Here are other pages of Interest about skepticism and or Atheism!

Atheism’s Fall:The Demise of the Deniers of the Faith!

Honest Answers to Skeptical Questioning: The Hard Facts!

Evidence & Answers: Do you believe Truth or Excuses?

Christian Responses to Atheistic Attacks!

What is Atheism? Is it valid to take their word for ’God’?

The real evidence FOR God AGAINST Evolution and Atheism!

If God created everything? Then who created Evil?…Hmmmmmm!

The “Straw-man” syndrome and the state of Good Debate!

Religion SUCKS on so many levels! Atheist’s & Skeptic’s have a valid Point!

Spiritual Gifts HAVE NOT CEASED! The teaching of Cessationism is the Churches SHAME!

The TRUTH about Bodily Healing and God’s ONCE FOR ALL Atonement!

Honest Answers to Skeptical Questioning! Suprised & Silenced By God’s Healing Power!

HAVE MIRACLES CEASED? OR JUST THE BELIEF IN THEM HAS WENT AWAY?

We in the body of Christ MUST BE VERY CAREFUL of what we LISTEN TOO,and WATCH if we are NOT grounded in what we believe to begin with,for when we HEAR OF;OR SEE something NEW or even OLD that we are NOT familiar with it can leave a lasting IMPRESSION UPON OUR UNINFORMED MINDS AS TO IT’S VALIDITY….BUT understand something here ALL MAJOR TENANTS of the Scripture CANNOT and WILL NOT EVER CHANGE,they cannot change because they are as much a part of GOD HIMSELF as is his nature….THIS IS TRUE of MIRACLES and SPIRITUAL GIFTS!

There is a FALSE DOCTRINE that has been conceived in the minds of some from the 4TH Century called the “Secessionist Doctrine”

What is a cessationist?

They are people who believe that the miraculous and revelatory gifts of God ceased with Christ and the apostles (i.e. when the Bible was completed). Those who believe the miraculous and revelatory gifts continue are Charismatics (from Gr:charisma, gift), or continuationists.

1. What is the anointing of the Holy Spirit?

Before we talk about the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we should define it. In Acts 1:8, Jesus’ last sentence before His ascension was

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

First we assume here that what Jesus is talking about is the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Assuming that, Acts 1:8 first says that the anointing of the Holy Spirit gives divine power to the believers.

After that Jesus says that the church will begin the spread of the Gospel to all nation, tribe, and tongue, so secondly, the anointing of the Holy Spirit is an equipping for ministry. The Church did not begin her ministry until she received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and as we see here, neither did Jesus. Luke 3:21-23b says

“When all the people were being baptized [by John the Baptist], Jesus was baptized too. And as He was praying, Heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from Heaven: ‘You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased.’ Now Jesus Himself was about thirty years old when He began His ministry.”

Again we assume that this is the anointing of the Holy Spirit. If so, this anointing is received through prayer and marked the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. (Other recordings of this event are in Matt. 3:13-17, Mark 1:4-13, and John 1:29-34.) After Jesus’ temptation. Luke 4:14 says

“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through the whole countryside.”

After spending time in Galilee, He went to Nazareth, His old stomping grounds, and on the Sabbath, went to the synagogue and stood up to read Isaiah 61:1-2:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the
oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)

The passage continues in Isaiah, so I imagine that there is intent to continue this passage, that the Holy Spirit has sent Jesus to proclaim

“the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who greive in Zion — to bestow upon them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead
of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” (Is. 61: 2b-3)

The teachers of the Law of Moses and many of the worshippers present in the synagogue would probably have been able to recite the next few chapters and I’m sure some of them did in their heads or out loud. Those present were fixated on Jesus as He returned the scroll and sat down, since they knew there was some significant meaning in Isaiah’s prophecy. Jesus continued “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21) and followed by teaching. (The reference to the year of the Lord’s favor very well could imply that it is a Year of Jubilee. It would be interesting to see if it really was so.) This proves our earlier assumption.

Jesus had the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon Him for the purpose of preaching the Gospel, bringing freedom (salvation) to those in slavery to sin, perform miracles, and share the love of God. In short “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8b)

After reading further in Isaiah, it seems to me that Jesus is beginning to prepare His Bride for the Wedding of the Lamb. (Rev. 21:2-3) In conclusion, we see that the anointing of the Holy Spirit is from God, received through prayer, and for the purpose of ministry as it is the vehicle through which God is able to show His power.

We note that believers can minister without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and many do today. An example in Acts is Apollos. (See Acts 18:24-28) However, Scripture implies that God’s purpose is for leaders and those who go into ministry, and in fact for all believers to have the anointing. Jesus was perfect in every way, yet His perfect life did not change any lives as far as we know until after His anointing.

2. But I thought that Christians already had the Holy Spirit?

One common misconception is that doctrine on the anointing of the Holy Spirit implies that one does not necessarily have the Holy Spirit as a believer. This could be one reason why this doctrine isn’t often taught. I also think that there is some terminology in common use that is very misleading and used incorrectly. This adds to the confusion, so I will attempt to straighten that
out.

First, Scripture makes it clear that as believers we have the Holy Spirit in us. As Paul writes in Romans 8: 9-11

“You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in
you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.”

So as believers in Christ, we are dead to sin, but raised to life in Christ, as the covenant of baptism
symbolizes, and so the Holy Spirit lives in us, making our bodies temples of the Holy Spirit, (1 Cor. 6:19) and thus allowing us to worship God anywhere. This would not be possible if the Holy Spirit did not live in us. Further Scripture to support this is in John 14:16-17.

