at the well).   In Jesus’ earthly ministry He touches the Jew, the Samaritan and Gentiles (all the groups that form the NC Bride).  As we will see, the book of Acts follows Jesus’ pattern and prior to AD 70 that mission was complete (Acts 1:8 –> Cols. 1:5-6, 23; Rms. 10:18; Rms. 16:25-26).

In AD 70, judgment and divorce would now finally come upon God’s other unfaithful sister/wife – OC Jerusalem (through stoning and burning – a judgment prescribed in the law for the adulterous wife of a priest).  This was done by means of sending “His armies” (the Idumeans and Romans) to “destroy the city” while at the same time consummating His marriage to His beloved NC Jerusalem in the same AD 70 “shortly” and “soon” time frame (cf. Rev. 1:1—chapters17-22; Mt. 22:1-14).

John 14

a).  The context or audience (vss. 1-2).

The promise of Christ’s return is given to the “your” and “you” of verses 1-2 and are the eleven Apostles.  This is consistent with the “you” and first century “this generation” of Matthew 24 that is promised to experience the coming of the Son of Man (the parousia) or Second Coming.  While the Church in the NC age post AD 70 will share in the benefits and blessings of Christ’s parousia (with the Father and Son making their home within them), this is a promise given the the Apostles and their contemporaries.

b).  “In my Father’s house are many rooms;…” (vs. 2).

Here the Father’s “house” is His spiritual heavenly Temple (2 Cor. 5:1; 2 Cor. 6:16; Rev. 21-22) and the “rooms” are the side rooms that surrounded the Holy Place of the Temple. As Arthur Pink notes,

“The many rooms in the temple prefigured these (see 1 Kings 6:5, 6; Jer. 35:1-4, etc.).”[4]

Under the OC the Father’s “house” was the earthly Temple that the Jew’s were making a den of robbers (cf. Matt. 21:13). But under the NC, the Church is God’s “house”/Temple that He was preparing (cf. Ezek. 37:27/2 Cor. 6:16; 2 Cor. 5:1).

The side rooms surrounding the Holy Place were used for: 1. The priests to dwell in. 2. To change into their priestly garments.  3. To store gold and silver (bounty), tithes, and the articles used in the Temple.  The Church during AD 30 – AD 70 is described as a Priesthood being changed into the glorious image of Christ (a spiritual and non-physical process).  The OC Tabernacle and Temple were erected gloriously with the gold and silver that Israel got from their enemies and through their tithes. In the NT, there are two things that are more costly than gold and silver and they are Christ’s blood and the God given faith given to the saints. This holy exchange is how the the NC Temple was being built up, and how believers continue to walk through the gates of the New Jerusalem post AD 70.

The imagery of “going to prepare” these side rooms is that of wedding terminology:

“…in 14:3, “I will come again and take you with me, so that where I am, you will be as well” (cf. 17:24), echoes the terminology found in Song 8:2a, where the bride says that she will bring her lover to her mother’s house. Here Jesus, the messianic bridegroom (3:29), is said first to go to prepare a place for his own in his Father’s house and then to come to take them home to be with him.”[5]

So the side rooms of the Temple are the honeymoon suites being prepared for those being built up as the spiritual/heavenly Temple during the AD 30 – AD 70 transition period – before Christ’s Second Coming occurred to close the OC age. Here the many “rooms” (plural) emphasize the individual (or “the many”) of the living saints anticipating Christ’s imminent coming in AD 70. Elsewhere, the Most Holy Place and New Jerusalem represent the NC corporate body (or “the one”) of the Church (2 Cor. 5:1; 2 Cor. 6:16; Rev. 21:16 [the NJ is a perfect cube representing the MHP]; Heb. 9:8-9/cf. JFB commentary where the OC economy = the Holy Place and the NC economy = the Most Holy Place).

“Dwelling places” “rooms” – Greek mone and the Second Coming.  

