Have the Miraculous First Century Apostolic Gifts Ceased?
(a further look into the cessation of miraculous powers and why they ceased, well, not completely)
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 1Cor13:8-10
That which is perfect, is the Greek word: teleios, meaning complete, mature, brought to an end
The signs and wonders folks always apply ‘that which is perfect comes’ to the coming of Christ, ignoring the phrase ‘will cease’, which means; ‘come to a close, stop, cease’. But the passage is not speaking of a person (as in personal pronoun) it is speaking of a thing or ‘things that will come to a close. The Perfection spoke of here is the perfecting of the Church (saints, ekklesia) bringing them to a maturity in Christ wherein many of these miraculous gifts (signs) would no longer be necessary to authenticate the Gospel. The miracle of changed lives, walking in purity and power would be sign enough that Christ was risen and the Holy Spirit active. This is what such passages as Eph4:11-14 is speaking of:
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;
Jude spoke of the ‘faith once delivered to the Saints’, (Jude3-4) Peter mentioned our ‘like precious faith, this present truth’, 2Pet1:1, 12, in his final Epistle. The Apostles were given special Knowledge and miraculous powers above that of the any ordinary men in order to authenticate the Truth and write the holy scriptures (epistles-gospels) so future generations of Christians would be fully equipped to carry forth the gospel and contend earnestly for the faith. It is not that the gifts of ministry have ceased, as mentioned in Eph4:12, but the Apostolic powers entrusted to Peter, John, James, Paul, etc came to a close when Knowledge (precise and correct knowledge) increased sufficiently to guide the remnant body (ekklesia) and sustain them into the future. There is no evidence ((I can find) of the miraculous powers given to the Apostles in the fist 60-80 years of the Church, handed down to their immediate disciples in the second century. If these powers were to continue by the laying on of hands, as we see in Acts (as with Timothy) there is no reporting of them in the written accounts into the second-third centuries. We can find nothing in their testimony that bears witness to a reoccurrence of the extraordinary miracles that took place in Acts. (there is no Acts Book Two) Again, this is NOT to say there were/are no more miracles or working of the Holy Spirit, but the Great Apostolic Powers came to a close after their decease and were not handed down. Every attempt to revive them since the days of Simon Magus has resulted in chaos and delusion, millions being lead down the path to perdition memorized by doctrines of demons.
The remnant of the church has been perfect since the first century, and has been for 1900 years. Its’ not a futuristic event to come, because Christ has always had a clean bride separate unto himself. Jude says the faith that was once delivered to the saints, (past tense) at this point it seems the faith which was to be established during the gospel and apostolic age was complete. Many believe that Jude wrote his letter around A.D. 70, almost 20 years after Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13, we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the maturity, teleios, comes that which is in part will be done away. It suggests Paul is referencing the faith, the body and doctrine that Christians belief which is modeled after, emulating the love of Christ. Now, according to Jude, this faith did finally reach a point of maturity or completion, along with the further completion of the NT script about 25 years later. By 125 AD the scriptures were in circulation. Even at the close of Peter’s ministry in 67 AD, he said that Paul’s letters had already been circulating among the churches, 2Pet3:15,16. For example, Paul’s letters to the Colossians could be read at the church in Laodicea which was close by.
Paul wrote the letters to Corinth towards the end of his 3 year ministry at Ephesus, 1 Cor16:8 . This was during his 3rd missionary journey which is recorded in Acts 18:23 through Acts chapter 21:17. In these chapters Paul largely repeated the itinerary he followed on his prior missionary journey where he had lived in Corinth for at least 1 1/2 years where he first met, worked, and lived with Aquila and Priscilla, but division had arose in Corinth after that and some were claiming to follow different men,
One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” 1 Cor1:12
He sent the letter to the Corinthians by the same persons, Stephanus, Fortunatus and Achaicus, and then he proceeded to Troas, then on to Macedonia, where he wrote 2 Corinthians, 2Cor 2:12, 13; 7:5-7. Paul, then returning to Corinth again where he spent 3 years there. During his visit he wrote the letter to the Romans which was shortly before he went to the second summit at Jerusalem in approx. 58/59 AD, and then on to Rome in 61/62 AD. So it seems that placing the first letter to Corinth is somewhere around 54 to 56 AD.