So the anointing of the Holy Spirit is not “receiving the Holy Spirit” as some people call it. This terminology is misleading and implies that believers do not have the Holy Spirit, which contradicts Scripture. The source of this confusion may stem from Acts 10:47: “‘Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

It is clear here that receiving the Holy Spirit means salvation, in particular the salvation of Gentiles, as it is in the context of water baptism, a covenant to which we must be obedient to as a public proclamation of our faith in Christ. Jesus’ disciples received the Holy Spirit in John 20:21-22.

I think I will note here that “Messiah” (or Christ in Greek) literally means “The Anointed One.” Recall from the passage in Isaiah 61 that the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord was upon Jesus because the Holy Spirit anointed Him.

Also, when Jesus was baptized, all four Gospels say that the Holy Spirit descended on Him and Matthew explicitly states that the Holy Spirit lighted on Him. Since God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Three in One, Jesus has the Spirit of God in Him, but the Spirit’s anointing places the Spirit on (or upon) Jesus. So as believers we have the Holy Spirit _in_ us, while those anointed by the Holy Spirit have the Holy Spirit _on_ them as well.

Pay careful attention to the distinction between “in” and “on.” This fact is supported throughout Scripture. For example in Numbers 11 we read:

“The LORD said to Moses: ‘Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to
carry it alone.'”
(Numbers 11:16-17)

The Spirit of the Lord was on Moses to lead Israel and to perform signs and wonders, and now the Lord was going to put His Spirit on seventy of the elders and thus anoint them for greater responsibility and leadership. When this happened the seventy elders began to prophesy (24-26).

Another example is Saul, the first king of Israel, who was anointed by Samuel to be king. After Samuel anointed Saul, Saul met up with a procession of prophets and the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul and he began to prophesy. (1 Sam. 10:1-10)

In the New Testament, we have the example of Pentecost, when a sound like a great wind filled the room where the believers were and tongues (I like Luke’s sense of humor.) of fire rested on the heads of each of the believers. (Acts 2:1-4) Wind is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, as the Hebrew word for spirit (ruah) can also mean wind, breath, or life force.

Peter explains to the crowd that God has poured out His Spirit on them. (Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:17) When Old Testament people were anointed, special anointing oil would be poured out on top of their head so that there would be oil dripping off their beard (if they had a beard). The imagery in Acts 2 is very similar.

We also see here that the believers were “filled with the Spirit” (Acts 2:4) and Jesus told his disciples that a few days after His ascension that they would be baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5) and that the Holy Spirit would come upon them (Acts 1:8). Perhaps the tongues of flame represented the Holy Spirit.

This sheds some light (pun intended) on the passage in Numbers. If the flame was a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, then this same flame was on Moses. God took of (not from) this flame and gave some to the elders.

Imagine taking a candle and lighting it via the flame of another candle. A similar thing happened with Moses and the seventy elders. The flame from the original candle would not diminish, but yet it would light the other candles.

So other terms for the anointing of the Holy Spirit are baptism of the Holy Spirit (as opposed to water baptism) and being filled with the Spirit (Note that this implies that you can have the Spirit in you as a believer but not be filled with the Spirit.) in addition to having the Spirit on (or upon) you.

To avoid as much ambiguity as possible, I will use (and have been using) the term anointing of the Holy Spirit or having the Holy Spirit on (or upon) you to refer to the above.

As another side note, I think we can all visualize what it mean to have the Spirit _in_ us since such teaching is common. However, it is more difficult to catch the full meaning of having the Spirit _on_ us and why that is different in practice. One thought is that when the Spirit is on us, He does not have a big layer of flesh to work through in order to manifest Himself, as compared to
being in us.

We can simply yield to the Spirit of God and let Him take control. I need to think about this idea further.

Where else does Scripture talk about the anointing of the Holy Spirit?

How do I receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit?

I was going to split this up into two sections, but it’s probably easiest to study these questions together. We’ll start in the Old Testament since the Old Testament sheds a lot of light on what goes on the New Testament.

In Exodus 30:22-25, God outlines the requirements for anointing oil. With this oil Moses anointed Aaron and his sons so that they could serve God as priests (Exodus 30:30). We noted earlier that Moses had the Spirit on him and in Deut. 34:9 we read

“Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the Spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him.”

So one can receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit when someone with the anointing lays their hands on them. This is probably the most common way that someone receives the anointing of the Holy Spirit today.

After God rejected Saul as king of Israel, Saul still had the anointing and prophesied occasionally. Though David had his chances to kill Saul (1 Sam. 24:1-7), he did not since the anointing is a calling for life.

It is a gift (Acts 1:4) and a calling (Acts 1:8b) from God and cannot be taken away (Romans 11:29). However, after God rejected Saul as king, He sent Samuel to anoint David as king of Israel. We read in 1 Samuel 16:12b-13

“Then the Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him [David]; he is the one.’ So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord
came upon David in power.”

So here we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit in David when he is anointed with oil, the same oil that is described in

Exodus 30.

The Hebrew word for “anointing” speaks of a rubbing and an impartation.

This perhaps sheds light on Ps. 23:5b

“You anoint my head with oil; my cup
overflows.”

Anointing carries with it the impartation of the Spirit, who fills us, and thus overflows our cup. The Spirit moved through David in many ways: killing Goliath, success in numerous battles, and writing the Psalms, many of which were prophetic.

