Purpose of Miracles
The purpose of the miracles by Jesus and His Apostles was to convince the people that the message brought by them was from God. The miracles were the credentials or proof that God had commissioned them and sent them with His holy message. They were signs, wonders, miracles over sickness, nature and demons, and raising the dead that displayed the power and authority of the servant of God who carried this message. When the paralyzed man (Mark 2:1-12) was healed, Jesus said he did it That ye may know the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins. Surely Jesus knew what he was teaching and why he accomplished miracles. The scholar and ruler Nicodemus was personally persuaded by the evidence and said, No man can do these miracles that thou doeth except God be with him. (John 3:1-16). In speaking to the crowd (and later to the Chief Priests) after healing the lame man Apostle Peter explained that:
"Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people." Acts 3:12b-24
"If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." Acts 4:9-13
The Place for Miracles
"In the fulness of time" (Gal 4:4) God began a new creation (2Cor 5:17) and gave "gifts unto men" (Eph 4:8; Heb 2:4). The most notable and discernable gifts, as viewed by unbelievers amongst whom the early church preached, were the miraculous signs: And these signs shall follow them that believe... (Mark 16:17a). The beginners of the early church received a similar spectacular power to use very much like Moses did for his ministry in Egypt and in the desert when He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. (Acts 7:36) Jesus also explained in Acts 1:8, But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
"And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?" Acts 2:8-12
"Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it." Acts 4:16
"And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch." Acts 5:12
"And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith." Acts 6:7
"And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake." Acts 6:8-10
"Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city." Acts 8:5-8
"Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done." Acts 8:13
"But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them." Acts 15:11-12
"Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, after this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world." Acts 15:14-18
"And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them." Acts 15:32
"And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul." Acts 19:11
"How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?" Hebrews 2:3-4
Miraculous Spiritual Gifts
The miraculous spiritual gifts are not those various charismatic gifts given as God pleases to enable the believer to live the Christian life and to perform ministry and service to the church for the glory of God. Those enduring charismatic gifts (explained on page 1) that are given in various combinations to all believers throughout the Gospel age stand in contrast to the temporary miraculous spiritual gifts that were limited to the early church. These miraculous abilities included:
- speaking in a foreign language (Acts 2:3-6, 8-12; 10:46; 11:15; 19:6),
- taking hold of a persons' hand and restoring them to wholeness from lifetime lameness by Peter and John (Acts 3:1-9),
- ministry of Peter and Apostles in Jerusalem healing innumerable sick and possessed people (Acts 5:12-16),
- discernment of Peter (Acts 5:1-11),
- signs and wonders of the apostles (Acts 5:12)
- shadow of Peter (Acts 5:15),
- spectacular divine interventions (Acts 5:17-20; 8:26, 26-40; 9:1-18; 10:1-6; 10:10-20; 12:7-12; 12:20-24; 13:1-3; 16:7; 16:26-27; 27:22-24; 28:3-5, 30-31),
- transfer of gifts (Acts 6:1-8; 8:5-8, 14-21),
- great wonders and miracles by Stephen (Acts 6:8),
- healing & miracles of Philip (Acts 8:5-8),
- laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-17; 28:8-9; 1Tim 4:14; Heb 6:2).
- [Saul] receive sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost from Ananias (Acts 9:17-18)
- word of Peter (Acts 9:32-35),
- prayer of Peter (Acts 9:36-41),
- spoken word of Paul (Acts 13:8-12),
- signs and wonders to be done by hands of Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:1-4),
- special capacity for teaching and instruction (Acts 13:1-49; 15:32, 35; etc.),
- the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied by hands of Paul (Acts 19:6)
- handkerchiefs or aprons from Paul (Acts 19:11-12),
- hands or prayer of Paul (Acts 19:1-7, 11; 28:8-9),
- healed the father of Publius when Paul prayed, and laid his hands on him (Acts 28:8)
- the gift that is in thee [Timothy], which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery [and/or Paul] (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6; Hebrews 6:2)
- God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (Hebrews 2:4),
These miraculous spiritual gifts were given by God (Eph 4:8; Heb 2:4) through faith in Jesus Christ (Mark 16:17-18, 20; Acts 3:16; Gal 3:26) directly to the Apostles (Acts 2:1-4, 38) and to some other early believers while in the presence of the Apostles (Gal. 3:5; Acts 2:1-4; 4:29-31; 10:44-48; 11:16-17; 1Cor 12:27-30) and to those to whom the Apostles imparted them (Acts 8:14-17; 19:1-6; Rom. 1:11) to be used in the work delegated to them (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15). Yet as effective as Philip was with evangelism and diverse miracles, he could not pass on to others the gifts of the Holy Spirit that he possessed (Acts 8:5-17, 12-16) for this capacity was given only to the Apostles (Acts 5:12; 6:5-7; 8:14-17; 19:1-7; 1Tim 4:14; 2Tim 1:6).
