Popular Bible teacher, seminary president, and pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, John MacArthur was confronted right during a recent Sunday service by a man clad in black who claims to be a "prophet." The man surprised MacArthur and his congregation when he purposefully stormed the altar to deliver a message of rebuke.
The man whistled as MacArthur spoke, immediately commanding the attention of all in the packed sanctuary. He then declared what he said was his message from God while pointing at the 76-year-old pastor.
"You've grieved the Holy Spirit of God. Your doctrine of cessation is in error," the man declared in an unknown accent while looking directly at MacArthur, who also met the self-declared prophet's gaze. "He has been grieved, John MacArthur. He has sent me here to tell you that."
"You're sharpening the sword, and they are cutting each other," the unknown man added while pointing at the congregation. It was then that two men in suits began leading him away from the podium.
As he was shuffled down the stairs away from the stage, the man looked over his shoulder and continued addressing MacArthur: "You may not believe in prophets, but you're looking at one."
"Your doctrine of cessation is in error," the man repeated, raising his voice as he was rushed down the aisle and out of the sanctuary.
Cessationists do not believe that spiritual gifts such as speaking in strange or unknown languages (glossolalia), prophecy, or the power to heal others are made available by the Holy Spirit to Christians today, as they were among early Christians. MacArthur has been known for being a cessationist. He has led conferences that teaches on this topic. Further, his book Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit With Counterfeit Worship addresses the topic in detail.