There are preachers today who read, teach and preach the bible with great determination. They teach the inerrancy of the scriptures; they are fundamentalists in the good sense and are very faithful to the word of God. They spend time researching and studying the bible from Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek so that the best meaning of any word in the bible can be given to the people.

I for one am very glad for such theologians and scholars. Christ’s message to the church at Philadelphia (Revelation Chapter 3) commends the church for their scholastic approach to the scriptures. This is the period when learned men used their intellect to translate the bible in the language of the people. In England we had men like John Wycliffe, William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale. We also had the authorised version of the bible commissioned by King James 1.

In Germany we had Martin Luther and in France John Calvin. These bible scholars helped to bring the knowledge of the bible to ordinary folk, praise The Lord for them and others.

Sadly, one can become over reliant on intellect and learning. These are complements to the work of the Holy Spirit not a substitute. Many of the descendants of these scholars make the same mistakes as the lawyers and learned rabbis of Jesus’ day. This mistake is to teach for doctrine the commandments of men.

No one can seriously read the bible and ignore the miracles that are written therein. No one can study the New Testament and conclude that God stops healing people,  and that the days of miracles are over.

Yet there are notable preachers and churches who not only don’t believe in miracles and divine healing but speak against such things and have even coined a doctrine for such beliefs. This is known as “cessation theology”.

It’s very sad because I value so much of what they say and write for I believe most of them are sincere. However, they are wrong for it is written: “And he (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. [16] He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. [17] And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; [18] They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover”. (Mark 16: 15-18). 

I wish to end this blog with a New Testament story in which a man that was born blind is healed by Jesus. The story is found in John 9, which is hereby summarised below.

On seeing a blind man the disciples asked Jesus who had sinned for it was thought that such misfortune was a result of someone committing a certain sin. The disciples wanted to know if it was the parents sin or the man’s sin. The man was born blind so it clearly wasn’t his sin. Jesus corrected this way of thinking by making it clear that neither had sinned but it was an opportunity for the works of God to be manifested.

Jesus then spat on the ground and with the spittle he mixed it with the dirt from the ground and applied it to the eyes of the blind man then told him to go and wash his eyes at the nearby pool of Siloam. The man went and did what he was told and received a miracle for he came back seeing.

Needless to say the man became very excited and those who knew him also got excited for him and the miracle soon became a talking point. Soon religious leaders from the Pharisees group found out and immediately rejected the story. They refused to accept the story from the man and others who knew him. They called for his parents and they too confirmed that he was their son and indeed had been born blind. Still they refused to believe the story. They then asked the man once more and instead of accepting the story chose to say he was never born blind.

Why wouldn’t these religious leaders accept the story and give glory to God? It undermined their doctrine. To them their understanding of the Sabbath Day was such that there is no way God would heal on the Sabbath.

On another occasion these same Pharisees gave credit for the healing of a man with a crippled hand (Matthew 12), to Beelzebub instead of Jesus, again because the healing took place on the Sabbath and the fact that it took place in the Synagogue made it worst.

Cessation theology is a man made doctrine that seeks to deny the power of God. “Our faith, wrote Apostle Paul, “is not in the wisdom of men but in the power of God”. 

Our platform is the world and our congregation the people. 

The Lord’s Servant

Lloyd Denny


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