Use of miraculous gifts
Hebrews 2:3-4 says How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by our Lord, and was confirmed by them who heard him, God bearing witness both with signs and wonders and divers miracles? So much so that in Mark 16:20 we read, And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, confirming the word with signs following.
Here are many scripture passages that help us understand the purpose and use of miraculous spiritual gifts:
"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people." Matthew 4:23
"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." Matthew 9:35
"And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing." Luke 9:11
"Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did." John 2:23
"Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." John 4:48
"Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world." John 6:14
"And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?" John 7:31
"Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them." John 9:16
"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know." Acts 2:22
"And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:29-31
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." Acts 10:38
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Math 28:18-20)
"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. ... And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen." Mark 16:17-18, 20
"For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established." Romans 1:11
Note these signs of Mark 16:17-18, 20, the very signs brought about by the Apostles shall follow all believers all through the ages. They are recorded for our review and study as proof of the Apostles genuine ministry. The Bible is marked all over with God's approval and without need for additional miracles, signs or wonders. We note 2 Tim. 3:16 says, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. We also know it is God's word by fulfilled prophecy (the more sure word of prophecy, 2Pet 1:19), scientific accuracy, and by revelation of otherwise unknowable information.
Personal use of miraculous gifts
The only purpose of miraculous spiritual gifts was to convince unbelievers of the authority of the message as coming from the Creator of heaven and earth and that these messengers were commissioned by Him to relay that message. It's that simpleit was not to fix the messengers' personal problems. That is why Paul went in prayer and directly asked God for help with his personal problem as noted in 2Cor 12:8-10:
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
"Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me." Acts 20:34
The purpose of the miracles was not to simply accommodate the ones on whom the miracles were performed. The miracles were not built around the recipient's wants or demands (Acts 8:9-22) but upon their real needs (Matt 10:8) to prudently use those situations to validate the messenger and the message. Did Apostle Paul lack the power or have insufficient faith when he said, Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. in 2 Timothy 4:20? Trophimus needed help. Did he lack faith, too? Paul also told Timothy to Take a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities. in 1 Timothy 5:23. Why did Paul forsake helping two dear friends? Was Timothy unworthy of such help? Paul had the power to do it as testified in Acts 15:12 and Acts 19:11. Since Paul had his own thorn in the flesh (2Cor 12:7) and Acts 15:12 affirms that Barnabas could perform miracles why did Paul not get help from his fellow laborer? He, too, had the faith necessary. Why then did neither Trophimus, Timothy or Paul receive a miracle of healing? Both Trophimus and Timothy were already believers, and Paul had the abundance of the revelations (2Cor 12:7). Therefore healing their illnesses was not an appropriate use of the entrusted power of the miraculous gifts because not one of them needed those miracles to confirm the message of God. [See Page 3: Exploring the Reasoning]
Simon of Samaria, the former sorcerer, who offered the apostles money so that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost was thoroughly rebuked by Peter in Acts 8:20-23.
"Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity."