(An example is Ps. 22, the first line of which Jesus recited on the Cross to tell the Jewish onlookers that this Psalm was a prophecy that was being fulfilled at that very moment.)

We also see the Spirit of the Lord upon Samson in power (Judges 14:6 and 19), upon Solomon when he was anointed as king of Israel, upon Elijah (though not stated explicitly), and the other prophets of the Old Testament.

In the New Testament, we obviously have the case of Jesus, and Pentecost, when 120 believers began to speak in tongues when the Holy Spirit came upon them. After the great prayer in Acts 4:24-30, we read that

“… the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God bodly.”

That boldness came from the power of the Holy Spirit who filled them. Indeed, this implies that we need to be continually refilled with the Spirit to do God’s work in His power. In Acts 5:1-11 we have an example of God imparting divine knowledge to Peter and acting with authority.

In Acts 5:12-16 we have examples of miracles, signs, wonders, and healings, all done because the Spirit of the Lord was upon them.

When seven believers were to be chosen to head up the ministry of feeding widows who were Greek Jews, one of the criteria was that they be filled with the Spirit (Acts 6:3). The apostles knew that this ministry would be most effective if it was under the guidance of those
who were anointed.

One of these, Stephen, “a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.” (Acts 6:8)

A New Testament example of the anointing through the laying on of hands and a distinction between salvation and the anointing is also given in Acts 8:14-17:

“When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them.

When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the Name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”

Another example is at Cornelius’ house in Acts 10. Peter told Cornelius, his family, and friends the Gospel in Acts 10:34-43. Then

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.

The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.” (Acts 10:44-46)

Here the anointing came at the same time as their salvation. Saving faith came from hearing the message (Rom. 10:17) and God chose to pour out His Spirit on them at (about) the same time.

A similar situation as the one in Samaria took place in Ephesus. In Acts 19:1-7 we read:

“While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’

They answered, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’

So Paul asked, ‘Then what baptism did you receive?’
‘John’s baptism,’ they replied.

Paul said, ‘John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.”

These are all the references I could find of people receiving the Holy Spirit in Acts. So now that we have seen how one receives the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we will now focus what characterizes this anointing.

5. How does God work through the anointing of the Holy Spirit? In other words, what gifts are associated with the anointing?

As we saw above, when the Spirit of God comes upon somebody, God moves in power.

I noted earlier that the anointing marked the beginning of ministry of Jesus, the Church, and also for the Old Testament figures I mentioned. God wants us to minister in the power available through His Spirit.

As noted earlier, some of these acts of power come through tongues, prophecy, healing, miraculous signs and wonders, great strength, and acts of great faith and boldness in proclaiming
the Gospel.

In addition God can speak to us through visions received through dreams and trances (Acts 9:10-16, 10:9-16, 22:17-18, Rev. 1:10-11), and interpretations of dreams as is common in the life of Daniel.

In the case of Philip and the Ethiopian, after baptizing the Ethiopian, the Holy Spirit took Philip away to another place, teleporting in the Spirit, if you want to call it that. (Acts 8:39) Paul gives us a good list of manifestations of the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. 12:1-11:

“Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.

Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to
another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”

We are not to be ignorant of spiritual gifts. Paul later commands us to desire spiritual gifts, especially the greater gifts. (1 Cor. 14:1) One thing to note is that several of the above gifts may be manifested in an anointed believer.

At least one denomination believes that the Holy Spirit has not come upon an individual unless they speak in tongues.

I don’t find this backed up in Scripture, especially given how the Lord’s anointed in the Old Testament were mostly prophets.

For a New Testament example, in Ephesus, when a group of about twelve received the anointing, some prophesied and some spoke in tongues. (Acts 19: 6) The important thing is that some gift is given.

Why hasn’t this been taught to me before?

Satan’s main objective is to keep the Kingdom of God from spreading. The way the Kingdom grows the fastest is if the believers operate in the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Since Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), he has intentionally spread lies throughout the Church to get her to believe that the great power available to us through the Spirit is confined to Biblical times.

Indeed, many denominations and groups are plagued by “cessationist” theology, a doctrine to which they officially subscribe to.

That is, to one degree or another, they do not believe in the anointing of the Holy Spirit or spiritual gifts of tongues and prophecy, for example.

This doctrine cannot be backed up with Scripture, and is therefore false doctrine. Other denominations or groups may not explicitly state this doctrine in their creed or statement of beliefs, but may simply not teach about the Holy Spirit since they don’t understand Him.

Satan has instigated the formation of cessationism by getting people to think that the manifestation of the Spirit is demonic, done for now, or just plain too weird to be true.

As a result the Church is weakened and the Kingdom cannot spread as quickly. There is also much division in the Church over this issue. Satan knows that a unified Church is a powerful Church.

When we fight amongst ourselves, we waste time and energy. Satan has purposefully sought to divide the Church using any method he can, and divisions based on theology are common.

Another major reason that people are suspicious of the anointing of the Spirit is that gifts of the Spirit have been misused. One common misuse is publicly speaking in tongues without an interpreter.

The gift may very well be of the Spirit, but by people using the gift in a way that Scripture forbids, many believers have become doubtful of the anointing of the Holy Spirit and suspicious of those who are anointed for this and other reasons.

Also, since Satan is a fallen angel, he does have power, although those powers are fallen, for example Ex. 7:10-12, 20-22. Satan has attempted to distort the true powers of God by raising up false prophets to lessen the credibility of the true present day prophets of God and has given people false tongues to make some believers wary of those who do speak in tongues as a couple of examples.

