Cessationism  In Christian theology, cessationism is the view that the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as tongues, prophecy and healing, ceased being practiced early on in Church history.

Cessationists usually believe the miraculous gifts were given only for the foundation of the Church, during the time between the coming of the Holy Spirit onPentecost

, c. AD 33 (see Acts 2) and the fulfillment of God's purposes in history, usually identified as either the completion of the last book of the New Testament or the death of the last Apostle. Its counterpart is continuationism.

Types of cessationist

Cessationists are divided into four main groups:

  • Concentric Cessationists believe that the miraculous gifts have indeed ceased in the mainstream church and evangelized areas, but appear inunreached areas as an aid to spreading the Gospel (Luther and Calvin, though they were somewhat inconsistent in this position. Daniel B. Wallace is now the most prominent scholar to hold this view).
  • Classical (or "Weak") cessationists assert that the miraculous gifts such as prophecy, healing and speaking in tongues ceased with the apostles and only served as launching pads for the spreading of the Gospel. However, these cessationists do believe that God still occasionally does miracle-like activities today, such as healings or divine guidance, so long as these "miracles" do not accredit new doctrine or add to the New Testament canon (B. B. Warfield,Richard Gaffin
  • ). John F. MacArthur is perhaps the best-known classical cessationist. Articles on this view can be found here: link
  • Full Cessationists argue that along with no miraculous gifts, there are also no miracles performed by God today. This argument, of course, turns on one's understanding of the term, "miracle."
  • Consistent Cessationists believe that not only were the miraculous gifts only for the establishment of the first-century church, but the so-called five-fold ministry found in Eph 4 was also a transitional institution (i.e., There are no more apostles, prophets, but also no more pastors, teachers, or evangelists).

Biblical evidence

This view is usually supported by reference to Ephesians 2:20 which is interpreted to read that Apostles and Prophets were only foundational to the church (and thus not continuing offices) link, as well as to Hebrews 2:3-4

"How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?"

However, Ephesians 2:20 seems to be the strongest verse with the inclusion of 1 Cor. 13. The verses say that miracle signs were performed by "them" i.e. the Apostles and not "us". The writer of Hebrews being slightly later than the age of the Apostles, is witness to the events, but not participating in them any longer. Thus, with the passing of the last Apostle, miracles performed through people ceased. Some cessationists make reference to 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 as their main argument, though the majority of cessationists today do not feel that it can be used as an argument for cessationism. Cessationists also argue from the fact that since the closing of the Canon of scripture, the gifts of Prophecy and Knowledge have been rendered useless since no new knowledge from God needs to be given. Sola Scriptura (scripture alone) is a foundational part of Protestant theology, meaning that all truth from God is contained within His scriptures (John 16:13) making further revelations unnecessary and even something to be forbidden (Galatians 1:8; Revelation 22:19).

Historical Evidence

Some Cessationists, e.g., Warfield, argue that there has been no solid objective scientific reference of the working of miracles manifested within the mainstream church for the last nineteen centuries. References to miracles and spiritual gifts throughout church history, they claim, have been associated with cults and mystics. More recent studies, however, e.g., Foubister, Frost, Greer, Kelsey, Kydd, Ruthven, Shogren, have shown that the evidence is much more positive than the citations offered by cessationists.

1. Clement of Rome - wrote a letter to the Corinthians in 95 A.D. discussing all of their spiritual problems. Tongues were never mentioned even thoughCorinth is the one place in the New Testament where tongues were apparently commonly used.

2. Justin Martyr - compiled a listing of spiritual gifts active in his time (A.D. 100-165) and did not include the gift of tongues.

3. Origen - never mentioned tongues and even argued that the "signs" of the Apostolic Age were temporary and that no contemporary Christian exercised any of these early "sign" gifts. (A.D. 185-253). He professes to have been an eye-witness of many instances of exorcism, healing, and prophecy, although he refuses to record the details lest he should rouse the laughter of the unbeliever (Cent. Cels., I, ii; III, xxiv; VII, iv, lxvii).

4. Chrysostom - writing on 1 Corinthians and the gift of tongues said, "This whole place is very obscure: but the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the facts referred to and by their cessation, being such as then used to occur but now no longer take place. And why do they not happen now? Why look now, the cause too of the obscurity hath produced us again another question: namely, why did they then happen, and now do so no more?." (A.D. 347-407). 

5. Augustine - comments on Acts 2:4: "In the earliest times, "the Holy Ghost fell upon them that believed: and they spake with tongues," which they had not learned, "as the Spirit gave them utterance." These were signs adapted to the time. For there behooved to be that betokening of the Holy Spirit in all tongues, to shew that the Gospel of God was to run through all tongues over the whole earth. That thing was done for a betokening, and it passed away." 

6. Augustine - "For those that are baptized do not now receive the Spirit on the imposition of hands, so as to speak in the tongues of all the peoples; neither are the sick healed by the shadow of the preachers of Christ falling on them as they pass; and other such things as were then done, are now manifestly ceased." Retractions I xiii 7, though Augustine reported extensively on a revival of miracles in his later ministry (City of God chap. 22).

Some Cessationist explanations about why gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased include:

  • they were neglected and faded from use
  • they were withdrawn with the death of the apostles
  • they were taken away as a form of discipline from God on unbelief or disobedience
  • they were misinterpretations or exaggeration and could instead be attributed to natural and psychological phenomena

Critiques of cessationism

The modern critique of cessationism concerns: 1) its rationalistic, Enlightenment-era, unbiblical notion of "miracle," 2) its denial of the overwhelming evidence of "miraculous" spiritual gifts appearing in church history (Ron Kydd, Charismatic Gifts in the Early Church, 1984), and 3) its denial of the clear teaching of scripture, e.g., "The charismata (gifts) and calling of God are not withdrawn" (Rom 11:29). "The eye [one spiritual gift] cannot say to the hand [another spiritual gift] 'I have no need of you,' nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.'" (1 Cor 12:21). Cessationism claims that this verse refers to believers in the body, not the gifts themselves (as the context of 1 Cor. 12 says "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.") Numerous other passages, somecontinuationists would claim, clearly teach that all spiritual gifts will continue to the Second Coming of Christ (See Ruthven, Cessation, below) link

In response to (1), most classical cessationists would say that they do not deny that God performs miracles, only that they believe that a miracle worker is not meant for this time since the signs were meant to validate the "new" message from Jesus and his apostles. For (2), most cessationists have contended that the evidence is hazy at best, and can be interpreted in other ways. For (3), cessationists would contend that 1 Corinthians 12:21 applied only for the time when the miraculous gifts still were in existence. In fact, this objection could be applied to Charismatics who have seemingly forgotten other spiritual gifts in favor of the more "showy" gifts of prophecy and tongues.

