Sunday, August 23rd, 2015
Deliverance (Part 14)
Did God Change His Mind?
And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My Name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.'
Mark 16:15-18 (NASB)
The cessationists believe man-to-man miracles* ceased after the first apostles.** They say the three main ages of miracles (Moses--Joshua, Elijah--Elisha, and Jesus--the apostles) were given to authenticate their ministries. And basically, we no longer have that need.
Continuationism is the opposite of cessationism. Continuationists believe man-to-man miracles (prophesy, speaking in tongues, healing the sick and casting out demons) are evident today. I guess I'm a continuationist, but I wish such labels didn't exist.
If we have to be like little children to enter the Kingdom of God, I can't see my six-year-old grandson, Jack, in such a scholarly debate. To him, a miracle is a miracle, and he totally believes.
Jesus gave amazing signs to 'Those who have believed' (Mark 16:17), including Jack, you and me. I can't find a cut-off date, one-time-only offer or expiration notice. Nor do I think He would give us authority over Satan without reason.***
The reason? Is it for us to stay safe, become good soldiers, fight the good fight and help other people?
But perhaps, we're in the midst of 'An evil and adulterous generation' (Matthew 12:39). Then perhaps, no sign will be given except the report of His resurrection. And perhaps, His miracles will be limited to places of unyielding faith.
To me, that makes sense, and it's biblical.**** And no, God does not ever change His Mind.*****
To Be Continued...
* Man-to-man miracles empowered by God's Holy Spirit.
** Cessationism: http://www.gotquestions.org/cessationism.html
*** 'Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you' (Luke 10:19).
**** 'Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, 'Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.' But He answered and said to them, 'An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet' ' (Matthew 12:38-39).
***** Short article: Does God Change His Mind? http://www.gotquestions.org/God-change-mind.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Deliverance series.