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Jon Ruthven

This paper was written by Jon Ruthven.

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Jon Ruthven is a Professor of Systematic Theology at Regent University School of Divinity, Virginia Beach, Virginia.


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Articles > Charismatic Theology > On the Cessation of Charismata

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C. The Specifically Eschatological Dimension of the Doctrines of Pneumatology and the Kingdom of God Is Inimical to Cessationism

    Warfield's failure to grasp the eschatological implications for cessationism is perhaps the most crucial. He nowhere notices that the Old Testament promises of the Spirit of prophecy and miracles apply to the entire time between the two comings of the Messiah; that Jesus' "authority power" granted in his commissions to his Church is extended to all nations and is to continue until the end of the age--a frequently repeated theme in the New Testament epistles. The Spirit of revelation and power is bestowed all during this age as his own "downpayment," "first-fruits" or "taste" of "the powers of the age to come," until the time of the fullness of the Spirit in the consummated kingdom of God. The first coming of Jesus represented, in Oscar Cullmann's metaphor, "D-Day" the decisive battle (properly at the resurrection) which raged on, with its sufferings, victories and defeats, toward its ultimate victory at "V-Day" (the parousia). Below are diagrams of the Old and New Testament views of history which originated from a Princeton Seminary colleague of Warfield's, Gerhardus Vos, in his Pauline Eschatology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1930; repr., 1961), 38.

    The first coming of Jesus represented, in Oscar Cullmann's metaphor, "D-Day" the decisive battle (properly at the resurrection) which raged on, with its sufferings, victories and defeats, toward its ultimate victory at "V-Day" (the parousia). Below are diagrams of the Old and New Testament views of history.

    The New Testament introduces the overlapping period of the Messianic reign, during which time the Church carries out the final commission by the power of the Spirit sent from the exalted Lord Jesus. The first descending and ascending lines represent the incarnation, inauguration of the Kingdom and ascension of the Messiah Jesus, and the third, his parousia at the end of this present age:

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