For a rejoinder, continuationists would argue that (1) The odd distinction between God performing a modern "miracle" that does not accredit new doctrine and the gift of "miracle worker" that does, is in itself "new doctrine" unsupported in the scripture itself. (2) Two observations follow: (a) The appeal to "history" for support of cessationism represents an appeal to human "experience" rather than scriptural teaching--an appeal that cessationists claim to reject. (b) The cessationist argument from history is ambiguous at best: the very historical figures cited as supporting cessationism, e.g., Chrysostom, Augustine, inconsistently deny this position by citing numerous miracles and spiritual gifts appearing in their communities. Augustine (City of God, 22) actively encourages gifts of healing and miracles (recording some 70 of them in a short span of time) and laments the fact that reports of them have been suppressed. (3) If cessationists deny the binding, canonical force of 1 Cor 12:21 (or any other biblical passage) they are reduced to attacking the very value they purport to defend: the integrity and the universality of the canon of the NT. Their argument here is circular: because miracles have ceased, this universal command of Paul cannot apply to the Church, i.e., that no one has the right to deny any gift's functioning or validity. Those who respect the universal application and canonicity of scripture, however, cannot delete this particular universal teaching from the canon. Cessationism, continuationists would argue, cannot demand a two-level canon: one for the first century and one for the rest of the Church. Orthodoxy cannot base doctrine on one's experience, or lack of it, but upon the clear universally-recognized, timeless canon of the New Testament, (which, to be fair, many continuationist argue from their experience of the gifts). Certainly, the appropriate application of 1 Cor 12:21 to some contemporary Charismatics who show unbalanced appreciation for spiritual gifts implicitly acknowledges the relevance of this universal command for the contemporary Church.

The consensus understanding of the Early Church Fathers on 1 Cor 13:8-12 was that "prophecy will continue in all the Church until the end" (Gary Shogren, "How Did They Suppose 'The Perfect' Would Come? 1 Corinthians 13.8-12 in Patristic Exegesis." Journal of Pentecostal Theology (15:1999), 99-121 and "Christian Prophecy and Canon in the Second Century: A Response to B B Warfield." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (40:D 1997), 609-626.

Bibliography

Cessationist Scholars

  • The classic work is B. B. Warfield, Counterfeit Miracles (New York: Charles Scribners, 1918).
  • Edgar, Thomas R. Miraculous Gifts: Are They for Today? (Neptune, N.J.: Loizeaux Brothers, 1983).
  • David Farnell, F. David. "The New Testament Prophetic Gift: Its Nature and Duration." ThD Dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1990.
  • Gaffin, Richard B., Jr., Perspectives on Pentecost: Studies in New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979).
  • Gardiner, G. E. The Corinthian Catastrophe. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publica¬tions, 1974.
  • Geisler, Norman L. Signs and Wonders. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1988.
  • Gentry, K. L. The Charismatic Gift of Prophecy─A Reformed Response to Wayne Grudem Memphis: Footstool Publications, 1989.
  • Gromacki, Robert G. The Modern Tongues Movement. Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1976.
  • Hoekema, Anthony. What About Tongues Speaking? Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966.
  • MacArthur, John. Charismatic Chaos, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992).
  • Poythress, Vern. "Affirming modern extraordinary works of the Spirit in the context of cessationist theology". Evangelical Theological Society papers, 1993. ETS-4511. 
  • Robertson, O. Palmer. The Final Word, (Edinburgh : Banner of Truth Trust, 1993) — this includes a critique of Wayne Grudem's position regarding prophecy.
  • White, R. Fowler. “Richard Gaffin and Wayne Grudem: A Comparison of Cessationist and Noncessationist Argumentation.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 35, no. 2 (June 1992): 173-81.

Interactive Positions

  • Wayne Grudem (ed.) Are Miraculous Gifts for Today: Four Views. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996 (Richard M. Gaffin, Jr., R.L.Saucy, C.Samuel Storms, Douglas A.Oss).

Critics of Cessationism

  • Jon Ruthven, On the Cessation of the Charismata: The Protestant Polemic on Post-Biblical Miracles NYC: Continuum Press, 1993. (Often identified as the definitive study, it examines the historical, philosophical and exegetical issues, focusing on Warfield. link).
  • Gary Greig and Kevin Springer (eds.) The Kingdom and the Power: Are Healing and the Spiritual Gifts Used By Jesus and the Early Church Meant for the Church Today? Ventura, CA: Gospel Light, 1993 (thorough and practical).
  • Jack Deere, Surprised by the Power of the Spirit. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993, and Surprised by the Voice of God Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.

