Must all dispensationalists believe in cessation of miracles?

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Guojing

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2019
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#1
Seems there are quite a number here who believe in "rightfully dividing the word of truth". I am a "mid-dispensationalist", meaning that I believed the dispensation of grace began only with the salvation of the Apostle Paul in mid Acts, the mystery program, the church where Jews and Gentiles are equal, began only then at Acts chapter 9.

One thing I am still trying to decide is whether miracle signs of healing have indeed ceased at this age of the church. It appears that many dispensationalists, such as C R Stam, Les Feldick, and the owner of the blog doctrine.org, all share the view that there is no more miracles of healing for today.

Is that necessarily the case? I am in a church where apparently, there are people who testify about miracles of healing. We were also taught that, in Paul's epistles, the word save, saved, or salvation, comes from the greek word "Sozo", which also includes health.

So my question is, can you be a dispensationalist and yet still believe that miracles of healing are for us today? What do the rest think?
 

Blain

Senior Member
Aug 28, 2012
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#2
That is a very interesting doctrine I have honestly never heard of it before. I personally have prayed and prayed and prayed for healing both for myself and many others and never once received or experienced it. By all rights I should have given up on the idea that healing exists still considering how many times I put my whole heart and being into my prayers for healing but I still believe in it and that is for today not because my experience or because of what doctrine I believe in but because of what I have come to know of him personally.

I think there is wisdom in not putting God in a box as he can be pretty unpredictable, just when nwe think we know he goes and shows us just how much we don't know. So yes I say even a dispensationalist can believe in healing in fact who knows you yourself may bear the gift of healing for all you know :)
 

Guojing

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2019
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#3
I think there is wisdom in not putting God in a box as he can be pretty unpredictable, just when nwe think we know he goes and shows us just how much we don't know. So yes I say even a dispensationalist can believe in healing in fact who knows you yourself may bear the gift of healing for all you know :)
I agree with the dispensationalist view that, during Jesus's time in the 4 Gospels, as well as early and mid Acts when Peter and Paul were preaching, they were given super charged healing signs for a real purpose, to establish all their credibility.

Jesus used the famous passage in Isaiah 35:3-6 to prove to John the Baptist disciples when they double checked with him whether he was indeed the Messiah.

Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear, your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.

Prior to Jesus on Earth, there was no one that was capable of performing all these miracles of curing blindness, deafness, dumbness and lameness.

And I think, even now, it might also be difficult to see anyone performing all these miracles all together in a short period of time. So clearly Jesus had healing power that are more than anyone of us can claim now.
 

Blain

Senior Member
Aug 28, 2012
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#4
I agree with the dispensationalist view that, during Jesus's time in the 4 Gospels, as well as early and mid Acts when Peter and Paul were preaching, they were given super charged healing signs for a real purpose, to establish all their credibility.

Jesus used the famous passage in Isaiah 35:3-6 to prove to John the Baptist disciples when they double checked with him whether he was indeed the Messiah.

Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear, your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.

Prior to Jesus on Earth, there was no one that was capable of performing all these miracles of curing blindness, deafness, dumbness and lameness.

And I think, even now, it might also be difficult to see anyone performing all these miracles all together in a short period of time. So clearly Jesus had healing power that are more than anyone of us can claim now.
Yes compared to Jesus and compared to the apostles miracles and healing is no where near the same level of frequency however to say they have ceased is simply incorrect. People don't see it very often these days and thus they tend to not believe in it but this defies the content of faith itself we don't believe in it because we see it or experience it we believe in it because we believe in him.
 

Guojing

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2019
1,677
315
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#5
Yes compared to Jesus and compared to the apostles miracles and healing is no where near the same level of frequency however to say they have ceased is simply incorrect. People don't see it very often these days and thus they tend to not believe in it but this defies the content of faith itself we don't believe in it because we see it or experience it we believe in it because we believe in him.
I agree with you. Like I said, the word sozo used includes good health so I don't believe Paul is telling us that miracles of healings have ceased.

I just wonder whether is it necessarily contradictory to believe in dispensations and yet hold steadfast to the healing signs for the church today.
 

Locutus

Senior Member
Feb 10, 2017
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#6
Which flavour of dispenstationalism?
 

