by Theodore Wright
Cessationists are people who believe miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit have ended.
We have heard cessationists say if someone is sick to “Praise God for suffering.”.
If someone is miraculously healed they say that “God doesn’t do that anymore. It must be the devil!”
Do we not rightly perceive a mischaracterization of the work of God’s Holy Spirit by these cessationists? Their words do not represent the true nature of the God who heals us, in Hebrew called Jehovah-Rapha (Isaiah 53:4-5). The same God who heals and works miracles in times past is the same God today.
Exodus 15:26d (KJV): for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
Malachi 3:6 (KJV): For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Hebrews 13:8 (KJV): Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Will they yet continue to argue saying that it is God’s will for us to suffer? Then the question must be asked as to why we must suffer.
Philippians 1:29 (KJV): For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
It is NOT God’s will for you to be suffering but for you to endure the suffering you will go through to accomplish His will, to share the gospel, as you partake in your part of the furtherance of His Kingdom.
2 Timothy 2:3 (KJV): Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
This is the continual theme regarding suffering in the New Testament.
Cessationists have also stated that they believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit ended in the early church. Where is this in Scripture?
They quote the Bible here…
1 Corinthians 13:8-12 (KJV): Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shallcease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Then they will say the Bible is that which is perfect and complete so there can be no more miraculous gifts because their time has ended. However, this passage does not mention the Bible as the perfect but talks of being face to face with the Lord which Christians will be with God when He takes us all to be with Him. They may also quote…
Hebrews 2:3-4 (KJV): How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
They will conclude that it was only at the first that the gifts of the Holy Spirit would be. The Bible, though, does not say the word “only”. It does say here that it was salvation that began first to be spoken by Christ and that also signs and miracles followed. It does not say the miracles are that which would only be at the first and would not follow the apostles and would with others after the apostles. Just as salvation continues to be preached, so do signs and miracles.
Mark 16:20 (KJV): And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Where in the Bible does it say that miracles and gifts of the Spirit ended? It doesn’t.
So, cessationists try to argue that it is a fact of history that these gifts and miracles ended. There have been testimonies in history of those who believe Spiritual gifts ended but also of those who have seen them. History does not speak with one voice on the subject. Though we can ascertain facts from history, we do not base Christian doctrine upon it. Christian doctrine comes from the Holy Bible. It is our sole rule for faith and practice.
There is no Biblical evidence that God does not speak to anyone anymore after the books of the Holy Bible were written or placed into one book. Jesus said…
John 10:27 (KJV): My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
If you are Christ’s sheep, then you hear the voice of the Lord. Cessationists need to listen to His voice. Cessationism is based upon human reasoning and uses Scripture only to attempt to find justification for their own personal and prejudiced opinions. For a people who like to build a reputation of being Bible-based they fall very short on this subject. Trust in God’s word without subtracting from it what is there nor adding to it what is not. The gifts of the Holy Spirit continue as God intended to be the power tools for furthering the gospel and advancing the Kingdom of God.