Can you imagine someone trying to persuade me that the Prince of Wales is not real?
It would not be difficult to marshall such arguments. This would be especially true, living across the Western side of the pond. The Prince is seen only on TV news items, generally speaking. A list of perfectly cogent arguments could be made about Charles's non-existence. I might easily be convinced by the powerful nature of such arguments, except for one tiny little detail.
I have met him.
We didn't have a long conversation. I was one of a very long line of people at my school, waiting to meet him. Our conversation was not the most enlightening.
He stopped by me, shook my hand, and said “Are you a Prefect?”
“No, sir” I answered truthfully.
“I'm a Prefect, sir!” said the creep standing next to me, so Charles moved on and talked to him instead.
I have often used this line of reasoning with atheists. They may have a whole raft of arguments about why they believe God does not exist. Their arguments lack logic, but they seem to make sense in the minds of the atheists at least. But such arguments could never, ever persuade me. Why not? Apart from the sheer lack of logic of atheists' arguments, I could never go along with their line of thinking, for one simple, unassailable fact about God.
I know Him.
What applies to the entire Godhead also applies to the Three Persons. In this context, it also applies to the Third Person, the Holy Spirit, and the reality of the Baptism into the Holy Spirit, and the gifts which follow.
The cessationists can have their conferences and books and can create cogent and reasonable sounding arguments as to why the gifts have ceased. Indeed, I used to hold to such a view myself, after reading Walter Chantry's book Signs of the Apostles bback in the early 80s. But there is one overwhelming problem preventing me from accepting the arguments of the cessationists.
I have been Baptized into the Holy Spirit and I speak in tongues and occasionally exercise the gift of prophecy. God gave me the gift of prophecy, amusingly, while I was still a cessationist! But that's another story.
Of course, I do not base my theolgy on experience, but weigh many experience against the truth of Scripture. And the plain reading of the relevant Scriptures (without thelogical gymnastics) shows that my experience is genuine.
Which leaves the cessationist with no possible convincing argument at all. So the only thing my cessationist brother can possibly do is to look me in the eye and tell me that my experience, which I have weighed and checked, is of the devil, and I am self-deluded.
And none of them are brave or foolish enough to do that, as they know that I am not without a little Bible knowledge myself.