Churinga

Active member
Nov 12, 2018
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#7
Not only do many churches today show a distinct lack of the more miraculous gifts of the spirit but, many of those that do, have vastly exaggerated these gifts. As has been shown there is little or no question that while healings and prophecy do happen today, there are no bona fide "faith healers", nor miracle workers. God no longer grants any individuals the ability to perform miracles at will, and no one fills the office of a prophet. The modern world has seen not miracles that even remotely resemble the miracles of the Old Testament, nor the 'sign gifts' of the first century.
But, sadly, neither side seems to come to the table untainted by preconceived ideas and denominational bias..
Much of the charismatic movement is anti-intellectual, with people literally being told not to think or study, but to simply feel and experience. They believe that God supernaturally guides them through their lives and that the only part of His Word that they actually need is the occasional verse with scant regard paid to whether the verse is in context or no Using any level of discernment, or even comparing what is being said and taught with the Scriptures is seen as 'quenching the Holy Spirit' and 'putting God in a box'. They have completely forgotten that the gifts of the Spirit are to build up and encourage the church, not to provide any one person with ecstatic experiences, benefit them financially, or prove they are more spiritual than any one else.
On the other hand, let us not attempt to replace the fluff that all too commonly emanates from modern pulpits with doctrine that, equally, finds no place in the Scriptures..
Although it is true that charismatics often give a higher priority to experience over knowledge, orthodox Christians have all too often done exactly the opposite in giving a higher priority to knowledge over relationship. One is reminded of Jesus' words to the scribes and Pharisees, when He told them that they enter not into the kingdom of Heaven themselves and neither allow anyone else to enter. [Matthew 23:13]. Like the Sadducees of old, they know not the Scriptures, nor the power of God (Matthew 22:29).
A God who works only through the structures set in place by the early church and no longer directly intervenes in our affairs, is a far cry from the Biblical image of a living God, who not only upholds the world day by day through his sovereign power, but who also listens to the prayers of his people, and works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). With the establishment of the early church, God the Father and God the Son did not go into temporary retirement, waiting for the time for the Son to come back to earth.
It is a secularized version of Christianity which merely give lip-service to God's providence. As said by Daniel B. Wallace
Exegesis and apologetics are not the sum of the Christian life. Evidence alone cannot bridge the gap between us and God. [11]
The truth lies in between the two camps. There is a middle ground between
"expecting daily revelations on the one hand, and basing decisions solely on logic and common sense on the other". [11]
We are not 'thinking machines' but people created with emotions and feelings who cannot always (or even very often) separate our heads from our hearts. The facts alone can not satisfy the longings of the human psyche, and it sometimes takes more than the
written word to handle a crisis or despair. On the other hand, emotions alone can be very deceptive and can not be allowed to control what we believe.
Emotion is neither to be avoided nor feared provided it is coupled with a good dose of head knowledge.
If we wish to continue safely on the narrow path and use to the fullest whatever gifts God chooses to give us, we have to compare what is being taught and practiced in many many churches to day (on both sides of the debate) with the evidence of the Scriptures...
But, that is what is so tragically missing. inplainsite.org
 
Jan 19, 2019
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Anacortes, WA
#8
Short answer:
No

Extended answer:
I understand that there are different "flavors of Dispensationalism" as @Locutus stated.
In the context of Dispensationalism, I don't believe any of the variations affect my short answer: "no"...and here's why:
Regardless of the version, dispensationalists accept that we (humanity in the year 2019) are currently in the Church Age (also known as The Age of Grace/The times of the Gentiles-Luke 21:24 )

The idea behind Dispensationalism is that there are a series of stages (also known as Ages/Seasons-Daniel 2:21) in God's self-revelation and plan of salvation...Also, God intentionally interacts and deals with Humanity differently according to each of these stages.

I'm sure most of you are familiar with 1 Corinthians 12-14 so I won't spout off all the references now.
To say that "all miracles were performed exclusively in the book of Acts" (AKA the 1st century) is one thing...
But to say "The Lord's Commandment to 'pursue the gifts earnestly (including miracles)' was not for ALL the church" would be a totally impartial assumption. "There is no partiality with God."- Romans 2:11


If the working of miracles were only meant for the 1st century, and the Bible is timeless, and we are in the Church Age now, why would God allow such irrelevant information to find its way into Canonized Scripture?
If a Dispensational Cessationist wishes to hold their view in light of these references above, He/She would need to convince their opposing thinkers that we are not living in the Church Age, which I don't believe is possible in light of the whole counsel of God.
 

Guojing

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2019
1,677
315
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#9
Short answer:
No

Extended answer:
I understand that there are different "flavors of Dispensationalism" as @Locutus stated.
In the context of Dispensationalism, I don't believe any of the variations affect my short answer: "no"...and here's why:
Regardless of the version, dispensationalists accept that we (humanity in the year 2019) are currently in the Church Age (also known as The Age of Grace/The times of the Gentiles-Luke 21:24 )
If a Dispensational Cessationist wishes to hold their view in light of these references above, He/She would need to convince their opposing thinkers that we are not living in the Church Age, which I don't believe is possible in light of the whole counsel of God.
There are 3 main types of dispensationalists from what I can tell

1) Those that believe the church began at Pentecost
2) Those that believed the church began after Stephen was stoned
3) Those that believed the church began at the end of Acts, after the Jewish diaspora rejected Paul.

My conclusion about miracles of healing is that they are still present today. But perhaps due to general unbelief of the church now, we are slow to believe in them.
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
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#10
There are 3 main types of dispensationalists from what I can tell

1) Those that believe the church began at Pentecost
2) Those that believed the church began after Stephen was stoned
3) Those that believed the church began at the end of Acts, after the Jewish diaspora rejected Paul.