It is entirely possible too that some people make up gibberish or try to copy people they hear speaking in tongues (or gibberish) to make it sound like they are speaking in tongues.

(This evident in some Churches when they attempt to teach a person to listen and begin to speak in Tongues as we do)

The gifts of the Spirit come from the Spirit. False gifts come from the flesh or from demons. These are just some examples. But in 1 Cor. 12, one of the gifts of the Spirit is “distinguishing between spirits.”

This is also called discernment. Those with this gift know when an evil spirit is around or at work and can tell when one is influenced by such a fallen spirit. They can sense it. Thus they can tell when fallen gifts are mocking the true manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Seek this gift.

Another point to mention is that looking throughout Acts and the epistles, teaching on the anointing of the Holy Spirit was not shunned.

In the examples in Acts, teaching on the Holy Spirit immediately followed the message of the Gospel.

Once someone became a believer, they were taught about the anointing of the Holy Spirit in many cases. The Church today falls short of this. Of the pastors and other ministers that do teach and preach the Gospel, very few follow this up with sound teaching on the Holy Spirit, and this alone is displeasing to the Lord because he REQUIRES for us to handle his word to us as if we were standing right in front of him taking commands.

God’s word NOT our churches degrees are to be our ONLY EVIDENCE OF THE SUPERNATURAL. Too often we MIX IN OUR PERSONAL FEELINGS WITHIN OUR CHURCH DOGMAS and create wrong perspectives about the plain words of God.This needs to change in order for the Church to be the way God intends her to be….Alive and Filled with Power.

God’s Gifts and Callings ARE WITHOUT REPENTANCE!!

The real question is avoided by those who believe that the gifts and callings of God have ceased, which is:

“DOES God EVER STOP BEING HIMSELF or Change HIS WORD?” So What’s the deal with tongues?Do we really need them?

Again, we should begin by defining what tongues are.

The first instance of speaking in tongues occurs in Acts 2.

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (languages) as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem Godfearing Jews from every nation under heaven.


When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked:


‘Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?

Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?

Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs-we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”


(Acts 2:4-11)


Galileans were not well traveled or well educated as most were farmers or fishermen, which is why the Jews coming to Jerusalem for Pentecost (or Feast of Weeks, one of the three Jewish festivals that required a pilgrimage to Jerusalem) were surprised to hear the believers speaking in their native (or heart) language.


So speaking in tongues is simply speaking a language completely unknown to you by the power of the Holy Spirit.


Further proof that tongues are a language unknown to the speaker is given in in

1 Cor. 14:13

“For this reason, anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he might interpret what he says.” The actual languages spoken may be either of men or angels. (1 Cor. 13:1)

This is a common gift given to believers who are anointed by the Holy Spirit as
evidenced in passages I mentioned.

So what is it that people are saying when people speak in tongues?

As we see in the passage in Acts 2, the believers were declaring the wonders of God.

They were praising God! Since speaking in tongues is speaking under the power of the Holy Spirit, those who speak in tongues are yielding their speech to the Spirit and so the Spirit is praying and interceding for us.

In Romans 8: 26-27 Paul writes

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”

By yielding our speech to the Spirit, we therefore speak God’s perfect will, so whatever we speak in tongues, while we don’t know what we are saying, whether it is prayer, praise, thanksgiving, or even speaking to someone whose native language is the tongue we speak, we can be assured that it is God’s will.

Another common question about tongues is what the purpose is. Paul gives a very good teaching on the gifts of tongues and prophecy in 1 Cor. 14.

In verse 2 he says that when we speak in tongues we speak to God, so one purpose is for prayer. Many people who speak in tongues call the unknown language they speak their prayer language. In verse 4 Paul writes, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.” The word for edifies implies charging up as we would recharge a battery.

Jude 20 says

“But you dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” There is a similar association here with strengthening your spirit and praying in tongues, which is one meaning of “pray in the Holy Spirit.”

(Ephesians 6:18 implies that praying in the Spirit can be done without tongues, since you could not knowingly pray “all kinds of prayers and requests” in tongues.

You may in fact be doing that, but unless you have the gift of interpretation of tongues (1 Cor. 12:10), you cannot know for sure.) Verse 16 says that we may be praising God with tongues and verse 17 says that we may be giving thanks. In a meeting of believers, one who speaks in tongues may speak openly, but only if there is an interpreter present. (vs. 27-28)

The purpose here, as Paul says in verse 26, is for the strengthening (or edification) of the church, since the interpretation of the speech would be equivalent to having God speak directly to the church. That would certainly be edifying!

I will conclude by giving some further teaching on tongues. First, one who speaks in tongues can speak in tongues whenever he wants.

This is implied in 1 Cor. 14:28 and is also verified by my experience. Second, it is God’s will that every believer speak in tongues (1 Cor. 14:5), but that we pursue the greater gifts of interpretation and prophecy. Next Paul commands “Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.” (1 Cor. 14:40)

Cessationism is clearly against Scripture in light of this verse.

Many people who do not believe speaking in tongues happens today point to 1 Cor.

13:8-13.

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

This is the only verse I have seen that mentions that speaking in tongues will stop.

The implication in this passage is that gifts of the Spirit will cease when “the perfect” comes, and “the perfect” is when we see “face to face”, more specifically, when we see God face to face. So this passage means that prophecies will cease, tongues will be stilled, and the gift of knowledge will pass away when Jesus returns.

