R E M A R K A B L E ! !
This message is directed to Facebook friends who, I sense, have been adversely affected by cessationists. Briefly, a ‘cessationist’ is one who believes healing miracles, “signs and wonders”, speaking in tongues and other Holy Spirit manifestations CEASED with the death of the early apostles. Please consider the following questions:
*** Should cessationists who criticize healing ministers and healing ministries identify themselves as cessationists?
*** Should ministries that expose corruption in nationwide ministries reveal how much they benefit financially from their disclosures?
*** Should ministries that expose corruption in other religions be equally vigilant to expose corruption within their own religion?
*** Is it reasonable to “test the spirits” of public ministries but not “test the spirits” within their own local assemblies?
*** Does corruption so evident in some (many? most?) ‘word faith’ ministries negate God’s Bible truths regarding healing?
*** Is there one (!) Scripture that suggests that Jesus ceased healing?
*** Since God often healed old covenant people, shouldn’t New Covenant people, having “a BETTER covenant”, expect at least equal favour?
*** Have you noticed the “name above every name” is rarely mentioned even in their lengthy anti-healing presentations?
*** Are YOU included in the promise of Jesus, “These signs will follow THOSE WHO BELIEVE [believing believers]: …. they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover”?
*** What did Isaiah mean by his prophetic words, “SURELY He [Jesus] has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows”?
*** Is there something wrong with assemblies – even those that begrudgingly agree that Jesus occasionally heals today – that rarely witness the miraculous in their gatherings and in their individual lives?
*** Is collection of (what I call awful evangelical) tithes less abhorrent than, for example, promising healing to those who donate money to their ministry?
*** How can we imitate Paul (“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ”) without imitating his “demonstration of the Spirit and of power”?
*** Why do ministries that achieve “demonstration of the Spirit and of power” arouse suspicion and ministries void of such demonstrations do not?
*** Does faith say, “I believe God CAN heal me” or “I believe God WILL heal me”?
*** Regarding your healing and health, does Jesus say to you, as He did to two blind men, “According to your faith, let it be to you”?
Regarding manifestations of the Holy Spirit….
*** Are YOU included in the promise of Jesus, “These signs will follow THOSE WHO BELIEVE: …. They will speak with new tongues”?
*** How can we imitate Paul (“imitate me, as I also imitate Christ”) if we do not, as did Paul, “pray with the spirit” and “sing with the spirit”?
*** Are the multi-millions of (so-classified) charismatics and (so-classified) pentecostal christians who (throughout the entire world!) pray in the spirit every day deceived and speaking gibberish?
*** What did Paul mean when he said, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself”?
*** If the (so-classified) charismatic movement really was initiated by the Holy Spirit, are cessationists actually castigating the Holy Spirit?
The powerful army of confused spiritual militants come from a variety of evangelical religions and are bonded by a common goal to convince you that your religion and all other religions have been infected with untruths, false doctrines and heresies. They are not redirecting you from your religion (your peculiar “commandments of men”) to intimacy with Jesus, but rather to their religion (their peculiar “commandments of men”).
This company consists of cessationists and not-too-distant spiritual cousins that do not identify themselves as cessationists but whose confidence in NT writings and precedents is almost equally weak. I agree wholeheartedly that your religion (and all religions) really are, to quote myself, “infected with untruths, false doctrines and heresies”. But at least equally diseased are the various religions within this determined army.
This army of doctrine-cops within the body of Christ is powerful, well-funded, professional and driven. Relationally speaking, they serve a FARAWAY Jesus, not a NEARBY Jesus. (Mat.26:73: “Your speech betrays you.”) They reject One-to-one guidance of the Holy Spirit. Their guides are god-intellect and God-reason, and these pernicious guides have given them permission to delete NT precedents and replace them with an assortment of “commandments of men”.
As God’s police force, they decree what the Holy Spirit can and cannot do. If evangelical ‘services’ are not boring they must be errant. Don’t those pentecostals and charismatics understand that the Holy Spirit no longer does what He once did? Azusa Street, Welsh Revival, the Great Awakening, the charismatic movement and many etceteras are all suspect.
A few hours ago someone posted on Facebook a quotation from an acclaimed cessationist/calvinist: “Being Spirit filled begins with being scripture saturated.” Nonsense! The reverse is true: “Being scripture saturated should begin with being Spirit-filled.” Being “scripture saturated” without the Holy Spirit has produced Jehovah witnesses, mormons, catholic hierarchy, baptists, pentecostals, mennonites, CESSATIONISTS, calvinists, and many etceteras. Adversely, Spirit-saturated students of the word are transformed into competent disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I was “born of the Spirit” in 1972. My conversion to Jesus was a fruit of a mighty visitation of the Holy Spirit that christians have since labelled the “catholic charismatic movement”. I was the first in my parish to discover Christ and many were to follow, including my wife. Since then, nothing in my 50 plus years of christianity matched the wonder and beauty of those gatherings of born-again catholics. And yet….