This Greek word for “room(s)” is mone and is only used twice in the NT (here in Jn. 14:2, 23).  It’s second use is found in verse 23 – “…we (The Father and Son) will come to him and make our home (Greek mone) with him.” The later here in verse 23 explains how Jesus would “receive” His people — when He and the Father (Who are the Temple Rev. 21:22) came to make their “dwelling” or abode/home within His Church.  God’s presence (the Triune God) being restored to and within the believer is what the Second Coming (or Greek parousia -presence) is all about (cf. Matt. 24:27; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15; Rev. 21-22).

In Revelation the New Jerusalem in the form of a perfect cube (Rev. 21:16 – which is communicating that it is the Most Holy Place), was in the process of coming DOWN from heaven to earth (Rev. 3:12 NIV).   The purpose of Jesus receiving the Church to be where He was (in the Father’s presence) – is just that, to bring God’s full presence to and within the believer (while here on earth).

There are five references to the Second Coming in John 14:

1).  “I will come again,” and “take or receive you to myself” (v. 3).

2).  “We will come to him and make Our home with him” (v. 23).

3).  “I am going away and coming back to you” (v. 28).

4).  “At that day (“the last day” or the day He comes to “receive” and “manifest Himself to them”) you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (v. 20).

5).  “And when it (His return) does come to pass, you may believe” (v. 29).

What is interesting are the last two references to His return #4 and #5.  If it were a physical and literal “reception” “rapture”/“resurrection,” or “catching away,” then why the words “then you will know that I am in My father, and you in Me, and I in you” and “that you may believe”?   Obviously if one was whisked away in the literal clouds and your body had been literally transformed, you would “know” and there would be no doubt about it that Christ had returned (no need to “believe” that it has happened).  Jesus’ words indicate that His return and Kingdom was something that could be missed and not seen with the physical eye (Lk. 17:20-21, 21-37) – thus a need to “believe” that it had come in the spiritual realm.  This is consistent with what Jesus taught in (Mrk. 8:38-9:1) as well.  In other words the Christians remained on the earth in AD 70 and Christ and the Father made their “dwellings” “within” them (Jn. 14:2-3, 23; Cols. 1:27; 1 Pet. 1:19; Lk. 17:20-21)!

c).  “I go to prepare a place for you” (vs. 2).

How was Jesus preparing a dwelling place for His people?  In context, He was going to give them the Holy Spirit Who would be apart of the process of forming and transforming Christ and His image in them (1 Cor. 6:19; Gals. 4:19; 2 Cor. 3-4; Phil. 2:5/Rms. 12:1-2) until the “light” or “Day Star” (Christ) rose in their hearts completely (2 Pet. 1:19; cf. 1 Jn. 2:8).  They were in the process of “being built up” as the Temple (1 Pet. 2:5) of God and “putting on” the “new man” which is another metaphor for putting on the wedding garments of Christ’s righteousness which would become their own (Ephs. 4:24; Isa. 52:1/Rev. 21:2; Mt. 22:11; Rev. 16:15; 19:18/1 Cor. 1:30/2 Cor. 5:21).  This was taking place until they were fully “adorned” as the Most Holy Place or City of the Living God.  This City was likewise in the process of coming down from heaven (Rev. 3:12 NIV) and would fully come in an “at hand” time frame to bring healing to the nations.  At that point in AD 70 God’s people were found to be “glorified” “in” Him and He “in” them (2 Thess. 1:12; Rms. 8:8-11, 18 YLT; Jn. 14:20).   Thus at Christ’s coming in AD 70, the Father’s House/New Jerusalem/Most Holy Place came down to earth and fully clothed the Church and therefore the Kingdom [of heaven] was fully prepared and formed within the Church.

d).  “Truly, truly, I ay to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do, and greater works than these will he do, because I go am going to the Father” (v. 12).

