Exalting God’s Glory. Explaining God’s Truth.
A Note From Pastor Tom
I am grateful you are visiting The Word Unleashed. It is a joy to serve as Pastor-Teacher at Countryside Bible Church, where I have the wonderful opportunity to preach God’s Word on Sunday mornings and evenings and to worship alongside people who love Christ and His Word.
Consider partnering with us by subscribing to the ministry and praying for us. I look forward to our partnership, and it is my prayer that the power of God’s Word will be unleashed in your life.
A Biblical Case for Cessationism by Tom Pennington
“We must honor and love the Holy Spirit, for He is God. One of the most important ways to do that is to base our beliefs about the Spirit on the Holy Scriptures that He inspired. Tom Pennington presents a convincing argument from God’s Word that the Holy Spirit no longer gives miraculous gifts to His servants. Here is a book that both cessationists and charismatics should read, sincerely asking, ‘What saith the Scripture?’”
Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“At time when much confusion and opposition persists concerning cessationism, Tom Pennington shows from Scripture why by God’s design certain gifts of Spirit given for the founding of the New Testament church did not continue beyond the time of the apostles. Clearly written, it will benefit a wide readership.”
–Richard B. Gaffin Jr., Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia
“We live in a day in which charismatic teaching has misled many people. A wave of powerful personalities and hyper-emotionalism has left the church vulnerable to doctrinal aberrations. A Case for Cessationism is a much-needed antidote, providing a careful handling of Scripture and survey of church history on this crucial matter. I believe this book will guide you into a biblical understanding of the Holy Spirit and His gifts.”
–Steven J. Lawson, President, OnePassion Ministries, Professor, The Master’s Seminary, Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries, Lead Preacher, Trinity Bible Church of Dallas
“Tom Pennington has written a brief biblical case for cessationism, a case that takes seriously not only the final authority of Scripture, but its sufficiency as the church’s ‘only rule of faith and life’. Just as our Lord Jesus Christ’s life was shaped and informed alone by ‘every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’, so also is that of every believer in him. Pennington ably answers the objections of ‘continuationists’, but more importantly grounds the case for cessationism in the words of Holy Scripture. This ‘vade mecum’ (‘a go with me’, a book that fits into your pocket) will become a standard reference for Christians who want their lives to be defined alone by God’s wholly sufficient word.”
–Ian Hamilton, President of Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Newcastle, England.
“If you are wondering what the Bible teaches about charismatic gifts, this is the book for you. Sadly, this is an area in which there is much confusion and misinformation, but Tom Pennington has written a clear and accessible case for the traditional view of Christians — that God sovereignly gave certain gifts and manifestations of His Holy Spirit to authenticate the teaching of the earliest messengers of Jesus Christ. Not only has this been the position of Christians for generations, it is also manifestly what the Bible teaches. What a refreshing presentation of the clear teaching of Scripture, reminding us of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, and the glorious ways in which God chose to spotlight the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
–Jonathan Master, President, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Tom Pennington examines that claim honestly, objectively, and carefully. He presents a mountain of persuasive evidence from both Scripture and church history showing that those gifts did cease—and were meant to cease—before the end of the apostolic era. There seems to have been at least a four-decade-long moratorium among evangelical leaders with regard to this question. So this book is a breath of fresh air, and I’m deeply grateful to Pastor Pennington for having the courage to break the silence. A Biblical Case for Cessationism is a clear, well-written, and eminently helpful book.
–Phil Johnson, Executive Director, Grace to You
“As one who has devoted much of his ministry to engaging the very serious errors of the charismatic movement that have shipwrecked the faith of so many, I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Tom Pennington’s latest book, A Biblical Case For Cessationism. Dr. Pennington has provided the believer who is rightly skeptical of the charismatic movement yet feels ill-equipped to biblically answer its claims and practices, a tremendously helpful resource. This is a must have for the pastor and layman alike. I am so grateful to Tom for this important contribution to the body of Christ.”
