The Doctrinal Garbage Can: Cessationism

In the world, there is a hunger, a hunger that has been there since the beginning—a desire for a touch of the miraculous. We try to live life as though it is either unimportant or unnecessary, yet it remains and manifests in religions, wanting to understand nature, forms of entertainment, etc. Science has tried to quench this desire to no avail. The logic of operation had to have had an orderly starting point, to know if a creature needed two eyes or opposable thumbs.

Those who believe the Hebrew narrative read countless stories of the supernatural; it is normal to want some of that in their own lives. Jesus and the Apostles always gave credit to the Father and the believer’s faith for healing. Although Yahshua’s main job was to spread that Yah’s Kingdom had arrived and teach the rules, His miracles were markers of the Father’s Will in His life. His Apostles did even greater works, as He had foretold.

Cessationism, which started with John Calvin, is the belief that either some or all the charismatic gifts of the Spirit ended at the death of the Apostles. Many of those who subscribe to this theory also believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture one as well. I can see why, since it would take constant miracles to survive what is described in the book of Revelation. Here are some of the “proof texts” used to justify this position:

1 Corinthians 13 (NAS)
8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away with. 9For we know in part and prophesy in part; 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away with.

What is “the perfect?” I am not seeing this perfect on Earth. Why wouldn’t we need prophecy, tongues, or knowledge (works of the soul) any longer?

11When 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.

This is symbolic of choosing of spiritual maturation.

12For 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.

Prophecy, tongues, and knowledge are needed until we see Yahshua, Who is the Perfect, Who will teach us exactly what Our Father wants. The process starts at our justification. See Isaiah 2:3, Isaiah 54:13, Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 8:11, John 6:45, 1 John 2:27

13But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Faith, hope, and love are works of the heart. When Yahshua returns, we will no longer need faith or hope for YHWH is love.

Philippians 3(NAS)
7But whatever things were gain to me, these things I have counted as loss because of Christ. 8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them mere rubbish, so that I may gain Christ, 9and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12Not that I have already grasped it all or have already become perfect, but I press on if I may also take hold of that for which I was even taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13Brothers and sisters, I do not regard myself as having taken hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Therefore, all who are mature, let’s have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that to you as well; 16however, let’s keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.

Although Paul has suffered and let go of things in this existence, he admits he has not become perfect, but strives towards Christ Jesus, Who is the Perfect. When resurrected, Paul’s perfection in Christ will be complete.

There is nothing in Scripture that has declared these gifts extinguished, but we can look to Scripture to see what caused them to fade. Always remember, there is nothing new under the sun.

1 Samuel 3:1 (NKJ) Now the boy Samuel ministered to YHWH before Eli. And the word of YHWH was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.

Psalm 74:9 There are no signs for us to see. There is no longer any prophet. And none of us knows how long this will last.

Ezekiel 7:26 Disaster upon disaster will come, and rumor after rumor. Then they will seek a vision from a prophet, but instruction from the priests will perish, as will counsel from the elders.

Amos 8:1112 Behold, the days are coming, declares YHWH Elohim, when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of YHWH. People will stagger from sea to sea and roam from north to east, seeking the word of YHWH, but they will not find it.

Before the Apostles had passed, the former pagans’ philosophies had started to penetrate the Ecclesia. Yahshua has warned about this in Revelation 1-2. The Body grew despite this, but they made a grave error—they kicked the Jews, their words, and the Hebrew Eastern mindset out of the faith. As time continued, the Jews became hated and persecuted.

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

Numbers 24:9 He crouches, he lies down like a lion; like a lioness, who dares to rouse him? Blessed are those who bless you and cursed are those who curse you.

Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me.”

Luke 9(NKJ)
51Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

55But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

Why would Our Father trust anyone with spiritual power those who treated the people under His name so badly? Why would He give prophecy to those who reject the concepts the Jewish people taught, which were the basis of the NT? The gifts hadn’t ceased but slowed to a trickle as a judgment to our belief our version of what He wants from us is best. Did anyone bother to seek what He wanted?

Isaiah 29:13 And the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men.” [Matthew 15:8, Matthew 15:9, Mark 7:6, Mark 7:7]

Colossians 2(BSB)
20If you have died with Christ to the spiritual forces of the world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its regulations: 21“Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”? 22These will all perish with use because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23Such restrictions indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-prescribed worship, their false humility, and their harsh treatment of the body; but they are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Understand, I am talking about what Torah, the Tabernacle/Temple, the Hebrew language, and routines He established meant symbolically. For example, eating animals that “chew the cud” represented how we are to “eat” or ponder Yah’s Word and Will, to take them into ourselves repeatedly. Pigs tended to gobble nearly everything in sight—including human flesh—without chewing, symbolizing how we are to be discerning with information we receive. We still have much to learn from our Jewish brothers and sisters. If Yah calls one to follow Torah, then do so with His blessing. Some people need the Instructions and Feasts as a starting point for proper growth.

James 5(BSB)
13Is any one of you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the Ecclesia to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick. The Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.

16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail. 17Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth yielded its crops.

According to James, the righteous should be able to perform supernatural works. Why would it be different today?

Take heart! There are some who are experiencing these gifts again, and they will increase in those who believe. I am one of them. As I have stated before in this blog and will state for as long as I can, I believe in a supernatural God and expect supernatural things from Him. If not, why believe?

Repent and forgive. Join us. There is plenty on the Lord’s table for those willing to suffer for it. Amen.

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