The phrase “truly, truly” or “verily I say unto you” links this verse back to the previous verse which describes Christ’s miraculous “works” (v. 11).  Jesus appealed to the crowds to believe on Him based upon His teachings and the miracles or “works” He performed (cf. Jn. 5:36; 10:25, 26, 37, 38; 20:30-31).  Therefore, in context, the “works” the Apostles would perform are miracles as Jesus performed.  MacArthur denies this claiming these “greater works” are “spiritual rather than physical miracles” and that “Jesus did not mean greater works in power, but extent” (cf. Acts 1:8).[6]  But a hermeneutics professor Matt Waymeyer, at The Master’s Seminary disagrees with MacArthur and points out the same contextual connection that these are literal miracles:

“Brown is correct in his assertion that Jesus was referring to miraculous works in John 14:12 when He spoke of “the works that I do.” This is clear not only from the immediate context of John 14 (see verses 10-11) but also from the greater context of John’s Gospel in which the miraculous works of Jesus gave evidence of His identity (see 5:36; 10:25; 20:30-31). And what miraculous works was Jesus referring to? He doesn’t name them, but the Gospel of John—which records only a fraction of the signs and wonders Jesus performed (21:25)—provides several examples:

  • Jesus changed water into wine (2:1-11).
  • Jesus healed a boy who was about to die (4:46-54).
  • Jesus healed a man who had been crippled and unable to walk for 38 years (5:1-9).
  • Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish (6:1-14).
  • Jesus walked on water (6:16-21).
  • Jesus healed a man born blind (9:1-41).
  • Jesus resurrected a man who had been dead for four days (11:1-45).

According to John 14:12a, these are the kinds of miraculous works that will be performed by “he who believes” in Jesus.”[7]

I believe these literal miracles were “greater” in the extent that over a period of roughly forty years (not a mere three) more miracles and more souls were saved during the Apostles ministry (and those they laid hands on before Christ came to close the OC age), than Christ Himself performed.  They were not “greater” in the sense that their miracles were more miraculous than Christ’s miracles were, for clearly they were not – walking on water, feeding 5,000 and even raising Himself from the dead.

If Brown makes John 14:12 a promise for all believers throughout all time, Matt Maymeyer claims Brown in essence has proven too much:

But what initially appears to be Brown’s strongest argument ultimately turns out to be the most significant problem for his view. By assuming that “he who believes” is also universal in John 14:12, Brown ends up arguing that every single believer in the history of the church has performed (or will perform) the same miraculous works as Jesus, works such as healing the crippled, giving sight to the blind, and raising people from the dead.

Apart from the obvious observation that there are more than a few believers in the past two thousand years who have never raised the dead or given sight to the blind, the apostle Paul made it clear in 1 Corinthians 12:27-30 that it was never God’s design to give every Christian the ability to perform the miraculous…”

The implied answer to each of these rhetorical questions is, “No, of course not!” If it was never God’s design that all believers perform miracles and healings, how can Brown affirm an interpretation of John 14:12 which says that it was?

Brown’s interpretation of John 14:12, then, faces a significant obstacle. Even though it is undoubtedly true that every single believer will have eternal life (John 3:15, 16, 36; 6:40, 47), is not judged (John 3:18), will never thirst (John 6:35), will experience the rivers of living water (John 7:38), will live even if he dies (John 11:25, 26), believes in the Father (John 12:44), and will not remain in darkness (John 12:46), it is simply not the case that every single believer does (or will do) the miraculous works that Jesus did (2:1-11; 4:46-54; 5:1-9; 6:1-14; 6:16-21; 9:1-41; 11:1-45). This was never the sovereign design of God for the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27-30), and it was not promised by Jesus in John 14:12.

So what does Jesus mean when He says that “He who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also”? The key is found in remembering the original audience of Jesus. In John 14-16, Judas had already departed and Jesus was exclusively addressing the eleven disciples, the very ones He would soon send out as His apostles. Even though much of John 14-16 can be applied to every believer by extension, all of what Jesus says in these chapters applies directly to the apostles and some of what He says applies only to the apostles (e.g., John 14:25-26; 16:13). John 14:12 falls into this latter category.