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.1:10Why did Paul write these letters to the church at Corinth? Because they did not understand, were in division, and there were controversies over many issues and some had even fallen into vile sin. Paul was saying he wanted the church to be orderly and he told them that he himself would come and set things in order, 11-34. Therefore he wrote the first letter with a more formulated explanation. One of his main purposes was to express the importance of uniting in Christian love/obedience from the heart, rather than around great miracles because it seems that he saw the apostolic age coming to a close, and the perfection of the church in love coming soon thereafter. The miracles had a purpose, in that people would see and believe, but the miracles alone could not establish the faith and Christian maturity that was needed to sustain the gospel. (just as today, among the signs/wonders crowd, they are blown by every wind of doctrine and have no understanding of fundamental issues of cleansing and redemption)
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 1Cor13:1-3
What are the ‘Knowledge and Mysteries’ he is speaking of here? It’s the ‘super, miraculous knowledge given the Apostles by God. Paul himself said that he was ‘caught up’ into the third heaven and shown things it is not lawful for a man to utter, 2Cor12:1-4, (how unlike the so-called visions and special insights people claim today, they CAN’T wait to utter, publish, advertise and cash-in on!) Paul understood the magnitude of the event and its purpose, he never exploited it, boasted or considered himself above anyone else, but used it for edification and instruction. Luke (wrote gospel and Acts) was certainly bestowed with this miraculous knowledge, he was not even a Jew, nor had he been with Jesus, yet he gives detailed descriptions of Christ’s gemology back to Adam, plus mentions things found in no other Gospel account. We see nothing of this sort in second century Saints, their writings were instructive in the things of God, but NOT Scripture, they had knowledge, but not the miraculous knowledge once delivered and recorded. John’s Revelation finishes the prophecy and seals up the book, now the ‘testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy‘, bringing people from darkness to light from the power of Satan to God! Not a reoccurrence ‘latter rain out pouring’, of what has already taken place. As we said, every attempt men have made to revive these things has ended in disaster with none more apparent than what took place in Wales under Edward Irving in the 1830’s, that launched the current prophesies, futurism, end times craze going on today. Irving was deeply concerned; wondering whether the Holy Spirit had ceased to guide the Church of Scotland, therefore founded the New Apostolic movement, establishing a second group of apostles that were to revive the church and having the same powers as those in the book of Acts. (all inspired by the writings of Jesuits dating back to the 1500’s and it planted to seeds of the Universal deception occurring now) Why were they not ‘Tested! The Assembly at Ephesus was praised by the Lord for ‘testing those who claimed to be Apostles and finding them to be liars, Rev2:2. Paul authenticated his own Apostleship by the unique ‘signs that were present in him, 2Cor12:12. If these men had possessed the ‘Power, dynamis of the Spirit, Paul is speaking of, it would have been evident to all, but they too are liars.
Jesus rebuked the Jews for seeking after a sign, Mat12:38-39, 41, Lk11:30, Paul reminded the Corinthians of this same thing, 1Cor1:22, he told them plainly to expect to see these things come to an end, so don’t base your faith in the miraculous but in Christ. Today with large groups of Professed clamoring after these things, following every phony and charlatan who crawls out of the woodwork with another vision, prophecy, sign, we see the same thing playing out again. They desire every sign except the SIGN of Jonah, a season of godly sorrow and repentance in which the root of iniquity is purged from the heart and the fruit of righteous prevails! That’s the part strangely missing from every so-called prophet, healer, tongue speaker out there today, their entire message ispredicated on spinning of yarns, fairy tales, magic shows and sorcery. The ‘Sign they’re looking for is not a clean heart in Christ, but flash and glitter that sells! They can mimic gifts they claim are of the Spirit, like speaking in tongues (that’s really incoherent babble) and even pull off ‘allusions as something great, but it has nothing to do with God or the Spirit because the truth is not present among them.
