Cessationism True or False
There has always been men who believe the office of the prophet has ceased. This belief is referred to as the doctrine of cessation. The term is defined as: a fact or process which has ended or being brought to an end. The foundation of this belief is built around a passage of scripture found in 1 Cor 13:9-12, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
I will be making statements which may seem I am putting all Cessations in the same box; I am not. I will make some emphatic statements for the purpose of bring clarity and consideration. Some of these thoughts, I consider my “opinion”.
Why men are eager to embrace Cessationism.
• This belief is held historically within their own denomination.
• Their spiritual fathers believed this teaching.
• The church they pastor holds this belief.
• Their school of education believed and taught this point of view.
• Their fellow peers believe the same point of view
If the reason you believe cessationism is based solely on any or all of the above points, I suggest you be cautious. The Jewish religious leaders of Christ’s day, rejected Him for similar reasons.
If you believe the office of the prophet has ceased, and you are honest, then it will be necessary to find biblical text to support your belief. Where in Scripture is this teaching taught plainly? Where can you go in scripture and find were it is alluded? Some believe 1 Cor 13:9-12 teaches the office of prophet, apostle, and tongues have ceased. If you define word “perfect” to mean sometime it was never meant to mean, you might find or create such a passage to support such a view. However, in my opinion, such people are being less than honest.
First let me emphatically state I realize all men, saw in part during the new testament times and I realize all men see in part during the year 2020. Secondly, in heaven we will see all things plainly and will not need the office of an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, or Pastor-teacher. Paul states in v 8 of this chapter that prophecy, tongues and knowledge will vanish away in the future. This will take place when the “perfect” is come. So, what does it mean when the “perfect” is come? Paul does not say; I wish he had. However, he does say when the “perfect” is come that which is in part shall be done away with. He says now we see through a glass dimly, now but then (when the perfect is come) face to face. Cessations believes that the perfect arrived after John the Apostle wrote the Book of Revelations or when the Old and New Testaments were canonized.
So why would some preachers, adhere to such a belief. One reason is that a cessation belief alleviates the necessity of having to deal with prophets who postolates “hair-brain” and/or non-biblical utterances. If you just do away with the office of the prophet, you can quickly discount any and all words that come out of the prophet’s mouth. (In order to be fair, many cessations do not totally do away with the office of the prophet; they just do away with the foretelling aspect of that office.)
I will share with you why you should be careful about embracing the cessation belief. Why? Because Cessationism is just an opinion. It cannot be supported by Scripture as a fact. Each of us has a right to an opinion. It is especially great when a brother in Christ can say, “and what I am getting ready to share with you is just my opinion.”
However, when an opinion allows you to call another brother in Christ deceived, deluded or misled, be very cautious. Just because all of your “buds” agree with you, does not make your opinion suddenly become a deep well-supported doctrine. A majority does not always make something right.
Here is a good test. If a close spiritual brother in Christ, flips on this teaching, do you still consider that person to be a close spiritual brother in Christ? Remember we are not talking about heresy here. We are simply questioning why one of the gifts God gave to the church should be cast aside.