Cessationism is fading away from mainstream Christianity as supernatural theology permeates the equipping resources readily available in Christian bookstores and websites. Just the same, it is still present enough to warrant discussing. Cessationist doctrine is the view that the gifts of the Holy Spirit, namely miracles, healing, prophecy, and tongues, ended with the first-century church.
Who Promotes Cessationist Doctrine?
Apologists and old school theologians are often the ones who promote cessationist doctrine. They argue that the miracles of Jesus were performed to give evidence of his claim to be the Son of God. The apostles’ performing miracles, speaking in tongues, and prophesying is explained away as their being necessary to create the Church. It is erroneously believed that these things were not present in the majority of Church history until the time of the Pentecostal movement. However, nearly every denomination has records of great manifestations of these kinds that once took place. Jonathan Edwards recounts many such occurrences during the Great Awakening. Charles Finney also records such events.
Just the same, people often create doctrine to excuse that which does not happen in their life. If they have not experienced these gifts of the Spirit in the present day, they want to have a doctrine to support their absence. Instead, believers need to change their thinking. If they live like something does not exist, it will not appear to exist. If Christians believe God and pray for the sick they will see sick get healed.
Jesus said in John 14:12, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” This verse does not speak only to the disciples. It speaks to all who read it. Those who believe in him shall do the works he did, and greater. Thus, those who are born again of him will do these things. This verse alone should refute cessationists.
The Church is moving with great rapidity into walking in miracles, signs, wonders, prophecy, etc., to such a level that it will be difficult for anyone to hold onto such doctrine. Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., sees such miracles on a regular basis. The testimonies can be read on their website. Bill Johnson, the senior pastor at Bethel, wrote a book entitled “When Heaven Invades Earth,” sharing many miracles they have seen and how all believers can see these in their lives. Many other ministries are having the same breakthrough into Kingdom living that silences those who decry it as unbiblical or something reserved only for biblical accounts.
Miracles are happening today. Signs and wonders are pouring forth in abundance. People are hearing from God and speaking it forth, releasing into the hearts of people the power of God to bring these things about. Mighty things are coming forth from the Church that will change the world. Seek out the truth; a new age has dawned in the history of the Church, where miracles are ever-present, never to be lost to the Church again.