In John 14, Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father (v. 8). Jesus responded by rebuking Philip (v. 9) and asking him whether or not he believed that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him (v. 10). Then Jesus widened the scope of His instruction (the Greek transitions from singular to plural) by addressing all of the disciples and exhorting them twice to “believe” in Him (v. 11). Therefore, when Jesus referred to “he who believes in Me” in the very next verse (v. 12), it makes good sense to conclude that the scope of that phrase is limited to those whom Jesus was addressing, namely the eleven disciples. As Richard Mayhue writes, “Christ’s charge to the disciples [in John 14:12] should not automatically be assigned to all believers throughout the ages unless specifically indicated by the text. Nothing here points beyond the disciples” (The Healing Promise, 162).

The promise of John 14:12, then, is that once Jesus sends the disciples out as His apostles, they will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to perform miraculous works just like He did. Not only does this interpretation fit the immediate context of John 14-16, but the Book of Acts records that the apostles did indeed perform the miraculous works promised by Jesus in John 14:12: “many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles” (Acts 2:43; emphasis added). If the promise of John 14:12 is universal and every believer performed signs and wonders, why does Luke single out the apostles in Acts 2:43? Where is the biblical account that “many wonders and signs were taking place through all the brethren”?”[8]

Brown has responded to Waymeyer’s article in that his appeals to 1 Corinthians 12 and Acts in essence proves too much for his position because:  1.  The ability to perform miracles is given to members of the local church and not just to the Apostles, 2.  within the context of the letter the miraculous gifts are given to members of the body until Christ’s Second Coming (which Matt Waymeyer and Brown affirm is future) (cf. 1 Cor. 1:7-8; 13:8-12), and 3.  Stephen and Philip (not just the Apostles) were performing signs and wonders in the book of Acts (cf. Acts 6 & 8) and this would continue throughout the “last days” (Acts 2).

While I couldn’t agree more with Waymeyer’s contextual comments that “…though much of John 14-16 can be applied to every believer by extension, all of what Jesus says in these chapters applies directly to the apostles and some of what He says applies only to the apostles (e.g., John 14:25-26; 16:13). John 14:12 falls into this latter category…,” this still does not address his Futurist position and problem that in Acts and in the various churches signs and wonders were performed by others than the Apostles and that this would continue throughout the “last days” or until the Second Coming would arrive.  Brown points out he has only addressed 3% of his arguments while avoiding the others related to eschatology and the Second Coming. This of course is not a problem I have as a Full Preterist, as I continue to overturn virtually all of Brown’s Charismatic arguments listed in Authentic Fire.

e).  The Holy Spirit would be a “helper” “advocate” (Greek paraclete) to provide power (v. 16 – and the dunamis/power and commission of Acts 1:8).

The Greek word for “helper” here is paraclete and as R.C. Sproul pointed out in his lecture at MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference this word carries with it more of a sense of giving power than merely comforting the disciples,

“…before His ascension, He told His disciples that they should tarry in Jerusalem inasmuch as they would receive power and after they would receive power they were to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth.

We also know that in the Upper Room, Jesus gave His longest discourse on the Holy Spirit when He said that when He would leave, He would not leave us comfortless, but that He would send along with the Father the paraclete, or what the Old King James Version of the Bible translated as the Comforter.  And there’s a little problem with that use of the term “Comforter” in translating the Greek parakletos because it goes back to earlier English, indeed Elizabethan English, when the English language was more closely informed by ancient Latin than it is today.  And the translation “comforter” had its roots in the Latin cum forte.  So what Jesus was saying when He was saying, “I’m going to send you a Comforter,” what the King James called the Comforter, was that He was saying I’m going to send you the One who will come with strength.  You know, we say a person may have a particular strength and we call it his forte and the use of the term forte is familiar to those of you who are engaged in music.  You know, that little “f” or the double “ff” stands for forte, it means you play it with strength and with power.