When the last apostle died, the ability to pass on the miraculous gifts was over. The gifts were passed on by the laying on of apostles hands, no other way, ITim4:14, 2:1-6, As we said, there is no mention of a second generation passing on to anyone, disciples like Clement and Polycarp hand trained by Apostle John and Paul, DID NOT possess these gifts! Surely they had a faith and testimony beyond what most could imagine today, but there’s no evidence they were second generation Apostles able to raise the dead, make the sick whole by a word or touch or blind their adversaries with the wave of a hand. Ask yourself WHY are there so many running around today claiming they can do these things but have no similarity in message and testimony to the original Apostles? Simply because they are ‘false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ! 2Cor11:13. Paul was telling the people in Corinth not to crave miracles signs, special gifts because they were fading away and their faith would have to Stand on Christ in maturity and love. Disorder and sin had come about in the assembly at Corinth and resulted in much chaos in their meetings and ‘spirits mimicking gifts. Paul admonished them harshly and warned them several times such behaviour is not conducive to faith and love, and allowing sin to go un-rebuked among you would leaven the whole church. Many professed love to use the Corinthian epistles to claim it’s the standard operating procedure of a church, but they ignore the warnings that sin has its consequences. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. 1Cor15:34 So in their ‘carnal, infantile state, they were not on safe ground with Christ, repentance was in order. 2Cor7:10-11
The miracles were a support for an infant church, God knew if it was ever to get up on its own two feet it would have to eventually do so through hope, faith, and love (a steadfastness in the faith, grounded and rooted in truth) They were weaned on the Milk and when the meat (maturity) had come stability could be maintained by continuing in His Word. John8:29. In fact its never miraculous signs and gifts that sustain the people, as we see in Corinth, because the carnal come in and seek after them (like Simon) to use to their own advantage as a means of merchandising. The inspired preaching of the word, calling people to a genuine repentance is where the power of the Spirit goes to work, convicting the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. The Word is all the Power we need to bring people out of darkness to the Cross, conjuring up ‘signs only serves to lead them astray as we have seen in our present generation.
We are told that the primary purpose of the gifts of the apostles were to AUTHENTICATE the word. To give validation to the things spoken of by the apostles. Today we have full access to the Word in every language on the planet, it stands on its own strength as it has for 2000 years. (regardless how men may tamper with it) By reading and studying the word of God I was brought to redemption with my wife and some others. What further miracle need we see, I came from knowing nothing, totally ignorant of scripture, church, doctrines, and was born again! And anyone who seeks Him with an honest, sincere heart willing to come clean and obey will find Him despite what men may do to distort, twist and outright lie. (Heb11:6) No ‘signs necessary, just the Spirit doing its work in our heart. Jesus warned of these false ministers, apostles, running around casting out demons, doing mighty works in His name, Matt7:21-23, we have the Scriptures at our full disposal to PROVE all things, TEST the spirits, 1Jh4:1, the Holy Spirit can open our understanding if we come clean with God, these men may lay in wait to deceive but in Christ we can overcome them and expose their lies to the world. That’s why its so important to understand the proper order of things and the working of the Spirit in our world today.