–Justin Peters, Evangelist and Apologist
Film and Interview Featuring Pastor Tom
A common characteristic of false teachers is that they subtly distort God’s Word by either undermining its truth or finding ways to add to it—either by supposed new revelation or intuition. Rather than preaching and teaching the Word of God for what it is—the word of God—they promote views that are contrary to what Scripture says about itself.
In 1 John 4, the apostle John describes how all true believers recognize the truthfulness of God’s Word and long to put themselves under its authority—to believe it and obey it. However, false believers, that is, those who claim to know Christ but really don’t, refuse to put themselves under the authority of the Word of God.
In this passage, John the Apostle, and ultimately our Lord Jesus Himself, is demanding that each of us diligently apply several biblical tests to every spiritual idea and every spiritual message to distinguish genuine teachers from false teachers. But it is important to recognize that false teachers will, in fact, use the Bible in their messages.
In 1 John 4, the apostle John helps Christians understand how to differentiate between true and false teachers, true and false views of God, true and false views of Jesus Christ, and true and false views of the gospel.
In 1 John 4, the apostle John, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says that you must believe in the biblical Jesus in order to be saved—you have to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, the Messiah, who has come in the flesh.
In this section of 1 John, the apostle John teaches that if any preacher or teacher teaches anything other than the biblical Jesus, they are false teachers. Therefore, they are not empowered by the Holy Spirit; they are empowered by demons, and their version of the Christian faith is not the true saving faith, but it is a false damning substitute.
In this great text, John demands that all of us who are true followers of Jesus Christ diligently apply several biblical tests and that we apply those tests to every spiritual idea and every spiritual message in order to distinguish genuine teachers who teach God’s saving truth from false teachers who teach damning error.
1 John chapter 4 contains several verses to help Christians identify and distinguish the true teachers of the Christian faith from the false ones. Moreover, John stresses that if you have a biblical view of God, then you understand the Christian faith.
The passage of Scripture that we are examining together in this series reveals that there are two competing versions of the Christian faith. There is a true Christian faith and a false or distorted Christian faith.
“For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord…”
–2 Corinthians 4:5
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Pastor Tom is preaching through the book of Revelation on Sunday mornings.
Sunday Morning Live Stream
Countryside Bible Church – 9:30 am Central Time
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What Pastors are Saying about Tom’s Books
“Tom Pennington puts his finger on a crucial question every preacher must ask himself: ‘Am I preaching my wisdom in an attempt to move people by my power for my success and honor, or am I preaching Christ from the Holy Scriptures while relying on the power of the Spirit to glorify God?’ We as preachers ought to read this book, examine ourselves openly before God, and seek much of the Spirit’s grace to live for the Triune God’s glory, for the maturation of the saints, and for the salvation of the lost.”
–Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“In this concise and potent volume, Tom Pennington applies the skill of a seasoned pastor to guide the reader through a passage of Scripture that exposes the heart of New Covenant Gospel ministry. It is a refreshing and reorienting exposition of the faithful pastor’s proper preoccupation: preaching Christ and Him crucified. Read and be blessed.”
–Michael Riccardi, Assistant Professor of Theology, The Master’s Seminary
“Gresham Machen once said that the two great presuppositions of the gospel are the doctrine of God and the doctrine of man. In this short but helpful book, Tom Pennington presents us with that first presupposition—the doctrine of God.Skillfully and winsomely, Pennington unpacks the God who has revealed himself in history and his word. He is holy, but he is also good—which is great good news for sinners like ourselves. This sermon on God’s name will help you hear the gospel better.”
–Jonny Gibson, Associate Professor, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia
In this wonderful book, Tom Pennington lifts our eyes to the Lord, to his great and glorious name, to his great and glorious character. Read, meditate, worship, and rejoice!
–Thomas S. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Seminary
Let the sun stop shining, and we will preach in darkness. Let the waves stop their ebb and flow, and still our voice shall preach the gospel. Let the world stop its revolutions, let the planets stay their motion; we will still preach the gospel.
Charles H. Spurgeon
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