And so what Jesus was saying is, I’m not sending the Holy Spirit to dry your tears, to console you, to make you feel better after you’ve been beaten up by your adversaries, although He does that.  Rather the promise of the coming Spirit was for power and for strength.”[9]

He continues to point out that the book of Acts for the most part follows the Great Commission (GC) described by Jesus in Acts 1:8 — the gospel would be preached to:  1. Jerusalem, 2.  Judea, 3.  Samaria and 4.  To the Uttermost parts of the earth.  He argues that there were four Pentecost’s in the book of Acts that were unique in redemptive history (not to be continually repeated for believers throughout all ages – per Brown).  There purpose was to show the exclusive Jew (even believer) that all these groups: 1.  Jews (Acts 2), 2.  Samaritans (Acts 8), 3.  God-fearers (Acts 10), and 4.  the Gentiles (Acts 19) were on equal footing in the NC fulfilling the mystery contained in the OT Scriptures (the Jew / Gentile oneness in the NC Kingdom).[10]

But Sproul’s argument is exegetically inconsistent since he still believes that we are baptized by the Spirit today to receive power to fulfill Acts 1:8.  Where does the NT teach that one group gets baptized by or with the Spirit with one kind of dunamis/power that results in speaking in tongues and prophesying in order to fulfill the GC of Acts 1:8, while today we get baptized by the Spirit to receive a different kind of dunamis/power that doesn’t result in tongues, prophesying, or the working of miracles (just boldness) to fulfill the same GC of (Acts 1:8)?!?  Even Brown says of Acts 1:8,

“This did not only mean boldness; rather, it referred in particular to the supernatural enduement of divine power to work miracles in Jesus’ name,…” (Authentic Fire, 191).

As I pointed out in addressing Brown’s GC argument already in this series, both Mark 16:15-18 and Acts 1:8 are the same GC, and it is clearly stated that the miraculous sign gifts continue in order to fulfill that commission.  Sproul in his book, The Last Days According to Jesus appears to be somewhat confused or inconsistent on the “last days” of Acts 2 which encompasses the GC of Acts 1:8 as well, and this continues to muddy the waters for him and those listening to his teaching on the subject.

As I have demonstrated in this series, the “last days” were OC Israel’s last days ending in AD 70 and not the last days of the NC Church closing world history.  And the GC described by Jesus as a sign to be fulfilled before He would come and bring an end to the OC age in AD 70 (cf. Mt. 24:14/Mrk. 13:10/Mrk. 16:15-18/Mt. 28:18-20/Acts 1:8) was also fulfilled according to the inspired teaching of the Apostle Paul (Cols. 1:5-6, 23/Rms. 10:18/Rms. 16:25-26).

Brown asks,

“When did the dunamis of the Spirit change?  Where is it written or even hinted at that the Spirit no longer includes God’s dunamis (Authentic Fire, 192)?

Yet Brown concedes that the miraculous sign gifts continue until the GC is fulfilled (suspecting that everyone agrees it hasn’t been fulfilled or can’t prove it has).  So unlike Sproul, the Full Preterist can truly and consistently say these four Pentecost’s of the outpouring power of the Holy Spirit were unique events in redemptive history that fulfilled Acts 1:8 bringing the church to her maturity or to “the unity of the faith” (Ephs. 4) in AD 70 — whereby we don’t need more miraculous confirmation that all men are on equal ground in the NC age.  The OC with all of its distinctions between the various people groups vanished in AD 70.  Today post AD 70 we don’t live within a transition period whereby the OC and NC are overlapping, but rather as we preach the gospel (cf. Rev. 22:17) living in the mature NC age — there are only two classes of people – believers and unbelievers (those within the gates of the NJ and those without).  But before this, God had to give the early Church roughly forty years and the dunamis of the Spirit to confirm and figure this out.  It took thirty years before Peter and the Jewish Church believed Peter’s testimony of what happened to Cornelius and the Gentiles with him – proving Gentiles could be fellowshipped with and were co-equals in the NC Kingdom.

Brown admits the Spirit was a “deposit of what was to come (see Ephesians 1:14)” (Authentic Fire, p. 199).  And yet Paul tells us the what and the when of the “what was to come” in just seven verses — “not only in this age (OC), but also in the one (NC age) about to come.” (Ephs. 1:21WUESTNT).  Once again the Pauline theme of the two ages of the old and new covenants are being contrasted with the new on the verge of “about to come” in AD 70.

f).  The Holy Spirit would infallibly remind and inspire the Apostles concerning the time frame of Christ’s return (v. 26 / Jn. 16:13).