My conclusion about miracles of healing is that they are still present today. But perhaps due to general unbelief of the church now, we are slow to believe in them.
Or those that believe the church started when Jesus calls out his first two disciples and begin to gather together with them....and NOTE....they are identified as THE CHURCH in the present tense by JESUS CHRIST at least twice before any of the 3 you listed....
 

Locutus

Senior Member
Feb 10, 2017
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#11
I believe dispensationalists should cease with their doctrine.
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
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#12
My view.....The Beast, false prophet and others will be able to work ALL signs, miracles and LYING WONDERS.....to the extent that even some of the elect will come close to BELIEVING them to be from GOD......GOD does not sow confusion....the miracles were for the LOST that they might SEE and believe....if we have those who are of the devil working ALL signs, miracles and LYING wonders to the extent that even the very elect will almost believe it HOW will it help the lost......

SO.....IF we have biblical miracles and false miracles being performed at the same time, how can one tell the difference? AND who gets the glory............?

And like @Blain said above.....he has prayed and prayed and prayed....why has he not been healed? He seem faithful enough........
 

Guojing

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2019
1,677
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#13
Or those that believe the church started when Jesus calls out his first two disciples and begin to gather together with them....and NOTE....they are identified as THE CHURCH in the present tense by JESUS CHRIST at least twice before any of the 3 you listed....
I am talking about the "mystery program", the CHURCH were Jews and Gentiles are equal before God.

If you want to insist that that started during the 4 Gospels, despite people pointing out that Jesus said to the Canaanite lady, "I am only sent to the lost sheep of Israel", I see that nothing will convince you otherwise, so let us agree to disagree.
 

Guojing

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2019
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#14
I believe dispensationalists should cease with their doctrine.
All of us believe in some form of dispensation, otherwise we will still be offering bulls and lambs for our sin offering.
 

Lafftur

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2017
3,448
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#16
Y’all are using too many big words for me..........if the Holy Spirit doesn’t give me understanding then, I’m lost. :giggle:

I think I’ll sit this one out. Lol! :giggle:(y)
 

Deade

Called of God
Dec 17, 2017
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#17
All of us believe in some form of dispensation, otherwise we will still be offering bulls and lambs for our sin offering.
Keen observations on an interesting subject. I have received divine healing and also have been sent the hard way without supernatural healing. God is allowed to use medicine. I have done well by healing extra fast after my many surgeries. I think good health and prosperity are attainable via God's word. There is a problem only when we try to decide how God will deal with each of us. God uses illness and calamities to perfect our faith walk. God will use doctors and medicine to accomplish His will in our lives. If we are totally committed to God, He should be able to strip us of everything (e.g. Job) for our spiritual completion.

Now let me share with you a concept you might not have considered. When we are talking about supernatural healing from God like the dead brought back to life, lepers, the blind, deaf, paralyzed, etc. We have two historical periods when they were common. These historical periods are the Elijah faith movements. The first one consisted of Elijah and Elisha which both performed these miracles. The second Elijah movement consisted of John the Baptist, the 12 Apostles and Jesus Himself. They also did these miracles. Jesus said there will be another Elijah movement right before His return. Most certainly that will consist of the 2 witnesses of Rev. 11 and maybe some of us. I think our generation will witness such things again. I am not worried about Satan's and Antichrist's lying wonders as I have discernment. ;)
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
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#18
I am talking about the "mystery program", the CHURCH were Jews and Gentiles are equal before God.

If you want to insist that that started during the 4 Gospels, despite people pointing out that Jesus said to the Canaanite lady, "I am only sent to the lost sheep of Israel", I see that nothing will convince you otherwise, so let us agree to disagree.
The bible is clear..the law and the prophets were until JOHN.....since that time the KINGDOM of HEAVEN is proclaimed and JESUS calls the men he called out THE church twice..........end of story!
 

Guojing

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2019
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315
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#19
God uses illness and calamities to perfect our faith walk. G;)
I disagree with this, God uses the Word of God mainly, sometimes he use trials like persecution, but he will never use illnesses to teach us. But I certainly know of many Christians who have a similar view as yours.

Simple reason for my belief is that in Deut 28, even under the law, sickness was never seen as a blessing, and always a curse. What's more under grace.

Its the devil that came to kill steal and destroy. 1 John 3:8 says He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
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#20
I disagree with this, God uses the Word of God mainly, sometimes he use trials like persecution, but he will never use illnesses to teach us. But I certainly know of many Christians who have a similar view as yours.

Simple reason for my belief is that in Deut 28, even under the law, sickness was never seen as a blessing, and always a curse. What's more under grace.

Its the devil that came to kill steal and destroy. 1 John 3:8 says He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Man you like to disagree with the word on a regular basis....

Jesus learned to be obedient by the things which he SUFFERED.......and DAVID was chastened of the LORD because of his sins and a cursory read of the Psalms indicates PHYSICAL ailments................and what about the serpents sent among the PEOPLE who were disobedient.......or the man that was given LEPROSY as punishment for disobedience.....

There are exceptions to your hard fast rules.....