Mark Dommel's Blog

Insights on Christian Discipleship from Mark Dommel at RelayMinistries.org

Untagged  2 Feb 2013
Signs Wonders and Spiritual Gifts by MDommel

"Signs and wonders is a Biblical term for the demonstration of thr Kingdom in the ministry of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus evidenced this in healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, multiplying food, having knowledge of the secret thoughts of people, and control over natural forces.  These signs and wonders continued in the experience of the early church.  Acts records healing, people raised from the dead, the casying out of demons, the prophetic gifts, dreams and visions, and sudden deaths."  From, "breakthrough" by Derek Morpew

Cessationism                                                                                                                       "The age of the church is said to be a different and distinct 'dispensation' from the age of the apostle.  This belief is cessationism."                                              From, "breakthrough" by Derek Morphew

Cessationism "denies the possibility of signs and wonders occurring after the apostolic age."

Cessationists argue:                                                                                                    "The reason the miraculous no longer occurs is because God ordained it so.  When the early church was being formed and the foundation of the apostles and the prophets was being laid, God gave the witness of signs and wonders.  They testified to the ministry of Jesus and the authority of the apostles.  The apostles wrote the books of the New Testament.  The foundation they themselves represented was replaced by the foundation the left with the church.  Once this was completed there was no further any need of the testimony of the miraculous.  It was replaced by the testimony of Scripture and the inner testimony of the Holy Spirit.  The passage of the apostles and the formation of the New Testament canon therefore marks a transition between the two dispensations: the apostolic and the post-apostolic. From, "breakthrough" by Derek Morphew

God is not the author of confusion:                                                                             If what the cessationists argue is true, then why has the Lord allowed instructions for the use of certain gifts to remain in His Word {1 Corinthians 14:26-33}?  Would this not cause confusion, not just within the Body of Christ, but also in the minds of non-believers as well; which would make God the author of confusion.

Many cessationists argue that these manifestations are satanic in nature, originatiing with the enemt of our faith.  This is what the Pharisees said in Matthew 12:24 in regards to Jesus' healing  of the demon possessed man. who was blind and mute {Matthew 12:22}.  Jesus' response to this is recorded in Matthew 12:25-28, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not cannot stand."  If what the Pharisees had said in this instance were true, Christianity would a long dead religion, instead of a living, breathing, and continuously growing body.

In Ephesians 4:11-13 Paul writes this in regards to the gifts given by Christ to the church.  These gifts were given for specific reasons.  "to prepare God's people for specific works {the equipping of the saints, for the work of ministry (NKJV)}, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining the the fullness of Christ."

Morphew also writes in his book "breakthrough,"As long as the body is required to function in its many parts and the church needs to be brought to full maturity these ministries will be required." -180-

Morphew also writes, "the perfection described in 1 Corinthians 13 is the perfection of the age to come, when we seeGod's face.  Rather than an argument for the cessation of the charismatic gifts, this chapter shows quite clearly that tongues and prophesies will only cease when we see God face to face and understand all things fully." -180-

It would make sense, that if you believed that the need for the gifts of the Spirit has ceased, the you would believe that the need for all the gifts had ceased; including the gifts of prophecy, evangelism, patstoring and teaching.  This would also mean that you must believe that there is no longer any need for preparing God's people for works of service or for buliding up the Body so Christ.  You would also have to believe that "we have all reached unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God," and that we have all "become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullnes of Christ."  But, I believe that the fact that the Body of Christ is still a divided Body ove any number of doctrines is proof that we have not acheived the Godly goals set forth in Ephesians 4:13

                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                        

                      

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