This is devastating to both Brown and Waymeyer’s Premillennial Futurist eschatology since both agree these passages apply only to the Apostles. As the NT is being written by the Apostles (and those under their authority) towards the end of that AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation,” the Apostles are being “led into all truth” “concerning things to come” (prophecy), teaching that Jesus’ Second Coming, Judgment and Resurrection of the living and dead were “about to” be fulfilled “shortly,” soon,” “quickly,” “in a very little while,” and would “not be delayed” (cf. Acts 2:20, 40; Acts 17:31YLT; Acts 24:15YLT; Rom. 8:18-23YLT/AV; Rom. 13:11-12; Rom. 16:20; 1 Cor.7:29-31; 1 Cor. 10:11; 1 Cor. 15:51; Phil. 4:5; 1 Thess. 4:15ff–5:1-10; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; 2 Tim. 4:1YLT; Heb. 8:13–10:37; Heb. 13:14YLT; James 5:7-9; 1 Pet. 1:4-12; 1 Pet. 4:5-7, 17; 1 John 2:17-18; Rev. 1:1–-22:6-7, 10-12, 20).

Clearly the NT authors (who were inspired and not simply giving their opinions) understood and were being reminded of Jesus’ teachings (Mt. 10:22-23; Mt. 16:27-28; Mt. 24:1-34) on when their Lord would return much better than the Charismatic TV “prophecy experts,” “Reformed Scholars” and many Pastors and teachers coming out of The Master’s Seminary do.  A Full Preterist is willing to “let God be true and every man a liar” if need be. Are you?

Conclusion

The focus of this article on John 14:12 was to demonstrate that the eleven Apostles were directly told (and again in Acts 1) that through their ministries they would receive the outpouring and power of the Holy Spirit.   Not only this, but they would do greater miraculous works than even Christ did.  Over roughly a forty-year period they laid their hands on and led many to Christ in fulfilling the GC of Acts 1:8.  In doing so, they indeed did do more miracles and led more to Christ than even their Lord had.  We also saw how how the eschatological imminent “not yet” wedding/temple imagery inseparably connected to Jesus’ Second Coming to “come again” and “receive” the Church was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 (as we saw of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 in our last study).

The one point of agreement between Brown and Waymeyer on John 14:26/John 16:13 destroys their Premillennial Futurist eschatology – the Holy Spirit did infallibly lead the Apostles and those under their leadership “into all truth” concerning “things to come” (i.e. the first century imminent time frame for their Lord’s return) and therefore it was fulfilled at the end of the OC age in AD 70.

The pre-AD 70 purpose for the miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit has reached its eschatological goal:

  1. To demonstrate the Jew/Gentile oneness in the NC Body/Kingdom.
  2. To confirm the Apostles authority and testimony while…
  3. Leading (infallibly by divine inspiration) the Apostles “into all truth” concerning “things to come” (i.e. the timing and nature of the Second Coming).
  4. To empower the Church to fulfill the GC – which would bring with it:  a). the complete ushering in of the NC age while brining the OC age to it’s end and b). to fulfill and bring about the full inheritance of Christ’s parousia (where the Father and Son now make their home within the believer – her chief reward).

These were unique eschatological events taking place between the overlapping of the OC and NC ages and fulfilled within history – not brining an end to it.  Therefore, the unique purpose of the miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit does not need to be repeated throughout the ages of the Church beyond AD 70 – as Dr. Brown has assumed and incorrectly interpreted the Scriptures.

Dr. Brown’s appeals to John 14:12 for the continuance of the sign and revelatory gifts today has once again been overturned by the sound and consistent exegesis that Full Preterism provides the Church.  Dr. Brown is willing to meet me at The Master’s Seminary to try and prove me wrong.  Will Matt Waymeyer of The Master’s Seminary be willing to address more than Brown’s 3% of texts dealing with the cessation issue?  Being a hermeneutics instructor will he be able to prove that the Full Preterist heremeneutic which correctly literalizes the time texts and allows apocalyptic language to be interpreted non-literally is someone a false or heretical hermeneutic?  Please accept our challenge to you Mr. Waymeyer – which is also extended of course to Pastor MacArthur or any instructor at the Seminary or University.  Does not our Lord instruct you to “always be ready” to defend your future hope?