Indeed, when Jesus returns, and we are gathered together as the Bride of Christ in the New Jerusalem, we will all be perfect and in perfect community, so we won’t need other tongues to talk with Jesus, we won’t need prophets as a means for God to speak to us, and we won’t need divine knowledge of people with needs that need healing or ministry because we will be whole.

As another way to think about this passage, the gift of tongues is given to us in order for the Spirit to help us in our weakness, or imperfection. Nobody is perfect. Nobody loves perfectly. Paul is very logical, so he would not imbed a mention of spiritual gifts in a teaching on love if there was no connection.

So I think this passage of Scripture means that if we were perfect and if we loved perfectly, we would not need prophecy, knowledge, and tongues, since we would be able to minister with God’s perfect love instead.

We would not have to pray in tongues since we would be able to pray God’s will in our native language and with pure motives.

Guided by love and God’s will, we would not need knowledge or prophecy, and so those gifts too would pass away. But we will not reach perfection until Christ’s return. This interpretation is also consistent with

1 Cor. 1:7

“Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.”

This certainly implies that spiritual gifts will be present at least until Christ’s return.

Considering this interpretation and 1 Cor. 1:7, we see that the gifts of tongues, prophecy, and knowledge will cease at the moment of Jesus’ return.

I have one further thought on the 1 Corinthians 13 passage. The commandment to love is the greatest commandment of all, since God is love. Therefore love is greater than the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge, which is why tongues, prophecies, and knowledge will cease when perfection comes.

Perhaps this is why the Counselor (Holy Spirit) couldn’t come while Jesus was still on the earth. (John 16:7)

It is an act of humility to ask for spiritual gifts such as tongues and prophesy since it is admitting to God that we need His help and that we cannot carry out His will with perfect love.

Therefore those who have the anointing of the Holy Spirit and use gifts the Spirit gives should be all the more humble with this in mind. It is human nature to be prideful of

spiritual gifts one has, but rather we must be all the more humble.

What’s the deal with the other gifts?

I’ll do a quick overview of the rest of the gifts since they are much more straightforward than tongues. Prophecy is a biggie, so I will not be as brief with this gift. A prophet is one appointed by God and is second in importance in the Church to apostles. (1 Cor. 12:28)

We have already learned that prophecy is a greater gift than tongues since a prophet is one that communicates God’s word verbatim. A psychic is Satan’s fallen equivalent to a prophet. A prophet will always bring glory to God.(1 Cor. 12:3) A prophesy is “to men for their strengthening, encouragement, and comfort”

(1 Cor. 14:3) and for the edification of the Church.

(1 Cor. 14: 4) Scripture also says that “The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.”

(1 Cor. 14:32) I wish I knew what that meant. But Paul says that we should be eager to prophesy (1 Cor. 14:39). Dreams (from God), visions, and revelations are also prophesies. Seek the gift. Pray for it. Pray for our leaders in the Church to receive this gift.

As for other gifts, there is the gift of wisdom. We know God gives all believers wisdom, for example James 1:5.

Since wisdom is mentioned here, it must therefore be a greater measure of wisdom than usual. Solomon was the wisest person that ever lived, aside from Christ of course, and so he is a prime example of one who had the gift of wisdom. Another example is Stephen (Acts 6:10).

The second gift mentioned in 1 Cor. 12 is the gift of knowledge. Again, we all possess knowledge, but one to whom this gift is given is someone to whom the Holy Spirit will give knowledge that would not be known ordinarily by the one to whom knowledge is given.

An example is the situation of Ananias and Sapphira, where Peter was given knowledge of the fact that they lied to the Holy Spirit and held back money from selling their land (Acts 5:1-11).

So it is prophetic in flavor. Third, the gift of faith is an extra measure of faith. This is commonly associated with healing, miracle, signs, and wonders.

It takes faith to tell a cripple to get up and walk. An example of the gift of faith is when Elijah told those with him to dump water on the sacrifice he was to make to the Lord in 1 Kings 18:33-35, having faith that God would consume the sacrifice.

Fourth, healing is self-explanatory.

I believe faith must be shared by the healer and the one who will be healed. When Jesus told a cripple to get up and walk, the cripple must have had the faith that he would be healed by getting up.

In Acts, healing was done in some incredible ways. Some people were healed when Peter’s shadow fell on them (Acts 5:15) and when handkerchiefs and aprons that Paul had touched were taken to the sick (Acts 19:11-12).

Fifth, miraculous powers is self-explanatory. Changing water into wine, walking on water, raising the dead, feeding the fifteen thousand (I count women and children), and rebuking a sorcerer so that he goes blind (Acts 13: 6-12) are all examples of miracles.

Next, distinguishing between spirits is a gift that I briefly explained earlier. One with this gift can not only sense the presence of evil spirits, but also, as the name of the gift implies, identify what kind of evil spirit it is, for example, the spirit of mammon, pride, lust, division, etc.

We have the authority in the Name of Jesus, to drive out demons, so one with the gift of distinguishing between spirits can tell if there is a demon present and tell it to leave.

Lastly, interpretation of tongues was mentioned earlier, and is straight-forward. God gives us understanding of tongues being spoken so that one with this gift can understand someone speaking in tongues as easily as someone speaking their native language.

But don’t I have gifts as a believer?

Certainly! As believers, we have some power and gifts, most notably the gift of salvation through the blood of Christ. We have faith; the gift of faith mentioned in 1 Cor. 12 is a stronger measure of faith.

We are allowed to drive out demons in Jesus’ Name and heal the sick (Luke 9: 1-2).

