Cessationism​ is the last topic we'll cover from the footnotes in An Exposition of Deuteronomy 33.

12th May 2015

On pages 823-831, Parkinson explains in detail in his footnote why he holds a cessationist view of the sign gifts bestowed on the eleven disciples by our Lord and present in the first century churches. “Thus qualified and authorized,” he writes, “those extraordinary men were dispersed among the nations: ‘They went forth, and preached everywhere;’ among every people, to whom they providentially came; ‘the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following;’ i.e. accompanying. Mark 16:20. Compare Heb. 2:3-4.” Parkinson then explains, “Those extraordinary gifts, then, were evidently not requisite to enable men to preach the word; yet the Lord wrought them, through the instrumentality of his preachers, to confirm, i.e. to demonstrate and establish, the divine authority of the word which they preached; and when this was sufficiently done, among both Jews and Gentiles, and the record thereof was made, by inspired apostles, such gifts, as no longer requisite, were discontinued; that thenceforward, in regard to the authority of the divine word to be relied on, both for time and for eternity, we might walk, not by sight,—either the sight of miracles, or the sight of heaven,—but by faith of the record, as authorizing the hope of grace by the way, and of glory at our journey’s end. See 2 Cor. 5:7. Comp. Romans 8:24-25, also Psa. 84:11.” The apostle Paul, he says, “well knew, that the generality of Christians, not rightly understanding the true design and temporary use of such gifts, supposed that they would be continued parallel with the gospel ministry;—nay, that without them, the word would become powerless, and the church defenseless. Wherefore, to remove this erroneous impression from the minds of believers, and to prepare them for what was then at hand, the apostle was moved by the Holy Spirit to show that miraculous gifts, of which some were becoming proud, would shortly be discontinued; also, that the discontinuance of such gifts, far from weakening, would greatly strengthen the Christian cause;—in as much as it would serve to show, that believers, both Jews and Gentiles, having seen the word confirmed by miracles, would have become so far perfected and established in mutual love, and evangelical knowledge, as to be able, thenceforward, to ‘walk by faith’ in the written word, as being ‘given by inspiration of God.’ Hence, the apostle would have the saints not to think themselves at all degraded by the cessation of miraculous gifts, but rather that they were thereby the more assimilated to their future, their heavenly state, wherein all ministerial gifts would become useless, and all imperfect worship for ever cease.”