The Early Oneness (Modalistic) Christians Were Pentecostals, Response to Dr. Morrison Part 8

 

At 24:45 into Mr. Morrison’s lecture on Early Christian Church History, Part 4 (the 4th video), Mr. Morrison made a false assumption by alleging that the Modalistic Monarchians were not Pentecostal while Tertullian and the Montantists were Pentecostal. First of all, Irenaeus visited the Roman Church to persuade the Roman bishop Eleutherus to receive the Montansts into fellowship. There was much controversy in the late second century whether or not the prophecies of the Montanists were true or not. Since Irenaeus successfully persuaded bishop Eleutherus to receive the prophecies of the Montanists in about 178 AD, it is hard to imagine that the late second century Roman church did not believe in the gift of prophecy along with the other gifts of the Spirit. Hence, the second century Roman church had to have been Pentecostal in doctrine and practice for them to be willing to receive the Montanists into fellowship.

 

About one year after Irenaeus had successfully persuaded bishop Eleutherus to fellowship with the Montanists (178 AD), Praxeus (a Modalist) was well received by the Roman bishop Eleutherus in about 179 AD. Irenaeus had successfully gone to Rome in about 178 to persuade bishop Eleutherius to fellowship with the Montanists. Praxeus had ministered in Asia Minor where Montanus and some of his followers were giving out false prophecies. Praxeus later came to Rome just after Irenaeus and successfully persuaded the Roman bishop Eleutherus to change his mind in not receiving the Montanists into fellowship because of some of their false prophesies. Praxeus would not have rejected the theology of Montanus because Montanus was himself a Modalist so the rift had to have been caused by the known false prophesies of the Montanists rather a theological belief which differed from that of Praxeus and the Roman church.

 

The New Advent Encyclopedia states that Montanus was a Modalist because he prophesied saying, "I am the Father, the Word, and the Paraclete,' … (Didymus, "De Trin.", III, xli); and again: ‘I am the Lord God omnipotent, who have descended into man’, and ‘neither an angel, nor an ambassador, but I, the Lord, the Father, am come.’ (Epiphanius, "Hær.", xlviii, 11).”

 

According to Montanus, “the Word, and the Spirit (Paraclete)” is “the Father” who has “come” to “descend into man.”

 

Since the historical data proves that Montanus himself was a Modalist, there is not a shred of historical data to affirm that Eleutherus and Praxeus would not fellowship with the Montanists because of doctrinal differences. All of the evidence points to Montanus and his followers being rejected by the majority of the churches because they were giving out false prophecies. Furthermore, Irenaeus himself wrote that the Pentecostal gifts of the Spirit were operational in the churches scattered throughout the whole world during the late second century (180-202 AD - Irenaeus, Vol. I Ante-Nicene Fathers 409). This would include the second century church of Rome along with the Modalistic Monarchian Churches which Tertullian himself called the Christian “majority” (Against Praxeus 3), and Origen himself identified as “the general run of Christians” (Origen’s Commentary of the Gospel of John, book 1, chapter 23).  

 

 

Irenaeus clearly believed that the Pentecostal gifts of the Spirit were operational in the second century churches “scattered throughout the whole world.”

 

“Wherefore, also, those who are in truth His disciples, receiving grace from Him, do in His name perform miracles, so as to promote the welfare of other men, according to the gift which each one has received from Him. For some do certainly and truly drive out devils, so that those who have thus been cleansed from evil spirits frequently both believe in Christ, and join themselves to the Church. Others have FOREKNOWLEDGE OF THINGS TO COME: THEY SEE VISIONS, AND UTTER PROPHETIC EXPRESSIONS. Others still, HEAL THE SICK BY LAYING THEIR HANDS UPON THEM, and they are made whole. Yes, moreover, as I have said, THE DEAD EVEN HAVE BEEN RAISED UP, and remained among us for many years. And what shall I more say? IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO NAME THE NUMBER OF GIFTS WHICH THE CHURCH, SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD HAS RECEIVED from God, in the name of Jesus Christ ... (Irenaeus, Vol. I Ante-Nicene Fathers 409).”

 

Irenaeus wrote that “THE CHURCH, SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD HAS RECEIVED” the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit rather than just a small group of Montanists. Therefore, according to Irenaeus, the Universal Church “scattered throughout the whole world has received” the Pentecostal gifts of the Spirit in the late second century. This would include the Modalistic Monarchians who were the Christian majority in the second and third centuries.

 

Irenaeus of Lyons believed that to receive the Spirit of God was to “speak all kinds of languages” and that if anyone did not receive “the outpouring of the Spirit” he is “of an animal nature,” “being left carnal.” 

 

“For this reason does the apostle declare, We speak wisdom among them that are perfect, (1 Corinthians 2:6) terming those persons perfect who have received the Spirit of God, and who through the Spirit of God do speak in all languages, as he used Himself also to speak. In like manner we do also hear many brethren in the Church, who possess prophetic gifts, and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light for the general benefit the hidden things of men, and declare the mysteries of God, whom also the apostle terms spiritual, they being spiritual because they partake of the Spirit … But when the spirit here blended with the soul is united to [God's] handiwork, the man is rendered spiritual and perfect because of the outpouring of the Spirit, and this is he who was made in the image and likeness of God. But if the Spirit be wanting to the soul, he who is such is indeed of an animal nature and being left carnal …” (Against Heresies, book 5, chapter 6)

 

Irenaeus testified that the late second century churches scattered throughout the whole world believed in the Pentecostal gifts of the Spirit and that receiving the Spirit of God meant to “speak in all languages.” Contrary to the historical evidence, Evangelical apologists like Steve Morrison and Larry Wessels of Christian Answers T.V. are giving out the false impression that the majority of the earliest Christians believed just like non-Pentecostal Evangelicals do today. They are giving out a false impression that the Christian majority was Trinitarian, that the Christian majority was against the Pentecostal gifts of the Spirit, and that the Christian majority was against baptism for the remission of sins. These statements presented by Christian Answers Television contradict the real historical evidence which has been documented by famous Trinitarian church historians themselves.

 

I have seen YouTube Videos produced by Christians Answers T.V which are anti-Pentecostal as Steve and Larry are against speaking in tongues and practicing the gifts of the Spirit. If Steve and Larry could go back in time and visit the majority of the earliest Christians within the first few hundred years of Christian history, they would be in for the shock of their lives as they would be rejected as carnal heretics by the early Christian majority!

 

 

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