Again, when the Spirit of the Lord is upon us, we may receive greater power in these areas. Paul lists gifts that are given to all believers in

Romans 12:6-8.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”

Note the distinction Paul makes between these gifts and those listed in 1 Cor. 12.

Since there is such a distinction, prophecy mentioned here in Romans is different from the prophecy mentioned in

1 Cor. and I take it to be more akin to preaching the Word of God and not being afraid of “telling it like it is.”

These seven gifts are also called the Motivational gifts. I recommend that you identify which one or two gifts you have received and begin to focus your service to the Kingdom by using that gift, while eagerly desiring the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

What is an apostle?

This is a question I have asked myself lately, and I’m finally getting some answers.

I include this section here because apostles are mentioned throughout Acts and are a distinguished group of people who have the anointing of the Holy Spirit. An apostle is someone appointed by God for leadership in the Church. Apostleship is the highest appointment in the Church.

(1 Cor. 12:27-28, Acts 1:26) Jesus was an apostle. (Heb. 3:1) Paul begins many of his epistles by stating that he is called by God to be an apostle.

An apostle is one with an anointing to perform signs, wonders, and miracles (2 Cor. 12:12) and to spread the Gospel, sometimes to a specific group.

For example, Peter was an apostle to the Jews while Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles (Gal. 2:8). Apostles are ones who have been entrusted with the secret things of God and have been proven to be faithful (1 Cor. 4:1-2).

I hope this clarifies some things. I could have gone into much more depth and included present day examples and stories, but wanted to stick to Scripture to emphasize what it had to say,BECAUSE THE WORD NOT MAN IS THE FINAL AUTHORITY ON ALL DOCTRINE….PERIOD!!!! Here’s MORE PROOF:…….

Answering the cessationist position

The Bible is full of admonitions to stand firm in truth, to watch our life and doctrine closely, to refute false teaching etc. There is indeed every good reason to be grounded in sound theology and refute false teaching, no doubt about it. But why does it seem most “correctors” of false teaching are quick to point fingers but rarely take correction when it is addressed back at them?

I believe our Lord addressed this matter well when he told the pharisees, ” But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” (Mt 23:23-24) Having been on both sides of the fence myself, accused and accuser, I know the emotions and reactions that respectively occur.

It seems that the fundamentalist churches are the quickest to shout “heresy!” While I admire their stand for truth before experience, it must be said that both extremes are guilty of the same error, viz. allowing experience to shape their theology. Fundamentalists are quicker to accuse Charismatics of seeking experience at the expense of truth. This does happen. But there is an alternative which I haven’t found while reading through fundamental literature. In many cases experience can allow us to more accurately understand and interpret some Bible passages. This is not using experience to form theology.
This is allowing the possibility that our interpretation may be wrong. Fundamentalists are quick to decry the infallibility of Rome but most of them are guilty of the same charge. Their interpretation is infallible and may God have mercy on those who suggest otherwise!

The following critique is of a typical anti-miracle-gift essay. It shows how even the most sincere, truth-seeking fundamentalists will allow presuppositions to shape their interpretation and exegesis. I’ve included quotes from the article in italics.

Original comments are in blue. My responses are in black.

Any time divisions are a result of exercising spiritual gifts, it is an indication that these gifts are not being used as God intended.
The tone of the article is set by commencing with a dogmatic statement. It is in fact a syllogism with false premises. Thus, easily allowing
the presupposed conclusion. Their argument can stated as:
1) Some divisions occur when spiritual gifts are exercised.
2) These divisions would not occur if spiritual gifts were exercised properly.
3) Therefore all divisions over spiritual gifts occur because of improper use.

We can agree on statement 1. But statement 2 reveals the logical error of a false dilemma. There are other possible explanations that the author has not considered. For example, division occurs when cessationists interact with Charismatics. Their division is not always on the basis of improper use of spiritual gifts. Generally, it is on the basis of exegetical differences. The cessationist maintains certain gifts have ceased functioning. The Charismatic maintains all the gifts are still operating through the Spirit.

The very first statement made by the author is a false argument.

The following verses are then quoted.1 Corinthians 12:4-17. We agree with intent and use the author makes of this passage.

Then Paul compares the variety of gifts to the human body and its various and necessary parts, “For even as the body is one and yet has many members” (1 Cor. 12:12). “If the foot says, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,’ it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body” (1 Cor. 12:15). “If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?”
(1 Cor. 12:17).
It is interesting that in first affirming this passage the author then turns around and denies certain gifts are still operational.

The word charismatic scares a lot of people, but it simply means gifts of grace. (Chars is the Greek word “grace.”) Since every believer is endowed with one or more gifts, every believer is charismatic. (1 Cor. 12:7).
We agree with this statement.

Three Basic Facts About Spiritual Gifts

1. Spiritual gifts are freely and graciously given. Gifts of grace cannot be earned, for you cannot do anything to get them in your own power.
2. Spiritual gifts are a means of serving in the Body of Christ. Gifts are not to exalt the person who has the gift; they are to enable that person to serve other believers.
3. Spiritual gifts necessitate the activity of the possessor. You will discover your gift as you function. Many do not recognize their gift because they are inactive.
We agree with the above statements.