Miracles in Church History

  • Bouyer, Louis. “Some Charismatic Manifestations in the History of the Church.” Perspectives on Charismatic Renewal. Edited by Edward O’Connor. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1975.
  • Campbell, Theodore C. “Charismata in the Christian Communities of the Second Century.” Wesleyan Theological Journal 17 (Fall 1982): 7-25.
  • Campbell, Theodore C. “John Wesley and Conyers Middleton on Divine Intervention in History.” Church History 55 (March 1986): 39-49.
  • Campbell, Theodore C.”The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the Theology of Athanasius.” Scottish Journal of Theology 27 (November 1974): 408-443.
  • Campenhausen, H. von. Ecclesiastical Authority and Spiritual Power in the Church of the First Four Centuries. Translated by J. A. Baker. London: A. and C. Black, 1969.
  • Carroll, R. Leonard. “Glossolalia: Apostles to the Reformation.” In The Glossolalia Phenomenon. Edited by Wade H. Horton. Cleveland, TN: Pathway, 1966. Pp. 69-94.
  • Congar, Yves M. J. I Believe in the Holy Spirit. 3 vols. New York: Seabury, “Excursus A: The Sufficiency of Scripture according to the Fathers and Medieval Theologians,” and “Excursus B: “The Permanence of ‘Revelatio’ and ‘Inspiratio’ in the Church.” In his Tradition and Traditions: An Historical and Theological Essay. Translated by M. Naseby and Th. Rainborough. New York: Macmillan, 1967. Pp. 107 37.
  • Davison, James Edwin. “Spiritual Gifts in the Roman Church: 1 Clement, Hermas and Justin Martyr.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, 1981.
  • DiOrio, Ralph A. Signs and Wonders: Firsthand Experiences of Healing. New York: Doubleday, 1987.
  • Dixon, Larry E. “Have the ‘Jewels of the Church’ Been Found Again? The Irving Darby Debate on Miraculous Gifts.” Evangelical Journal 5 (Spring 1987): 78 92.
  • Dollar, George W. “Church History and the Tongues Movement.” Bibliotheca Sacra 120 (October -December 1963): 309-11.
  • Elbert, Paul. “Calvin and Spiritual Gifts.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 22 (Spring 1979): 235 256.
  • Foubister, D. Ron. “Healing in the Liturgy of the Post Apostolic Church.” Studia Biblica et Theologica 9 (October 1979): 141 55.
  • Frost, Evelyn. Christian Healing: A Consideration of the Place of Spiritual Healing in the Church of Today in the Light of the Doctrine and Practice of theAnte Nicene Church. London: A. R. Mowbray, 1954.
  • Greer, Rowan A. The Fear of Freedom: A Study of Miracles in the Roman Imperial Church. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1989.
  • Harris, Ralph W. Spoken by the Spirit: Documented Accounts of “Other Tongues” from Arabic to Zulu. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1973.
  • Hebert, Albert J. Raised from the Dead: True Stories of 400 Resurrection Miracles. Rockford, IL: TAN Publications, 1986.
  • Hinson, E. Glenn. “A Brief History of Glossolalia.” In Glossolalia: Tongue Speaking in Biblical, Historical and Psychological Perspective. Edited by Frank Stagg, E. Glenn Hinson, and Wayne E. Oates. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1967.
  • Hinson, E. Glenn. “The Significance of Glossolalia in the History of Christianity.” In Speaking in Tongues, Let’s Talk about It. Edited by Watson E. Mills.Waco, TX: Word Books, 1973.
  • Hunter, Harold. “Tongues speech: A Patristic Analysis.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 23 (June 1980): 124 137.
  • Kelsey, Morton. Healing and Christianity in Ancient Thought and Modern Times. New York: Harper and Row, 1973.
  • Kelsey, Morton. Tongue Speaking: The History and Meaning of Charismatic Experience. NY: Crossroad, 1981.
  • Kydd, Ronald. Charismatic Gifts in the Early Church. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1984. Based on his “Charismata to A.D. 320: A Study in the Overt Pneumatic Experience of the Early Church.” Ph.D. dissertation, St. Andrews University, 1973.
  • Leivestad, R. “Das Dogma von der prophetenlosen Zeit.” New Testament Studies 19 (April 1973): 288 99.
  • Mullin, R. B. Miracles and the Modern Religious Imagination. (New Haven, Conn., USA: Yale Univ. Pr., 1996).
  • Pont, Gabriel. Les dons de l’Esprit Saint dans la pensée de saint Augustin. Sierre: Editions Chateau Ravire, 1974.
  • Robeck, Cecil M., Jr. “The Role and Function of Prophetic Gifts for the Church at Carthage, A.D. 202 258.” Ph.D. dissertation, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1985.
  • Robeck, Cecil M., Jr. Pagan Christian Conflict over Miracle in the Second Century. Cambridge, MA: The Philadelphia Patristic Foundation, Ltd., 1983.
  • Robeck, Cecil M., Jr., ed. Charismatic Experiences in History. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1985.
  • Rogers, Cleon L, Jr. “The Gift of Tongues in the Post Apostolic Church (A.D. 100 400).” Bibliotheca Sacra 122 (April June 1965): 134 43.
  • Schlingensiepen, H. Die Wunder des Neuen Testamentes. Wege und Abwege ihrer Deutung in der alten Kirche bis zur Mitte des fünften Jarhunderts.Beträge zur Förderung christlicher Theologie 2e Reihe. 28 Band. Gütersloh: C. Bertelsmann, 1933.
  • Stephanou, Eusebius A. “The Charismata in the Early Church Fathers.” The Greek Orthodox Theological Review 21 (Summer 1976): 125 46.
  • Wagner, C. Peter, editor. Signs and Wonders Today. Expanded edition. Altamonte Springs, FL: Creation House, 1987.
  • Walker, D. P. “The Cessation of Miracles.” In Hermeticism and the Renaissance: Intellectual History and the Occult in Early Modern Europe. Edited by Ingrid Merkel and Allen G. Debus. Washington, DC: Folger Books, 1988. Pp. 111-124.
  • Ward, Benedicta. Miracles and the Medieval Mind: Theory, Record, and Event, 100 1215. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.
  • Warfield, B.B. Counterfeit Miracles. NY: Charles Scribners Sons, 1918.
  • Watkin Jones, Howard. The Holy Spirit in the Medieval Church. London: Epworth, 1922.
  • Watkin Jones, Howard. The Holy Spirit from Arminius to Wesley. London: Epworth, 1929.
  • Weinel, Heinrich. Die Wirkungen des Geistes und der Geister in nachapostolischen Zeitalter bis auf Irenäus. Tübingen: Druck von H. Lampp, 1898.
  • Wendland, Johannes. Miracles and Christianity. E.t., H. R. Mackintosh. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1911.
  • Wenham, David. “Miracles Then and Now.” Themelios 12 (September 1986): 1-4.
  • Wetmore, Robert Kingston. "The theology of spiritual gifts in Luther and Calvin a comparison." Concordia Seminary: ThD dissertation, 1992.
  • Williams, George and Waldvogel, Edith. “A History of Speaking in Tongues and Related Gifts.” The Charismatic Movement. Edited by Michael P. Hamilton.Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975.

