A modern cessationist confesses to a prophecy-like experience

A modern cessationist confesses to a prophecy-like experience October 25, 2013

It is not at all uncommon for cessationists to report stories like this (in some cases sheepishly!). For to be clear, what is described here is eXactly what we charismatics call prophecy, and in case you were wondering most of the sound ones would certainly agree that whatever this is it sure doesn’t have the authority of how God spoke to Isaiah.

Now I hope you can see that if our argument hence boils down to what in some way amounts to a semantics question of what to call this kind of stuff, it’s no wonder we can have respectful fellowship. If only MacArthur saw it this way. I may be wrong, indeed I’d love to be wrong but the cessationist who wrote this may now be under suspicion of being a closet charismatic! Don’t worry we would welcome you with open arms as a brother even if you don’t want to call this prophecy!

Ferinstance. A number of years ago a good friend of ours was dying. When she finally passed away, Nancy and I were on the road (in Philadelphia). It was the middle of the night and we both woke up. Are you awake? Yeah, are you awake? How come? Beats me. A few minutes later the phone rang, and it was the news that our friend had gone to be with the Lord. Back home, our grandson Knox had been praying regularly for her, and he was two or thereabouts. But that night while praying for her, he stopped, and said, “She died. She is in Heaven.” They found out later that she had in fact died that night.

Now I have already answered the question whether this kind of thing is revelatory. No, it isn’t. But is it personal? Yes, of course. We therefore need a category for the Spirit’s active interactions with us in the world, one that fully acknowledges His presence while robustly denying that He is inspiring anybody the way He did Isaiah.

Read more at Excesses of the Wahoo Brethren | Blog & Mablog.

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  • Young Calvinist

    It is God’s providence. God’s works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.

  • Donna Carlaw

    MacArthur would not say this, I am sure, but if anyone is acting like a true prophet in the biblical sense of declaring the Word of God boldly and standing up to the false prophets while risking his life to do so, he is it. He is even saying what will happen if the Charismatics do not repent. God will judge the false teachers and prophets, so they should be the ones to resit the wolves that are freely operating among them. One of them is Benny Hinn. Comapre MacArthur’s words and actions to those of the true prophets in the Old Testament, and I think you will see a striking resemblance in message and boldness. MacArthur is full of the Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit, and he is applying it boldly and correctly. Why aren’t those who claim to have the power of the Spirit of God doing even more if they have more of the Spirit? What is wrong with this picture?

  • Jon Cranfield

    would you have any barriers on areas prophecy can occur? does the gift of prophecy continue when it comes to who to marry, if someone is unsuitable for the church etc. how have you reconciled your view on prophecy with Paul’s last letter in 2 timothy 3 stating scripture as sufficient for every good work?

    • Jon –

      I’d say that the occurrences you give as an example in your comment could be off limits or might not. Each situation depends. You see, I think there is a deeper problem in most people’s perspective when it comes to prophecy or even the nature of Scripture. It flows more out of a modernist, post-Enlightenment perspective than a biblical perspective. This is why we walk by faith. This is not a cop-out to accept anything. But discernment of the prophetic, and interpretation of Scripture, is no empirical, absolute science. It is within a holistic approach of faithfully engaging with Scripture, the Holy Spirit, the church historic, the church present, our leaders, our spouse, general wisdom in life, etc, etc.

      As for 2 Tim 3:14-17: With the sufficiency of Scripture, the word sufficient does not preclude other means of knowing God and his truth. We can keep Scripture at the forefront while also engaging with the Holy Spirit and all the other aspects I mentioned above. I believe this is more holistic, robust and scriptural.