And yet very few departed from catholicism. Many continued to pray the rosary and venerate the saints. Everyone continued to call the priests “Father”. A cessationist would immediately declare that these aberrations were proof that the “catholic charismatic movement” could not have been of God. But they would be quite mistaken. Please hear me….
Why didn’t those born-again catholics turn away from the catholic church? Answer: Because they were foolish. Why did leadership of our large prayer group place themselves under the authority of the catholic bishop? Answer: Because they were foolish. Why did it take me five years (!) to remove my family from catholicism? Same answer.
I learned a long time ago that foolishness is an impairment that was and is spread throughout Christ’s church-on-earth. The Galatians were foolish. (“Who has bewitched you?”) The Corinthians were foolish. (“There is sexual immorality among you.”) The Ephesians were foolish. (“You have left your first love.”) Peter was foolish. (Paul: “I withstood him to his face.”) Evangelicals are foolish. (Having given themselves over to “commandments of men.”) Cessationists are foolish. (“Being Spirit filled begins with being scripture saturated.”) The fellow behind the pulpit is foolish. (Jesus: “You have made the commandment[s] of God of no effect by your tradition.”) Pew-people are foolish. (“Like people, like priest.”)
Just what is foolishness? Lord Jesus defines foolishness (Mat.7:26): “Everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man.” Foolishness is disobedience to the “sayings” of Jesus. Since “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God”, foolishness is disobedience to the Bible. While all evangelicals can be defined as foolish (all bowing to one of many lists of “commandments of men”), cessationists, seemingly, are the most foolish. I have no idea how a cessationist can consider himself a student of his Bible and a disciple of Christ.
If the cessationist were to blot out with a felt pen all the verses in the NT that he considers obsolete (including “signs and wonders”, speaking in tongues, gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit, healing miracles, God’s many promises, etcetera) his Bible would have little resemblance to your Bible. The book of Acts would be a smudged wreckage. How ironic that foolish cessasionists consider themselves qualified to bring correction to foolish charismatics and foolish pentecostals and foolish whoever.
If the Holy Spirit abandoned the foolish and disobedient, every evangelical would be forsaken. But the Holy Spirit has the heart of our Christ Jesus who said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” How opposite is the heart of the the pharisees, “How is it He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” And how opposite the heart of cessationists, “The Holy Spirit would NEVER manifest himself to charismatics!”
My Facebook siblings-in-Christ, it is obvious to me they (‘they’ being cessationists) have made inroads into your christianity. Their cause has become your cause. They have established within you a beachhead whereby they reach your loved ones and acquaintances with their strange gospel. They want you to ignore the very “Spirit of truth” and adopt their idols – god intellect and god reason – as your trusted guides.
It has been said that we have as much truth as we want. Credit your desire for truth for the truth you have accumulated. And blame your shortage of desire for truth not attained. More truth is always available. How? Jesus: “Ask, and you will receive.” If you want more truth ask Jesus for more truth. Do you want the truth about evangelicalism? “Ask, and you will receive.” About (the awful evangelical) tithe? “Ask, and you will receive.”
Do you want to know truth regarding cessationism? Simply ask “the way, the TRUTH and the life” for that truth. Hardened cessationists won’t ask because they don’t want to know. (James 4:2: “You do not have because you do not ask.”) Their first love is their twisted religion.
I end this posting with a few more questions for your consideration….
*** Do you agree that most christians misunderstand the sovereignty of God?
*** Do you believe that as “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” He likewise “bears witness” to ALL truth?
*** When you stand before Jesus, “to whom we must give account”, will you be able to claim ignorance for untruths you relayed to others?
*** Do you believe “the Spirit of truth” will actually “guide you into ALL truth”?
*** If you asked “the way, the truth, and the life” to exchange untruth for truth would He comply?
*** Regarding healing, if you asked “the way, the truth, and the life” for understanding, would He comply?
*** Regarding “praying in the Spirit” (tongues), if you asked “the way, the truth, and the life” for understanding, would He comply?
*** Regarding cessationism and cessationists, if you asked “the way, the truth, and the life” for understanding, would He comply?
*** To the spiritually mature: Will you solemnly sign the last page of your Bible…. in (the awareness of) the presence of the Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit…. as a declaration of your resolve to always choose Scripture over “commandments of men”?
I wish you well! (I really do.)