Quotations

Seeing therefore miracles now cease, we have no sign left whereby to acknowledge the pretended revelations or inspirations of any private man; nor obligation to give ear to any doctrine, farther than it is conformable to the Holy Scriptures, which since the time of our Saviour supply the place and sufficiently recompense the want of all other prophecy; and from which, by wise and learned interpretation, and careful ratiocination, all rules and precepts necessary to the knowledge of our duty both to God and man, without enthusiasm, or supernatural inspiration, may easily be deduced. And this Scripture is it out of which I am to take the principles of my discourse concerning the rights of those that are the supreme governors on earth of Christian Commonwealths, and of the duty of Christian subjects towards their sovereigns. —Thomas HobbesLeviathan (III, xxxii)

Since the canon of the Scripture has been completed, and the Christian Church fully founded and established, these extraordinary gifts have ceased. —Jonathan Edwards, ''Charity & Its Fruits, 29

External links

On cessationism and Ephesians 2:20 see:

  • The "foundational gifts" of Eph 2:20 are to be replicated in the church to the end of this age.
  • on Gaffin's exegesis of Eph 2:20

On Consistent Cessationism (non-necessity of pastors) see:

 

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Gift of Miracles----Get Both Sides of the facts.

Always keep in mind the out working of God‘s Written Word ---IE—exactly when each book of the compleeted Bible was

Penned ----When –Why – To Whom does it apply to—and does it apply to all ages forward. Plus what has been the pattern of

the way God has dispensed information to his loyal people

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gift_of_miracles

 

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The gift of miracles is, in Christian theology, among the charismata or gifts mentioned by St. Paul in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, among the extraordinary graces of the Holy Ghost. Although miracles are necessarily the work of God, men and angels may be said to work miracles in a threefold way

  • by their prayers invoking a miraculous effect;
  • by disposing or accommodating the materials, as it is said of the angels that they will in the resurrection collect the dust of the dead bodies that these may be re-animated by the Divine power,
  • by performing some other act in co-operation with the Divine agency, as in the case of the application of relics, or of visits to holy places which God has marked out for special and extraordinary favours of this kind.

Like other charismata, these are special and extraordinary powers vouchsafed by God only to a few, and primarily for the spiritual good of others rather than of the recipient.

The view of Cessationism held that the charismata were exclusively for Apostolic times, and therefore the gift of miracles ceased with the writing of the last book of the Bible or the death of St. John the Apostle. In Continuationism, on the other hand, the gifts are held to be possible throughout the history of Christianity, and to have occurred since Apostolic times.

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CategoriesChristian theology | Spiritual gifts | Miracles

 

 

Gift of miracles

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Cite This Source

The
 gift of miracles is, in Christian theology, among the charismata or gifts mentioned by St. Paul in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, among the extraordinary graces of the Holy Ghost. Although miracles are necessarily the work of God, men and angels may be said to work miracles in a threefold way

  • by their prayers invoking a miraculous effect;
  • by disposing or accommodating the materials, as it is said of the angels that they will in the resurrection collect the dust of the dead bodies that these may be re-animated by the Divine power,
  • by performing some other act in co-operation with the Divine agency, as in the case of the application of relics, or of visits to holy places which God has marked out for special and extraordinary favours of this kind.

Like other charismata, these are special and extraordinary powers vouchsafed by God only to a few, and primarily for the spiritual good of others rather than of the recipient.

The view of Cessationism held that the charismata were exclusively for Apostolic times, and therefore the gift of miracles ceased with the writing of the last book of the Bible or the death of St. John the Apostle. In Continuationism, on the other hand, the gifts are held to be possible throughout the history of Christianity, and to have occurred since Apostolic times.

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From http://www.reference.com/search?q=Gift%20of%20miracles

 Cessationism

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Cite This Source

In Christian theology, cessationism is the view that the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as tongues, prophecy and healing, ceased being practiced early on in Church history.

Cessationists usually believe the miraculous gifts were given only for the foundation of the Church, during the time between the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, c. AD 33 (seeActs

 2) and the fulfillment of God's purposes in history, usually identified as either the completion of the last book of the New Testament or the death of the last Apostle. Its counterpart is continuationism.

Types of cessationist

Cessationists are divided into four main groups:

  • Concentric Cessationists believe that the miraculous gifts have indeed ceased in the mainstream church and evangelized areas, but appear in unreached areas as an aid to spreading the Gospel (Luther and Calvin, though they were somewhat inconsistent in this position. Daniel B. Wallace is now the most prominent scholar to hold this view).
  • Classical (or "Weak") cessationists assert that the miraculous gifts such as prophecy, healing and speaking in tongues ceased with the apostles and only served as launching pads for the spreading of the Gospel. However, these cessationists do believe that God still occasionally does miracle-like activities today, such as healings or divine guidance, so long as these "miracles" do not accredit new doctrine or add to the New Testament canon (Warfield, Gaffin). John MacArthur is perhaps the best-known classical cessationist. Articles on this view can be found here: link
  • Full Cessationists argue that along with no miraculous gifts, there are also no miracles performed by God today. This argument, of course, turns on one's understanding of the term, "miracle."
  • Consistent Cessationists believe that not only were the miraculous gifts only for the establishment of the first-century church, but the so-called five-fold ministry found in Eph 4 was also a transitional institution (i.e., There are no more apostles, prophets, but also no more pastors, teachers, or evangelists).

