Summary: The belief that the gifts of the Spirit, the working of miracles and other signs ceased with the last apostle (or the close of the biblical canon/66 books) is called cessationism. The only problem is there is not a single shred of evidence in Scripture or
Tongues 5 - Praying in the Spirit Through Church History Dr. Mike Fogerson Aug. 22, 2012
A The belief that the gifts of the Spirit, the working of miracles and other signs ceased with the last apostle (or the close of the biblical canon/66 books) is called cessationism.
1 The last disciple died about A.D. 110 & it would be centuries before the church councils would settle on the 66 books that comprise the Bible.
a At the death of John or the conclusion of the Biblical canon the signs, wonders, miracles, gifts (including tongues) ceased.
b The only problem is there is not a single shred of evidence in Scripture or history that supports that conclusion.
c In fact, to believe in cessationism is to lift twentieth-century tradition above the Holy Scripture.
2 Causationist theory is based up three assumptions:
a Miracles happen only to validate doctrines.
b Miracles happen only when God inspires Scripture.
c Those who believe in present-day tongues and other gifts are elevating their experience above Scripture.
3 Other proponents (John MacArthur, B.B. Warfield) of Cessationism declare there are only three seasons of miracles in Scripture.
a From Moses to Joshua (Giving us the Pentateuch)
b From Elijah to Elisha (Giving us the prophets)
c During the time Christ and the apostles, giving us the New Testament.
4 The problem with this view is that it is not supported by Scripture, church history, or the early church fathers.
a And it is blown away by the strong biblical evidence to the contrary.
b Miracles before and in-between the so-called gaps.
c The plain truth is that God never changes & He can do mighty works at all times.
5 Some of the authors who support cessationism us intellectualism to combat Pentecostal experiences.
a The late B.B. Warfield, Counterfeit Miracles, says that “right thinking people” should reject tongues & miracles.
b Intellectual arrogance says that those who speak in a prayer language are ignorant.
aa They would do well to listen to Paul in 1 Cor. 2.14.
14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 1 Cor 2:14 (NASB)
B There are many Scriptures that support the continuation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
1 4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,5 that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge,6 even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,8 who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 1:4-8 (NASB)
a In v. 7, in the original lanugage, indicaters that the charismata (the supernatural gifts) will be operating at the coming of Jesus.
b Obviously they have not ceased because He has not returned!
2 8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy , they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part;10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.12 For now we see in a mirror dimly , but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:8-13 (NASB)
a Cessationists cite verses 8 & 10 to prove tongues have ceased.
b They interpret perfect to be the closing of the biblical canon. However, most New Testament scholars support the interpretation that perfect represents the second coming of Christ.
C Church History does not show a cessation of gifts, prayer language, signs, wonders, miracles but rather a continuation of them!
1 Between A.D. 99 and A.D. 165 Justin Martyr ministered in the early church. (Early church father.)
a In his work Dialogue with Trypho he says, “Now it is possible to see amongst us women and men who possess gifts of the Spirit of God . . .”
b Obviously Justin was 10 years-old when the last apostle died, so the gifts continued.
2 Irenaeus (ministred from A.D. 130 to A.D. 202), Against Heresiesi, confirmed that in his ministry were the operation of all the gifts, including tongues, exorcism, miracles, healings, and dead raised.