Peter would not misuse his position as apostle or his special capacity with miracles [See above: Miraculous spiritual gifts] to accept honor to himself: And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends. And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. Acts 10:24-26
When addressing various problems in the church at Corinth, Paul states emphatically the cause of many of the problems, illnesses and subsequent death of those within the church was their own behavior:
"For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged." 1Cor 11:29-31
Even in the illness of a fellow laborer that greatly assisted his needs, Paul had to prayerfully seek God's help and not use his miraculous spiritual gift for the illness of his beloved Epaphroditus:
"But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly. Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful." Philippians 2:24-28
These tools or miraculous spiritual gifts were only to be used in the work delegated to them in Matthew 28:19, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations... and Mark 16:15, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
Speaking in tongues
Tongue-speaking, formally known as glossolalia, in its usage by the apostles and those to whom God conferred this special ability (Acts 2:3-6, 8-12; 10:46; 11:15; 19:6) was for communication of the message of salvation to be obtained by faith in the life, death, resurrection and exaltation of Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah and coming King. It was used to speak to people in their native foreign language2 (Acts 2:8-12) the message of God for their salvation, seeking every one who would believe. The need was evident because many of the cities named in Acts were cities of commerce or on trade routes that would have many foreign language speaking individuals living there or passing through. This special gift from God gave them the ability to rapidly and effectively communicate the message of the gospel to many more people in many more languages.
This implies a reversal of the "Tower of Babel" miracle in Genesis chapter 11 where God confounds the people's language and communication abilities for their rebellion against His clear and known directives. Here the bridge across the language barrier is placed by divine power through the receipt of this phenomenal gift to the Apostles and numerous other people, Hebrew and Gentile, in the early church. The use of this special gift to speak in a foreign language was to intelligently, effectively and rapidly disseminate the message of salvation and eternal life to be obtained through belief in Christ Jesus.
"Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?" 1 Corinthians 14:6
"Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men." 1 Corinthians 14:19-20
"Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?" 1 Corinthians 12:27-30
Gifts were freely given to the believers in the early church, but not all of the gifts were given to each person. The obvious answer to Paul's question in 1 Corinthians 12:27-30 (above) both then and now is No! Gifts were given according to God's purpose and the recipients natural and special abilities that God wanted them to use. God held them accountable for using those gifts. The parable of The Five Talents in Matthew 24:45-51 helps to understand how prudently, carefully and faithfully they were to use the miraculous spiritual gifts.
Duration of Miraculous Spiritual Gifts
In God's wisdom these gifts were necessary to establish and protect the church during its infancy in a very broken world. Some of them were for evangelism, preaching, teaching, development and growth. These Speaking gifts were used to establish a local church body, educate and develop believers, prepare and establish "faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2Tim 2:2), encourage and strengthen all of them for fruitful use of their common gifts and their charismatic gifts since these would endure throughout the Gospel age.
Every disciple of Jesus Christ needs discernment about, insight into and a practical understanding of miraculous spiritual gifts, their historical application and proper use. The section above, Use of miraculous gifts, lists Scripture verses that explain the proper use of these special gifts. But how long are they to be used?
"... 8-9 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part." 1 Corinthians 13:1-9
"But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." 1 Corinthians 13:10
"Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." Ephesians 4:8-16
The scriptures above declare an end to miraculous spiritual gifts and the enduring of other things (faith, hope, love) that even reach into God's kingdom. Some gifts were temporary and some were not. The miraculous spiritual gifts were used when starting the church to show the authority and validity of the message and the messengers. God used miracles for the purpose of establishing the foundation (Luke 9:26; John 14:26; Acts 4:2; 5:21; 10:34-43; 11:26; 20:19-21; 1Cor 3:11; Gal 1:12; 1Thes 1:9; 1Jn 3:23; etc.), function (Acts 5:42; 16:10; Rom 10:15; 12:1-2; 1Cor 16:15, 19; Eph 1:3-14; Col 2:7; Heb 6:1-2; 10:25; etc.), practice (Eph 4:28; Col 2:11; 1Thes 4:11; 1Tim 3:1-16; 5:1-25; 2Tim 3:9-10; Phil 1:2; Heb 12:11-13; James 4:8; 1Pet 1:14-16; 4:1-19; 1Jn 3:11; 4:7, etc.), and direction of the church (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15) and to confirm the word taught to them (Rom 2:16; 16:25; 1Jn 3:11) until it was fully written3. Now we have the whole counsel of God with the complete written New Testament joined to the Old Testament Holy Scriptures.