Biblical evidence

This view is usually supported by reference to Ephesians 2:20 which is interpreted to read that Apostles and Prophets were only foundational to the church (and thus not continuing offices) link, as well as to Hebrews 2:3-4

"How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?"

However, Ephesians 2:20 seems to be the strongest verse with the inclusion of 1 Cor. 13. The verses say that miracle signs were performed by "them" i.e. the Apostles and not "us". The writer of Hebrews being slightly later than the age of the Apostles, is witness to the events, but not participating in them any longer. Thus, with the passing of the last Apostle, miracles performed through people ceased. Some cessationists make reference to 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 as their main argument, though the majority of cessationists today do not feel that it can be used as aargument for cessationismCessationists also argue from the fact that since the closing of the Canon of scripture, the gifts of Prophecy and Knowledge have been rendered useless since no new knowledge from God needs to be givenSola Scriptura (scripture alone) is a foundational part of Protestant theology, meaning that all truth from God is contained within His scriptures (John 16:13) making further revelations unnecessary and even something to be forbidden (Galatians 1:8; Revelation 22:19).

Historical Evidence

Some Cessationists, e.g., Warfield, argue that there has been no solid objective scientific reference of the working of miracles manifested within the mainstream church for the last nineteen centuries. References to miracles and spiritual gifts throughout church history, they claim, have been associated with cults and mystics. More recent studies, however, e.g.,Foubister, Frost, Greer, Kelsey, Kydd, Ruthven, Shogren, have shown that the evidence is much more positive than the citations offered by cessationists.

1. Clement of Rome - wrote a letter to the Corinthians in 95 A.D. discussing all of their spiritual problems. Tongues were never mentioned even though Corinth is the one place in the New Testament where tongues were apparently commonly used.

2. Justin Martyr - compiled a listing of spiritual gifts active in his time (A.D. 100-165) and did not include the gift of tongues.

3. Origen - never mentioned tongues and even argued that the "signs" of the Apostolic Age were temporary and that no contemporary Christian exercised any of these early "sign" gifts. (A.D. 185-253). He professes to have been an eye-witness of many instances of exorcism, healing, and prophecy, although he refuses to record the details lest he should rouse the laughter of the unbeliever (Cent. Cels., I, ii; III, xxiv; VII, iv, lxvii).

4. Chrysostom - writing on 1 Corinthians and the gift off tongues said, "This whole place is very obscure: but the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the facts referred to and by their cessation, being such as then used to occur but now no longer take place. And why do they not happen now? Why look now, the cause too of the obscurity hath produced us again another question: namely, why did they then happen, and now do so no more?." (A.D. 347-407). 

5. Augustine - comments on Acts 2:4: "In the earliest times, "the Holy Ghost fell upon them that believed: and they spake with tongues," which they had not learned, "as the Spirit gave them utterance." These were signs adapted to the time. For there behooved to be that betokening of the Holy Spirit in all tongues, to shew that the Gospel of God was to run through all tongues over the whole earth. That thing was done for a betokening, and it passed away." 

6. Augustine - "For those that are baptized do not now receive the Spirit on the imposition of hands, so as to speak in the tongues of all the peoples; neither are the sick healed by the shadow of the preachers of Christ falling on them as they pass; and other such things as were then done, are now manifestly ceased." Retractions I xiii 7, though Augustine reported extensively on a revival of miracles in his later ministry (City of God chap. 22).

The theory of Cessationism exists primarily because the gifts indeed did cease. The explanations about why they ceased include:

  • perhaps the gifts were neglected and faded from use.
  • perhaps the gifts were withdrawn with the death of the apostles.
  • perhaps the gifts were taken away as a form of discipline from God on unbelief or disobedience.
  • perhaps the gifts were misinterpretations or exaggeration and could instead be attributed to natural and psychological phenomena.

Critiques of cessationism

The modern critique of cessationism concerns: 1) its rationalistic, Enlightenment-era, unbiblical notion of "miracle," 2) its denial of the overwhelming evidence of "miraculous" spiritual gifts appearing in church history (Ron Kydd, Charismatic Gifts in the Early Church, 1984), and 3) its denial of the clear teaching of scripture, e.g., "The charismata (gifts) and calling of God are not withdrawn" (Rom 11:29). "The eye [one spiritual gift] cannot say to the hand [another spiritual gift] 'I have no need of you,' nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.'"(1 Cor 12:21). Cessationism claims that this verse refers to believers in the body, not the gifts themselves (as the context of 1 Cor. 12 says "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.") Numerous other passages, some continuationists would claim, clearly teach that all spiritual gifts will continue to the Second Coming of Christ (See Ruthven, Cessation, below)link

In response to (1), most classical cessationists would say that they do not deny that God performs miracles, only that they believe that a miracle worker is not meant for this time since the signs were meant to validate the "new" message from Jesus and his apostles. For (2), most cessationists have contended that the evidence is hazy at best, and can be interpreted in other ways. For (3), cessationists would contend that 1 Corinthians 12:21 applied only for the time when the miraculous gifts still were in existence. In fact, this objection could be applied to Charismatics who have seemingly forgotten other spiritual gifts in favor of the more "showy" gifts of prophecy and tongues.