There is still a divine anointing, and the Spirit still works, but not through another gospel, (Jesus I know, Paul I know, but who are you?) The written record of the word is not the power without the life of the Spirit. Also the scriptures can be the death of the letter if it’s not invoked with the life of the Spirit. The word is complete when it takes hold in a person’s heart and results in visible fruit. God is a God of purpose. ‘The Purpose of the Commandment is sincerity, purity and love!’ 1Tim1:5. There is no present need for the Apostolic miracles to occur again. The faith and word have already been confirmed, it doesn’t need to be confirmed again and it has been preserved by faithful Saints throughout the ages in spite of every attempt to suppress it. The scriptures contain everything we need to know in order to find eternal life if we humble ourselves and allow the Sprit to reveal the Truth to us. It is God’s word perfect for all time, DIGdeep and you will find the pearl of great price! The super-natural sign will be when you repent and come out of your sins, then even your family will think you crazy, that’s sign enough to testify God’s power is at work among men. The Holy Spirit is still present among the remnant through every means to spread the Gospel of truth far and wide, people are still healed and Saints protected when it serves God’s Purpose to do so. (never at our whim) Our point is that many are out there using parlour tricks and enchantments as deceivers before them, mesmerising people with their slight of hand wizardry, BUT none of it comes close to the magnitude of the miracles performed by the Apostles in Acts, nor is it bringing anyone out of darkness. The people who crave these things are like the Jews, show us more, amaze us, the euphoria never ends, like a drug, it requires larger amounts to educe the dopamine response. The Holy Spirit doesn’t need to conjure up fantastic manifestations to convict people of sin, He operates supernaturally through faith in those who yield and obey the Gospel of Christ.
Today the Saints will lay hands on someone, pray and wait to see if someone is healed and sometimes they are. But that’s NOT what happened in the Acts! How would that confirm the word if the apostles had to wait around to see if someone was healed? The word was confirmed because the crowd saw the man rise up and walk immediately. They knew there was something special about the Apostles, and when they preached the gospel people listened; the message spread like wild-fire. But wouldn’t the same results occur today if we had these gifts… many ask this question yet fail to consider that such things have occurred throughout history in attempt to bring back the gifts and have always failed to also bring about a revival of genuine repentance as seen in the time of Acts.
In fact they have consistently brought about chaos and mass deception with false teachers crawling out from under every rock. So to what Purpose would they serve. People can be healed but unless they are a redeemed and enduring Saint afterward to what Purpose did it serve. Anyone who is suffering a debilitating disease desires to be healed, but how many will Serve Him as a Vessel Fit for the Master’s use! God’s Purpose must be upheld in all things and healing for healings sake (merely to relieve human suffering) is not a vital part of that Purpose. There are many factors involved as to why people will not receive the truth today and love to have their ears tickled by the deceivers, false signs and wonders is top on the list. We have entered a time when people ‘love not the truth and have been given over to strong delusion’, a resurgence of signs and gifts is not going to turn them from their sins, as is apparent in their ranks, they will line up for the ‘healers but never submit to Christ! What’s desperately needed today is return to Apostolic roots in the preaching of repentance and faith proven by deeds. A pulling down of the Strongholds of delusion keeping people in bondage to sin! When the remnant Saints today agree on that perhaps there will be a gathering, the current climate however, as I see it, is far from any harvest coming in. People who keep trying to bring the Genie out of the bottle (revival of apostolic gifts) contribute nothing to the Gospel.
There is no apostolic succession, the apostle John was most likely the last one. (the Pope is an anti-Christ type, not apostle) The purpose of the miraculous gifts was to confirm the gospel message in a heathen world of darkness. All evidence indicates that they ceased shortly after the last Apostles died. The posers today who claim to have the authority are the same phonies as were running around in Paul’s time, making merchandise out of the gospel. Its big business and the golden cash-cow of professed Christendom today. We see false claims of speaking in tongues all over the place. Yet speaking in tongues was a miraculous gift from God to man in the epistles for the PURPOSE of delivering the gospel, not babbling incoherently thrashing about on the floor. The ‘Gift was used specifically to communicate the Gospel message in languages and dialects the Apostles (being non-scholars) had no way of learning well enough to make themselves understood. Merely jabbering in assembly in some garbled chatter is not tongues!