The Permanent Spiritual Gifts

1. Teaching
2. Helps (Ministering)
3. Administration
4. Evangelism
5. Pastor-Teacher
6. Exhortation
7. Giving
8. Mercy
9. Faith
10. Celibacy

The Temporary Spiritual Gifts

The author has already made a distinction between permanent and temporary gifts. We wonder if he approached the whole subject with this as a presupposition or if he, after careful study, sincerely believes it to be true. This of course, begs the question regarding the body of Christ. Does Paul anywhere say in his teaching on Gifts that the body of Christ which once had eyes and ears would no longer require those functions? Throughout scripture, prophets are considered “eyes” of Israel and then the church. One of the arguments we’ll address later is that since the canon of scripture is closed we no longer need prophets. If that is the case then we need a watertight explanation of why there were prophets operating between Malachi and Matthew, especially John the Baptist. If they consider him an exception then we can’t rule out exceptions now. Also, we wonder if the church would not have been far more effective over the last 2 millennia if they hadn’t cut off their eyes. The main reason God ceases speaking through prophets is judgement. When Israel strayed, her prophets had no message to bring until God was ready. (Ps.74:9, Is.29:10)

1. Apostleship
There is no question that the Apostles played a remarkable and distinctive role in the founding of the church. The group of 12 is closed and sealed for eternity. We would agree on that. Paul also, is a special case. But the problem is that other people are called apostles throughout the New Testament.

First Requirement of an Apostle–An Eye Witness to the Resurrection
We agree on that requirement. Outside of Paul and the 12 however, we still have over 500 other candidates for apostleship in the immediate post-ascension period, as the following quote confirms.

Some have said that Paul was not really an eye witness of Christ’s resurrection just as the Corinthians were doubting Paul’s right as an apostle. In answer to that doubt, Paul reviews Christ’s order of appearances, “and that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve” (1 Cor. 15:5). “After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time . . . then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles” (1 Cor. 15:6,7). Then Christ appeared to Paul! “and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also” (1 Cor. 15:8).

There Are No Apostles Today

In light of the fact that a definite requirement of an apostle was that he must have seen the resurrected Christ, apostles ceased to exist when these first-century men died.
In response we ask, “How did our Lord appear to Paul?” Christ had already ascended long before that incident. Technically, on this requirement for apostleship there is nothing stopping Jesus appearing to others and commissioning them as apostles.

Second Requirement–Apostles Possessed Miracle Gifts (Signs, Wonders and Miracles)

The second qualification of an apostle carries us into some of the other gifts. Paul’s second evidence that he is a true apostle is that God has given him supernatural power in the form of miracle gifts. “The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles” (2 Cor. 12:12). Now if there were all kinds of Christians running around Corinth doing miracles, Paul’s statement would lose any validity, for then miracles cease to be a sign of a true apostle.
The author is either deliberately or unintentionally ignoring other factors. First and foremost, Paul affirms that within the Corinthian church EVERY Spiritual Gift (1Cor 1:7, gift=charismata) was present. This clearly includes the gift or miracle working (1Cor 12:28). So there WERE Christians in Corinth who had the gift of working miracles. In this case the author is ignoring the other requirements of apostleship. It is fairly probable that NONE of the miracle workers at Corinth had seen the resurrected Lord, so there was no danger they could “accidentally” be considered apostles.

It is consistent throughout the book of Acts that every time the miraculous happens, it is always in connection with the ministry of one of the apostles.
Another false argument. It depends on the author’s definition of miracle, though. Stephen, a deacon, did “great wonders and miraculous signs among the people” (Acts 6:8), he sees Heaven opened (Acts 7:55-56).

Then we have Philip, another deacon, Acts 8:5-7 ” Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed.” Acts 8:13 “Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.” Then Philip is
Spirited away from the eunuch (Acts 8:39)

Acts 9 we find Ananias receiving a vision from the Lord. Later, he lays hands on Saul who is then healed of his blindness.
Acts 10 Cornelius has a vision BEFORE he meets Peter.

We haven’t even left Acts yet and already we find miracles associated with non-apostles. There is another interpretation on the issue of signs and wonders, that the author hasn’t considered. Acts 14:3 “So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders” Notice what the Lord confirms with miracles? Not the apostles, but the MESSAGE of His grace. It is the accurate, truthful presentation of the gospel that is confirmed by signs and wonders. Obviously, there are many times when the gospel is preached without accompanying signs. While an apostle DOES perform signs and wonders as part of their ministry, it is important to note that it is NOT just apostles who had a ministry of signs and wonders.

2. Prophecy

Prophecy Is Necessary Only for Additional Revelation

The gift of prophecy is only necessary when God wants to give additional revelation (when He wants to reveal more of Himself than He has revealed up to that point in time). A person who says the gift of prophecy is present today is in the same breath saying the Bible is not complete and that we need more material revealed from God.
I’m not sure just how many false arguments we’ll find in this article but here’s another one to deal with. Let us agree that scripture is closed. What is its purpose? It conveys the gospel and a history of God’s dealings with mankind. It is God-breathed, Christ-centred and therefore we can have total confidence in what it has to say. It reveals all that is necessary to know for salvation and to equip us for every good work. God has provided a complete reference to help us get through this life and safely to the next. All of that however is through a sovereign and gracious work of God. He did not HAVE to leave any of that information in a recorded form.

The false argument is in saying new prophecy makes the Bible incomplete. Prophecy, along with the Bible, is a gift of GRACE! God does NOT have to give prophecies, but in His gracious nature He has continued to do so. Contemporary prophecy should not ADD or SUBTRACT anything to or from the gospel. If it does, it is false. We won’t argue that.

What is the nature of prophecy? 1 Corinthians 14:3 ” But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.” Is there less need now for strengthening, encouragement and comfort than there was in the first century church? The fact is prophecy is part of the Body of Christ of which Paul says, ” If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?” His point is clear. God has arranged the gifts where He wants them to be, and man with his theological speculations has NO place telling other men God has changed His modus operandi.