For a rejoinder, continuationists would argue that (1) The odd distinction between God performing a modern "miracle" that does not accredit new doctrine and the gift of "miracle worker" that does, is in itself "new doctrine" unsupported in the scripture itself. (2) Two observations follow: (a) The appeal to "history" for support of cessationism represents an appeal to human "experience" rather than scriptural teaching--an appeal that cessationists claim to reject. (b) The cessationist argument from history is ambiguous at best: the very historical figures cited as supporting cessationism, e.g., Chrysostom, Augustine, inconsistently deny this position by citing numerous miracles and spiritual gifts appearing in their communities. Augustine (City of God, 22) actively encourages gifts of healing and miracles (recording some 70 of them in a short span of time) and laments the fact that reports of them have been suppressed. (3) If cessationists deny the binding, canonical force of 1 Cor 12:21 (or any other biblical passage) they are reduced to attacking the very value they purport to defend: the integrity and the universality of the canon of the NT. Their argument here is circular: because miracles have ceased, this universal command of Paul cannot apply to the Church, i.e., that no one has the right to deny any gift's functioning or validity. Those who respect the universal application and canonicity of scripture, however, cannot delete this particular universal teaching from the canon. Cessationism, continuationists would argue, cannot demand a two-level canon: one for the first century and one for the rest of the Church. Orthodoxy cannot base doctrine on one's experience, or lack of it, but upon the clear universally-recognized, timeless canon of the New Testament, (which, to be fair, many continuationist argue from their experience of the gifts). Certainly, the appropriate application of 1 Cor 12:21 to some contemporary Charismatics who show unbalanced appreciation for spiritual gifts implicitly acknowledges the relevance of this universal command for the contemporary Church.

The consensus understanding of the Early Church Fathers on 1 Cor 13:8-12 was that "prophecy will continue in all the Church until the end" (Gary Shogren, "How Did They Suppose 'The Perfect' Would Come? 1 Corinthians 13.8-12 in Patristic Exegesis." Journal of Pentecostal Theology (15:1999), 99-121 and "Christian Prophecy and Canon in the Second Century: A Response to B B Warfield." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (40:D 1997), 609-626.

Bibliography

Cessationist Scholars

  • The classic work is Benjamin B. Warfield, Counterfeit Miracles (New York: Charles Scribners, 1918).
  • Edgar, Thomas R. Miraculous Gifts: Are They for Today? (Neptune, N.J.: Loizeaux Brothers, 1983).
  • David Farnell, F. David. "The New Testament Prophetic Gift: Its Nature and Duration." ThD Dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1990.
  • Gaffin, Richard B., Jr., Perspectives on Pentecost: Studies in New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979).
  • Gardiner, G. E. The Corinthian Catastrophe. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publica¬tions, 1974.
  • Geisler, Norman L. Signs and Wonders. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1988.
  • Gentry, K. L. The Charismatic Gift of Prophecy─A Reformed Response to Wayne Grudem Memphis: Footstool Publications, 1989.
  • Gromacki, Robert G. The Modern Tongues Movement. Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1976.
  • Hoekema, Anthony. What About Tongues Speaking? Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966.
  • MacArthur, John. Charismatic Chaos, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992).
  • Poythress, Vern. "Affirming modern extraordinary works of the Spirit in the context of cessationist theology". Evangelical Theological Society papers, 1993. ETS-4511. 
  • Robertson, O. Palmer. The Final Word, (Edinburgh : Banner of Truth Trust, 1993) — this includes a critique of Wayne Grudem's position regarding prophecy.
  • White, R. Fowler. “Richard Gaffin and Wayne Grudem: A Comparison of Cessationist and Noncessationist Argumentation.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 35, no. 2 (June 1992): 173-81.

Interactive Positions

  • Wayne Grudem (ed.) Are Miraculous Gifts for Today: Four Views. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996 (Richard M. Gaffin, Jr., R.L.Saucy, C.Samuel Storms, Douglas A.Oss).

Critics of Cessationism

  • Jon Ruthven, On the Cessation of the Charismata: The Protestant Polemic on Post-Biblical Miracles NYC: Continuum Press, 1993. (Often identified as the definitive study, it examines the historical, philosophical and exegetical issues, focusing on Warfield. link).
  • Gary Greig and Kevin Springer (eds.) The Kingdom and the Power: Are Healing and the Spiritual Gifts Used By Jesus and the Early Church Meant for the Church Today? Ventura, CA: Gospel Light, 1993 (thorough and practical).
  • Jack Deere, Surprised by the Power of the Spirit. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993, and Surprised by the Voice of God Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.

