The Church has to come back to the Word of God and read what God has told us for what it is. We have to break free from the chains of false teaching and the shackles of unbelief.
Most of the polemicists we feature on this site are from the Reformed or Lutheran cessationist sects. They teach that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit, speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing and miracles as the New Testament Church knew them in the beginning have ended.
They have no evidence or Biblical timeline for the way in which these things ceased to be, nor, importantly do they have any scripture to demonstrate their rejection of these important tools given by God to the Church to expand the kingdom of heaven. They simply ignore the Word and rationalise their unbelief with false theology.
When they criticise Charismatics or Pentecostals for believing the Word of God and taking it at face value, they qualify their rejection of scripture by manipulating its meaning to fit their theology.
They are, in effect, the Neo-Judaisers. They would drive the Church back into a powerless state. They would remove the power of God and replace it with form. They produce Christians who do not access the gifts God gave the Church.
Demonstration of authority
Jesus demonstrated His power and authority as the Son of God and as the promised Messiah by performing miraculous works, including healing and deliverance from demons, and He told His disciples that they would do the same in His name.
He taught and trained His disciples to do the works that He did, and promised them that they would do even greater works because He was going to go to be with the Father, from where He would send the Holy Spirit, so that each member of the Church could be personally empowered by another like Him. Thus, the Holy Spirit came to work alongside the Church when Jesus was ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.
The New Testament tells how Jesus sent His twelve disciples to preach the Kingdom of God , heal the sick and deliver the demonised. He then sent another seventy disciples to do the same. They marvelled that the demons were subject to their commands. This was unprecedented in all of history. Jesus had empowered them in the name of the Father.
They were the first fruits of many. He sent them out to demonstrate the power of God in the earth. When He had ascended the Church began to rapidly and exponentially grow as the gospel was preached with power. Even through times of persecution and suffering for the gospel’s sake, the Church grew as they were obedience to the call of God.
This empowering of the Church was not supposed to end. It took large scale apostasy to deaden the effectiveness of the Church into secularised ritual, man-driven liturgy, rules, regulations, legalism and powerlessness as the priesthood stopped empowering the Church and brought it to its knees as vassals of the professional clergy.
The focus of the Church became clergy centric and not Spirit of Christ-led. It lost its savour and the world drifted away into idolatry, fantasy and illogical superstitions. It created a series of forms but denied the power. It ruled by fear and not by faith.
It rationalised its powerlessness by revising key empowering portions of scripture as ceased. They buried the ascension gifts under their priesthood, and even took the Word of God away from the people for centuries, with a liturgy in language not familiar to the ordinary person, controlling the populous through intellect, politics and stealth, limiting the congregants’ evangelistic effectiveness to zero.
In this apostasy, by their continuance, the cessationists are complicit.
Alive to the Word and Spirit
It is only in recent times, say the last century, that the Word of God has once again come alive in the hearts of many as they rediscover the power that is in the gospel, as fear is replaced by faith, and the truth that Jesus has sent us all to be equipped of the Holy Spirit with His gifts and manifestations, that we can be a prophetic people with an apostolic call to preach the good news and win souls in the name of Jesus to the glory of the Father.
It is important that we reject the false teaching of the cessationists and legalists and embrace the Word of God in its purest form, by allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us, guide us and teach us in all the truth, and by allowing ourselves to be come the Church that God intended.
The petty bickering between sects within Christendom needs to be stopped and sectarian divisions need to repent and stop raising arguments over man-based philosophical theological differences and come back to the true Word and Spirit of God as one Body under Christ.
The power of God has never gone away. There is no need of a reformation, or even a revival, unless you are personally dead to Christ. It is, perhaps a restoration, but only because the Church was absent from this truth for so long, not because the Holy Spirit or the Word of God went away or lost its power.
The New Testament is what it always has been – the gospel of power and the gospel of peace, the way init the kingdom of heaven, and it carries the same promises God has given for centuries.
God’s power and authority never went away. Nothing has ceased of the gifts or manifestations. Many in the Body simply stopped believing, often because of misrepresentation of scripture, poor theology, doubt and unbelief, or simple ignorance of what God is saying today through the Word and Spirit.
It’s time to bring it home. Don’t listen to the doubters. Believe the Word and live.