Tongues is the Greek word glōssa, a language, something someone is able to understand as coherent speech in their native tongue! Telling people today they must be baptised in the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues is ridiculous, to what Purpose is the tongue they supposedly receive, are they off preaching the gospel in some foreign land, does it edify anyone who hears the strange babbling, open their eyes to the Truth… of course not, because it is NOT of God! If it was the Spirit of truth would be present in their lives instead of the spirit of error. They would not be still holding to destructive fallacies such as Substitution, faith alone, magic transfers, sin nature and inability.
We recall the so-called ‘Charismatic Renewal that took place in 1966, officially inaugurated by the Roman Catholic Church, at the behest of Second Vatican Council, which announced the advent of a Second Pentecost. (the Edward Irving circus revived again)People of all nations were invited to Catholic meeting places to witness glossolalia and other phenomena, under the jurisdiction of Catholic priests. (much like we see often in the news from places like South America, Africa, India, another set of priests conducting mass exorcisms of demons or healing the sick) Then follows the assurgency of charlatans like TBN, 700 Club, PTL and many others, the big money deliverance miniseries popping up in every corner of the world. These things came on the heels of Azusa Street, in the early 1900’s, the great Charismatic revival (first wave) bringing into the 20 Century a latter rain of Apostolic gifts. But its buyer beware, always remember, the Spirit operates through the mind and not the emotions, Eph4:23. Jesus said they will CLAIM to have cast out devils and done mighty works, Matt7:221, NOT that they’ve actually done so. Satan cast out Satan …. ? highly doubtful, but under pharmakeia, people are easily dubbed. It’s also interesting to note that the deliverance ministries sprang up after the release of the Hollywood Exorcist movie in 1973, and has been gaining ground since.
Yet in all this we fail to find any instance of a miracle in comparison to the magnitude of what is seen in Acts. Paul was bitten by a deadly viper with no ill effects, can any of the ‘snake handlers of today say the same? (most have died when tempting fate with such things) Again, no one in the second century reports of anything like this or people being transported in time from one place to another as we see with Phillip in Acts. These gifts were given solely to the Apostles for the purpose of ministry and they could be handed down to select individuals by the laying on of hands, as we have shown. Therefore since no direct descending disciple of the Apostles had them we have to conclude that they ceased for a purpose and God had different plans for His Saints to keep and spread the Gospel message.
Paul started the church at Corinth and it appears they had all the supernatural gifts at work among them, but the church at Rome was not started by an apostle, it was most likely an evangelist. (Peter never went to Rome) Perhaps this is why he says in his epistle to Rome: For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Rom1:11 Apparently they had yet to receive any of the miraculous gifts, perhaps that’s part of the reason they were so easily deceived by the Simon Cult that gained prominence around 45AD when Claudius Caesar, honored Simon Magus by erecting a statue of him on the Tiber with the inscription: Simoni deo Sancto’ (i.e., the holy god Simon) Since the people had never seen the ‘real thing, until Paul arrived years later, they were easy prey to the early magicians. Much like the Professed today into the end times mania who chase after visions, dreams and mysterious manifestations. Jesus warned that many false Prophets would arise and deceive many, Mat24:5, 24, ‘False prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders’ He said, they would come saying, ‘Look here, look there’, Lk17:23, ‘Do not go after or follow them!’ But still they do, in spite of all the warnings in Scripture, anyone who comes along with another vision, dream, sign, they ‘go after them like flies to a rotting corpse. No one seems to realize that when the Apostle John laid down his pen at the end ofRev22:21, the need for human prophets ended, the book was sealed up marking the end of futuristic visions, predictions and prophecies, communicated to humans by the Spirit.
Anything one who ‘adds to or takes away from’ what is already revealed, is speaking from the ‘spirit of error’, warned about by John, 1Jh4:1. That should put to silence the futurists, millennial reigns, dispensationalists, secret rapture cults and all out there who claim to be ‘hearing from God and are gathering in the elect for the last days. Do you think that Revelation is the last book of the bible for no reason? Did God leave something undone, unsaid that is yet to be revealed to His people? Do we need anotherNostradamus to tell us how the world will end, when the Apostle Peter has already given us the vivid details in his second epistle … science fiction is one thing, TRUTH is another! You can be certain that Christ will return to Judge this world in righteousness, prepare yourself for that stop looking for signs.