Miracles in Church History

  • Bouyer, Louis. “Some Charismatic Manifestations in the History of the Church.” Perspectives on Charismatic Renewal. Edited by Edward O’Connor. Notre Dame: University of NotreDame Press, 1975.
  • Campbell, Theodore C. “Charismata in the Christian Communities of the Second Century.” Wesleyan Theological Journal 17 (Fall 1982): 7-25.
  • Campbell, Theodore C. “John Wesley and Conyers Middleton on Divine Intervention in History.” Church History 55 (March 1986): 39-49.
  • Campbell, Theodore C.”The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the Theology of Athanasius.” Scottish Journal of Theology 27 (November 1974): 408-443.
  • Campenhausen, H. von. Ecclesiastical Authority and Spiritual Power in the Church of the First Four Centuries. Translated by J. A. Baker. London: A. and C. Black, 1969.
  • Carroll, R. Leonard. “Glossolalia: Apostles to the Reformation.” In The Glossolalia Phenomenon. Edited by Wade H. Horton. Cleveland, TN: Pathway, 1966. Pp. 69-94.
  • Congar, Yves M. J. I Believe in the Holy Spirit. 3 vols. New York: Seabury, “Excursus A: The Sufficiency of Scripture according to the Fathers and Medieval Theologians,” and “Excursus B: “The Permanence of ‘Revelatio’ and ‘Inspiratio’ in the Church.” In his Tradition and Traditions: An Historical and Theological Essay. Translated by M. Naseby and Th.Rainborough. New York: Macmillan, 1967. Pp. 107 37.
  • Davison, James Edwin. “Spiritual Gifts in the Roman Church: 1 Clement, Hermas and Justin Martyr.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, 1981.
  • DiOrio, Ralph A. Signs and Wonders: Firsthand Experiences of Healing. New York: Doubleday, 1987.
  • Dixon, Larry E. “Have the ‘Jewels of the Church’ Been Found Again? The Irving Darby Debate on Miraculous Gifts.” Evangelical Journal 5 (Spring 1987): 78 92.
  • Dollar, George W. “Church History and the Tongues Movement.” Bibliotheca Sacra 120 (October -December 1963): 309-11.
  • Elbert, Paul. “Calvin and Spiritual Gifts.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 22 (Spring 1979): 235 256.
  • Foubister, D. Ron. “Healing in the Liturgy of the Post Apostolic Church.” Studia Biblica et Theologica 9 (October 1979): 141 55.
  • Frost, Evelyn. Christian Healing: A Consideration of the Place of Spiritual Healing in the Church of Today in the Light of the Doctrine and Practice of the Ante Nicene Church.London: A. R. Mowbray, 1954.
  • Greer, Rowan A. The Fear of Freedom: A Study of Miracles in the Roman Imperial Church. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1989.
  • Harris, Ralph W. Spoken by the Spirit: Documented Accounts of “Other Tongues” from Arabic to Zulu. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1973.
  • Hebert, Albert J. Raised from the Dead: True Stories of 400 Resurrection Miracles. Rockford, IL: TAN Publications, 1986.
  • Hinson, E. Glenn. “A Brief History of Glossolalia.” In Glossolalia: Tongue Speaking in Biblical, Historical and Psychological Perspective. Edited by Frank Stagg, E. Glenn Hinson, and Wayne E. Oates. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1967.
  • Hinson, E. Glenn. “The Significance of Glossolalia in the History of Christianity.” In Speaking in Tongues, Let’s Talk about It. Edited by Watson E. Mills. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1973.
  • Hunter, Harold. “Tongues speech: A Patristic Analysis.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 23 (June 1980): 124 137.
  • Kelsey, Morton. Healing and Christianity in Ancient Thought and Modern Times. New York: Harper and Row, 1973.
  • Kelsey, Morton. Tongue Speaking: The History and Meaning of Charismatic Experience. NY: Crossroad, 1981.
  • Kydd, Ronald. Charismatic Gifts in the Early Church. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1984. Based on his “Charismata to A.D. 320: A Study in the Overt Pneumatic Experience of the Early Church.” Ph.D. dissertation, St. Andrews University, 1973.
  • Leivestad, R. “Das Dogma von der prophetenlosen Zeit.” New Testament Studies 19 (April 1973): 288 99.
  • Mullin, R. B. Miracles and the Modern Religious Imagination. (New Haven, Conn., USA: Yale Univ. Pr., 1996).
  • Pont, Gabriel. Les dons de l’Esprit Saint dans la pensée de saint Augustin. Sierre: Editions Chateau Ravire, 1974.
  • Robeck, Cecil M., Jr. “The Role and Function of Prophetic Gifts for the Church at Carthage, A.D. 202 258.” Ph.D. dissertation, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1985.
  • Robeck, Cecil M., Jr. Pagan Christian Conflict over Miracle in the Second Century. Cambridge, MA: The Philadelphia Patristic Foundation, Ltd., 1983.
  • Robeck, Cecil M., Jr., ed. Charismatic Experiences in History. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1985.
  • Rogers, Cleon L, Jr. “The Gift of Tongues in the Post Apostolic Church (A.D. 100 400).” Bibliotheca Sacra 122 (April June 1965): 134 43.
  • Schlingensiepen, H. Die Wunder des Neuen Testamentes. Wege und Abwege ihrer Deutung in der alten Kirche bis zur Mitte des fünften Jarhunderts. Beträge zur Förderungchristlicher Theologie 2e Reihe. 28 Band. Gütersloh: C. Bertelsmann, 1933.
  • Stephanou, Eusebius A. “The Charismata in the Early Church Fathers.” The Greek Orthodox Theological Review 21 (Summer 1976): 125 46.
  • Wagner, C. Peter, editor. Signs and Wonders Today. Expanded edition. Altamonte Springs, FL: Creation House, 1987.
  • Walker, D. P. “The Cessation of Miracles.” In Hermeticism and the Renaissance: Intellectual History and the Occult in Early Modern Europe. Edited by Ingrid Merkel and Allen G. Debus. Washington, DC: Folger Books, 1988. Pp. 111-124.
  • Ward, Benedicta. Miracles and the Medieval Mind: Theory, Record, and Event, 100 1215. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.
  • Warfield, B.B. Counterfeit Miracles. NY: Charles Scribners Sons, 1918.
  • Watkin Jones, Howard. The Holy Spirit in the Medieval Church. London: Epworth, 1922.
  • Watkin Jones, Howard. The Holy Spirit from Arminius to Wesley. London: Epworth, 1929.
  • Weinel, Heinrich. Die Wirkungen des Geistes und der Geister in nachapostolischen Zeitalter bis auf Irenäus. Tübingen: Druck von H. Lampp, 1898.
  • Wendland, Johannes. Miracles and Christianity. E.t., H. R. Mackintosh. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1911.
  • Wenham, David. “Miracles Then and Now.” Themelios 12 (September 1986): 1-4.
  • Wetmore, Robert Kingston. "The theology of spiritual gifts in Luther and Calvin a comparison." Concordia Seminary: ThD dissertation, 1992.
  • Williams, George and Waldvogel, Edith. “A History of Speaking in Tongues and Related Gifts.” The Charismatic Movement. Edited by Michael P. Hamilton. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975.