Acts 13:29; 24:14; Rom 1:17; 3:10; 10:15; 14:11; 15:4; 1Cor 10:11; Gal 3:10, 13; et cetera refer to usage of the Old Testament scriptures while Acts 15:23; 21:25; Rom 15:15; 16:22; 1Cor 4:6; 5:9, 11; 2Cor 2:3-4; 3:3, 6; 7:8, 12; 10:10; Gal 6:11; Eph 3:3; 2Thes 2:2; Phil 1:21; Heb 13:22; 1Pet 5:12; 2Pet 3:15; 1Jn 2:14, 21; 2:26; 5:13; 2Jn 1:5; 3Jn 1:9 refer to the writings that will form the New Testament scriptures.
But the charismatic gifts are given to believers throughout the Gospel age to use for the whole church to prosper while living out God's directives in this broken world. [See: page 1]
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:19-20
"That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:17
"Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:14
"Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom." James 3:13
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I (Apostle Paul) write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 14:37
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11
Cautions about false teachers of miraculous spiritual gifts
Because the believers are "an orderly flock, redeemed to God by the great Shepherd, living in holy love and communion one with another, according to the will of God ... chosen out of the common multitude for his own people, to enjoy his special favour and to do him special service,"4 God will hold false teachers accounatble for misleading any of His people.
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits." Matthew 7:15
"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." Matthew 12:33
"But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:9
"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:13
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Colossians 2:8
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth." 1 Timothy 4:1-3
"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Timothy 4:16
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:3-4
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
"Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness." 2 Peter 3:17
"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." Hebrews 3:12
Miraculous gifts in abuse
[See: Gifts in abuse on page 1]
Promotion of themselves and their ministry instead of exclusively promoting Jesus Christ who was crucified and raised to life for our justification (Acts 4:10; Rom 4:24-25; 5:18; 8:11; Eph 2:13-21; 2Tim 2:8)
Promotion of a new holiness (another method of life) rather than the imitation of Jesus Christ (Rom 6:19, 22; 1Cor 4:15-17; 11:1; 2Cor 7:1; Eph 4:24; Phil 3:17; 1Thes 2:14; 4:7; Heb 6:12; 12:9-11, 14)
Yielding to another spirit than that from Jesus Christ (Rom 2:29; 1Cor 2:12-13; 6:20; Eph 2:13-21; Col 3:16; 1Pet 1:22 | compare with: Acts 5:9; Rom 7:6; 8:1-14; 1Cor 2:14; 2Cor 11:4)
Promotion of a glossolalia test as the "proof" to be included amongst "believers", but Apostle Pauls says:
"For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries." 1 Corinthians 14:2
"So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air." 1 Corinthians 14:9
"Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." 1 Corinthians 14:19
"And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." 1 Corinthians 14:32
"If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord." 1 Corinthians 14:37
"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:21-23
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:1-2
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:26
The next page, Miraculous Spiritual Gifts Explained, shows that the Miracles and Divine Healings of the Apostles and some early church believers as taught and manifested in the word of God ended with the closing of the Apostolic Age.5
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:11-14
1. Have Miraculous Spiritual Gifts Ceased?, David Padfield
2. If You've Never Experienced It, You Wouldn't Understand It, Jeff L. McKinley
3. "It does not say when HE WHO is perfect is come, then the supernatural gifts would pass away but it says when THAT WHICH is perfect is come. You can't correctly speak of Jesus as a that which. What perfect thing has come? The New Testament, which James calls the Perfect Law of Liberty (James 1:25). The New Testament, at the time Paul wrote Corinthians was only in part and Paul said in this 13th chapter that they knew in part, and prophesied in part, but when that which is perfect is come then that which is in part shall be done away." Dr. Ben M. Bogard, The McPherson-Bogard Debate On Miraculous Divine Healing, May 22, 1934 (Amie Semple McPherson versus Dr. Ben M. Bogard)
5. The McPherson-Bogard Debate On Miraculous Divine Healing, May 22, 1934