End times mania has been a big money maker for decades on end and it seems no matter how silly or ridiculous their redictions turn out, they never give up and only multiply. Every time you turn around another self-appointed Prophet shows up claiming he is able to pin the tail on the anti-Christ donkey, discern the Mark of the Beast and date the rapture as just around the corner. They are eager to cash-in on their dreams and visions, claiming they have healed the sick and even raised people from the dead! If you’re sceptical, just buy their books, CD’s and come to their seminars, for $99.95 plus shipping and handling you can find out for yourself what’s coming and be prepared. It never seems to end, people are as superstitious today as they’ve always been in past centuries. Some say ‘knowledge has increased’ (meaning as a good thing, like science, innovation, nature) but Truth has gone stale, the deceivers in every realm of human endeavour are running the planet.
The miraculous, stupendous signs that followed the Apostles ended 19 centuries ago and are not to be repeated in some so-called latter rain revival preceding the Lord’s return. Yes, people are still healed through prayer and faith, yes the Spirit still works through the Saints, anointing and influencing them to more effectively teach, preach, minister, evangelize. Miracles still happen. BUT nothing of the magnitude of what we see the Acts, where the infirmed sitting in the shadow of Peter as he walked by were instantly healed, where Phillip was miraculously snatched away and reappeared in another place to preach the gospel, Paul was able to lay hands on ALL the sick at Malta (not a healing line, select types of aliments, smack them in the in head) and they were instantly made whole, he could blind an adversary with a wave of his hand, be bitten by a viper and survive. WHERE are these Signs following anyone who claims to be a modern day Apostle, certainly they can utilize very sophisticated methods to create the illusion of a sign. But I highly doubt you will find any of them in the ICU wards, leapers colonies, plague stricken African villages, or reaching into a viper’s pit to ‘test their supposed gifts. Moses said of false Prophets: Deut18:20-22, 13:1-3
But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’ which you have not known ‘and let us serve them,you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Jeremiah 23:21-22 should settle any question as to who is sent of God and who isn’t:
I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words, Then they would have turned them from their evil way And from the evil of their doings.
But even with these clear warnings in Scripture people remain deceived by the false teachers. Their dreams-visions come to naught, their predictions fall flat, their signs are demonically educed and NONE of these turn anyone from the evil of their doings! They have no understanding how the root of iniquity is purged from the human heart in the process of repentance, they walk according to their own imaginations, speak lying words that make you worthless and strengthen the hand of the wicked. As the false prophets from centuries past they make the heart of the righteous sad and turn no one from their wicked ways to save their souls.
The Spirit is still very active in the true followers of Christ, but not as Prophets, Apostles, miracle workers. They can use the wisdom from above to discern times and seasons, gaze upon the current conditions of the world and make astute decisions and observations about the course of events leading to destruction. But that’s a far cry from seeing into the future with absolute accuracy as the Prophets of old and actually hearing from God. The self-appointed Prophets who have invaded the professed Church by the thousands are charlatans, deceivers and even demon possessed liars. Some may actually be in contact with demonic spirits, there are such things as witch-craft and sorcery, but I hesitate in attributing any ‘special power to them, because they have none against the true Saints of God. People today don’t need the word confirmed by any miraculous signs, they need to believe and OBYED it! They need to come clean of their sins and stop playing games with God. Signs won’t save their soul or deliver anyone from bondage to lust, it’s the sign of Jonah they must seek; to lament, mourn and weep in broken submission before they face God in Judgment. You want to Know Jesus Christ, then begin byDOING what He said to do and: ‘Go and sin no more, take up your Cross and follow!
