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The New and Absurd Doctrine of "Functional Cessationism"

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Note the inference here. Most do not pray effectively for the sick. What Mattera is speaking about here is the disagreement regarding divine healing, which is the belief that God always heals and thus if we are not healed it is due to our faith. This is a grotesque usurpation of God's power that absolutely destroys people's faith. If this bogus theology was true, why do people who believe in it continue to die like the rest of us? Beni Johnson believed in divine healing, but she passed recently. Her husband Bill believes in it but wears prescriptive eyeglasses! If you stop trying to be God, you will realize that He can always heal but in His sovereignty He can always choose not to. Are we sensing a pattern here? Joseph Mattera believes in Charismania, not biblical accuracy. As such his beliefs are often at odds with the bible and he is now saying his way or the highway. No Joseph, you do not get to say who is and who is not correct just because you fancy yourself an apostle.

"6. Cessationism Regarding the Expelling of Demons - Jesus made it clear that believers have authority over demons in His name. (Luke 10:17-20; James 4:7). Despite this, many charismatic Pentecostal believers are spooked out when casting demons out of people. This practice, sometimes called "deliverance," should not be the special unique calling of any one person or church, but should be part of the spiritual arsenal of all believers as the need arises. Setting the captives free is one of the essentials of the Gospel (Luke 4:18). In this area, those who never engage in the expelling of demons are functional cessationists." - Joseph Mattera

James 4:7 has nothing to do with casting out demons. It simply says resist the devil and he will flee from you. Based on the context this is about the lives we lead and how to make sure it is more devoted to God than influenced by the enemy. Luke 10 sees the 72 return rejoicing over the power Jesus gave THEM, not you, over demons. Jesus even rebukes them for overly focusing on that! These powers were specifically given to the 72 but Mattera loves to usurp. Setting the captives free has to do with the power of the gospel over sin, not the Charismaniacal scene of literally trying to cast out demons from people. By the way, I am not suggesting that demonic powers do not exist and cannot be expelled by someone who knows what they are doing and more importantly knows Jesus. This isn't a game and yet it seems many Charismaniacs have seen too many movies. Most end up like the Seven Sons of Sceva, who thought it was cool to cast demons out until one time the demons answered and beat them so badly they ended up naked! So it is that we come to realize that the Joseph Mattera's of the world likewise have no clothes when discussing things they simply do not understand.

'7. Cessationism Regarding Experiential Hermeneutics - Being trained in the historical/grammatical method of biblical interpretation enables me to properly discover the author's original intent when they were inspired to write the sacred, canonical text. However, if the Holy Spirit is not allowed to give further insight into the practical application and understanding of the scriptures, this would be a form of hermeneutical cessationism. After all, the Holy Spirit has come to guide us into all truth and is our primary Teacher (John 14:26, 1 John 2:27). For more recommended reading on this subject, refer to Dr. Craig Keener's book, "Spirit Hermeneutics."' - Joseph Mattera

Another of the foundational planks in the platform of the NAR is experiential Christianity. This heresy is where our personal experiences rise to the level of or even trump scripture. When I discovered that slain in the spirit was not biblical, I had a dilemma because I had experienced this once. When faced with what I experienced and what God said, I had to side with what God said and chalk my experience up to an emotional move, not a spiritual one. The NAR does the opposite. They side with their experience and those of us who insist on biblical accuracy are deemed to have a religious spirit! We must realize that while the spirit will lead us into all truth contained within the bible it does not all happen on our schedule. Because the NAR is obsessed with this world and dominionism idolizes this country, it is no wonder they demand a practical application for every scripture they read. The bible however, is not about them. It is about Jesus, so not every application is practical to this world. Mercifully, Mattera concludes:

"In conclusion, my prayerful aim is to encourage all believers, irrespective of their classification, to pursue and allow the fullness of the Holy Spirit to flow through their lives, and in their local church so that all may become more effective witnesses of Christ (Acts 1:8). Examine the Scriptures and be bold as you respond to apostolic instruction (1 Cor. 14:1). Pursue, love and desire spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy." - Joseph Mattera

Mattera talks a good game and I do not doubt his sincerity. When your theology starts with God naming you a new apostle however, I tend to start off doubting you. When you then add to scripture to pretend there is a new apostolic reformation, I know you are false in what you are going to present. This article was a tour de force of the NAR false Charismaniacal teachings regarding the spirit. If you have ever attended an out of control church service then you know what I am speaking about. God is a God of order. Hearing His word is far more important than hearing Bill the baker screaming to not look to the left or right. All the supernatural you would ever want or need is found right there in scripture. All the power of God is right there. Anything straying from it is heresy. Functional heresy if that makes it easier to understand.

Reverend Anthony Wade - January 31, 2023

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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