Quotations

Seeing therefore miracles now cease, we have no sign left whereby to acknowledge the pretended revelations or inspirations of any private man; nor obligation to give ear to any doctrine, farther than it is conformable to the Holy Scriptures, which since the time of our Saviour supply the place and sufficiently recompense the want of all other prophecy; and from which, by wise and learned interpretation, and careful ratiocination, all rules and precepts necessary to the knowledge of our duty both to God and man, without enthusiasm, or supernatural inspiration, may easily be deduced. And this Scripture is it out of which I am to take the principles of my discourse concerning the rights of those that are the supreme governors on earth of Christian Commonwealths, and of the duty of Christian subjects towards their sovereigns. —Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (III, xxxii)

Since the canon of the Scripture has been completed, and the Christian Church fully founded and established, these extraordinary gifts have ceased. —Jonathan Edwards, ''Charity & Its Fruits, 29

External links

On cessationism and Ephesians 2:20 see:

  • The "foundational gifts" of Eph 2:20 are to be replicated in the church to the end of this age.
  • on Gaffin's exegesis of Eph 2:20

On Consistent Cessationism (non-necessity of pastors) see:

 

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Continuationism

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Continuationism is a Christian theological belief that the gifts of the Holy Spirit have continued to this present age, specifically the sign gifts such as tongues and prophecy. This view is held by many Charismatic churches in the 
United States such as the Pentecostal church, and also other groups. Those who do not support the Continuationist view are known asCessationists

. Cessationists often point to the lack of historical evidence for the continuation of tongues or prophecy and use which reads,

"Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away",

to argue that tongues indeed have ceased. Continuationists claim that Cessationists take this passage deeply out of context. Furthermore, the ceasing point provided by scripture is "When that which is perfect has come" (see ). Much debate has occurred over the meaning of "that which is perfect," but that passage seems to reveal this very thing. "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known." (see ). The ceasing point for the miraculous gifts which the Bible provides is when the believer stands face to face and knows just as he also is known. This alludes to when the believer is made "complete" by shedding his sin nature and is standing with and before God, not the canonization of scripture (which many Cessationists believe it points toward).

Continuationists also point to where it is written

"And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on my menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days."

They point to the fact that "those days" which that author writes about point to the end of times (which both Cessationists and Continuationists agree we are in). They come to this conclusion by ,

"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD."

This passage is quoted by the apostle Peter in in reference to the speaking of tongues by the Apostles. Continuationists believe that this passage was fulfilled then and is being fulfilled to this day since "the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD" has yet to arrive. Therefore the gifts have yet to cease.

Those who believe in the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit for this present age argue that the church is to "desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues." (); both of which Cessationist churches do not do, not believing that neither of the two currently exist.

Although not a salvific issue, the debate between Continuationism and Cessationism has drawn a dividing line between Christian denominations across the United States.

See also

 

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Spiritual gift

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According to Christian theology, the spiritual gifts (or charismata) are gifts that are supernaturally bestowed on Christians, each having his or her own proper gift (or gifts) to strengthen the church. They are described in the New Testament, primarily in First Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4.

Many believe their operation was limited to early Christianity. According to some Protestant denominations, some of the spiritual gifts, for example speaking in tongues andinterpretation of tongues, were enjoyed only for a short time and were suited to the Church's infancy, not to later times. This view is known as cessationism.

Pentecostalism, along with Charismatic, Pentecostal, Apostolic, and other Holiness denominations of Christianity take an opposing view, believing that the spiritual gifts are still given by the Holy Spirit today, and Pentecostal meetings often involve ordinary parishioners displaying the use of these gifts (1 Cor 14).

Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and many other Protestant denominations also continue to believe in and make use of spiritual gifts.

Enumeration of the gifts

Some Christian scholars say that there are nine gifts and others say there may be as many as twenty-seven. Bill Bright, C. Peter Wagner, Jack Deere, Billy Graham and D.A. Carson have various opinions on the very number. Other Christian scholars say that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are limited in number or they are not active today like in the early church. Commonly called Cessationism, this opinion is held by John F. MacArthur, Jr., Robert L. Thomas and many other conservative main line Christian denominations. Some Christian scholars such asZola Levitt maintain that the number of gifts cannot be determined, because, as Levitt puts it, "A spiritual gift is anything that a person can do supernaturally well."

The teaching on there being nine gifts of the Spirit originated from Dr. Howard Carter, an early Pentecostal evangelist. This is based on the text from 1 Corinthians 12:27-30 giving the gifts and listing them as the "gifts of the Spirit". They were later taught and popularized by Dr. Lester Sumrall, who accompanied Carter on many missionary journeys in his youth. Modern Bible teachers and scholars have came to the conclusion that there are other gifts of the Spirit listed in Scripture, as seen in the chart below.

Biblical lists of the gifts

 

The Charismatic Movement: A Biblical Critique by Brian Schwertley

The Cessation of the Sign Gifts by Prof. Thomas R. Edgar

The Cessation of the Charismata by Benjamin B. Warfield

The Cessation of Tongues by Leonard J. Coppes

The Cessation of Tongues and Prophecy by Greg Loren Durand 

Church History and the Tongues Movement by George W. Dollar

Tongues - Nonsense and Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Ronald Cooke

The Truth About the Gift of Tongues by Robin Arnaud

The Nature of Tongues by Charles Hodge

Tongues Today? by O. Palmer Robertson

Gaffin and Grudem on Ephesians 2:20: by R. Fowler White

Miraculous Healing by Henry Frost

The Blessings, Main Problem and Dangers of the Charismatic Experience by Erroll Hulse

The Free Grace Experience by Erroll Hulse

Prophets False and True by J. Gresham Machen

Does God Speak Today Apart from the Bible? by Dr. R. Fowler White

The Speaking Voice - A.W. Tozer>

A Dominion Experiment: The Shepherding/Discipleship Movement by Robin Arnaud

The Failure of Emotional Religion by Norman H. Street

Challenges of the Charismatic Movement to the Reformed Tradition - Part I by Richard Gaffin

Challenges of the Charismatic Movement to the Reformed Tradition - Part II by Richard Gaffin

Trichotomists, Charismatics, and 1 Corinthians 14 by Daniel M. Brown

Return to the Home PageReturn to the Main Highway

Acts 2-1 2 Now while the day of the [festival of] Pentecost was in progress they were all together at the same place,

2-, 4 and they all became filled with holy spirit and started to speak with different tongues, just as the spirit was granting them to make utterance

Acts 10-44 44 While Peter was yet speaking about these matters the holy spirit fell upon all those hearing the word.

Acts 8 14-18

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See Matt 7-21-23----And Healing gods of the Pagan Nations.

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2894006#ixzz2MWf2NWvr