“But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”” 1.Cor.14:24-25

In fact, in reference to prophecy Paul gives explicit commands,
“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.” 1Cor.14:1
“Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.” 1Cor.14:39

However, God says the Bible is complete and there is no additional revelation. “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18).
How does one distort the very message they’re trying to uphold? By substituting “bible” for “book”.

When John wrote this warning it was clearly in the context of the revelation he had just received. This curse applies specifically to the book of Revelation, NOT to all scripture. That does not mean we hold any less value on the other books of the Bible. It simply means one shouldn’t distort a message to support their presuppositions.

Connected with the gift of prophecy is direct guidance from God. “A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us ” (Acts 16:9).

God does not communicate in visions to Christians today. There is no need for God to appear in visions. He has given us the Bible as our guide for direction in our daily lives.
Are we then to assume if Paul had a copy of the completed Bible in his hands he would know when and where to go? Perhaps he would discovered he was meant to be in Macedonia at a certain time? The truth is EVERY Christian seeks direct revelation from God. This is the essence of prayer. Whenever God answers prayers He’s effectively saying, “Here you go.” And when the preacher/pastor writes a sermon that contains great insights does he take the credit for himself? It is God who gives the insights. He is giving revelation ABOUT His written word.

3. Since there is no longer a need for prophecy, the gift of prophecy came to an end with the completion of the New Testament. “Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away” (1 Cor. 13:8).
This passage does indeed tell us when the gift of prophecy will be done away with. It is worth quoting the whole passage so we may carefully consider it.

1CO 13:8 “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

Prophecies will cease. When? …when perfection comes….when we see face-to-face…when we know fully EVEN as we are fully known. Does that refer to the close of canon? Of course not. Who could truthfully say they know themselves as FULLY as God knows them, or that they are seeing perfection face-to-face? Such an interpretation is not only untenable, it borders on sheer arrogance. There are two other possible interpretations that are more likely. The first, the return of Jesus. Secondly, the establishment of the New Heaven and the New Earth, which is the view I favour.

Gift of Miracles Is the Ability to Do Supernatural Works of Power

Miracles Are Always Done in Connection With an Apostle In the New Testament
As we’ve already discounted this notion in the above discussion on apostleship, we won’t repeat.

Three Main Periods of Miracles in the Bible

The first period of miracles occurs during Moses’ ministry and the events surrounding it……
The second period was perhaps at the low point in Israel’s spiritual condition, although Elijah and Elisha did mighty miracles. The third period of miracles takes place during the time of Christ and his apostles.

I would ask the espousers of this view to go through the Bible historical narratives page-by-page. If they come away still convinced that there were only three major periods of miracles, I’ll be very surprised.

4. Healing

Gift of Healing Began to Fade During Paul’s Earthly Ministry

When Paul was writing to Timothy he advised him on his health. “No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments” (1 Tim. 5:23). Why didn’t Paul just heal Timothy? Timothy had enough problems without having stomach problems. Why didn’t Paul just use his gift of healing instead of giving him some advice on how to help the problem?
We will answer that question. If God doesn’t want to heal someone, no amount of faithful, earnest prayer will cause Him to heal.

Phillipians 2:27 gives another example where Paul does not (cannot) heal a fellow Christian, “For indeed he (Epaphroditus) was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.” That is strange as you think of Paul’s power as a miracle worker in the earlier part of his ministry.
The author overlooks the sovereignty of God. Paul never had power to work miracles. All such acts are God working THROUGH the person. The person is not supernaturally endowed with power to act at will. Rather the person becomes a channel through which God pours His power.

Experiences Do not Negate God’s Word

Your experience does not determine what is genuine; the Word of God determines what is genuine even if you say you saw someone healed on television or as an eye witness. You must first determine what the Word says about this subject and adjust your thinking accordingly. Do not adjust God’s Word to the experience.
We sincerely ask the author to consider his own words. His LACK of experience with God’s Gifts is clearly the source of his presupposition that the miracle Gifts are no longer given.

5. Discerning Spirits

“And to another the distinguishing of spirits” (1 Cor. 12:10). The gift of discerning spirits was the supernatural ability to discern what was true and what was false. This was a crucial gift when men did not have the New Testament. Believers needed men who had the ability and insight to discern what teaching and which men were really from God.
Is the case any different today? With so many cults and sects, why is this gift any less relevant?

6. Word of Wisdom
7. Word of Knowledge
Since the above two gifts are versions of prophecy we have already covered them.

8. Tongues and 9. Interpreting Tongues
While we agree that tongues is the easiest gift to abuse or even to be demonically inspired, in the light of the discussion on the body of Christ nor changing we only have this comment to offer…. “do not forbid speaking in tongues.” (1Cor.14:39) and ” If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.” (1Cor.14:28)

Key points to remember.

1) The body of Christ is no different today than in the 1st century. Hence…the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”1CO 12:21
2) Miracles, signs and wonders all occurred in ministries NOT associated with the apostles.
3) Prophecy does not add or subtract from the Bible. It is given to encourage, strengthen and comfort.
4) All the gifts are operational until perfection comes. As this passage doesn’t apply to the close of scripture it is easy to deduce that the gifts are still given.

And most importantly, those who are active in resisting the miracle gifts are being directly and intentionally disobedient to God’s written command: “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.” 1Cor.14:1

I would rather be guilty of expecting too much from God, then demanding other believers disobey His word.