I’ve ran into many of these Prophet types myself and they like to use the Mark16 passage to confirm they’ve of God and I’m not, or at least I’m a second class Christian, not having the gifts because I lack faith. Let’s read the passage:
Mark 16:14-20 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 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
So the point is, unless these ‘signs are following you, you’re not of God, but as we’ve shown (and you can research for yourself) the second century disciples (hand trained by the Apostles) do not report any ‘signs following their message. For the most part they were apologists who contended earnestly for the faith as instructed in Jude3-4, making every effort to keep it pure and free from error. And need I mention again the super-natural nature of the signs reported in Acts of which NONE follow these self-appointed Prophets, especially lacking is the SIGN of Jonah, any fundamental understanding of real repentance. They may be tongue speakers, (babblers) having visions and dreams, even hearing voices from above, but their Salvation message is based on the same fallacies form last 500 years: sin nature, Substitution, magic transfer and repeat after me. You’d think they would have something radically different than the average ‘saved in sin, Jesus paid it all, church mantra, since they’re supposedly ‘hearing from God, yet their creditability is solely based on the alleged signs that follow them, not anyone actually coming out of sin and walking in purity and righteousness. (with most of them ranking in tons of cash)
The alleged Pentecostal (latter rain) revival began in earnest in the early part of the 20th century. Before that there were isolated incidents among the RCC, claiming miracles and such and a few minor outbreaks during the reformation, some call revivals. But around 1900 things really got underway and ‘speaking in tongues as the spirit gives utterance’ became wide-spread from Azusa Street on. But is it the tongues of Acts? The tongues Paul refers to throughout the NT is used to mean languages understood by other men, not babble for the sake of babble.
Linguists who have studied the modern Pentecostal tongue speaking glossolalia and have concluded that the segmental structures (syllables, phrases, groans, chants, etc.) used today are the same as those used by practitioners of mystic religions, and that all modern glossolalia has no systematic resemblance to any language, past or present. What is the emotional compelling force to manufacture tongues where none exist? Just as we observe in non-Christian religions as well. Latter-day tongue speaking and chanting is not unique to Pentecostalism only; it is noted in the Assemblies of God Churches. Modern day type speaking in tongues is similar to mindless chanting in other pagan religions, such as: Buddhism and Eskimo worship rituals, Voodoo assemblies where they attempt to contact demon spirits and the dead. They all use the same techniques of whipping the people into an emotionally driven euphoria wherein they lose control of their natural senses, dance, jerk, fall, cry out, moan, various gyrations and speak in strange gibberish. It has nothing to do with a language, just another way to massaged the flesh and feel that something mystical has happened in the spirit. The root of iniquity remains intact, the lust of flesh, eye and pride of life is not crucified in Christ, its all carnal sold under sin, a charade in which the Spirit of God is not present.
Note of intrest: Felicitas Goodman, a psychological anthropologist and linguist, studied a number of Pentecostal communities in the United States, Caribbean and Mexico; these included English, Spanish and Mayan speaking groups. She compared what she found with recordings of non-Christian rituals from Africa, Borneo, Indonesia and Japan. She took into account both the segmental structure (such as sounds, syllables, phrases) and the supra-segmental elements (rhythm, accent, intonation), and concluded that there was no distinction between what was practiced by the Pentecostal Protestants and the followers of other religions. ~ Wikipedia
The idea of ‘praying in a tongue or the ‘tongues of angels, 1Cor13:1, 14:14, as something ‘unknown to man (a heavenly language, some claim, known only to God) must be considered in weight of the fact that every time God or angels spoke to humans it was in a language they could understand. If angels has a ‘tongue unknown to men (a heavenly language) to what benefit would it serve a tongue speaking human to utter it in prayer or in assembly since no one could understand it. Didn’t Paul liken such things to an ‘uncertain sound’, as a trumpeter in battle sounding a command no one could understand, 1Cor14:8, its without purpose and much of what is mimicked today as these ‘heavenly’ tongues is nothing more than self-exultation, senseless babble as we have pointed out above. The ‘tongues of men and of angels’, is merely an expression driving home the point that anything done without the love of God producing the fruit of the Spirit in the heart is sounding brass or clanging cymbals… utterly useless.
