Cessationists do not believe that the Holy Spirit does the same things today as He has done throughout scripture.
Effectively, despite holding to Sola Scriptura, they end scripture. Yes they do, They end scripture at the canon of scripture.
How so? By saying that scripture no longer functions the way it did when it was dictated and first published.
Heavily promoted cessationist resources
The chookwatchers predominantly promote the teaching of cessationist ministries.
They have a long list of recommended books, media and churches, most of which endorse cessationist teaching. They even quote from cessationist blogs, lectures and commentary.
They cannot escape their reference to these doctrines, nor detach themselves from cessationist promotion. It is all over their numerous sites.
Much of their own commentary in response to others points to cessationist doctrine.
Cessationist theology is a form of unbelief. It says that miracles, healings and deliverance do not take place today because we have the completed canon of scripture which now replaces the initial move of the Spirit whereby the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit were in evidence.
It’s interesting, then, that, according to Jesus, unbelief can stall the works of God. That seems surprising, but, in fact, faith is integral to receiving and achieving healing, deliverance and miracles. Faith from the minister, and/or faith from the recipient.
I’m talking about faith that comes from hearing the Word, or in other words, the preaching of the gospel that creates faith in the heart of the hearer. The antithesis of faith is unbelief, and it can stifle the works of God.
Mark 6:1-6 Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him.
And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “ Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.
But Jesus said to them, “ A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.”
Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.
What has this to do with cessationist theology? Simply that those who deny the works of God for the present are prohibiting their hearers from entering into the signs and wonders promised by God through the Holy Spirit.
They say that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit have ended and therefore this portion of scriptiure is rendered inert in their midst. They remove the power of the scripture from their churches by their insistance that it is no longer necessary.
Available and viable
Notice that the works of Christ were still available wherever Jesus ministered and there was faith to receive, but where there was unbelief even He could do no mighty works, save He healed a few sick people.
Jesus marvelled because of the unbelief of the people in His own home town. Should we not marvel at the unbelief of the cessationists?
Surely their teaching is holding the form of godliness but denying its power, as Paul predicted would happen during the end times (2 Timothy 3:5).
The canon being complete does not mean that it is rendered ineffective. The Word of God is just as vital and powerful today as it has been throughout Biblical history.
Jesus said that believers would do the same works He did, and even greater works, because He would be going to the Father. Well, is He with the Father? Seated at the right hand, according to scripture.
He said He would send the Holy Spirit as evidence that He was seated with the Father. He told us that the Holy Spirit is Another just like Him. Isn’t it true that, when Jesus humbled Himself as a man and came to dwell amongst us in the earth, He did no mighty miracles until He had been anointed of the Spirit.
We are told that he was filled with the Spirit and then His ministry began. Only then did the signs and wonders of His ministry begin to take place.
Gifts of the Spirit
These works have not ended because they are of the Holy Spirit who is amongst us, with us, in us, and upon us. Believers are filled with the Spirit. Disciples are led by the Spirit. The same Spirit who led Christ.
These gifts and manifestations are of the Holy Spirit. They are operated by Him through the Body of Christ as He wills. They are His gifts and manifestations to distribute to everyman, Paul tells us, and to each individually as the Spirit chooses.
We are told that we should not be ignorant of spiritual things, with reference to gifts and manifestations of the Spirit. They have not ended because He has not ended. They are His gifts, and His manifestations.
The scripture is just as viable and powerful as it always has been because the same Holy Spirit acts on the Word.
Mark 16:15-20 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe:In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.
So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
Who do these signs follow? Those who believe. Not just apostles, or prophets, but those who believe – believers. Who performs the signs? The Holy Spirit, as He confirms the Word that is preached.
We believers preach the Word, and the Holy Spirit confirms the Word with signs following. These signs accompany the Word as it is preached by believers.
But if you do not believe, how can there be any signs to accompany what you preach? If you are told it has all ended when the last of Jesus’ apostles ended, how can you believe they are still viable and powerful.
Unbelief astonished Jesus
Jesus could do no mighty works because of the people’s unbelief in His own home town. That is astonishing. Unbelief stifles the works of God.
Cessationist theology is a form of unbelief. It strips the Word of a major part of its teaching. It removes the vitality of the gospel that is revealed in the distribution of the gifts by the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Our faith is not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. If the power is stripped from the gospel by a rejection of the gifts and manifestations – the works – of the Holy Spirit, then we are merely left with the human interpretation of scripture that weakens its dynamic effect on the hearer.
Thus the cessationist theology that is hurled from these unbelieving sites is a serious misrepresentation of the gospel. It is another gospel.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. Don’t let the unbelief of the cessationist crowd stop your miracle.