To read this series of articles that are a Full Preterist response to Charismatic Michael Brown (Author of Authentic Fire)  and Cessationist John MacArthur (Author of Strange Fire) go to:  

Part 1 – My Full Preterist Response to John MacArthur’s Appeals to Church History and Reformed Theology to Solve the Charismatic Dilemma http://fullpreterism.com/1-corinthians-138-12-a-full-preterist-response-to-the-strange-fire-conference-macarthursproulpennington-cessationists-v-authentic-fire-brownwilsonpiper-cha/

Part 2 – An Overview of the Various Views of “That Which is Perfect” (1 Cor. 13:10) http://fullpreterism.com/1-corinthians-138-12-a-full-preterist-response-to-the-strange-fire-conference-macarthursproulpennington-cessationists-v-authentic-fire-brownwilsonpiper-cha/

Part 3 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 Demonstrating That the Miraculous Sign and Revelatory Gifts of Tongues, Prophecy and Knowledge Ceased and Passed Away with the OC Age in AD 70 and John MacArthur’s Inability to Deal with the Passage  http://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-john-macarthurs-strange-fire-cessationist-v-michael-brown-authentic-fire-charismatic-part-3-argument-1-an-exegesis-of/

Part 4 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on the “Last Days” of Acts 2 and John MacArthur’s Inability to Deal with the Passage http://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-michael-brown-charismatic-authentic-fire-vs-john-macarthur-cessationist-strange-fire-the-last-days-acts-2/

Part 5 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-20 and John MacArthur’s Inability to Deal with the Passage http://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-john-macarthurs-strange-fire-cessationist-v-michael-browns-authentic-fire-charismatic-part-5-argument-3-the-great-commission/

Part 6 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on the “Already and Not Yet” of the Kingdom and John MacArthur’s Inability to Respond Biblically http://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-john-macarthurs-strange-fire-cessationist-v-michael-browns-authentic-fire-charismatic-part/

Part 7 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on John 14:12 and John MacArthur’s (The Master’s Seminary) Inability to Deal With the Passage and the Infallibility of the Scriptures going on into John 16 http://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-john-macarthurs-strange-fire-cessationist-v-michael-browns-authentic-fire-charismatic-part-2/

Part 8 – My Open Letter to my Former Pastor John MacArthur and The Master’s Seminary to Interact with Myself and Dr. Michael Brown on These Passages and When the Bible Teaches Tongues, Prophecy and Knowledge Are to Cease That Has NEVER Been Responded to http://fullpreterism.com/open-letter-to-pastor-john-macarthur-and-faculty-at-the-masters-college-seminary-sullivan-v-brown-debate-symposium-challenge/

[1] Matt Waymeyer, Michael Brown, Authentic Fire, & John 14:12, http://thecripplegate.com/michael-brown-authentic-fire-john-1412/

[2] Dr. Michael Brown, The Master’s Seminary Professor and John 14:12, https://askdrbrown.org/library/masters-seminary-professor-and-john-1412

[3] Tom Holland, CONTOURS OF PAULINE THEOLOGY A RADICAL NEW SURVEY OF THE INFLUENCES ON PAUL’S BIBLICAL WRITINGS, (Scotland, UK:  Mentor Imprint by Christian Focus Publications, 2004), 119-120.

[4] Arthur W. Pink, EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1975), 758

[5] Köstenberger, A. J. (2007). John. In Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (p. 489). Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic; Apollos.

[6] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, 1613.

[7] Matt Waymeyer, Ibid.

[8] Ibid.,

[9] R.C. Sproul, Undervaluing Pentecost, http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/TM13-3/undervaluing-pentecost

[10] Sproul, Ibid.

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