An answer to cessationists

This morning at the Life in the Spirit Conference, Sam Storms gave a masterly outline of Revelation 11. He said some amazing stuff, which I will publish in another post, but there was one application to the "debate" with cessationists that Sam shared almost as a parenthesis to the rest of the message.

One of the main objections given to the idea that the gift of prophecy operates today is that it adds to the Word of God. So, goes the argument, when the canon of scripture was completed, there was no need for prophecy, because the revelation was complete.

But Revelation 11 tells us that the "two witnesses" will prophesy!!! Whatever your view of this passage, whether it represents a literal two people in Jerusalem, or the church as a whole, there is no question that this passage uses the term "prophesy", and that it also speaks of miraculous signs and wonders.

While our view of eschatology might determine when these events take place (either in the future, or in the present church), these events are taking (or will take) place after the completion of the canon of scripture.

So the Bible clearly shows that miraculous signs and prophecy occur after the death of the original apostles, and after the completion of the canon of scripture. So there is no argument that can say "these things have ceased."

These gifts are very much for this age!


janelle said...

Oh man, that's so true! I'd never thought of that before.

Dan Bowen said...

Yes I too am amazed that I hadn't made that connection. This whole incident in Revelation is made much of in the infamous "Left Behind" series. And they too are absolutely clear - these men prophesy! Yes, how utterly inconsistent that they then go on to argue that the gift of prophecy has ceased. Prophecy is here! Prophecy is meant for our absolute good! Prophecy is meant for the absolute good of the Church! And we are commanded in Scripture to eagerly desire prophecy. Surely to not heed this command of Scripture is disobedient to God. And I for one, never want to do that!

thebluefish said...

Any chance this conference is recorded?

Dan Bowen said...

Yes they do CD's and tapes of the sessions, but I don't think they've advanced yet to posting MP3s on websites yet! Pete can advise us on that I am sure!

Peter Day said...

Yes, it is all recorded. But I'm afraid they are charging for everything. £3 for each CD! But I can order a copy of Sam's message if anyone would like.