These things taken into consideration by any honest soul should be enough to dispel any question that the latter rain crowd is totally deceived and in darkness. Yet further is the evidence in scripture that any sort of disorder as described above or as is common in Pentecostal assemblies, is not of God because it promotes confusion and envy.
Paul gives the Corinthians specific instruction of the order these things should be administered if they are of God:
Spiritual Gifts are for edification of the assembly not to focus on self, 1Cor14:12
The tongue spoken must be something someone in attendance can understand, 1Cor14:9
Not more than two or at most three people should be speaking in a tongue at any given time, 1Cor14:27
And again it must be something someone can interpret for the benefit of all, 1Cor14:28
Same with speaking prophesy (inspired word from God) no confusion, chatter, babbling, 1Cor14:31-33
All things must be decently and in order! 1Cor14:40
Paul tells them that Tongues was for a sign to unbelievers, quoting the Prophet to confirm, 1Cor14:20-21, Isa28:11-12 It was a judgment against the unbelieving Jews that rejected Christ, so the Gospel would go out to ALL present that Day without error. The Jews couldn’t very well stand by and deny their own Prophets. What happened in Corinth is too many phonies had crept in and were edifying themselves by mimicking what they had seen, like Simon, they wanted the power without the clean heart. Paul not being present, rebuked and instructed as he could by letter, his Epistles as part of the Bible are not evidence the ‘Churches are full of sin and miss-conduct, they stand as any scripture as admonition that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom. So don’t emulate such behaviour, forsake it because love does not rejoice in iniquity but in Truth. 1Cor13:6. No spiritual power is of any value without a heart purified by faith walking in love. That’s Paul’s message in Corinthians, examine yourself and Prove yourself, lest you be disqualified through vain deceits of the flesh. 2Cor13:5.
I think its fair to say that that the human mind can make almost anything happen and appear real if the heart wills it. Nothing attaches people more than the supernatural. (Ghosts, UFO’s, Lepricons, apparitions etc) Turn on a talk program where the subject is the supernatural and the phone lines will be burning up. People love these things, it gives them hope beyond this life, without the need of repenting and coming clean with God or obeying truth. One mystical event births another and another, see how the Edward Irving visions corresponded with the rise of Mormonism in the US an ocean away and Azusa St to the rise of end times prophets. Once the charlatans see another ripe opportunity to fleece the flock they raise to the occasion. Tongues are just another false manifestation to draw you away from the truth and create dissension, keep people divided. Remember the Wisdom from above is pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruit without partiality and without hypocrisy. Js3:17 It’s the wisdom of this world that is earthly and sensual (appealing to the flesh) always self-seeking, full envy, strife and confusion. Js3:15.
Tongues were for communicating the gospel in another language, nothing else. It is no longer needed today. The Pundits attribute it to the supernatural working of the Spirit of God. This is dangerous, because it tricks people and casts demonic spirits upon them, beguiling unstable souls. We need not take part in any worship form that uses trickery to hold its adherents in the chains of superstition. You miss the point entirely if you think spiritual gifts can be used in the manner we see so abundant today in the blatant display of flesh on the stages of shame broadcast world wide like a plague of locust.
Today the professed Church is overrun with false teachers, liars and flesh kings, the people are blown by every wind of doctrine, tossed two and fro by the cunning craftiness of men who lay in wait to deceive. (Just as Paul said, Eph4:14) The Strong delusion and many unrighteous deceptions have taken hold and ‘that wickedness’ spoken of in 2Thes2:8 is now upon us. What little restraint remains is dwindling away and soon a demonic darkness will engulf our planet and plunge us into another age of abject lawlessness. Now is not the time to be toying with deceiving spirits seeking after signs, gifts and mysterious manifestations. You need to stand on the firm foundation of Christ and depart of all iniquity before its too late. I pray many may come to their senses soon and repent.
Main study by Bill W,
edited and re-written by Mike D